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Sony launches DSC-TX55 touch-screen CMOS compact

By dpreview staff on Jul 25, 2011 at 04:00 GMT

Sony has announced the TX55 touch-screen card-style camera. The 16.2MP camera features a backside illuminated CMOS sensor and stabilized 5x zoom lens (which we calculate to offer a range of approximately 26-130mm equivalent). The TX55 can capture 1080i60 movies and store them on the MicroSD/SDHC or Memory Stick Micro cards it uses to keep the body size down to an impressively slim 12.2mm deep. Beyond this it has a 3.3" OLED touch screen, the now-standard Sony features such as 3D Sweep Panorama and gains the 'Picture Effects' image processing filters that debuted in the NEX C3. It also uses a 'By Pixel Super Resolution' digital zoom mode that applies image processing to try enhance the image back up to full pixel-count (more details when we get them).

Press Release:

SONY’S NEWEST CYBER-SHOT CAMERA EXPANDS RANGE OF CREATIVE OPTIONS

Ultra-thin DSC-TX55 Camera Delivers Full HD Video, 3D and
Picture Effect Mode - with up to 10x Clear Image Zoom at Maximum Resolution

SAN DIEGO, July 25, 2011 – With an exceptionally slim and stylish design, Sony’s new DSC-TX55 Cyber-shot camera makes it easy to capture any moment with high-quality still photos, full high-definition video and amazing 3D images, providing consumers with the ultimate in creative control of their photos and videos.

The DSC-TX55 camera features a range of innovative new technologies, including “By Pixel Super Resolution” technology, which boosts the cameras’ zoom range to a virtual 10x without losing quality at the image sensor’s maximum resolution (16.2 million pixels). The new model is also the first Cyber-shot camera to offer a “Picture Effect” mode, which expands a shooter’s artistic possibilities without the need for editing software. 

“Our new DSC-TX55 model redefines what a compact camera can do,” said Yosuke Tomoda, director of Sony Electronics’ Cyber-shot business. “In addition to the newly developed, ultra-thin chassis design, the camera features an incredible combination of features and performance, putting more creativity at users’ fingertips than ever before.”

The TX55 boasts a 16.2 megapixel, highly sensitive Exmor R™ CMOS sensor that delivers incredible image detail and ultra-low picture noise in both still images and Full HD video – even in low light conditions.  Also the camera’s hi-speed auto focus can lock onto subject in as little as 0.1 seconds, letting users grab the most fleeting photo moments with ease.

16 Mega-pixel CMOS Sensor with Clear Image Zoom

Just 12.2mm slim (measurement excludes lens cover), which is smaller than the thickness of a standard AA-size battery, the Cyber-shot TX55 is the world’s thinnest camera in its class (among cameras with an optical anti-shake function).  The new model captures Full HD AVCHD video clips as well as 16.2 megapixel still images through its innovative and exceptionally thin 5x optical folded zoom lens. 

It introduces brand-new ‘Clear Image Zoom’ that boosts magnification without lowering the pixel count in the final image. Exclusive to Sony, ‘By Pixel Super Resolution’ processing further extends the camera’s 5x optical zoom range, allowing full-resolution 16.2 megapixel images with a maximum 10x zoom.

‘By Pixel Super Resolution’ technology also significantly boosts still image quality during movie recording. At a touch of the shutter button, ‘Dual Rec’ grabs detail-packed 12 megapixel-level still photos without interrupting Full HD video shooting.

Further, the camera’s back panel is dominated by a super-sized 3.3-inch (8.3cm) Xtra Fine™ OLED wide touch-screen, perfect for showing off photos and movie clips with incredible detail.

Enhanced Creativity and Functionality

The innovative Picture Effect mode broadens the range of artistic options with an exciting palette of in-camera image treatments.   Effects can be viewed on the camera screen, allowing users to see the result of a chosen effect instantly rather than during the post-shooting experience.
The full list of seven Picture Effect options includes HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Toy Camera, Partial Color, Pop Color and Soft High-key.

Newly enhanced with additional electronic image stabilization for vertical and horizontal handshake correction, SteadyShot® image stabilization with Active Mode compensates for handheld camera movements during Full HD video shooting. Users can enjoy crisp, blur-free movie clips at all zoom settings, even when holding the camera while walking.

Great Results Made Easy

The new DSC-TX55 camera makes it simple for users to easily achieve DSLR-like picture quality. Superior Auto mode recognizes a wide range of shooting situations, adjusting exposure and other settings for high-quality images with low noise and high dynamic range.

Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode also features HR (High Resolution) mode, letting users capture breath-taking up to 42.9 megapixel panoramas. Just sweep the camera, then enjoy the results on a connected HD TV, or zoom in using a PlayStation®3 system to reveal the finest details.

3D Still Image captures dramatic 3D photos without the need for a large, bulky stereoscopic lens. With a single shutter press, the camera takes two shots consecutively, using the first image to estimate depth information to create a dramatic three-dimensional still image. Other 3D shooting options include 3D Sweep Panorama mode and Sweep Multi Angle.

Enabling its incredible slimness, the new TX55 camera includes a slot to accept Memory Stick Micro™ (Mark2) and MicroSD/SDHC flash memory cards. Sony offers a choice of ultra-compact, high quality media in capacities up to 16GB, with Memory Stick Micro™ being enhanced to achieve data transfer speed of up to 15MB/s (fastest among micro memory cards) by carrying the same high performance HX Engine controller used on Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo to fully support the new cameras’ features such as 3D and full HD video shooting. All cards come with free PC software (available via download), File Rescue for quick, easy recovery of deleted or damaged photos and files, and x-Pict Story™ that simplifies creation of dazzling slideshows.

Pricing and Availability

The new Sony Cyber-shot™ TX55 camera will be available for about $350 this September at Sony stores, www.sonystyle.com and other authorized retailers throughout the Sony Dealer Network.

The range of Sony Memory Stick Micro™ and MicroSD/SDHC media cards are available now throughout the Sony dealer network and along with an expanded range of coordinating accessories – including the colorful new LCJ-THF camera cover, AC-UD10 AC adaptor and BC-TRN2 fast battery charger.

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Comments

Total comments: 42
peppersasen
By peppersasen (Feb 14, 2012)

It's not waterproof. The TX-10 is...

0 upvotes
JerseyJohn
By JerseyJohn (Oct 9, 2011)

As the Sony Rep puts it... "it says Waterproof... but it does not say 'yes' next to where it say 'Waterproof'." Idiots.
I expect next March to see a TX-10 (waterproof) upgrade. I LOVE my TX-10. Throw it in the car... drop it on the beach... in the water....and then turn on one of the incredible modes and shoot.
Question: Why in the world does the waterproof version NOT come with GPS and the super bright (and Bigger) screen for outdoor and bright sun use?
The Sony guys have to get out more.
JJ

1 upvote
peppersasen
By peppersasen (Feb 14, 2012)

This camera is not waterproof.

0 upvotes
Lupti
By Lupti (Aug 23, 2011)

I hate it that Sony places the mics on the top and not on the front. I don´t want to pick up background noises. Thanks, but I think I will stick to my TX9.

0 upvotes
itsikw
By itsikw (Aug 20, 2011)

Is it possible to obtain more info on the 3D capability? Key issues:
1. What is the 3D quality?
2. What is the stereo base, and is it adjustable?
3. Are there any limitations on scene depth or composition?
4. Does one need a special software to process the 3D?

0 upvotes
JerseyJohn
By JerseyJohn (Aug 16, 2011)

when you chat with sony rep, they have no idea. as anyone heard of a TX10 (the last waterprofoof cybershot-which i have and love) UPGRADE? The TX55 seems to be the upgrade of the tx110. jj

0 upvotes
AndyNewton
By AndyNewton (Jul 25, 2011)

Technical spec from Sony UK... (sensor size etc etc etc)

http://www.sony.co.uk/product/dsc-t-series/dsc-tx55#pageType=TechnicalSpecs

And it's waterproof!

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 26, 2011)

Except that spec list says it isn't.

1 upvote
AndyNewton
By AndyNewton (Jul 30, 2011)

Sadly, it seems that is correct.

The original Sony UK web pages said it was Waterproof on the overview page, but said Not-Waterproof on the Spec list.
The overview page has now been edited removing the Waterproof claim.

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Jul 25, 2011)

According to the amazon product page you miscalculated the focal length:

"Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar Lens with 25mm equivalent wide angle 5x Optical Zoom
The high-performance Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 5x optical zoom lens brings distant subjects closer for video recording as well as for outdoor, sports, and travel photos, and Close Focus shoots close-ups within a ½" of the subject. A 25mm equivalent wide-angle lens allows you to take wider shots of the scene or group in crowded spaces."

Big difference between 25 and 27mm

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005C95MRA/

This camera really needs to hit a home run to justify costing $160 more than the $190 T110.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 25, 2011)

The correct answer appears to be 26mm equiv, according to the Sony UK website. (we'd calculated 26.5mm, based on the TX100V's actual/equivalent focal lengths).

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jul 25, 2011)

So how many dots for this supposed 'Xtra Fine™ OLED wide touch-screen' ?

It doesn't have much else to work with so it better be good ;)

Especially with people getting used to 'Retina display' quality.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 25, 2011)

It uses 1,229,800 dots, which works out as around 853x480 pixels. (It actually works out as exactly 480x853.3 recurring, pixels, which almost makes sense, as that would be the size of a 16:9 display with 480 vertical pixels, though I suspect it doesn't have 0.3 recurring pixels down one edge)

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Jul 25, 2011)

This statement is simply not possible. "“By Pixel Super Resolution” technology, which boosts the cameras’ zoom range to a virtual 10x without losing quality at the image sensor’s maximum resolution (16.2 million pixels)."

You can't create resolution that is not there. The key to them getting away with saying this is the "without losing quality" part. It all depends on how you define quality. Strictly speaking this is a fancy way of saying it upscales the low resolution image to 14 megapixels.

Next....

1 upvote
britenschurl
By britenschurl (Jul 25, 2011)

I speculate they are using deconvolution (you back-calculate the point spread function gaining approximately 150% in resolution maybe even more for small apertures when diffraction is limiting) Deconvolution software is in around in scientific microscopy for a while but takes $$$ computing power or is just too slow. Sony might have developed a dedicated processor for it ...

0 upvotes
AndyNewton
By AndyNewton (Jul 25, 2011)

Sony press release above says ... "The new DSC-TX55 camera makes it simple for users to easily achieve DSLR-like picture quality."

... Yummy! :-)

0 upvotes
JohnFredC
By JohnFredC (Jul 25, 2011)

I have a DSC-T100... my favorite camera of all time. Picture quality is good, but the convenience factor and utility are through the roof. I expect this camera will be similarly useful. The best camera is the one you have with you "in the moment" and these small Sony's can go with you anywhere, hide in your hand. Well, maybe not the red ones.

Now if they would combine this camera with an iPhone or Android phone... now THAT would be very useful!

0 upvotes
Dabbler
By Dabbler (Jul 25, 2011)

Sensor size and max aperture?

0 upvotes
Cipher
By Cipher (Jul 25, 2011)

Sensor is most likely the 1/2.3" Exmor R CMOS sensor

0 upvotes
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Jul 25, 2011)

It doesn't accept standard SD cards? Going to Micro SD makes thing nasty. If Sony can accommodate a Memory Stick card, they can an Secure Digital card as well.

0 upvotes
RayUK
By RayUK (Jul 25, 2011)

It's not a memory stick, but a memory stick micro.

Ray

0 upvotes
arnoud venema
By arnoud venema (Jul 25, 2011)

and now integrate a telephone!

2 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jul 25, 2011)

'tele' for long-distance i presume, sir ? where can i plug in the wire ?

0 upvotes
TechOutsider
By TechOutsider (Jul 25, 2011)

You guys had the calculate the equivalent focal length? Please explain why.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Jul 25, 2011)

Merely because Sony neglected to provide it in the press release.

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jul 25, 2011)

Shows us the market they aim for.

5x zoom is the focal-length ;)

0 upvotes
LainC
By LainC (Jul 25, 2011)

looks almost like an iPod.

0 upvotes
techmine
By techmine (Jul 25, 2011)

how big is the sensor?

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jul 25, 2011)

have you seen the lens ? ain't a hell of a lot room behind it ... ;)

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 25, 2011)

No, but being a card-style camera, you'd expect it to be of a 'periscope' design, with the sensor being set down at the bottom of the camera, pointing upwards.

There's no reason to suggests it's anything other than the near-standard 1/2.3" type (around 6.17 x 4.55 mm).

0 upvotes
J Birn
By J Birn (Jul 25, 2011)

@M Jesper - The sensor isn't "behind" the lens, there's a mirror or prism behind the lens and the sensor aims upwards at it. This kind of bent optical approach is why the zoom lens doesn't need to extend...

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jul 25, 2011)

That's interesting, i'd love to see the insides of that.

Would think there to be even less room for a horizontal sensor than a vertical one, with cameras getting thinner and thinner like this.

0 upvotes
steve69za
By steve69za (Jul 31, 2011)

@ M Jesper

http://www.stylereport.ro/wp-content/gallery/sony-tx55/TX55_Phantom_with%20shadow.jpg

1 upvote
samdman
By samdman (Jul 25, 2011)

@cipher,
indeed. I am about to buy ixus 220HS, and this thing really grab my attention. Yes we would see how this thing perform on low light as oppose to canon counterpart.

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Jul 25, 2011)

if the video is as good as the hx9v, i might consider getting one, as a pocket camcorder

0 upvotes
Cipher
By Cipher (Jul 25, 2011)

I wonder how good it REALLY is in low light...

0 upvotes
theranman
By theranman (Jul 25, 2011)

Oh, with those 16mp, I'm sure it'll be masterful. :D

3 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jul 25, 2011)

Does nobody go out in daylight these days ?

4 upvotes
Cipher
By Cipher (Jul 25, 2011)

Isn't that like asking if an SUV is good on dry pavement? Besides, it would be silly to ask if a camera does good in ideal lighting...

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jul 25, 2011)

Yeah this is not a SUV, it's a Toyota iQ. Don't try off-roading. If you get my drift ;)

2 upvotes
WproofDC
By WproofDC (Jul 25, 2011)

Unfortunately it is not waterproof like TX10 or TX5 ...

0 upvotes
CAcreeks
By CAcreeks (Jul 26, 2011)

Does capacitive touchscreen work when wet, or underwater?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 42