Smile Shutter mode puts a unique spin on the camera's face detection feature. While in the mode, instead of pressing the shutter release to take a photo, the camera takes complete control, watching any faces in the frame and automatically taking shots when those faces smile. For the first iteration of a feature, Smile Shutter works surprisingly well. It usually takes less than a second to detect a smile and take a photo, though exaggerated grins tend to produce quicker response times. It sometimes trips up when the subject has a beard or his face is at an angle, but in general it functions admirably. Of course, now that cameras are taking photos for us, it begs the question of how long humanity will be part of photography. If Sony's next camera includes a "Find Sarah Connor" feature, we could be in trouble.
In our lab tests, the T200 generally maintained the sterling performance of its predecessor. After a 1.6-second wait from power-on to first shot, the T200 could snap a new photo every 1.4 seconds with the onboard flash turned off. With the flash enabled, that wait increased to a still-impressive 2.3 seconds. The camera's shutter lagged only 0.4 second with our high-contrast target and 1.2 seconds with our low-contrast target. In burst mode, the T200 captured 11 8-megapixel shots in 4.9 seconds, for a rate of 2.2 frames per second.
Unfortunately, the T200 doesn't live up to the picture-quality standards its predecessor set. The T200's photos all look much softer than those of its predecessor. Honestly, we're not sure why the T200's images are softer than those from the T100. Both cameras use the same sensor, the same lens, and the same Sony Bionz image processor. The T200 should take pictures as well as its older brother, but it just doesn't. On the bright side, the camera's photos are surprisingly free of noise at most sensitivity levels, but that might simply be a side effect of the softness. Other aspects of the image quality are just as good as they were in the T100.
If not for the softer images, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T200 would be a fine follow-up to the excellent T100. It shoots as fast, it offers more features, and, most amazingly, its touch-screen interface won't make you want to throw it out of a moving car. If you can still find it, you're better off with the T100. If you can't find it, though, or if you have a thing for touch screens, the DSC-T200 will probably satisfy your snapshot needs.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Typical shot-to-shot time||Time to first shot||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)