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January 07, 2010

New Sony Cybershot HX5v is a buzzword-bandwagon: AVCHD, 1080i, GPS, Compass, Exmor-R, BackLit, HDR, MP4, SDHC, etc

The new Cybershot HX5v is perhaps the most intriguing of the 50+ fixed-lens digital camera models announced at CES 2010 so far. Sony blends photographer-bait and gadgetologist-bait features in this new camera. And judging by the advances in video-mode features, it shows that perhaps Sony has partially overcome their fear of cannibalizing sales of their camcorders. This was the spotlight camera at yesterday's CES Sony event, touted by reality-TV-celebrity Nigel Baker.

The HX5v has a 10mp 1/2.4" Exmor-R CMOS sensor, just like just-announced TX7 compact. It has a 10X G-name lens with optical stabilization that goes 25-250mm (eq). The specs are close but not identical to the new Casio EX-FH100.

New with the H-series and not very common among compacts is the addition of a GPS + Compass feature hardwired inside the camera. This intersects at the corner of practical and gadgetologist-bait :)

Video is boosted, as Sony may have perhaps overcome their fear of cannibalizing camcorder sales. You get 1080i AVCHD at 60i which can flow through the Sony family of consumer electronics. Also of interest is HD MP4 video for small files and "webbability" of videos.

The camera has 10fps burst-mode at full-resolution, a 3-inch LCD (230K), AF assist, Bionic engine (Bionz), sweep-panorama, backlight correction HDR, handheld twilight, Transfer Jet, HDMI, and things like that.

One strange thing with this and the other new Sonys of today is that the USA specs (SonyStyle.com, Amazon.com) only mention Memory Stick while global specs mention both MemoryStick and SD/SDHC. This is likely an error/typo in the US specs. We noticed under the "Features" page (first column, under "Media Card Slots") for the HX5v at SonyStyle.com that they mention SDHC. So there is at least one mention of SDHC. *sigh of relief*

The camera is available for pre-order at Amazon at the rather reasonable price of $350. It has generated the most pre-order interest of yesterday's batch of 40+ cameras. Perhaps the SDHC card has removed one of the main roadblocks.


Further Reading
+ Imaging Resource
+ DC Resource
+ Engadget
+ Quesabesde - no European price yet
+ ALC NewsDesk


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