Sony Launches New 'Retinal Projection Camera Kit

The rumor mill suggests Sony is near due for a major new camera announcement of some sort. With the Sony A7R5 and FX30 launches well behind us, the most salivating guesses to date have been a new vlog-ready interchangeable lens camera akin to the Sony ZV-E10 (which Sony Alpha Rumors says is all but confirmed for late March), a sequel to the compact full-frame Sony A7C, or perhaps a proper, long-awaited update to the Sony A7S III.

So, you'll have to forgive us for bubbling with excitement when we saw the announcement of a new camera today. It's not exactly what we'd hoped for, but it's no less cool — Sony has announced the DSC-HX99 RNV, and if that name sounds familiar, it's because there's already an 18-megapixel point-and-shoot camera by a similar name in play, and this particular product is largely based on that. 

It sounds like an odd dud of a rehash at first blush, but this camera adds what Sony is calling a Retinal Projection kit, with the overall purpose being to help the vision-impaired see their everyday surroundings better.

Sony created this special version of the camera in partnership with QD Laser, which developed a Retissa Neoviewer viewfinder that uses laser retinal projection to deliver digital images directly to your eyeballs. It gives those with severe visual impairments a new tool to read the world around them.

In addition to acting as a real-time visual aid, users can also capture photos and raw video just as they would with any ordinary point-and-shoot, making this a tool whose utility can be equally fun as it is necessary for the target consumer. The wide focal length range of 24-720mm allows you to track subjects from incredible distances, with the super-telephoto end providing more reach than most folks need, even for wildlife photography.

This sounds like a project of passion for Sony, as the company will eat the costs to offer the kit for just $600, only about $150 more than you'd have paid for the original DSC-HX99 when it first launched. It arrives this summer, and there will only be a limited quantity available in the U.S. through Sony's website.

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