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January 06, 2011

Sony Amps Up 3D Panoramic Cameras for 2011

It’s hard to forget Grammy Award-winning country pop singer, songwriter and actress Taylor Swift’s (News - Alert) 2010 endorsement of Sony’s 3D Sweep Panorama Camera, in which Swift demonstrates how easy it is to take a wide panoramic shot of all her fans during a concert with a single “press and sweep” motion – a never-before-seen glimpse into this technology innovation first introduced by Sony.

Now, Sony has upped its prowess in 3D single-lens point-and-shoot models and will introduce this year five new cameras that take 3D to the next level, according to an article by NetworkWorld.com. Instead, rather than shooting a 3D photo as you would a normal picture, the user points the camera at a subject and presses the shutter button, and the camera creates a 3D still image with the combination of two snapped photos.

The five new cameras all feature this 3D capability, while some come packed with special functions, including a touchscreen, in-camera GPS, and the ability to shoot 60 frames per second. Of course, these extra features are reflected in the price points of each model.

Cyber-shot TX100V

The Cyber-shot TX100V features an OLED touchscreen, 3D modes, GPS and high-end video. The most expensive of the cameras, all being introduced at this week’s 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, this model boasts of a 16-megapixel Exmore R CMOS sensor, optical image stabilization and three 3D modes – still image, sweep panorama and sweep multi-angle. By tilting the camera, the last function allows the user to view a 3D effect during playback. This camera also offers optimal storage as it is compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC cards and MemoryStick cards, and features 36 scene modes for still images and 44 scene modes for video. Set to hit the shelves in March, this model will sell for $380 and comes in black, red or silver.

Cyber-shot WX10

The second model, the Cyber-shot WX10, is the only camera to feature manual controls. This 16-megapixel camera comes equipped with F2.4 lens and a 7x optical zoom, fast focusing and 3D modes. Due out in March and for a price point of $280, this model also features an extensive selection of scene modes for still photos and video.

Cyber-shot DSC-HX7V

Said to replace last year’s highly-rated HX5V, this camera features 10x optical zoom, GPS and 3D modes, of course. Special features include geotagging photos, as well as a built-in GPS. Lacking manual controls, this camera does offer enhanced HDR (News - Alert), a wide selection of scene modes, a 10fps burst mode, a Dual Record feature, a combination card slot and in-camera guides. Available in March, as well, this camera is priced at $300 and comes in black, red and white.

Cyber-shot TX10

Comparable to the 2010 TX5, this 16-megapixel model is waterproof and shockproof, all controlled by a 3-inch touchscreen. With several 3D modes, including sweep, still, and sweep multi-angle, this device also comes with a selection of scene modes, a Dual Record Feature, a combination card slots, and in-camera guides. Costing $330 and set to hit stores in March, it comes in black, silver, blue, green and even pink.

Cyber-shot WX9

Said to be the “lower version” of the WX10, this is the least expensive (costing $220) in Sony’s new lineup of 3D camera models for 2011. This 16-megapixel model features a 5x optical zoom lens, a narrower F2.6 aperture, and scene and automated modes. Coming with the usual 3D modes, it also features improved HDR, a 10fps burst mood, combination card slot and in-camera guides. Users can get this one in black, silver or red in March.

Looks like Ms. Swift (or some other celebrity with an enormous crowd of fans) is going to have to get back in front of the camera for another commercial!

Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet copy editor. Previously she was assistant to the editor at The Darien Times, a weekly newspaper in Darien, Conn., where she edited submissions, did page layout and design and helped manage the newspaper's website. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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