In almost all respects, the T2 is quite the zippy shooter. From power on to first shot takes a hair less than two seconds. Time to focus and snap runs only 0.4 seconds in good light, though that rises to 1.2 seconds in dimmer situations -- pretty good for a snapshot camera, but slower than you really want. The interval between two consecutive shots is a brisk 1.4 seconds, which rises to 2.5 seconds with flash.
In burst mode, it snaps at a clip of about two frames per second. Only the T2's slow-zooming internal lens provides a less-than-satisfying performance experience; it takes about 2.6 seconds to traverse the 3x zoom range. By comparison, the T200 takes 2.8 seconds to cover its 5x zoom range. As always, though, the Super SteadyShot optical image stabilisation works well.
Overall, the T2's photos look pretty good. As with the T200 and T20, they're softer than the previous generation's -- notably the -- and than some of the competition's, due to what looks like more aggressive noise reduction.
Still, they show good exposure and automatic white balance. There's some lens distortion and purple and cyan fringing, but the colours look pleasing and reasonably saturated. Like most snapshot cameras, photos taken at sensitivities beyond ISO 200 look really mushy and by ISO 800 lack detail entirely, so take Sony's claim of ISO 3,200 capability for the T2 with a chunk of salt.
Though it's a perfectly competent little camera, on the basis of features, image quality and performance, there's little reason to opt for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T2 over the less expensive T20 or better-equipped T200. If you find the design a significant attraction, then we suggest you visit one in a local store before making the commitment.
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday