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Sony hits back with new sensor on its HX1 superzoom

Sony has announced yet another contender for the superzoom throne at PMA 2009, the Cyber-shot HX1, featuring a new "Exmor" CMOS sensor.

PMA 2009 | Sony has announced yet another contender for the superzoom throne, the Cyber-shot HX1, featuring a new "Exmor" CMOS sensor.

The new HX1 with 20x optical zoom. (Credit: Sony)

As the new hero model of the range, the 20x optical zoom camera is purported to be light and compact. Resolution-wise, it's certainly not going to win any awards at 9.1 megapixels, but the big ace up its sleeve is the new CMOS sensor.

Called "Exmor", the sensor was originally developed for use in the Alpha series of dSLRs. Exmor allows the HX1 to support two new technologies from the company; "Sweep Panorama" which sounds like a fancy name for a simple stitching program built-in to the camera, and "Handheld Twilight" that lets the camera capture up to six frames and combines them to produce an image with less noise.

Also on the specs list is a burst rate of 10 frames per second, and a 28mm wide-angle lens. It's also the first Sony camera to feature HD-video recording at 1080p.

It all seems a little bit late for Sony to be entering the superzoom fray, especially as this year's zoom levels are reaching heights of up to 26x. We'll wait and see if the HX1 makes it to Australia, and will update as pricing becomes available. European consumers can expect the camera to be on shelves at the beginning of May.