Sony Cybershot DSC-T77
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T77 ($299.99 direct) is a beauty. Its compact design, metallic features, and touch screen make it feel like a luxury item. Aside from color fringing in the corners of images, most users will find the shots they take dazzling. The cameras 3-inch LCD touch screen is very responsive, and the user interface is more intuitive than those of competing touch-screen models, such as the Nikon Coolpix S60 or the Kodak EasyShare v1073. The less-expensive Canon PowerShot SD790 IS ($249) and Nikon Coolpix S610c deliver images that are on a par with T77s, but they dont have touch screens and fun in-camera retouching options. Beyond that, this Cyber-shot is just handsome. Of course, as with any camera that employs a touch screen, battery life suffers.
This camera has a lot of features that will impress, but battery performance isnt one of them. We dont do a formal battery rundown test for cameras, but, in any case, just taking picture after picture until the cameras battery runs out of juice isnt indicative of real-world performance. Why not? Because much of the time spent using a camera involves viewing images on its LCD screen, which can drain the battery without taking a single exposure. This camera has a big LCD, and one that is a touch screen, so Id expect its lithium ion battery life to be shorter, and the T77 didnt surprise me. With most cameras, I can test for an entire week on one charge. The T77 required multiple charges during my review period. You may want to carry a spare battery, if you pick the T77.
The Sony Cyber-shot T77 faces tough competition when it comes to point-and-shoot cameras that deliver image quality and speed without draining your bank account. The Canon PowerShot 790 IS, Canon s610, and Nikon s610c, for example, deliver comparable images without the color fringing. Still, Sonys handsome T77 offers good speed, solid imagery, and exciting in-camera editing tools, all of which add up to a very good buy—just dont forget to bring along an extra battery.
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