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Sony announces mirrorless Alpha a5000, compact Cyber-shot W830 at CES 2014

sony digital cameras ces 2014 img 5606

Check out our review of the Sony Alpha a5000 digital camera.

CES 2014 was more about camcorders than cameras for Sony, but it did announce two new models, including the “world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera” with Wi-Fi. The cameras aren’t particularly revolutionary in any sense, but the new mirrorless model signals a change in Sony’s naming convention: moving forward, the NEX name will be dropped once the last of the remaining NEX models are phased out.

The Alpha a5000, which will eventually replace the NEX 3 series, is a 20.1-megapixel shooter that weighs 8 ounces (the weight won’t matter so much if you put on a hefty lens). The sensor is a large APS-C type and the latest Bionz X image processor, which does a lot of the heavy lifting in area-specific noise reduction and diffraction reduction; it also allows for an ISO of up to 16,000. There’s Wi-Fi for image sharing or remote control via the Sony PlayMemories Mobile app for iOS and Android, and NFC for quick pairing if you have an Android device that supports it. The a5000 also supports Sony’s downloadable PlayMemories apps that you can install onto the camera for additional shooting options. There’s a more substantial grip, and the LCD tilts all the way up (as with the NEX 3-series before it), so you can take those oh-so-important selfies.

The camera comes with a 16-50mm power zoom kit lens (SELP1650). With this lens, you can use a lever on the camera body to control the optical zoom, which Sony says it’s handy for shooting video. Designed for step-up users, there’s the “Photo Creativity” handholding mode that guides users new to more advanced interchangeable lens cameras. The a5000 will go on sale in March for $600, and comes in black, silver, and white.


Sony also announced some new E-mount optics. There’s a new version of the SEL55210 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 lens ($350), with the only difference being that it has a black finish. There’s also a special case available for the a5000.

Cyber-shot W830

While Sony announced several compact cameras last CES, this year it came out with just one. It may unveil new ones at the upcoming CP+ camera show in Tokyo, but for CES 2014 it’s the Cyber-shot W830.


Nothing unpredictable here: It’s a budget compact point-and-shoot that costs $120. It has a 20.1-megapixel CCD sensor, a Bionz processor, and an 8x Carl Zeiss lens with optical image stabilization. Because it’s a CCD sensor, it can only capture video at up to 720p. There are the typical automatic and creative shooting modes that adjust the settings based on preset shooting environments. Some interesting features include a 360-degree panorama mode and a beauty mode for retouching skin tones in-camera. At this price, no Wi-Fi. It’ll come in black, silver, and pink, and drop in February.

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Les Shu
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I am formerly a senior editor at Digital Trends. I bring with me more than a decade of tech and lifestyle journalism…
Sony adds NFC and compact kit lens to new NEX-5T mirrorless camera

Check out our review of the Sony Alpha NEX 5T digital camera.
In addition to the new Alpha A3000, Sony also announced the fourth-generation of its Alpha NEX-5 series, the NEX-5T. Whereas Sony tries to fit a mirrorless compact system camera into a DSLR-like body, Compared to its predecessor, the NEX-5R – a very strong-performing camera, we found – the NEX-5T’s specs remains the same. It has a 16.1-megapixel Exmor APS-C HD CMOS sensor, tiltable touchscreen LCD that flips 180 degrees, and a hybrid autofocusing system (phase detect) that Sony touts as fast, although our time spent with the NEX-5R suggested otherwise. What is new is support for NFC, letting you easily tap and pair with a smartphone for Wi-Fi sharing and remote viewing/controlling. We saw NFC being demoed at Sony's briefing of the NEX-5T and it works fairly well, provided you have devices that support the protocol. The kit lens has also changed: Instead of an E-mount 18-55mm that came with the NEX-5R, the NEX-5T will come with a 16-50mm power zoom lens (the same one that comes with the NEX 6 and NEX 3N0 that’s half the size of the 18-55mm. Compared with the newly announced A3000, the NEX-5T comes off as more feature-rich.
The NEX-5T will ship in early September for $700 with lens, $550 without. Read our review of the NEX-5R to give you a sense of what this camera's like.

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Sony responds to smartphone invasion with new compact mega-zoom Cyber-shot camera
sony cyber shot hx50v digital camera announces dsc featured

Tech companies often like to one-up one another with the world’s fastest, biggest, smallest, or lightest of something, and cameras are no exception. Sony today announced the Cyber-shot HX50V, the world’s smallest and lightest camera with a 30x optical zoom lens (that’s according to Sony, of course, not us). Smartphones are invading the point-and-shoot category at the low end, but the HX50V is one way Sony is adding some excitement into their pocket cams at the high-end.
The HX50V weighs 9.6 ounces and measures 4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 – Sony dubs it "the perfect travel companion." So, what has Sony crammed into this box in addition to the mega-zoom Sony G lens (24-720mm 35mm equivalent, f/3.5-6.3 aperture, 30-1/1,600 shutter speed))? You’ll find a 1/2.3-inch 20.4-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, optical image stabilization (Optical SteadyShot, as Sony calls it) even at full telephoto (twice as stable with faster focusing than last year’s HX200V), Sony’s BIONZ image processor, high-speed autofocus (twice as fast as the HX200V), a 3-inch LCD (921K dots, not touch-capable), and built-in Wi-Fi. Besides wireless transfers to a computer or a smart device running Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app (iOS and Android), you can also use a smartphone or tablet for remote operation. There’s also built-in GPS for geotagging your photos.
While the HX50V is a point-and-shoot, there are some advanced features for users who want more control. With rangefinder design cues like a rubberized grip, the camera has a mode dial for quickly selecting a shooting mode and a separate dial for exposure compensation. Other features include 5-blade aperture to create that smooth defocusing effect (bokeh); ISO up to 12,800; 10 frames-per-second burst mode; Sony’s new Multi Interface Shoe to add on accessories like an electronic viewfinder, flash, or microphone (including some made for Handycam camcorders); a new battery that delivers 400 photos before recharging; and Full HD 1920 x 1080 video capture at 60p. According to Sony, the HX50V is compatible with their Triluminous Color tech, which means you can view more vibrant colors when the camera’s hooked up to a compatible Sony Bravia TV.
The camera is due out next month, and will list for $450. Since it’s small, light, and full-featured, perhaps you wouldn’t mind carrying both a smartphone and a camera.

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Sony rumored to be re-introducing Cyber-shot and Walkman branding to its mobile phones

Back when Sony produced phones with Ericsson, it regularly rolled out hardware wearing the Cyber-shot and Walkman brand names. It produced some great phones too, including the now legendary Sony Ericsson K800, equipped with a 5-megapixel Cyber-shot camera, and the 9mm thick W890 Walkman phone with its brushed aluminum chassis.
When rumors of Sony Ericsson splitting started to circulate in 2009, so the Cyber-shot and Walkman phones started to disappear, with sources inside Sony at the time calling the decision to use the branding on Sony Ericsson hardware, “a strategic error.” Since then, the Walkman brand has been re-invented as a software tweak included in Sony smartphones. As for Cyber-shot phones, they died out long before Sony and Ericsson went their separate ways back in 2011.
Now, if the latest rumors are correct, Sony may be planning to bring the Cyber-shot and Walkman brand names back to its phones. According to PhoneArena, an anonymous tip has provided details on three new phones coming from Sony later this year. The first is a new Cyber-shot phone equipped with a 5-inch touchscreen, plus a camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and a sensor large enough to challenge the Nokia 808 PureView.
Codename Xperia A and Xperia UL?
The second is a new Walkman phone which will have an integrated amplifier, along with the Walkman software, for improved audio. This is a similar strategy to HTC, as it has incorporated an amplifier into several of its Beats Audio phones, including the Droid DNA and the Windows Phone 8X. Finally, the rumor mentions another Cyber-shot phone, this time with an iPhone-sized form factor and presumably, a 4-inch screen.
These devices fit in with previous rumors regarding two Sony smartphones known as the Xperia A and the Xperia UL. The Xperia A may be the Walkman phone, and is said to have a 4.6-inch screen and a Snapdragon 600 processor, while the Xperia UL could be the Cyber-shot device, as it’s supposed to sport a 5-inch, 1080p screen. If the rumor pans out, we can apparently expect these to appear after the summer and just in time for the holiday season.
In their day, the original Cyber-shot and Walkman phones were among the very best you could buy, and hardware such as the K800 attracted the same adoration that the Lumia 920 or 808 PureView’s camera performance does today. So, if Sony really is planning to re-introduce these two internationally recognized brands to its range of mobile phones, it had best do it properly.

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