6. Photographic Tests
The camera's white balance settings are the usual as found on most digital cameras: Auto, Day Light, Cloudy, Fluorescent and Incandescent (Tungsten), as well as a Flash setting. There is no option for setting the White Balance manually and this could prove a big disadvantage when trying to shoot in environments with mixed types of lighting.
Auto White Balance performance proved to be quite accurate under normal daylight or cloudy conditions, but couldn't estimate the correct WB setting under Incandescent and Fluorescent light sources, which are the usual choices for interior lighting. The results are disappointing since we've become a little spoilt, relying on the image processor. This is a point-n-shoot camera after all.
|Tungsten Light, Auto White Balance||Fluorescent Light, Incandescent White Balance preset|
The flash performance was disappointing, yet it's not far from the rated range of 0.1 to 1.6 meters, (estimated GN 5) that Sony states. We were disappointed when we tried to photograph a whole person in low-light conditions as the image came out underexposed every time. The close proximity to the lens also wouldn’t allow the red-eye reduction function to work properly. Fill in flash performance is also inadequate in distances above than 1 metre. Below you can see a studio shot taken with the flash, in very low ambient light. Subject distance was a bit less than 1m. As you can see, even with a wide open aperture setting, the built in flash cannot light the whole scene evenly.
|Auto White Balance F3.5 -
1/40 sec ISO 100
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
As with most zoom lenses in this camera class, there is some Barrel distortion at the wide end of the zoom, while it’s not really bothering in most photos, it will strike out when photographing architectural subjects or geometric shapes, especially from relatively close distances. Zooming to the middle of the range helps a lot and no distortion worth mentioning is noticed. At the tele end of the zoom lens, there is an acceptable amount of pincushion.
|Wide end of zoom - 7mm|
|Middle of zoom - 10mm|
|Tele end of zoom - 20mm|
The close-up performance of the DSC-T33 is simply adequate for shooting flowers or pretty details. You won't be able to shoot really close to subjects, so filling the frame with an insect is out of the question.
|Wide zoom end macro|
Purple fingering is controlled very well and is suppressed around the corners of the image. Its presence is really difficult to notice, unless you are specifically searching the image in 100% or bigger pixel magnifications. Impressive performance from the tiny Zeiss lens.
|ISO 100, F5.6, 1/160 sec - Wide end - 7mm|
Long Exposure Performance
The camera has a stated longest exposure duration of 1 sec, while we noticed 2 second exposures on more than one occasion. The camera does a fair job controlling noise, at least in low ISO settings, but surely this camera wasn't meant for the night-landscape enthusiast. The quality is more than adequate for small sized prints or web use and easily meets our expectations for this camera's class. If only you didn't have to carry the Cyber-Shot station for tripod mounting. You can find more night shots in the Sample Gallery, including 2 sec exposures and ISO 200 samples.
|ISO 100, F3.5, 1 sec - 7mm|