Eight new Sony Cybershot cameras review
Having announced the launch of its 2012 Cybershot lineup earlier in the day, Sony let us take a closer look at each camera in the new range. On show were some incredibly small compacts, waterproof cameras and a 30x super-zoom, meaning there's something for everyone that would prefer a point-and-shoot over a more complex SLR or Micro Four Thirds.
The WX100 was one of the stars of the unveiling - Sony claims it's the smallest pocket camera with a 10x optical zoom, and we're inclined to agree. During the opening presentation it was revealed to be hiding in a cigarette packet. Despite its minuscule dimensions, it felt firm to grip and it's buttons were all large enough for our chunky hands to operate.
The slightly larger WX150 increases the size of the rear LCD screen to 3in, making it easier to compose shots and view the finished results. Both can take 18.2-megapixel photos and Full HD video using Sony's new Exmor R CMOS sensor, which is capable of capturing ISO 12800 photos and 3D still images.
Two other entry-level models were also on display - the W690 has a slim body, 16.1-megapixel CCD and 10x optical zoom, as well as the ability to take 360° sweep panoramas simply by panning the camera across the scene. The more expensive H90 has a larger body to compensate for the longer 16x optical zoom, a manual exposure mode and a pop-up flash.
More advanced photographers will probably be more interested in the HX10V and HX20V. Both can capture 18-megapixel images and 1080P video, but the more expensive camera has a greater 20x optical zoom compared to the mid-range model's 16x. Integrated GPS can geo-tag your photos automatically.
Like all the other models in the range there are a range of artistic effects to apply to your photos. These include colour separation, which shows only one colour in an otherwise black and white image, and depth effects that mimic the selective focus of a more expensive camera, letting value-conscious users create more advanced compositions without having to buy a Camera with manual aperture.
We were the first in the UK to test the TX20's claim of being waterproof to five metres - despite some worried looks from Sony's PR team, it survived a dunking in a glass of water and could even take some (rather blurry) pictures. The touchscreen interface was both responsive and intuitive when dry, although we had to give it a quick wipe to remove a few unwanted water droplets once we'd fished it from the glass.