Sony today announced a new five megapixel three times optical zoom digital camera, the DSC-F88. Those of you who are aware of some of Sony's older digital cameras will recognize the F88's design as being very similar to the DSC-F77 (Sep 2002) and the original DSC-F55 (Feb 1999). Just like those previous models the F88 has a rotating lens / flash portion along the top of the camera body, however it now implements the 'folded lens' system of the DSC-T1 / DSC-T11 mounted horizontally within this rotating portion giving you a full three times optical zoom (the F77 / F55 had no zoom). Note that the F88 also has a viewfinder, unlike the previous cameras.

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Phil: I think this is a poor choice of name, the use of '8' will no doubt confuse.

Press Release:


300-Degree Lens Rotation Allows You Flexible Shooting Style

SAN DIEGO, May 17, 2004 — Sony, the market leader in consumer digital cameras, has blended the fun of a rotating lens with the speed and clarity of a five-megapixel Cyber-shot® digital still camera in the new DSC-F88 model.

The F88 camera’s compact, all-metal body is fitted with an internal Carl Zeiss® Vario Tessar® 3X optical zoom lens that allows it to rotate 300 degrees, so you can see your pose in the camera’s 1.8-inch LCD screen before snapping the picture, providing you with a flexible shooting style.

There are several interesting flexible angles you can capture with the F88 camera’s rotating lens including waist level and above-the-head shots. Its ability to rotate makes the camera perfect for hard-to-obtain low angle candid shots and for taking above-the-head close-up shots during crowded events.

Creative shots can also be captured with the camera’s self-timer feature. Set the camera on table, angle the lens as needed and trigger the self-timer for steady, professional self-portraits.

Another feature of the F88 is the camera’s optical eye level viewfinder that, when the lens is rotated, allows you to focus in on your subjects while they view the LCD and adjust their pose assuring they will be happy with their picture.

“How many times have you seen someone turn their camera around and snap a self-portrait or have their subject demand to see the results?” said Greg Young, general manager for Sony Electronics’ digital camera unit. “We know that consumers like to use their digital cameras in new and interesting ways, so we took special care to create a Cyber-shot camera that adapts to special situations that call for flexible shooting angles.”

The camera’s 5.1 megapixel CCD image sensor ensures great picture quality while the camera’s Sony Real Imaging Processor™ makes it blazingly fast with a near immediate start-up and very fast shot-to-shot time so you can capture memories as they happen.

The F88 employs a rechargeable InfoLithium® battery system for quick recharging time, which means that you will spend less time charging and more time taking pictures. The new camera also accepts both the Memory Stick® and Memory Stick PRO™ memory cards.

Priced at about $450, the DSC-F88 digital camera will be available online at and at retailers nationwide in July.

Meet the Cyber-shot DSC-F88 Camera’s Best Friends

There are also a couple of optional accessories that will add to your fun including:

  • Wide Angle Lens (VCL-07FEB): With this wide lens conversion (available in July for about $60) consumers can expand their camera’s field of view, helping to capture an entire scene. It’s especially helpful in self-portrait circumstances while holding the camera an arm’s length away.
  • Cyber-shot Station (CSS-FEB): The Cyber-shot Station accommodates the DSC-F88 camera (available in July for about $80), making it easy to transfer images to your PC while recharging the unit’s battery.

Sony DSC-F88 specifications

Sensor 1/2.4", 5.1 million pixel CCD
Lens • 3x optical zoom
• 38 - 114 mm equiv.
• F3.5 - F4.2
• Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar
• Folded optics
Auto focus • 5 area multi-point AF
• AF illuminator
Focus range • Normal: 50 cm - Infinity
• Macro: 8 cm - Infinity
• Magnifiying glass mode: 1 cm - 20 cm
Image sizes • 2592 x 1944
• 2592 x 1768 (3:2 ratio)
• 2048 x 1536
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
Movie sizes • 640 x 480, 16 fps
• 160 x 112, 8 fps
• All limited only by storage capacity
• All with audio
File formats • Still: JPEG (Fine / Standard)
• Movie: MPEG
Exposure modes • Auto
• Program AE
• Manual exposure
• Scene
• Movie
Scene modes • Twilight
• Twilight Portrait
• Landscape
• Snow
• Beach
• High Speed Shutter
• Fireworks
• Magnifying
Noise reduction • Clear color
• Clear luminance
• Slow shutter NR
Metering • 49 segment Multi-pattern
• Spot metering
Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
Shutter speed 1 - 1/1000 sec
Apertures Wide: F3.5, F5.6, F8
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: On, Off, Slow Sync
• Red-eye reduction: On, Off
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent
• Incandescent
• Flash
Histogram • Live view
• Playback
Flash • Built-in
• Range: wide angle 0.3 - 1.5 m, telephoto 0.5 - 1.5 m
LCD Monitor • 1.8"
• 134,000 pixels
Viewfinder Optical
Print compliance • Exif Print
• PictBridge
• Print Image Matching II
Storage • Memory Stick (32 MB supplied)
• Memory Stick Pro
Power • Supplied Lithium-Ion NP-FR1 battery
• AC adapter/charger
Connectors • Video out (via cradle)
• USB (via cradle)
Dimensions 98 x 75 x 26 mm
Weight (no batt) 163 g
Weight (inc. batt) 202 g

Sony DSC-F88 additional hands-on images