Sony’s Cyber Shot DSC-T9 Makes Digital Camera Point-and-Shoots Fun Again

It’s taken a while, but I’m finally embracing the digital revolution in my photographs. Despite clinging to my beloved Olympus SLR, I’m beginning to see the digital light due in large part to the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-T9, my first digital camera. While it does have some lens issues that might bug hardcore photogs (including me), the T9 is an excellent camera, especially in terms of design, portability, and speedy performance, and that is already more than my old point-and-shoots ever did for me.

The Good. The best parts of the T9 come in its design. With dimensions comparable to a credit card and a svelt 5.6 ounces weighing it down, this little camera was made for the shirt pocket. The T9 also features a big, bright LCD screen that brings the pictures to life right away, and a generally sleek button system that makes navigation easy. The camera comes with 58 MB of internal memory, as well, which saves a bit when it comes to buying extra memory cards. It also comes in a few different colors, just in case you’re trying to accessorize.

With any camera, though, the proof is in the pictures, and the Cyber Shot DSC-T9’s insides are as impressive as its outside. With over 6 megapixels at the shooter’s disposal, the photo quality is more than adequate for point-and-shooters hungry for a good shot. There are a few problems that can arise that are mostly related to the size of the lens, but we’ll get to that later.

Beyond it’s solid photo quality, the T9 also has a few neat features that are icing on the already considerable cake. The T9 has a mechanical steady shot feature that, while it won’t turn your hand into a tripod, helps a little to compensate for an unsteady hand. It also features a fun slideshow feature that utilizes the size of the LCD screen and a speaker that combine to show your photos over four preloaded soundtracks. You can also load your own MP3s for use during the slide show, making for a great onboard slideshow experience.

The Not-So-Good. Unfortunately, there are always a few kinks that plague point-and-shoots, and the Cyber Shot DSC-T9 is no exception to the rule.

While it’s not a grandiose loss, it’s disappointing that while the Carl-Zeiss lens is of comparable power to a regular 35mm lens, it’s simply not wide enough. It’s especially tough when taking tight indoor shots or attempting to take in an expansive landscape photo. The lens does make up for this with good photo quality, but the width of the lens may have some users shaking their heads a little.

While I’ve generally been impressed with the kinds of exposures the camera reads in different light, one persistent problem has been red eye. It seems to show up almost randomly in my photos, but with much more consistency than it should on a camera like this, even with the reduction flashes enabled. While it won’t wreck my day, it seemed a little odd that such a good little camera would have trouble with something so simple.

The Bottom Line. The Sony Cyber Shot DSC-T9 is a wonderful camera, and while it might not satisfy the truest of shutterbugs, it certainly does the trick in terms of its size, design, and convenience.

While I’ll likely never fully convert from wet-chemistry to digital photography, I’m incredibly happy with the T9. It’s convenient size, easy design, and strong performance allow me to do everything that an analog point-and-shoot can do, and a little more. Really, that’s all an old wet-chem photog like me can ask.

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