Sony Corp. said it is bringing its Cybershot U palm-size digital still camera to the U.S. in October, and at the same time announced an upgraded version with a 2-megapixel class CCD (charge coupled device) image pick up.
The Cybershot U was launched in Japan in July although at the time a single model, the U10 with a 1.3-megapixel class pickup, was available. Since then, several competitors that are also selling palm-size digital still cameras have upgraded their models to 2-megapixel class, which put Sony at a disadvantage.
On Monday, the company announced the U20 model with the higher quality pickup. For users, this means the difference between a 1280 x 960 image from the U10 or a 1600 x 1200 image from the U20.
Several scene modes allow users to choose the best combination of color and white balance for a particular shot and also a burst mode that will record five VGA-resolution (640-pixel by 480-pixel) images in the space of a single second. There is also a simple video mode capable of shooting 15 seconds of MPEG1 video with no audio.
Other features of the cameras include a one-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) for viewing images, a USB (Universal Serial Bus) socket for transferring images to a personal computer and a slot for Memory Stick memory cards. The cameras measure 85 millimeters by 40 millimeters by 29 millimeters and weigh 118 grams with batteries, Memory Stick and wrist strap.
Sony said the U10 would cost around US$200 while the U20 will cost around $270.
Minolta announced a new version of its Dimage-X camera, which has been on sale since the beginning of this year. The Dimage Xi features a 3-megapixel class CCD pickup compared to the 2-megapixel class device on the previous model. Also new is a better digital zoom, now at 4X from 3X.
The camera measures 84.5 millimeters by 72 millimeters by 20 millimeters and weighs 135 grams.