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Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 digital camera. Photo provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Sony announces Cyber-shot DSC-HX1
(Monday, March 2, 2009 - 20:00 EST)

Two weeks ago, Sony unveiled six new digital camera models for this year's Photo Marketing Tradeshow.

The company saved the best for last though, and today it has announced the most interesting of the group: the high-speed, high-def, long-zoom Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1. Based around a high-speed 1/2.4"-type Exmor CMOS image sensor - the first time Sony has used this chip - the Cyber-shot HX1 has a sensor resolution of 9.1 megapixels, and is capable of capturing bursts of full-resolution images at a whopping ten frames per second using a mechanical shutter. The Sony HX1's SLR-like body includes an optically stabilized Sony G-branded 20x zoom lens which offers focal lengths from 28 - 560mm. ISO sensitivity ranges from 125 to 3,200 equivalents, and the Sony Cybershot DSC-HX1 has two interesting modes that take advantage of its high speed to provide reduced blur in images. Both the hand-held twilight mode and anti-motion blur mode capture six images in a short burst and then combine them into a single image; the latter mode also overlays the main subject from one image only onto this background.

The Sony Cybershot HX1 also includes a 201,000 dot electronic viewfinder plus a 3.0" LCD display with 230,000 dots, stores images on Memory Stick Duo / PRO Duo cards or in 11MB of built-in memory, and draws power from a proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery. Other unusual features of the Sony DSC-HX1 include a full 1080p (1440 x 1080 pixel) high-definition MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 movie mode with stereo sound and a frame rate of 30 fps, plus a "Sweep Panorama" mode. This last feature captures up to 224-degree horizontal or 154-degree vertical panoramas with a single press-and-hold of the Cybershot HX1's shutter button while "sweeping" the camera across your subject; images are automatically captured at high-speed and stitched together into a single panorama.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 ships from April 2009, priced at about $500. For more details, read our Sony HX1 preview.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 digital camera. Photo provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeEVF
Model NumberDSC-HX1
Dimensions4.5 x 3.3 x 3.6"
114.5 x 82.8 x 91.8mm
Weight504.0 g
17.6 oz
Planned Price$499.00
Planned Availability 2009
Image Capture
Sensor Type1/2.4" Sony Exmor CMOS
10.30 megapixels (total)
9.10 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Aspect Ratio4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions3456 x 2592 (9.0 megapixels)
3456 x 2304 (8.0 megapixels)
3456 x 1944 (6.7 megapixels)
2592 x 1944 (5.0 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Capture SpeedContinuous: 10.0 frames per second for 10 frames
Image Preview / Review
ViewfinderYes, EVF type, 201K pixels
LCD3.0", 230,000 pixels
Lens TypeSony G Lens, 13 elements in 10 groups including 1 ED, 1 asph. element
20x optical zoom
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length28 - 560mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.5 (wide) / f/5.2 (tele) - f/?
Focusing SystemContrast Detection with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Focusing RangeNormal: 0" - infinity (1 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.4" - infinity (1.0 cm - infinity)
ISO SensitivityAuto, 125 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Shutter Speed30 - 1/4000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering ModesMulti Pattern, Center Weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3, Incandescent, Flash, Manual
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Flash Off
Range: ISO Auto: 0.3m-9.2m(W), 1.5m-5.1m(T)
Scene ModesEasy, Sweep Panorama, Anti motion blur, Handheld Twilight, High Sensitivity, Twilight,Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Portrait , Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Gourmet, Adv. Sports
Digital Zoom2x Precision, up to 108x Smart Zoom
Self TimerYes, 2 or 10 seconds
Movie FormatMPEG4 AVC/H.264 with audio
Recording MediumMemory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Built-in
File SystemFAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatJPEG (EXIF v2.21)
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
Battery TypeLithium ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary Info LITHIUM
Product Bundle
SoftwareSony CD-ROM
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary Lithium ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory11.0MB Internal
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlNo
More Photos
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 digital camera. Photo provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 digital camera. Photo provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 digital camera. Photo provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


LAS VEGAS (PMA #F171), March 2, 2009 – Sony is spotlighting its first digital still camera to feature sweep panorama technology here at the Photo Marketing Association confab.  The new HX1 Cyber-shot model can take 224-degree panorama shots in one easy press-and-sweep motion.

It is also the company’s first Cyber-shot camera to use the exclusive 1/2.4-inch Exmor™ CMOS sensor technology. This technology allows it to achieve burst speeds of 10 frames per second at full 9.1 megapixel resolution in continuous burst mode.

Setting it apart from most digital still cameras, which use an electronic shutter to achieve high speed, the HX1 unit has a mechanical shutter that helps reduce distortion when shooting a moving subject.

Compared to images shot with traditional sensors, the HX1 model takes clearer images with about 50 percent less noise when in handheld twilight or anti-blur modes. It is also the first Cyber-shot camera include a Sony G lens and 1080p HD movie clip recording capabilities.

“Traditional CMOS sensor technology provides higher shutter speeds, but we are using what we call an Image3 system that combines the best image, sensor and processor,” said Karim Noblecilla, senior product marketing manager in Sony Electronics’ Digital Imaging Division. “By combining this sensor with a high-quality Sony G lens and powerful BIONZ™ processor, we are able to create solutions beyond fast speed that helps consumers get better pictures.”

Incorporating on-chip A/D conversion, which minimizes image degradation that can occur during analogue processing, Noblecilla said the Exmor CMOS sensor delivers outstanding images, reduces noise and can continuously shoot at a high speeds.

Clear Images in Low Light or for Moving Subjects
Compared to cameras with traditional sensors, the HX1 model has two scene modes that significantly reduce noise. Using the high-speed shutter Exmor CMOS sensor technology, the new model takes six shots within a fraction of a second. Combined with the power of the BIONZ imaging processor, it immediately superimposes them into one picture. The camera calculates the position of objects in each frame and composes the sharpest picture possible, resulting in clearer, sharper images.

The two modes that use this functionality include hand-held twilight and anti-motion blur. For difficult shots in low light, the hand-held twilight mode results in clearer and sharper pictures without the need of a tripod. Anti-motion blur uses High ISO to reduce blur especially in dimly lit environments.

To reduce blur, the camera detects if a person or object is moving, or if the camera is shaking, which is likely when taking a telephoto shot. When it superimposes the images, the camera captures the moving subject or object from one of the six shots. It takes, combines and composes the rest of the image using the six shots. This reduces blur on the main subject and results in a sharp, clear background.

Sweep Panorama Technology
Capturing wide landscapes, church spires or skyscrapers is as easy as “press and sweep.” Sweep panorama mode lets you reach beyond the traditional wide-angle lens and capture breathtaking shots. With wide and ultra-wide settings and horizontal or vertical directions, sweep panorama mode can take up to 224-degree horizontal or 154-degree vertical shots.

Using the fast-speed Exmor CMOS sensor, the camera continuously shoots full-resolution images at a high speed. Using the BIONZ imaging processor, it automatically stitches the pictures together to create one stunning panoramic photo. The maximum resolution is 7152 x 1080 (ultra wide horizontal).

“This panorama mode is so seamless that it removes the guess work,” Noblecilla said.  “The camera indicates where you are in the degree range, so you know how wide you can shoot and stitches the photos automatically.  It calculates and aligns pictures for you without using additional software.”

1080p HD Movie Recording
The HX1 camera captures movie clips in 1080p HD resolution, and a built-in stereo microphone records crisp, clear audio. The camera’s wide 20x optical zoom is also available while shooting.

When set to HD movie, it records at 30 frames per second (1440 x 1080). The camera uses the high-quality, high-compression MPEG4 AVC/H.264 format. Other recording options include standard-definition video and VGA.

The camera also has HDMI™ connectivity via supplied HDMI accessory (cable not included) so images can be shared in high definition on an HD television set. MPEG4 AVC video recording allows you to view footage on a PC and upload it to the Web.

Sony G Lens
The Sony G lens is optimized to complement the advanced image sensors and image processing technology in Sony’s cameras. The HX1 camera features a 28-560 millimeter f/2.8-5.2 wide-angle lens with 20x telephoto range. With the combination of this G lens and sweep panorama mode, the camera can cover almost any telephoto and wide angle need.

Containing a six-blade aperture, the G lens produces beautifully defocused backgrounds with a soft, natural feel. A-spherical lens elements and elements made from extra-low dispersion glass combine to minimize chromatic aberration common to high-magnification lenses.

Intelligent Auto
Like many of Sony’s new cameras this year, the HX1 model has the convenient and powerful intelligent auto mode, which combines Intelligent Scene Recognition (iSCN), Optical SteadyShot™ and face detection technologies. It recognizes scenes and lighting conditions within one-thirtieth of a second, and then changes settings. This produces clearer images with more natural skin tones, reduced red-eye, fewer closed-eye shots and less overall blur without compromising image quality.

The iSCN feature detects up to eight scenes and automatically changes settings that will apply to the scene or lighting conditions. With the iSCN Advance feature, the camera takes a second shot when low or backlight is detected, letting users choose the best picture.

With face detection technology, the camera will adjust the flash, focus, exposure and white balance producing more natural skin tones and reducing red-eye. Face motion detection identifies a moving subject and adjusts the ISO to minimize blur. In conjunction with iSCN, the camera takes two pictures simultaneously and saves the one in which the eyes are the least closed.

A new selected-face memory function registers one face (selected by the user) as the main face and adjusts focus, exposure, flash and white balance accordingly. The camera remembers the face every time that face shows in the frame.

Additionally, the camera comes with Smile Shutter technology that helps capture a smile the moment it happens and dynamic range optimizer (DRO) technology that adjusts for contrast.

Pricing and Availability
The Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 camera will be available in April for about $500 and pre-sales will start in March. The camera and a range of accessories will be available online at sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges and at authorized dealers nationwide.


Editor's Note:  News releases and digital images with captions are available at www.sony.com/news. For information regarding the nearest Sony authorized dealer or service location, your readers can call 1-800-222-SONY.

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