Sony announces thinnest waterproof digital camera and new wide-angle megazoom

Now that most of the new Sony Cyber-shot cameras announced at CES 2010 have started shipping, Sony is back with two new digital cameras: The DSC-TX5, which the electronics giant touts as the world's thinnest and smallest certified waterproof digital camera, and the DSC-H55, a  stripped down version of the compact megazoom DSC-HX5V announced at CES.Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5At just 3.

Now that most of the new Sony Cyber-shot cameras announced at CES 2010 have started shipping, Sony is back with two new digital cameras: The DSC-TX5, which the electronics giant touts as the world's thinnest and smallest certified waterproof digital camera, and the DSC-H55, a  stripped down version of the compact megazoom DSC-HX5V announced at CES.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 At just 3.75x2.25x0.72 inches and 4.5 ounces, the TX5 is certainly a lot svelter than most waterproof cameras. In fact, it looks pretty similar to the rest of Sony's TX line of ultracompact cameras, such as the new DSC-TX7 announced at CES and its popular predecessor, the DSC-TX1. The difference, though, is that the TX5 is waterproof to 10 feet, freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, dustproof, and shockproof up to a 5-foot drop. Like the TX7, it's a 10.2-megapixel shooter with a wide angle (25-100mm equivalent) 4x optical zoom lens. Although its 3-inch, 230,000-dot touchscreen doesn't match the TX7's gorgeous 3.5-inch, 921,000-dot touchscreen, it's still nice and big for such a small camera. The TX5 also delivers 720p HD video recording (vs. the TX7's 1080i AVCHD movie mode) and an HDMI output, which is a nice touch. The camera will be available in silver, black, pink, green, and red, and will ship in April for $350.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55

Unlike the other recently announced compact megazoom from Sony, the DSC-HX5V, the 14.1-megapixel H55 doesn't sport whiz-bang features like the integrated GPS receiver and compass or 1080i AVCHD movie mode. And it doesn't use the superior backside-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor of the HX5V (and the TX7 and TX5 for that matter). It does however, include a nice wide-angle (25-250mm equivalent) 10x optical zoom and a 3-inch, 230,400-dot LCD, in a relatively trim body.  It also uses Sony's Optical SteadyShot image stabilization even when shooting 720p HD movies. And happily, both the TX5 and the H55 include dual-format memory card slots compatible with both MemoryStick and SD/SDHC cards.  The H55 will be available in black and silver, and will ship in April for $250.

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