Sony TX100V

Before I start, this review is not associated with Sony, nor am I being paid to do so. It is also less of a technical review, which you could find by doing an online search. This is just a simple user (me) experience with the product over the duration of a 2-week Europe tour. Parts of it are mostly from the wife though.

The TX100V

We wanted to replace our old point-and-shoot camera was the main reason behind the switch. There was a trade-in promotion and without any prior research, we went ahead and bought the Sony TX100V (RM1,199). Killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Basics

This camera comes with a 16.2 megapixel sensor with 4x zoom. The menu and functions are activated through the 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen. It can also record movies at 1080p 60fps. All the technical mumbo-jumbo, just means that it is on the higher end of most point-and-shoot at that time (2011). It weighs about 150g and is very pocketable.

Features

Despite having no experience with any new point-and-shoot up till then, we were very happy with the various functions that comes with this Sony. Among them, Background Defocus for those who want the bokeh-licious photos (F3.5-4.6).

Bokehlicious Tulips (click to enlarge)

Then we have the iSweep Panorama, for a panoramic view of around 180-240 degrees. I find that although my Olympus E-PL3 has a similar function, it is very user-friendly for Sony’s version as compared to Olympus.

Last but not least, one of the wife’s favourite — Handheld Twilight. This setting is good for low-light and night photos.

There are also a few extraordinary functions which we did not use much, one of them is the Backlight Correction + HDR for your pseudo-HDR photos and the 3D Still Image, that adds a cute 3D effect when you tilt your camera up and down.

As it wasn’t our main video taking camera, I can not comment much. But for that few seconds that we did, it was really sharp. The best part was that you could connect a HDMI cable straight to the camera for instant playback.

Opinion

If you are looking for a high end point-and-shoot, the Sony TX100V comes much recommended by me. It is compact, you can put it in your pocket without any hassle and by just sliding down the cover, it automatically switches on. The various features that it has will cover most of the photo-taking options you need. Low light, check. Defocus, check. Panorama, check. It is the camera for those who do not like to know what is going on behind the scenes, the ones that are just contented with snapping photos without any aperture, ISO settings or technical gobbledygook.

The image quality is good, as you can expect from Sony. Even the OLED display is super sharp, 1 million pixels or something. You can be sure that what you see is what you get.  GPS is built-in, though not of the Google Map kind but of the geo-tagging type, no worries if you can’t recall where you had that photo taken.

Even though it is not weatherproof, it still works in light rain, just make sure you dry it afterwards. Startup time is around 4-5 seconds, so not a good camera for street photography. Certain features take up 5-7 seconds to do their processing, and there were a few times that it basically jammed up.

If you have oily fingers like I do, you would be leaving a lot of smudges on the touchscreen. The responsiveness of the touchscreen is not as smooth as compared to a smartphone. There are times that it just refuses to detect our touch, maybe it is because we were so cold that our fingertips froze.

Battery life is a bit short for our liking, it did not even last a day with one full charge during the 2 weeks. Checking the photos taken, we managed to take around 220-250 photos before the camera died on us. No worries though if it died on you for the first time, you could still squeeze in maybe 3-4 shots by switching the camera on again.

Overall

A decent enough camera for travel purposes because of its compact body and various features. Do not really need a DSLR for traveling. In my case, it was a good backup to my Olympus E-PL3. If I am fumbling with the controls on my E-PL3, the wife will be shooting away happily beside me with the Sony.

Battery life would be the main gripe and also the need to get over the touchscreen responsiveness.

16.2 megapixels is good enough for me, although some would complain about the 4x zoom, I find that it works fine for me. Some of the travel photos in the previous posts were taken by the Sony, especially the food photos.

At the end of the day, go get the Sony TX100V or its equivalent if you need a decent high end point-and-shoot, without having to get stressed out about the technicalities.

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