Sony Unveils World’s Smallest, Lightest 30X Optical Zoom Point-n-Shoot Camera

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Sony is saying that their new Cybershot HX50V camera is the lightest, smallest 30x optical zoom-equipped camera in the world.

Seems like optical zoom is the new megapixels, at least as far as high-end point-n-shoots are concerned; it’s amazing to see the increasing zoom range camera makers are scrambling to pack into their pocketable shooters these days. For now, looks like Sony might just be the race leader.

Let’s take a closer look at the HX50V.

Sony has packed a lot of advanced features around the big lens. There’s wifi connectivity, which allows the user to control the camera remotely through an iPad or iPhone, as well as transfer files to an iPad or iPhone through Sony’s PlayMemories app (of course, this is in addition to allowing wireless transfer images to a desktop or laptop). Full manual control and a five-blade aperture should allow for more creative control and, for a PnS anyway, nice bokeh (background blur). All this is backed up by a 20.4 MP Exmor R CMOS image sensor.

We’re not sure what the 30x range’s actual 35mm equivalencies are, but the lens will undoubtedly be obnoxiously unsteady when fully zoom in. To combat this effect, Sony has equipped the HX50V with an advanced image-stabilization system — Sony calls their system “Optical SteadyShot” — that the company says is “twice as effective as the HX200V high-zoom model introduced last year.” Sony also says that the HX50V’s autofocus is twice as fast as the HX200V.

As one would expect, video is 1080p, and augmented with Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. There are also filter effects that can be applied to video, as well as still images (including panoramic images).

The HX50V hits shelves in May, priced at $450.