Sony's biggest camera news pre-CES comes in the form of two new Cyber-shots, the TX7 and HX5. They were launched tonight with the help of Sony recording artist Taylor Swift at a press event that took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Both new Cyber-shots are armed with the backlit Exmor R CMOS sensor of previous X models, though the new cameras add full HD video recording, TransferJet wireless file transfer capability, and in-camera HDR.
These new models carry over the Sweep Panorama function available previously in the likes of the Cyber-shot HX1, powered by a BIONZ processor. The new Cyber-Shots also record 1080 HD videos at 60i (the "i" signifying interlaced frames as opposed to progressive) in AVCHD format.
SD compatible, TransferJet connected
Stan Glasgow, Sony President and COO, made the announcement that for the first time, their line of ultra-compact Cyber-shots are compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards. Each camera features one memory card slot that will be able to read and write to both SD and Memory Stick cards. However, only Sony's newly announced TransferJet compatible Memory Stick card (model MS-JX8G) will allow the camera to wirelessly transfer files via TransferJet technology.
As explained by Sony's team, TransferJet is a very short range wireless communication that will allow users with compatible cameras to swap image files without the use of any cords. Two compatible TransferJet cameras (and in this case, two such cameras with the new TransferJet Memory Sticks) can load images from one to the other and versa by holding the cameras so they touch. Sony's cameras are equipped with a menu function to select photos for transfer.
This technology can also be utilized with a new TransferJet Station from Sony, a device that allows the user to place the camera in close proximity and upload photos to a connected computer.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5
The 10 megapixel Cyber-shot HX5 features a 25mm wide angle Sony G lens with 10x optical zoom reach. It's also equipped with a 3.0 inch LCD and Optical Steady Shot image stabilization with new Active Mode designed to better stabilize images and video as the photographer walks with the camera.
The HX5 also features a GPS + Compass function that will record the place and direction in which a photo was taken. This information can be viewed later using an application such as Google Earth. In addition to 1080i HD video recording, the HX5 features HDMI output for connectivity with an HDTV.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7
The TX7 features a large 3.5 inch touch LCD with a 921k-dot, DSLR-territory resolution. It's equipped with 4x Carl Zeiss optics starting at a 25mm wide angle. Like the TX1, the TX7 is compatible with the Party-shot stand.
Pricing and availability
The Sony Cyber-shot HX5 will be available in black this March for $350. The touch screen TX7 will appear in silver, blue, and red this February for around $400. TransferJet Memory Sticks will set you back about $100 and will be available in January.