Sony has been a very strong brand in the lifestyle segment of compact cameras.
The sleek and stylish compacts feature path-breaking technologies and features. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX55 is a 16.2 megapixel, card-type compact point-and-shoot camera featuring a touch sensitive OLED screen.
Design and Build Quality
The Sony TX55, like most Sony compact cameras, is built rugged with a metal outer body. The lens does not protrude out and the zoom mechanism is internal. The camera has a sliding cover in the front, which protects the lens when not in use. It also acts as an auxiliary power switch. The OLED display occupies the entire back panel. The camera has only two buttons and the zoom lever, all residing on the top panel. Being extremely thin, that it does not have space for an SD card or a regular tripod mount. Hence the camera can accept only Memory Stick Micro or Micro SD card. Sony has provided a small tripod adaptor, which attaches to a tiny threaded slot at the base.
The 16.2 megapixel Sony TX55 uses a 1/2.3-inch Type (6.16 x 4.62 mm) Exmor R CMOS sensor for imaging. This sensor is back-illuminated to provide outstanding results under low light. Combined with the advanced BIONZ processor, the camera houses the most advanced technologies from Sony. It features a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 28-140 mm equivalent, f/3.5-4.8 lens featuring optical SteadyShot image stabilisation. The lens focusses from approximately 3 cm to infinity at the wide-angle end and from 60cm to infinity at the telephoto end. Focus modes featured are Multi-point, Centre-weighted, Spot, and Flexible Spot. Metering modes are Multi-pattern, Centre-weighted, and Spot. Exposure can be compensated up to +/-2 EV in 1/3-EV steps. ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 3200. Shutter speed ranges from 30 to 1/1600 sec. White Balance can be set to Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash, One Push, and One Push Set. The built-in flash has a range of approximately 0.08 – 3.7 m at the wide-angle end, and 0.6 – 2.6 m at the telephoto end when ISO is set to Auto. The flash modes are Auto, Flash on, Flash off, and Slow synchro. The self-timer can be set to 10 sec and 2sec. The Face Detection modes are Auto, Off, Child priority, and Adult priority. Shooting modes are Superior Auto, Intelligent Auto, Easy Shooting, Program Auto, Movie, Panorama, Scene Selection, Picture Effect, 3D, Background Defocus, and Intelligent Sweep Panorama. The Scene selection modes are High Sensitivity, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Hi-Speed Shutter, Gourmet, Pet, Soft Skin, Handheld Twilight, Anti Motion Blur, Backlight Correction HDR, 3D Still Image, Steadyshot Inside Camera Body, 3D Sweep Multi-angle, Picture Effect, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Toy Camera, PopColour, Partial Colour, and Soft High-key.
Still images are recorded in JPEG format with a maximum size of 4608 x 3456 pixels while video clips are recorded in AVCHD format with the highest quality of 1920 x 1080 at 24 fps. The TX55 uses a 3.3-inch, 1,229,760-dot XtraFine OLED display. Internal memory is approximately 19MB and it accepts a Memory Stick Micro or Micro SD card for external storage. The camera is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery (supplied). The device measures 92.9 x 54.4 x 13.2 mm (W x H x D) and weighs approximately 94g (without accessories).
Sony’s DSC-TX55 is so tiny that it can slip off your hands. So always attach the hand strap while shooting. The display looked dark and uncomfortable to use even at the maximum brightness setting. The touch screen was over-sensitive and at times it made the selection with the slight proximity of my hand. This is quite worrying from a photographer’s point of view. The back panel is not protected by any means and hence the OLED screen is prone to scratches and smears.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX55 focussed quickly and precisely. Images were sharp across the focal length range. Darkening of corners was observed, progressing gradually towards the periphery. Slight flare was observed along with chromatic aberration, but only when the lens was pushed to its limits. White Balance performed well, particularly under natural light sources. The slight cast produced under fluorescent (preset mode) and incandescent (auto mode) light sources were easily removable in Photoshop. Barrel distortion was observed up to about 40 mm. The metering modes did their job quite well.
Native print size of the images was 11.52 x 15.36 inches at 300 ppi. At 25 percent screen size, images were free of noise up to ISO 1600. When viewed at 50 percent, noise was observed from ISO 800 onwards. Viewed at 100 percent screen size, we observed noise even at ISO 100, which is not to be considered a fault for a camera that uses a small sensor. Overall, the images were practically usable up to ISO 1600, which is quite good.
Value for Money
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX55 retails at an MRP of Rs.19,990. We would consider this slightly on the expensive side since the camera does not feature priority modes.
+ Sleek and stylish
+ Metal body
+ Good performance
– Erratic touchscreen response
– Tripod adapter not part of the camera
– Confusing interface
Design and Build Quality 18/20
Key Features 16/20
Noise Control 4/5
Value for Money 6/10
Grand Total 75/100
The Sony DSC-TX55 is a sleek and stylish point-and-shoot camera that can be carried in a normal shirt pocket. The camera is a great performer, but make sure that you are comfortable with touch screen before buying.