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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V and DSC-HX9V zoom lots with 3D shots

Sony has two new toys coming out in April, the Cyber-shot HX100V and HX9V, which pack 30x and 16x optical zooms respectively, and some neat 3D tricks up their long-zooming sleeves.

We can't get enough of these fancy superzooms -- why walk over to things and look at them when you can simply zoom in from afar? Sony wants to give your tired-from-walking legs a rest, and has introduced the Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V (on the left) and DSC-HX9V (that's it on the right), which boast 30x and 16x optical zoom lenses respectively.

The HX100V is definitely the big brother of the pair -- you can tell because it has a longer name. It might have a bigger 27mm Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T lens (while the smaller HX9 makes do with a 24mm Sony G lens), but both cameras offer 1,920x1,080-pixel video capture with one-touch video recording. Both cameras have 16.2-megapixel sensors, plus GPS and a compass so you can keep track of where exactly you took each photo.

Both cameras have cool 3D features too, so you can take photos that can be viewed in 3D on a 3D-enabled telly. There's a still image mode which takes two consecutive shots in different focus positions to calculate depth, then makes separate left and right eye images.

3D sweep panorama mode lets you get a 3D shop of a panorama, with a high-speed burst of shots taken while you steadily sweep the camera across your chosen landscape. Those images are then stitched together, to make a 3D image.

It sounds like you'll be able to view your 3D shots in some kind of 3D right there on the camera too, with a shooting feature that captures 15 shots at slightly different angles and compiles them into one photo. Sony reckons you can then get a 3D-style effect by looking at the camera's 3-inch LCD display panel and tilting the thing back and forth.

Hmm. We're going to wait until we've used this feature for ourselves before we make any comment. It might work -- it sounds similar to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20's 3D features to us. We'll wait and see. 

The HX100V also has a manual control ring to go with its bulkier frame. You can assign that ring to adjust focus or zoom, which will come in handy for macro photography.

Also announced today is the Sony DSC-W520, a 14.1-megapixel snapper with a 5x optical zoom and a 2.7-inch LCD screen around the back.

The W520 will be available in March, with the HX100V and HX9V following in April. There's no UK pricing announced yet, but stay tuned.