Sony today announced their tiny DSC-P1. Althought not as small as their prototype "spy camera" it's still small, about the same height as Canon's Digital IXUS (S100) and a little bit longer, the big deal here is that the P1 has the same 3 megapixel CCD seen in the S70 & F505V AND a 3x optical zoom lens with an automatic lens cover (how did they ever fit it in there??). Other improvements seem to have been made, auto focus is said to be much faster as is zoom speed, and start up times of just 3 seconds. We have exclusive images of the camera, full specifications and a press release.

Lens extended Lens retracted, note the automatic lens cover (just like Canon Powershot S's)
Rear looks similar to a DSC-S70 Again, top similar to the DSC-S70
 
Left side with lens extended  

Sony DSC-P1 Specifications

Imager 1/1.8" Super HAD 3.34 megapixels (3.24 effective)
A/D converter 12-bit
Lens 3x optical (39 - 117mm as 35mm equiv.) F2.8 - F5.3
Image sizes

2048 x 1536
2048 x 1360 (3:2)
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
640 x 480

Image modes

JPEG, GIF, TIFF, MPEG1

Focus distance Normal: 50 cm - Infinity
Macro: W 10cm - Infinity, T 50cm - Infinity
Exposure Auto, Compensation: +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV
Whitebalance Auto, Hold, Indoor, Outdoor
Sharpness Yes, +/-2 steps
Program AE

Twilight, Twilight+, Landscape, Panfocus, Spot

Flash modes

Auto, Anti-red eye, Forced Flash, No Flash

Flash Level

Yes: High, Normal, Low

LCD

1.5" / 123,000 pixels

Viewfinder Optical
Media MemoryStick (8MB included)
Movie clips 320 x 240, 160 x 112, 80 x 56, including audio
Playback Zoom (up to 5x), Slideshow, Trim, Resize, Delete, Copy, Print Mark
Timing Startup: 3.6s
Record 2048 x 1536: 4.3s
Connections USB, AV (inc. audio) output
Power InfoLithium S, NP-FS11 & charger included
Dimensions 114 x 54 x 44 mm (4.5 x 2.1 x 1.7 ")
(Canon Digital IXUS is 87 x 57 x 27 mm)
Weight (inc batt.) 250 g (8.8 oz)

Sony DSC-P1 press release:

Small and Smart -Today's Digital Image From Sony

New DSC-P1 Digital Still Camera Combines Great Compact Looks With Unique Functionality

Amsterdam, September 12, 2000 - Today, Sony Europe announced a new digital still imaging product proposition that will appeal to the whole European market. Scheduled for launch next month, the DSC-P1 combines a superbly stylish and compact design with super high-resolution image quality and advanced picture processing and storage capabilities.

Weighing just 250 g, the DSC-P1 combines ultra compact dimensions with a stylish design that appeals to any user. It's design is influenced by Memory Stick: as well as using this revolutionary storage media, it takes on the same proportionate dimensions. Design ergonomics are further enhanced by features such as a pop-up 3x optical zoom lens, which retracts into the camera body when not in use.

A Sony Stamina infoLITHIUM battery provides continuous 90 minutes shooting. Remaining battery life indication is displayed on the camera's built-in 1.5 inch LCD screen. The camera also incorporates an optical viewfinder: a useful feature in poor lighting conditions, it also saves battery power when used instead of the LCD which can be switched off.

Rarely have elegance and powerful functionality been combined so effectively as with the DSC-P1. The inclusion of a 3.34 million Megapixel CCD ensures very high image quality, whilst its intuitive operating controls will appeal to all types of user. "The DSC-P1's will suit a wide range of users: its straightforward operation makes it an attractive "point and shoot" camera for people who want reliable, high quality images at the push of a button," commented Marcel Bettonvil, General Manager Marketing at Sony Digital Imaging Europe. "Also, its outstanding high resolution and comprehensive feature set will attract other groups of user. We are very optimistic about the DSC-P1's market potential in Europe."

High quality MPEG movie and Clip Motion
Using the camera's MPEG HQ (high quality) function, full screen MPEG movie shooting and replay is possible at 16.7 frames per second - twice the rate of its predecessor - providing outstanding moving image quality. For users that require sequential image sets, Clip Motion (Sony's implementation of GIF animation) lets them shoot up to ten still images from which the camera constructs a "small animation," suitable for posting on a website.

Safe, high speed data storage and transmission
The DSC-P1 uses Sony's revolutionary Memory Stick recording media to store data and associated information. The incredible size to data storage ratio of this IC memory card, linked to the ease and speed of data transfer makes Memory Stick a natural choice in a range of applications requiring the sharing and exchange of AV material, such as still and moving pictures, as well as IT content, such as data, text and graphics.

The DSC-P1 is supplied with a 8MB Memory Stick, with 16, 32 and 64MB versions available as options. Up to 118 images (640 x 480) can be stored on each 8MB Memory Stick and the user has a facility to review shots on the camera's LCD screen and free capacity by discarding unwanted shots. A range of optional Memory Stick adaptors ensure complete compatibility with all industry standard PCs. For applications requiring rapid PC image transfer, the camera features a USB interface and connecting cable.

To protect the camera in a range of environment several cases are available, including a casual style soft case, high grade leather soft case and even a marine housing that lets you control all main functions to a depth of 30m.