Sony Announces First Compact Cameras w/HD 1080i AVCHD Video

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At CES, Sony has announced two new Cyber-shot cameras—the DSC-HX5V and DSC-TX7—which are “the world’s first compact digital still cameras to include full HD (1920 x 1080 60i) Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) video capability. They are also the world’s smallest and thinnest AVCHD capable cameras,” according to the manufacturer.

From Sony:
Sony took the wraps off two new Cyber-shot® digital still cameras today that create a new standard of mobility with technologies that answer consumers’ on-the-go needs.

Sony has designed two new innovative Cyber-shot cameras (models DSC-HX5V and DSC-TX7) that are the world’s first compact digital still cameras to include full HD (1920 x 1080 60i) Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) video capability. They are also the world’s smallest and thinnest AVCHD capable cameras.

These are the first Cyber-shot cameras with an in-camera Backlight Correction High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature for managing difficult lighting situations and TransferJet™ wireless technology for sharing, storing and viewing images. The HX5V model is also the world’s first still camera to include GPS + Compass and Optical SteadyShot™ with Active Mode technologies.

With Sony’s “Exmor R” back illuminated CMOS sensor technology, these cameras provide excellent low-light performance, 10fps burst shooting and the new Intelligent Sweep Panorama™ feature.

In addition to its cameras, Sony introduced three other devices with TransferJet technology at CES, including a Sony Memory Stick® memory card (model MS-JX8G) with a wireless transmitter/receiver, a Sony TransferJet Station (model TJS-1) and a VAIO® F Series notebook.

“Adding to the outstanding low-light performance and impressive Sweep Panorama feature, we are providing high-quality movies with full HD video, stereo sound recording when capturing movies on the go and an in-camera HDR solution for capturing high-contrast scenery. Sony can provide these solutions because of its expertise with other imaging products including Handycam® camcorders and α DSLR cameras,” said Kelly Davis, director of the Digital Imaging business at Sony Electronics. “Our goal is not only to make it easy for consumers to get the best shot—still or video—but also to have the best sharing experience.”

High-Quality Stills and Videos

With the AVCHD format, these new cameras record movies in 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution at 60i in 17Mbps. The AVCHD format captures a high degree of detail and smooth movement, and when footage is burned to disc, it can be played back on your HDTV using most Blu-ray Disc™ players, Sony® PlayStation®3 systems and compatible Blu-ray Disc enabled PCs. In addition to the supplied PMB software for Windows users, it is also possible to edit recorded AVCHD file using iMovie® for Macintosh users.

The camera will also capture videos in the MP4 format (up to 1440 x1080 30p 12Mbps) for online sharing.

Managing Difficult Lighting

The HX5V and TX7 cameras offer in-camera multi-shot High Dynamic Range (HDR), which combines highlight and shadow detail of two separate captures into one remarkably natural looking image—even without a tripod.

HDR offers a solution for strong backlight situations which typically result in either dark shadows in the foreground or a washed out background. Sony’s “Exmor R” sensor and BIONZ™ processor help to correct these issues.

Impressive Panoramas

The HX5V and TX7 cameras have an Intelligent Sweep Panorama™ feature that captures wide landscapes or tall buildings in one easy “press and sweep” motion. Due to their “Exmor R” CMOS sensor technology, they can take up to 270 and 258-degree panorama shots, respectively, horizontally or vertically with an image size of 7,152 x 1,080 (horizontal wide panorama mode). In addition, these cameras’ Intelligent Sweep Panorama feature, which is comprised of up to 100 separate captures, detects faces and subject motion and intelligently adjusts the width of each picture while stitching them together, resulting in natural looking panoramic photos.

Relive the Experience

Ideal for travelers who take hundreds of photos, the in-camera GPS + Compass feature on the HX5V camera makes it easy to store and share the location and direction of where photos were taken.

With social networking sites becoming more popular, people want to share more details of their experiences. The GPS + Compass feature provides a fun new way to share where they were — beyond the location. Using the free online satellite imagery application, Google Earth™ mapping service, users can view the images from a bird’s eye view or from the direction in which the photo was taken. The GPS function automatically adjusts the camera’s internal clock by selecting the travelling area, without the hassle of setting the time manually.

A Wireless Way of Sharing, Storing and Viewing

TransferJet technology, which was developed by Sony and is supported by a consortium of other companies, allows you to transfer files between two TransferJet-enabled devices just by bringing the TransferJet marks on each product within one inch of each other without the hassle of hunting for cables or the complication of pairing. To transfer photos, TransferJet-enabled still cameras must each utilize the TransferJet Memory Stick media (sold separately).

TransferJet technology is perfect for sharing on the go. You can select up to 10 pictures and transfer them from camera to camera. For storing images, you can place the HX5V or TX7 cameras on the lower left-hand corner of the VAIO F Series notebook and import photos. For sharing at home on devices which do not have the technology, you can connect the TransferJet Station to devices with a type-A USB port, including your TV, digital photo frame or PlayStation®3.

Designed for Technology Enthusiasts

With the most innovative digital imaging technologies, the HX5V camera is ideal for everyone from travelers to party-goers.  The multi-occasion camera features a 10 megapixel “Exmor R” sensor, a 3-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally) and a 10x optical zoom with wide-angle 25mm-250mm equivalent high-quality G lens allowing easy group shots and close ups when on the move.

In addition to its AVCHD video capability, the HX5V camera has Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization with Active Mode, which lets you capture moving subjects such as kids walking or running. It allows a moveable lens element to shift with greater range of motion—10 times the range of the Optical Steady Shot™ feature at wide end in standard mode—during camera shake. The feature reduces camera shake so users can shoot smoother movie footage on the move. The cameras also have an HDMI™ output adapter for easily connecting to an HDTV for viewing pictures and movies (HDMI cable required).

Powerful and Stylish

For those seeking a sleek, compact camera, the 10MP TX7 model is just under an inch thin and is slim enough to slip into a pocket or purse.  The 3.5-inch (measured diagonally) high resolution (921K) touch LCD screen offers easy image scroll by simply swiping your finger across the display. The camera’s high-performance Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® 4x optical wide angle 25mm-100mm equivalent zoom lens brings distant subjects closer and Close Focus snaps close-ups in just under a half an inch from the subject.

The DSC-TX7 camera is also compatible with the Party-shot™ (model IPT-DS1) automatic photographer, which pans, tilts, zooms and adjusts composition to capture spontaneous images. Additionally, an embedded touch sensor located on the front edge illuminates when the TX7 camera is attached.  By touching the sensor, the camera goes into the “On-demand shot” mode, which allows users to select the shutter timing without losing the advantage of Party-shot’s built-in intelligence.

To give customers greater choice and enhance the overall customer experience, the TX7 and HX5V cameras feature a memory card slot compatible with both Memory Stick® (PRO Duo™) and SD/SDHC formats. Sony is also expanding its industry leading line of consumer media with the addition of SD/SDHC memory cards.

Additional features found on HX5V and TX7 include iAuto, which detects eight and nine scenes, respectively, and optimizes camera settings and Easy Mode, which simplifies the camera menu. Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization reduces blur without impacting image quality, Face Detection and Smile Shutter™ technology, which captures faces and smiles naturally.

A New Way to Share Photos and Videos Online

These models include Picture Motion Browser (“PMB”) software for viewing, editing, organizing and uploading images to many major video and photo sharing Web sites.

This spring, Sony will launch a new service and a new integration with Facebook® allowing users to easily and quickly share their photos and videos privately with friends and family. The service and the integration will be available as a downloadable update to the “PMB” and “PMB portable” software applications that are embedded with bloggie™ and Cyber-shot cameras and bundled with Handycam® camcorders, bloggie cameras, Cyber-Shot cameras and α cameras. The Facebook integration complements the existing sharing capability with such sites as YouTube™ and Picasa™ Web Albums.

Pricing and Availability

The HX5V camera will be available in black this March for about $350, and the TX7 camera will be available in silver, blue and red this February for about $400. The TransferJet-enabled Memory Stick media will be available in January for about $100, and the station will be available in February for about $150. Pre-sales begin in January.

The cameras, Memory Stick, station, and a range of accessories will be available online at Sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores (www.Sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges and at authorized dealers nationwide.

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One Response to “Sony Announces First Compact Cameras w/HD 1080i AVCHD Video”

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