updated 07:35 am EDT, Thu August 6, 2009
Sony TX1 WX1 Cameras
Sony this morning sought to fix one of the longer lasting problems of compact cameras by introducing two new models. The Cyber-shot TX1 and WX1 both switch from a usual CCD sensor to the CMOS technology more commonly seen in DSLR cameras; between this and moving illumination to the back, the cameras gain twice as much light sensitivity as others in their class. The approach helps them shoot in low light without needing to invoke flash or risking blur.
These same sensors also give them features previously only seen in ultrazoom cameras like the HX1, such as 10FPS burst shooting and a sweeping panorama mode that automatically takes and stitches together shots with views up to 185 degrees (for the TX1's regular lens) or 256 degrees (for the wide-angle WX1) depending on the efficiency of the photographer. Video support is downgraded only slightly from the HX1 and sees either shoot at 720p in MPEG-4.
The 10-megapixel TX1 is the more pocketable shooter with just an 0.65in thickness and a conventional 4X zoom but a touchscreen that not only provides touch autofocus but now supports flick gestures to scroll through the existing photo library; it also has optical stabilization. While thicker, the equally 10-megapixel WX1 makes up for the dimensions with a 24-120mm (5X), f2.4 aperture lens that both captures at wide-angle and with more light at maximum aperture than many DSLR lenses.
Sony delivers the TX1 first in September for $380, and the WX1 in October for $350. Pre-orders start this month for the cameras, which come only in black for the WX1 but blue, gray, pink and silver for the TX1.