Performance for the DSC-T700 is about the same as the T300, and one of the top performers in its class. In CNET Labs' tests, it averaged 1.7 seconds from power-on to first shot. Shot-to-shot time ran about the same, while flash bumped that up to 2.4 seconds, which is pretty fast for an ultracompact. In high-contrast conditions it took only 0.4 second to focus and shoot, while that raises to a modest 0.9 second in a lower-contrast environment. It held a rate of 1.9fps in burst mode for over 50 shots.
Picture quality is also respectable with excellent color and contrast at low ISO sensitivities, though there's some visible lens distortion on the left side, which is common in this class of cameras. Photos at and below a size of 8x10 were fine quality, though all photos generally look soft. Viewed at 100 percent, we saw some chromatic aberration, and off-subject elements of the scene tended to look smeary and overprocessed, but nothing that was noticeable at traditional print sizes and certainly not on the T700's LCD. Noise in the pictures becomes noticeable at ISO 200 and starts to seriously obscure detail at ISO 800; we don't suggest using higher settings.
As a playback device, the T700 definitely succeeds thanks to its large, sharp LCD and undemanding navigation and image management. The camera's PhotoMusic slide-show feature is fun, too, and allows you to select from five visual and three face-priority effects and eight audio tracks to add to a slide show (you can use your own music, too). However, all this enjoyment drains the 680mAh battery pretty fast.
A key ingredient to the T700's package is the PMB software. Once installed on a Windows PC--yep, it's Windows only--all you need to do is connect the camera to a USB port and the software wakes up and walks you through importing images. Then with another click of the Easy Export button on its main toolbar, it'll send the images back out to the camera, shrinking them to VGA resolution--good enough for showing people on the camera's screen while leaving you plenty of space for more pictures. The software handles organizational tasks like tagging photos as favorites so you can easily find them once they're back living on the camera. PMB can be used to directly upload to sharing sites such as Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, and YouTube as well.
Keep in mind that at this low resolution, you don't really want to actually give the photos on the camera to other people or print from the album, and they simply look bad when directly connected to a large-screen HDTV. Also, in order to use or view the internal memory you cannot have a Memory Stick card inserted in the camera. Once a card is in, the T700's memory is basically off limits. In order to access it again, say to show people stored images, you must remove the card. Kind of a drag, yes, but better than the implementation for the Cyber-shot DSC-T2, which required you to fill up its 4GB memory before you could use a Memory Stick at all.
Overall, the experience offered by the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T700 is enjoyable, especially if your main objective is to shoot lots of pictures in good light and then show lots of people the pictures you took.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Time to first shot||Flash shot-to-shot time||Typical shot-to-shot time||Shutter lag (dim)||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)