Sony HX99 Digital Camera Packs 24-720mm Zoom Lens Into Tiny Frame

Sony has announced a new digital camera that it claims to be the world's smallest compact camera with a 24-720mm zoom lens: the Cyber-shot HX99 (DSC-HX99). The small size of the camera makes it well suited for travel, yet the high zoom rate allows you to get closer to far away subjects. The lens is a ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T 24-720mm High Magnification Zoom lens with Optical SteadyShot integrated.

sony hx99 front

Image stabilization is important at high zoom levels, or you end up with close up, blurry images. Sony integrates a Zoom Assist function that makes it easier to zoom accurately and keep distant subjects in the frame by temporarily zooming-out to show the shooter a wider area. A BIONZ X processing engine inside the camera allows it to shoot 4K 3840 x 1260 video with clips of a maximum length of five minutes; the processing engine also helps to record video with minimal "moire" and "jaggies" in the footage.

sony hx99 back
sony hx99 f screen

The camera is capable of shooting still images continuously at up to 10 fps for up to 155 shots. Eye AF technology carried over from the higher-end Sony Alpha line of interchangeable lens cameras locks the camera's focus onto the subject's eye for portrait and fast action shooting. The camera can focus in as little as 0.09 seconds on fast moving subjects. Touch Focus and Touch Shutter functionality are integrated along with a Touch Pad function for shifting focus using the OLED Tru-Finder.

sony hx99 lens
sony hx99 zoom

A control ring around the lens of the camera allows the user to access customized functions like manual focus or step zooming; a customizable My Menu option allows instant recall of up to 30 different settings. The rear LCD is 180-degree tiltable making it viewable when shooting selfies and group shots; the camera also has a pop-up electric viewfinder. Bluetooth integration allows the camera to connect to a smartphone for collecting location data for videos and images. Support for proxy recording allows users to instantly transfer content to a smartphone or website for sharing. Sony will ship the HX99 Travel Zoom camera in early November at an MSRP of $449.99.