Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900 review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900

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Typical Price: £320.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Great movie quality; good stills quality; attractive styling and finish; responsive touchscreen controls.

The Bad Sliding lens cover is tricky to open; pricey.

The Bottom Line The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900 isn't just a camera -- it's a thing of beauty in both a technical and a visual sense, although the square corners arguably detract from its aesthetic appeal ever so slightly. But what matters most is that it's much more than just an empty styling exercise -- it also delivers good results

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8.3 Overall

The Cyber-shot DSC-T900 is Sony's top-of-the-range T-series camera, a dazzling blend of technology, miniaturisation and multimedia. And so it should be at an average street price of £320. For that though, you get 12-megapixel stills, high-definition movies and one of the biggest, highest-resolution LCD displays ever seen on a camera.

Let's start with that 89mm (3.5-inch) LCD. Frankly, you can't miss it. It takes up pretty much the whole of the back of the camera, leaving no space for any controls. Not that the T900 needs any, because its touchscreen interface takes care of practically every adjustment. It works pretty well too, responding to a light press from your thumb with only the occasional hesitancy or vagueness. You'll need the manual now and again in the early days, but much of the time you can figure out where stuff is simply with a little trial and error.

There's some distortion here, but not much colour fringing, and the detail has held up pretty well even in the corners of the frame. The ISO 3,200 maximum is optimistic though, with finer details starting to disappear as early as ISO 400 (click image to enlarge)

The only other controls on this camera are power and playback buttons on the top and a shutter release with two levers around it. The front lever controls the zoom, while the rear lever switches between the still and movie modes.

At this price, the results had better be good -- and they are. For the sake of compactness, the T900 uses a miniaturised 'folded' lens that doesn't extend from the body. Such lenses are often slightly iffy on the optical side, but this one isn't. It's good and sharp, with not much distortion or colour fringing. It softens up slightly at the far end of its 4x zoom range, but this is common in compacts anyway.

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