Sony Party-shot Collects the Evidence (So You Don’t Have To)

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The digital camera market is mature enough now that it’s been spawning specialty products for several years—but who’d have thought stalwart electronics giant Sony would get in on the act? But they are: in addition to introducing new Cyber-shot DSC-WX1 and DSC-TX1 point and shoot cameras, Sony is also rolling out its new IPT-DS1 Part-shot camera dock: It can pan 360 degrees, tilt 24 degrees, and tap into the camera’s face detection and smile shutter features to automatically photograph an event—without the owner having to do any more than set up the Party-shot dock and start pouring drinks.

First up, Sony’s new Cyber-shot feature Sony’s new Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor technology for improved image quality in low-light conditions; combined with the hand-held twilight and anti-motion blur multi-shot modes introduced with the earlier HX1 camera, the cameras can shoot six images in less than a second and use the camera’s built-in BIONZ processor to combine them into a single high-quality image. The cameras also feature panorama modes, 10-2 megapixel resolutions, optical zooms (4× for the TX1, 5× for the WX1), and a pet mode that reduces motion blur and redeye when shooting small animals. Both cameras can also capture 720p video. The TX1 will be available in September for about $380, with the WX1 following in October for about $350.

An potential added attraction for both cameras is Sony’s IPT-DS1 Party-shot camera dock: latch the TX1 or WX1 Cyber-shot cameras to the dock, and you’ve got an automated photographer that can pan 360 degrees, tilt up to 24 degrees, and use the camera’s automatic face detection and smile shutter features to snap images automatically at an event. The dock can be mounted on a tripod, and runs off two AA batteries for up to 11 hours.

"With the Party-shot personal photographer, you no longer have to worry about taking photos when you are with your family or friends," said Sony Electronics’ digital imaging product manager Shigehiko Nakayama, in a statement. "Party-shot captures candid moments that tell natural life stories and also offers a new style of photography that enriches time with your family and friends."

Expect to see the Party-shot stand on sale in September for about $150.

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