announced three new Cyber-shot digital still cameras at this week’s Photo Marketing Association 2001 (PMA 2001) Conference and Trade Show in Orlando, FL. All are due in May.
The US$700 DSC-S75 model is designed to appeal to the photography enthusiast and debuts several firsts in Sony’s consumer level digital cameras, according to Greg Young, Sony Electronics’ general manager for digital still camera marketing. It features 3.3-megapixel resolution; a 3x optical zoom; and a Carl Zeiss lens and a new Jog Dial navigator (just turn the Jog-dial focus adjustment, and the LCD display shows the image coming into focus). The camera has a two-frame burst mode, allowing for speed and accuracy in capturing high-paced action, with faster auto focusing for quicker response, Young said.
This model is also the first consumer camera to offer a 14-bit A/D converter, providing for more accurate capture of detail — particularly in highlights and shadows — and an AF illuminator light that briefly illuminates subjects to allow positive focus lock even in total darkness, he added. The camera is powered by an InfoLithium “M” battery, which purportedly allows for up to 3,000 shots on a single charge.
The DSC-S75 also has a 13-step aperture adjustment that’s designed to help the photographer decide depth of field, or how much of the scene is in focus. Forty-step shutter speed adjustment allows the photographer to control action captures appropriately and, with full-manual control, both aperture and shutter speeds can be adjusted to best fit picture needs.
Augmenting the DSC-S75 model’s still image capture are motion capture modes, including MPEG HQ (High Quality) and MPEG EX (Extended). MPEG EX captures 160 x 112 or 320 x 240 video continuously, up to the capacity of the Memory Stick media in use. This means that video clips of up to 90 minutes can be continuously recorded using 128MB Memory Stick media. MPEG HQ offers full screen playback of 320 x 240 video clips with high sampling rate audio in 5, 10-, or 15-second clip lengths.
The $400 DSC-P30 and $500 DSC-P50 are targeted to more budget minded consumers. The provide 3x Optical/6x Precision Digital zoom, AF Illuminator light, MPEG EX video, and a new “fast action” user-interface.
Unique to these two models is Sony’s newly developed low-power circuitry and power management system, according to Young. Whereas most of today’s digital cameras operate on four AA batteries, the DSC-P30 and DSC-P50 can operate on just two AA cells, and for up to 60 minutes operation, or 1100 shots. With just half the typical battery requirement, these models can be smaller and lighter, with extended operation. For even longer operation, Sony’s optional InfoLithium S battery offers up to 120 minutes of operation and 2200 shots, Young said.
The DSC-P30’s features include: a 1.3-megapixel Super HAD CCD; 3x Zoom (6x Precison Digital); HiSpeed Scan Auto Focus with AF Illuminator for focus accuracy in low light situations; 12-bit DXP A/D Conversion for a wider dynamic range from highlight to shadow; Program AE Modes; three mode Intelligent Flash with selectable Red Eye Reduction; SXGA/XGA/VGA Resolution, with a 3:2 aspect ratio appropriate for 4×6-inch prints; JPEG/Uncompressed TIFF/E-Mail/Text Mode; 320×240 / 160×112 MPEG EX Movie Modes; (video only) up to 90 minute clip length (with a 128 MB Memory Stick); USB connectivity; and an included 4MB Memory Stick.
All of the above features are in the DSC-S30, as well as: a 2 meagapixel Super HAD CCD, and UXGA/XGA/VGA resolution, with a 3:2 aspect ratio appropriate for 4×6-inch prints.