Features & Controls
Sony lists the follow focal range equivalents:
- Still 16:9: 28-140mm
- Still 4:3: 26-130mm
- Movie 16:9: 28-140mm (SteadyShot Standard), 30-150mm (SteadyShot Active)
- Movie 4:3: 35-175mm (SteadyShot Standard), 37-185mm (SteadyShot Active)
This high-quality lens is make of 12 elements in 10 groups with 6 aspheric elements and 1 prism. The maximum aperture range is f/3.5-4.8. The sliding lens cover protects the lens from harm, and also acts as an On/Off power switch.
Like most of Sony's Cyber-Shot cameras, the DSC-TX66 is equipped with their proven Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system, which also features Active Mode (electronic IS). This combination helps ensure your handheld telephoto and low light shots are sharper. Optical SteadyShot uses lens-shift IS versus sensor-shift IS, with two gyro-sensors that detect camera shake / movement. The camera then automatically compensates for the movement, helping you capture a clearer, crisper image.
To the left of the lens in the photo above, you can see the AF-assist lamp, and the built-in flash unit. This is a tiny flash, which offers modes for Auto flash, Forced On, Forced Off, and Slow Synchro. Red-Eye Reduction can be turned On or Off.
Effective Flash Range:
- ISO Auto: Approx.0.08m - 3.7m (3 1/4 inches to 12 feet 1 3/4 inches) Wide / Approx.0.6m - 2.6 m(1 feet 11 5/8 inches to 8 feet 6 3/8 inches) Telephoto
- ISO3200: up to Approx.5.2 m (17 feet 3/4 inches) Wide / Approx.3.7 m(12 feet 1 3/4 inches) Telephoto
The entire back of the camera is made up of a huge 3.3-inch Xtra Fine OLED, touch screen display. This means there are no controls located on the back, everything is handled by the touch screen GUI (Graphical User Interface). This is a very high-quality OLED display, with a resolution of over 1 million dots (1,229k). You have 5 brightness settings to choose from, and during our testing the display was easy to see in most conditions.
The touch interface responds to both the "flesh" of your finger, or your finger nail. Sony also includes a handy stylus pen for those who prefer using them. We found the interface responded to our inputs well, with only a slight delay. While we enjoyed the touch screen, we would have liked Sony to have at least included an actual Play button on the top of the camera. If the display info is hidden, you have to hold the OK button to bring back the screen info, including the play button; which makes quickly switching to playback mode a pain.
The TX66's I/O ports sit on either side of the memory card / battery port door. On the left is a micro HDMI port for connecting the camera to your HDTV (cable sold separately). On the right, just above the tripod socket is the combination USB / Charging / Standard Defiiniton AV port. Sony includes a USB cable, along with a USB-AC power adapter for charging the battery in-camera; the AV cable is sold separate.
Like we've seen with past T-series cameras, in order to keep things tiny, you have to make some sacrifices. Like a tiny built-in flash, tiny battery, and a tiny memory card. The TX66 offers a card slot which accepts microSD/SDHC/SDXC type memory cards to store your images and videos. While these cards are found in large capacities nowadays, they are still extremely small and very easy to drop and lose forever.
While I think they are great for applications like smart phones where you normally install the card in the device, and never retrieve it; they are not my personal favorite for digital cameras. If you plan on using the USB cable with this camera for transferring files to your computer, you may not have the same gripes as I do; however, I generally removed cards from the camera and use a card reader with all the cameras I own and test.
Here we can see the power supply for the DSC-TX66. The 3.6V, 630mAh NP-BN Li-ion battery pack is very small; which is no surprise for a camera of this size. It's charged in-camera with the included USB cable and either a USB port on your computer or the AC adapter that's supplied with the camera; the former of which will take much longer to charge versus the AC adapter. While convenient, it's difficult to have a spare battery on hand, since you can't charge one battery in the AC charger while using another in the camera. Sony claims this pack can power the TX66 for up to 250 still images using CIPA Standard testing methods (flash used 50% of the time).
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