Sony has taken to the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to announce four new budget compact cameras: the W630, W620, W610 and S5000. Also new but for some reason not announced in Vegas (possibly due to UK exclusivity) but which has since appeared on Sony’s UK site is the 16.1MP W670.
Either way all of the new arrivals offer 14.1MP of resolution bar the W670 and W630, which both offer 16.1MP. No doubt looking to keep costs down Sony has opted to fit all of the new cameras with Super HAD CCD sensors rather than its acclaimed (but infinitely more expensive to produce) backlit Exmor chip.
Zoom ranges vary a bit between the cameras, with the W670 offering the largest range at 6x (26-216mm in 35mm terms), followed by the W630, W620 and S5000 which all offer a 5x optical zoom, and lastly the W610 with it’s 4x optic. Of all the cameras only the W670 and W630 feature Sony’s Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation technology, the other models relying instead on sensitivity raises when shutter speeds are deemed to be too slow to shoot handheld.
As budget-centred cameras all of the new model bar the W670 are limited to fully automatic shooting modes including Sony’s own iAuto mode, a Program mode and a variety of Scene modes. In addition, the W670 offers a limited Aperture-priority mode that allows either a minimum or maximum aperture to be set.
Elsewhere, however, the new cameras are quite well featured. All of them offer Sony’s excellent Sweep Panorama technology that enables users to take panoramic images of up to 360-degrees simply by holding down the shutter button and sweeping the camera in a predetermined direction.
Of course, there’s the usual Sony smattering of Face Detection and Smile Shutter controls to help you keep portraits sharp. In addition, the W670, W630, W620 and S500 all offer a set of four digital filter effects – Toy Camera, Partial Colour, Soft High-Key, and Pop Colour – that can be applied to your images for added creativity.
All of the new models are able to record movies too, although as expected there are differences in quality. The W670, W630, W620 and can all record at a maximum 720p at 30fps, while the W610 and S5000 are able to record at a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 pixels.
All of the new models are expected to be in the shops by the end of January, although prices have yet to be confirmed.