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It goes to 1,200mm

The new $500 Sony Cyber-shot HX300 features a 50x f2.8-6.3 24-1,200mm lens. Despite the digital SLR-like appearance, though, the camera packs a small 1/2.3-inch 20-megapixel Exmor R backside-illuminated CMOS sensor, so don't expect SLR-quality photos.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET
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My, what a long lens you have

To go with the HX300's mighty lens is some pretty powerful optical image stabilization that's been designed specifically to handle the extra shake when the lens is extended.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET
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Few extras here

Though Sony packs in a whole lot of shooting modes and controls (you can turn on and off the neutral density filter, for example), it lacks some things that the competition has, such as a hot shoe or mic input.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET
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Nice, big grip

The HX300's grip is very comfortable, and the size allows for a big mode dial and buttons for focus, switching between the LCD and electronic viewfinder, and a custom preset.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET
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Tilting LCD

The 921K-dot-resolution 3-inch tilting LCD is very nice.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET
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Ports

On the left side you'll find Micro-HDMI and Micro-USB ports, with the latter being used for charging, transfers, and AV.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET
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Ring around the lens

There's a grippy ring around the lens, which is used to control the zoom lens. Flip the switch on the lens barrel from autofocus to manual and the ring handles focusing instead.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET
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