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Sony announces new cameras with plenty of zoom

Two new compacts from Sony put a lot of zoom into little packages. Australia looks like it's missing out on the world's longest 63x zoom camera though.

The deluge of camera announcements continues as manufacturers reveal new models to coincide with the CP+ expo in Japan.

Say hello to zoom with the HX60V. (Credit: Andrew Hoyle/CNET)

Sony has two compact cameras to add to the fray, with the travel zoom HX60V leading the charge. It follows on from the HX50V which made its debut at a similar time last year. The new camera boasts a 30x optical zoom lens, a 20.4-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor and the new Bionz X processor.

If 30x zoom is not close enough for you, through the magic of what Sony calls Clear Image Zoom (i.e. interpolated digital zoom), expect to reach 60x. Alongside Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS capabilities, the image stabiliser works double time to maintain steady shots in video mode. It will retail for AU$499 when it arrives in March.

The second model is what Sony is claiming is the world's smallest and lightest camera... with 20x optical zoom. The 18.2-megapixel WX350 weighs in at 164g with battery and memory stick. The maximum aperture range on the lens is nothing to write home about at f/3.5-6.5, but there is definitely a market for a a healthy zoom in such a small package.

This model will sell for AU$399 when it arrives locally in March.

Australia does seem to be missing out on one of the more interesting cameras in Sony's line-up that will appear in overseas markets. The race to reach the biggest optical zoom continues, with Sony bringing out a monster 63x model called the H400. Locally, we will just have to be content with a 50x zoom model from Sony, last year's HX300V.