today introduced its newest P-series Cyber-shot digital camera — the 4 megapixel DSC-P9. Like other Sony digital cameras, the DSC-P9 utilizes Sony’s Memory Stick media cards to store images. It also can download pictures via USB.
The camera sports an AF Illuminator mode that enables users to get a focus lock on subjects in total darkness using infrared light. It also incorporates a multi-point autofocus that allows the camera to select between three separate focus areas within the frame to automatically select the best setting.
The DSC-P9 also has built-in technology to help get the right exposure under irregular lighting conditions. It uses a multi-pattern metering feature that divides the scene into a matrix of 49 differently metered cells; it then calculates the right exposure for each cell to make sure that a brightly lit portion of the picture doesn’t offset the rest of the image. Even in low or no light conditions, the DSC-P9 uses special technology to calculate the right exposure: it uses built in pre-flash exposure metering and a flash that strobes twice with each shot. The first strobe lets the camera work out the proper exposure, and the second strobe captures the image.
The DSC-P9 can capture up to 16 images in “multi-frame burst mode,” which saves pictures sequentially as a single digital file. Users can adjust the interval of the images between three settings. Also, the DSC-P9 can capture full motion video using the camera’s MPEG Movie HQX video mode, which will record video non-stop up to the capacity of the Memory Stick media used. (A 16MB Memory Stick comes with the camera, and Sony sells up to 128MB Memory Sticks separately.)
Look for the P-series Cyber-shot DSC-P9 to hit stores in May for about US$600. (Sony’s Web site had not been updated with info on the DSC-P9 as MacCentral went to press with this article.)