updated 09:50 pm EST, Mon March 2, 2009
Sony Cyber-shot HX1
Sony tonight upgraded its Cyber-shot H series just ahead of tomorrow's PMA show. The HX1 shoots photos at a modest 9.1 megapixels but compensates through sheer speed: a new 1/2.4 CMOS sensor lets it capture up to 10 frames per second of images without dropping resolution, while a BIONZ processor borrowed from the Alpha line lets it record 4:3 ratio 1080p video with stereo sound. Footage is encoded directly in AVCHD (H.264).
The performance is also key to multiple new shooting modes. A sweep panorama mode stitches together rapid-fire shots to create 224-degree horizontal or 154-degree vertical images just by moving the camera over an arc; two superimposing modes (anti-motion/twilight) take six shots to reduce blur with or without high ISO levels.
The camera also focuses on image quality through the CMOS sensor, which is friendlier to low light, as well as optical image stabilization, a 28-560mm 20X lens with low-dispersion glass that reduces chromatic fringing, and a mechanical shutter that cuts down on distortion of moving subjects. Sony additionally touts full scene recognition, smile detection and a unique face detection mode that takes two quick shots to pick one with the least amount of visible blinking.
Sony starts taking pre-orders for the HX1 later this month and ships it in April for $500.