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New Sony big sensor compact coming

Enthusiast website Photo Review Australia reports that Sony Europe has released details of a new flagship Cyber-shot digicam, the RX-100 with a 13.2 x 8.8mm CMOS sensor with 20 megapixels.

It joins the Canon G1 X and the Fujifilm X10 to form a new category of large-sensor, fixed lens compacts, although it’s far more compact than these competing models.

With a body made mainly from aluminium, the DSC-RX100 provides many of the features of Sony’s interchangeable-lens cameras but has a permanently-attached, fast 3.6x optical zoom lens that bears the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* brand name.

The wide f1.8 maximum aperture combines with the larger sensor to provide superior imaging performance in low light, particularly with high ISO settings. The lens is constructed from 7 elements in 6 groups and includes four aspheric elements, one of them an Advanced Aspherical (AA) glass element that contributes to the camera’s extremely compact dimensions without sacrificing optical performance or resolution.

The camera’s BIONZ image processor extends sensitivity right up to ISO 25600 using Multi Frame Noise Reduction and supports continuous shooting at up to 10 frames per second (full-resolution). High-speed autofocusing locks onto targets in as little as 0.13 seconds. The high contrast, 3-inch LCD monitor has a resolution of 1.3 million dots and introduces a new proprietary WhiteMagic technology that uses white pixels in addition to RGB to boost screen brightness.

A Control Ring around the lens enables users to adjust exposure, zoom, Picture Effect and other settings, while frequently-used functions can be assigned to a handy Fn (function) button for instant access. Memory Recall stores up to three groups of settings for instant recall – a big time-saver when you don’t want to keep adjusting parameters for favourite scenes. Auto Portrait Framing makes it simple to capture personality-packed photos of family and friends.

Users can choose between auto and manual focusing and the MF Assist function magnifies the image to simplify fine adjustments. There’s also a convenient Peaking function that highlights sharply-focused areas of the image on screen. The camera provides a choice of six Creative Styles for in-camera image processing, while the Picture Effect offers an inspiring choice of ‘in camera’ effects that can be previewed on the LCD screen, among them Toy Camera, Partial Colour, Pop Colour, HDR Painting, Miniature, Illustration and Watercolour.

Video movies can be recorded with Full High Definition (1080p). Newly created for the DSC-RX100, the NP-BX1 Type X rechargeable battery features a slim, energy-efficient design to allow up to 330 still shots or 80 mins AVCHD video shooting per charge.

The new Cyber-shot RX100 digital compact camera from Sony will be available in the USA and Europe from mid-July 2012. It is expected to sell in the USA for around US$650. There are no local release details available.

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