Just got a new P/S digital camera, the Sony Cyber-shot® TX10 (Model #DSC-TX10/L) . This is only my second point and shoot. They tend to last me a while…

I got this camera for a few reasons:

  • It’s small, light and compact. The lens doesn’t telescope out, so it’ll be harder to mess it up.
  • It’s shock proof, waterproof, dust proof and freeze proof. That doesn’t mean it’s indestructable, but I want a camera that will spend a lot of time in pockets during bike rides, ski tours, hikes, backpacking trips, etc. This one won’t get messed up by sweat, crashing (maybe) or snow balls.
  • It takes really good photos. Photo John says so. (based on his experience with the previous model.)
  • It has a really cool Panorama feature, More below…

First Impressions

I really like this camera so far. It is fast and light and takes pretty sweet photos. It has a lot of options for taking good pictures in a lot of different lighting situations. I take a lot of pictures with my camera phone, but that is just a sacrifice. This camera takes WAY better photos and in combination with my Eye Fi card, I get almost the same functionality as a camera phone, but with better images. I’ll follow up with a more thorough review later (maybe).

  • It’s sturdy and tight. It feels good and solid and well put together. But then, people say that about Volkswagons…
  • It is pretty easy to navigate the menus and options. There’s the menu and the settings and it’s not super clear how you get from one to the other all the time.
  • The PANORAMA THING KICKS ASS! You set it into pano mode then just sweep the camera across the scene. Check out the one below. I haven’t tested it fully. For things up close you can see some of the places where it stiches images together, but it seems like for landscapes it should be pretty awesome.
  • The HDR thing is weird for portraits. It’ll probably work better for Landscapes.
  • The Lens is really wide!  25 MM equivalent!

 

Intelligent Sweep Panorama™ mode

Halo Trail

Note the stitching artifacts on the handlebar. Supposedly this works in 3d, but who the hell cares.
Getting ready to hit the chutes

Wide Angle Lens

The boys want to play
I take a lot of photos up close or at the end of my arm. Most point and shoot cameras have 35mm or more equivalent lenses. Here’s what we got here:

Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® Lens with 25mm equivalent wide angle 4x Optical Zoom: The high-performance Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® 4x optical zoom lens brings distant subjects closer for video recording as well as for outdoor, sports, and travel photos, and Close Focus shoots close-ups within a ½” of the subject. A 25mm equivalent wide-angle lens allows you to take wider shots of the scene or group in crowded spaces.

HD Video in 1080 60i

I’m just starting to play with the video on this thing, but I’m super stoked so far. The quality is kick ass. It has two modes: ACVHD (.mts) and h.264 .(.mp4). The .mts files present problems. I know Premiere will edit them (or at least it edits m2s files from HDV Split.) Final Cut won’t take them on their own. If you mount the camera as a drive it will show up in Log and Transfer and you can import the files as Apple Pro Res. It needs the other folders and logs that the camera stores and creates. I’ll write up a workflow later (maybe). I haven’t checked it in iMovie. And I also haven’t investigated all the settings, including the 60 fps. The .mts files will encode in flickr, but they look shitty.

Here’s a sample. (This is also my HD video for this week…)

 

Backlight Correction / HDR

There’s a scene mode for this. As HDR it looks crappy, but if you use it to correct backlight or for outdoor portraits, it works pretty well. It takes three photos and merges them in a couple of seconds in-camera.

Dave Kang @ Rose

It’s not perfect though. Here’s two shots, the first is with the backlight correction / HDR on and the second is in intelligent auto mode with the flash.

John and Maddy HDR

John and Maddy

That’s about it. More to come (maybe). Pick up a Sony tx10 from Amazon if you think it’ll work for you.