Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX100V Overview
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX100V digital camera is based around a 1/2.3"-type, 16.2 effective megapixel, backside-illuminated Sony Exmor R CMOS image sensor with RGB color filter array, coupled to a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar-branded 4x optical zoom lens. For 4:3 aspect still image shooting, the Sony TX100V's lens offers a 35mm-equivalent range from a useful 25mm wide angle to a moderate 100mm telephoto. When shooting 16:9 aspect stills or movies, a greater sensor crop leads to a 27 - 108mm equivalent range, while 4:3 movies have the highest level of cropping, and a 33 - 132mm focal range. The aperture varies from F3.5 to F6.3 at wide angle; at telephoto the maximum aperture is F4.6, and the minimum aperture isn't stated. Autofocusing is possible to just one centimeter at wide angle, or 50 centimeters at telephoto. The camera can capture 4:3 aspect ratio images at up to 4,608 x 3,456 pixel resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio images at up to 4,608 x 2,592 pixels, or 60 frames-per-second progressive scan video at 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution or below with Dolby Digital stereo audio, using AVC HD compression.
On the rear panel of the Sony Cyber-shot TX100V is a 3.5-inch XtraFine TruBlack Organic LED panel with a resolution of 1,229,760 dots, roughly equivalent to an 854 x 480 pixel 16:9-aspect array, with each pixel comprising separate red, green, and blue dots. This display serves as the only method of framing and reviewing images, given that the Sony TX100V doesn't feature an optical viewfinder. Courtesy of a touch panel overlay, it also allows for control of some camera functions through the LCD itself, including spot AF selection. The Sony DSC-TX100V has a 9-point autofocus system, and include a face detection system capable of detecting up to eight faces in a scene, as well as differentiating between children and adults. The face detection function is used to provide a Smile Shutter function that automatically triggers the shutter when your subject is smiling, as well as a blink detection feature.
The TX100V offers three methods for determining exposures - multi-pattern, center-weighted or spot metering. Shutter speeds from 2 to 1/1,600 second are possible under automatic control, and sensitivities ranging from ISO 125 to 3,200 equivalents are on offer, with the entire range available under automatic control. 2.0EV of exposure compensation is available, in 1/3 EV steps. The DSC-TX100V also offers Sony's Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, useful for combatting blur caused by camera shake. Nine white balance settings are available, including auto and seven presets, plus a manual white balance setting. As well as Intelligent Auto and Program modes, the TX100V offers a selection of 16 scene modes -- High Sensitivity, Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Hi-Speed Shutter, Underwater, Gourmet, Pet, Soft Skin, Handheld Twilight, Anti Motion Blur, and Backlight Correction HDR -- which together offer a modicum of control over the look of images.
The TX100V's Intelligent Sweep Panorama function works similarly to the older Sweep Panorama, in that a series of photographs are captured and stitched automatically by sweeping the lens across the scene, but analyzes frame content when capturing and stitching images, avoiding chopping up larger moving subjects. The function allows automatic creation of 238, 172, 163, or 120-degree panoramas in-camera, with the angle depending on the image dimensions. In addition, the TX100V also includes Sony's 3D Sweep Panorama function, which uses some clever mathematics to recreate a 3D image from a single lens, saving the result as a multi-picture object file that contains two separate JPEG images, one for each eye. The result can be viewed on 3D-capable Sony Bravia displays. 3D Sweep panoramas can cover the same field of view as Intelligent Sweep panoramas, as well as an additional 64-degree option. The Sweep Multi Angle function is only available at 1,920 x 1,080 pixel size, and allows viewing the image with a 3D effect on the camera's 2D LCD display, by changing the display perspective as the camera is rocked from side to side. (The same clever user interface trick is used to cycle backwards or forwards through a group of high-speed burst images). The Backlight Correction HDR mode is something we've seen in certain of Sony's previous Alpha digital SLRs and Cyber-shot compacts. The camera captures several images with varying exposure, and then automatically combines them into a single image with increased dynamic range.
The Sony TX100V includes a four-mode flash strobe with red-eye reduction capability. Flash range is stated as 0.08 to 5.1 meters at wide angle, or 0.5 to 4.0 meters at telephoto, when using automatic ISO sensitivity. A two- or ten-second self timer allows the photographer to get in the picture themselves, or to avoid camera shake caused by pressing the shutter button when shooting on a tripod. Images and movies can be recorded on Secure Digital, SDHC or the latest SDXC types. The TX100V is also compatible with Sony's own proprietary Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The Sony TX100V includes standard definition and HDMI high definition video output connectivity, as well as USB data connectivity. Power comes courtesy of a proprietary NP-BN1 Infolithium battery pack. Information on battery life and internal memory, if any, wasn't available at press time.
The Sony TX100V digital camera ships in the US market from March 2011, priced at around US$380. Three body colors will be available -- silver, black, and red.