updated 11:00 pm EST, Wed February 29, 2012
Features high-zoom lenses, HD video, more
Sony has introduced five new Cyber-shot model cameras to the US market, each with high optical zoom and HD video recording capability. Ranging in price from $480 to $250, the cameras are said by Sony to be ideal for travel photography and everyday snapshots or videos. The higher end models offer up to 30x optical zoom, embedded GPS and Full HD recording, while the budget models feature 16x zoom and 720p video among other features.
Most of the new models are expected to be available next month, though the DSC-HX30 and DSC-HX20 will be delayed until May. The two models stand out from the rest of the lineup by being manufactured with SoRPlas plastic, which is made with 99 percent recycled materials. The two models also feature a new, thinner 20x optical zoom lens that uses sophisticated glass molding to be not only substantially more compact than other comparable zoom lenses but also capable of clear focus at a macro distance of just one centimeter (0.39 inches).
The DSC-HX30 also includes Wi-Fi capabilities for transferring content to compatible smartphones, tablets and even some models of HDTV. Photos can also be instantly uploaded to Facebook, or videos uploaded to YouTube and other sharing sites via the free PlayMemories app for iOS and Android devices.
The DSC-HX20 will sell for $400, while the DSC-HX30 will cost $420. Both cameras share a number of features with the high-end DSC-HX200V camera, including a fast auto-focus (0.13 seconds in daylight), a three-inch 921K dot resolution LCD screen, 18.2MP Exmor R sensor, Full HD recording (1920x1080 at 60p), three-way shake cancelling, embedded GPS support and a Dual-Record mode that allows users to shoot 13MP stills while recording HD video simultaneously.
The high-end DSC-HX200V ($480) goes up to 30x digital zoom and offers higher ISO sensitivity, along with a tilting rather than fixed three-inch LCD screen. The midline model DSC-HX10 ($330) still offers the 18.2MP Exmor R sensor and fast AF, but with just a 16x optical zoom. It's video recording is full HD but at 60i rather than 60p, and has 2-way shake cancelling. The unit does offer Dual-Record and GPS functionality.
Lastly, the entry-level DSC-H90 ($250) comes in three colors (silver, black, red) and features a 16.1MP CCD sensor with a 16x optical zoom. It has a three-inch LCD screen but at the lower 460k dot resolution, and offers 720p HD video at 30p. The model also has an improved iAuto mode with settings for up to 33 scene types.
All are available for pre-order on Sony's Cyber-shot webpage.
DSC-HX20 and DSC-HX30