DigitalCameraReview.com
Sony introduces Cyber-shot WX5, TX9
by Allison Johnson -  7/7/2010

Sony updates its Cyber-shot roster today with the WX5 and TX9. Replacing existing WX1 and TX7 models, the new cameras bring updated features like Superior Auto Mode and 3D Sweep Panorama capability to the Cyber-shot line for the first time.

Sony Cyber-shot TX9
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX9

Other new features being offered in these models include Superior Auto, Sweep Multi Angle and Background Defocus mode.

Background Defocus does exactly what it sounds like it does - creates a bokeh effect by combining one out-of-focus image and one with a focused subject to make a final image with a subject in focus and a de-focused background.

Superior Auto
Sony introduces a new shooting mode with the WX5 and TX9 called Superior Auto mode. Similar to the Intelligent Auto mode that's currently available on Sony cameras (as well as the new WX5 and TX9), Superior Auto will automatically recognize a scene and select a recording mode.

Sony Cyber-shot
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5

Unlike Intelligent Auto, Superior Auto can record multiple images with one press of the shutter button and overlap them into one final image. It's designed to recognize tricky scenes in low light or backlit situations and apply the right amount of processing to expose the scene evenly. The camera will record two to six images and process them in an effort to reduce noise and improve sharpness. Putting the images together takes several seconds to process, so Sony recommends using Intelligent Auto when speed is key.

3D Fever
To utilize the headline feature, 3D Sweep Panorama, you'll have need to be the owner of a compatible 3D HDTV, a 3D HDMI cable, and 3D glasses. Sony's 3D mode works by simultaneously recording images for the right and left eye as the user pans across a scene in 3D Sweep Panorama mode. If you've got all the necessary equipment, you'll be able to view the scene you recorded with a 3D effect on your TV.

Images can't be viewed in 3D on the camera's LCD. As an alternative, Sony has created a feature called Sweep Multi Angle. This mode will capture 15 images at different angles and combines them into one image. When the final image is displayed on screen, the user can tilt the camera to view the image through different angles, almost as if it's being displayed in 3D.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5
Replacing the WX1, the Cyber-shot WX5 will be equipped with a 12.2 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, a 2.8-inch 460k-dot LCD, and a 5x optical zoom lens starting at a wide 24mm angle with a maximum aperture of f/2.4.

Sony Cyber-shot WX9

It will offer AVCHD 1080 video recording at 60i at its highest resolution. Along with the new Background Defocus and Superior Auto modes, familiar features like 10fps burst shooting and Optical SteadyShot stabilization are also included.

Build and design will be similar to the WX1. The WX5 takes on more of a deck of cards form factor than the ultra-slim TX Cyber-shots. A dedicated video record button has been added to the back panel, moving the zoom toggle to the top of the camera.

Sony Cyber-shot WX5

We reviewed the WX1 back in December, and it was an overall good performer. Low light performance was very strong.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX9
The TX9 replaces the Cyber-shot TX7, making it the new "flagship" TX model. The TX9 will contain a 12.2 megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor a 3.5-inch 921k-dot touch screen. It has a 24mm wide angle 4x optical zoom lens and Optical SteadyShot.

Sony Cyber-shot

Like the WX5, it offers the new shooting modes along with AVCHD 1080 video recording at 60i. Both the TX9 and WX5 will also have a new Natural Flash feature, which combines information from a reference shot without flash and a second image using flash to, in theory, create a more natural-looking image.

Pricing and availability
Both the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5 and Cyber-shot DSC-TX9 become available in September. The WX5 will cost $299 and will be offered in black and silver. The TX9 will cost $399, and will be available in red or dark gray.