Sony has gone hog wild with new product announcements today, introducing three new digital cameras and a new digital photo printer.
Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-F707 is a US$1,000, five-megapixel digital still camera, the first of its kind to be aimed at, and priced for, the broad consumer market, according to Takashi Kondo, senior VP of Sony Electronics’ Digital Imaging Product Division. It sports a maximum image size of 2560 x 1720, a pivoting Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar 5X optical zoom lens with F2.0 aperture, two LCDs (an .8-inch LCD screen and eye-level electronic viewfinder), multi-pattern metering, pre-flash metering, spot metering, center-weighted metering, and more.
The Cyber-shot DSCF707 also offers Hologram AF, a Sony-exclusive laser focusing system designed to achieve accurate focus on subjects with little contrast in dark conditions. It projects a visible Class 1 laser hologram pattern directly onto the subject so the camera can detect the contrast between the edge of the laser pattern and the subject itself. The digital camera also uses Sony’s NightShot mode for taking photos pictures in low- and no-light situations. And to help compose pictures in dimly lit settings, NightFraming integrates NightShot technology, Hologram AF and TTL pre-flash metering to let a photographer properly frame the subject, attain accurate focus and achieve correct flash exposure for consistently excellent flash shots, Kondo said.
The DSC-F707 model introduces the Clear Color NR noise reduction tool that reduces noise in the color signal, which is useful when the subject includes areas of similar color, such as blue sky backgrounds. What’s more, the Slow Shutter NR feature overcomes the problem of CCD noise in long time exposures. The camera first captures the image. It then closes the iris while it captures a black frame — just the noise pattern of the CCD. The camera then subtracts the noise pattern from the image and leaves it virtually noise-free, Kondo explained.
The Cyber-shot DSC-F707 camera can store photos in a variety of formats, including: JPEG, TIFF, voice memo, e-mail and text. It also has MPEG-HQ and MPEG-EX video modes, Clip Motion animated GIF modes and in-camera editing functions. The camera ships with a 16MB Memory Stick media card, an InfoLithium M battery, an AC adapter/in-camera charger, an A/V output cable, a USB cable, a shoulder strap and a lens cap.
Sony has also unveiled two slender Cyber-shot digital still cameras, the new DSC-P5 and DSC-P3 models. They’re Sony’s smallest cameras to date, but add new features, such as an AF Illuminator for focusing in the dark, in addition to two-shot burst mode, for capturing fast action.
The $600 DSC-P5, due in October, will have a 3X optical, 6X digital zoom lens and a 3.34 megapixel (MP) CCD (3.2 MP effective). It will also feature a more precise 14-bit A/D converter and MPEG EX(TM) movie mode, as well as a new C-series InfoLithium battery that offers more than an hour of continuous shooting capacity, depending on use.
The $500 Cyber-shot DSC-P3 camera, also due in October, invokes the same style as the DSC-P5 model, but is faster and lighter due to its fixed lens with a 3X digital zoom. It packs a 3.34 megapixel CCD (2.8 MP effective) and high-speed focus produce.
Both cameras provide a two-frame burst mode that captures two full-resolution images at up to two frames per second to capture fast-moving subjects, and ClipMotion, an exclusive Sony GIF animation feature, that lets you take up to 10 pictures that the camera automatically combines to make a single ClipMotion animation file. The ClipMotion file is smaller in memory size than a standard MPEG movie, Kondo said. As with the Cyber-shot DSC-F707, the DSC-P5 and DSC-P3 can save graphics in a variety of formats. Supplies accessories include 8MB Memory Stick media, InfoLithium C-series battery, AC adapter/charger, AV cable, USB cable and application software/USB driver CD-ROM.
Of course if you’re doing to take digital photos, you’ll probably want to print them out. Sony has also introduced the DPP-MP1 digital photo printer, which weighs under one pound, including battery and paper tray. The miniature dye-sublimation printer can be used with either the supplied AC adapter or an optional battery pack. The printer and battery pack will be available in November for about $280 and $70, respectively.
The DPP-MP1 printer can be driven by a computer via USB or directly from Memory Stick media. It uses business card-size paper, made popular by a variety of current devices. Paper is available in packs of 24 and is sold with a print cartridge for about $20. The printer is supplied with paper tray, AC adapter, USB cable and test printing pack.