Sony Intros Pocket-Sized Cyber-shot HX99 "Travel Camera" with Whopping 24-720mm Zoom Lens

If you don’t want to haul around you heavy DSLR or mirrorless camera on your next travel shoot (or vacation), a new superzooming compact camera from Sony provides a far smaller and lighter alternative. This week, Sony introduced the Cyber-shot HX99 (model DSC-HX99) camera, which packs a zoom lens with an extreme range of 24-720mm into what Sony is calling “the world’s smallest camera body of its kind.” The above image should give you a pretty good idea of what that means.

The new Sony HX99 compact zoom camera is designed for travel enthusiast or weekend vacation photographer and features a Zeiss-branded Vario-Sonnar T* 24-720mm high magnification zoom lens, 4K movie shooting, a BIONZ X image processing engine with a front-end LSI, and fast AF, Eye AF, 10 fps burst shooting and other features.

Of course, the 18.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor in the Sony HX99 is small as a fingernail – 1/2.3-inch (7.82mm) to be precise – but that’s to be expected in a camera this size in this class. The superzooming lens features Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, which is essential if you’re handholding it at all the way to 720mm. The Sony HX99 also has a Zoom Assist function that allows the user to zoom more accurately while shooting far away subjects by offering a quick, temporary zoom-out display to showcase a wider area. 

With the help of the BIONZ X processing engine, the new Sony HX99 camera can capture 4K video with full pixel readout and no pixel binning, with minimal “moire” and “jaggies.”  The new model also is capable of shooting high-frame rate HD video at up to 120 fps to produce slow-motion sequences during editing.

During still photography, the camera can lock in focus in as little as 0.09 seconds, and it can shoot continuously at up to 10 fps for up to 155 shots. The Sony HX99 also is equipped with Eye AF technology, a feature made popular by Sony’s A-series interchangeable lens cameras that locks focus onto a subject’s eye for portraits and fast-action photography. The camera also is capable of shooting images in Raw format and has a maximum ISO of 6400.

The Sony HX99 travel camera includes Touch Focus and Touch Shutter functionality, as well as a Touch Pad function for smooth focus point shifting while using the retractable OLED Tru-Finder.  The camera also has a Control Ring that can be customized with functions such as manual focus or step zooming, as well as a customizable ‘My Menu’ option for instant recall of up to 30 different settings.

The new camera has a 180-degree tiltable LCD screen that allows for framing self-portraits and group shots, a pop up electronic viewfinder and an upgraded grip that provides a firm hold and greater stability during shooting. It also offers location data acquisition via Bluetooth, which can collect and record location data from a connected mobile device, and proxy recording that allows instant transfers to smartphones or websites for quick sharing.

The new Cyber-shot HX99 (model DSC-HX99) camera will go on sale in early November 2018 for $449.99 USD. More info on the camera here.