on February 27, 2014
I purchased this camera after being sold on the durability aspect--"tough yet stylish," "Certified shockproof, dustproof, waterproof" etc knowing that it carried a year warrenty and cost $260 convinced me it was a high quality point and shoot product. It worked just fine (thought the .modd files were annoying), nothing spectacular.
A few months after I had the camera, I attempted to take the battery out to charge it and the small blue piece popped off. I contacted Sony regarding the repair and they directed me to send it in (had to pay for shipping) which I did as instructed. A few days later I received an email stating that the camera sustained physical damage not covered by the warrenty and that it would not be economical to replace it. I spoke with them explaining that it was simply during routine use of removal of the battery (I never challenged any of the durability claims) and they said they would not cover it. I asked what sort of thing the warrenty covered and they said, "if something is wrong with the camera we will fix it." .... ????....
I asked to speak with someone in customer relations who was no further help and became agitated and eventually appeald to the National Relations center and spoke with Frank (apparently the head of national relations) who stated that even though he admitted he would be upset if the same thing happened to him, they were still refusing to repair my camera or send me one that worked (they did offer to send me a comparable one for $200...???) stating that the physical damage voided the warrenty. I was accused of abusing or forcefully trying to remove it (I'm not even sure how one "forcefully" removes a battery, you pretty much just slide the blue piece open and it pops out...unless the blue piece snaps off when you try...)
So I'm out $260 for trying to remove the battery.
The camera itself works just fine, but Sony's Customer Relations is extremely poor and unprofessional. They obviously care very little about their reputation (and warrenty is completely meaningless) and I will not purchase products from them in the future.
on March 24, 2014
But I am not sure what some people are complaining about when you get a good point and shoot camera that also take great pics under water. This is not a "diving" camera, but one that works (and quite well mind you) when snorkeling or something similar.
Waiting to actually use it before reviewing and I think the picture qualities in water are very good and out of water, are simply amazing, again, for a point and shoot. For the money paid (under $200), the camera is a steal. Used it for a week in Orlando - salt water reef pool, fresh water, night time shots, family pics - all done very well. If you use in salt water - like anything else, make sure you rinse it well when done.
Again, if you are realistic about what this camera is intended for, it is hard to beat at this price. I feel bad for my larger SLR...this one is simply too easy to carry around and use....
on September 22, 2013
This camera is advertised as being rugged and waterproof and those were my top 2 reasons for buying it. The camera housing cracked because a 5'4" beauty dropped it from her pocket (approximately 2.5'). This was the 1st drop of any height in the 1.5 months of ownership. I sent it in for repair/replacement and the crack Sony Service Center promptly (5 weeks later) sent back the same camera with a new housing. I questioned them about the "waterproofness" of a new housing and was assured it was tested. Fast forward to a month later swimming with Whale Sharks in the Sea of Cortez and the waterproof camera lasted about 5 minutes before failing. Those would have been some nice pictures and video.
I paid $330 for it when it was first on the market because I was tired of cheap ($100 range) waterproof cameras acting glitchy with poor image quality. I would support a purchase of this camera if you seriously baby it. Tons of great features. Since telling this story to friends, I kept getting the same response, "why didn't you buy a gopro?".
This camera is small, ruggedized, stylish and very good looking. And that is basically why you pay a premium price for it. The picture quality is okay, and the features are useful and plenty, but that alone would not warrant the premium price - other cameras that cost less offer the same.
- Small and slim. Easy to carry in a shirt pocket, much smaller than the average smartphone.
- Nice set of features. I especially like the de-focus function that blurs the background and thus separates the object from it. It is a bit tricky to make it work though - you have to get really close to your object (appr. 1 foot) to get this effect. Also, I like the sweep Panorama function a lot - that works perfectly after a few tries and is a lot of fun.
- Quick start-up. You slide the cover down, and a second later the camera is ready to shoot.
- The lens cover. Finally, an outdoor camera that has a lens cover. But, there are two slightly annoying things here: First, it happens that the cover slides open inadvertently when put in a tight pocket. No big deal, since the camera will turn itself off after a couple of minutes of idle time. Second, there is no handle, groove, or knob on the cover - you have to grab the upper edge with your finger (or finger nail) and press the cover down. Also, no big deal - for a guy with strong fingers, but maybe a problem for a gal with press-on fingernails.
- Zooming. Quick and very precise.
- Movie button. At the right place - easy to reach (directly under the shutter button), but not located where it would be activated inadvertently all the time.
- Movie quality. Stunning. And the sound through the stereo microphone at the top of the camera is also very good.
- Separate On/Off button. Very helpful when you just want to check the last picture or need to adjust a setting - the button turns the camera on, but since the cover is not open you can't take pictures.
- Touch screen. Very responsive, customizable, bright and clear.
- Menu. Easy to find the settings you want to change, logical structure.
- Tough. Sealed against water intrusion for normal beach use, also shock proof against the normal bumps and bangs of daily life.
- Picture quality is okay - for use with social media sites, small prints, and the like. At 100% magnification, there are visible blocks even at ISO 100.
- The Zoom button. That is some flimsy round knob at the right outer edge on the top of the camera. Not real big-finger-friendly. It hurts me. Hate it.
- Battery life. Well, half an hour of movies or about 150 pictures. Not quite a marathon runner ...
- No different compression ratios for JPGs (e.g. small, normal, high). There is nothing to chose here, only one JPG setting - the default one, which the camera does not tell you what it is.
- Micro-SD slot. You open the card slot cover, which also gives access to the battery, push the Micro-SD card and, whew, it comes flying out of the slot and lands ... well, where did it land? I can't see it on the dark carpet. Or maybe it jumped on the table, or under one of the chairs, or over the freakin' moon .... AAARGH! I absolutely hate it that they used this miniature format as the memory card. And then, they had the glorious idea to put a spring in the slot, that catapults it out of the slot like a bullet out of a gun.
- Position of the left channel of the stereo microphone. It is there where a normal person would probably park their left index finger. Either you hold the camera with your fingernail on the left side, or you try to grip it at the bottom - which will lead to a rather awkward shooting position. Also, be careful with your left fingers anyway - because the lens is at the upper left corner of the camera, fingers can get in the way rather easily.
In summary: This camera has some very nice features, an average picture quality, it is very small and looks very stylish, and it is water- and shock proof. It also has some annoying features and a short battery life. If they would fix the picture quality, it would be a great little camera. The way it is now, you should not expect too much from it.
on June 27, 2014
I bought this camera expecting the quality of Sony that I have become accustomed to through other products such as their TVs, Surround Sound Systems, Receivers, and Portable Stereo Devices.
The Sony Cyber-Shot Digital Camera TX30 seemed to be the perfect camera for me and my life style. It is advertised as “certified waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and freezeproof”. It is NOT!
Although the camera took wonderful pictures and video it is/was not waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, or anything proof. I used the camera exactly how it was advertised and when the camera became corroded after the third snorkeling trip; I sent it into the Sony customer service for its warranty coverage and received the below evaluation not once but twice. First, from the in-store customer service representative who warned me that it may have “suffered physical damage”, prior to any examination of the camera; and secondly, in an e-mail from the Sony Service Center, apparently after the examination.
“We have completed the evaluation necessary to repair your unit. During this evaluation, it has been determined that your unit has suffered physical damage. As a result of this damage, the repair costs make it uneconomical and inefficient to repair the unit.”
I have been a loyal customer for many years and have spent thousands of dollars on Sony products with great enjoyment; however now that I have had a piece of equipment stop working I have seen a different side of Sony. I am very disappointed with Sony and this will absolutely make me think twice before purchasing another Sony product. (This same complaint has surfaced many times in other reviews)
on November 13, 2013
The in camera charging feature failed but SONY refused warranty service after three months accusing me of dropping the camera. I was able to charge the battery using a external charger (not provided when I purchased this device) and when I put the battery in the camera, the camera would drain the battery within 24 hours. SONY said the camera was dropped. This is 100% false. The camera had scratches on it from being rubbed against coral during a snorkeling trip. Customer service wanted $300+ to repair.
SONY repair facility refused to reevaluate the camera. It has only superficial scratches.
I have owned more than a six SONY cameras and I own many other products from them, but never again since they can't honor a simple warranty claim. Even if it was dropped, this camera is supposed to be shock proof.
What a waste of money! I like SONY but after this experience they'll never get one more red cent from me. Their asinine repair/warranty facility is the cause of another lost customer.
on October 8, 2013
I owned a TX-5 (first offered in 2010)...then Sony's Laredo Repair Center messed it up.
After several back-and-forth exchanges, they sent me a TX-30. And I just had to get rid of it!
--Touch Screen does not work underwater (unlike the TX-5--THIS IS A HUGE DEAL BREAKER FOR ME!)
--Night photography often blurry and takes long to expose (unlike the TX-5)
--Annoying Recording Button (unlike the...well, you get it)
--Not a very bright flash
--LED ring around the lens: A great feature that is BY NO MEANS EASY TO ACCESS ON THE MENU!
--Menu options not very useful
I'm pretty sure those of you satisfied with your TX-30 WON'T BE, if/when you have to send it in for repairs at Sony's Laredo Repair Center! Very disappointed in the product.