So I had the DSC-T1 (the original of the pocket-size “flip-cam” series), and it was stolen last weekend at the race track… shortly after about three years total. It was beaten up, damaged, etc., yet still cookin'!
The newer, DSC-T30 isn't even out in the USA yet. Some are available on eBay imported from Europe or Japan, for less than the retail price, so I picked one of these up on Sunday night. The only downside (as long as the guy has good feedback) is that you may be missing accessories normally included here (check for this) and you will not have a valid warranty since you live elsewhere. So, this thing had better not break!
Arrived today, Wednesday! Here's what I found....
- About the same size as the old camera. Shape has a round angle to the front… a little “chic” for me but still pimpin' nonetheless. This body style is lighter and easier to hold steadily, I was surprised. (even with a bigger battery) Also included is a tripod mount, which was absent from the previous model(s).
- The LCD screen is even larger.
- Controls are about the same, but smaller and harder to use. Not a huge problem, but I miss how robust the buttons were on the old model.
- Finish/material of the camera is a light plastic instead of what I believe was anodized aluminum. More delicate, like the finish of an iPod or PSP. Looked expensive until I got my fingerprints all-over it. The silver version of this camera may be of the older material, but I'm not sure.
- What sucks the most about this was the lack of an included dock. However, I believe that they will be offering one shortly, as it's clearly designed for one. In the meantime you have to remove the battery from the camera and pop it into the charger… lame. What is this… 1997? The other, slightly more appealing, option is to buy the AC Adapter for the camera, which plugs into the specialized USB cable and charges it through a single connector. SO, it's like a dock then… minus the, you know, dock…. :P
- Probably the best overall design improvement is in the sliding lens cover, which also acts as a second power on/off switch. The seal on this model is flush with the rest of the enclosure, basically preventing little bits of lint/dust from getting inside and all over the lens. BIG improvement.
- The internal memory in this camera is slow and useless. Buy a high speed memory stick pro duo as soon as you can… at least 1GB. The picture files are massive.
- That's another thing, you get a whopping 7.2MP with this camera, compared to 5.1MP on the DSC-T1. What does this mean? Bigger file sizes! … haha there goes my Flickr bandwidth
I like it, but at the same time they should have stuck to some of the basics they mastered with the DSC-T1. Looks a little chic, buttons are a little small, but it's definitely solid. Internal memory is small and slow, get a high speed memory stick duo ASAP. (at least 1GB) Price is expensive, like $460+… should drop down before the Holiday season! Shipping here in the USA between now and the end of June.
My test shots: (click to enlarge, then click “All Sizes” to view an even larger copy)