PetaPixel

Sony Takes the Bridge Camera Bar to New Heights with Crazy 63x Superzoom at CP+

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Canon wasn’t the only one to food our inbox last night, and not even the announcements we were most anxious for. Sony also made some exciting announcements, including a refresh to its Cybershot line that includes three new superzooms and two new point-and-shoots.

Oh, and we should probably mention that one of those superzooms is the world’s first bridge camera to feature a 63x optical zoom lens.

Sony DSC-H400 Bridge Camera

The H400′s claim to fame, as mentioned above, is its ridiculous zoom range. The camera’s 1/2.3-inch 20.1-megapixel Super HAD CCD sensor peers out at the world through an optically stabilized 63x optical zoom (24.5–1550mm equivalent) f/3.4-6.5 Sony lens.

As you can see, other than that zoom, the specs fall a bit flat — and the rest of the spec list is no exception. ISO range runs from 80 to 3,200, a 3-inch 460k-dot LCD adorns the back, continuous shooting speed maxes out at a paltry 0.71fps and video capture maxes out at 720p and 30fps.

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The H400 will be available in March for $320 (pre-order here).

Sony DSC-HX400V Bridge Camera

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If we’re being honest, this is the real headliner of the show spec wise. Because while it only features 50x in optical zoom, everything from the glass to the sensor behind it is much more capable.

The 1/2.3-inch 20.4-megapixel is an Exmor R CMOS sensor, not a CCD, and the lens is a 50x optical zoom (24-1,200mm equivalent) f/2.8-6.3 Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens. Other specs include a Bionz X processor, an ISO range that tops out at 12,800, a higher-res 3.0-inch 921K-dot tilting LCD, 10fps continuous shooting for a max of only 10 shots, full HD 1080/60p video capability and built-in WiFi and NFC.

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The HX400V will also arrive in March, this one sporting a price tag that reads $500 (pre-order here).

Sony DSC-H300 Bridge Camera

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Of course, along with every higher-end bridge cam release there always seems to be a little guy tagging along with his AA batteries and entry-level price point. For Sony, that guy this time around is the DSC-H300. Looking at the specs, this is basically an H400 without the crazy zoom… which isn’t a good thing.

Inside is the same 1/2.3-inch 20.1-megapixel Super HAD CCD Sensor, but it’s doing the picture taking through a 35x optical zoom (25-875mm equivalent) f/3-5.9 Sony lens. Other specs are pretty much identical to the H400: ISO range between 80 and 3,200, 0.8fps continuous shooting, 3-inch 460k-dot LCD and video capabilities that max out at 720p.

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The H300 will retail for $220 when it hits shelves in March, but you can already pre-order it from B&H Photo here.

Sony DSC-WX350 Point-and-Shoot

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Last up are the two point and shoots debuted by Sony at CP+, starting with the WX350: the world’s smallest and lightest 20x optical zoom compact.

This is the HX400V of the compacts, if you will. Inside is 1/2.3-inch 18.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, Bionz X processor, 20x optical zoom (25-500mm equivalent) f/3.5-5.6 optically stabilized Sony G lens, ISO that tops out at 12,800, 10fps burst up to 10 shots, 1080/60p video capability and built-in WiFi and NFC.

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The WX350 will be available in both black and white starting in March for $320. Both the black and white models are already available for pre-order by following the corresponding links.

Sony DSC-W800 Point-and-Shoot

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Last and, in this particular case, definitely least is the W800 point-and-shoot. A camera that falls strictly into the ‘budget’ category with its $80 price tag.

Specs include a 1/2.3-inch 20.1-megapixel Super HAD CCD sensor, 5x optical zoom (26-130mm equivalent) f/3.2-6.4 Sony lens, ISO range of 100 to 3,200, 2.7-inch 230k-dot LCD, 0.52 fps continuous shooting in burst mode and video capability that, like many of the cameras above, maxes out at 720p and 30fps.

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Black and silver variants of the W800 will arrive on store shelves in March for $80, although you can already pre-order by following the provided links.


And that’s it for the Cybershots announced by Sony. To find out more about any of these cameras, head over to the company’s press room by clicking here.


 
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  • Mike

    H400 design looks like the next models in the future will be shapeless blobs.

  • James

    Oh bridge cameras, not quite as good as a ILC, no where near as cheap as a point and shoot. It always makes me feel bad when I see a new photographer spending as much money on a Bridge camera as they could on a MFT, Mirror-less, or cheap DSLR.

  • James

    I mean don’t get me wrong I know they have a place, I just think there are much better first cameras. I think it’s perfectly fine to have one of these as something to play with.

  • callmebc

    Yet again, no provision for a normal external mic or recorder, crippling the ability of these types of modern cameras to take really good video. Sony’s “multi-interface” limits you to a couple of Sony microphone products so that doesn’t really count, and also as of this writing, both Zoom and Rode offer serious, moderately priced mics that can plug into an iPhone. When will the Japanese camera makers realize that if they don’t want to get beaten down by more and more advanced smartphones, they might want to consider offering products that do everything modern high-end smartphones can do except better?

  • ReinoldFZ .

    To new photographers (amateurs as me) a bridge camera is the best option, instead of worry about changing lenses with ILCs, they are good to learn the basics. Besides a fixed lens In a bridge camera is far better than the kit lenses with the interchangeable models. My perfect camera would be an updated sony R1, bridge camera with aps-c sensor and zeiss lens.

  • FreddyNogo

    Buy the panasonic fz200. Less zoom but stable f/2.8 and takes a lot of beating.

  • Jackson Cheese

    People get hung up on the zooms of these things. Problem is, then they wonder why the handheld photo they shot at 50x zoom from across a soccer field is blurry.

  • Matt Boggs

    I think you meant RX10

  • FreddyNogo

    This article is about super-zooms. RX10 is not. The sony is a great camera that I almost went for, but it’s not “that” much better, and for its price it’s easier to go to sony NEX or something. If the RX10 had been 3-400$ cheaper I would have bought it.

    The fz200, small sensor size, but 25-600 (35mm eqv), F/2.8 aaall the way !!

  • Auto Motive

    Not always true. I waited until the Nikon P510 came out to buy the Nikon P500. I wanted to downsize to a light camera with wide angle and tele ranges. I am a photo enthusiast in shooting classic and hot rod cars. The image quality is outstanding and have no problem shooting people, cars and huge car club reunions. For a mere $279 from Samys I got this for the price of a point and shoot. When diehard DSLR users see some of my pictures from the P500 they are impressed since most never thought the bridge camera could take such a nice picture. My canon Pro100 does help in printing some excellent photos.

  • Auto Motive

    See my reply above yours since I own a bridge camera and to the point it is a excellent choice for a on in one light system.

  • James

    My Girlfriend has one similar to that, the L820, it’s a neat little camera, just not nearly as versatile, a DLSR for the same money would have blow it away. But you’re right, if you have enough light, it can take an amazing picture.

  • James

    See one of my problems with bridge camera systems, is that they are far too limiting. Sure, in perfect day light some of them can stand toe to toe with my gear. But, they lack key features that you will need if you want to expand and get better with your photography.
    (I will use DSLR in place of ILC for the rest of this out of habit.)

    Aperture is a big one, if you want to take decent pictures in low light you’re going to need a wide aperture, bridge camera’s just can’t do that. A nice combination that I think everyone should give a try is the so called “niffty fifty” and a cheap DSLR body. That let’s you get a f-stop of 1.8 at 50mm (80mm on cropped) that can get you those nice creamy backgrounds and low distortion shots, and if you stop it down to f/2.8 and give the iso a little kick you’ll be amazed what you can pull off, and happily print from indoors.

    ISO, I know, I know, the camera that you where talking about was APS-C, but most bridge camera’s aren’t, they tend to come in the much smaller variety that will absolutely make you weep at ISO 200, with a DSLR you can take perfectly useable pictures at ISO 1,600 and even higher.

    Raw, yes some point and shoots, and some Bridge camera’s can shoot raw, I think that’s great, but the bit dept of a DSLR raw file gives you so much more potential for highlight recovery and white balance correction that it feels almost like film. but,

    Upgradeability, is ultimately the best argument I have for buying a cheap DSLR over a Bridge/Point and shoot, is that if you one day decide that you’ve out grown your gear, or that you’d like to try something new, you can buy a new lens, you can invest in speed lights, and the parts and pieces that you have bought for your DSLR can be used on your next one. There really is so much more to this field that i’m afraid amateurs might miss out on by spending their money on a limited system.

  • James

    Speed light’s are an entire aspect of photography you can get in to once you’re shooting DSLR, a E-TTL flash will blow you away with the results you can pull off.