Sony Cybershot DSC-TX30 Review: Beautiful But Underperforming

sony cybershot dsc tx30 picture

Sony's Cybershot DSC-TX30 features unmatched looks in a surprisingly rugged package. However, even this apple has a few worms.

The Good

  • Beautiful body that can be taken practically anywhere
  • Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and freezeproof
  • Dual Record function allows you to capture video and still images simultaneously
  • High resolution 18 megapixel sensor

The Bad

  • Touch screen can’t be used underwater
  • LCD screen is difficult to see in bright environments
  • No built-in Wi-Fi or GPS
  • Images contain a lot of noise and appear smudged at low ISOs

The Verdict

The TX30 is a beautiful, sophisticated camera with little else going for it. Its looks and its versatility are underscored by its performance, which, to put it mildly, is less than ideal.


Tech Specs

Image Quality

18 MP, max 1080p @ 60fps

Audio Quality

Average

Battery Life

125 minutes (approx)

Wifi and Bluetooth

Not enabled

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Design and Hardware

The TX30 has a sleek, modern, metal body that puts other cameras to shame. It has a massive 3.3" touchscreen OLED display that takes up the entire back of the camera. Shutter and zoom buttons reside along the top. The camera is fully waterproof up to 10 meters, although the touchscreen doesn't work underwater. This airtight design also makes it dustproof, shockproof up to 1.5 meters, and freezeproof to -10 °C.


Image and Video Quality

The TX30 has a plethora of image features and modes, from scene effects to blink detection and optical image stabilization. You can record 1080p video at 60fps, though the camera doesn't feature higher frame rates for lower resolutions. The TX30 has a built-in flash, though as we'll discuss later this doesn't have nearly as much of an impact in low-light conditions as you would think. The lens features optical zoom and automatic focus.

In terms of sheer megapixels, the TX30 blows other cameras out of the water. The 18 megapixel sensor just goes to show how much power Sony packs into its cameras. But resolution isn't everything, and frankly the quality of the TX30's images are pretty poor. Photos are noisy, oversaturated, and difficult to see in low-light. The TX30 tends to add too much sharpness to images and suffers from lens flare.

The TX30 can take burst photos up to 10fps, though there's a pause as the camera records the images to the SD card. Sony's included several picture modes that work well and are, admittedly, fun to use. Videos are good enough, though it seems this camera was designed for still images more than moving images.

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Battery Life and Performance

Battery life isn't the worst we've seen, but it's still very poor. A full charge gives you just over 2 hours of filming time. You'll need to carry a few spares with you to get the most film time out of this camera. The TX30 comes with little out of the box, although it does include a wrist strap.


Conclusion

Unfortunately, the TX30 is a prime example of a gorgeous package with no substance. While the exterior looks pretty, the interior is plagued by poor image quality and a sub-par battery. There's a lot that the TX30 does, but little that it does particularly well.

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