In the market for a new point and shoot? Didn’t think so. Why don’t you take a gander at the new Sony shooters anyway?
You’ve basically got two models worth looking at. First is the rather expensive TX200V:
It’s expensive for a reason, though. They’ve made it look as much like an iPhone as possible, flat glass on both sides. Unlike the iPhone, however, this thing is waterproof down to 5m. It’s got a 5x non-protruding zoom, for which they provide no F numbers, so it can’t be very fast — though the camera’s back-illuminated 18-megapixel sensor makes up for that a bit. It’ll shoot 1080/60p of a sort.
On the back is a 3.3″ OLED touchscreen of the “Xtra Fine™” variety, which I presume is a higher resolution than the previous 3.3″ OLED they put on a camera. Should be nice, high contrast, and decent resolution. There are no buttons on the thing except power, shutter, and a zoom rocker. Looks like a fun little camera, though for my money I’d want something with a brighter, bigger lens. This thing will set you back
Next you have the WX70 and the WX50:
They share the same internals, but are different on the outside. The WX50 has normal controls: switches and dials and all that, and a 2.7″ normal LCD. The WX70 is like the TX200V, all touchscreen on the back, and with just power, zoom, and shutter controls on the top. The screen is 640×480 and 3″, which should be nice and sharp.
The lens for both is a 5x zoom, F/2.6-6.3. Nothing special, but F/2.6 isn’t bad for a compact wide-angle. Inside they both have the same 16-megapixel back-illuminated sensor, which will shoot 1080/60i, though if it has a progressive mode (the press release doesn’t say) I’d recommend that. Anyone shooting interlaced in 2012 should have their camera confiscated. I wish somebody would tell Sony that.
The WX50 will cost around $200, and the WX70 will be $30 more. If the touchscreen works well (can’t tell until there’s a hands-on), the extra $30 will be well-spent.
So which is the best? Obviously the expensive, waterproof one, though for $500 you can get a better camera these days as far as lens and sensor are concerned. And you can get waterproof ones for under $150. Hell, I got a waterproof smartphone for $80 on Craigslist. So although it’s nice, it doesn’t strike me as a bargain.
Meanwhile, the WX70 is pretty fancy for $230, and with the BSI sensor and F/2.6 you should be able to get most shots without bumping the ISO too high. I’d go with that over the more traditional WX50 and the nice but expensive TX200V. And there you have it!