Sony announces super light 30x zoom camera

Sony announces super light 30x zoom camera
The Cyber-Shot HX50 boasts high speed autofocusing

The Sony HX50 is the world's smallest and lightest digital camera to feature a 30x optical zoom. It's also equipped with image stabilisation, which Sony says is twice as effective as the Cyber-Shot HX200V, the camera's predecessor.

A 20.4 million pixel Exmor R CMOS sensor is joined by a Bionz processor, which claims to deliver high quality images, even in low light shooting conditions. The Sony Cyber-Shot HX50's sensor is a 1/2.3-inch sized device.

A high speed autofocusing system is said to be capable of capturing quick moments even at full zoom. Speed is claimed to be twice as quick as on the Sony HX200V.

The 30x optical zoom lens gives an equivalent focal length of 24-720mm in 35mm terms. At the widest point of the lens it boasts a maximum aperture of f/3.5, rising up to f/6.3 at the telephoto end.

Aimed at more advanced photographers as well as those attracted by the high zoom ratio, a dedicated dial is included for adjusting exposure compensation, along with a mode dial for manual shooting settings such as P/A/S/M modes.

Add ons

Optional accessories, such as an electronic viewfinder (EVF), flash or microphone can be attached via a Multi Interface Shoe. Full HD video recording at 50p is available. At the back of the camera is a 3-inch, 921,6000 dot Xtra Fine TFT LCD screen.

Sony claims that the X-type lithium-ion battery onboard the HX50 is capable of delivering up to 400 shots from a single charge, despite being physically smaller than any of its predecessors.

Nine different picture effects are included to experiment with, while three are available in Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode. Four different movie effects are available.

Inbuilt Wi-Fi and GPS are included, which is likely to be an added attraction to the travelling photographer.

The Sony HX50 price has yet to be determined, but it will be available to buy from May.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.