Sony Cybershot W710 and W730 entrylevel cameras start at $99, we go handson

Yup, Sony's still in the business of making sub-$100 pocketable shooters. The Cyber-shot W710 is set to retail for a mere 99 bucks this month, while its similarly-specced W730 counterpart will carry a list price of $139. Both cameras offer 16.1-megapixel sensors, 2.7-inch LCDs, 720p HD video modes, a 1 frame-per-second burst option and a top sensitivity of ISO 3200. You'll also find software consistencies, with Intelligent Auto, Picture Effect and Sweep Panorama modes available on both versions. The bargain-basement W710 includes a 28mm 5x optical zoom lens, while the pricier W730 model packs a 25mm 8x lens with optical SteadyShot on board. Both offerings will ship later this month in silver and pink, with the W710 also available in black and the W730 being sold in blue.

We briefly tested both versions, and while neither offered a top-of-the-line shooting experience, they did seem to be perfectly sufficient given the price. We could see the W710 and W730 being a solid fit for younger photographers who don't necessarily treat all of their electronics with the care required to justify a higher-end model, for example. The displays were bright, though the resolution is clearly in line with the MSRPs. Both cameras were very compact and lightweight, so you shouldn't have any problem tucking one into your jeans pocket and carrying it around on a regular basis. Neither of these models would necessarily be the best fit for experienced photographers, however casual their craft, but beginners with a tight budget will likely find them to be perfectly adequate. You can see them in action in the gallery just below.

Gallery | 16 Photos

Sony Cyber-shot W710 and W730 hands-on

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Sony Introduces New Wi-Fi®, Waterproof and High-Zoom Cyber-shot Cameras with Intelligent Flash Performance, 360o Panoramic Shooting and more

LAS VEGAS (CES Booth #14200), Jan. 7, 2013 – Sony's newest Cyber-shot compact cameras deliver a range of powerful, high-end capabilities at attractive prices, making it easier than ever for consumers to shoot and share all of their precious memories.

The five new models -- WX80, W730, W710, TF1 and H200 cameras – share a variety of new features for the Cyber-shot line including a new Advanced Flash which boosts the cameras sensitivity and extends the effective range of the flash. This is especially useful in low-light situations like party shots, indoors or dusk where built-in flashes have historically struggled to reach far-away subjects and capture all important details of a scene.

Additionally, the new "Beauty Effect" feature gives users several post-shooting "re-touch" options including skin toning and smoothing, teeth whitening, eye widening and shine removal. Also, 360 Sweep Panorama mode, previously available on a few select Cyber-shot models, will now be offered throughout the entire line. This unique feature allows for seamless, detailed 360o panoramic shots.

Ultra-Compact W Series Cameras

The new Cyber-shot WX80 compact camera features a high-resolution 16.2 MP Exmor® R CMOS sensor, an 8x optical zoom lens with 16x Clear Image digital zoom and an enhanced Optical SteadyShot™ that minimizes camera shake for crisp, blur-free still images. Additionally, Superior Auto shooting mode has been improved to recognize and optimize settings in an even wider range of shooting situations including very low-light scenes and instances where a subject is in fast motion.

The new WX80 model is Wi-Fi® capable, allowing users to send images and video clips (MP4 only) wirelessly to a compatible smartphone or tablet through Sony's PlayMemories™ Mobile application. Its Wi-Fi functionality also lets shooters use their connected phone to control basic camera functions including shutter release, zoom, flash mode and more. Images can be viewed wirelessly on a networked TV or PC as well.

The feature-packed WX80 camera is also compatible with TRILUMINOUS Color™, an expanded range of vivid, ultra-realistic colors that is available on select Sony BRAVIA TVs. Content shot with the camera, including still images and Full HD (1020X1080i) videos, can be experienced in these rich, natural colors when connected to compatible televisions.

The new W730 camera features a 16.1 MP Super HAD CCD sensor with an 8x optical zoom Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens. It has 720p HD movie shooting and Optical SteadyShot™ Active Mode.

The new W710 camera features a 16.1 MP Super HAD CCD sensor with a 5x optical Sony zoom lens and large physical controls for straightforward, hassle-free shooting. It can shoot 720p HD video.

New Rugged Cyber-shot TF1 Camera

The Cyber-shot TF1 camera is designed for active shooters with a new rugged design, making it the perfect accessory for weekend adventures, family vacations and everything in between. It is waterproof (up to 33ft), dustproof, shockproof and freeze proof*. The camera's large buttons, solid, beefy camera grip and auto screen brightness further simplify operations in outdoor and underwater activities.

The new Cyber-shot TF1 model has a 16.1 MP Super HAD CCD sensor with a 4x optical Sony zoom lens.

Long-Zoom Cyber-shot H200

The new Cyber-shot H200 camera features DSLR-like styling and grip design modelled after Sony's popular range of α interchangeable lens cameras.

The versatile new camera features a powerful 26x optical zoom Sony lens, a 20.1 MP Super HAD CCD sensor, 720p HD movie shooting and a bright 3.0" LCD screen. For added convenience, it is powered by 4 AA batteries, eliminating the need to charge and re-charge the camera during travel.

Product Specs, Pricing and Availability

The new Cyber-shot compact cameras and compatible accessories including the new LCJ-THG, LCJ-WB and LCS-TWP camera covers will be available this month at Sony retail stores, online at www.store.sony.com and through authorized retailers throughout the Sony dealer network.
Key features, availability and pricing below:

Cyber-shot WX80 Digital Camera

Available in red, black and white for about $199
• 16.2 MP Exmor R CMOS sensor with 8x optical (25-200mm) / 16x Clear Image Zoom
• Built-in Wi-Fi capabilities for easy content sharing via Sony PlayMemories™ Mobile app
• Enhanced Optical SteadyShot™ for still shooting
• Full HD movie (1920x1080/60i) shooting with Optical SteadyShot™ Active Mode
• Improved Superior Auto mode with expanded scene recognition
• Up to 10fps burst shooting capability
• New 360 Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode for stunning panoramic photos
• Advanced Flash performance for expanded range and brightness
• New Beauty Effect offer a variety of post-shooting editing solutions

Cyber-shot W730 Digital Camera

Available in silver, pink and blue for about $139
• 16.1 MP Super HAD CCD sensor with 8x optical zoom (25-200mm)
• HD movie (720p) shooting capabilities with Optical SteadyShot™ Active Mode
• 360 Sweep Panorama mode for stunning panoramic photos
• Advanced Flash performance for expanded range and brightness
• New Beauty Effect offer a variety of post-shooting editing solutions

Cyber-shot W710 Digital Camera

Available in silver, pink and black for about $99
• 16.1 MP Super HAD CCD sensor with 5x optical zoom (28-140mm)
• Large physical controls and buttons for straightforward, hassle-free shooting
• HD movie (720p) shooting capabilities with Optical SteadyShot™
• 360 Sweep Panorama mode for stunning panoramic photos
• Advanced Flash performance for expanded range and brightness
• New Beauty Effect offer a variety of post-shooting editing solutions

Cyber-shot TF1 Digital Camera

Available in black, orange and pink for about $199
• 16.1 MP Super HAD CCD sensor with 4x optical zoom (25-100mm)
• Waterproof (up to 10m or 33 feet), dustproof, shockproof and freeze proof
• Large buttons and camera grip and auto screen brightness simplify operation during outdoor/underwater activities
• HD movie (720p) shooting capabilities with Optical SteadyShot™
• 360 Sweep Panorama mode for stunning panoramic photos
• Advanced Flash performance for expanded range and brightness
• New Beauty Effect offer a variety of post-shooting editing solutions

Cyber-shot H200 Digital Camera

Available in black for $249
• 20.1 MP Super HAD CCD sensor with 26x optical zoom (22.3-580mm)
• DSLR-style body and design and compatible with AA batteries for convenience
• HD movie (720p) shooting capabilities with Optical SteadyShot™
• 360 Sweep Panorama mode for stunning panoramic photos
• Advanced Flash performance for expanded range and brightness
• New Beauty Effect offer a variety of post-shooting editing solutions