At just 15mm thick and with a shooting weight of g it sets a new benchmark for ultra-compact cameras. Launched in August this year, the T77 is a It shares a lot of its features and functions with the earlier Cyber-shot T70 an 8. A better fit is the new Nikon CoolPix S The S60 has a 10MP sensor, a touch-screen interface and optical image stabilisation, but has a 5x zoom lens.

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This allows the camera to ensure proper flash exposure and pleasing flesh tones. If eyes are closed in both photos, the Sony T77 warns of this so you can retake the photo. Sony says Bionz offers improved image quality, faster response times, and better battery life in its compact cameras.

Also on offer is an updated intelligent scene recognition function, which can now automatically select from eight different scene modes including macro, portrait, and landscape. Close relatives often have quite different personalities, despite a strong resemblance to each other. The lens cover has been shifted down, turning the camera on. There are very few features missing, though. One is the scrapbook function that can assemble multiple similar images into JPEGs with backgrounds as easily as running a slide show.

That one pinches me a little, but I can live without it. The back of the camera with its large LCD and the stylus.

The slim case makes sense and the big screen has important work to do, too. This all starts with the lens cover, which slides down to power the camera on and powers the camera off when you slide it up. All the physical controls are in the top right corner. Note the thumb grip. You can get directly into Playback mode by pressing the Playback button on the beveled edge of the top panel.

But to turn the Sony T77 off, you have to find the tiny Power button on the top edge. Pressing the Playback button again just reminds you to lower the lens cover to start shooting. Next to that tiny, slightly recessed Power button is the elongated and slightly raised Shutter button. And to its right is the small tab of the Zoom lever. Those are the only buttons on the Sony T None of these ultracompact zoom controls are really smooth, taking a lot of fun out of using them.

But this one is better than most. See the tripod socket? It does smudge pretty miserably, but it remains readable in sunlight. The right-hand edge has a quarter inch area with two ridges that are just enough to hold the camera securely. And the camera strap eyelet has a nice wide curve to it, giving your thumb even more support.

The lens itself is a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar mm 4x optical zoom with optical SteadyShot image stabilization, which is very handy at slow shutter speeds. The touchscreen in Record mode with the four corner buttons and icons along the sides and bottom that can be touched to change settings. The Touch-Screen. Sony uses the four corners of the touchscreen as buttons to the Home, Menu, and Display menus the top right is unused.

But between them, Sony has ringed the screen with icons for various functions available in any particular mode. The top of the Sony T77 screen shows the battery status, image size, stabilization status, and the number of shots remaining on which memory device. Setting EV.

Nope, you have to hit the Menu corner button to bring up the shooting menu. Which is odd, because the way you change the Flash mode is by tapping the flash icon on the right panel. Pretty nuts. Once you tap into another menu, the right top corner comes alive with a big cancel button until you select a different setting and it turns into a big OK button.

Calendar Display. You can view captured images in a Calendar format. I really liked having almost every option on the screen at once. But you can turn off that display, just showing the image, if you promise to turn it back on to use the touchscreen. And like any touchscreen camera, it turns a one-handed operation into a two-handed operation.

Because the T77 recognizes smiles, it can also display images with smiling faces. And you can distinguish between adults and children, too. That may be the secret to why I enjoyed using the Sony T77 and T touchscreens more than most. But the Sony T77 can intelligently detect a few scenes all by itself.

And man do I love an auto macro even if it takes a little longer to find focus. The Sony T77 has two intelligent scene modes. In Auto iSCN mode, the camera takes a single shot using the optimal settings. In Advance iSCN mode, the camera takes a picture with the current settings and only if necessary takes a second picture with optimized setting. The Sony T77 can recognize up to eight faces, controlling flash, focus, exposure, and white balance to optimize skin tones and deal with red-eye.

And it can distinguish between adults and children so you can tell it which faces to watch for a smile, grin, or laugh, too. But it also features an anti-blink function that will take two shots in Portrait mode, saving the one with less squinting. High Quality Movie. A 6MB file lasting 5 seconds. Zoom was functional. Movie mode is limited to x at 30 or You can shoot clips up to 10 minutes in length, maximum. And you can use the optical zoom, too.

You can tag images as Favorites making them available for quick retrieval. You can simply use a Calendar View to find each shoot by date or a Date View to see every image shot on a particular day. We shot a birthday party one evening and filtered the results by smiling faces just to make it look like everyone had a good time.

We also tried the infants and children filters. The youngest child showed up as the single infant when she was being held by her grandmother. That shot also showed up in the collection of children images.

Zoom Range. You can set labels and ratings, get map views with GPS data which the Sony T77 does not record , retouch and edit images, and share and archive them. Storage and Battery. The Sony T77 is powered by a 3.

The LCD represents an unusual battery drain but we were able to shoot with flash without running out of power at an evening party. My low-compression megapixel shots ranged from 2.

Those are 3, x 2, pixel images. With a Bionz image processor, you expect high performance marks and the Sony T77 delivers. It scores above average on combined wide-angle and telephoto autofocus lag, prefocus lag, and cycle time. It scores average marks for its 4x optical zoom and 5.

But in that department, the 2. Image Quality. In my review of the T, I found image quality suffered from technical defects like oversaturation of reds and blues as well as chromatic aberration. But I also confessed to liking the pictures the T captured. Brilliant Red. The Sony T77, which shares the same lens, sensor, and image processor as the T, impressed me much the same, as you might expect. And hardly an issue for the snapshooter. The Still Life shot at ISO shows pronounced blurring as you move away from the center of the image.

The blurry area of the image is actually quite large, in fact. Almost all lenses on compact digicams show blurring in the corners but it usually stays in the corners. Look at the yarns in this shot starting with the white one. Those on the left side are blurrier than those on the right. Blooming Hydrant. The Samuel Smith label is another story.

At first I suspected the image had been blurred by camera movement. The same blurring appears in the green field of the label, appearing almost like double vision. I suspect the Bionz processor is not handling this sharp edge very well. In the Multi Target test you can see strong chromatic aberration along the bottom of the image. The sharpness targets in the middle of that image look pretty good, though.

The Sony T77 delivers about 1, lines of horizontal resolution and a bit less, perhaps 1,, vertically. Again, though, peeking at the corners, you can see the capture is not nearly as sharp. The gallery shots show the tendency to oversaturate reds in the fire alarm shot.

It looks like the sun is beating down on it. Super SteadyShot.


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T77





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