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Cameras

Sony HX5, TZ7 and TransferJet: GPS and wireless transfer, as if by magic

At CES, we got our hands on the GPS-packing HX5 and touchscreen TZ7 compact cameras, as well as the TransferJet wireless transfer dock. It's sheer wizardry, we tell you

Another CES, another gazillion new Sony cameras. The Cyber-shot HX5 boasts GPS, the TZ7 is a high-definition touchscreen snapper, and both will transfer photos without wires. It's like magic.

The HX5 includes satellite GPS for geotagging your pictures. For example, we could tag our pictures from CES and then pin them to a map of Las Vegas, with a compass feature showing which direction we were pointing.

The 10.1-megapixel HX5 packs an Exmor R CMOS sensor, wide-angle 25mm lens and 10x optical zoom. It shoots 1080i high-definition video in AVCHD format and plays back on a 76mm (3-inch) screen. For those Facebook self-portraits, the camera can wait until it detects your face, or two faces if you want a friend in there too, before firing.

tx7

The TX7, pictured above, also shoots 1080i videos. It sports a whacking great 89mm (3.5-inch) touchscreen.

These cameras all include Sony's 'intelligent sweep panorama' feature. This allows you to move the camera from side to side in one smooth motion, snapping automatically, and it then stitches the pictures together into a wide panoramic vista. A new addition to the feature is that it spots people or moving objects and stitches around them.

All the new cameras support SD cards as well as Memory Sticks, a welcome move away from proprietary nonsense by the Japanese giant. Sony is even making its own SD cards in capacities from 2GB to 32GB, and microSD cards in capacities from 2GB to 8GB.

Transfer Jet

The TZ7 and HX5 are the first cameras to work with Sony's new TransferJet wireless transfer dock, pictured above. Slap your camera down on the dock, and it'll automatically pull in snaps to display on a Sony digital frame. We saw the concept way back in 2008, but it was the size of a house compared with this discreet unit, which is barely bigger than the cameras themselves. Snaps can also be transferred between the TZ7 and HX5. We're impressed with the speed, as snaps transfer almost instantly. Yep -- definitely magic.

The preternaturally fresh-faced Brian Tong checks out the Cyber-shot TX7 in this smashing video from the CES show floor: