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Sony launches MiniDisc with built-in camera

By dpreview staff on Mar 8, 2005 at 17:10 GMT

Sony's latest MiniDisc incarnation has a 1.3 megapixel built-in digital camera with a 1.5-inch color screen and MP3 playback. The MZ-DH10P Hi-MD can capture 1.3MP and VGA-quality images which can be stored on MiniDisc media. Captured shots can be displayed as a slideshow with music, individually or as thumbnails. Camera controls are on the same side as the LCD and the shutter button is on top of the device. The lens cover of the camera controls the mode; when it's open the Walkman is in camera mode, and when it's closed it changes to audio mode. It will be available in May for around $500 and comes supplied with a charging cradle.

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Key camera specifications:

  • 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 1.5-inch color LCD
  • 4x digital zoom
  • Available in black, silver and red
  • Supports ATRAC3/ATRAC3plus, MP3 and WAV. MP3
  • 36mm equivalent focal length
  • Four photo modes - 1.3MP Fine/Standard and VGA Fine/Standard
  • LIP-4WM lithium-ion battery
  • 85 x 26 x 83 mm
  • 155 grams (including battery
  • AC adapter and charging stand included

Press Release:

SONY UNVEILS NEW NET MD AND HI-MD WALKMAN DIGITAL MUSIC PLAYERS

SAN DIEGO, March 1, 2005 - Providing options for all lifestyles, Sony has once again expanded its selection of portable music devices with the introduction of its 2005 line of MiniDisc™ Walkman® digital music players.

For music buffs unwilling to be constrained by capacity, MiniDisc media provides removable, recordable, scratch-resistant and affordable storage for an infinite library of songs. The discs are small, durable and re-recordable up to a million times without degradation in audio quality.

The new MiniDisc line of Walkman players includes a hip, Psyc® Net MD model and several high capacity Hi-MD™ players. All of the players offer the extended battery life, compact design and sturdiness for which MD players are recognized.

With Hi-MD technology, users can record up to 45 hours of music on one disc utilizing USB high speed transfer. Removable, re-recordable Hi-MD media offers 1GB of storage on each disc for expandable music collections and virtually all PC data files. The 2005 Hi-MD players play back both MP3 and ATRAC3® audio files, in addition to supporting WMA and WAV formats. And with the top-of-the-line MZ-DH10P model, you can even take digital images right on the device.

"Many musicians, journalists and digital music fans rely on the flexibility and durability of the MiniDisc format," said Allan Jason, vice president for portable audio products at Sony Electronics. "Our latest models increase the utility of the players and bring more advantages to our MD customers."

All of the models are compatible with Sony's Connect™ online music store and include both SonicStage® software and the MD Simple Burner application, which make it easy to import, manage and transfer music collections.

MZ-DH10P Hi-MD Walkman Digital Music Player

Taking MiniDisc to new heights, the MZ-DH10P model is the first Hi-MD™ Walkman player with the added benefit of a built-in camera and color LCD screen.

A 1.3 megapixel digital still camera (1280 x 960) with 4x digital zoom is incorporated into the unit, so visuals can be added to complement the music. A customized slide show with simultaneous music play back is viewable on the LCD and as an added bonus, album and cover art can be linked to the music and also be displayed. Images can be stored on MiniDisc media and reviewed, moved or deleted using the 1.5-inch color TFT LCD. The MZ-DH10P comes supplied with a charging cradle and will be available in May for about $500.

MZ-RH910 and MZ-RH10

The MZ-RH910 and MZ-RH10 models are designed to create personalized music masterpieces. Musicians can easily record their own tunes and upload their music onto a computer.

With a new slim design, the MZ-RH910 unit offers a digital amplifier and the ability to record from multiple sources. The line-in jack helps transfer and archive legacy formats to MiniDisc media, and the mic input is ideal for making personal recordings of class lectures or live music. The MZ-RH910 will be available in April for about $200.

The MZ-RH10 model steps up with a large six-line, self-emitting organic EL (electroluminescence) display, so sound-setting screens, track, title and artist can be viewed from wide angles and without a backlight. The unit can record from sources including mic in, line in and USB, and plays back MP3 and ATRAC3 audio files. When playing in ATRAC3plus™ mode at 64 kbps (kilobits per second), the unit provides up to 33 hours of continuous play back with supplied rechargeable battery combined with one "AA" battery. A remote control and file name indicator are also included. The MZ-RH10 will be available in April for about $300.

Psyc Net MD Model

Available in stereo black with orange highlights or electric white with lime green accents, the new MZ-DN430 Psyc Net MD Walkman is sure to turn heads. This unit combines the style elements of chrome and neon with the benefits of ATRAC™ sound and removable storage. Ideal for the active user, skip-free, G-Protection™ technology promises virtually uninterrupted music play back. With 56 hours of continuous battery life using just one "AA" battery and CD/MP3 transfer using USB high speed transfer, there is nothing to slow the listener down. Color-coordinated headphones are also included. The MZ-DN430 will be available this month for about $100.

MiniDisc Media

Standard MiniDisc media is available in 177 MB capacity for about $2 and can hold up to five hours of recorded on a Net MD player or up to 13 hours recorded in Hi-MD mode. One GB Hi-MD discs, which can hold up to 45 hours of music, are available for about $7. Hi-MD media can also store and transfer virtually all PC data files, including presentations, documents, photos and spreadsheets.

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