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Old February 4th, 2011, 11:31 PM   #1
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Any Upcoming Trade Shows That Will Demonstrate New Sony Cameras?

Does anyone know of any electronic shows in the near future that will showcase new Sony photo cameras? This Sony news release of a few days ago describes two new cameras that produce 1920 X 1080, 60p video, but the specifications for available photo and video modes seem incomplete and there's some possible errors. The Sony websites for England, France and Spain show more modes for these models than are listed by Sony USA. Sony's information center doesn't even have these models in its database yet. Sony unveils Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V and DSC-HX9V: Digital Photography Review
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Old February 5th, 2011, 04:30 PM   #2
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I think they are all supposed to be out to retail channels in about a month... the HX100V looks interesting. My only reservation is the relatively small chip, it's going to be more comparable to a handycam than a DSLR...
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Old February 5th, 2011, 07:53 PM   #3
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Performance of the 16-MP Sensors is the Big Question

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
I think they are all supposed to be out to retail channels in about a month... the HX100V looks interesting. My only reservation is the relatively small chip, it's going to be more comparable to a handycam than a DSLR...
Dave, there's no way of knowing how the .43-inch, 16-MP Exmor-R sensors will do. To think that I was afraid they would put 12-MP sensors in these new models. It's possible they might function well, but more likely, they will require good light and not have the surprisingly good low-light capabilities of the Sony HX1.

I just hope the J-PEG encoder will allocate enough bits to avoid over-compression on the larger photo sizes. With high-capacity memory cards, I don't mind at all, having 7 or 8 MB given to a photo. Since Sony has removed the option of choosing Standard or Fine quality, not all photos come out with as many bits as I'd like. I'll put an HX100V through my tests, but won't keep it if it doesn't measure up. The manual lens-control ring will be nice, if it works precisely. It's probably a fly-by-wire type, rather than having a direct mechanical action. It's said to switch between focus and zoom. Having it work for exposure, with an infinite range of adjustment, rather than 1/3-stop indexing, would be great, but apparently is not an option.

The specs on the Sony USA press release about the HX100V and HX9V didn't list any 16:9 photo modes, nor a 1440 X 1080, 12 Mbps AVC video mode. I have some doubt that both the AVCHD 1920 X 1080 modes will have 60p, which is how they're listed. On the Sony Websites for England, Spain and France, these models are shown to have 16:9 photo modes and a very different and more complete selection of video modes. The AVCHD modes are listed as interlaced for those countries, at 50i. I'm expecting or at least hoping, that one of the AVCHD modes for the USA model will turn out to be 30p or 60i.

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; February 5th, 2011 at 09:35 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 02:28 PM   #4
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We touched on these cams in the VG10 thread here, but to summarize a few points, Sony tends to develop a sensor and drop it into a bunch of "similar, but different" cameras designied to hit different market/price points. This years' "top of the heap" is a newly developed 16.2 MPixel EXMOR R.

I had the HX1, and wasn't terribly impressed with it's low light, although it was a decent video camera overall. It did not have the "R" sensor, which makes quite a bit of difference in low light. I've owned several cameras now with this "class" of sensors - first in a 10.2Mpixel iteration, currently a 12.2 MPixel iteration, and am looking at the new ones... My experience is that they perform fairly well in low light, stills particularly have some magic with the processing, video not quite as much, but usable, thought they won't come close to touching my CX500/550 series

The 12.2 sensor is a "bit" noisier for video than the 10.2 one was, although significantly sharper for stills. I'd expect the 16.2 to be sharper still for stills, but am going to "wait and see" if they put any effort into reducing noise with the video. Considering they are releasing a "pocket" 1080/60p camera (TX100, the sucessor to the TX7/TX9, which I'm familiar with), it should be interesting. I actually drag a TX7 or 9 along with me most times now, just in case something interesting presents itself! The video is surprisingly adequate - shot some concert footage, and while I'd rather have the CX550, the TX was in my pocket... looks great on a big screen HDTV.

I think there is some "spec confusion" because there are a LOT of similar cameras from Sony this year, with slightly different specs depending on price point... MULTIPLE WX, HX, TX releases make it a bit hard to figure out what's what!

I can tell you that it's a safe bet ALL will have 16x9 ratio stills, usually they are a bit lower pixel count than the 4:3, but are standard. Likely they will do fairly well in low light, especially with stills... video... well, we will have to wait and see. They will all have the fancy "modes" like HDR, panorama, and twilight, that take multiple images and stack or stitch them together - it's now "standard" across the Sony line, and surprisingly effective!

The 1080/60p/24Mbit is reserved to the "top of the line" versions - the HX100 being unique in form factor, the HX9 being the top in that particular form factor, the TX100 being the top of that line, and the WX10 (IIRC). You do lose the ability to take stills while shooting video at the highest rez (same as the CX550), but it's nice to see that feature reapppear in the line for the lower bitrate video - you get both (reduced rez) stills and video simultaneously.

Trust the EU feature sets more than the US ones... they are likely more accurate, substitute 30/60 for 25/50, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what the cameras will do.

I'm intrigued by the HX100, simply because of the superzoom capabilities and the active OIS (apparently adopted from the CX500/550). The "ring" also looks interesting - it wouldn't be anything other than a firmware feature to have it do other functions... IF the video can keep up with the CX500's, might be a good replacement/upgrade at a nice price. I liked the HX1, but sold it to help finance an upgrade to the new SLR/SLT

The TX100 is the other cam that catches my eye, again for the "pocket" factor.

One nice thing is that I see the MSRP's start between $30 and $50 lower than comparable models from the last couple years!
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