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Sony announces three CMOS-based compacts including 18MP DSC-TX200V

By dpreview staff on Jan 30, 2012 at 04:00 GMT

Sony has announced three CMOS-based compact cameras - the Cyber-Shots DSC-TX200V, DSC-WX50 and DSC-WX70. The TX200V is a GPS-equipped card-style touch-screen waterproof camera with Sony's latest 18MP back-lit CMOS sensor. It also includes the company's fast AF system that aims to reduce focus times down as low as 0.1 sec and 0.2 sec in low light. It can also grab 13.5MP stills while shooting 1080p60 video. It also has an WVGA-equivalent OLED touch screen and glass front panel, spoiling the whole thing only slightly by using Micro SD cards. The WX50 meanwhile offers the older 16MP and 5x, 25-125mm zoom.

The WX70 is essentially a WX50 with a 3.0" 920k dot touch-screen, rather than the WX50's 2.7" 230k dot unit. Both can record 1080i60 video and can capture 13MP stills while doing so. All three cameras feature Sony's 'Clear Zoom' up-resing technology and the combined pixel-binning and up-resing low-light mode.

In its description of the TX200V's fast AF, Sony suggests that the camera compares out-of-focus images to determine which direction to move the lens to achieve focus, avoiding the camera scanning for focus in the wrong direction. This sounds a lot like phase-detection to us but we're still chasing for more information.

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Press Release:

SONY INTRODUCES NEW ASSORTMENT OF COMPACT, HIGH-POWERED CYBER-SHOT® CAMERAS

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 29, 2012 – Sony’s newest Cyber-shot® digital still cameras make it easy to capture beautiful memories anytime and anywhere.

Three new models include the DSC-TX200V model from the ultra-thin Cyber-shot T series and the DSC-WX70 and DSC-WX50 models from the stylish, traditionally designed W series, each featuring a high-resolution “Exmor R” CMOS sensor and an improved BIONZ™ image processor that together boost low light performance and enhance auto-focus speeds, among other benefits. 

“We continue to innovate in the compact camera space, finding new ways to help consumers produce high-quality photos and videos as easily as possible, regardless of lighting conditions” said Yosuke Tomoda, director of the Cyber-shot business at Sony Electronics. “With new technologies designed to improve the overall imaging experience - including extended creativity, control and more - this new lineup of Cyber-shot cameras delivers impressive results with stylish, pocket-sized bodies.” High-Resolution, High-Speed, High-Quality

The new TX200V camera features a newly developed 18.2 MP “Exmor R” CMOS sensor, the highest-resolution currently offered in the “point and shoot” market, and a new BIONZ™ processor, which work together to create images and video files with extremely low noise. The advanced model also offers lightning-fast AutoFocus speeds of approximately 0.13 seconds in daytime and 0.25 seconds in low-light situations (speeds may vary based on shooting conditions), helping to ensure you never miss the moment. 

Additionally, the TX200V Cyber-shot showcases a new beautiful, reinforced glass design with a large, 3.3-inch (8.3cm) Xtra Fine™ TruBlack OLED wide touch-screen. It is also water-proof (up to 5m or approx.16 feet), dust-proof and freeze-proof (up to 14oF), and features a “Photo Creativity” interface that lets users easily adjust creative settings to produce unique, custom-styled photos.

The new WX70 and WX50 models each are equipped with a high-resolution 16.2 MP “Exmor R” CMOS sensor, with the WX70 featuring a 3.0-inch 921k dot LCD touch-screen and the WX50 featuring a slightly smaller 2.7-inch LCD screen.

All-Around Performance

Each of the new Cyber-shot cameras features a new “Extra High Sensitivity” technology, which minimizes unwanted noise in low-light shooting conditions.  For consumers who want to get closer to their subjects without losing quality, these new models have “Clear Image Zoom” technology, which boosts optical zoom to 2x virtual capability (i.e. 5x optical zoom to 10x virtual zoom) at full camera resolution.   

The TX200V, WX70 and WX50 cameras also offer image stabilization during video and still shooting.  Using technology borrowed from the Sony Handycam® lineup, the “Optical Steady Shot Active Mode” drastically reduces blurring caused by camera shake while on the move.  All models can shoot video in Full HD resolution.

Additional notable features of the new lineup include nine “Picture Effect” options for expanded creativity, “Dual Record” capabilities, 3D shooting modes (3D Still Image, 3D Sweep Panorama and Sweep Multi Angle), fast shooting speeds (10 fps burst mode) and more.

Product Specs, Pricing and Availability

The new assortment of cameras and an expanded range of stylish accessories, including the new LCS-WM and LCS-THT soft carrying cases, will be available this March at Sony retail stores and online (www.store.sony.com) as well as other authorized retailers throughout the Sony dealer network.  Detailed specs are below:

  • The DSC-TX200V camera will be available in silver, red, and violet for approximately $500.  Features include:
  • 18.2 MP “Exmor R” CMOS sensor
  • 26mm equivalent lens with 5x optical zoom, 10x virtual zoom via “Clear Image Zoom” technology
  • “Extra High Sensitivity” technology enhances low-light shooting capabilities
  • Lightning-fast AF speed of approximately 0.13 second in daylight, 0.25 seconds in low-light (speeds may vary based on shooting conditions)
  • Beautiful, slim reinforced glass design with 3.3-inch (8.3cm) Xtra Fine™ Tru-Black OLED wide touch-screen
  • Waterproof (up to 5m,16 feet), dustproof and freeze-proof (up to 14oF)
  • Captures 13 MP equivalent still images while shooting video via “Dual-Record”
  • Full HD Movie Shooting capability (1920x1080/60p) and Optical SteadyShot Active Mode
  • Photo Creativity interface and 9 “Picture Effect” options for creating unique, custom-styled photos and video
  • The DSC-WX70 camera will be available in silver, black, pink, violet and white for approximately $230. Features include:
  • 16.2 MP “Exmor R” CMOS sensor, 3.0-inch 921k dot LCD touch screen
  • 25mm equivalent lens with 5x optical zoom, 10x virtual zoom via “Clear Image Zoom” technology
  • “Extra High Sensitivity” technology enhances low-light shooting capabilities
  • Captures 12 MP equivalent still images while shooting video via “Dual-Record”
  • Full HD Movie Shooting capability (1920x1080/60i) and Optical SteadyShot Active Mode
  • 9 total “Picture Effects” options,  allowing for creative, custom styled photographs
  • The DSC-WX50 camera will be available in silver and black for approximately $200. Features include:
  • 16.2 MP “Exmor R” CMOS sensor, 2.7-inch LCD screen
  • 25mm equivalent lens with 5x optical zoom, 10x virtual zoom via “Clear Image Zoom” technology
  • “Extra High Sensitivity” technology enhances low-light shooting capabilities
  • Captures 12 MP equivalent still images while shooting video via “Dual-Record”
  • Full HD Movie Shooting capability (1920x1080/60i) and Optical SteadyShot Active Mode
  • 9 total “Picture Effects” options,  allowing for creative, custom styled photographs

Sony DSC-TX200V, DSC-WX70, DSC-WX50 specifications

 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX200VSony Cyber-shot DSC-WX70Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX50
Price
MSRP$499.99
Body type
Body typeUltracompactCompact
Sensor
Max resolution4896 x 36724608 x 3456
Other resolutions4912 x 1080, 4896 x 2752, 3648 x 2736, 3424 x 1920, 2592 x 1944, 1920 x 1080, 640 x 4804608 x 2592, 3648 x 2736, 2592 x 1944, 1920 x 1080, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels18 megapixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors19 megapixels17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorBIONZ
Image
ISOAuto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800
White balance presets86
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
File format
  • JPEG (Exif 2.3)
  • 3D: MPF
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)28–140 mm25–125 mm
Optical zoom5×
Maximum apertureF3.5 - F4.8F2.6 - F6.3
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Face Detection
Digital zoomYes (20x)
Manual focusNo
Normal focus range60 cm (23.62)
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18)5 cm (1.97)
Number of focus points9
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.332.7
Screen dots1,229,760921,600460,800
Touch screenYesNo
Screen type1,229,760 dots equiv. XtraFine TruBlack OLED display XtraFine TFT LCD displayClearfoto TFT LCD display
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed2 sec4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1600 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program AE
Scene modes
  • High Sensitivity
  • Night Scene
  • Handheld Twilight
  • Night Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Soft Snap
  • Soft Skin
  • Anti Motion Blur
  • Backlight Correction HDR
  • Beach
  • Snow
  • Fireworks
  • Hispeed Shutter
  • Underwater
  • Gourmet
  • Pet Mode
  • High Sensitivity
  • Night Scene
  • Handheld Twilight
  • Night Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Soft Snap
  • Soft Skin
  • Anti Motion Blur
  • Backlight Correction HDR
  • Beach
  • Snow
  • Fireworks
  • Gourmet
  • Pet Mode
Built-in flashYes
Flash range3.10 m5.30 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Slow Sync
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive10 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, Portrait 1/2)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesMemory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG DuoSD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Duo/Memory Stick Pro Duo, Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo
Storage included105 MB19 MB
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes
Remote controlNo
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes (up to 15 feet)No
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NP-BN battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)220240
Weight (inc. batteries)129 g (0.28 lb / 4.55 oz)114 g (0.25 lb / 4.02 oz)117 g (0.26 lb / 4.13 oz)
Dimensions96 x 58 x 16 mm (3.78 x 2.28 x 0.63)92 x 52 x 19 mm (3.62 x 2.05 x 0.75)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSBuiltInNone

Additional images

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX200V  
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX50  
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX70  
3
I own it
2
I want it
0
I had it
Discuss in the forums
3
I own it
2
I want it
1
I had it
Discuss in the forums
4
I own it
3
I want it
0
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 146
12
Digital Suicide
By Digital Suicide (Jan 30, 2012)

Cmon, SONY,why not 64 megapixels? Just ridiculous 18...

9 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Jan 30, 2012)

I already own the previous model DSC-TX100V (I paid $420 when it first came out) and It seems from the comments I'm reading that I'm one of the few people here who could see myself spending $500 for one of these DSC-TX200Vs. It fits in my pocket and therefore it fits my world. This being said, I'm not going to give up my Eye-Fi cards, so for me, the micro-SD/Memory Stick format is a deal breaker.

3 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Jan 30, 2012)

folks have to remember tiny sensor combined with tiny lens and very narrow apertures mean images will be predominantly very high deep DOF... thus, it would be no surprise AF would (or should) be fastest, as the chance of soft boundaries for most of any subjects in a scene including foreground and background will have that 'nearly focus-free' look, almost every boundary will be close to 'sharp/crisp' even if out-of-focus... making AF have minimal focal positions to deal with, to shift to a position that is 'in focus'. nothing unexpected... fast AF is all quite predictable really for such models.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
LukeDuciel
By LukeDuciel (Jan 30, 2012)

I do not see your point. When focused in near or mid distance, even cell phone cam can see focused and un-focused objects..

Most of the people on this planet do not need IQ of modern DSLR level for daily snap.

2 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Jan 30, 2012)

I would think it would mean that the system has a greater depth of focus to cover to ascertain the boundaries of focus hence find the mid point and this would slow the process. This is born out by the fact that leaving a compact camera in macro focus is said to slow focusing as a greater field of focusing has to be covered. Also the softer the boundaries are the more difficult they may be to detect. This is why I would think compacts have macro as a separate option rather than just leaving it on all the time.
If compacts are just near or far focusing as you imply this would be noticed. People will expect a maximum sharp focused depth of field with a compact rather than speed.

0 upvotes
Cipher
By Cipher (Jan 30, 2012)

$500 for the T200V? Is Sony serious?

3 upvotes
techmine
By techmine (Jan 30, 2012)

GPS premium? :-)

0 upvotes
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Jan 30, 2012)

I wonder how well a 6mpx ultracompact with a more open lens would do. Someone needs to stop this megapixel lunacy... or at least, develop lenses that can decently match the sensor.

1 upvote
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Jan 30, 2012)

I am most impressed with:

"The advanced model also offers lightning-fast AutoFocus speeds of approximately 0.13 seconds in daytime and 0.25 seconds in low-light situations (speeds may vary based on shooting conditions)..."

"In its description of the TX200V's fast AF, Sony suggests that the camera compares out-of-focus images to determine which direction to move the lens to achieve focus, avoiding the camera scanning for focus in the wrong direction. This sounds a lot like phase-detection to us..."

Awesome innovation for contrast based AF

0 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Jan 30, 2012)

If it's not better than my phone, I don't want it or need it. Actually, my smartphone isn't even that good, but I still wouldn't want it. It's just not worth it anymore. My smartphone is good enough for uses on the go, like social outings or interesting/funny snapshots I want to show my friends during the day. And at night, point and shoots barely do better than even my not-so-good smartphone, so why bother?

Really, manufacturers need to start focusing on making high end compacts with real useful features cheaper, like those with larger sensors, water/shock/dustproofing, apertures at least at f2.2, etc. Seriously, you can get some mirrorless cameras on sale for like less than $500, and they're selling high end compacts for that much? I don't think so.

1 upvote
zstan
By zstan (Jan 30, 2012)

i doubt these cameras are considered high end considering they have almost no manual controls.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Jan 30, 2012)

Useful features like... fast focus, a ZOOM lens and dust and waterproof?

0 upvotes
LukeDuciel
By LukeDuciel (Jan 30, 2012)

OH.... forgot one thing: SONY, pls fix the touch screen interface. The last on I used was awfully sluggish and hard-to-use.

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jan 30, 2012)

Wow what a waste of 12MP. 6MP would be more than sufficient for this class of camera. Can't wait for next years 24MP model.

1 upvote
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Jan 30, 2012)

Tx200V is up for pre-order on amazon

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006K552LG/

$499

!!!!!

Waterproof? Sony does not guarantee that so it's more like a "hope it does not leak" camera.

Also the TX10 touch screen does not work underwater really limiting the usefullness. Will the TX200 touchscreen work underwater?????

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
LukeDuciel
By LukeDuciel (Jan 30, 2012)

To me, tx200 seems interesting with waterproof and 1080p60 video + touch screen.

My only complain is the waterproof rating. If SONY can get it to 10m, tx200 will be my snorkeling cam. 5m will make me nervous if I free dive a bit.

0 upvotes
zstan
By zstan (Jan 30, 2012)

Whoa awesome stuff! Feel like selling off my tx10 and getting the tx200 now D:

0 upvotes
SammyToronto
By SammyToronto (Jan 30, 2012)

I guess with camera phone sensors being as high as 12mp these days, camera manufacturers feel they have to cram even more mp's into tiny sensors to make their point and shoots seem superior to the average customer. Point and shoot sales have been dwindling recently, with many would-be customers using their camera phones for point and shoot duties (e.g. iPhone is the most used "camera" on flicker!) and the new, more compact breed of mirrorless cameras also having an impact.

I, for one, don't think I'll ever buy a point and shoot -certainly not one with 18mp- unless as a gift. I have a compact mirrorless camera (e-pm1), a DSLR and a good camera phone (Nokia N8), which cover all my photographic needs. I also have a clutch of old point and shoots currently collecting dust in my closet.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
zstan
By zstan (Jan 30, 2012)

you don't always have to shoot full 18mp since you can't shoot RAW with these type of cameras.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 30, 2012)

that makes no sense. If anything, JPEG makes it easier to have lower resolution.

Short answer, anyway, is no. Most compacts allow different sized JPEGs.

0 upvotes
DRNottage
By DRNottage (Jan 30, 2012)

I'll stick with my WX10. Flimsy, but really sharp (if you can put up with the NR) and GREAT video. Blows out flash shots, but all Sonys seem to. For all-weather, it's the super-durable Lumix TS2 for me- NO DAMN STUPID TOUCH SCREEN! If only I could merge them both...

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Jan 30, 2012)

i would be happy if these were 2 mp... i would never print anything larger than 6x4 anyways

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Jan 30, 2012)

wx70 looks promising to me
:))) never saw you guys happy ..

0 upvotes
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Jan 30, 2012)

So it's safe to say that resolution is still a consumer driven metric. #Sad.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 30, 2012)

Even though almost nobody that shoots compact cameras prints bigger than 5x7 or posts to facebook. We should have stopped at 5MP as all the extra pixels do is waste hard drive space

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 30, 2012)

I'd go further than that. 5MP is probably enough for DSLRs 85% of the time. Another 14% would be where one needs to crop and still have enough resolution for that 5"x7" print. Perhaps only 1% of photos need 8MP to allow one to crop and leave enough for a larger print. Yet, aren't there lots of DSLR users who shoot at max resolution and, except when morbidly engrossed with pixel peeping, see everything on a screen whose resolution is 1920x1080 or less?

0 upvotes
eijihappou
By eijihappou (Jan 30, 2012)

I used the DSC-TX7 for a while. I actually had no complaints, but the quality is obviously nothing compared to a DSLR. For a simple walk-around camera, It was great, and had awesome low-light capabilities.

0 upvotes
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Jan 30, 2012)

These should come with Android and 3G tbqh.

4 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Jan 30, 2012)

Absolutely! If it did, I'd buy one in a second.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 30, 2012)

Why? A 2011 Acer or Asus tablet already offers that, and more, for less.

0 upvotes
Lofi
By Lofi (Jan 30, 2012)

The only interesting part in this Sony point & shoot camera announcement would be if they finally fixed their image compression problem. Even though the hardware is superior, neither the HX9V, nor the HX100V, nor the TX100V can take good pictures because in the end the Sony image compression saves an awful looking, blocky, washed out picture which only looks at least acceptable at screen resolution. Unless they fix this, it's not even worth looking at any of the new cameras.

3 upvotes
zstan
By zstan (Jan 30, 2012)

i agree. do not buy these cameras unless you have photo editting background. Otherwise, it's a great gem to have!

0 upvotes
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Jan 30, 2012)

it's missing the phone part...

7 upvotes
MikeNeufeld30
By MikeNeufeld30 (Jan 30, 2012)

Interesting!

0 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Jan 30, 2012)

18 mpxs!!! like a Canon 60D, and the full frame 1Dx!!!

guess many people with no clues about digital cameras will be tempted by this credit card full of pixels!

6 upvotes
cheong75
By cheong75 (Jan 30, 2012)

come on... do we need 18MP from a compact?

3 upvotes
Eigenmeat
By Eigenmeat (Jan 30, 2012)

The better question is are those actually 18M pixels? It it really resolve 18MP, i'll be the first one to buy...

3 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Jan 30, 2012)

It is a fact that a camera manufacturer can advertise a camera as 18 megapixel purely by putting this chip in it. There is no necessity for the image to show 18 megapixels of resolution and the jpeg engine will use smearing and compression to effectively pixel bin the sensor output. It is interesting how as sensor resolution has increased the super fine compression option has in my experience been dropped (except by Samsung). The people who oversee advertising standards will not understand this so the camera makers will presumably get away with this deception forever.

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Jan 30, 2012)

Has anyone used one of these "card" cameras? They seem like they would be really hard to handle, being super thin, and that tiny lens suggests poor image quality compared to a traditional digicam.

0 upvotes
mzillch
By mzillch (Jan 30, 2012)

I bought the very first of the "T" series, the T1, back when "5 megapixels" seemed like a lot! [a decade or so ago]. The tiny lens opening is the top of a periscope with the light path being transmitted at a right angle downward to the sensor, a clever way to get such a thin design yet still have a good optical zoom range.
Even then the reviews said "based on the tiny lens opening" it was really no better in terms of lph resolution specs to a much smaller megapixel camera. I doubt the optics are really that much better today. [Killer macro though.]

0 upvotes
tamras29
By tamras29 (Jan 30, 2012)

I thought those pixel wars were over, remember back when Canon reduced the pixel count from 14.7 down to 10 in the G10 to G11?
It really is so very sad and the public are still being taken for a ride.
I do think Sony is the main culprit here, the NEX 7 at 24 MP's is just stupid. Intel & AMD managed it when it got to around 2.8 GHz with it's processors and pulled out the numbers game, still, swapped it for the "cores" game so just another game I suppose.
Still love my A4 pics taken with my Canon A40 2mp 10 years ago, and with 256mb we were in digital heaven.

1 upvote
w. coyote
By w. coyote (Jan 30, 2012)

re: T200V

???

with no sliding lens cover, where is the lens hiding? i don't see any hint of it...

0 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Jan 30, 2012)

tamras29
I agree that 18 mpx for a small sensor is stupid, considering most expert say that for that size 6 is enough..
But dont forget the NEX 7 has been declared by all reviews the best IQ APSC sensor out there. And if there are 24mpxs, every single one of them is welcome.

1 upvote
Total comments: 146
12