Sony wants to upgrade the point-and-shoot with new Cyber-shot lineup

DSC-TX200Today Sony launched three new pocket cams, despite the decreasing interest in this sector. Next-generation digital cameras (Micro four thirds and other non-traditional interchangeable lens system devices) coupled with the effects of full-frame DSLRs and smartphones have eroded the entry-level point-and-shoot market significantly.

And Sony addressed that. The manufacturer is aware that this segment is struggling and has more to compete with than ever before: consumers are getting better and better with cameras and want more and more out of them. Even still, the point-and-shoot gets replaced on a fairly consistent basis, and the remaining buyers who want these devices are willing to pay for them.

To this end, Sony is doing a few things to squeeze what it can out of the pocket cam market while it can. Three new cameras that Sony has announced pack in the megapixels and improved sensors, without skyrocketing the prices.

In a product call Sony acknowledged that the megapixel war has been waged, and at the end of it we all have begun to accept that more megapixels doesn’t always mean better. But it’s something that consumers still look for in a camera that can sway a decision, so it’s been something Sony outfitted its new releases with. Bright LCDs, decreased noise, and improved sensor type mean you’re not just buying a megapixel number attached to a below-average device. And that’s what Sony will leverage against the onslaught of the camera phone. A few specs on the new releases:

Cyber-shot TX200V

Check out our full review of the Sony Cyber-Shot TX200V digital camera. 

  • 18.2-megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Fast AF – approximately 0.13 in daylight, 0.25 in low light
  • 3.3-inch OLED wide touchscreen
  • Waterproof, dustproof, freeze-proof
  • Dual record feature (take 13-megapixel stills while shooting full HD 1080p video)
  • Nine creative filters
  • $500; available in March

Cyber-shot WX70

  • 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 3-inch LCD touch screen
  • 5x optical zoom
  • Dual record feature
  • Nine creative filters
  • $230; available in March

Cyber-shot WX50

  • 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 2.7-inch LCD screen
  • 5x optical zoom
  • Dual record feature
  • Nine creative filters
  • $200; available in March

You’ll notice a few things about the new lineup. The sub $200 point-and-shoot market, while it still exists, is becoming less and less of a priority. And in our opinion, that’s a good thing: your smartphone can accomplish enough that an often-replaced, easily damaged or broken camera with a disappointing battery life will quickly become a nuisance you barely use.

We’d rather see camera-makers offering fewer, more capable cameras instead of making sure they run the price-point gamut. Sony’s clearly taking a page from this book. The new Cyber-shot models do things smartphones cannot do (yet) without completely isolating buyers still stuck on point-and-shoots. It might be a dying device, but there’s some life there yet.