DPInterface Sony Cyber-shot T10 Review
Brad Soo - November 13th, 2006

The Cyber-shot T10 is Sony's "baby T50" with the only differences being design (this one's smaller), a 2.5 inch LCD (versus a 3 inch touchscreen on the T50) and lower battery life. And oh, the T10 is about $50 cheaper than the T50 as well. How does the T10 compare to its higher end sibling and other cameras in the market? Find out now.

Size and Weight

This is how small the Sony Cyber-shot T10 is compared to competition:

(172.6)  89.5 x 58.0 x 25.1 mm (150 g) - Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH
(179.0)  91.2 x 59.6 x 28.2 mm (165 g) - Canon PowerShot SD900 Ti Digital ELPH
(172.2)  94.5 x 60.4 x 17.3 mm (127 g) - Casio Exilim S770
(172.8)  92.0 x 58.4 x 22.4 mm (139 g) - Casio Exilim Z1000
(177.2)  92.7 x 56.7 x 27.8 mm (155 g) - Fujifilm FinePix F30
(163.6)  90.0 x 55.0 x 18.6 mm (130 g) - Fujifilm FinePix Z3
(177.0)  93.0 x 61.0 x 23.0 mm (130 g) - HP Photosmart R827
(183.6)  96.0 x 62.0 x 25.6 mm (170 g) - HP Photosmart R967
(189.7)  111.0 x 55.5 x 23.2 mm (160 g) - Kodak EasyShare V610
(171.2)  101.0 x 49.8 x 20.4 mm (124 g) - Kodak EasyShare V705
(191.5)  110.5 x 60.0 x 21.0 mm (140 g) - Nikon Coolpix S7c
(168.9)  90.5 x 58.0 x 20.4 mm (115 g) - Nikon Coolpix S9
(174.3)  96.0 x 54.0 x 24.3 mm (120 g) - Olympus Stylus 750
(169.4)  94.1 x 51.1 x 24.2 mm (132 g) - Panasonic Lumix FX07
(179.9)  97.7 x 57.1 x 25.1 mm (151 g) - Panasonic Lumix FX50
(166.0)  88.5 x 54.5 x 23.0 mm (125 g) - Pentax Optio A20
(173.0)  95.0 x 58.5 x 19.5 mm (135 g) - Pentax Optio T20
(169.0)  94.5 x 57.0 x 17.5 mm (142 g) - Samsung NV3
(165.2)  89.7 x 54.9 x 20.6 mm (140 g) - Sony Cyber-shot T10
(174.8)  95.0 x 56.5 x 23.3 mm (132 g) - Sony Cyber-shot T50
(169.0)  89.0 x 57.0 x 23.0 mm (127 g) - Sony Cyber-shot W70

As usual, I've included the "DPI measurement unit" (As opposed to volume) on the left for a more accurate impression of a camera's size.

While it's not the smallest camera, the Sony T10 is pretty darn close to it. This is one small camera that you can really take anywhere.

Open up the Box

There's a bunch of stuff included with the Sony T10:

  • Rechargeable NP-FT1 InfoLithium lithium-ion battery
  • Battery charger
  • Wrist strap
  • USB + A/V + DC-IN multi-connector cable
  • CD-ROM
  • User's manual

Storage and Power

The Sony Cyber-shot T10 has a quite a bit of internal memory with 56 MB. Anyway, you'd want to get at least a 1 GB Memory Stick PRO Duo for this 7 megapixel ultra-compact. The camera does not appear to take advantage of high-speed memory cards.

270 shots - Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH
230 shots - Canon PowerShot SD900 Ti Digital ELPH
200 shots - Casio Exilim S770
360 shots - Casio Exilim Z1000
580 shots - Fujifilm FinePix F30
170 shots - Fujifilm FinePix Z3
240 shots - HP Photosmart R827
160 shots - HP Photosmart R967
135 shots - Kodak EasyShare V610
150 shots - Kodak EasyShare V705
200 shots - Nikon Coolpix S7c
190 shots - Nikon Coolpix S9
190 shots - Olympus Stylus 750
320 shots - Panasonic Lumix FX07
300 shots - Panasonic Lumix FX50
150 shots - Pentax Optio A20
130 shots - Pentax Optio T20
200 shots - Samsung NV3
250 shots - Sony Cyber-shot T10
400 shots - Sony Cyber-shot T50
360 shots - Sony Cyber-shot W70

The Sony Cyber-shot T10 uses the NP-FT1 battery which gives it a slightly above average 250 shots per charge (CIPA Standard). As with all InfoLithium batteries, this one also shows a minute-by-minute battery indicator.

 

Extras

The Sony Cyber-shot T10's only accessories are an AC adapter, a macro ring light and sports jacket (This isn't an underwater case!).

Camera Tour

The Sony Cyber-shot T10 is available in your choice of silver, black, white and pink. The Sony T10 features a slight facelift versus the T9 it replaces but other than that, they are virtually identical in design and build quality - stylish and fairly solid.

The Sony Cyber-shot T10 shares the same lens as the other T-series cameras, the new T50 included. This 38 - 114 mm lens with an aperture range of f3.5 - f4.3. The lens is internal so it never extends, and there's an optical image stabilizer built-in too!

Optical image stabilizers help counter blur caused by camera shake (which are caused by shaky hands) - contrary to popular belief, optical image stabilizers cannot freeze subject motion!

Next to the lens is an AF-assist beam/self-timer lamp which lights up red in low-light or when counting down. And there's a flash as well. The flash has a weak maximum range of 2.8 m at auto ISO and goes up to an above average 4.9 m at ISO 1000.

There's the trademark sliding lens cover below all of that action which was first seen back on the T1! The one here looks much nicer than the sliding covers seen on the T30/T50 in my opinion.

The T10's back looks extremely similar, if not totally the same, as the T9. It has a 2.5 inch LCD with 230,000 pixels which is good outdoors and indoors.

On the top right of the T10 is the zoom controller followed by the menu button and LCD display button. After that, the classic 5-way controller has these functions:

  • Up - Flash setting (Auto, on, off, slow-sync - redeye reduction turned on/off in the menu)
  • Down - Self-timer (Off, 10 seconds, 2 seconds)
  • Left - Quick review (View the last photo taken)
  • Right - Focus (Normal, macro, magnifying glass)
  • Center - Confirm setting

There's two more buttons: one for image resolution/deleting photos and the other for starting slideshows in playback. Apparently Sony does listen to reviewers' thoughts - in my T30 review, I mentioned that the slideshow button served no purpose in shooting mode and here on the T10, it's been assigned the exposure compensation function. Kudos to Sony!

A mode switch in the center moves you around the playback, record and movie modes followed by a microphone. A power button with a status LED and image stabilization flank the circular shutter button. The OIS button turns on/off optical image stabilization.

 

The right side of the T10 is left blank with only a speaker next to the LCD panel. On the other side, there's a battery/memory card slot. There is a battery lock and the door over the slots is quite study though it doesn't have a lock.

The T10 (Behind) is thinner and slightly shorter than the more upscale T50 (Front).

At the bottom of the Sony Cyber-shot T10, you'll find a tripod mount and multi-connector port. The placement of the battery/memory card slots at the side of the camera make them swappable, even when the camera is on a tripod. The multi-connector port is the place where you plug in things like USB, A/V and DC-IN.

Shooting

You can select one of the Sony Cyber-shot T10's many image sizes which include 7 megapixels (with a 3:2 option), 3 megapixels, 2 megapixel (with a widescreen 16:9 option) and VGA plus two compression options - Fine and Standard.

The T10's display screen is complete with exposure information, a live histogram and a very precise battery indicator.

 

In the main menu of the Sony Cyber-shot T10, there's an array of other settings you can tweak:

  • Sub-shooting mode (Auto, program, high sensitivity, twilight, twilight portrait, landscape, beach, snow, fireworks, soft snap)
  • Color modes (Normal, rich, natural, sepia, monochrome)
  • Focus (Multi, center, spot, preset manual focus)
  • Metering method (Multi, center, spot)
  • 5 white balance presets; daylight, cloudy, fluorescent, incandescent, flash (no custom option)
  • ISO (Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000)
  • Photo quality (Fine, Standard)
  • Record mode (Single-shot, burst, exposure bracketing, multi-burst)
  • Bracketing (exposures 3 shots in 0.3, 0.7 or 1.0 increments)
  • Multi-burst interval (1/7.5, 1/15 or 1/30 sec)
  • Flash intensity (High, normal, low)
  • Contrast, saturation and sharpness
  • Red-eye reduction (On/off)
  • Optical image stabilization (Shooting, continuous)

In "normal" macro mode, the Sony Cyber-shot T10 can go as close to a subject as 8 cm, turn on magnifying glass mode and you can go as close as 1 cm. The only disadvantages when using magnifying glass mode are the lens is locked at wide-angle and ISO is locked at auto ISO.

The Smart Zoom feature crops a full-resolution photo so there's no loss of quality and can be used up to 14x using the 640 x 480 resolution.

As for optical image stabilization, there's 2 modes: shooting (OIS is active when the picture is taken) and continuous (OIS is always on, even when framing). Here's how well the Sony Cyber-shot T30's optical image stabilization works:

 

Both shots were taken one after the other using 1/2 second long exposures. The first shot was taken with OIS off while the next one was taken with OIS on (in "shooting" mode).

Recording

The Sony Cyber-shot T10 can take VGA movies with sound at 30 FPS till the memory card fills up. This requires a Memory Stick PRO Duo card (but nowadays, who doesn't have one?). Just in case you have a normal Memory Stick Duo or want to record longer movies, you can record VGA movies at 16 FPS or 160 x 112 movies at 8 FPS!

Exposure is automatically adjusted and image stabilization can be turned on while recording, but the Sony T10 cannot constantly focus while recording a movie. There's good new though: you can optically zoom (slowly) while recording. Movies are recorded in MPEG format so a 1 GB card will take 12 minutes of movies.

The T10's videos were overall quite good.

Performance

The Sony Cyber-shot T10 is ready within 1 second of flipping that cover down. The T10 normally takes about 1/8 to 1/3 seconds to focus, which is very quick. Shutter lag is not noticeable after pressing the shutter.

Shot-to-shot speed was a nice 1 shot every 1.5 seconds, longer if the flash is used. Flash recharge time using a fully charged battery took 6 seconds. The camera zooms from wide-angle to telephoto within 2 seconds with very precise stops in between.

In continuous shooting, the Sony T10 has the same mediocre burst mode as the cameras before: it takes 5 photos in a row at 1 FPS. The camera powers down instantly when you either slide the cover up or press the button. Overall performance was just average with other cameras able to do better than this one.

Image Quality

Here are some crops from photos taken using the T10:


ISO 80 (f3.5, 1/4 sec)


ISO 100 (f3.5, 1/6 sec)


ISO 200 (f3.5, 1/10 sec)


ISO 400 (f3.5, 1/20 sec)


ISO 800 (f3.5, 1/50 sec)


ISO 1000 (f3.5, 1/50 sec)

Things start out clean at ISO 80. Noise goes up constantly, though marginally until ISO 400. Photos start to turn noisy at ISO 800 and ISO 1000 would need some serious cleaning up.  There is little chromatic aberration (color fringing). Overall, the image quality of the Sony Cyber-shot T10 is good, with reservations for redeye and corner softness.

Photo gallery

Full-sized photos in the Sony Cyber-shot T10 photo gallery.

Playback

 

In playback, the Sony Cyber-shot T10 can playback stills and movies (With sound). It can also protect images, DPOF & print marking, resize, trim, rotate and split/edit movies. You can also magnify still photos by 5x and take a look around using the 4 arrow buttons.

There's plenty of information shown in playback, including a histogram, shutter speed and aperture used. In addition, the Sony Cyber-shot T10 has a fancy slideshow feature with image-to-image transitions and slideshow music up to 3 minutes per track.

 

Conclusion

The Sony Cyber-shot T10 is very similar to the T30 reviewed here a few months back. They have 7 megapixels, the same lens and most features in common. The main differences here being a smaller LCD and lower battery life.

The T10 is a very capable point-and-shoot camera with an optical image stabilizer and high sensitivity for flash-free photos. And thankfully too, its flash isn't powerful at all. This camera is probably designed for the casual shooter who goes to parties and social events, with a compact form and stylish design in mind. But what was Sony thinking? This camera has no manual controls and a mediocre continuous shooting mode.

Well, I think I've made my point here. The Sony T10 is a tiny camera I'd recommend to all but those who do pixel-peeping, action shooting or want to manipulate many aspects of the camera. The T10 has a very good value but if you want a larger LCD, there's the T50.

Camera rating upon 10 (more about this): [Category: Ultra-compact]

  • 8.5 - Body/Exterior
  • 7.0 - Bundle, batteries and memory
  • 7.5 - Lens
  • 7.5 - Feature set
  • 6.5 - Controls and operation
  • 7.0 - Performance
  • 7.5 - Image quality
  • 7.4 - Overall rating

What's hot:

  • 3x internal lens with optical image stabilization
  • Good battery life
  • Large and visible LCD
  • Nice close-up modes
  • Very nice movie mode with zoom
  • Good image quality

What's not:

  • Weak flash
  • No manual controls
  • Slow and limited continuous shooting
  • Redeye and edge sharpness issues

Recommended Accessories

  • 1 GB Memory Stick PRO Duo card
  • Extra NP-FT1 InfoLithium battery

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