Sony has announced a raft of new compact cameras at CES this year, but by far the most interesting are the Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 and HX5V. Both these cameras are the first compact cameras in the world capable of 1080i, Full HD AVCHD video recording, while also including neat features like TransferJet – the new high-speed, close quarters data transfer tech – and Sony's 10-megapixel 'Exmor R' CMOS sensor, which features backlight correction for improved low light performance.
The TX7 (above), which appears almost ultra-compact in dimensions, takes all these features and adds a 3.5in touchscreen LCD screen, a 25mm wide-angle lens with a 4x optical zoom. It'll be hitting US retail in February with prices in the region of $400.
It's really the HX5V (below) that excites, however. To be available from March for approximately $350, at its heart the HX5V is a super-zoom compact that features a 10x optical zoom lens with a 25mm wide-angle. However, in addition to all the other features that both models share, it adds GPS and Compass capabilities to record location data that can then be viewed on Google Earth.
Both cameras also have one further feature worthy of note, a new 'Sweep Panorama' mode. Panoramic modes are nothing new, of course, but Sony's effort is slightly different. It can capture wide landscapes or tall buildings using a "simple press and sweep" motion, producing images up to a size of 7,152 x 1,080 comprised of as many as 100 separate captures. Given these facts, particularly the '1,080' resolution, it sounds as if it's a kind of video/stills hybrid mode, but however it works it'll be interesting to see the results.
Finally, Sony looks to have admitted a belated defeat with its proprietary card formats, as both these cameras (in addition to all its new models) will also support SD cards! Praise be to God!