The TX-30 is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and even freeze proof, garnishing it’s recognition as being the world’s slimmest waterproof camera.
For it to pass our stringent examination however, the TX30 must be ‘Karen-Proof’ in withstanding elements greater than these small few.
If you have been married for as long as I have, there are a few things that you learn over the years. For instance, if I look back at my wife’s history with electronics, I can relate with a fairly precise degree of accuracy that she and electronics just don’t mix. That hasn’t stopped her love of having the very latest though, with any number of smart phones that she happily paraded just after release, really ever knowing only how to make and receive calls. Our universal TV remote; let’s not even go there.
Karen and cameras have a special place in my heart as she has been through dozens. They have been misplaced, stolen, dropped and one even perished as we got caught in a tornado while on a motorcycle trip down south a few years back. On the back of a motorcycle with rain hitting you so hard your skin welts instantly is not a good time for that perfect shot. And then there was MacDonalds…. Karen was thoughtful enough to even store a brand new camera in a MacDonalds food bag on the way home from West Virginia one year. We know where that went as I cleaned things a bit at the next gas stop. Simply, if a camera wants to survive in Karen’s world, it must be special.
THE SONY DSC-TX30 CYBER-SHOT CAMERA
The Sony DSC-TX30 Cyber-shot camera is a new release (Mar 2013) and is the world’s smallest waterproof camera with a size of 3.8” high x 2.3” wide by 0.6” deep and weight of 4.9 oz. It has a very solid feel and is available in black, blue, pink and orange, although only black and blue are available in Canada. The TX30 has a 18.2 megapixel 1/ 2.3 Exmor CMOS sensor and Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 5x optical lens (26-130mm) that can be stretched 10x further digitally in ‘Magnifying Glass Mode’. It can also attain 10FPS full burst shooting. It is capable of full 1080i HD video and has Sony’s own ‘Steady Shot’ image stabilization for both optical and digital use.
Clicking on any of our images diplays a higher resolution picture.
On the back, we find a 3.3” touchscreen OLED display which allows access to a menu that is one of the most user friendly on a camera yet. The TX30 has 360Deg full sweep panorama, LED lights for focus in low light and macro shots, and close ups are a dream as the TX30 can take accurate pictures from as close as 1cm away. Its battery is very compact allowing for an optimal image total of about 250 pictures or ½ hour of HD video with a 2GB SD card. Pricing for the Sony DSC-TX30 Cyber-shot was $349 at Amazon at the time of this report.
BUT IS IT KAREN-PROOF
Unlike most cameras today, the new TX30 can go camping, canoeing, cycling, rock climbing sailing, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, snorkeling, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and yes we believe it can even survive an unexpected tornado on the motorcycle. It will definitely not survive storage in a MacDonalds bag on vacation and, as of yet, it is not theft proof but this could logically become an option in the future with Wifi capabilities.
The TX30 is waterproof to 10m/33ft, shock proof from as high as 1.5m/5ft, dustproof and even freeze proof to -10C/14F. Sony even recommends the cleaning of the TX30 by submerging it in clean water for five minutes after use. In retrospect, this is the media professionals ‘get away’ camera, while retaining the simplicity that amateur photographers need.
A characteristic that the potential buyer may not realize from marketing images is how the camera takes pictures from a front that bears no lens. I never. Rest assured that the orange rectangular cover, bearing the Sony name, smoothly slides down for shots and back up for lens protection, this being a very attractive characteristic of the TX30. Once opened, the lens, flash and multi-purpose illuminator become visible.
The top contains a power button, shutter button, zoom lever and movie button located just behind the shutter button that makes creating a quick video very easy. There is also a microphone and speaker on top which is rather unique, considering that the TX30 is waterproof. The bottom of the TX30 is a completely different animal and its best not to jump in and try to whip open the base cover without learning a bit first.
To open the camera, simply use your nail and pull the black latch away from the tripod receptacle. This latch is spring loaded so when later closing the base cover, pressing the base shut carefully will suffice. Once open, pay close attention to the sealing gasket inside the latch. If you damage this, your camera is no longer waterproof and it’s only a matter of time before you realize this. We are emphasizing this feature as, unlike all other cameras, the micro USB and micro HDMI jack are located inside the unit, necessitating its opening for charging, media transfer and HDMI connection. Also located inside are the battery which can be ejected through use of a battery eject lever, as well as access for microSD and memory Stick Micro (M2) cards, again spring loaded mandating only a press on the card for removal.