Sony DSC-T700 Review

 
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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T700 Performance


Timing and Performance

Slow startup and mode switching times, but very good shutter lag times for a consumer digital camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

3.5 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and capture the first image. (Lens doesn't have to extend, but startup is still a little on the slow side.)

Shutdown

3.5 seconds

Time to shut down, ready to remove the memory card. Also a little slow, given that lens doesn't need to retract.

Buffer clearing time

2 seconds
(after 20 Large JPEGs)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Not bad.

Somewhat slow timings here, particularly in startup and shut-down.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

0.4 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

4.3 seconds

Time to display a large JPEG immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

1.4 seconds

Time to display a large JPEG already on the memory card.

A mixed bag: switching from play to record mode is quite zippy, while the reverse action can be quite slow, especially if you've just snapped the shutter.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.31 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.41 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Prefocused

0.008 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
0.50 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Full Autofocus, Flash
0.69 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position, while forcing flash to fire.

Overall, shutter response is notably better than average at both wide angle and telephoto, at 0.31s and 0.41s respectively, and "prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of only 0.008 second. (That's 8 thousandths of a second, just amazingly fast.) Even when waiting on the flash, the lag time only stretches to 0.69 second. Great results here.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large JPEG
1.87 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG

2.07 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large JPEG

0.62 second (1.62 frames per second);
20+ frames
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
640 x 480 JPEG

0.62 second (1.62 frames per second);
20+ frames
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Flash recycling

4.4 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III Pro Duo memory stick. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are about average–at about 1.87 seconds for the largest and 2.07 seconds for the smallest JPEGs, and the camera can capture frames continuously at this rate. (That is, given a fast enough memory card, it doesn't have to pause every few frames to wait for the card to catch up.) The DSC-T700's Continuous modes captured at a rate of 1.62 frames per second. This is fairly average for consumer cameras these days. The flash takes 4.4 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is also better than average, but then the flash is pretty weak.

 

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

11,322 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are exceptionally fast. (Here again, though, note that we used a SanDisk Extreme III Pro Duo memory card for this test. This is a very fast card, slower cards could result in slower downloads.)


Overall, the Cyber-shot DSC-T700 is a pretty responsive little camera, with the exception of the time required to switch from record to playback mode after snapping a shot. You'll tap your fingers between record and play modes, but shutter lag times are quite good. Continuous mode speeds aren't quick enough for fast-paced action, but should be fine for most consumers' needs.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Average battery life for a compact camera model.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Capture Mode, Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, LCD On
(CIPA standard)
200 shots
Viewing images in Playback Mode
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery
210 minutes

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T700 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. The camera's huge internal memory suits it to portable photo-album usage, so it'd be reasonable to expect to spend a fair bit of time with the LCD on, looking at your images or sharing them with friends. In playback mode, Sony says you'll get about 210 minutes of run time on a fully charged battery. That sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that viewing time also trades off against the number of shots you can take. Pass it around at a party (say, 60 minutes of viewing time), and the shots you can take on a battery will drop from 200 to about 140. So, although battery life is pretty good, we recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of on a fully-charged rechargeable battery, based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T700 accepts Memory Stick Pro Duo cards, and includes an impressive 4 GB of internal memory.

Image Capacity with
4 GB Internal Memory
Normal
JPEG
3,648 x 2,736
Images
990
File Size
4.0 MB
2,592 x 1,944
Images
1,570
File Size
2.5 MB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
2,519
File Size
1.6 MB
640 x 480
Images
~23,300
File Size
171 KB

While the T700 sports an impressive 4GB of internal memory, we still recommend buying a large capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo. at least a 1GB card, preferably a 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

Sony DSC-T700

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