For anyone worrrying that the megapixel race was starting to run out of steam Sony has raced ahead with the annoucement today of a 13.6 megapixel compact digital camera, the Cyber-Shot DSC W300. The titanium-clad W300 also boasts a 2.7" LCD screen, HDTV output and all Sony's clever new 'intelligent' technologies, such as 'Smile Shutter' and DRO.

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Press Release:

NEW SONY CYBER-SHOT DIGITAL CAMERA IS A MEGAPIXEL POWERHOUSE

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 23, 2008 – Sony’s new Cyber-shot® DSC-W300 digital camera is expected to be among the industry’s most pocket-able, high-resolution point-and-shoot digital cameras featuring niche performance options.

The camera announced today integrates an ultra-high 13.6-megapixel CCD imager along with a Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD screen and an eye-level viewfinder in a compact size. With its ultra-hard titanium coating, the model offers a premium look and finish that is highly-resistant to scratches and messy fingerprints.

Enhanced Operation for Better Performance
The W300 camera newly features an “extra high-speed” burst mode that can shoot three-megapixel photos at five frames per second, ideal for fast-action shooting of sports, pets or children.

In addition to the blur-reducing effects of Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization, the camera also has a new “extra high sensitivity” mode (up to ISO 6400 in this mode only) to help minimize blurry photos when shooting in challenging lighting conditions, such as indoors or at twilight, even without a flash.

Noise reduction is now a user-selectable option, with high, low and standard settings, for greater control over the final look of images. For example, a low setting can help reduce noise without sacrificing resolution, making it ideal for landscapes and detailed subjects.

Smart Technology to Capture Better Photos Automatically
As the top-of-the-line model in the series, the W300 camera integrates the latest “intelligent” features that help users take better pictures more easily.

Sony’s Smile Shutter™ technology prioritizes the faces of children or adults so that the camera takes the photo at the moment the intended subject smiles. Improved face detection technology can also prioritize child or adult faces as the basis for the camera to apply focus, exposure, white balance and flash color controls for up to eight faces in the camera’s frame.

The model’s intelligent scene recognition technology automatically can detect five different types of scenes and optimize the camera settings for those conditions for a better photo. And advanced mode can take two shots almost immediately – one with standard automatic settings and the other with optimized settings.

Powerful Features for Outstanding Images
The W300 model has a number of features to maximize picture quality. Among them are five color modes, including “real” for less in-camera processing and more faithful color reproduction; 12 scene selection modes with a new “underwater” mode that adjusts white balance for more natural-looking photos; Sony’s new D-Range Optimizer Plus that process picture to improve detail in photos with harsh highlights or dark shadows; and an improved auto focus system that includes macro ranges.

Viewing and image management has also been enhanced with helpful date and calendar views, in-camera search by face or date, slide show with longer music files, and high-definition component output for viewing photos on a compatible HDTV set.

Price and Availability
The DSC-W300 camera and optional accessories will be available in May for about $350. All 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.

Sony DSC-W300 specifications

Sensor

• 1/1.7" Super HAD Type CCD
• 13.9 million pixels total
• 13.6 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 4224 x 3168 (13MP)
• 3264 x 2448 (8MP)
• 2592 x 1944 (5MP)
• 2048 x 1536 (3MP)
• 640 x 480 (0.3MP)
• 4224 x 2816 (12MP, 3:2)
• 4224 x 2376 (10 MP, 16:9)
• 1920 x 1080 (2MP, 16:9)

Movie clips • 640 x 480 30fps
• 640 x 480 17fps
• 320 x 240 8fps
File formats

JPEG (Exif 2.21)
MPEG 1 movies

Lens

7.6-22.8mm (3X)
35-105mm (35mm equiv)
Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar

Image stabilization Yes, optical
Conversion lenses

• VCL-DH0774 Wide (Optional, requires adapter)
• VCL-DH1774 Tele (Optional, requires adapter)

Digital zoom 2x (6x total inc optical)
Focus 9 point AF
AF area modes

• Multi-point AF
• Center-weighted AF
• Spot AF
• Fixed distance focus (0.5m, 1m, 3m, 7m, infinity)

AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance 5cm-∞ (wide), 34cm - ∞ (tele)
Metering • Multi Pattern
• Center weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity

• Auto
• 80
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• 3200

Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3EV steps
Exposure bracketing Yes, +/- 0.3, 0.7 or 1.0EV
Shuttter speed 30 sec to 1/2000
Aperture f/2.8-5.5
Modes

• Auto adjustement
• Easy shooting
• Program auto
• Manual exposure
• Movie
• High sensitivity
• Extra high senstivity (3MP)
• Extra high-speed burst (3MP)

Scene modes

• Twilight
• Twilight portrait
• Soft snap
• Landscape
• Beach
• Snow
• Fireworks
• Smile shutter
• Underwater

White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent 1 (White fluorescent)
• Fluorescent 2 (Natural white fluorescent)
• Fluorescent 3 (Day white fluorescent)
• Incandescent
• Flash
• One push custom set
White balance fine tune No
Self timer Yes, 2 sec, 10 sec
Continuous shooting Up to 5fps (3MP), 1.9fps at full res
Image parameters • Normal
• Vivid
• Real
• Sepia
• Black and White
• Color filters (Red, Green, Blue, Warm, Cool)
Flash Range 0.2-5.5m (wide), 0.4-2.8m (tele), Auto ISO
Viewfinder Yes
LCD monitor

2.7", 230K dots
100% field of view

Connectivity • USB
• AV - HD(1080i) (with optional accessory)/ SD
Print compliance PictBridge, DPOF
Storage • Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo compatible
• 15MB internal memory
Power • Lithium-ion NP-BG1 battery
• BC-CSG Charger
Weight (no batt) 156 g (5.5oz) (187g with battery and MSDuo card)
Dimensions 94.3 x 59.0 x 26.8 mm (3.7 x 2.3 x 1.1in)