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Cameras

Sony DSC-T70: Touchscreen compact makes us smile?

The Sony DSC-T70 may be getting headlines for its ridiculous 'Smile Shutter' feature, but we're more than impressed by its large touchscreen

"Why the long face?" "Cheer up, it might never happen." "Go on, give us a smile." These are all phrases that are guaranteed to get us scowling. We're really not that keen on Sony's new 'Smile Shutter' feature, as modelled by the Sony DSC-T70, which arrived in Crave Towers today.

It's a 8.1-megapixel compact camera, with the ubiquitous face detection, optical image stabilisation and ISO 3,200 maximum speed. A 5x optical zoom is included, which is interesting as it's a non-protruding lens. Like other cameras in the T-series, the T70 features a sliding faceplate. The jury's out on faceplates, but this is still a pretty slim camera.

We'll be putting the T70 through it's paces in a full review imminently. For now, click through for some more pictures, and more on that ridiculous smile shutter.

Update: A full review of the T70 is now available on the site. -Rich Trenholm

Turn the T70 over and -- wow! Look at that screen! It's a 76mm (3-inch) 16:9 monster, and what's more it's touch-sensitive. While we're not so sure about touchscreens, first impressions are that this is pretty responsive.

As well as controlling the menus, the touchscreen interface allows you to focus on any point on the screen, or zoom into recorded images in playback mode.

Now, how about that 'Smile Shutter'. At first glance, this seems to be the most facile twist on face detection we've ever heard of, but regardless of how daft it is, does it work?

As you can see, we gave it a rigorous testing. The picture on the left was taken in normal, automatic mode. Look at that grumpy fizzog. The image on the right was taken with the smile shutter set to low, after the high and medium settings refused to recognise the ridiculous gurning we were forced to try -- all in the name of science, of course.

So yes, it works. But it's still daft.