Sony has sprinted out of the post-CES gate with a pair of new mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and a trio of new Cyber-shot point and shoots. These models were announced in Europe last week, but officially launched in the U.S. today.
Sony unveiled the NEX 3N compact system camera, a new entry level addition to its photo hobbyist Alpha line. Boasting a small, light body with a 16.1-megapixel APS-C size sensor and collapsible 16-50mm motorized zoom lens, this camera joins Sony’s NEX line of compact interchangeable lens cameras as a replacement for the older NEX F3. It measures 4.33-by-2.44-by-1.38 inches and is designed for people stepping up from a fixed lens to an interchangeable lens camera.
It features Sony’s Auto Object Framing technology, which offers easier advanced composition by identifying the main object of a scene and automatically cropping photo around it. An updated Bionz processor adjusts levels of noise reduction in images to deliver crisp images in all types of lighting. It has a maximum ISO of 16000, but should you need a flash, there's a new pop-up version on this model along with a new zoom lever near the shutter button. A 180 degree tiltable 3-inch LCD screen follows the trend of offering easy self-portrait framing. It’s available in April for about $500.
Sony A58 DSLT
Joining its A77 and A99 advanced camera arsenal is Sony's new SLT A58, designed as an affordable DSLR-style shooter featuring the company's signature Translucent Mirror Technology. It's paired with an 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II kit lens, which the company says provides a quieter autofocus mechanism.
It features a new, advanced 20.1-megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor and uses Sony’s SLT technology for shooting up to 8 fps, a new lock-on autofocus, and ISO range of 100 to 16000. Sony's SLT cameras use Translucent Mirror technology that directs light onto the main image sensor as well as a separate autofocus sensor. Absent a moving mirror, you get a continuous live image preview during burst shooting or recording HD video. A bright OLED EVF is designed to improve framing, focusing, and image playback.
The camera works with an assortment of 35 interchangeable A-mount lenses (including two tele-converters).
Like the NEX 3N, the A58 features Auto Object Framing technology and an updated processor. It’s available in April for about $600.
Three new Cyber-shots
Sony has announced the Cyber-shot WX300, HX300, and TX30 compact cameras. All three models have a CMOS sensor to capture detailed stills and HD video.
The cameras' Picture Effect feature offers a range of artistic filters like Toy Camera, Pop Color, Soft High Key, and Partial Color. All models feature the Advanced Flash that boosts the camera's sensitivity and extends flash range to make subjects at a distance appear brighter.
The Cyber-shot WX300 compact camera is an ultra-slim pocket-sized unit featuring 20x optical zoom and Wi-Fi functionality. Paired with an 18.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, the camera's improved image stabilization promises to cut the effect of hand-shake and ensure crisp still images and videos at all zoom ranges. According to Sony, this model's image stabilization is twice as effective at high-zoom settings as the previous Cyber-shot HX20V with 20x zoom. An enhanced Active Mode ensures steady shooting for handheld movies as well.
Built-in Wi-Fi capabilities facilitate easy content sharing via Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app and smart remote control of the camera via a smartphone. The camera also features improved autofocus and battery life of up to 500 shots on a single charge.
The DSLR-styled Cyber-shot HX300 compact camera offers a 50x optical zoom. It features a 20.4-megapixel CMOS sensor and Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Lens.
It offers the same refined image stabilization as the WX300. Improved battery life yields up to 300 shots in one battery charge.
The 18.2-megapixel Cyber-shot TX30 is a thin, rugged, waterproof, outdoor camera with a stylish, compact design. It’s waterproof up to 33 feet, dustproof, shockproof, and freezeproof. A new magnifying glass mode and built-in LCD light provides for enhanced macro and close-up shooting.
With an ultra-compact body measuring 3 7/8-by-2 3/8-by-5/8 inches and a 5x optical zoom, it weighs less than 5 ounces. Its ISO range is 80-12800.
An improved auto mode automatically adjusts camera settings for ideal composition.
The Cyber-shot HX300 and the TX30 will be available in March for about $500 and $350 respectively. The Cyber-shot WX300 will be available in April for about $330.