Shooting the Rapids with Sony's Cyber-shot TX5
Sometimes great ideas don't always pan out. This post is one of them. What I proposed to management was testing Sony's new waterproof and shockproof digicam- the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 - while shooting the rapids of the Colorado River. And would you believe it... they shot me down. Trooper that I am, I dusted off my pride and set out for the alternative wilds of Hackelbarny State Park, where I proceeded to put Sony's latest honey through its paces.
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 is Sony's 1st advanced technology digicam that you can dunk down to 10' (3 m) of water, drop from falls up to 5.5', and shoot within a temperature range of -14 to 104-degrees F. Available in black, pink, red, green, and silver, the Cyber-shot TX5 truly crams an awful lot of useful imaging technologies into a tough-yet-slim (23/32" / 17.7mm) package that fits easily into your pocket. (Did we mention the TX5 is also dust and lint-proof?) But like they say in show biz, a svelte, tough body will get you only so far, and here too the Cyber-shot passed the audition with flying colors.
Like Sony's non-dunkable and less bashable Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V and DSC-TX7 (Two New Sony Cyber-shots) the TX5 features a10.2Mp back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS imaging sensor, which with the assistance of the camera's BIONZ image processor, can bang out up to 10 full-res images-per-second. As for optics, the TX5 sports a 4x, 25-100mm equivalent Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens that focuses down to a scant 0.39" (1cm) from the front lens element.
A particularly neat feature found in the Sony TX5 is its 3" Wide Clear Photo touch screen LCD that aside from its usual duties allows you to focus on your subject by simply tapping the screen, which is fun to diddle with even when you're not taking pictures.
For going beyond the parameters of 'normal' imaging, the TX5 features an Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode, that allows you to capture panoramic images with fields-of-view up to 258°. For low-light shooting, you have a choice of Hand-held Twilight or an Anti Motion Blur mode, which allow you to capture sharp, near-noiseless images without need of a flash under the lowest of lighting conditions. If you're so inclined, you also have the option of bumping the ISO up to a high of 3200.
Another image-enhancing tool found in the Sony TX5 is a Dynamic Range Optimizer, which in concert with the TX5's back-illuminated Exmor CMOS sensor is able to retain greater shadow and highlight details. In addition to 4 compression sizes of JPEG stills, the TX5 also captures 720p video; and there's an HDMI port on the camera if you get a hankering to watch your stills and videos on your home TV.
And in case you're wondering how i captured the above images, all I did was set the camera to High-Speed Continious mode (10 fps) and in one quick swoop dunked the camera under the falls and yanked it back out. It was so easy and the results are so cool. (And you can click on the pix if you want to see them larger)
And if anybody actually gets to shoot the rapids of the Colorado River with the a Sony Cyber-shot TX5, please drop me a line and let me know how you made out.