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Sony TX10 - Image Quality and Verdict

Audley Jarvis

By Audley Jarvis



  • Recommended by TR
Sony TX10


Our Score:


Judged against other ‘ruggedised’ compacts using a similarly small, folded-lens design the TX10 delivers better than average image quality. It’s not perfect by any means, but compared to many rival tough compacts the TX10 tends to produce images with more punch, along with a pleasing degree of vibrancy, better edge sharpness and good levels of detail.

Colours are well-reproduced although we did find that the various shooting modes produce slightly different levels of saturation, contrast and sharpness, with the Superior Auto mode tending to produce more saturated images with greater contrast levels than images shot using the Program and Intelligent Auto modes. Images shot in the Superior Auto shooting mode also tend to be a bit softer than their Program/Intelligent Auto counterparts, not doubt due to the fact that the mode blends multiple exposures together.

Sony TX10

Metering tends to be fairly accurate when the camera is used in multi-segment evaluative mode. We did occasionally find it tended to overexpose, requiring us to dial in a small amount (-0.3EV) of exposure compensation to retain more in the way of highlight detail.

As with most modern compacts we didn’t experience any problems with the TX10’s Auto White Balance mode. There is scope to change settings manually if you wish, but we found the AWB setting to be consistently accurate.

While viewing full resolution images at A4 size and below shows good detail, further magnification to 100% and above does reveal the effects of processing and compression, with fine detail taking on that familiar ‘painted over’ texture that is so common in compact cameras. We’d advise against using the digital zoom unless you have to as even the smallest excursions away from optical zoom territory into digital zoom (4.5x for example) can result in a noticeable loss of detail.

Low-light performance at higher sensitivities isn’t all that bad, all things considered, with ISO 1600 able to produce usable images. Above this and things really do begin to break down though.


The Sony TX10 offers just about the best overall image quality we’ve yet seen in a toughened camera with a folded-lens design. While some processing and compression flaws do become apparent at 100% and above, at lower sizes images deliver plenty of punch. Add to this Sony’s Sweep Panorama technology, which remains the benchmark for ultra-wideangle fun, along with excellent movie recording abilities and the TX10 just about justifies its premium price tag. The lack of finger-grip and shiny aluminium finish do make it a bit slippery to hold though, so be sure to use it with a wrist strap attached - otherwise you may well end up testing the camera’s shockproof qualities sooner rather than later.


February 16, 2012, 12:00 pm

Thanks so much for the photos. I ordered the Sony TX10 review for my DD's birthday. It will be here by Weds. The main problem I see is now I think my other DD will want one too (she's not wild about the one I got her last Christmas).

Disappointed TX10 owner

October 9, 2013, 12:31 pm

I bought this sony TX10 mainly because i wanted a camera that can withstand outside elements.

Advertising claims it is shock "proof" "up to 5ft" as Sony would want us to believe...unintentionally dropped mine to the streets only once, unknowingly when i stepped out of the car (so you can imagine that is only 1ft) and my TX10 already incurred small dents in various places, and the battery/memory card slide opener got dislocated.

Brought it to the official Sony service center as it was still under warranty, but was denied a replacement unit for reasons they say that shock proof it is depending on the surface it dropped into. WTF?! I sensibly told them the streets were smooth and not rocky, so the accidental drop from a height not so high should not cause any at all even small damages to a rugged camera, (if this happened to a competing Panasonic TS3 or Olympus Tough both would survive the fall completely undamaged) and so, my demands should be valid. I bought the Sony one thinking because of the good reputation Sony Corp. leaves to me, but now, I'm boycotting their products.

Buyer Beware... now the successor to it, the TX20, is now being advertised as shock-resistant and not proof anymore, most probably because Sony can't admit they themselves attempted to do a public deception by claiming their camera is shock "proof" AND "up to 5ft", which is entirely untrue at all.

Disappointed TX10 owner

October 9, 2013, 12:35 pm

Maybe by saying that it all depends on to the surface the TX10 fell into, they mean I should drop the camera to a pillow?! or some cushioned sofa?! and not while out of the house where it normally is used :|

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