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Sony WX80 is a glimpse of Cyber-shots to come

Though Sony's CES 2013 camera announcements aren't showstoppers, its one CMOS-based model shows the features coming when the rest of the lineup gets refreshed.

Joshua Goldman
Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice

Josh Goldman helps people find the best laptop at the best price -- from simple Chromebooks to high-end gaming laptops. He's been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software for more than two decades.

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LAS VEGAS--Though Sony announced five new Cyber-shot camera models at CES 2013, none of them are jaw-droppers.

However, one of them, the DSC-WX80, does give you a look at some features coming to Sony's higher-end Exmor R CMOS sensor-based cameras this year.

The $199 WX80 is the entry model with an Exmor R sensor, in this case 16 megapixels. That sensor gets you features like multishot shooting modes for improved low-light and backlit photos, 1080/60i AVCHD movie capture, 10fps burst shooting, and high-resolution, 360-degree panoramas.

New for 2013, these models get faster autofocus speeds and improved optical image stabilization when the zoom lens is extended (in this case an 8x 25-200mm zoom).

Also, Sony improved its Superior Auto mode on these cameras for better results when shooting moving subjects. Superior Auto combines Sony's regular Intelligent Auto with its multishot modes. Because of how the multishot processing works by layering multiple shots, using it with moving subjects doesn't work well. Sony's added motion detection to the mode, so that if the subject does move, it won't use the multishot processing.

The WX80 also has built-in Wi-Fi. You can use it to connect to Android or iOS devices to send images from the camera to the device, and you can use the device to remotely operate the camera.

Sony Cyber-shot cameras of CES 2013 (pictures)

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Without the Exmor R sensor you lose a lot of Sony's best shooting and performance features, and that's the case with the rest of its CES-announced cameras, which use Sony's Super HAD CCD sensor.

Sony introduced the $139 16-megapixel W730, which is the CCD-version of the WX80; the W710, a 5x zoom version of the W730 for $99; a $199 rugged 16-megapixel ultracompact, the TF1; and the 20-megapixel H200 featuring a 26x 22.3-580mm lens and AA batteries for power for $249.

All of these models essentially have the same shooting options, including 360-degree panoramas, 720p movie capture, beauty effects like teeth whitening, skin smoothing, and shine removal, more intelligent flash performance, and the option to use Sony's picture effects with panoramas and videos.

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