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May 23, 2011

Underwater with the Sony TX10

We got the successor of the TX5, the Sony TX10, a water-proof, shock-proof camera and was able to test it out during our last scuba-diving session in Anilao, Batangas (t’was an Epson event). I’ve only had a short stint using the TX5 before and have not really reviewed it so I was expecting a bit more with the TX10.

Turns out the TX10 is indeed every bit of an upgrade to the TX5. The Sony TX10 can now go down as deep as 16 feet (5 meters) compared to the previous 10 feet (3 meters) on the TX5.

Sony Cybershot DSC-TX10 Specs:
16.2MP sensor
25-100 mm Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens (4x zoom), F3.5 – F4.6
Exmor-R CMOS sensor
3” touchscreen LCD display
ISO: Auto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Full HD 1080/60i movie recording with stereo sound
iSweep Panorama Mode
3D Still image, 3D Sweep Panorama
SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Duo/Memory Stick Pro Duo, Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo

Unfortunately, our dive master tells us we will be going around 20 feet deep into the corals (they call the spot Twin Rocks). I did not want to risk the TX10 to go 4 feet further than what the specs says.

I was contemplating about it for a while and was thinking I’ll just tell Sony Philippines that the loaner unit leaked if ever an unfortunate incident happens. I ended up just snorkeling and taking some shots in shallower waters.

So, all I got were these very few shots I managed to get with the limited battery life I had in the unit (also forgot to fully charge it before leaving town).

The shots are near impressive and the colors are vivid. Had some minor issues with exposure levels but that was easily fixed once I got the hang of it (matter of giving the camera some time to automatically adjust to ambient light).

Even the underwater shots are very decent though I noticed the slight bias towards the blue spectrum when using the underwater scene modes. Depending on the strength of the current, you could get fairly sharp shots to a bit blurry (it’s kind of 50-50 hit or miss when you’re underwater).

Unfortunately, all my underwater video footage mysteriously disappeared in the SD card (either I wasn’t using it correctly or the remaining battery just could not handle the power required to write it into the card).

The panoramic shots are just awesome and it’s been like that even with the previous generations of the TX-series (starting with the TX5 and TX7; or was it way back with the TX1?). See this sample sweep panorama shot.

Was also able to get a decent underwater panoramic shot after several attempts (the underwater current and the waves definitely made it harder for you to do the sweep correctly).

What I noticed is that the touchscreen is very hard (or close to impossible) to navigate when you’re underwater. I think resistive touch screens don’t work well when submerged in water.

If you’re looking for a more detailed review, check it out here at PTB. Suggested retail price of the Sony Cybershot TX10 is Php24,990.

Update: So I forgot I lent Calvin the camera during his recent trip to Palawan and took some more footages.

Here’s some more underwater shots — click, click!

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23 Responses to “Underwater with the Sony TX10”

  1. HAHAman says:

    Cool panoramas!

  2. Calvin says:

    hindi rin magamit yung touch buttons when underwater so you have to surface to change something.

    mahirap din magunderwater panoramic if you’re floating, so not useful when snorkeling unless you’re standing.

    • Messie says:

      Hmmm.. That is weird. My Tx5’s touch screen works under water. I was also able to read some reviews that the tx10 sports a capacitive touch screen. I guess the difference lies there?

  3. pinoydinako says:

    actually, if you gave some time to read the manual sony does not advice the use of the tx10 touch screen when underwater even when the unit is wet. with this, its very difficult to change settings when using it underwater..

  4. Air|danio
    Twitter: ConanLog
    says:

    http://bit.ly/iQS4wE I wish could have that Camera.. Nice Under Water Camera.. http://bit.ly/iQS4wE

  5. leojay
    Twitter: tgabukid
    says:

    Wow, nice underwater camera. this is what Im looking for so long..

  6. dulfo says:

    Nice panoramic shot! I have the older Sony TX5 model. It’s a great camera and so em expecting this one to be even better.

  7. Khupz says:

    I’m getting this one on saturday! I hope it reaches all my expectation…hehehe!

  8. manibela says:

    Hi! I have this camera and I have a little bit of a problem. There are cracks in the top right corner and bottom left at the back (plastic part) and the case chipped off at the bottom right near the battery latch. Even though it doesn’t affect performance and its waterproof capability, it still bothers me. I never dropped this thing and I never submerged it deeper than the length of my hand from the surface of the water. I have the blue one. Anyone else has this problem?

    And bright sunlight legibility is really really really poor…

    • Not happy with Sony says:

      Hi manibela. My TX10 also had a crack appear out of nowhere. I had the camera for only 1 week and it had barely been used. Only tested it in tepid water in the kitchen sink. Crack appeared on the top left hand corner. I took it back to Sony Westfield London and the guy was so rude and pretty much told me that there is no way that is is a manufacturing fault. He said it had to be accidental damage. I got into a huge argument with the guy, as I was leaving for Egypt the next day and that is the only reason I bought this camera. I had to go on my once in a lifetime trip without my underwater camera. Then they couldn’t even get it back to the store in time for me to collect it. I got limited details on the problem when my friend collected in on my behalf. No where on the report does it say it was a product fault or accidental damage. However, they fixed it free of charge (is that an omission that it was a manufacturing fault). I have the camera now and it looks like they haven’t put it back together properly…gaps everywhere. Will see what happens when I take it underwater. My advice to anyone else is to buy the Pansonic FT3. My friend has it and the picture quality is far better and it looks much more durable.

  9. shutterbug says:

    hi! so which would u recommend as the best underwater to buy? i’ve been using an olympus tough cam and although it serves its purpose as an underwater cam, i find that it doesn’t take great pictures under low light and indoor. i’m in the market for an upgrade.. hope to hear from you. thanks!

    • Not happy says:

      Hi Shutterbug

      I recommend the Panasonic Lumix FT3. It is a really good camera. It takes great underwater pics and then you can also use it as a normal point and shoot camera. As soon as my Tx10 dies (which at the rate it is going will be soon), I’m going back to Panasonic. I’d steer clear of Olympus. I bought one a year ago and picture quality was awful.

  10. shutterbug says:

    Hi Not Happy,

    Thanks for your advice. I’ll check out your suggestion Lumix FT3. Same here, never again for Olympus. Cheers!

  11. Sam says:

    Hello! Does the TX10 come with the Multi Angle function? It’s odd that the US Sony web site states that it does but the Philippine site doesn’t note it.
    I hope someone can send me a response :)

  12. Akal says:

    I had this camera for only 5 months and used 3 times in water. I’m satisfied with the picture quality. Last night it died as water got into the camera. The battery compartment was wet. I always checked the cover before using it but unfortunately the water still got inside. NOT truly a waterproof camera.

  13. Myk says:

    What can you say about GoPro HD Camera? this stuff is so Hot!

  14. Lilly
    Twitter: 1
    says:

    It’s in point of fact a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  15. sam says:

    Cracked without dropping too. sony service is awful

  16. Phil says:

    I have a TX-10 too. I like thge photos and it is a great size to carry when you don’t want anything too big. I have used underwater and shots are OK. BUT I now have a crack in caserunning backwards from the play button on top of camera. Never dropped or abused – go figure! Anyone use one underwater after a crack like this?

  17. Nick says:

    Ive had the TX10 in for a service and the crack has happened again despite never being dropped , is for sure a design fault .. will see what sony comes up with , ive demanded a new unit ..

    • Holly says:

      I’ve also had my TX10 in for service and now there’s a crack again, but I’m out of the 1 year warranty period. Were you still in the warranty period and were you successful in getting a new unit from Sony?

  18. chai says:

    I also have a tx10 and it has a crack at the bottom. i did not drop it or misuse it as i only use the camera once in a while. does sony have any statement regarding this problem?

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