Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX30 Digital Camera Review – Waterproof, Shockproof, Dustproof and Freezeproof

Sony TX30 Camera Featured PictureWe have in our hot little hands for review one of the first Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX30 Digital cameras and DEFINITELY the first orange sample that has reached Canada.

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 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.

Sony TX30 Back OLED

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.


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.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX30 Front ClosedSony Cyper-cam DSC-TX30 Front OpenThe 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.

Camera FrontCamera Back

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.

Bottom Open2


  1. Is the dog upset at having to share his quarters with you?

  2. does this camera come with the gps tracker?

  3. Thanks for the great review Les!
    It’s a great camera (instead of 5m before, 10m underwater abilities now). it will be great if there put wifi in it. nice finishing touch on this camera.
    I think it is the best waterproof camera there is on the market. design (nobody believe it’s waterproof, and you get great reactions if you jump with my camera in the water)
    picture quality (some people think i make pictures with a SLR, very funny to take this thing then out of my pocket:P)

    one disappointing… the touchscreen don’t work under water, it’s logic but with snorkeling you need to stop, let your hand and screen dry for a couple of minutes. and press as a idiot on the screen again in hope he will react!:P

    after all, i think i always will stick to Sony with there waterproof camera! maybe this will be my next.

    A proud owner of a dcs-tx10

  4. How fast does the camera take photos? I’ve been looking into this camera but my old old cybershot was sooo slow to take a photo.

  5. Hi Les,
    Thank you for the great review. Can the TX30 use Memory Stick PRO – HG Duo cards? How does it compare to last years TX20?

    • We didn’t have last years version and the acceptable cards are listed on the site. Perhaps trying Sony might assist. Having said that, this camera has become somewhat of an addiction. It is quick, has just about every feature imaginable except for Wifi, and is VERY simple to figure out. The purchase price was a bit steeper than expected but I can see this camera lasting longer and providing more use than others. Typically, if something is not easy to figure out, full use will never be possible; I don’t think that that situation applies in this instance. Hope this helps!


  6. Hello,
    Can you test whether the touchscreen works underwater? This camera looks very interesting, but still debating between Oly TG-2, Nikon AW110, Panny DMC-TS5 and this one. ;p


  7. Awesome review! My only question is does the bottom latch secure into metal or plastic? The battery door on my DSC-TX5 won’t stay closed any longer because the thin strip of plastic securing it broke. Love the TX5 (as I have loved all my T-series cameras), just want to make sure the TX30 one will last.

    • All metal. Simply push the door shut and the latch clicks into place. There is resistance as the inside rubber ring creates the seal.

      • Looks like Sony learned from their first waterproof camera and reinforced the closure. I will have to pick one up. Thanks for the quick reply.

    • Unless Sigfod means after you open the metal closure, there’s a little blue piece of plastic inside the battery and sd card compartment that latches the battery in place. My TX30 just broke and I’m right at 31 days ownership… it’s used so I’m pretty sure that’s my cutoff to return by a day. Ouch!

    • There’s a little blue piece of plastic inside the battery and sd card compartment that latches the battery in place. My TX30 just broke and I’m right at 31 days ownership… it’s used so I’m pretty sure that’s my cutoff to return by a day. Ouch!

    • Sounds like the cover still latches into plastic making this a major failure point esp. with the pressure it is under from the rubber seal.

  8. TX30 has Shockproof capabilities? will it work if its fell down from 3 feet?

  9. I have bought 2 of these Merrell camera. Love them. Mine stopped working last year while on vacation. I can’t find any in our stores here in Canada. They are discontinued. Only used ones for sale are displayed in Japanese. Do you have any access to any? Is there a replacement coming out soon? Please help.

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