Sony CyberShot DSC-TX9

  • Category: Digital Cameras
Last Updated
October 19, 2010

Editor's Rating
3.5 Out of 5

  • Small, portable design
  • Sharp, 3.5" touch screen display
  • Full 1080i HD video
  • Excellent low-light quality

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Limited optical zoom
  • Photos can be out of focus at times

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The Sony CyberShot DSC-TX9 is a 12-megapixel digital camera that offers 1080i movie capture with a thin and light compact design. It also has a 3.5-inch high-resolution touch screen LCD display and has two 3D shooting modes in addition to a strong automatic mode.

The lightweight and compact DSC-TX9 from Sony measures 3.9 x 2.4 x 0.6-inches (whd) and weighs just over 5 ounces, making it extremely portable in a pocket or purse. The full metal body comes in two colors, red and dark gray, and feels extremely solid and well-built. The back of the camera houses the 3.5-inch high-resolution touch screen display, which looks fantastic in both color and brightness, but it does tend to show fingerprints easily. You can also use the included stylus that clips onto the wrist strap for more precise entry without the worry of fingerprints.

The back just has the playback and mode buttons and the top has the power button along with the shutter release and a small zoom toggle. To take a picture, you first have to slide down the metal lens cover, which keeps the camera completely flat while not in use. The bottom of the camera is where the battery and storage card goes as well as tripod mount and a proprietary port for use with the included docking station.

The touch screen interface is fairly easy to use for most everyone, from novices to more advanced users. There is a toolbox icon that houses the camera's general settings and a menu icon in the upper left of the screen that shows you many of the shooting options available.

Some of the more technical specifications of the Sony CyberShot DSC-TX9 include a 12-megapixel backside illuminated CMOS sensor, a lens with 4x optical zoom with f.3.5-6.3 and 25-100mm (35mm equivalent). Maximum image resolution for images is 4000 x 3000 and for videos is 1920 x 1080 at 60 frames per second (1080i). It has both optical and digital image stabilization as well as an ISO range from 125 to 3200 and eight different white balance modes. It also has face detection technology to focus in on faces in the frame. Images are saved in JPEG format while movies in .MP4. The camera accepts Sony MemoryStick Pro Duo, SD/SDXC and SDHC cards.

Sony included their own TransferJet technology in this camera as well, allowing you to wirelessly transfer photos and videos to TransferJet-enabled devices. To utilize it, you'll need to buy a Sony MemoryStick with TransferJet, then you'll be ready to go. No pairing of the two devices are required, but they do need to be fairly close together (about an inch apart).

When the Sony CyberShot DSC-TX9 is cradled in the included dock, you can plug in USB, AV, and HDMI cables into it. This allows you to export the HD video content or photos onto an HDTV if you choose.

Sony includes many automatic modes with this camera, but it does allow you to manually edit only the ISO, focus, metering, and white balance settings, but not shutter speed or aperture control. Sony also includes an HDR mode in this camera, which takes two images at two different exposures and overlays them to improve contrast and detail. Using the HDR mode does slow down the camera's shot speed due to the extra processing that is required. There is also a Sweep Panorama feature, which allows you to shoot vertical or horizontal panoramas simply by slowly panning the camera from side to side. Burst shooting at high resolution is also supported at 10 frames per second.

Macro shooting is quite good with this camera as it is rated at being able to focus on an object as close as 0.4-inches from the lens. Overall image quality is decent, with some softness apparent when viewing photos at larger scale. Don't expect to take large-sized photos and print them at 8.5 x 11 or larger and not see any unsharpness...because you will. For regular 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 prints, however, quality is pretty good. It does a good job at shooting images in low-light as well, showing only minimal noise. Video quality is pretty decent too, but is also slightly soft in clarity just like the images are.

3D shooting, which on this camera, encompasses two different modes. The first mode is 3D Sweep Panorama, which works just like the regular Sweep mode described above, but takes both the regular panorama picture as well as a 3D shot to view on a 3D HDTV. The second mode, Sweep Multi-Angle, works by combining 15 different photos taken while you pan the camera into one photo, which can be viewed in 3D by tilting the camera while in playback mode thanks to the camera's built-in gyroscope. The output of these two 3D modes is of decent quality, but remember, they have to be shown on a 3D-enabled HDTV.

Battery life is rather mediocre at only about 250 shots per charge.

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