Today a handful of new point-and-shoots were announced at the Sony CES press conference – and variety is the name of the game, as Sony is hitting all the major trend marks: Wi-Fi, rugged use, and multi-function were well represented in the coming lineup. While Sony built up some prestige for itself this past year with the Sony RX100 , its CES debuts are pretty tame – which isn’t surprising, given the fact that September is really the hot release month for cameras. Still, Sony has some new models to show off.
Cameras with easy, auto-sharing have been well represented at CES the past couple of years, although only one manufacturer is (arguably) really nailing it, and that’s Samsung. Sony’s making a heavier-handed attempt this year with the Cyber-shot DSC-WX80, a 16.2 megapixel, 8x optical zoom point-and-shoot sporting an Exmor R CMOS sensor, full HD movie, 10 fps burst mode, and full 360 degree panorama sweep.
In addition to the creative filters and modes (which are nearly expected in new point-and-shoots), the WX80 is a Wi-Fi enabled camera – however, it’s relying on the Sony PlayMemories app for this sharing, so exactly how seamless this is remains to be seen. The beauty of easy-share cameras is in how similar to familiar mobile interfaces they are, so we’ll have to wait for a hands-on with the WX80 to see if it rises to the many challenges facing connected point-and-shots. However, it’s a mere $199 (pretty afforable for a Wi-Fi enabled point-and-shoot, although Samsung today announced a $129 model), so you can’t expect it to break down all of the many barriers standing between mobile and cameras.
Sony also debuted the Cyber-shot DSC-TF1, a tough cam with a 16.1 megapixel sensor, CCD sensor, and 4x optical zoom (25-100mm equivalent). The camera is waterproof up to 33 feet, dustproof, shuckproof, and freezeproof. The TF1 comes with the same 360 sweep panorama as the WX80 and other creative modes, like the new Beauty Effect for post-shoot in-camera editing. Also included is 720p HD movie. The camera will be available this month for $199.
The Cyber-shot DSC-H200 is Sony’s long-zoom camera, which features a 20.1 megapixel HAD CCD sensor and 26x optical zoom (22.3 – 580mm equivalent – yeah, not bad). It doesn’t shoot 1080p however, opting for 720p, but does include the same 360 sweep panorama feature and new creative options (again, like the new Beauty Effect). Strangely, Sony opts to use AA batteries with the H200 … and honestly, it’s a strange choice we’re not overly impressed with. Feels like a bit of step backward. The camera will retail for $249, available this month.
Rounding out the new models are two entry-level (read: inexpensive) point-and-shoots – the Cyber-shot DSC-W730 and the DSC-W710. They both feature 16.1-megapixel sensors and timid zooms (8x and 5x, respectively), and sweep panorama and filters. The major dinstinction between the two is that the W730 has a better-looking build and (slightly) longer zoom. It retails for $139 and the W710 for $99 – both are available this month.
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