Years after the first Sony T-series hit the market, it's still impossible to deny the cool factor of these little, silver snapshot cameras. This time, Sony serves up the 7.2-megapixel Cyber Shot DSC-T10, which lands between the 6-megapixel DSC-T9 and the 7.2-megapixel DSC-T30 in the company's line. The DSC-T10 doesn't sport the fancy plexiglass back panel or the 3-inch LCD of the T30, but it's got most of that camera's other features and a nice looking 2.5-inch LCD of its own. To keep things interesting, Sony has offered a choice of four colors for the T10: black, pink, silver, and white.
Except for its 7.2-megapixel CCD sensor, the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-T10 is extremely similar to the DSC-T9. A full-body-width sliding lens cover turns the camera on and off, and the back panel layout is essentially identical, with most of the control buttons gathered to the right of the 2.5-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD. One nice touch is that, when the lens cover is in the down position, a small vertical ridge provides a perfect grip for your middle finger. A tiny button to the right of the shutter controls the camera's optical image stabilization, which Sony refers to as Super Steady Shot. We found that it'll get you between one and two stops of leeway when shooting at slower shutter speeds. For example, we were able to shoot steady, crisp images at 1/20 second with stabilization on, in situations that would normally require a shutter speed of 1/60 second to prevent blur.
A handy selection of shooting modes covers most specialized situations, while program and full auto let you tweak--or not--settings such as white balance, metering, and focus modes. In addition to the normal autofocus modes, you can also set the camera to a range of fixed focus distances, which are based in meters rather than feet. Perhaps this is Sony's way to revive the Go Metric campaign that highlighted my grade school years.
Like its predecessors, the DSC-T10 has a 3X optical, 38mm-to-114mm-equivalent, f/3.5-to-f/4.3 Carl Zeiss lens. Many cameras now include wider angles of view, which can be useful in casual snapshooting when you may not have the room to back up, and some have wider maximum apertures, which help in low light. Perhaps the next T-series camera we see will include a wider setting. Nitpicking aside, the lens does a decent job with little, if any, blooming, and fringing appearing only in the brightest areas of the image.