CES 2011: Sony's CyberShot Compacts Get More 3D

A new rugged camera and linear AF highlight the line-up.

_Las Vegas- _Sony threw one of the splashiest press events at CES 2011 and almost every product mentioned was touting 3D as if it is was the new black. The CyberShot cameras were no exception, with five new models getting a 3D Still Shot mode to compliment the already-available 3D Sweep Panorama mode. Here's a rundown of the new stuff.

DSC-TX100V

The shining star in Sony's new horde uses a 16.2-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor and is the first compact camera to reach the 1920 x 1080 at 60 FPS mark. The flashiest part is probably the 3.5-inch OLED touch screen on the back, but the part that has us most excited is the high-speed linear auto focus, which should improve AF times noticeably. It also has Sony's new 3D Still Shot mode, which takes one shot, then switches focus and takes another shot to calculate the distance of the objects in the frame. The two are then combined into something that isn't a true 3D image, but definitely gives the illusion. It will be $380 starting in March.

DSC-WX10 and DSC-WX9

As the confusing name game continues, we move down a bit in the line-up. The WX10 and WX9 shoot video 60i in 1080 AVCHD format, which is less impressive than that of the TX100V. Both use the same 16.2-megapixel back-illuminated sensor and can capture 10 frames-per-second at full resolution. The $280 WX10 has a better lens, offering 7X optical zoom starting at 24mm with a maximum aperture of f/2.4. The WX9 checks in at $220 with a 5X optical zoom starting at 25mm. Both will be available in March.

DSC-HX7V

Using the same 16.2-megapixel guts, this update to the DSC-HX5V, offering 10x optical zoom from a Sony G lens, 10 FPS capture at full resolution and built-in GPS for geotagging images on the fly. Despite its long feature-list, it manages to keep an impressively slim profile. It will be available in March for around $300.

DSC-TX10

The latest update to Sony's rugged camera line has a 3-inch touchscreen and is waterproof to 16 feet. It also resists dust and can survive drops of up to five feet. It uses the same sensor as the rest, but it is also equipped with the high-speed AF feature, which uses a magnetic coil rather than a gear to move the lens linearly for faster AF. It will be available in March for $330.

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