New digital cameras from Sony, backed by vast quantities of print and video advertising, always attract a lot of attention in the marketplace. With that in mind, I put one of the company's latest point-and-shoot snappers, the Cyber-shot DSC-T100, to the test. Town and out Playing tourist, I slip the ultra-compact T100 inside my pocket and walk around town, taking lots of photos using the automatic mode. On reviewing my pictures at home, I find the camera has worked best for static shots, in which I have taken my time composing the image and letting Sony's electronics work their magic. The shots are sharp with accurate colours. Back to the features This 8.1-megapixel camera comes packed with features, including a Carl Zeiss 5X optical zoom lens, a 3-inch screen, a 31-megabyte internal memory, a slide-show function and Sony's new face-detection system, which is capable of focusing on up to eight faces in one frame. It is one of the first compact cameras from Sony to feature the proprietary Bionz processing engine, used to produce colour-rich, detailed pictures fit for viewing on a high-definition television. Sony also included its Super Steady Shot optical-image-stabilisation system, which counters camera shake so you can easily shoot with longer exposure times. All of that in a camera that measures 91.8mm x 59.2mm x 22.3mm and weighs 141 grams, excluding battery. Available in silver, black and red, the T100 uses Sony's Memory Stick PRO Duo and Memory Stick Duo. Trial and error Still, pictures taken under more challenging circumstances - such as low-light conditions - require some tinkering with the settings to get the best results. That requires learning Sony's new menu system, finally updated after many years. Lazy people like me need a single setting that will work well in a variety of situations. Also, the T100's new control layout is a bit confusing, with the addition of a 'Home' button as well as the standard 'Menu' button. But, quibbles aside, Sony has come a long way since its first ultra-compact - the DSC-T1 - was released about three years ago. Image quality has greatly improved. The T100, which costs HK$3,290, is a camera I'll enjoy using for a long time, or at least until the next offering comes along.