America's biggest camera show, PMA, is about to get going in Anaheim in just a few days, and it seems that Sony
is looking to jump the proverbial gun a little bit with the introduction of the DSC-TX5 and DSC-H55. Both models are point and shoot cameras, and both offer improved speed and an "intelligent sweep panorama" mode.
The TX5 is deemed the "world's thinnest and smallest certified waterproof (up to 10 feet deep) digital still camera with Optical SteadyShot image stabilization and touch operation," and the 10.2MP sensor should be plenty for most casual shooters. The camera is also certified to be freeze proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, shockproof up to about a 5-foot drop and dust proof, all of which is even more amazing when you consider that the camera is only about as thick as a deck of cards. At first glance, you'd never know the TX5 was a rugged camera, as it basically looks like every other "normal" point and shoot.
Other specs on the TX5 include a 720p movie mode, a 25 mm equivalent wide-angle 4x optical zoom Carl Zeiss Vario Tessor lens and a 3" Clear Photo LCD Plus on the rear that can even recognize touch inputs underwater. Wilder still, there's in-camera multi-shot Backlight Correction High Dynamic Range (HDR), which should net you some pretty intense photographs without all the post-processing. The H55 model seems somewhat less interesting, offering up Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, a 720p movie mode, black and silver colors and little else.
The TX5 camera will be available in silver, black, pink, green, and red this April for about $350, and the H55 camera will be available in black and silver this April for about $250. Pre-sales begin in February.