Record Screens & Menus
Pictured above is the TX66 in iAuto mode (intelligent Auto). This is the default, fully automatic exposure mode which makes capturing snap shots of your friends, family, and other subjects a snap. The camera handles all of the complicated exposure parameters, and thanks to scene recognition technology, it also applies certain Scene mode characteristics to the shot. This helps overall enhance the overall look of your photos.
You have only a few manual control options available in this mode. You can change the flash mode, image size, movie mode, enable Macro focus,adjust exposure compensation, alter the Scene Recognition properties, etc. a
When you half press the shutter release, this is the screen you will see. The AF targets that the camera has locked focus with will turn green if AF is successful (red if it fails), and a focus conformation green dot is displayed in the bottom left. You can also see that the camera has recognized the scene as a Macro style shot by the flower icon at the top left, and at the bottom right is a no-flash icon along with the aperture settings displayed in the middle.
Here we have the shortcut menu for iAuto mode, and as you can see there are very few options - compared to Program mode anyway. You can enter Easy mode, toggle the self-timer, change the image size/quality settings, adjust exposure compensation, enable/disable face detection AF, choose the movie mode quality, etc.
Here you can see the Rec Mode screen. To enter this menu, you simply press the mode icon that's on the right hand side when you are at the standard record screen (iAuto in the screens up top). Simply touch one of the 9 options above to select that mode. Choosing Scene Selection will give access to High Sensitivity, Soft Snap, Soft Skin, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Handheld Twilight, Gourmet, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Pet Mode, Anti-Motion blur, Backlight Correction HDR, and Hi-speed Shutter modes.
Here we can see the TX66's most intelligent exposure mode, Superior Auto. It's very similar to iAuto, however it incorporates multi-frame technology into the mix, which promises to produce enhanced dynamic range and cleaner photos. While this option boasts superior image quality, it does slow the camera down due to the additional processing required.
Program mode gives you the most control out of all the available exposure options. While still offering automatic exposure, you now have access to more advanced settings like ISO, Metering, focus, etc.
As you can see, Program mode's function menu has a lot more options than iAuto mode. You can still access Easy mode, image quality, and exposure compensation; however now you also have control options for ISO, White Balance, Focus mode, Metering mode, etc.
Thanks to a movie record button that's always at the top left, you can record movies no matter what mode you are currently in. You have a plethora of movie mode options. You can choose to shoot in AVCHD (1080/60i) or MP4 formats (1080/30p), . Sony claims that AVCHD mode is better for viewing on HDTV sets, while MP4 is better for web use. To change the format, you have to enter the shooting settings sub menu - shown below. While recording video, you have full use of the 5x optical zoom lens, which is a nice feature. Sound is recorded using stereo microphones located on the top of the camera.
One complaint I have with the TX66 is the screen above. After you press the DISP Off button, all info is cleared from the screen and you are presented with the above - which is great for a clutter free viewfinder. The problem is, from here, you can not enter playback mode at all, without first holding the DISP ON button for a few seconds - which brings back the normal information display mode.
Above we have the Shooting Settings menu. It is found by pressing the small toolbox icon at the top left when you are in the regular menu - which is shown further up the page. Here you can access some important camera settings, like which Movie Format you want to use (AVCHD or MP4), whether or not the AF Illuminator is on, add Grid lines, enable Clear Image digital zoom, enable/disable normal digital zoom, turn on Wind noise reduction for videos, Scene Recognition, etc. You can even choose the display's resolution output (Standard or High), and the background color of the menu system (Black, White, or Pink).
From here, you get access to the Main Settings menu, Memory Card Tool and the internal Clock menu.
Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.
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