Will megazooms dominate PMA 2009? Sony and Pentax announce 20x and 24x models

Summary:With several megazoom announcements already out in the leadup to PMA (one from Fujifilm, two from Canon, and two from Nikon), it's looking like 2009 is going to be the year of the big lens point-and-shoots. Sony and Pentax have joined the fray announcing 10-megapixel 20x and 12-megapixel 24x models, respectively.

With several megazoom announcements already out in the lead-up to PMA (one from Fujifilm, two from Canon, and two from Nikon), it's looking like 2009 is going to be the year of the big lens point-and-shoots. Sony and Pentax have joined the fray announcing 20x and 24x models, respectively.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1

Taking a page from Sony's Alpha dSLR line, the DSC-HX1 incorporates a  9.1-megapixel, 1/2.4-inch CMOS sensor. Using an mechanical shutter rather than an electronic shutter, the HX1 can achieve continuous burst mode speeds of 10 fps at full 9.1 megapixel resolution. The camera also serves up a unique "sweep panorama" continuous-shooting mode that can take up to 224-degree horizontal or 154-degree vertical shots (just press the shutter button and sweep) and automatically stitch the full-resolution images together to create a maximum 7152x1080 image.  Other standout features include 1080p HD video recording (with 20x zoom while shooting) and a 28mm to 560mm equivalent f/2.8-5.2 Sony G lens (the G series comprises the company's higher-quality lenses). The HX1 will be available in April for about $500 (pre-sales will start in March).

Pentax X70

The X70 is Pentax's first megazoom model. Priced at $399.99 when it ships in April, it will compete directly with the similarly spec'd Nikon P90 ($399.95) and the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS ($399.99). Like the Nikon, the X70 sports a 12-megapixel,  1/2.33-inch CCD and a 24x optical zoom lens (26 to 624mm equivalent, f/2.8-5.0).  Like the Sony HX1, it can shoot HD video (though only 720p in the Pentax's case). Other highlights: 11 fps continuous shooting, face detection of up to 32 faces in 0.03 seconds, and a Super Macro mode for shooting subjects as close as 1cm from the lens.

Topics: Hardware

About

Janice Chen is an editorial consultant and has been covering technology for over two decades. Serving as editor in chief at CNET and Computer Shopper magazine for many years, she oversaw product coverage for the CNET and ZDNet websites. She has appeared on most of the major morning TV news programs and was featured weekly on CNN Headline... Full Bio

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