Although smartphones and other mobile devices are pretty much the dominant devices in casual photography these days, camera companies are still aiming to prove stand-alone cameras have a lot to offer. Sony’s latest effort is the Cyber-shot DSC-TX55, offering a 16.2 megapixel resolution coupled with a 5× optical zoom and the ability to snap 3D images by taking two rapid-fire shots through a single lens. The camera can also shoot 1080p high-definition video and Sony says that high-megapixel Exmor sensor captures great low-light imagery—and can can lock onto subjects in as little as a tenth of a second.
“Our new DSC-TX55 model redefines what a compact camera can do,” said Sony Cyber-shot business director Yosuke Tomoda, in a statement. “In addition to the newly developed, ultra-thin chassis design, the camera features an incredible combination of features and performance, putting more creativity at users’ fingertips than ever before.”
The TX55 features a 3.3-inch touchscreen OLED viewfinder display, optical image stabilization, and a new “Clear Image Zoom” technology that takes that 5× optical zoom and cranks it to a maximum of 10× with full-resolution imagery via pixel-by-pixel processing. The TX55 also features a “Dual Rec” mode that enables users to shoot HD video and capture 12 megapixel still images without interrupting video recording. Like the rest of the Cyber-shot line, the TX55 is thin: 12.2mm thick (minus the lens cover), leading Sony to include it’s the thinnest camera in its class with optical image stabilization.
The TX55′s “Superior Auto” mode lets the camera handle a number of shooting situations without any user adjustment, and the camera’s intelligent panorama tools enable users to grab panorama shots up to 42.9 megapixels. Another nifty feature is a 3D Still Image mode, that snaps two rapid-fire images with a single shutter press, enabling users to grab 3D imagery without a stereoscopic lens: the first image tries to capture depth information, while the second captures the imagery. The 3D tools can also be applied to panoramas and sweep multi-angle shots.
The TX55 supports Sony’s Memory Stick Pro media (of course) along with microSD/SDHC cards for up to 16 GB of removable storage.
Sony says the Cyber-shot DSC-TX55 will be available in September for about $350.