updated 09:25 am EDT, Mon July 25, 2011
Sony TX55 thinnest camera with built-in IS
Sony upgraded its Cyber-shots Monday with three new models. The TX55 is its highlight and is billed as the thinnest point-and-shoot camera with built-in optical stabilization, at about 0.48 inches deep. The camera still focuses on image quality by using Sony's first 16.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, which should help in low light even at the higher resolution.
To get the small size, Sony limits the camera to either microSDHC or Memory Stick cards for storage.
Other extra touches bring the option of shooting 12-megapixel still images while recording 1080i video, autofocus that can happen in a tenth of a second, and 5X optical zoom that can produce a 10X digital zoom, allegedly without lowering the pixel count. Its interface revolves around a 3.3-inch OLED touchscreen. Seven live effects filters, sweep panoramas, and pseudo-3D shooting fill out the features.
The TX55 is the only world camera among the introductions and is shipping to North America, Europe, and Japan. In the US, it will be ready by September and cost $350.
The WX30 is more regionalized. It has the same 16.2-megapixel sensor and special software features but with a more conventional, larger lens and a slightly smaller three-inch LCD touchscreen for input. It should be available in at least the UK in September at an unknown price and will also ship in at least Japan.
The W550 is a new budget entry and has a 14.1-megapixel CCD sensor but a 10X true zoom and a three-inch display. It's limited to shooting VGA (640x480) videos. So far, its release is only scheduled for Japan, where it ships September 9.