Sony has revealed a collection of affordable cameras aimed directly at entry-level users looking for a good value.
File under Only-Mildly-Interesting-but-Still-Important News at CES 2013: Sony has announced five entry-level Cyber-shot cameras, four of them utilizing CCD sensors. Among them is a new superzoom bridge camera, a sub-$200 waterproof model, and an everyday shooter priced under $99. For the right user, many of these should be fairly compelling.
The Cyber-shot WX80 (specs) is the only WiFi-enabled camera included in this announcement. It's only $199 yet features a 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and an 8x optical zoom, along with Optical SteadyShot stabilization, 1080/60i video shooting, and up to 10 frames per second in burst shooting. Sony seems to be using this camera as another opportunity to push its rebranded "PlayMemories" application hub. At this point it's unclear whether or not the WX80 includes built-in storage for apps like the Sony NEX-5R does.
The ruggedized camera announced today is called the TF1 (specs), and appears to be an affordable offshoot of the existing TX series. A somewhat disappointing 16.1-megapixel CCD is in use, but the durability features are pretty strong. The TF1 is waterproof to a depth of 33 feet—more than enough for a backyard pool or snorkeling—as well as dustproof, shockproof, and freezeproof. Optical SteadyShot and 720p videos are supported, and the MSRP will be set at $199. The external design features large, easy-to-use buttons, and is more rounded than the flat TX series.
Sony has also announced an affordable, almost travel zoom class camera: the W730 (specs). Although the price tag is only $139, the 16.1-megapixel CCD will be paired with an 8x optical zoom lens, optically stabilized and capable of capturing 720p video.
The cheapest camera in Sony's announcement, the W710 (specs), is designed to be straightforward and easy-to-use, featuring large buttons and a simplified user interface. The same 16.1-megapixel sensor is in use here, along with a 5x lens and Optical SteadyShot technology. 720p video shooting is available, too. The MSRP will be only $99.
Finally, Sony is introducing an affordable superzoom camera, the H200 (specs), which features a respectable 26x optical zoom, a 20.1 megapixel CCD sensor, convenient AA battery power, Optical SteadyShot, and 720p video recording. Again, pricing will be very competitive at only $249.
All of the Sony cameras announced today will be available in January.