March 3, 2009: Sony Europe has released details of the new Cyber-shot HX1, which features a 20x optical zoom lens and a new Sony-developed ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor with an effective resolution of 9.1 megapixels.
Measuring 5.92 x 4.57 mm, this sensor uses technology developed for the Sony Alpha digital SLR program and produces images with reduced noise, especially when shooting in high ISO settings. It also supports full-resolution shooting at up to 10 frames/second using a mechanical shutter. The ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor supports two new shooting modes. For static subjects, the Handheld Twilight mode grabs a high-speed burst of six frames, combining them to create a single optimised image with dramatically reduced noise levels. For moving subjects, the Anti Motion Blur mode also superimposes six frames to produce one composite image with reduced subject blur.
Front view of the Cyber-shot HX1.
Rear view showing the main button controls and tilting LCD monitor.
Making its Cyber-shot debut is a new G Lens that has been designed to complement the CMOS sensor and Bionz processor chips. Developed originally for Sony’s Alpha DSLRs, the G Lens in the HX1 teams aspherical and ED (extra-low dispersion) elements to minimise common aberrations and provide sharp images. It covers a focal length range equivalent to 28-560mm in 35mm format. A new ‘Sweep Panorama’ mode enables users to capture a panned sequence of shots, which will be stitched together automatically in the camera to create an extra-wide, high resolution image.
The Sweep Panorama mode allows users to create extra-wide shots by panning across the scene. It can also be used with the camera held vertically and for vertical panoramas.
Panoramas can be viewed as a scrolling preview on the camera’s 3-inch tilting Clear Photo, 230,000 dot LCD screen or new S-Frame digital photo frames or previewed on a PlayStation3. The Cyber-shot HX1 is the first compact camera from Sony capable of shooting 1080/30p HD movies at 30 frames/second. HD movies and still photos can be viewed on Sony’s Bravia TV sets or any HD Ready television (optional cable required).
A new jog dial simplifies ‘click and rotate’ selection and adjustment of camera settings. For extra convenience, there’s also a Digital SLR-style Custom button that can be assigned to Smile Shutter, White Balance adjust or metering mode select functions.
The Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 digital compact camera is scheduled for release from the beginning of May 2009.