Sony has updated their rugged, waterproof point-and-shoot camera line with the new TX30, which they say is the slimmest and lightest rugged camera available now. Waterproofing on the TX30 has been doubled, increasing the depth rating from 16 feet to 33 feet and putting it in line with the rest of the top-end rugged point-and-shoot cameras on the market. The Sony Cybershot TX30 gets a new 18.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor (a two megapixel increase compared to the TX20) and sensitivity has been increased two stops, from ISO 3200 to ISO 12,800. The zoom range has been increased with a new 5x 26-130mm f/3.5-4.8 Carl Zeiss lens and there’s a new “Magnifying Glass Plus mode” with a soft LED light around the lens and 15x magnification for close-up photos of flowers, bugs, etc. The TX30 also gets a new 3.3-inch OLED touchscreen display – a big improvement over the previous 3-inch LCD touchscreen.
Sony Cybershot TX30 Key Features And Specs:
- 18.2-megapixel 1/2.3-inch Exmor R CMOS sensor
- 5x 26-130mm f/3.5-4.8 Carl Zeiss optical zoom lens
- 1920 x 1080 60i full HD AVCHD video with stereo sound
- Record videos and still photos at the same time
- 3.3-inch 1.3-million-dot OLED touchscreen display
- 10 FPS full-resolution high-speed burst
- Picture Effect in-camera filters for photos and videos
- New Magnifying Glass Plus mode with LED light around lens
- Sensitivity: ISO 100 to 12,800
- Waterproof to 33 feet / 10m
- Shockproof from 5 feet / 1.5m
- Freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit / -10 C
- Uses Sony Memory Stick Micro / microSD Memory Cards
I’ve liked Sony’s TX waterproof camera design since it was first introduced with the TX5. It’s really compact and the clamshell on/off cover and touchscreen work great. Earlier Sony TX rugged cameras had solid image quality and great video as well as the fastest burst rate on the market but their rugged specs weren’t the most competitive. The TX30’s increased waterproofing will make it appeal to people who spend more time in the water and I expect the new sensor is much better than the previous one, even though it’s only a 2-megapixel resolution increase. Increasing pixel count is overrated, anyway. Sensitivity is the spec to look at and the TX30’s two stop max ISO increase is a good indicator that the image quality has been significantly improved.
The Sony Cybershot TX30 is scheduled to be in stores later this month (March, 2013). It will be available in blue, orange, pink and black and sell for about $US 350.