on March 20, 2012
Love the camera, the small size is perfect for a pocket. Takes some getting used to in order to open and close with one hand to make it a nice point and shoot. Being that its so small also, you might as well forget about keeping the screen clean. That is not going to happen. The entire back is screen and your thumb will always smudge it.
I come from owning a previous cyber-shot which I loved that had buttons and a touch screen. However when visiting other countries or just traveling, I would walk around with this huge bulge in my pocket where the camera was. It was also a point and shoot, but no where near the small size of this TX-66 which is thinner than my wallet.
What I dislike is not about that camera itself, but at the fact that it comes with nothing. No install programs, no holder, no screen cleaner, no memory card. I had to go right back to amazon and place a new order for a case, memory card and travel charger (the original charger is two pieces, plug and usb cord). Without a memory card, you can't use all of the features (parallel video and camera) and you can only take 2-3 pictures. For something so delicate as this small camera, I had expected it to come with at least 256mb card and a starter case.
another thing to note is that while I would love to use one hand to use th entire camera and its features, that is very hard to do, you can get a quick point and shoot, but the zoom button on top is very small and you will definitely need two hands in order to zoom in and out (one for stability)..
In the box - Camera, Charger, USB Cable/charger cable, Wrist Strap, Paint Pen (will never use it), Tripod adapter.
I've heard of the previous version as having a bad touchscreen that didn't respond well. With this version I dont see that problem. The controls are fast and up to standards with my iphone and ipad and even better than my previous cybershot. I have large fingers and the screen reacts well to them.
I have the silver camera and it is by no means close to the silver in the image above. It is more of a gray color and a tint of purple on the back. After checking videos and review photos, it seems that this is normal.
While the camera is small and feels sturdy, it also seems delicate by the size. This isn't a camera that you want to drop. You might be able to get away with sitting on it as you may forget its in your pocket, but dropping it "looks" to be dangerous. I have no plans to let anyone else use it.
What I like most about the camera however is its ability to shoot video and take a picture at the same time. It was really my reasoning for purchasing. Last year I had my wife shoot the video while I took the photos for christmas and after the holiday was over and it was time to upload everything, I found out that my wife never hit the play button on the flip camera. This way I can now control all of the memories while she enjoys helping unwrap the presents. The downfall fo shooting video and using the camera at the same time is that the camera loses all of its functions and programming, which means that you just get to snap a picture without any settings such as flash or blurred background, etc. You get whatever the video is utilizing.
As for the quality of the photos, they are great when you get a good picture, the issue that I keep having is that I must remain almost completely still in order to get a perfect photo. The camera is sensitive to blur do to the photographers movement. If I move, then the photo will blur, if the subject moves, then the photo is fine. Moving at night (because night photos simply suck with this camera) and snapping a photo is practically pointless in any mode. While the camera captures nice scenes with its settings, it isn't designed to be taken on the go, which is pretty disturbing for a point and shoot.
As for shutter speed, this camera is much faster than anything I've ever had including my previous cybershot. As I mention that remaining still is a must, you won't have to stay still very long in order to get the picture. It truly is the best point and shoot if you want to pull it out of your pocket, open and snap a picture and place it back in your pocket. You can do that all within seconds.
As for video, the video is one of the best features of this device, for some reason the developers created the video to be blur free while moving, but missed the mark with still images. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a great point and shoot for video, this is by far the best and I didn't expect the great quality that it had within such a small camera.
Another issue I had with the camera is that its suggested auto settings doesn't have a force flash and that the only way to get a force flash is to put it to custom program settings, which dont look as good as the suggested.
While this camera does have a lot of pre-programmed settings, you'll be flipping through them a lot in order to find the right one for the mood, the suggested settings are good, but they switch between scenes too much and too often and often times to the wrong settings(night scene, day scene, twilight, candle light, etc.). unless you're in a nicely lit room or in the sunlight, the suggested settings aren't all that great for auto choosing the right one.
While the tx66 is a great camera, it wasn't as good as I expected it to be. I previously used another cybershot which I've had for 5 years and is 8mp, and the photos between that camera and the tx66 aren't that far off in quality.
In a nutshell, this is the best camera at 18.2 MP, best possible size for a pocket camera, and for the size, quality and speed, this is the best on the market.
on May 13, 2012
I tried out this camera for about a week before returning it, but I did so with a heavy heart because this is a great little camera. I'll start off with the pros.
This camera produced some excellent shots. I was very impressed with the quality of pictures that came from it, especially when I was intentionally giving the camera bad conditions to shoot in. I was very pleased with their clarity. The jpeg noise I would often see in pics from my old camera (Panasonic Lumix TS1) was absent. Really, I was thunderstruck the first time I looked at the pics on my PC. Just beautiful!
The camera is truly tiny. The pictures here on Amazon don't give you the proper scale. It easily fits in your front pocket, without creating an uncomfortable bulge. This is definitely an 'on-the-go' camera.
The negatives... I guess I'll start with the big one.
The reason I returned this is because the camera is just too small for me. I'm a burly guy, with big hands but stubby fingers. It's just awkward for me to manipulate this. After playing with it for a week, I could never find a comfortable position to hold this camera. I tried, but could never figure out how to turn it on one-handed. I could not take one-handed pictures either. The entire back is a touch screen. That made me hesitant to rest my palm against it to grip the camera for fear of taking a picture, changing the focus, opening up the settings feature, etc. I ended up holding the camera with two hands, between thumb and index finger - very clunky, and uncomfortable. This method of holding it produced way too many pictures with my hand shadowing the lens. Finally I decided, a camera with great picture quality was no use if I didn't enjoy actually taking pictures with it. :(
I was also shocked by the cheap hand strap Sony provided. I've used several Panasonic models, and they come with a comfortable wrist wrap with a lock that lets you tighten the wrap, so you don't have to think about accidentally dropping the camera. If you fumble it, no worry, the wrap keeps it secured. Sony's wrist wrap was just a piece of stiff cloth. You get no protection from that. When I'm paying this much money for a camera, I expect the company to think of these little details, not nickel-and-dime me.
The camera's UI was not quite so obvious to use as I hoped. With more practice I would have eventually learned it, but some of the settings are not as apparent as you would think.
So, I guess my quick summary is... The TX66 is a great little camera, but it's not for people with large, stubby hands. It's just too difficult to comfortably handle. It's a great gift for your wife/girlfriend though, assuming she's not bigger than average.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX66 camera is pretty good, but in my opinion not worth the full price (currently $350 through Amazon). It excels in some areas and not so much in others. See below for my review. If you don't want to read the long version, you can skip to the short version at the end.
Design - This camera has a very sleek design. It weighs next to nothing and is very small. And when I say small, I mean small. It is about 5.5 cm tall, 9.5 cm long, and 1.5 cm wide. The camera is so small that it does not have a tripod screw on the bottom; it has a small screw hole and they provide you with a tripod adapter that you screw into that to make it compatible. If you are a guy and/or you have big hands then this camera will not be all that fun for you. It's fairly easy to accidentally get a finger in the picture because the lens is right up at the top of the front of the camera. If you're a girl and/or you have small hands then you'll probably love this because it is just so small. Check out my uploaded picture to see. The only moving part on this camera (besides the top buttons) is the front lens cover. It slides straight down and you cannot shoot without it down. This is good because it protects your lens when you aren't using the camera, but can be a little bit of an annoyance if you happen to forget that it needs to slide down to be used. It's also easy to forget to slide it back up, which kind of defeats its purpose in protecting the lens. The camera will turn on automatically if you slide the cover down, or you can press the power button and then slide it down. It'll also turn off automatically if you slide the lens cover back up.
Functionality - With the exception of the power, shutter, and zoom buttons, the camera is operated entirely through touch screen. All options are on the LCD screen. This is actually not bad, because the touch screen is very responsive (almost a little too responsive; I started recording a video before I even knew I had pressed the record button, that's how lightly you have to tap). Shutter time is quick, but write time can be fairly slow; if you're recording a video or taking photos in a mode that requires the camera to manipulate (e.g. watercolor mode), you'll need to wait a few seconds while it processes the photo.
Photos - Photo quality is generally good if not amazing. It zooms in to 5x but you can then magnify that to 10x; the good thing is that at 10x as they advertise it is still pretty clear although you won't have a wealth of detail. Because of the fast shutter speed, you should be able to take photos of moving objects pretty easily. There are many different types of photos you can shoot, from regular auto mode to program mode (where you can manually manipulate ISO, etc.) to various picture effects (e.g. miniature, toy camera, partial color [one of the coolest camera effects I've ever seen; allows you to block out everything in monochrome except the color you choose to accentuate], watercolor, illustration) to different scenes (e.g. landscape, portrait, beach, gourmet [???], snow). Some of these look pretty cool, like the partial color (which can be finicky depending on the lighting, see my uploaded photos), and others are kind of throwaways. While watercolor is neat and all, I don't see that I'm going to be sending people "watercolor" photos; it seems more like a waste of what could have been a good shot (see my uploaded photo). In addition to these you can shoot in panorama, which is good in that it lets you do an automatic sweep rather than having to do the overlay with multiple photos like most cameras, AND it lets you take the panorama while sweeping either left, right, up, or down. However, the really stupid part is that it gives you an angle limit to turn the camera on, which is great if you're doing a 180 (but not a 360), but then it gives you a *time limit* or something as well. I still can't figure out what exactly is happening but it'll automatically end on its own and if you don't turn the camera all the way through its predefined limit within the countdown then it saves with a big gray space; see my uploaded photo, this is a big problem that's really annoying. There is also a background defocus that is supposed to let you shoot close-ups and blur the background, but I cannot get it to work. You can also shoot in 3D, but if you don't have a 3D television or glasses then that'll go unused. Night shots are a mixed bag; in auto mode you get a lot of "orbs," handheld mode looks good, night mode is blurry without a tripod, and high ISO mode also looks good but is a little bright (see all my uploaded photos).
Videos - Video quality ranges from excellent to average depending on the type of video format you select from the Menu screen. I tried recording in both AVCHD (for HDTVs) and in regular MP4 (for computers) and the latter is just no comparison to the former. The AVCHD mode looks really fantastic but the files get saved in some weird .MPO format that my computer doesn't even recognize without using Sony's included software. You can, however, use Sony's software and there's a button right in it to convert the video to .WMV and resave, which is good. The .MP4 files can be opened in Quicktime without having to use the software or manipulate anything, but the quality is vastly degraded. They are much grainier and choppier, whereas the AVCHD videos are smooth and clear.
Extras - The camera has some extra points worth mentioning. 1) This camera uses a micro SD card, so be sure you have one ready. It does not have a slot for a full-size storage card. 2) It comes with a paint pen. This is basically just a small fat stylus that you can use to select things on the camera or to draw on your photos. You can draw freestyle or the camera also has some premade frames on it that you probably won't care about unless you're a girl under 10 years old (seriously). 3) It requires the cable to charge. For some reason Sony thought it would be a good idea to not just put a slot for the battery into the charger like everybody else does, so instead you have to put the battery into the camera and then use the USB cable to connect the camera to the charger. This is not a huge deal but it just means you have to carry the cable around with you wherever you go if you think you're going to need to charge. The good news is that if you have a full USB charger in your car (like the smartphone car chargers that Verizon sells that have the regular micro USB and a second full USB) then you can charge the camera battery with it. 4) Software is included on the camera. No CDs here, folks. Instead you just plug the camera into your computer, turn it on, and after an annoyingly long Windows driver installation (for some reason it decided it wanted to install the camera as three separate drives), you can install the inventively-named PlayMemories Home software. The software is pretty basic and you have to download extra features separately. 5) Help is built into the camera. There is a button in the lower left of the screen with a question mark; just press this to go to the help screens to learn all about how to perform different functions. The camera does come with a written manual but it's fairly useless except to tell you how to charge the battery and install the software.
This is a pretty good camera that works best if you have small hands. It sets itself apart by having all controls on the touchscreen, and thankfully has a very responsive screen. Photos are generally good quality, though some of the modes seem useless, and videos range from excellent to average depending on the video format you record in. The camera also requires a micro SD card, comes with a stylus, requires the USB cable to charge the battery, and has Sony's included software and built-in help files directly on the camera. See all my uploaded photos for examples.
on May 29, 2013
When I first tried this camera I was very impressed...lightweight, super features and output was like you would expect from something much larger. It was perfect as a small travel companion that would be relied upon for high quality stills or video...even the sound was very good.
Bottom line: Two months ago the display died and it is now out of warranty and useless. I have been a Sony fan for over 25 years however my last two purchases have been great products with quality problems. Sadly this may have been my last Sony purchase.
I had my expectations of this camera, but it exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. My review below is based on first impressions, as I have used this camera for less than one week.
Unexpected pleasant surprises:
- 5x optical zoom does not project the lens outside the camera casing. All lens movements happen within the camera casing. Amazing to watch that.
- Picture and video quality are as good as any of the P&S cameras I have owned so far. I have owned several Canon, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, and Flip cameras/camcorders.
- Zoom is enabled during video capture. Not many P&S cameras can do that. I was blown away when I found this out.
- You can capture a still image while capturing video. I still can't believe that this tiny camera includes this feature. See my remarks about this feature below.
- Zoom well over 5x. See my remarks below.
- Touch screen brightness, resolution, and sensitivity are well over my expectations.
- Tripod mountable! You have to attach an adapter (supplied) to mount it on tripod.
- Supplied printed manual is extremely basic. See 1st comment for the URL of the full user guide.
- Online user guide is HTML based, not PDF. Why do they do that? PDF is much more convenient and printable!
- Camera's bottom surface is not flat and hence not freestanding.
- It takes a few seconds to save the image after taking the picture.
Capturing stills while shooting video:
This function works very well. See the sample photo I posted. I don't know the underlying technology for this, but after you stop video recording, the camera starts saving the images to the memory card. If you took a lot of snapshots during the video, expect to wait several seconds for all the images to be saved.
Like many P&S cameras these days, this camera can also zoom much more than the advertised capacity. The 5x zoom is when the picture size is set to maximum - 16M. However, if you lower the size, the zoom capacity will increase. For example, at VGA resolution, this camera can zoom to 38x without quality deterioration and to 76x some deterioration. Read the online user guide for details on the zoom capabilities and capacity. (Link for user guide is in the first comment to this review.)
Setting the USB Mass Storage:
I don't like using any utilities to download my pictures from camera to the computer. I just want to insert the cable and then see the camera in my computer as an external drive. If you are like me, you should go to Main Settings menu, and change the USB Connect Setting to Mass Storage option.
Picture quality comparison:
I have compared pictures taken by this camera with the pictures taken by Panasonic ZS9 under identical conditions and found that they compare equally in many cases. I have posted comparison photos on Amazon with my comments. See for yourself.
Overall, I am very happy to acquire this camera.
The camera stopped responding a few days ago all of a sudden. Opening lens cover didn't turn it on. Repeating the process was of no use. Pushing the power button was equally useless. I then removed the battery and put it back in. Then in started working normally. It has worked fine since then. If this problem occurs again, I will consider reducing the star rating.
Still very happy with the performance and compactness of the camera.
We went on a road trip recently and we took 3 cameras with us. The big P&S camera (Panasonic FZ28K) rarely came out of the bag. We used this camera (TX66) and Panasonic ZS9 and took hundreds of pictures. I observed that the success rate of TX66 is very high. Almost all pictures are usable (no blurring, no shake, in focus, good light, etc.) TX66 camera being so small and portable, we always had it handy and we didn't miss any photo opportunities. We are still very happy with the camera. Only known issue at this is that, inadvertent setting change due to unintended touch screen operation. Easly overlooked due to the convenience and the quality of the pictures.
Perhaps its the white color, or the mini size, or the touch screen that lends itself to small fingers, but girls seem to love this camera. All the girls I've dated have preffered Sony Point and shoots because of their good looks and thin bodies. This camera is roughly the size of a pack of playing cards. Its that small. It also is very easy to use and takes pretty great photos.
So those here are the pros: opening it turns it on (theres a power button too), intuitive features, forgiving and pretty good auto settings, fits comfortably in the pocket, beautiful screen, charges via USB (most cameras require the battery be put in the charger), looks good, zoom was responsive, and takes really great pictures for a P&S (even in low light.)
It also comes with a cool feature that makes it look like you took the picture with a DSLR. This is not of use to me, but will be for more artsy types.
The negatives could make this a deal breaker for you: Except for zoom, shutter and power, there are no external buttons. Everything is done via the touchscreen. This can be a very difficult way to do things. Some people will hate it because the icons are pretty close together. It could be because im accustomed to Panny menus, but everything seems to take longer to get to (to be fair the quick menu is totally customizable by dragging and dropping icons.) Also the zoom, because of its smaller size, takes a little getting used to. Lastly it takes micro sd cards--They are slower, more expensive and most people dont have them lying around like sd cards.
It comes with a plastic stylus, charger, and strap. I was comparing this camera against the more robust Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX200V 18.2 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and 3.3-inch OLED (Silver) (2012 Model) and I much preferred the TX66. It has all the same specs and internals--minus gps and waterproofing--at a fraction of the cost. Its not a fingerprint magnet like its bigger brother, its much smaller in the pocket, and somehow feels more solid. Its zoom is also easier to use and you can open to turn on.
A camera like this makes a strong case for P&S's not being replaced by cell phones or micro 4/3's type anytime soon.
These Sony Sureshots just keep getting better and better. This one takes my breath away just from it's sheer tinyness. It will take 18 megapixell pictures...in 3D...or wide screen panarama...or with a 16gb micro sd card record 2.75 hours of hd vid!!! The 3D photos can be viewed on a 3D capable TV! They look great. Getting the kids together to wear the glasses and view photos was a fun activity. (do buy a micro sd card when you order the camera as it will only take 3 pictures without it...and get an extra battery or two as well! Amazon sells several very reasonably priced ones). Be warned however that it is indeed tiny and if you have trouble manipulating small objects you might want to go with a bigger model. It's smaller than my iPhone. I didn't have any problems holding it steady for shots and using the buttons. I'd also recommend getting a good strap ( I agree that the one included is woefully lacking and the one thing tiny inspires is the feeling that it won't survive a fall) The entire back of the camera is a touch screen so bear that in mind too. Overall I'm really impressed with the quality feel of the camera itself and the performance has been a dream. I'll use it a lot this summer and it's just the right size to slip into my shirt pocket and head out. It's just an amazing camera that you have to see to believe - both it's size & it's performance!
The Cybershot is the perfect camera to toss in your purse or pocket when you don't want to carry a full-sized camera. Slide the lens cover down and it is ready to go at a moments notice. You can shoot beautiful, clear stills or HD video at the touch of a button.
This camera only has three actual buttons: on/off, shutter and zoom toggle. Everything else including video is manipulated by the touch screen commands on the LCD screen. Sony gives you quite a few options for shooting pictures - including 3D, panorama and scene selections. As well as picture effects you can apply to the shot.
And while I understand that Sony is attempting to make this a very small camera, it's almost too small in some respects. You really (or at least I did) have to work to keep your fingers out the shots and the body is so thin, it's really easy to drape a finger over the lens.
I had to wait a week for the micro sdhc card to arrive so that I could fully evaluate this camera (on it's own it only has memory room for 3 shots). Once the card arrived, I had a blast taking family pictures and each one turned out wonderfully.
I would advise anyone looking to purchase this camera to invest in a case for it. Since the entire back of the camera is the LCD touch screen, I can see where it could easily be broken or damaged. You might want to invest in a screen protector also to prevent scratches.
All in all this is a wonderful, little camera and I plan to carry it everywhere with me - for those pictures that scream to be taken.
on December 27, 2012
First of all, I want to say that personally, I'm not a professional photographer and not in search of a DSLR like camera so I can't compare and stuff like that. However, I am still picky and didn't want cameras that have very vivid settings on them like the ones that my friends have, I like it true to color and it is. I am someone who is in search of a nice camera for taking pictures to upload to facebook or send to family and friends via email yet if printed, still sharp and not have that noise that we get when we take pics from our phones. I wanted something that is not outdated and since I'm looking for a point and shoot, I'm expecting this to be fast, in short "a true point and shoot" camera and so far so good, It will all depend on how use the settings though. I've read other reviews saying that the effects are gimmicky but I don't think so. I like it... I like it a lot. By the way, I'm 22 and single so I like to play with picture effects when I'm taking pics with friends or just of me... Haha. I know... So vain. I think that that changes when you are mostly taking pics on a serious note like on a special occasion or with family or landscape (mentioned this because we have an older camera that has 12mp but with 10x zoom and boy... How nice is that feature for taking pics on a Disney Vacation because of parades and crowds so you have to really use that zoom in). Everyone's preference is different. The zoom on this is good enough when not used liked that. For example, the macro feature set and I zoomed it all the way on the nail cutter, it turned out really good. Details of it were evident and sharp. Also, I love using it when taking pics of family and friends, food, Christmas with fam, myself, and high speed shutter is nice when you want to take a pic of something when you're in a moving car. . I let my friend (who owns a DSLR and a professional photographer) use it and play with it. Haha he looked like he was enjoying using it as much as I did and he told me that the quality of pics were pretty good for a very compact camera (it is really tiny, I swear!). Size is not a thing for me, I actually like it like that. Remeber those Sony Ericsson phones that were thin, i loved those before the smartphones came out so yeah thats why... I know some peole had complain how tiny it is, but I find using the stylus that comes with it handy and effective when I don't want to use my fingers. No lag or anything. Lastly but most important! When you put the battery inside the camera, be sure that the caution sign on the battery is facing the touchscreen part of the camera. I say this because I was close to going ballistic when I couldn't get the battery all the way in because I was putting it in the wrong way, I thought it was defective then I realized that later on. Speaking of batteries, it will just last for a day when used often and two days if not so get some extra batteries when you are going to use this on trips. The only thing I didn't like is that the front part is glossy and since it is glossy, it catches fingerprints quick... Next time the should make it matte. Adds class and it will look more sturdy in my opinion. I have the color white so the prints don't really show but when sun reflects on it, you can see it. No big deal but bothers me a little. Anyway, I'm enjoying this camera and loving it.
on June 20, 2012
We like to go hiking and take an occasional photo, but no one wants to carry a camera. This camera solves that problem. It's so tiny and light, you don't feel it in your pocket. The lens cover is great, there's no way to lose it and the camera comes on as soon as you slide it open. The camera focuses very quickly and is easy to use. Several times we had to take shots quickly and this camera performed very well and the resolution of the pictures was enough to blow the pic up enough to fill my computer screen.
The fast shutter speed allowed us to pull the camera out, open it, snap a shot or two and be on our way. As soon as you slide the lens cover back up, the camera is off. It didn't seem to matter if we had a lot of light or not, the pictures were sharp and clear. Even the motion shots came out sharp. Because I'm clumsy, I ended up with some videos that I intended to be pictures. Took me a few days to get used to the camera. However, the video quality was very good.
No software comes with the camera. Which is fine with me, I hate installing a bunch of crap on my computer just so I can use a device. You do get a USB charger - it's not a micro USB unfortunately so don't lose the cable.
We did notice some things, the more we zoomed in, the less resolution we had. If I put the camera very close to something, the picture came out much better. The touch screen is very sensitive, every time I tried to look through the pictures I'd just taken, another menu would pop up over my view. Probably my fault but it's tough to hold the camera and not touch any part of it. Also, sometimes I'd accidently bring up menus while taking pictures. I guess this camera requires a very careful and deliberate touch.
Also, buy a micro SD card when you get this camera.
The camera also has lots of special effects you can use, so it's fun for the kids to play with too. While you obviously don't want to mistreat it, it seems pretty tough. I kept it in my sweaty pocket while I hiked all over the mountains and it still looks and works like I just pulled it out of the box.
In Short: Small. Sturdy. Sharp Pictures. Sweet!