Sony introduces waterproof digital still camera
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Sony introduces waterproof digital still camera

Sony ( has introduced two new Cybershot digital still cameras: the DSC-TX5 (shown) and the DSC-H55. Slim enough to fit in your pocket or purse at less than an inch thin -- about the size of a deck of cards -- the TX5 is certified waterproof (up to 10 feet deep).

It also has Optical SteadyShot image stabilization and touch operation. Additionally, the 10.2 megapixel model is Sony's first digital still camera with an "Exmor R" CMOS sensor that's also certified to be freeze proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, shockproof up to about a five-foot drop and dust proof.

Waterproof in up to 10 feet of water for an hour, the TX5 lets you take high-quality photos, including panoramic pictures, and 720p high definition videos of your friends, family or pets underwater, says Kelly Davis, director of the Digital Imaging business at Sony Electronics. The camera is also freeze proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can take pictures of the kids sledding or snowboarding. Not only is it ready for cold weather, but the TX5 is durable enough to withstand an accidental drop from up to approximately five feet. Additionally, it's dust proof, so you can take it with you on a camping trip or a mountain bike ride, according to Davis.

The camera features an "Exmor R" sensor and offers 10fps continuous burst shooting for capturing action shots. Additionally, the sensor provides low-light performance so you can take \ photos even after the sun sets.

In one press-and-sweep motion, you can take panoramic photos using the Intelligent Sweep Panorama feature. Another benefit of the "Exmor R" sensor, this feature combines separate captures, detects faces and subject motion and intelligently adjusts the width while stitching the images together, resulting in natural looking panoramic photos.

The DSC-TX5 is equipped with a foldable, 25 mm equivalent wide-angle 4x optical zoom Carl Zeiss Vario Tessor lens. The camera also has a three-inch (measured diagonally) Clear Photo LCD Plus (230,400 pixel) wide touch screen display that functions -- even underwater. You can focus on your subject, operate the menu and share photos and videos with a touch of the screen -- wet or dry.  Additionally, you can decorate your photos using the paint feature or scroll through images by sweeping your finger across the screen.

The "Exmor R" CMOS sensor lets you take high-quality photos in low light without a flash, Davis says. Additionally, the TX5 has a solution for backlight situations.

With in-camera multi-shot Backlight Correction High Dynamic Range (HDR), the camera combines highlight and shadow detail of two separate captures into one image, even without a tripod.

Sony also is introducing the H55 model, which offers high zoom in a compact design. It sports a10x optical zoom Sony G lens with 25mm wide-angle (equivalent). With a 14.1 megapixel CCD sensor, this camera lets you take panoramic shots in one sweeping motion with Sweep Panorama mode. You can also frame and view photos on its three-inch (measured diagonally) Clear Photo LCD screen (230,400 pixels).

Featuring 720p movie recording, the H55 model offers Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. It also adds Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode.

The TX5 and H55 cameras share intelligent features including HD movie recording (1280 x 720 at 30p). Additionally, these cameras have a self portrait timer that automatically takes the shot two seconds after one or two faces are detected. They also offer Smile Shutter technology to automatically capture smiles and iAUTO and Easy modes.

The TX5 and H55 cameras feature a memory card slot compatible with both Memory Stick (PRO Duo) and class-four and above SD/SDHC formats.

The TX5 camera will be available in silver, black, pink, green, and red this April for about US$350, and the H55 camera will be available in black and silver this April for about $250. Pre-sales begin in February.

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