|10 Megapixel T300 digital camera
The Sony Cyber-shot T300 belongs to one of the first cameras that has been introduced with a high amount of pixels on a relatively small CCD surface. It may be clear by now that 10 Megapixels are totally over the top for this type of compact camera. Still, the marketing department keeps on pushing and claiming that 'the consumer demands it'. Not only Sony is guilty in this matter; the entire industry is not entirely innocent. Yet, very carefully, taking baby-steps, some manufacturers are trying to improve the quality of the pixels instead of increasing their amount. Perhaps in Sony’s case we will have to wait for the next generation?
Internal noise reduction
The large amount of pixels does offer a lot of information in files, and maybe offers some additional possibilities to crop the picture or edit it in one way or another. The disadvantage is always noise, in the visible part. The Sony DSC-T300 too, has to struggle to defy noise by strongly applying the internal noise reduction. Looking at the results of the lab tests and the sample pictures, you notice loss of detail immediately. The noise reduction, combined with sharpening, leaves its trail from 400 ISO and from ISO 800 it's completely over.
ISO sensitivity of the Sony T300
The low ISO settings from 80 - 100 ISO are fine, though at 200 ISO detail is already slightly damaged. Yet the results are still reasonable. From 400 ISO however, noise increases significantly resulting in a granular looking picture. It's sad that a luxurious camera such as the Sony Cybershot DSC-T300 becomes a victim of its own upgrades in specifications; this is when we look at the image sensor and the involving signal/noise ratio.
|Dynamic range & Contrast
The Sony T300 is nicely keeping in pace as far as its dynamic range is concerned. Low ISO sensitivity (80-100 ISO) is excellent and from 200 - 800 it is fine. It's not until you reach ISO 1600 that the dynamic range decreases visibly, and the camera has problems reproducing the light and dark areas in a picture which is rich in contrast. An excellent performance which can even be enhanced and improved by activating the integrated DRO (Dynamic Range Optimizer) function.
The 5x optical zoom lens performs excellently from wide angle to telephoto in the centre of the picture, however, the telephoto shows visible blur towards the edges. Distortion is only visible at wide angle, the remaining focal lengths show an acceptable to fine level without any notable distortion. The Sony Cybershot DSC-T300 does drop a few stitches as far as chromatic aberration is concerned. The test results of the DIWA Lab tests show bluntly a bad performance when it comes to chromatic aberration. It is visible at all focal lengths, with at its worst peeks, chromatic aberration dominating hugely. The 5x Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens overshoots the mark completely, and this should no longer be the case. An absolute downer of Sony!
Sony CyberShot T300 lens quality
More words on the lens quality: the tests to measure vignetting, is a small salve on the wound. The Sony Cybershot T300 performs well to excellently over the entire focal length range and shows hardly any vignetting to none at all. It really is a pity having to conclude that the zoom lens of the Sony T300 is not living up to the expectations. Combined with the loss of detail due to the noise reduction system that has to work strongly to try and reduce the amount of noise because of too many pixels on a too small CCD surface, is a bit much. Returning to the drawing table might be an option and then possibly a Sony Cybershot T500 (?) will show some improvements on these fields.