Sony Cybershot DSC-T500: 10MP Digital Camera with 720p Movie Recording at 30fps

Sony Cybershot DSC-T500 Specifications

Display: 3.5″ wide transflective touch TFT LCD
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Display Pixel Format: 640 x 360 for a total of 230K pixels
Image Sensor: 1/2.3″ Super HAD CCD 10.3MP (10.1MP effective)
Image Format: JPEG, 3648 x 2736 (max)
Video: 720p 30fps limited to 10 minutes per clip
Video Pixel Format: 1280 x 720
Video Codec: MPEG4 AVC/H.264
Lens: Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar, 5x optical zoom, 33-165mm (35mm equiv.), f/3.5-4.4
Storage Media: MemoryStick up to 16GB
Connectivity: HDMI, USB 2.0, Composite
Availability: Late September 2008
Price: About US$400

Sony Cybershot DSC-T500: 10MP Digital Camera with 720p Movie Recording at 30fps
Image source: DPReview

On August 28, 2008, Sony introduced its Cybershot DSC-T500 compact digital camera. The DSC-T500 sports a 10MP image sensor, is very compact, sports a high-tech look and seems to have a solid build. I often carry around my Canon SD1000 to not only shoot pictures, but also video. The tiny SD1000 has served as both digital camera and camcorder quite well. The 640 x 480 video that it saves is good-enough for watching on the computer and for YouTube. But I have been thinking of ways to capture HD, but without the heft or having to spend much. I think the DSC-T500 is the answer.

Sony Cybershot DSC-T500: 10MP Digital Camera with 720p Movie Recording at 30fps
Image source: DPReview

The DSC-T500 can record 720p video at 30 frames per second (fps). 720p would be 1280 x 720 in terms of the pixel format. 30fps would be good enough to show on a 720p-capable LCD TV without much flicker. The video is encoded via the MPEG4 AVC/H.264 codec and according to Sony results in very high-quality video and a small size. Perfect for what I need. But there are some catches. There is a 10 minute limit for video clips and memory expansion is via Sony’s proprietary Memory Stick. I wonder if the DSC-T500 can take SD cards…

Images and video are fed through a Carl Zeiss 5x optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent 33 – 16mm. Sony’s Optical SteadyShot image stabilization is there to help keep blurring to a minimum. While there are ISO sensitivities up to 3200, I would assume you would want to limit the ISO to about 800. The lens isn’t very fast at just f/3.5-4.4 but mated to the sensitive CCD image sensor, image stabilization and set to about ISO 800, my guess is you’ll be able to take indoor pictures without using the flash.

The back of the DSC-T500 is completely filled with a 3.5″ wide TFT LCD. The 3.5″ display is of the transflective variety that allows for easy viewing both indoors and outdoors. The transflective display is the result of adding reflective properties into an inherently transmissive LCD. The expansive LCD also is touch capable allowing you to finger through the navigation. I do hope Sony add some optical films to the LCD to minimize fingerprints since the LCD will be used as the primary and only viewfinder.

With an expected price of about $400, the DSC-T500 has the potential to be the only device I carry with me all the time to take both digital pictures as well as HD video.

Source: DPReview

[tags]Sony, Sony Cybershot, Sony Cybershot DSC-T500, Sony DSC-T500, 3.5″, 3.5″ Transflective, 3.5″ Transflective Touch, 720p, 1280 x 720, 640 x 360, 3648 x 2736, MPEG4, H.264, Digital Camera, Digital Still Camera[/tags]

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