Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
 
  Latest camera reviews

Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Nikon COOLPIX A
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
 
 
   
 
  Best Buys: our top models
   
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories
   
 



Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
   
 
  DSLR Tips



 
Free Shipping on ALL Products
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 Ken McMahon, April 2010
   
 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 verdict

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 is a slim compact with an integral 4x optical zoom lens that features Sony's SteadyShot image stabilization. The TX7's 3.5 inch 16:9 wide-screen LCD panel is touch-sensitive and, with the exception of a few physical controls, used to access all of the camera's features as well as for manual focusing.

The TX7 features one of Sony's Exmor R CMOS sensors with 10.1 Megapixel resolution. Along with still images up to a maximum of 3648x2736 pixels, it can shoot Full HD 1080i video and its optical zoom, which is silent in operation, can be used during filming.

Though it lacks full manual exposure control, the TX7 does allow you set the ISO and has a raft of unique features that will appeal to more ambitious photographers. It's one of the few compacts to support high speed continuous shooting with a burst mode capable of 10 frames per second, albeit only for a brief burst of ten frames. It further exploits this capability with low-light modes which produce sharper or lower noise composite images by stacking a number of photos captured in quick succession; clever stuff, but Canon's not stood still with its latest touch-screen model either, so let's see how they compare.

   
   

 

Compared to Canon IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS

 
 
     

The Canon IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS will be a key rival for the Sony TX7, as both cameras are new models featuring touch-screen operation. Indeed the screens on both models are the same size and shape, although the TX7's display has the edge in resolution with 920k dots to the Canon's 460k. That said, we preferred the user interface on the IXUS 210 / SD3500 IS which transfers better to screen-based operation, feeling more direct and immediate than the TX7's linear, icon-based approach; this is entirely personal though.

The Canon also has the edge on the TX7 in several other key areas, including price. Let's look at the numbers: the IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS has a 5x optical zoom with a bit more reach than the Cyber-shot TX7 at the tele end. It has a higher resolution sensor with an impressive 14.1 Megapixels making the Cyber-shot TX7's 10.1 Megapixels look a little paltry by comparison. If you like to make big prints, the IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS will take you just about to A3 size.

Then there's image quality. In our outdoor real-life resolution test the IXUS 210 / SD3500 IS outperformed the Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 producing a cleaner, sharper punchier shot with more detail in all areas of the frame. Sony makes much of the low-light performance of its Exmor R sensor and in our high ISO noise tests the Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 certainly performed well at lower ISO settings, producing cleaner images with less noise than IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS. At 400 ISO and above though, the TX7's performance becomes fairly average with noticeable smearing eliminating fine details.

But it's never a one-sided coin, and in the TX7's favour are higher resolution 1080i movies with the ability to zoom while filming, impressively quick 10fps continuous shooting (albeit for only ten frames in a burst), and a number of unique modes which further exploit this speed, stacking images for lower noise or assembling a great-looking panorama with a sweep of the camera. If you think you'll exploit these features, the Sony will be your better bet.

But if you'd find a longer zoom and superior image quality more to your liking, not to mention a body and user interface which we personally preferred for handling and operation, then the Canon has the edge - and as mentioned above, it's also a little cheaper. See our Canon IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS review for more details.




Also consider: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5 - The sister camera to the TX7 shares the same 1080i movies, fast burst shooting and innovative shooting modes, but trades the slim body and touch-screen for a chunkier shape which packs-in a 10x zoom and GPS receiver. The screen's lower resolution, but it's a trade many will be happy to make. See our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5 review for more details.

 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 final verdict

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 is a slim compact with a large touch-screen display and a number of unique features. The optical zoom may have an average 4x total range, but starts at a very useful and very wide 25mm equivalent, and can also be adjusted while you film videos. Speaking of movies, the TX7 also boasts nothing less than Full HD 1080i capabilities, when most rivals are still satisfied with 720p.

In terms of the truly unique features, the 10fps continuous shooting at the full resolution goes way beyond what rival models offer, and allows you to capture fast action sequences. Sure you can only grab ten frames before the camera takes a comfortable pause to record them to the card, but for that brief second, it's up there with top DSLRs. This speed is also exploited in the additional shooting modes, cleverly stacking images for lower noise or automatically assembling a great-looking panorama with a simple sweep of the camera. These are all aspects where Sony's innovation triumphs.

But ultimately the key selling point of the TX7 is its touch-screen, and we're pleased to report it works pretty well. With touch-screen focusing, the phrase 'point and shoot' was never more appropriate, and the absence of the usual physical controls is no hindrance. You can do everything you'd normally do on a conventional compact just as easily on the TX7, if not more so.

There however are two areas of the TX7 that could benefit from improvement. We never felt comfortable with the handling of the camera. Its design makes it awkward to hold, and the combination of a slim body and screen which occupies just about the entire rear surface means there's very little to hold on to. Single-handed operation is inadvisable and the tiny zoom rocker difficult to operate while holding the camera steady. Secondly, the overall image quality was a little disappointing. Sony still has some way to go in squeezing the best possible performance out of its Exmor R processor, although again the unique shooting modes give it an edge over conventional compacts in a number of situations.

Despite its shortcomings the Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 is a capable, exciting camera and one that marks the coming of age for touch-screen compacts. While previous experiments with touch-screens have often left us wondering whether they were worth the effort, the TX7 feels like a natural and desirable progression from physical buttons. If you want a touch-screen model with some unique features, the TX7 comes Recommended, but be sure to compare it closely against Canon's IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS.



Good points
Large, wide, detailed and responsive touch-screen.
Very fast continuous shooting at 10fps.
Full HD 1080i movies with optical zooming.
Innovative and effective auto modes.

Bad points
Body design is hard to hold comfortably.
Aggressive NR delivers soft image quality.
Lacks long telephoto, but does have 25mm wide.
Proprietary connectivity.



Scores

(relative to 2010 compacts)

Build quality:
Image quality:
Handling:
Specification:
Value:

Overall:

18 / 20
14 / 20
14 / 20
18 / 20
17 / 20

81%


All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs