Pre-PMA 2008: Sony today announced its DSC-T300 - the latest in its line of touch-controlled slim digital cameras. You could almost describe it as a 'tablet camera' as all controls bar the shutter release have been dispensed with and replaced with a gargantuan 3.5" touch panel filling the entire rear surface of the device. Whilst not a buttonfest in the traditional sense, Sony has certainly not held back on cramming it full of gadgets and gizmos. They've taken advantage of the unique interface to present such features as Child/Adult priority Face Detection, Face Search and DRO Plus (Dynamic Range Optimization) as well as a whole raft of retouching tools so one can perfect (or ruin) images all without them ever leaving the camera. $399 will secure a T300 when it hits the shops. More after the jump.

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Press Release:

Sony's Cyber-Shot DSC-T300 camera combines function with style

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 23, 2008 – Sony is taking the wraps off a new 10.1-megapixel Cyber-shot® DSC-T300 digital camera, featuring a stylish, ultra-compact design and intelligent functionality to help reduce the risk of taking a bad photo.

The new model incorporates Sony’s new intelligent scene recognition (iSCN), a technology that allows the camera to analyze shooting conditions and automatically select the optimal settings for the best photo results. In iSCN mode, the camera can automatically detect up to five scenes, and choose the best setting for the situation.

In advanced iSCN mode, the camera will shoot using the user’s settings and then will automatically step in and take a second shot with optimized settings. If the camera determines that the user’s settings are best, then a second photo is not taken.

“We’re aiming to make cameras smarter,” said Phil Lubell, director of marketing for digital cameras at Sony Electronics. “The T300 camera shows goes beyond face detection to other functions that help customers capture their best photos automatically.”

The unit integrates a wide (16:9), 3.5-inch touch screen Clear Photo LCD PlusTM LCD screen for easy navigation and framing; a Carl Zeiss® 5x optical zoom lens; Super SteadyShot® image stabilization and high sensitivity settings up to ISO3200 to help combat blurry photos; and a powerful Bionz™ processing engine.

More Intelligent Features
The camera’s updated face detection technology can differentiate between the faces of children and adults. Simply select “child priority” or “adult priority,” and the camera will automatically detect up to eight faces in the camera frame, adjusting focus, exposure, white balance and flash for the subjects that matter most.

Lubell said Sony has applied a similar advancement to its “smile shutter” technology, an intelligent camera function that captures smiles automatically by searching for facial movements related to smiles and laughs. Capable of detecting multiple smiles instead of only one, users can apply “child priority” or “adult priority” in smile shutter mode to capture photos only when the intended subjects smile.

New controls on this model include: semi-manual focus, which lets the user set the focus range; improved auto focusing system to cover macro ranges in auto mode; and the addition of Sony’s D-Range Optimizer Plus mode that uses a higher image correction algorithm to retrieve more picture detail in bright highlights and dark shadows caused by high-contrast shooting.

Organize and Playback Images in Style
As storage capacities on Memory Stick Duo™ and Memory Stick PRO Duo media cards increase, Lubell said, options for easily organizing, accessing and playing back photos is more of a priority. The new camera’s internal database allows for advanced filtering to later search for photos by date and smile. Images can be viewed in chronological order or displayed in a helpful calendar view, and organized in the camera’s “favorites” folder.

To view your images in stunning 1080 HD resolution slide shows, just connect the DSC-T300 camera to a compatible HDTV set. Slide show includes your choice of background music, including up to eight tracks (a total of five minutes in length) you can upload via USB, and use multiple tracks to create longer slideshows set to music.

The DSC-T300 camera replaces the DSC-T200 model. It will be available in red, black and silver in March for about $400. The camera, as well as a range of accessories, can be purchased online at sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges, and at authorized dealers nationwide. Pre-orders begin on Jan. 31 at www.sonystyle.com.

Sony CyberShot DSC-T300 specifications

Sensor

• 1/2.3" Type Super HAD CCD
• 10.3 million pixels total
• 10.1 million effective pixels
• RGB Primary color mosaic filter

Image sizes • 3648 x 2736 (10M)
• 2592 x 1944 (5M)
• 2048 x 1536 (3M)
• 640 x 480 (VGA)
• 3648 x 2432 (8M 3:2)
• 3648 x 2056 (7M 16:9)
• 1920 x 1080 (2M 16:9)
Movie clips • 640 x 480, Approx.30fps
• 640 x 480, Approx.16.6fps
• 320 x 240, Approx.30fps
• 320 x 240, Approx.8.3fps
File formats • JPEG (Exif Ver.2.21)
• MPEG1 (MPEG Movie VX)
Lens • Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar
• 5x optical zoom
• 5.8 - 29.0mm
• 33 - 165mm (35mm equiv.)
• f/ 3.5 - 4.4
• 12 elements in 10 groups (including 3 aspheric elements,1 prism)
Image stabilization • Super SteadyShot
• Shooting, Continuous, Off
Conversion lenses Wide: VCL-DE07TB
Digital zoom Yes, up to 2x
Focus • Single AF
• Monitor AF
• Macro
AF area modes • 9-point AF
• Center Weighted AF
• Spot area AF
• Flexible Spot AF (Touch Panel)
• Semi Manual (1.0M, 3.0M,7.0M, Infinity)
AF assist lamp Yes, auto or off
Focus distance
(From front of lens)
• Auto/Macro: 8cm - ∞ (w), 80cm - ∞ (t)
• Close Focus enabled: 1cm - 20cm
Metering • Multi-Pattern
• Center-Weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• 80
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• 3200
Exposure compensation +/- 2.0EV, 1/3EV step
Exposure bracketing +/- 0.3, 0.7, 1.0 EV
Shutter speed • Auto: 1/4 - 1/1,000 sec
• Program Auto: 1 sec- 1/1,000 sec
Aperture • Auto: F3.5 - F10
• Program Auto: F3.5 - F10
Modes • Auto Adjustment
• Easy Shooting
• Program Auto
• Movie
Scene modes • High Sensitivity
• Twilight
• Twilight Portrait
• Soft Snap
• Landscape
• Beach
• Snow
• Fireworks
• Hi-speed Shutter
• Smile Shutter
• Underwater
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent 1 (White Fluorescent Lighting)
• Fluorescent 2 (Natural White Fluorescent Lighting)
• Fluorescent 3 (Day White Fluorescent Lighting)
• Incandescent
• Flash
• Underwater White Balance Mode (Auto, Underwater 1, Underwater 2, Flash)
White balance fine tune No
Self timer Yes, 10 or 2 sec
Continuous shooting Approx 1.6 fps, 10 shots
Image parameters DRO (Dynamic Range Optimizer): Standard, Plus, off
Retouch • Trimming
• Red Eye Correction
• Soft Focus
• Partial Color
• Fisheye Lens
• Cross Filter
• Retro
• Radial Blur
• Unsharp Masking
• Smile
• Paint (Pen, Erase, Stamp, Frame)
Flash • Auto
• Flash On
• Slow Syncro
• Flash Off
• Red-Eye Reduction
• Range: 10cm - 3.5m (w), 80cm - 2.7m (t) (ISO Auto)
• Range: Up to 7.2m (w), 5.5m (t) (ISO 3200)
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 3.5 in (8.8cm) Touch-sensitive Hybrid TFT LCD
• Aspect Ratio: 16:9
• 230,000 dots
• Approx. 100% coverage
Connectivity • AV out (Composite, 1080i component with optional cable)
• USB 2.0 High Speed
• DC input
• All in/out via Multi Use Terminal
Print compliance • Pictbridge
• DPOF
• PIM III
• EXIF Print
Storage • Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed), Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo card
• Approx 15MB internal memory
Power • NF-FD1 Li-ion battery
• Charger included
Weight (no batt) 149 g (5.3 oz)
Dimensions 94 x 59.3 x 21.4 mm (3.7 x 2.3 x 0.8 in)

Additional images