Sony recently announced a new compact camera that puts them on top of the pocket superzoom podium – at least as far as zoom range is concerned (insert “size matters” joke, here). According to the official press release, the Sony Cybershot HX50V is, “the world’s smallest and lightest 30x optical zoom camera.” It has a 30x, 24-720mm equivalent, Sony G optical zoom lens with improved Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to ensure sharp photos at all focal lengths. Until now, you only got that kind of zoom range with bigger, clunkier superzoom bridge cameras – the kind that look like small DSLRs. But at 4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 inches and 9.6 ounces, the HX50V is a proper pocket camera that you can easily take everywhere.
Update: Our Sony Cybershot HX50V studio tests are live. We have high-res studio sample photos at all ISO settings along with some comparison and anaylsis:
Besides being well-endowed (I’m referring to the 30x zoom lens, of course), the Sony Cybershot HX50V has a full range of features, including full HD video, a dedicated exposure compensation dial, built-in creative picture effects, and PASM manual shooting modes as well as Intelligent Auto. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile iOS and Android app you can wirelessly transfer photos and videos to your Smart Phone and tablet for easy sharing. You can even use your phone or tablet as a remote control, complete with live view so you can see everything the camera sees on your phone screen!
Sony Cybershot HX50V Key Features And Specs:
- 1/2.3-inch 20.4-megapixel “Exmor R” CMOS sensor
- 30x 24-720mm (equivalent) f/3.5-6.3 Sony G optical zoom with 5-blade aperture
- Improved Optical SteadyShot image stabilization – 2x better than HX200V
- Built-in Wi-Fi and Sony PlayMemories Mobile app for iOS and Android
- 1920 x 1080 60p full HD AVCHD video with stereo sound
- 3-inch 921k-dot LCD display
- PASM manual exposure modes
- Dedicated exposure compensation dial
- 10 FPS full-resolution high-speed burst
- Picture Effect in-camera filters for photos and videos
- Sensitivity: ISO 80-3200 with ISO 4000 to 12,800 Extended Mode
- Multi Interface Shoe for electronic viewfinder, stereo mic and flash
- Smaller battery with 400 photo capacity
Those of you who regularly read my photography articles and camera reviews will know I’m a big fan of pocket superzoom cameras like the Sony Cybershot HX50V. There are pocket cameras with larger sensors and better image quality. But the versatility of the big zoom makes me choose pocket superzooms over the other compact camera options. I always have one in my pocket when I’m traveling and I keep one in a small pouch on the shoulder strap of my pack when I’m cycling, skiing or hiking. For anyone who skis, bikes or takes any kind of sports photos, the HX50V can shoot full resolution bursts at up to 10 frames per second – that’s faster than all but the most expensive digital SLRs. Full HD 60p video means you can do 1920x 1080 full HD video in slow motion, to capture full glory of your kid scoring a touchdown, or your buddy face planting on his snowboard. You can even add an optional stereo mic, electronic viewfinder, or flash with the Multi Interface Shoe. With the built-in Wi-Fi you can use the HX50V for all of your Facebook and Instagram photos. You’ll have the big zoom, printable image quality and manual controls – it’s much better than even the best Smart Phone camera.
The Sony Cybershot HX50V should be available any day now and will sell for about US $450.