Sony Australia’s forthcoming range of Cyber-shot digital still and video cameras integrate the company’s new Exmor R CMOS sensor for better low light image capture, touchscreen controls and a hybrid memory card slot supporting SD (and SDHC) and Memory Stick.

Previously available only on Sony’s higher end camcorders, the Exmor R image sensor in the three new Handycams and two cameras previewed today moves circuitry conventionally located at the front of the sensor to the rear. This allows more light to reach the image sensor, improving performance when shooting in low-light conditions and reducing the amount of ‘noise’ that affects image quality.

Sony CX550
The CX550V with 64GB of memory, 12 megapixel still shooting, and a viewfinder.

The HDRCX110 ($799), HDR CS350V ($1399), HDR CX550V ($1999) camcorders integrate flash memory up to 64GB, with the last two models featuring an enhanced version of the company’s image stabilisation, Active Optical SteadyShot. This makes for smooth hand-held shooting, especially in low light, and improves on the previous iteration of the technology by a factor of ten, according to Sony. These two models also offer GPS tagging and capture 7.1 and 12 megapixels still images, respectively. The entry-level CX110 has a convenient feature that automatically compiles a highlight reel of faces and smiles from captured footage. All are available from late-February to early March 2010.

Sony TX7
A slimline version of the HX5V, the TX7 features AVCHD video recording at Full HD (1080p). It even comes in red.

The DSCHX5V ($649) and DSCTX7 ($649) cameras integrate Active Optical SteadyShot, a 12 megapixel sensor and the ability to shoot full HD (1080) AVCHD video, a feature previously available only on Sony’s camcorders. Both offer the nifty iSweep Panorama mode, which seamlessly captures and stitches together a single image from a scene encompassing an arc of 243 degrees. Promoted as a travel camera, the HX5V is equipped with geotagging and the ability to record the direction you were facing when you snapped a photo. ’Cos you need that.