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Old Jan 12, 2004, 11:33 PM   #1
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Default T1 review misses key issues

The review of the Sony DSC-T1 posted on this site misses
some key issues. I have had the camera for a month, as it
has been on sale in Bangkok for quite some time now. I
took it on an extensive trip to Cambodia and Laos, and have
many poor quality shots from that trip. Many pictures are
simply out of focus or blurred, and an important reason is the difficulty of avoiding camera shake because the camera's small size
makes it hard to hold still.

More importantly, however, there appears to be a serious
bug, at least on my unit. It does not appear to be possible
to turn off the noise-rediuction when in Program mode and under low-light conditions. So, if you take a picture in auto mode you get a relatively short exposure and no noise reduction. Change to program mode, keeping all factory default settings on the camera
(so the shot should be exactly the same) and the
exposure is in fact much longer than on auto (leading to blurred indoor shots with low light) and the noise reduction comes into
play whether you like it or not -- and I don't, as it actually
distorts colors and "lights up" the scene in an unnatural
way.

It is, of course, possible to get round this by using "auto,"
but then you can't make the many other adjustments
possible with "program" mode.

In conclusion: I am disappointed by this camera and would
not recommend it. Yes, the test pictures with the review
look good, but they are almost all under "easy" conditions.
Try to take an action shot, to use the zoom, or to take pictures
under low light conditions, and there is a high probability
you will get out-of-focus, smudged, or color-distorted pictures.
Note that these comments come after intensive use in real-world conditions.

--Jonthan Richmond
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 3:37 PM   #2
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Jonathan,

Is it possible that you were shooting beyond the limited (5 feet!) range of the T1's flash? The T1 does pre-flash metering and adjusts the exposure accordingly, perhaps leaving the shutter open long enough to cause the results you experienced.

Carl
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 8:41 PM   #3
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Carl, no, the shots I referred to were without flash.

I might point out that I have got used to the performance
of my four-year old DSC-F55, and I've found that it
takes sharper pictures than the T1 in a range of situations.

By the way, here is my correspondence with Sony. As
you can see, it looks like they have packaged answers
to particular keywords, and have not so far addressed
my questions

Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 18:09:02 +0700
From: CIC <[email protected]>
To: 'Jonathan E. D. Richmond' <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: Jonathan E. D. Richmond

Dear Sir

Thank you for your e-mail regarding Sony Cyber Shot model DSC-T1.

As your inquired, we would like to inform more information of Auto mode and
Program mode as the below:
Still image auto shooting (Auto)
When you select to Auto, it means that the Focus, exposure and white balance
are automatically adjusted as needs to allow easy shooting.
Still image program shooing [ Program]
When you select to Program, it means that the necessary adjustments are made
automatically like still image auto shooting, but you can also change
the focus and other adjustments as desired.
We are indeed very appreciative of your valuable comment,.
For more information, please contact our Customer Information Center on
0-2715-6100.


Yours faithfully
Surat Hanmanee
Customer Information Center
Sony Thai Co., Ltd.

-----ข้อความต้นฉบับ-----
จาก: Jonathan E. D. Richmond [SMTP:[email protected]]
ส่งเมื่อ: 12 มกราคม 2547 11:46
ถึง: Sosin, Enquiry
สำเนาถึง: Thailand Sony
เรื่อง: RE: T1


Thanks for forwarding the message, but I believe this will have to
be
referred to Sony HQ in Japan for resolution as I suspect the bug
affects
all units, not just mine.

One other thing -- and I think Sony Thailand can answer this -- was
there
supposed to be a wrist strap included in the box? There is a place
to
attach a strap on the camera, but no strap was supplied. Thanks.

--Jonathan Richmond

ps: The T1 was purchased in Bangkok, although I prefer to buy in
Singapore
when possible, as prices are much lower!





On Mon, 12 Jan 2004, Sosin, Enquiry wrote:

> Dear Mr. Richmond,
>
> Thank you for your email to Sony.
>
> In response to your enquiry, we have forwarded this email to our
Sony
> Company in Thailand, Sony Thailand. Due to proximity, they would
be in a
> better position to advice you on the product enquiry. For your
> information, the email address is [email protected]
>
> We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
>
> Should you need further assistance or clarification, please
contact our
> Customer Contact Centre at 65448600 pertaining to our products and
> services.
>
> Thank you and best regards.
>
> Kelvin Yap
> Executive Assistant
> Customer Contact Centre Department
> Customer Interface Marketing Division
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonathan E. D. Richmond [mailto:[email protected]]
> Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 2:36 PM
> To: Sosin, Enquiry
> Subject: T1
>
>
> You helped me with an inquiry last month, so I wonder if you can
help me
> with another issue...
>
> I bought a DSC-T1, and it appears to have a production bug. Here
is what
> happens: If the user wants, it is possible to choose a mode that
> brightens
> night scenes and corrects for noise. The bug is that on my camera
this
> mode is selected *at all times* whether wanted or not when
"program
> mode"
> is used. It is not operational when "auto mode" is selected.
>
> The problem is that "auto" modes does not allow adjustment of any
> settings, such as exposure, compression level etc., and it is not
> possible
> to get the results wanted without the "corrections" erroneously
applied
> in
> program mode.
>
> The problem is easy to test for. The camera should be at "factory
> default"
> settings so that the program and auto modes should get the same
results.
> They don't: program mode is much brighter, with a longer shutter
time
> for
> night shots and resultant likely distortion.
>
> As I suspect that *all* cameras have the same bug, there seems
little
> point in returning mine until Sony has decided what to do about
it.
> Could
> you pass on this message to the Sony production people and get a
reply
> for
> me? I would be quite grateful.
>
> Incidentally, I am hoping to get a DSC-F828 when in Singapore at
the end
> of this month, although some users are reporting a bug in that
model,
> with
> apparent excessive purple fringing. I saw on one forum that Sony
replied
> that there had been a problem with some lenses having too much
cobalt on
> them, and that these would be replaced. I hope that the production
units
> sold in Singapore won't have this problem.
>
> Many thanks!
>
> --Jonathan
>
> -----
>
> Jonathan E. D. Richmond 02 524-5510
> (office)
> Visiting Fellow Intl.: 662 524-5510
> Transportation Engineering program
> School of Civil Engineering, Room N260B 02 524-6844
(home)
> Asian Institute of Technology Intl.: 662 524-6844
> PO Box 4
> Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 02 524-5509
(fax)
> Thailand Intl: 662 524-5509
>
> e-mail: [email protected] Secretary: Ms. Nisarat
> Hansuksa
> [email protected] 02 524-6051
> Intl: 662 524-6051
> http://the-tech.mit.edu/~richmond/
>
>
>
>
-------------------------------------------------------------------
> This email is confidential and intended only for the use of the
individual or entity named above and may contain information that is
privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any
dissemination, distribution or copying of this email is strictly prohibited.
If you have received this email in error, please notify us immediately by
return email or telephone and destroy the original message. - This mail is
sent via Sony Asia Pacific Mail Gateway.
>
-------------------------------------------------------------------
>

-----

Jonathan E. D. Richmond 02 524-5510
(office)
Visiting Fellow Intl.: 662 524-5510
Transportation Engineering program
School of Civil Engineering, Room N260B 02 524-6844
(home)
Asian Institute of Technology Intl.: 662 524-6844
PO Box 4
Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 02 524-5509
(fax)
Thailand Intl: 662 524-5509

e-mail: [email protected] Secretary: Ms. Nisarat
Hansuksa
[email protected] 02 524-6051
Intl: 662 524-6051
http://the-tech.mit.edu/~richmond/
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 10:37 PM   #4
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Did you ever get a response regarding the question about the lenses on the 828? I too was on the verge of buying one and would be very interested in knowing if there was a gliche that they intended to fix "quietly". Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 10:40 PM   #5
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I have posted the only response I received. As you can see,
they did not answer any of my questions.
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 12:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: T1 review misses key issues

jrichmond,

I own the T1 for a month. According to the manual. Whenever
the shutter if 1/6 second or slower, it will automatically
enable NR. So it is not a bug but a feature. In DSC-V1,
I guess its the same (?) For those who own a V1. When
using it at low light and without flash and at Program
mode, what's the shutter speed you usually get? In
the T1, it's 1 second for ISO 100 and 1/2 second for
ISO 400. I plan to sell the T1 and get the V1 but I need
to know first its shutter speed and aperture for Program
mode for low light and without flash.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jrichmond

More importantly, however, there appears to be a serious
bug, at least on my unit. It does not appear to be possible
to turn off the noise-rediuction when in Program mode and under low-light conditions. So, if you take a picture in auto mode you get a relatively short exposure and no noise reduction. Change to program mode, keeping all factory default settings on the camera
(so the shot should be exactly the same) and the
exposure is in fact much longer than on auto (leading to blurred indoor shots with low light) and the noise reduction comes into
play whether you like it or not -- and I don't, as it actually
distorts colors and "lights up" the scene in an unnatural
way.

It is, of course, possible to get round this by using "auto,"
but then you can't make the many other adjustments
possible with "program" mode.

In conclusion: I am disappointed by this camera and would
not recommend it. Yes, the test pictures with the review
look good, but they are almost all under "easy" conditions.
Try to take an action shot, to use the zoom, or to take pictures
under low light conditions, and there is a high probability
you will get out-of-focus, smudged, or color-distorted pictures.
Note that these comments come after intensive use in real-world conditions.

--Jonthan Richmond
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 12:16 AM   #7
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The strange thing is that NR is not enabled in auto mode,
producing rather better results although with a lack of ability
to adjust exposure and other things (the exposure is actually a bit on the low side on auto, and I'd like to put it up 1 EV).

A mode that takes a second or even half a second is a
waste of time in this model as there is no way to use a
tripod and it is impossible to avoid camera shake.
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 12:36 AM   #8
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Why, that's the shutter speed and aperture in your old
DSC-F55? The T1 is my first digital camera so I can't
compare it to what's average and what's not. I wonder
what's the default of the DSC-V1 in program mode and
without flash, Maybe 1/30 secs, F2.8 at ISO 400? In
the T1, it's 1/2 second at F3.5 at ISO 400 average, so blurring
is almost a rule. I'm still keeping the T1 for its 640x480
30 fps movie and because I don't know what is the value
of the shutter/aperture in other digital cams without flash.
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Old Jan 15, 2004, 10:32 AM   #9
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I went into Sony in Bangkok today and a: replicated the
problem on my T1 with one of theirs and b: very quickly
convinced the rep. I met that there was a bug in the camera,
possibly a software bug.

The manual does not say that the camera will go into NR in
program mode whenever indicated by certain light comditions.
It says that NR will only be in effect if you select certain modes
such as "twilight." It therefore should not happen in straight
program mode unless one of the special settings is selected.
I believe that its automatic presence in all conditions of
program mode is therefore a bug -- and it certainly has
ruined more than enough pictures for me.
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Old Jan 15, 2004, 6:33 PM   #10
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When you are in Program AE, the shutter speed in low light
is mostly less than 1/6 sec, so NR is always enable. But then,
would't the image become worse if there is no NR at 1/6 sec
or less at Program AE, the main problem is its poor low
light sensitivity. It's Program AE without flash at low light
should be at least 1/10 seconds. Maybe Sony calibrate
the T1 in very bright laboratory and expecting the shutter
to hit below 1/6 second only in twilight, not knowing that
in program mode, it's the same. Somone is offering to buy
my T1 at about $130 cheaper. So I'll lose that much and
maybe get a V1 (which should let me add $150 more). I'm
stil deciding.

m
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