You can’t help but be impressed by Sony’s T-Series. It’s consistently packed the latest camera tech and great image quality into the sexiest, pocket-friendly bodies for almost half a decade. The DSC-T200, with its innovative touchscreen, class-leading 5x optical zoom and excellent pictures, has been a firm favourite with Stuff.
So we’re chuffed that its successor, the T300, retains the same reassuringly chunky aluminium shell of its predecessors, right? Well, yes and no – it’s still a pleasing experience to clunk that lens cover down, but the design hasn’t really changed at all. A minor re-design wouldn’t go amiss.
The latest T-Series icon also has the T200’s 3.5in touchscreen, which makes accessing functions easy, once you know exactly where everything is. It’s also blessed with one of the coolest features on any camera – you can touch the screen to set where in the frame you want to focus, so if your subject is massively off-centre and you don’t trust the autofocus to read your mind, just prod the subject on the screen.
What’s also impressive is how Sony has crammed that 5x optical zoom vertically into the relatively compact body. Many premium-priced compacts are now boasting focal ranges starting at an equivalent 28mm (or more) wide-angle, but the T300’s widest, 33mm, will be enough for most.
Where Sony seems to have dropped the ball is with the jump up to 10MP. There are, of course, issues with cramming two million more pixels onto a sensor the same size, and Sony has obviously had problems.
As a result, the images look over-processed, with some odd colour-smoothing that just doesn’t look natural, especially at high ISO. The colours are still really vibrant, but with those processing problems that can make some shots look oddly unreal.
At this price, the DSC-T300 should be better. If you’re not fussed about printing at poster size, we’d still recommend the T200 or Fujifilm’s excellent Z100fd.