Sony unveiled its latest entry model in their HX series, the HX400V, which looks almost the same as its predecessor HX300V at first glance. Even most of the technical specs are the same except for one key point; the inclusion of a Bionz X processor. It speeds things up for more streamlined shooting that you can only really feel on a DSLR camera. Less shutter lags and delay per shot.
All other specs are retained. It has the same 50x zoom with 24-1200mm range which is very suitable for both wide angle shots and extremely far away subjects, 20 megapixel resolution lens, backside illuminated CMOS sensor, Manual Focus function (this is a rare feature to common bridge cameras) and the 3-inch Clear View vari-angle LCD. Some minor additions are NFC Wi-Fi, GPS and a hotshoe for external flashmount and other accessories like shotgun mics or detachable LED displays.
Sony claims that its Clear Image zoom is enhanced for 4K displays as well. The icing on the cake for this camera is that they have made the interface strikingly similar to their Alpha line of DSLRs so owners can become more accustomed to the new model more easily. It also introduces the ability to shoot videos in 1080p resolution with varied frame rates.(24p is now also possible for a much more cinematic look without the need for re-encoding the video)
All these good additions to the already nice camera are not really that "innovative" according to CNET's take on the unit. Compared to the older bridge camera models from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, etc, it does not really stand out that much as the said features have already been around for the past few years. With its forecasted price range (about 500 bucks), you really need to expect a decent superzoom with great image quality and set of functions. Panasonic's FZ70 even sports a bigger 60x zoom, as well as Nikon's P600. 24fps videos are also the norm nowadays so no big surprise here as well. One of the biggest deal breakers for camera aficionados might be the lack of RAW format when taking pictures and HX400V fails to have this included. Some high-end point-and-shoots have RAW capture so Sony can't make feeble excuses about this unless it was replaced by some neat surprise feature that we are yet to discover and see for ourselves!
Sony's Cyber-shot camera will hit stores this coming March.
If you are having a G.A.S (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) then you might want to consider these factors:
1. If you already have the previous model HX300V, upgrading might not be a good idea. Best to stick with what you have for now
2. If you don't have a Bridge Camera or a SuperZoom (if you only care about the zoom capability) there's H400 too that is to be released along with HX400V which has a better 64x zoom though with some shortcomings with the image quality as it has CCD sensor instead of CMOS. This can affect the video (purple fringing) and low-light performance. There are also a host of other Bridge Cameras and SuperZooms out there that has the same feature.