Sony has announced a range of new Cyber-shot cameras, including a rugged new model, the TX20, designed to take the rough and the smooth of everyday life.
The camera - clearly hoping to take on the Panasonic FT4 that we've just reviewed - seems to have impressive enough specs. It can be submerged in up to 5 meters of water and dropped from heights of 1.5 meters. It's also safe in dust and frozen conditions, making it ideal for people who like polar expeditions and sandy beaches.
The TX20 also boasts a "superior auto mode" that claims to achieve "professional results" by automatically detecting lighting and scene conditions. No doubt it's very impressive, but we can't help thinking that professionals might disagree that a computer can make better decisions than they can.
The new Exmor R sensor boasts low-light sensitivity of ISO 12800, which should make photos taken indoors,without a flash much less prone to camera shake. Sony's picture processing will handle noise reduction on these images, providing cleaner pictures compared to previous Cyber-shot cameras.
Also featuring is Sony's "By Pixel Super Resolution" technology, which claims to double the range of the optical zoom without degrading the image. If this works as Sony claims, it could be the end of those ghastly digital zooms which do nothing but destroy image quality.
Certainly, from a design perspective, the TX20 looks the part. It's slim and the rugged elements seem to have been downplayed to the point that you can hardly tell. We'll review it as soon as we can get our clumsy hands on one.