on April 12, 2011
If you want to read the opinion of a professional photographer, read on...
IMPORTANT UPDATE: The TX10 is NOT Compatible with Sony Marine Pack Enclosures or any other enclosures.
1) The TX10 shines in low-light still photography, it eliminates most of the noise even at ISO 800.
2) The small form factor means you can easily hide the camera from "predators."
3) It is water "resistant' but not truly waterproof aka. you shouldn't go scuba diving with it.
4) It's High Definition 1080p video is pretty good compared to other digital cameras in this price range.
5) Zooming while videotaping is possible. Most consumer digital cameras can't zoom while in video mode.
6) Surprisingly good wide-angle (you don't need a wide-angle adapter)
7) The panorama mode is cute and effective but not very high quality (noise is introduced due to panorama cropping).
8) Excellent flash coverage.
9) Choice of MPEG or AVCHD recording. MPEG is the best choice for compatibility and editing but it takes more space in your memory card. AVCHD is a pain to edit compared to MPEG.
1) Compared to my old Canon HV20 the TX10 is simply unable to stabilize the image. Not a deal breaker but you may want to bring a tripod with you at all times.
2) Battery life is dismal, I cannot get more than 80 minutes of continued video shooting from a fully charged Sony battery. I understand third party batteries fair worse (if they work at all). This is a particularly poignant issue if you are near water since you cannot open the camera to change the battery then.
3) The TX10 can charge the battery "in-camera", it does not come with the standard battery charger, instead Sony has included a USB cable and a USB adapter. This is a terrible problem for travel photographers since the battery life is short but it takes several hours to recharge the a battery inside the camera, obviously, while it is charging, you are unable to take photos or videos. This also means you cannot charge your "spare battery" at the same time. In order to solve the problem, you would have to buy extra batteries and an external battery charger, so now you have to carry two chargers. This could have been easily avoided if Sony had included their regular battery charger as they do with older models.
4) All the 3D shooting modes are useless gimmicks, ignore them. They just take precious space in your memory card and you can't view 3D without special equipment.
5) A Mini HDMI to HDMI cable was not included, it could cost you up to $30 to buy a Sony cable. Just get a cheap one for a couple of bucks, don't buy the Sony one, HDMI cables are all compatible.
6) The interactive touch sensitive menu can only be described as a complex labyrinth, extremely awkward to navigate. If Sony was aiming for a friendly interface, they failed miserably.
7) The LCD touch screen is hyper-sensitive and the tiny icons are way to close to each other, the end result it that you rarely press the icon you were aiming for, by the time you solve the mess you created accidentally, your subject has fled the scene. You can help this by "hiding" the icons but then, well, that also requires extra time. Results in an above average learning curve.
8) This camera is extremely slow sometimes, mostly because the 1080p video and the larger 16.2MP pictures require more processing time. Not an ideal camera for action photos.
9) If you like manual exposure controls, forget it, this camera will make you crazy mad. It is automated, albeit it has a nice white balance mode. On the other hand, the auto presets do a better job than a human would in many cases.
10) In video mode, the color saturation is lacking and the video is overexposed 1/2 stop, this creates a somewhat washed out bluish appearance. I suspect they rushed this camera to the market and it just needs a firmware update to fix this. On the other hand, the still photo color balance and exposure is much more pleasant. Sadly the camera "forgets" your manual exposure adjustments when you turn it off.
11) The digital zoom is surprisingly the worse of its kind, quite useless, but I never use it anyway.
12) Attention Divers: The Sony "Marine Pack" enclosure is incompatible with the DSC-TX10.
13) For amateur divers: TX10 is NOT truly waterproof no matter what Sony may want you to believe. The camera is only "water-resistant" at best. It is possible to open the battery latch underwater by accident (there is no secondary locking mechanism like Panasonic's) and the seals are not strong enough anyway. Remember, all it takes is one tiny drop of water to fog your camera lens from the inside.
I have yet to see an "waterproof" consumer camera that can last more than a few hours underwater without a case. The internet is full of horror stories regarding this issue. There is no need to gamble with your investment. However, I highly recommend the TX10 for use in the rain or the snow. Maybe even kayaking.
Overall, I like this camera, it takes superb photos, not as good as a Nikon SRL but the color balance is pretty decent for the price but if you don't need a water "resistant" camera then get the recently released Sony HX7V, it takes better pictures and it is less expensive.
By the way: I returned the TX10. The issues mentioned above became too much of a nuisance.
on August 9, 2011
Sony's warranty is no good. I bought this camera for my vacation and used it in a pool. The camera leaked and stopped working. When I sent it to Sony they told me that they found corosion and the warranty was void. I told them that it was warranted to be waterproof and if the seals failed it should be covered. They just kept repeating their words and refused to honor their warranty. I will not purch from Sony again. Very disapointed in Sony.
on May 31, 2011
UPDATED AS OF 5/31/2011: Kept the camera after I thought about returning it and I'm glad I kept it. Updated rating from 3 stars to 4 stars
I'm an underwater and rugged camera junkie so when I heard about this new camera I had very high expectations. I have owned 2 other Panasonic TS1 waterproof cameras and loved those (other than my last one leaked and destroyed the camera. Thank goodness for Squaretrade)I'm not a Sony 'fanboy' and never have been but have had a few good experiences in the past with quality of build and ease of use with their products so I thought i would part ways with Panasonic and try out the TX10. On paper... this camera seemed like it was the PERFECT underwater/outdoor camera. I loved the fact that you could slip it in your pocket and take it anywhere due to its size and it looks right at home even in a fancy restaurant. I spent a week snorkeling, hiking, and adventuring in Kauai so that served as my first chance to do an in depth review for what this camera was made for: the outdoors... and I wasn't too impressed with real-world usage. The photos and videos were great for such a small point and shoot but the practicality was lacking on multiple fronts to make this the "PERFECT" outdoor camera. However, there are a lot of things I truly appreciate about this little camera. In classic Pro/Con style, here are my overall thoughts and feelings on the Sony TX10.
-Small and compact. Sexy. Take it anywhere. Looks right at home on the beach or in a fancy restaurant.
-Touch screen is "cool". I would love this screen on non-waterproof casual camera... BUT... its also a con, see below
-Cool, useless features like smile detection (takes the picture automatically when you smile) and 3D... haven't used 3D. Like I said, Fun, but useless.
-Slide cover to protect lens when closed... BUT again, also a con. See below
-Screen display resolution is awesome
-Takes 1080i videos at 60 frames per second vs 30 frames per second that most point and shoots utilize. This provides "lifelike" motion. I love it and it looks great on my 55" TV
-Great wide angle lens 25mm
-Picture and Photo quality were great... however video seemed to struggle at times to focus correctly.
-I really like the sweep panorama mode. Very cool pictures and they seem well done and rather seamless. You can take "High Res" panoramas that are up to 43 Megapixels! (UPDATE: This has become
-The waterproofing seemed pretty solid. I never found any drops of water in the housing or fog in the lens.
-Due to the fact that the video is 1080i (interlacing), videos tend to have lines when played back in media players such as VLC on Mac and PC.(UPDATE: It is the Media Player's fault - I stuck the SD card in my Panasonic Blu-Ray player that can play AVCHD off of SD Cards and the 1080 60i videos taken by the camera look amazing.)
-This was a big one. The startup to photo time is so SLOW (5-7 seconds) and taking a video is 5 seconds on top of that. By time you press record to take movies it takes at least 5-7 seconds to start taking the movie. So annoying. This is incredibly slow compared to the Panasonic TS1s I owned. (UPDATE: Still annoying.)
-This is speculation here but The small and sleek form factor seems like if I dropped it it would get scuffed up really bad or might break. Doesn't seem rugged at all. (UPDATE: The black model of this camera will show nicks pretty easily... seems like it only has a very thin back coatings on it.)
-The screen was easily scratched by keys or other things in pocket (screen protector!)
-The touch screen is accurate about 80% of the time. Its finicky and sometimes inaccurate. Some things need to be tapped 2-3 times to register. It cannot be used while underwater if you want to change settings. Huge CON. Tactile buttons are key if you are going to be using a camera underwater or in the snow with gloves on.
-The shutter button is way too sensitive for me. if you accidentally even graze it it will take you out of viewing mode... The full shutter release is most camera's sensitivity for a half-press to focus.
-I don't know if it was the unit I had or not but the white background noise in those videos is pretty bad. I tried it in multiple settings, completely dry and it was always there. You can't really tell on the playback on the camera itself but once played in any media player, it's overwhelming. If i get an exchange unit, I will update this to see whether or not it was a bad mic. (UPDATE: It was a bad mic. I got a new unit and the audio is fine on it)
-The slide cover is kind of inconvenient to get down. The front is so smooth and the edges so thin, its sometimes a little clumsy to get it down, also, some dirt got caught between the slide and the front of the camera and it made some fine scratches when opening and closing the camera.)
-I'm worried that sand or dirt are going to get lodged in the hinges of the slide cover and jam it or make it grind. I've heard its usually not a problem, but stil... (UPDATE: dirt and sand got in the hinges and you could hear it grind while it was in there. After I got back from my trip to Southern Utah a quick freshwater rinse in the sink seemed to bring it back to normal)
-The slide cover holds water after the camera is dry...
-Battery life is not very good at all and I don't like that you have to plug it in to charge it rather than having its separate charger. I like to have 2 batteries and charge one while I take the other to use. (UPDATE: I bought the SONY battery charger for this and the aftermarket generic battery from eForcity here on Amazon. The aftermarket battery actually has a better life than the Sony battery. Sony battery: 630mah, aftermarket: 900mah. I would recommend it)
So there you have it. I love the form factor, but for a rugged outdoor camera I would prefer a more solid build like the Panasonic TS3. Great form factor for everyday around the town use. The biggest concerns I have that will probably lead to me returning the camera are the touch screen and non-rugged build. The videos and pictures are amazing so when it comes down to it, that is what matters most. If you want a waterproof camera to protect from a spill or just a fun day at the pool then this might be the one for you. If you are going to use this camera on the snow, on the beach, snorkeling, hiking, climbing etc... just be careful with it or I would probably look more into a more rugged camera like the Panasonic TS3 or Olympus TG Tough Series. They all take great pictures and videos in my opinion. Would I recommend this camera? Yes.
on August 24, 2011
This camera is not waterproof! Sony will not cover camera for water damage, even within the warranty timetable. It is an underdesigned camera for the advertised features. To make my experience worse, dealing with the Sony Repair Center in Laredo, TX. I will not buy another Sony camera based on my warranty experience. Read all the 1 star reviews on this camera. They are true.
on August 20, 2011
First, some background on what I was looking for: I'm a casual photographer. I wanted a waterproof camera which would produce high-quality photos in all settings (indoor, outdoor, and underwater. My intention was to completely replace my 7.2MP Sony DSC-W7, which I LOVE. I wanted to add the underwater feature without compromising on other features. I did not want to spend more than about $400 for everything (camera, two 8GB memory cards (Class 10), two extra batteries with charger, and float strap. This left me with about $340 max to spend on the camera itself. I do NOT know a lot about photography. Terms like "ISO" and "white balance" are foreign to me. I like to use pre-programmed scene modes and auto features. I enjoy digital scrapbooking and I frequently zoom and crop. It takes a very high quality photo to crop out/enlarge a small figure without too much distortion.
I began my search online and spent about 6 hours researching the cameras in my price range. The cameras I focused on most were the Canon D10, Sony TX10, Panasonic TS3 (sometimes referred to as FT3), Olympus TG-810, Olympus Tough 8010, Fujifilm XP30, and Pentax WG-1.
I eliminated most of these options rather quickly based on their reviews, overall ratings, and the quality of photos that I reviewed. I narrowed my focus to the Canon D10, the Sony TX10, and the Panasonic TS3.
I wanted to love the Canon D10, since it seems to be the overwhelming fan favorite, but I ultimately decided that it wasn't going to be a good fit for me. The price of the D10 is similar to the Sony and the Panasonic, but it's a 2.5 year old model which doesn't have HD video. The photo quality seemed about equivalent to the other two, so I decided to only focus on the two models with HD video.
I would have been completely sold on the Sony, since I've used only Sony cameras most of my adult life and I've never been disappointed in one; however, there were some notable deficiencies which most reviewers found with this model (detailed below), so I was a bit hesitant to take the plunge. The Sony was also priced near the top of my budget ($329), whereas the Panasonic was only $275 at Amazon.com. The Panasonic reviews seemed to all be very positive, with the only significantly commonly-noted problem being lower quality indoor photos. However, all of the indoor, outdoor, and underwater photos that I reviewed online looked very good.
I decided to take a chance on the Panasonic TS3 and I really, really, wanted to fall in love with it. I ordered it from Amazon and they delivered it the next day. I wasn't blown away by this camera. The outdoor photos were good. The video was very good. The underwater photos (taken in my large fish tank) were very good. The indoor photos were POOR. I decided to order the Sony TX10, hoping that I'd see better results. I ordered it from Amazon at 9pm that night and it was delivered at 1:00pm the next day (gotta love Amazon!). The photo quality of the Sony camera is outstanding. I'll be keeping the Sony TX10!!! For some people, however, the Panasonic might be the better choice.
First, I'll provide my overall recommendations, then I'll add in all of the detail:
BUY THE SONY TX10 IF:
You value the quality of the photos/video above all else.
You like touch screen devices.
You don't plan to dive lower than 16 feet.
You don't care if you can't adjust your settings (other than zoom) underwater.
You want a VERY small camera.
You always use a wrist strap.
BUY THE PANASONIC TS3 IF:
You can live with grainy indoor photos.
You don't typically enlarge your photos to 100% (because they will be distorted).
You want a camera with GPS.
You plan to dive deeper than 16 feet.
You want a larger (but not too big) camera.
You're looking for a less expensive option.
NOW FOR MY DETAILED COMMENTS ON BOTH MODELS:
PRICE - The Sony is +/- $50 more expensive than the Panasonic.
SIZE - The Sony is significantly smaller and lighter than the Panasonic. I don't think one is better than the other, per se. It's a matter of personal preference. The Sony will fit in most pockets. The Panasonic probably wouldn't.
RUGGEDNESS - Both cameras are rated very well in this area. I haven't "tested" them, but it seems like the Panasonic is built a bit tougher and would be less likely to get destroyed in a fall. Rather than test this feature, I'm going to just trust the experts that either one will hold up well if dropped.
UPDATE: I also posted this review on another site and I recently added photos to it. Seeing is believing! [...]
on September 6, 2011
I purchased this camera in April of 2011 shortly after it was released by Sony. I did not really get to use it until more than a month later on a trip where it was mainly used as an underwater camera. I closely followed all of the manufacturers instructions on keeping it clean and watertight. The cameral was never in more than 3 feet deep. The camera failed miserably. Many of the pics came out with millions of white spots and no focus. There was water leakage in the lense. The panoramic shots came out with lines and uneven connections between the photos, the camera changed to the lowest resolution each time the video function was used without my doing anything. The resolution changed so often, that I did not notice. Often, landscape shots came out with undersaturated colors. We coincidentally spent a fair amount of time with another couple we met who had just purchased the same camera. They had none of the problems we had. The BIGGEST problem was that when I tried to replace it, it was beyond Amazon's 30 day return policy and they would not replace it. So I emailed and called Sony repeatedly and was directed to their Laredo, Texas "customer satisfaction" center. What a joke! I have never spoken to more uneducated and unfamiliar with the product techs in my life. I ended up mailing the camera back to them at my own expense and after a few weeks, was advised that there was nothing wrong with my camera and it was sent back unrepaired, with no instructions or invoice showing what had or had not been done. I continued to call and email them, and another tech asked me to send him photo samples which I did. He agreed that there was a problem after looking at the photos and said that their "high-level" techs were going to look at it and get back to me. Then I never heard from them again. I called and emailed them several times, tried to speak to a supervisor who never called back, and no resolution to my camera issues. Moreover, they scratched the glass touchscreen, and the lense still leaks. Other parts of the camera did not leak, only the lense, for which there was nothing I could do to prevent other than not use the camera in water. This has been a most frustrating experience. Never mind the lost pics in a part of the world I may never get to see again. SONY is Full of Baloney
on October 20, 2011
I see all the negative reviews for the camera leaking. I have one for the supposed shock proof warranty. I am a caver and this camera has been great for 5 months. I take it in my cave sack take photos go home clean it and it has always worked well (other than the dust spots from the flash). Anyway, last time i went i tossed my cave pack about 4 feet down below me. Later when i got the camera out the liquid crystals behind the glass had ruptured. Something in the bag must have hit the screen on the back of the phone. I thought "well good thing it has a shock proof warranty". So i sent it to Sony and they said the damage wasn't covered. I asked what made the damage not covered. All they would say is we examined it and it is of the type of damage not covered. I asked whats the difference between this shock damage and the kind that is covered. They said "the camera was damaged in a way that is not covered". We went in circles, me trying to find out why and them telling me it was examined and judged that it will not be covered, but they never told me why my damage was not covered, but some other shock damage is covered. I asked to speak to managers and all just answered with the same script. I asked how much to repair and was told it would be more than the camera is worth so i would have to buy a new one. That is the last Sony product i will ever buy (and i buy a lot). Worst part is the camera doesn't even have a view finder. So even though the guts of the camera work, i can't see anything to take a photo. Panasonic here i come.
on October 30, 2011
This camera is NOT waterproof as advertised and the Sony warranty is not covering water damage...which might tell something about their trust in their own product.
I bought this camera especially before a trip to HI. My wife wanted to have a small camera since she dislikes my bulky DSLR and lenses. Since we also planned to do some snorkeling, the TX10 sounded too good to be true.
I don't feel comfortable taking electronic equipment into the water and therefore I followed carefully all the instructions for underwater operation.
I made some pictures in the hotel fish pool and it seemed to work fine. However, after our first snorkeling trip (we are not expert snorkelers and just stayed on the surface for not more than 30min) the camera showed some corrosion in the battery and USB compartment, followed by complete failure the next day!
Since the warranty does not cover water-damage and in any case Sony tells you that you are too dump and did not closed the battery compartment before jumping into the water (!?), this camera is now a piece of expensive trash.
I am highly disappointed by this product and Sony's policy. The customer is paying quite a lot of money extra for the waterproof capability and expects the camera to be waterproof. Otherwise, what would be the point?
At least I would have expected that Sony has the honesty to stand behind their product and a vision based on customer satisfaction.
After this experience, I am done with Sony.
on April 6, 2011
I own the TX9 which has been stellar thus far (with the exception of the flash failing and needing replacement from Sony) with excellent video quality and very good photo quality. My review of the TX10 is based on my experience with the TX9.
Rather than getting deep into a wordy review of this camera I will give good/bad qualities:
- Water proofing to 15 feet is a really handy feature. This camera handled pool water like a champ with no issues of water infiltration anywhere.
- Sharp video with beautiful color saturation. Compared to the TX9, the TX10 has slightly better video quality.
- Quick functioning zoom, especially during video recording and compared to the TX9.
- Menu layout is a bit more intuitive compared to the TX9.
- Camera body is smaller compared to TX9.
- Fish-eye effect seems to be less compared to the TX9 at wide angles. (but it's still there)
- Steady shot seems more aggressive compared to TX9 which makes video more enjoyable to watch.
- Ability to snap photos while taking video.
- Slightly improved low light performance especially in video.
- Audio seems muffled compared to TX9. I believe this is due to the water proof material that encapsulates the microphones, but there is a noticeable degradation compared to the TX9.
- Terribly slow start-up, especially taking video. Time from turning the camera on to taking a photo is, on average, 6 seconds. Time from turning the camera on to taking video can take as long as 9 seconds.
- Superior auto mode and intelligent auto mode has lackluster performance compared to the TX9.
- Zoomed video is less sharp compared to the TX9.
- Because of the smaller form factor, I find myself catching my fingers in photos and video more often compared to the TX9.
- On the TX9, you can be in photo mode and have the option to immediately take video at the push of a button on the touch screen. On the TX10, there is a video record button on the top of the camera, but when you push it in, it takes about 5 1/2 seconds before video recording starts. On the TX9, it is immediate.
- Don't notice a real difference in picture quality with the 16.2 Megapixels.
- Eats batteries compared to the TX9. Not sure why, but I only got 25 minutes of video from a full battery where I get 40 minutes on the TX9.
- Does not come with a plug in charger like the TX9, but rather a USB cable that plugs into the phone to charge the battery.
- Smaller LCD compared to the TX9, with what I perceive to be lower resolution quality which makes it somewhat difficult to determine if a photo is properly focused.
- Auto focus is not as quick during video compared to the TX9, sometimes resulting in fuzzy video especially in low light.
- Menu uses swipe technology similar to iphone and Ipod touch. However, it is not nearly as responsive and often results in selecting items you did not mean to select.
Overall, I like the camera, but I think that unless you will use the waterproof ability on a regular basis I think the TX9 is a better buy. They are very close in image quality with the TX10 slightly edging out the TX9 in video quality. The smaller form factor may be an issue for those with larger hands. My original intention was to keep this camera and sell the TX9 on ebay, but I actually think I'll return the TX10 and wait for the next generation.
on September 16, 2011
I took this camera to AUSTRALIA and the camera broke after 4 days into my trip! It is NOT waterproof! NOT WATERPROOF! I had a camera professional look at the camera and water got into the camera through a seal. Sony explained it is not covered under warranty. I bought this camera on August 21 started using the camera on the 1st and the 4th broken. Too expensive since it was double to replace. SONY ruined my vacation and I could not get another camera. I DO NOT recommend this camera. DO NOT BUY! Look all over the internet, you will see lots of reviews about water getting into the camera!