Sony brings Cybershot HX300, WX300 and TX30 to the US with fast autofocus

Sony refreshed many of its mainstream Cyber-shot cameras at CES. Now that we're on the cusp of spring, the company is giving equal love to a trio of more specialized shooters arriving in the US. The 20.4-megapixel Cyber-shot HX300 superzoom easily bests its HX200V ancestor in the optics department with a 50X, 24-1,200mm equivalent lens that sports better stabilization, but the real allure is its autofocus speed: it can lock in twice as quickly at telephoto distances, giving us more reason to use all that extra reach. The WX300 compact zoom isn't quite as alluring on paper with its 18.2-megapixel sensor and 20X (25-50mm equivalent) lens, although it carries autofocus about 3.6 times speedier than the old HX30 while stuffing in WiFi for simpler photo sharing.

These two are joined by the TX30, an all-around improvement for last year's waterproof TX20 camera. While there isn't quite a revolution on the outside, the TX30 can survive twice the depth at 33 feet, carries a longer-zoomed 5X (26-130mm) lens and bumps the resolution to 18.2 megapixels. Both the TX30 and the HX300 will come first, hitting American shops in March at respective $350 and $500 prices. The WX300 will miss March break with its April release, but it will be the cheapest of the pack at $330.

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Sony Cyber-shot HX300, WX300 and TX30

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Sony Launches Three Powerful New Cyber-shot™ Cameras for Capturing all the Action

New Models Include World's Smallest and Lightest 20x Optical Zoom Compact (WX300), Impressive 50x Mega Zoom Model (HX300) and World's Lightest Waterproof Compact (TX30)

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 25, 2013 – Sony is expanding the range and versatility of its Cyber-shot™ compact camera line with the introduction of three new "Exmor R" CMOS sensor equipped models – the WX300, HX300 and TX30 cameras.

Each of the new models features a unique, innovative design and a range of improved imaging technologies that make is easier than ever to capture the decisive action in all types of shooting environments ranging from low-light to outdoor scenes, underwater adventures and everything in between.

Cyber-shot WX300 Ultra-Compact Camera

The slim, super-stylish Cyber-shot WX300 camera is the world's smallest and lightest digital still camera that packs a powerful 20x optical zoom range.

A perfect pocket-sized travel partner, the WX300 camera features a high-quality Sony G Lens that handles wide-angle landscapes, portraits and dramatic close-ups with ease. It also has Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization, which dramatically reduces the effect of hand shake and ensures crisp, blur-free still images. Image stabilization during zoom has been greatly improved and is about twice as effective2 compared to previous 20x optical zoom Sony cameras. It's enhanced by Active Mode, which ensures that handheld movies look smooth and steady at all zoom ratios.

Autofocus on the new WX300 camera has also been improved compared to its predecessors, and is now about 3.6x3 faster than previous models. Battery life has also been boosted, as the new model packs enough stamina to shoot up to 500 photos (CIPA measurement) from a single charge.

The new WX300 camera has built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, utilizing Sony's PlayMemories™ Mobile application, available for both Android and iOS app platforms, to wirelessly transfer photos and videos to a connected smartphone or tablet. It also allows a connected device to be used as a handy wireless remote to control the camera – ideal for self-portraits and group shots where the photographer wants to be included. Still images stored in the camera can also be viewed wirelessly on a networked TV.

Cyber-shot HX300 High Zoom Camera

With a stylish DSLR-style design and handling, the power-packed Cyber-shot HX300 offers photographers long-zoom capabilities in a compact, versatile package. Featuring a huge 50x optical zoom range (24mm-1200mm equivalent) – among the highest for any compact camera – the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens covers a wide range of shooting possibilities, from holidays and safari trips to sports and outdoor concerts. The T* coating on lens surfaces cuts reflections and 'flare', while Super ED and ED glass elements minimize chromatic aberration for satisfyingly sharp, high-contrast images.

In a first for the Cyber-shot line, the HX300 camera features newly-enhanced Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization that improves framing and composition at high zoom settings. This is made possible by a second zoom group of lens elements that shifts rapidly to correct for the slightest of hand movements. The HX300 model also has new and improved high-speed autofocus at telephoto settings that locks onto subjects about twice2 as fast as its predecessor, the HX200V model. This makes it easier than ever to grab those spontaneous moments with crisp, blur-free images.

The new camera has a balanced DSLR-style body and molded ergonomic grip that ensure comfort during shooting. There's also a full range of intuitively-placed controls including manual ring, custom button, jog dial and Memory Recall mode, as well as the new Multi-Terminal that allows intelligent communication between the camera and compatible accessories..

Cyber-shot TX30 Waterproof Camera

Great for swimming, snorkeling, skiing or any other kind of outdoor activity, the Cyber-shot TX30 is the world's slimmest waterproof digital compact camera (as of Feb 2013). The chic, stylish camera features 5x optical zoom and is waterproof to a depth of 10m (33 ft), dustproof, shockproof and freezeproof.

New to the Cyber-shot line, the TX30 model features a Magnifying Glass Plus mode that zooms in for a fascinating super-size, magnification (up to 15x) of close objects such as fish, plants, insects and more. There is also a powerful LED light surrounding the lens for adding light to close up shots.

Sparkling picture quality made simple

Each of the new models features a new and improved Superior Auto Mode that automatically adjusts camera settings for the ideal composition in all lighting situations, even if a subject is moving.

The three new cameras all come equipped with Picture Effect settings that make it easy to spice up photos, movies and panoramas instantly and automatically with a range of fun, impressive artistic treatments like Toy Camera, Pop Color, Soft High Key and Partial Color.

On the WX300 and TX30 cameras, Beauty Effect mode lets users automatically re-touch photos after shooting to remove skin blemishes, widen eyes and whiten teeth as needed.

All new models feature Advanced Flash that boosts the camera's sensitivity, effectively extending the flash range to make further-away subjects appear brighter in the shot. It's ideal for party photos and other dimly lit situations where built-in flashes typically struggle to reach all the action.

Also featured on all new Cyber-shot cameras, Triluminos™ Color gives a rich, vivid palette of supremely natural colors when viewing photos on your compatible BRAVIA TV with support for Triluminos Display.

Pricing and Availability

The new Cyber-shot WX300 compact camera will be available this April for about $330. The HX300 and TX30 cameras will both be available this March for about $500 and $350, respectively.

The cameras and a range of compatible Cyber-shot accessories will be available at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.