Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Sony 02/20/02 Press Release




Sony

Press Release - February 20, 2002



Mavica CD250 and CD400 Cameras
Cyber-Shot DSC-P31, P51, P71 Cameras
Handycam MiniDV Camcorders














Sony's New CD Mavica Digital Cameras Offer Better Pictures And Instant Archiving

Sony MVC-CD250


New Models Feature Latest Built-in Tools and More Options

PARK RIDGE, N.J., Feb. 20, 2002 - Maximizing the benefits of writeable CD photography, Sony's two new CD Mavica digital still camera models (MVC-CD250 and MVC-CD400), announced today, incorporate focus, exposure and archiving features that help make every picture worth keeping.

In addition to being easy-to-find, easy-to-use and long-lasting, CDs allow instant archiving of pictures - a lot of pictures. These two new CD Mavica models will be shipped with a media pack of six CD-Rs and one CD-RW disc, giving each camera over one gigabyte of available storage with sequential formatting. And, with the Confirm-before-Write option, the photographer can determine if an image is worth saving before burning it to a CD.

Creating Images Worth Saving

Concentrating on focus and exposure-- the two most important factors in capturing good images-- was paramount in designing these two new cameras. Integrated technologies that work automatically to improve these factors include multi-point auto focus, multi-pattern and pre-flash exposure modes, as well as auto focus illumination and pre-set scene modes.

"Photographers want to concentrate on the subject, instead of having to worry about all of the other things that make a good picture an excellent one," said Takashi Kondo, senior vice president of the Digital Imaging Products Division at Sony Electronics. "With the built-in features of these new CD Mavica cameras, they can spend more time on composition and creativity."

Sharper Focus and More Accurate Exposure

Multi-point auto focus makes sure the cameras don't just focus on the center of the frame. Instead the MVC-CD250 model automatically finds the best focus among three different areas within the picture, while the MVC-CD400 lets the photographer automatically or manually select the best focus from five separate parts of the picture.

Allowing the camera to more accurately calculate exposure, Sony's pre-flash exposure metering actually calculates exposure with light from the flash itself. When the picture is taken, the flash fires twice - once to illuminate the subject and determine correct exposure, then a second time to record the image with the best exposure possible. All of this is done effortlessly in less than a blink of an eye.

To provide accurate exposure in uneven lighting, multi-pattern metering divides the scene into a matrix of 49 separate cells, each of which can be metered independently. This feature calculates exposure when highlights and shadows exist outside the center of the frame, like a beach scene with the sun in one corner and a shaded hammock in the other.

Scene mode selections instruct the camera to automatically make the necessary shutter and flash adjustments for the situation. Whether it's a landscape, a portrait, a picture taken at twilight or a portrait of a person at night, these templates let the camera do the thinking, so the photographer doesn't have to.

The Camera For a Broad Range of Consumers

The MVC-CD250 captures images with 2.0 megapixel (effective) resolution and 3X optical / 2X digital zoom. Some new features it shares with its big brother, the MVC-CD400, include a solid, ergonomically curved design, MPEG HQX Movie mode with audio, and a three-shot burst mode for taking photos in rapid succession. Expected to sell for about , the MVC-CD250 model is positioned to introduce CD photography to anyone seeking a versatile, easy way to shoot, share and save great pictures.

The CD Mavica Camera with the Professional Edge

Sony MVC-CD400

Not only does the MVC-CD400 offer all the advantages of CD photography and all the features of the MVC-CD250, it is also equipped with advanced photo-taking features that will appeal to the hard-to-please photo enthusiast. This new model takes pictures with 4.0 megapixel (effective) resolution, includes a bright f2.0 Carl Zeiss lens and comes equipped with Hologram AF function, a Sony-exclusive laser focusing system designed to achieve accurate focus on subjects with little contrast in dark conditions.

Those who know the science of photography know that the aperture and shutter priority and manual exposure settings, included in this model, are a must. They also understand the advantage of exposure bracketing and the addition of a hot shoe for connectivity with a wide range of external flash options.

The MVC-CD400 CD Mavica camera will be available in May for about .









Sony's New Cyber-Shot Cameras Make The Delete Button Practically Obsolete


Sony CyberShot DSC-P71

Models Include Built-in Technologies to Ensure Better Pictures Every Time

PARK RIDGE, N.J., Feb. 20, 2002 - The need to delete out-of-focus or improperly exposed pictures is almost a thing of the past with the powerful hidden capabilities of Sony's new Cyber-shot digital still camera models (DSC-P31, DSC-P51 and DSC-P71), unveiled at a press conference today.

Rather than focus only on pixels and price, the three new models possess behind-the-scenes technology that eliminates the frustration and disappointment of having to retake pictures due to camera limitations, making the switch from film to digital photography more compelling than ever.

Back to Basics

Sony's new Cyber-shot P Series cameras concentrate on the essentials of good picture-taking, sharp focus and accurate exposure. Technologies like multi-point auto focus, multi-pattern and pre-flash exposure metering, and scene modes work transparently to give amateur photographers the headstart they need.

"This is the next step in the development of digital cameras," said Takashi Kondo, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging Product Division. "After all, the real benefit of improved digital imaging technology is obtaining better pictures with less hassle."

Better Focus and Exposure - Automatically

Sony's newly developed multi-point auto focus is one feature that takes the guesswork away from the picture-taker. It allows the camera to intelligently evaluate three different focus areas and select the best focus setting for the subject instead of the background. This ensures that the star of the photo is always the clearest, crispest part of the picture - even if they aren't in the center of the frame.

For greater exposure accuracy, Sony's pre-flash exposure metering calculates exposure with light from the flash itself. When the picture is taken, the flash fires twice - once to illuminate the subject and determine the correct exposure, then a second time to record the image with the best exposure possible. All of this is done effortlessly in less than a blink of an eye.

To provide accurate exposure in uneven lighting, multi-pattern metering divides the scene into a matrix of 49 separate cells, each of which can be metered independently. This stealth feature calculates exposure when highlights and shadows exist outside the center of the frame, like a beach scene with the sun in one corner and a shaded hammock in the other.

Special Lighting Problems Solved

It's difficult for most amateur photographers to take a picture that correctly exposes both the subject and the background. So, for example, nighttime pictures of people standing in the middle of New York's Time's Square can lose the exciting backdrop details.

Sony CyberShot DSC-P51

When selecting the new Twilight Portrait scene mode, a pre-figured exposure control steps in to invisibly handle the challenging shooting situation. To best capture the light and image from the background, it slows the shutter speed for a long exposure and, to properly illuminate the person in the foreground, it adds the flexibility of a flash.

To make the picture even more clear and "frameable," Sony has added a mechanism that was previously found only in more expensive, professional-grade cameras - slow shutter noise reduction. It eliminates the "visual noise" that often appears in long exposure time digital camera images as grain, by capturing two successive pictures. The first captures what the photographer sees. The second closes the iris and captures the noise. The camera then subtracts the noise pattern from the picture, resulting in a beautiful lowlight photograph that is virtually noise-free.

Useful Recording Options

In addition to taking high-resolution digital images, the three new Cyber-shot models offer modes that extend their usefulness.

Multi-frame burst mode is a recording option that captures action by taking 16 rapid-fire sequential pictures at any of three selected intervals. Saved as a single digital file, these images can be beneficial in analyzing a golf, tennis or baseball swing.

All three cameras also feature the new MPEG Movie HQX video mode that allows users to capture nonstop, full-screen, high-resolution MPEG videos to the capacity of the Memory Stick media.

Tools for Added Convenience

In low light situations, advanced LCD auto bright monitoring automatically increases the brightness of an image on the LCD display so photographers can see and frame objects.

For reliable, long-lasting operation, all three models are supplied with rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries and a charger.

Lastly - Resolution, Zoom and Price

The new DSC-P31 and DSC-P51 models offer 2.0 megapixels (effective) of resolution, while the top-of the-line DSC-P71 provides 3.2 megapixels (effective) from its CCD imager.

Sony CyberShot DSC-P31

The 8.5-ounce DSC-P31 is smaller than the other two Cyber-shot models and features a 3X digital zoom. The DSC-P51 and DSC-P71 both weigh about 10 ounces. The DSC-P51 has a 2X optical / 3X digital zoom and the DSC-P71 has a 3X optical / 2X digital zoom.

The DSC-P31 and DSC P71 Cyber-shot cameras will be available at the end of March for about and , respectively. The DSC-P51 will be available at the end of April for about .









MiniDV Handycam Camcorders Bring The Future Of Megapixel Video Into Focus


Sony Handycam DCR-TRV50

Sony's New Line-up Offers Megapixel Video Technology, Touch Screen Focus and USB Streaming

PARK RIDGE, N.J., Feb. 20, 2002 - The wait is over for camcorders that offer high-resolution video and the latest in digital imaging technology thanks to Sony's new line of MiniDV Handycam camcorders. The four new models announced today also aim to please cost-conscious video enthusiasts with the most attractively priced Sony MiniDV camcorders ever, beginning at about .

Megapixel Video for Consummate Image Clarity

While the MiniDV format delivers a powerful combination of precise image detail and vivid colors, three of Sony's new MiniDV models take video resolution even further with the incorporation of megapixel CCD imagers. Two models, the DCR-TRV25 and the DCR-TRV27, feature a 1,070k-pixel CCD imager, which produces outstanding video at 520 lines of horizontal resolution. The DCR-TRV50 model incorporates a 1.5-megapixel CCD imager with 530 lines of horizontal video resolution, which generates stunning video clarity and crisp definition of even the most subtle colors.

Taking Control - Touch Panel with Spot Focus

For added accuracy in framing the most challenging shots, the DCR-TRV50 offers a touch panel with a spot focus function to provide overriding control over the camcorder's auto focus. This new feature brings a user-selected area into focus by touching the LCD screen, allowing distant objects to be brought into focus even when shooting through a window, fence or other obstruction.

Sending and Viewing Video Around the World with USB Streaming

All four of the new camcorders incorporate USB Streaming, a feature that turns the camcorder into a webcam with a simple USB connection and video conferencing software like Microsoft� Windows� NetMeeting� software. By connecting the camcorder to a PC, users can privately stream live video of their baby's first steps or play back a previously recorded little league game over the Internet.

Digital Handycam camcorders also sport a new feature that lets users take a still image of an important event while recording the motion in video, rather than interrupting the recording to switch between still and video modes.

Gain Direct Internet Access with Networking Capabilities

The top of the line DCR-TRV50 model has the ability to access the Internet without a PC via wireless Bluetooth� technology. Users can send and receive text e-mail directly from this MiniDV Network Handycam camcorder, or attach MPEG movies and JPEG images to outgoing e-mail. The camcorder also can be used for Web browsing and viewing on the camcorder's LCD display. Web pages can be downloaded to the supplied 8MB Memory Stick� media for quick, easy access when off-line.

To initiate the network feature, users will need the optional Bluetooth adaptor connected to an analog phone line or a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone. The camcorder wirelessly communicates with the adaptor or cell phone, which can be placed up to 30 feet away.

Users can take advantage of Sony's new So-netSM Internet access service designed for easy set-up and connection between a Network Handycam camcorder and the Internet.

Enhanced Video Quality in Dark and Low-Light Settings

For improvement of video quality in dark and low-light settings, all four of the new models include two recording modes. Super NightShot� mode enables monochrome video taping in total darkness. Color mode records full-color video in dimly lit places, providing the user with the ability to capture true-to-life video of sleeping babies, birthday candles, nocturnal animals and more.

MPEG Movie EX - Extending Movie Moments

Each of the new MiniDV camcorders come equipped with MPEG MovieEX, which captures MPEG1 video clips with audio onto Memory Stick media up to the length of the media capacity. MPEG1 video can be captured directly to Memory Stick media or shot to the tape and converted in-camera to MPEG movie format later. MPEG MovieEX makes it easy to send video as an e-mail attachment or insert video clips into Web pages and presentation materials.

MiniDV Handycam Camcorder Pricing and Availability

DCR-TRV18 - includes a Carl Zeiss� Vario-Sonnar lens, 2.5" SwivelScreen LCD display, Digital Still Memory Mode with an 8MB Memory Stick media. The DCR-TRV18 will be available in April for about .

DCR-TRV25 - includes all of the above features plus a Megapixel CCD imager (520 lines of horizontal video resolution and 1,152 x 864 still image file size). The DCR-TRV25 will be available in April for about .

DCR-TRV27 - includes all of the above features plus a 3.5" SwivelScreen LCD. The DCR-TRV27 will be available in April for about ,000.

DCR-TRV50 - includes all of the above features plus a 1.5-Megapixel CCD imager (530 lines of horizontal video resolution and 1,360 x 1,020 still image file size), intelligent pop-up flash, precision color viewfinder and spot focus with touch panel. The DCR-TRV50 will be available in May for about ,600.

All four MiniDV camcorders also offer Sony's advanced Worry-Free Recording features, such as super SteadyShot picture stabilization, an InfoLithium battery with the AccuPower Meter system, and connection via an i.LINK (DV In/Out IEEE-1394) interface to compatible PCs for digital video editing.







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