Sony has just announced the Cybershot HX1
, an ultra-zoom fixed-lens digital camera with a 9 megapixels CMOS sensor and a stabilized 20X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28-560mm. The special thing about CMOS sensors is that they are capable of much higher read-out speeds than CCD sensors which are used in most fixed-lens digital cameras. In the case of the HX1, it can shoot continuously at 10 FPS at its highest resolution. This also has an advantage for recording video, which the HX1 can record at 1440×1080 @ 30 FPS. This is not a true HD resolution but represents a 4:3 aspect ratio video with 1080 lines of vertical definition.
Not being content with simply making a faster version of previous ultra-zooms, Sony added some innovative features which take advantage of the Cybershot HX1’s high-speed CMOS sensor. One such feature is an image combine feature to improve low-light photography by taking bursts of 6 images and combining them into one. Another cool feature for low-resolution panoramas produces one while the photographer moves the camera in a sweeping motion. In theory, the advantage here is that the camera does not need to match features between separate shots but instead accumulate rows or columns of pixels while the camera is in motion.