San Diego, CA—Sony unveiled the 12.2 megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-TX9 and DSC-WX5 digital cameras, which they are marketing as the “world’s smallest 3D cameras,” capturing 3D images with a single-lens system using a sweeping motion.
“Sony is focused on being the leader in 3D technology, leveraging its expertise to create the best 3D products, content and unique entertainment experiences,” said Kelly Davis, director of the digital imaging business at Sony Electronics. “Sony is making it easy to create personal 3D content that can be enjoyed with friends or family on compatible 3D television systems.”
Both models offer a “3D Sweep Panorama” feature that enables users to take panoramic pictures in one press-and-sweep motion. The high-speed burst of frames is stitched together during processing to automatically create 3D panoramas. These images can be enjoyed in 2D or 3D on compatible 3D televisions (3D-compatible HDMI cables and 3D glasses are required and are sold separately).
The DSC-TX9, which has a 3.5-inch 921k-resolution touch-screen LCD, and the DSC-WX5, with a 2.8-inch LCD, also provide another image-viewing option: Sweep Multi Angle allows consumers to view images moving in simulated 3D right on the cameras’ LCD screens by tilting the cameras back and forth. This new shooting feature captures 15 images at different angles and then compiles them into one photo, creating a 3D-like effect on the display.
In addition to Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to overcome camera shake, the TX9 and WX5 offer a background defocus feature that simulates depth of field control, and superior auto mode, which results in low image-noise levels compatible with those of DSLRs. The background defocus function provides artistic photos like those taken with a DSLR by blurring the image’s background, putting the emphasis on the subject and creating a bokeh effect.
An extension of Sony’s intelligent auto mode, the superior auto feature takes multiple shots to reduce image noise and extend dynamic range. The cameras automatically recognize the correct scene, shoot and, when needed, combine up to six shots to produce images of greater quality than possible with a single shot. “While there are other cameras with multi-shot technology,” the company notes, “only Sony cameras know when to take multiple shots automatically. Only superior auto can evaluate the scene and automatically engage multi-shot technology to get the best shot.” And, with Sony’s Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor, the new cameras are engineered to provide excellent low-light performance and 10-frames-per-second burst shooting.
Also added is a natural flash mode that takes a reference shot without flash and then uses that as a color reference correction, to produce more lifelike images. The cameras also help users focus on moving subjects; when a subject is selected on the LCD, they will keep focus even as the subject moves. Another feature, soft skin mode, recognizes skin tones and reduces the appearance of imperfections.
Utilizing the AVCHD format used in Sony’s HD Handycam camcorders, the duo can also record movies in 1,920×1,080 Full HD resolution in 60i at up to 17Mb/sec. They can also capture videos in the MP4 format for online sharing.
With a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 4x zoom lens, the compact TX9 focuses as close as 0.4 inch from a subject, while its 25-100mm wide-angle lens can capture a wider view of subjects at closer distances. The TX9 has an MSRP of $400 and will come in gray and red.
The WX5 is also targeted at DSLR owners who want a compact point-and-shoot camera as well. With a Sony G lens (5x, 24-120mm), it has a wide f/2.4 aperture to enhance low-light performance. Carrying an MSRP of $300, the WX5 will be available in silver and black.
Sony also introduced the 14.1 megapixel DSC-T99 camera—an affordable T-series Cyber-shot that will retail for $250. With a CCD image sensor, the camera offers sweep panorama mode, a 3-inch touch screen and a 25mm-wide Carl Zeiss lens. The T99 will be offered in silver, black, pink, green and violet.
A range of accessories and all three cameras, which provide a memory card slot compatible with both Memory Stick Pro Duo and SD/SDHC media, will be available in September. sony.com