The Sony Cyber-shot TX100V is a 16.2MP ultra-compact camera that offers a 3.5-inch OLED touch screen and captures 1080p HD video. As was the case with its sibling Cyber-shot HX7V, I had a chance to go hands-on with the TX100V at CES 2011 for a few minutes. Check out my first impressions, along with some sample photos and video below.
The first thing that sticks out about the TX100V is its size. This is an ultra-compact camera and is pocketable in just about every sense of the word. The smooth surface around the entire camera is marred by only a few controls – a recessed-power button, shutter release, zoom rocker and an image preview button.
The camera powers up when you slide open the front panel, which also serves as a lens guard when the camera is loosely in a pocket, purse or camera pouch. The entire control interface (aside from the aforementioned buttons) is accessible only via the rear OLED touchscreen. I think the last TX model I reviewed was last year’s Cyber-shot TX7, which had a great touchscreen interface. The TX100V’s look and response is even better.
I haven’t used every touchscreen camera out there, but I’ve tried lots of them – and I think the TX100V has the best input response yet. I want to spend a little more time with the camera before I judge the menu system; however, at first blush, it works just as well as the earlier models. It’s actually a rather quick process to make changes once you “get” the menu system. Those unfamiliar with touchscreen cameras will require some time to become acquainted with the interface, but it likely won’t be a painful process and you’ll be using one of the better touchscreens available.
Zooming is smooth during video capture and fast enough to cover the 4x zoom range during still image capture that you won’t get frustrated with the camera. Autofocus and shutter response is rock solid fast. The TX100V performs well in all the shooting categories that you would expect it to when you just pick it up and start using it.
The only complaint that I really had with the TX100V is that was almost too small and streamline. That is, I could have used a little grip on the right side to help me hold onto the tiny camera. But I’m really nit-picking with that.
I managed to grab a few stills across the ISO range of the TX100V, which I’ve included below. Feel free to download any of these sample images for your personal inspection (not for republication). You can get the original files by right-clicking on any of the images and choosing “Save link as…” Please note, however, that these images come from a pre-production TX100V.
I also recorded a short video clip with the TX100V at 1080/60p, which you can see below.
I don’t know about you, but I think the video from the TX100V looks pretty stellar. For such a tiny camera, those shadow areas in the show hall look pretty darn impressive. The 60p framerate (59.94) makes for some really smooth motion. I’m not really sure what Sony is doing inside its new point and shoot cameras, but it looks like a pretty solid combination of magic and engineering. If you want to check out the 720p version of the file, you can download it here (right-click and choose “Save link as”).
In sum, the Sony TX100V is probably the most impressive point and shoot camera model that I saw at CES 2011. It’s not the cheapest at around $380 retail, but those looking for the highest quality in the smallest package will have a hard time finding a better ultra-compact than the TX100V.
The Sony Cyber-shot TX100V is available from Photography Bay’s trusted retail affiliates at the following links:
By making your photography purchases through these links, you are helping Photography Bay to continue bring quality camera tests, news and reviews. Thanks for your continued support.