Sony DSC-T30 Review
Sony T30 Design
Ultra-thin and compact, the Sony DSC-T30 features the slim dimensions and large LCD panel distinctive of the T-series, this time stretching the LCD to a full 3.0" diagonal dimension. Because the camera has a internal lens, the front panel remains smooth at all times, and very pocket friendly. Measuring 3.75 x 2.25 x 0.94 inches (95 x 56.5 x 23.3 millimeters), the DSC-T30 will fit easily into most shirt pockets and even tiny evening bags. Though it sports an almost all-metal body, the Sony T30 is still light weight, at just 5.8 ounces (165 grams) with batteries and memory card.
The front of the Sony DSC-T30 is nearly flat, with the exception of the sliding lens cover and a small finger grip that doubles as a wrist strap attachment. The lens cover slides downward to reveal the lens and power on the camera. Because the lens design is all-internal, it doesn't telescope outward when the camera is powered on. Instead, the lens lines up vertically inside like a periscope, using a mirror to reflect the view. This also makes the camera quick on the draw, as you don't have to wait on the lens to telescope into position before you can shoot. Next to the lens are the flash and self-timer / AF illuminator lamp.
The right side of the Sony DSC-T30 features the shared Memory Stick Duo and battery compartment, covered by a sliding, hinged door.
The opposite side of the camera is featureless.
The Sony T30's top panel features only the Steady Shot, Shutter, and Power buttons, lined up in the right corner. There's also a small microphone to the left of these. The power button illuminates green when the camera's power is on.
The remaining few camera controls are on the back panel, along with the very large, 3.0-inch LCD monitor. A zoom control is in the top right corner. The Five-way Navigator is next to the lower right corner of the LCD monitor, surrounded by the Menu, Display, Resolution / Erase, and Slide Show buttons.
The Sony DSC-T30 has a flat bottom panel, which holds the multi-connector jack, tripod screw mount, and speaker. Because of the T30's side memory card and battery compartment access, you can easily swap out cards and batteries without removing the camera from a tripod.
Sony T30 External Controls
Lens Cover: Dominating the camera's front panel, this sliding cover moves downward to uncover the lens, simultaneously power-on the camera.
Steady Shot Button: The right-most button on the camera's top panel, this button enables the camera's anti-blur mode when pressed.
Shutter Button: Located on the far right side of the top panel and flanked by the Steady Shot and Power buttons, this button sets focus and exposure when halfway pressed, and fires the shutter when fully pressed. Half-pressing the Shutter button also causes the camera to display the shutter speed and aperture setting its exposure system has chosen for the current scene. Even though you can't control the shutter speed or aperture manually, being able to see what the camera has selected can be a useful guide for experienced photographers to judge depth of field or anticipate motion blur.
Power Button: To the left of the Shutter button, this button turns the camera on and off.
Zoom Rocker Button: Located in the top right corner of the back panel, this rocker switch controls the optical and digital zoom in any record mode.
In Playback mode, this button controls the digital enlargement of captured images and accesses the index display mode as well as a detailed information display. (The "T" side zooms in, the "W" side zooms out. Zooming out from the normal-sized single image view brings up an index display of tiny "thumbnail" images.)
Mode Switch: Angled down at the rear of the top panel, this sliding switch offers the following options:
- Playback: Replays captured still images and movie files, with options for image management and printing.
- Record: Places the camera in still Record mode, with a handful of preset scenes and Auto and Program AE modes available.
- Movie: Records moving images with sound, for as long as the memory card has space. (Provided you're using a Memory Stick PRO Duo. Ordinary Memory Stick Duos will limit recording time at the highest quality/frame rate setting.)
Menu Button: Located next to the top left corner of the Five-way navigator, this button displays or dismisses the settings menu in any Record mode or in Playback mode.
Display/LCD Button: To the right of the Menu button, this button controls the LCD monitor's display mode. In both Record and Playback modes, the button cycles through the image and information displays.
Five-way Navigator: The largest control in the lower right corner of the rear panel, this rocker button features four arrows and a center "OK" button. The arrow keys navigate through any settings menu, and the OK button confirms menu selections.
In Automatic Record mode, the up arrow controls flash mode, cycling through Auto, Forced, Slow-Sync and Suppressed (off) modes. The down arrow activates the Self-Timer option, with choices of either 2 or 10 seconds, while the right arrow controls the Macro mode. The left arrow calls up a quick review of the most recently-captured image.
In Playback mode, the left and right keys scroll through captured images on the memory card. When an image has been enlarged, all four arrow keys move around within the enlarged view.
Image Size / Erase Button: Below left of the Five-way navigator, this button activates the Image Size setting in any Record mode. In any still image mode, resolution options of 3,072 x 2,304; 3,072 (3:2); 2,592 x 1,944; 2,048 x 1,536; 1,632 x 1,224; 640 x 480; and 1,920 x 1,080 (16:9) pixels are available. Movie mode options include 640 x 480 (Standard), 640 x 480 (Fine), and 160 x 120 pixels. (The 640 x 480 Fine option is only available when using the Memory Stick PRO Duo media format.)
In Playback mode, this button calls up the single-image erase menu, letting you delete the currently displayed image. Pressing this button in Index display mode gives you the options of selecting multiple files to delete, or of deleting all files in the current folder on the memory card.
Slide Show Button: In the very low right corner of the rear panel, this button enables the camera's automated slide show. You can control slide show variables such as music and interval through the Playback menu.
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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.