June 6, 2012 at 2:02 PM ET
An announcement from Sony on Tuesday brought news of two new cameras aimed at slightly more spendy photographers. The new point-and-shoot has a big sensor and fast lens, and the new camcorder is waterproof, but they both cost a bundle.
The RX100 uses a 20-megapixel one-inch sensor, which is several times the size of most point-and-shoot sensors, though not quite as big as the sensors in DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Its lens is no slouch either: F/1.8 Zeiss glass with a 3.6x optical zoom. It'll shoot up to 10 frames per second and the ISO goes up to 25600, which is very high for a point-and-shoot. Lastly, it has a high-resolution (~800x480) 3-inch screen with extra white pixel elements to make for a brighter image.
That's the good news. The bad news is that it costs $650, which is a lot for a point-and-shoot no matter how you slice it. The luxury point-and-shoot camera market has been gaining in popularity, though, as people look for something better than their mobile phone camera but sleeker than an interchangeable lens camera. So this may find its way into a few pockets.
Sony also announced a new camcorder, the catchily-named HDR-GW77V. Its main feature is that it's waterproof -- other than that it's your usual Sony Handycam, with back-illuminated sensor and the usual shooting modes. It'll run you $700, which is also a bit high for a camcorder, but it's a solid brand and its rugged nature means it'll probably live a long time.
Both cameras should be available sometime next month via Sony's online store.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. His personal website is coldewey.cc.