It is normally with a sense of foreboding that I approach cameras. This insecurity stems from the days of being a student stinking of darkroom chemicals and scrimping to buy a second-hand SLR camera that turned out to be faulty and almost got me mugged.
The digital photography revolution currently under way equips anyone with a full spectrum of equipment to make prize-winning material out of even the most amateur of photographers’ efforts.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC T9 allayed most of my suspicions of digital cameras and within seconds of taking it from the box I was snapping away. I was most impressed by the camera’s 2.5-inch LCD screen which demonstrated the effectiveness of the camera’s six-megapixel resolution. As well as taking stills the device doubles up as a video camera. The T9 is a sleek piece of kit, housed in an aluminium body about 19mm thick and, weighing just 134g, feels like a mobile phone in some respects.
One of my prejudices against digital cameras is the sheer amount of technology sometimes crammed in that makes their use awkward. The T9 is not short of technology but navigation is made easy and in most cases it is really a case of point and click.
It features technologies such as anti-blur and a facility for shooting in difficult conditions such as low light or where shaking knocks images out of focus. It also comes with a 16:9 shooting mode that lets users shoot wide-screen images for playback on a wide-screen television. It also features Sony’s MemoryStick technology with up to 2GB of extra storage capacity.
What impressed me most about it was the ease with which I was able to load up the software and plug the camera into my computer to transfer images. It works just like a USB key and I had some 20 images transferred and emailed to friends within minutes of plugging it in. The T9 has a recommended retail price of €499.
By John Kennedy