By • Feb 2nd, 2010 • Category: Toys

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After a very short stay with me, the Lumix FT1 camera was sold off because I somehow find the photos from it … horrible. Not sure if I got a lemon unit but the photos from it doesn’t seem to be of any good. Considering my already very low requirements from a compact camera, that one was quite a hopeless case. Anyway, after I recently sold off my Canon IVsb old rangefinder, I had some spare cash on hand and decided to burn it on a new digital toy. I wanted a super portable and light point-and-shoot camera. The Sony DSC-TX1 and the DSC-WX1 caught my attention. I picked the TX1 because I wanted a camera that doesn’t have a protruding lens, slim and light. I know the WX1 has a brighter lens but I guess I’ll let my GRD3 handle that department instead. Suddenly I realized that this is the 2nd slim Sony camera that I’ve bought. The first was the T100 which I sold off some long time ago.

DSC-TX1 is one of the first two Sony Cyber-shot compact cameras to feature a back-illuminated ‘Exmor R’ CMOS image sensor (the other being the DSC-WX1). These sensors were found in some of their camcorder models. After some initial test shots, I must say that I’m very impressed with this Sony’s offering.

“Most current imagers used in digital cameras are front-illuminated, meaning that light must pass through a metal wiring layer before arriving at the photodiodes. A significant portion of the light is blocked by this wiring layer, and hence the ability of the sensor to gather light is reduced. By contrast, back-illuminated sensors place the wiring layer below the photodiodes, enabling more light to be collected. This improvement, says Sony, means a 200% increase in the sensitivity of its Exmor R chips over a traditional front-illuminated CMOS sensor.”

I ain’t really good at doing reviews but you can check out one here at Imaging Resouce.

Why did I pick this camera? What got me looking into it was the cool Sweep Panorama feature. After seeing some sample photos and reviews, I was convinced that it will bring me lots of fun as well as being a super pocketable camera when I’m out with Fitzand or when I’m on vacation. The pretty amazing low light capability (considering its sensor size) is also another factor that made me part with my money.

Took me a few minutes to decide between the black (dark grey) model and the gold colored one. I eventually fell for the gold colored one despite the fact that I hate the color gold. Hahaha! Damn. I must be getting old? Perhaps. The actual reason was because I wanted something that looks a little different from the usual black cameras I have. The shiny sliding door is a fingerprint magnet. Duh. I’m hoping I can find those cool golden metal stickers from Gariz to paste on that part soon. That will make this TX1 look like my white/gold E-P1’s little slim sister. πŸ˜€

There is also a limited edition TX1 for Christmas … though I don’t see it in stores here in Singapore. Probably costs a lot more but they do look super cool with those snowflakes on them.

Sexy ain’t it?

I got inspired by the Snowflakes ones and found a ‘solution’ to the fingerprint magnet front sliding panel by getting it ‘skinned’ by Gmask (www.gmask.com). It was pretty cheap to get that little panel ‘beautified’ but the young lady at the shop recommended that I get the entire cam wrapped (aka skinned) with their transparent material to protect it against scratches etc. Hmm. Okay, since I was curious … I let them do it and it turned out pretty okay. The workmanship wasn’t as good as I expect but still acceptable. My old fat fingers can do a better job anytime. Really. There are some parts like the one near the eyelet for the hand strap which didn’t look as professional as what their website claim their services to be.

Don’t have time to really use the camera much these couple of days, so here are some very random test shots (mostly in the Pano mode because I think that feature works really well and is very cool!). Overall I am very happy with this point-and-shoot camera.

Low light test … using the ‘Handheld Twilight’ mode … handheld …

Impressive ain’t it? Despite the small sensor size, this little cutie works very well in low light situation and noise control is good!

The next few pano images were resized to fit my blog layout. For a (slightly) bigger version (on the width), click on the images to open a separate window ….

This one above was taken outside my home at night. With the kind of crazy lighting, the camera was able to handle it pretty well … all in auto mode.

Risked my ass being kicked by security … here’s one taken in the MRT station … in the Wide Pano mode.

Pushing the limit … this one was taken in the lift at my office building. Horrible low light and the lift was moving. The camera nailed it well.

You have to hold on the the shutter button when you are ‘sweeping’ through all the frames for the pano image. I let go off the button to see what happens and as expected … the remaining parts were all in black.

Like the Ricoh GRD3, this is another cam that will be with me for quite a while … not only because it performs well … but it can also fit into my pocket well. The GRD3 … despite being a compact … won’t really fit into my pocket (thanks to my big fat thighs and butt!).

Another camera that many Micro 4/3 users were getting (a little) excited about was a rumored Pen series camera. Today a new OlympusΒ Pen camera was announced and it’s supposed to be a cheaper lower end version of the E-P1/2. The camera is called the E-PL1. Hmm. What does the L stand for? Light? Anyway … I didn’t bother to check out the specifications because … it is UGLY and I’m vain. πŸ˜›

11 Comments »

  1. haha, e-pl1.. nah.. im gonna stick to my e-p2.. I’m always afraid to use sony.. sony has a sony timer, its quite famous in japan,, when the warrenty is over, sony has a built in timer to cause problem so that you can send it back for repair and rip your money.. you can google the world “sony timer”

    im in Hong Kong now πŸ˜€

  2. @Mijonju : Hahaha! Sony timer? That’s the first time I’m hearing it. Okay … so it is a year from now that I’ll sell it off. You lucky devil … in Hong Kong now? OMG! Go enjoy all the yummy food and don’t forget to take tons and tons of photos. Any cool camera there?

  3. @Mijonju : Oh btw … the first digital camera in my life was a Sony too! A DSC-P1. I used it for casual holiday snapshots only.

  4. ooo.. u bought one too?? I got mine last dec when there was a trade-in.. Its with my wife now so I kind of miss it … πŸ˜›

  5. @leejing : Yeah. Haha. I saw the trade-in promo but I had nothing to trade in (they don’t accept Holgas I suppose). Haha. I’m sure the ladies will love it, so you might have problem getting it back from you wife eh? My wife doesn’t like cameras but I’m afraid Fitzand might wanna grab it. :O

  6. My favourite is with you! I’ve my Sony Digital Camera Gmasked also, and really love it! For those who interested, visit http://www.gmask.com!

  7. @Cheryene : Oh cool. How was the workmanship (when you got your Sony Gmasked)?

  8. Wonder if you can gmask anything.. i’m wanna gmask my fisheye if can!

    yup the EPL1 is really butt ugly and has got no dials zzzz.. and still not a big fan of sony hahaha

  9. @nic : Yeah they should be able to Gmask any gadget. You wanna Gmask your FE cam? Shouldn’t be a problem.

  10. your IVsb finally found a new home. congrats. πŸ˜€

    PS: i didnt gt to try it out from my fren….. :'(

  11. @shunzi : Yeah. The buyer is a real RF fan, so I’m sure the IVsb will be in good hands now. Too bad you didn’t get try out your friend’s cam. Don’t worry. There’s always a next time. πŸ˜€

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