Sony showed off its new camera range in London today, and while the weather was drab the goods on show were not.
Starting with the slim-line Sony TX1, TechRadar was given a hands-on with the device which, despite its diminutive size, boasts a number of interesting new features.
Straight from the off the TX1 is a lovely camera to use. Its brushed aluminium styling makes it a great looking device and its size means that it fits nicely in the hand when taking an image. Once you've shot your masterpiece, the large LCD on the back means that you can view and tweak images with ease.
But it's when you turn the lights out that the TX1 really gets to work. Blessed with an EXMOR R technology (which offers backlight to the CMOS sensor), the camera is said to work superbly well in low-light situations. While we couldn't try this out in the mid-morning – even though the weather was pretty dire – the demos we were shown were impressive. Blacks were really black (no, really, they were) and the pictures generally looked sharper.
Sony told us that they were not "chasing the megapixel count" anymore and focusing more on making the likes of the 10MP sensor that the TX1 is equipped with. It's a good move, too.
What we could try out was the impressive touchscreen back. Controls have definitely improved since Sony's last iteration. Pictures can viewed with the flick of a thumb and turning on features like Smile detection and zooming on particular parts of an image are better that before.
One of the most impressive things about the TX1 is that it takes the Panorama Sweep mode last seen in TX1's bigger brother, the DSC-HX1. Even with a smaller body on the camera, the mode is a joy to use.
Flick to the mode and you can pan either left or right, and even up and down to get a 185-degree panorama shot. The best thing about the feature is that it works. And quickly.
Within seconds you have a full-flowing picture of the vista you've just shot. While these images can only be played out on computers and TVs – and the back of the camera if you want to squint – Sony did hint that it is in talks with getting certain photo-labs to print the long-ified pictures out.
Clean, slim and easy to use, the TX1 carries on Sony's seemingly effortless task of bringing cameras with both style and substance to the market. And if you want to check it out for yourself, you can do so in September when it will be out in the shops costing around £350.
More pictures below:
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Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.