Sony's latest pair of superzooms, called the DSC-H7 and DSC-H9, add longer zoom lenses, higher resolutions, face detection, and a handful of other nifty features, including high-definition output. This last feature has found its way into all the company's new Cyber-shots, as was mentioned in our post about the new W- and T-series cameras.
Both of the new models include 8-megapixel CCD sensors and 15x optical, 31mm to 465mm-eqivalent, zoom lenses with optical image stabilization. Just in case that stabilization isn't enough for you, Sony also upped the top sensitivity rating on this year's models to ISO 3200, to offer more flexibility in low light. Plus, action photographers will appreciate the cameras' top shutter speed of 1/400th second. Borrowing from the company's Alpha digital SLR, Sony has built its Dynamic Range Optimizer and Bionz image processor into these new superzooms. The former attempts to eke out more image detail in highlights and shadows by tweaking the tone curve, while the latter lends the same speedy processing found in Sony's SLR to these superzooms.
While the H7 sports a 2.5-inch LCD, the H9 offers a larger 3-inch screen, which also tilts outward and upward to allow for more versatile shooting angles. It's not quite as versatile as the fully articulated screens that used to populate much of Canon's line, but then those are becoming less prevalent in that company's new cameras anyway. Extreme low-light photographers should get a kick out of the H9's Night Shot mode, while tweakers should enjoy the red-eye correction and other in-camera post processing options, such as the partial color filter or the four-point star filter available in both models. As with Sony's other new Cyber-shot models, you'll need to purchase the VMC-HD1 high-definition component cable if you want to take advantage of their high definition output. That cable doesn't come with the camera and should set you back about $40, when it becomes available in April of this year.
Sony expects to ship the Cyber-shot DSC-H7 and DSC-H9 this April for about $400 and $480, respectively. For more information on Sony's new superzooms and the rest of the company's new cameras, check out our slide show.