Another high-specced, fashionable Sony compact
The first thing that strikes us about the Sony TX9 is its design. It has a slim, fashionable and trendy body casing and comes in either gold, red or dark grey.The TX9 is clearly aimed at those who want a straightforward point-and-shoot compact. To activate, the front panel effortlessly glides open to reveal a small lens situated in the corner. The camera supports a 25mm wide-angle lens that for landscape photography is ideal, however disappointingly the lens is only capable of extending 4x on itself. Unfortunately the sleek design of the body casing also means that the lens is small in size. Although it produces good image results, a larger one could have been even better and handled a larger zoom.
Feature-wise there are many incorporated into the Sony TX9. For starters, the 3.5” LCD touch screen means there are no buttons on the back panel, keeping the look of the TX9 clean and minimal. The touch-screen technology is quick to respond and the menu and playback system is easy to use and navigate. The only buttons to be found on the body are on the top panel, and this includes the shutter and zoom control. The zoom is a little fiddly to use, as it is very small in size, which could be problematic for those with larger-sized fingers.
The 3D sweep panoramic feature will be highly appealing to those who are into the latest technology, though if you don’t have the facilities to view 3D images (ie, a 3D television), it can’t be used. There are many other features to be employed, however, and those wanting a camera that does more than simply take images will not be disappointed. The TX9 includes Sony’s 2D trademark sweep panorama feature and a new sweep multi-angle feature. This shoots a burst of images, allowing you to see your subject with a 3D effect from different angles, and can be viewed on the LCD. By tilting your screen from side to side, the camera moves itself around the scene. This feature needs some tweaking before it’s 100% effective, though it’s still interesting to see Sony pushing its features and technology to the next level. The TX9 also includes an excellent Video mode, which records at full quality at 1920 x 1080i with clean and audible sound.
Images produced were to a high standard, with the camera being able to meter very well across the scene. The camera supports Sony’s Exmor R CMOS sensor with a 12MP resolution that is highly sensitive to light. In low light the results were good for a compact, with little noise, although at the higher end of the ISO range the quality does begin to deteriorate. In harsh sunlight the TX9 still managed to retain detail in the highlights and shadows and did not overexpose. Across the colour spectrum the TX9 produced accurate results, and although there was a slight oversaturation in the images, this is not problematic for those just wanting a point-and-shoot model. For a compact camera of its calibre, it would be hard to find something that performs better in this area.
At the full retail figure of £379 the Sony TX9 is expensive for a compact camera, and even with some shopping around online it was difficult to find it at a more competitive price. However, it is hard to fault the TX9 on many factors such as its sleek looks, features and image quality, as they all match up to the high standards of the Sony T series. If you want the TX9, which many will, then you’ll have to be prepared to pay good money.