Monday, 25 July 2011 22:04

Sony's new Cyber-shot WX30 sounds cyber-sweet


A 16.2 megapixel camera that doesn't lose resolution or quality when extended from the 5x optical to 10x 'pixel super resolution' zoom, records active steady shot Full HD 1080i video, takes 12 megapixel stills while video is recording, takes 3D photos and 42.9 megapixel panoramic pics and more? Nice!

The advance of technology continues at amazing pace, with Sony's latest Cyber-shots coming with some seriously cyber-cool capabilities.

Those two are the Cybershot TX55, not yet announced in Australia and which has a slide down lens cover and no protruding lens, and the just locally announced WX30, which like a more traditional digital camera with protruding zoom lens.

Both new cameras use the same 16.2 megapixel Exmor R CMOS which features special new 'pixel super resolution' zooming technology that 'boosts zoom range to 10x without quality loss at the image sensor's maximum resolution (16.2 million pixels)' from the 5x optical zoom built in to both models.

You can read more about the TX55 here from Consumer Reports in the US and will report when Sony announces it locally.

That leaves the WX30 to come sometime in September this year, at a price yet to be disclosed, yet with a feature list that makes it sound like a clear contender for the perfect consumer digital still and video camera.

These include the aforementioned 16.2 megapixel photos, the Full HD 1080i video, 3D photos, 3D panoramic photos and 3D multi view sweep photos, 12 megapixel stills while video is recording, the new no-loss zooming technology, and a new 'real time' Picture Effect mode that Sony says 'broadens artistic possibilities with no editing software needed.'

There's a 3-inch (or 7.5cm) 'Xtra Fine LCD wide' touch screen on the back with fingertip operation as you'd expect from today's touch screen devices.

Sony also promises 'incredible image detail and ultra-low picture noise - even in low light conditions' when taking photos.


Continued on page two, please set your snapper to stun and read on!

Video recording is 'enhanced with additional electronic image stabilisation for vertical and horizontal handshake correction' using 'SteadyShot Active Mode' that 'compensates for handheld camera movements during Full HD video shooting' for 'crisper, blur-free movie clips at all zoom settings, even if you're holding the camera while walking'.

Sony adds the qualifier that this is for the 'movie mode only', and that 'the hand shake correction while walking works most effectively without zooming'.

Sony takes 3D photos without twin lenses by grabbing 'a pair of frames in quick succession, estimating depth information to create a dramatic three-dimensional still image', with options for a '3D Sweep Panorama and Sweep Multi Angle'.

In-camera 'Picture Effect' mode lets you choose from 'seven Picture Effect options' including 'HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Toy Camera, Partial Colour, Pop Colour and Soft High-key'.

The result of all this cyber-technology is a claim that the WX30 'makes it simple for anyone to achieve DSLR-like picture quality without fuss'.

If it really does that, with photographic sites, camera reviewers and experts no doubt looking forward to testing its claims, and comes at a reasonable price, it could well sell like hotcakes and be one of Sony's biggest camera hits yet.

Even if Sony prices it in outer space somewhere, its price will fall, and its technologies will improve even further in the next generation, bringing forth along with its competitors new levels 'normal' for new photographers equipped with the latest gear every year.

So, now we know what Sony has planned for its next Cyber-shots and when it plans to introduce them, at least in some parts of the world, with prices still to come, although as with all new high-end Sony technologies, there'll surely be an early adopter price premium. 

Even so, future TX55 and WX30 buyers look set to be very happy snappers indeed, something we'll find out for certain when the professional and customer reviews start coming from sometime in September onwards, although given it is Sony, the final product is expected to live up to textual "movie trailer" that is the new camera and feature list announcement.



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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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