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Seven new Sony's

Feb 14, 2001 at 04:00 GMT

Yesterday saw the announcement of no less than seven new digital cameras from Sony, three Mavica's and three Cybershot's. Sony update the S70 with the new S75, still the same 3.34 megapixel sensor but a far more "photographic" camera. The P30 and P50 come in as upgrades to the S30 and S50 and two of the new Mavicas now provide a direct MemoryStick slot allowing you to use either MemoryStick or floppy disk. Probably more impressive is the aggressive pricing of all of these new cameras.

Click here for specs of the new Cybershot cameras

Click here for specs of the new Mavica cameras

New Cybershot digital cameras

ORLANDO, PMA, Booth #3449, Feb. 9, 2001 ­ Sony Electronics announced today feature-rich additions to its Cyber-shot® digital still camera line. The diverse line will appeal to a broader variety of consumers with more options in convenience, resolution and value. The DSC-P30, DSC-P50 and DSC-S75 cameras will be available in stores in May.

"Our 2001 camera line was crafted to serve the needs of a larger consumer market, but one that more than ever demands quality in their digital cameras and the images they produce," said Greg Young, Sony Electronics' general manager for digital still camera marketing. "These new Cyber-shot models offer new designs and features that make it easier than ever before to take great pictures with a digital camera."

Taking advantage of Sony's broad experience in industrial design, which has brought customers such practical innovations as the Jog Dial™ navigator, all three cameras have new cases, controls and styling that marry the power of digital photography with the familiarity of traditional cameras.

For the photography enthusiast, the ergonomically-designed DSC-S75 model debuts several firsts in Sony's consumer level digital cameras that make it possible to take great pictures with ease, even in challenging situations. It features 3.3 megapixel resolution, a 3x optical zoom, a Carl Zeiss™ lens and a new Jog Dial navigator. 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.

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. The camera is powered by an InfoLithium® "M" battery, allowing for up to 3,000 shots on a single charge.

Manual focusing with the DSC-S75 is uniquely intuitive - simply turn the Jog-dial focus adjustment, and the LCD display shows the image coming in to sharp focus - quite like the groundglass on a conventional camera. The DSC-S75 also has extensive manual exposure controls. Thirteen-step aperture adjustment helps the photographer decide depth of field, or how much of the scene is in focus. Forty-step shutter speed adjustment lets the photographer control action capture 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 versatile 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 stylish, compact DSC-P30 and DSC-P50 combine Sony performance and features in digital cameras within the budgets of more consumers than ever before. Joining the recently introduced DSC-P1, these new models feature slim, low profile styling, which is both easy to handle and easily slipped into pocket or purse.

Packed with performance, the DSC-P30 and DSC-P50 offer 3x Optical/6x Precision Digital zoom, AF Illuminator light, MPEG EX video, and a newly designed, fast action user- interface.

Unique to these two models is Sony's newly developed low-power circuitry and power management system. 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.

The DSC-P30, DSC-P50 and DSC-S75 cameras will be available in May, and will sell for around $400, $500, and $700, respectively.

New Mavica digital cameras

ORLANDO, PMA, Booth # 3449, Feb. 9, 2001 - Sony announced today the four latest additions to its industry leading FD Mavica camera line. The new models include the MVC-FD75, MVC-FD87, MVC-FD92 and the top-of-the-line MVC-FD97. These cameras boast enhanced features, expanded file formats and value.

"Sony's Floppy Disk Mavica cameras have created a bridge to bring more consumers into digital imaging than any other camera line," said Greg Young, Sony's general manager of digital still camera marketing. "The cameras we are launching today deliver groundbreaking innovations and unparalleled affordability to broaden the digital camera market even more."

The new MVC-FD92 and MVC-FD97 represent the industry's first truly "dual media" cameras, featuring direct compatibility with both disk and flash storage media. For the first time, users can enjoy both the universality and ease-of-use of the floppy disk as well as the speed and capacity of Memory Stick® media, directly in the same camera.

By enhancing FD Mavica cameras' signature features of powerful zoom, large LCD viewfinders and easy handling with the expanded capacity of Memory Stick media, these new models provide consumers with exciting alternatives in Digital photography. With up to 88 times the capacity of the floppy disk (with the 128MB size, shipping in April), Memory Stick media's higher capacity and data transfer rate allows for improved image quality through the use of uncompressed TIFF format and fine or standard JPEG compression. Dual media also allows transfer of files from one media to the other, right in the camera. Now FD Mavica camera users can share images with friends as they are taken, through an inexpensive floppy disk, even if the photos are from a series of sessions. Equipped with USB transfer capability, the MVC-FD97 and MVC-FD92 can even serve as external USB Floppy Disk and Memory Stick media drives for most computers. Not to be excluded, the new MVC-FD87 also supports Memory Stick media with the use of an optional MSAC-FD2M adaptor. Memory Stick media is available now in 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128MB capacities for $30, $50, $80, $140 and $280, respectively.

"As consumers continue to buy more digital devices, the need for connectivity among those devices becomes more important," noted Young. "Sony's 2001 FD Mavica cameras offer more than a floppy disk-based camera by combining Memory Stick media options and USB transfer. Together Sony's digital still cameras offer a truly customized solution to file transfer and file sharing hassles - plus they allow users to choose the media that best suits their imaging needs."

Highlighted by a 10X Optical Zoom (39-390mm in a 35mm camera), Sony's Optical Steady- shot™ Image Stabilization and 2.1 Mega-pixel resolution, the MVC-FD97 represents one of the most powerful lens/CCD combinations available, allowing users unusual control over composition and framing, especially at long distances. With extensive exposure control, eye-level TTL LCD viewfinder and manual focusing option, the MVC-FD97 brings the look and feel of a professional SLR to the world consumer digital cameras. By adding the advantage of dual-media, the MVC-FD97 creates a unique combination of digital camera flexibility and will be available in March for about $900.

The new MVC-FD92 combines a powerful 8x optical/16x digital zoom, 1.3 megapixel resolution (with 1.6 megapixel interpolated mode), with direct floppy disk and direct Memory Stick media capability and will be available in March for about $600.

The MVC-FD75 and MVC-FD87 continue the Digital Mavica tradition of offering convenient floppy disk storage, making both products extremely easy to use. Simply remove the floppy disk from the Mavica and insert it into the disk drive of any personal computer. There are no additional wires or adapters to connect, and no drivers to install on the PC.

The MVC-FD75 also offers a 10x optical zoom, not available on any other camera at that price, combined with VGA resolution that is perfect for e-mailing images to friends and family, posting to a web site, or for business uses like online brochures and real estate services. Available in February, the MVC-FD87 and MVC-FD75 cost about $400 and $500, respectively.

As with all of Sony's cameras, the entire FD Mavica line uses a rechargeable InfoLithium battery with an AccuPower meter. The provided L series batteries provide a life of approximately 960 shots, or 1-¼ hours, in still image standard mode. And with the Sony AccuPower meter, the battery life remaining is displayed by the minute on the 2-1/2" LCD monitor, making unexpectedly running out of battery power a thing of the past. The MVC-FD87, MVC-FD92, and MVC-FD97 all feature Intelligent Flash which provides automatic optimum exposure control for better images in the dark or against natural backlight.


We've had an S75 for about 4 days, which wasn't unfortunately long enough to complete a review (hopefully I can do that on my return from PMA). Both Imaging-Resource and Steves Digicams have posted articles and reviews on several of the above mentioned cameras.