Compact cameras with 10 megapixels need a little zhushing up, as a Notting Hill hairdresser might put it, so Sony has endowed the Cyber-shot DSC-TX1 and DSC-WX1 with a back-illuminated CMOS sensor, the Exmor R. The sensor is based on those found in Sony's digital SLRs and promises to deliver improved low-light performance without help from a flash or tripod. According to Sony, the new design has "approximately twice the sensitivity compared to conventional sensors".
Both cameras incorporate the hand-held twilight and antimotion blur multishot modes introduced in the Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 enormo-zoom. They also get its sweeping panorama-shooting capabilities.
The TX1 -- like all of the T-series models -- is a very thin camera at 18mm thick and has few physical controls, instead relying on a revamped 76mm (3-inch) touchscreen interface. The WX1 is only slightly thicker at 20mm.
So the TX1 has its small body and touchscreen LCD going for it, but its lens specifications are less impressive than those of WX1. It's folded inside the body, which is neat, but it's a 4x, f3.5-4.6, 35-140mm-equivalent lens -- the WX1 has a 5x, f2.4-7.1, 24-120mm. At f2.4 you'll pick up more light, further improving its performance in dim conditions. Plus, 24mm is considerably wider than 35mm. You'll have to decide what's more important -- portability and a flashy design and interface or shooting flexibility.
UK prices for both are yet to be announced, but click through for more pictures.