Sony DSC-T100 Review

 
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Sony DSC-T100 Optics


Lens

Zoom
A 5x optical zoom range equivalent to 35-175mm on a 35mm camera.

35mm
175mm
2x Digital Zoom

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T100 zooms over the equivalent of a 35-175mm range, which is atypical for its class, offering greater telephoto than most small digicams. Overall performance is quite good, with good detail and sharpness at wide angle. The 2x Precision Digital zoom takes it out to 10x total, with the typical loss of resolution associated with Digital Zoom. But by using the Smart Zoom option, you can eliminate image deterioration by restricting zoom based on the image size. Using full resolution, there is no digital zoom, but at VGA resolution, zoom goes to 25x.

Macro
A below average Standard Macro, but a very small Super Macro area. Closest focusing distance is too close for the flash.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash Super Macro

The Sony Cyber-shot T100's Super Macro setting captures a small minimum area of only 0.82 x 0.62 inches (20.9 x 15.6 millimeters). In normal Macro mode, the T100 captures an image that is below average. In both modes, however, there's only a little softening in the corners, while most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.

The T100's flash had trouble throttling down for the macro area and was partially blocked as well, resulting in a very uneven exposure. (Plan on using external lighting for any macro shots with the T100.)

Distortion
Average barrel distortion, higher than average pincushion.

Barrel distortion at 35mm is 0.9%
Pincushion at 175mm is 0.4%

This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto). The T100's 0.9% barrel distortion at wide angle is average among the cameras we've tested (even though its 35mm wide angle setting isn't very demanding), but not objectionable in most images. At the telephoto end, the DSC-T100 showed 0.4% pincushion distortion, which is a bit higher than average.

Chromatic aberration
Noticeable at wide angle, some at telephoto.

Wide: moderate, top left @ 200% Wide: moderately bright, top right @ 200%
Tele: almost none, top left @200% Tele: almost none, top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is noticeable and bright at wide angle, showing several pixels of medium coloration on either side of the target lines. It is also visible at telephoto focal lengths, though not as bright. (This distortion is visible as a colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Corner Sharpness
Some softening in the corners of the frame.

Wide: soft in the upper right corner. Wide: sharp at the center.
Tele: soft in the lower right corner. Tele: sharp at the center.

The DSC-T100 produced soft corners at wide angle, which is very common at wide angle in small cameras like this. Telephoto performance wasn't much better, even mildly softer in the center -- but this T model has a 5x zoom (rather than the 3x zoom of earlier models), so the extra softening isn't that severe.

Viewfinder

Accuracy
The Sony T100's LCD monitor was very accurate. The camera does not have an optical viewfinder.

35mm eq., LCD monitor 175mm eq., LCD monitor

The T100's LCD monitor showed about 103% coverage at wide angle and 99% at telephoto. (The image at right was modified in Photoshop to show the lines more clearly; the original shot appears in the Flash table.)

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T100 Photo Gallery.

Sony DSC-T100

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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