Steve's Digicams


Sony's New Cyber-Shot Line Continues Advancement Of Quality, Style And Performance

Sony DSC-S75

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.

Complete specifications and First Look reports are here.

Their features include:

DSC-P30 Cyber-shot

  • New compact, stylish design
  • 1/ 2.7" 1.3 MegaPixel Super HAD CCD;
  • High Powered 3x Zoom (6x Precison Digital),
  • HiSpeed Scan Auto Focus with AF Illuminator for focus accuracy in low light situations;
  • 12bit DXP A/D Conversion for a wider dynamic range from highlight to shadow;
  • Program AE Modes;
  • Three mode Intelligent Flash with selectable Red Eye Reduction
  • 1 ½ " 123K Pixel LCD Screen;
  • SXGA/XGA/VGA Resolution, with a 3:2 aspect ratio appropriate for 4x6" prints
  • JPEG/Uncompressed TIFF/E-Mail/Text Mode;
  • 320x240 / 160x112 MPEG EX Movie Modes; (video only) up to 90 minute clip length (w/128MB MS)
  • Playback Zoom/Trim, Resize;
  • USB/ Video Output;
  • 4MB Memory Stick media included; Optional media up to 128MB
  • Low-power consumption circuitry with advanced Power Management AA Alkaline batteries, supplied
  • Optional Long Life Battery - rechargeable InfoLithium® S with AccuPower™ meter with a life of approximately two hours or 2,200 shots in still image standard mode.
DSC-P50 Cyber-shot
  • All of the above features in the DSC-S30, as well as:
  • 1/ 2.7" 2.1 MegaPixel Super HAD CCD;
  • UXGA/XGA/VGA Resolution, with a 3:2; aspect ratio appropriate for 4x6" prints
DSC-S75 Cyber-shot
  • 1/1.8" 3.34 MegaPixel Super HAD CCD;
  • New ergonomic design to make photo taking easier;
  • 3X Carl Zeiss® Vario Sonnar Optical Zoom; 6x Precision Digital Zoom
  • High speed auto focus with infrared auto focus illuminator for focus accuracy in low light situations;
  • Full manual controls for the serious amateur: manual focus with LCD focus representation;
  • Manual exposure control;
  • Shutter and Aperture priority AE modes;
  • Unique Sony jog dial control for quick access to key photographic control features in manual modes when rapid adjustments are often needed;
  • New 14 bit DXP A/D converter for 4X the dynamic range of conventional 12 bit converters, providing much greater detail in shadows and highlights;
  • Three mode Intelligent Flash with selectable Red Eye Reduction in all modes;
  • 8MB Memory Stick media included; Optional up to 128MB
  • Optical Viewfinder, 1.8 " 123K Pixel Precision LCD;
  • MPEG HQ Movie with Full Frame 16fps Playback and High Sampling rate audio
  • 2048x1536/UXGA/XGA/VGA, with a 3:2 picture size ratio at the 3Meg resolution;


Sony Introduces New FD Mavica Camera Line With Both Floppy Disk And Memory Stick Capability

Sony MVC-FD97

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.

Complete specifications and First Look reports are here.

Each of the new FD Mavica cameras (MVC-FD87, MVC-FD92, MVC-FD97) offers the following features:

  • Mega-pixel resolution at 1.3, 1.6 (interpolated) and 2.1 mega-pixels respectively -- all with floppy disk convenience;
  • High powered optical zoom at 3x, 8x and 10x, respectively;
  • 12-bit A/D Conversion -- allows a wider dynamic range from highlight to shadow for each image;
  • An adjustable intelligent flash with Red Eye reduction;
  • Compact 4x HiSpeed floppy disk drive -- enabling files to be recorded and played back four times faster than a conventional floppy disk drive for faster image processing;
  • Long Life Battery - Rechargeable InfoLithium battery with AccuPowerä meter with a life of approximately 960 shots or 1 ¼ hours, in still image standard mode
  • 3:2 picture size ratio option -- gives users a digital image that is the same size ratio as a standard 4 x 6 inch film print;
  • E-Mail Mode and a date impose function available in three display patterns;
  • Six AE modes with four white balance modes.
The MVC-FD92 and MVC-FD97 offer the following extra features:
  • MPEG Movie Mode to capture up to 60 seconds of MPEG motion video and audio;
  • Uncompressed TIFF mode for enhanced image quality;
  • Voice Memo Mode to add narration to still images;
  • Clip Motion Mode which creates 10 Shot GIF Animations;
  • Direct Memory Stick and floppy disk capabability, providing convenience and universality;
  • USB Transfer, allowing the user to connect the digital camera directly to their USB equipped PC;
  • Manual focus, pop-up flash and optical stabilization (FD-97 only).
The MVC-FD75 features:
  • High speed 2x floppy disk drive - enables files to be recorded and played back two times faster than a conventional floppy disk drive for faster image processing;
  • HiSpeed Auto and Macro Focus;
  • 2.5" Advanced Color LCD Screen with Brightness Control
  • E-mail Mode - captures images at 320 x 240 for quick and easy e-mail capability;
  • Automatic Flash;
  • Four Auto Exposure modes to assure correct exposure;
  • File or Whole Disk Copy - enables the sharing of images on the spot by copying pictures right inside the camera;
  • Bit-Map Mode - allows the saving of images in a non-compressed format.


Sony Takes Camcorder Imaging Beyond The Mega-Pixel -- New Mini DV Handycam Camcorder Offers 1.5 Mega-Pixel Imager

ORLANDO, PMA Booth #3449, Feb. 9, 2001 - Sony Electronics continues to lead the way in camcorder innovations with today's introduction of two new high-performance Mini DV Digital Handycam camcorders, the DCR-TRV17 and the DCR-TRV30 - the latter being the industry's first 1.5 mega-pixel CCD camcorder with an intelligent pop-up flash and a precision color viewfinder.

The DCR-TRV30's 1.5 mega-pixel imager raises the bar by delivering up to 530 lines of horizontal resolution and stunning 1360 X 1020 digital still images; unprecedented image quality for a single CCD camcorder.

To enhance the 1.5 mega-pixel imager, Sony has incorporated an intelligent pop-up flash to help capture crisp still images in difficult lighting situations. In Digital Still Memory Mode, the intelligent pop-up flash system communicates with the camera for the optimum exposure, virtually eliminating overexposed or underexposed digital still images. The intelligent flash has four modes to accommodate different shooting environments: automatic, automatic with red-eye reduction, forced flash or no flash.

Consumers also have a choice when shooting to use either the precision color viewfinder or the 3.5" precision SwivelScreenÔ LCD monitor each providing more detail and clarity of subjects.

The DCR-TRV17 and the DCR-TRV30, replacement models for the DCR-TRV11 and the DCR-TRV20 respectively, both offer a sophisticated feature package perfect for the consumer who is ready to take the next step in digital imaging.

MPEG Movie mode allows the capture of up to 60 seconds of video and audio in the Video E-mail mode (160 x 112 resolution), or up to 15 seconds in the Presentation mode (320 x 240 resolution). These "mini-movies" are ideal video resolutions for attaching to e-mails, inserting images into Web pages and including in presentation materials.

Both models offer three different ways to record MPEG video. First, a convenient MPEG conversion feature allows consumers to select up to 60 seconds of recorded videotape and convert it to an MPEG movie. Second, consumers can shoot an MPEG movie "on location" when the moment is just right. Finally, through the DCR-TRV17 and the DCR-TRV30 Audio/Video inputs, video can be imported from an external source - such as a VHS deck, Video Walkman VCR or analog camcorder -- and converted to an MPEG movie and saved to the supplied Memory Stick media for easy transfer to a PC or other Memory Stick media-enabled device.

To augment the digital still capability and MPEG Movie Mode, the DCR-TRV17 and the DCR-TRV30 Handycam camcorders incorporate a Universal Serial Bus (USB) connector.

With the supplied USB cable, the camcorders can transport images and MPEG video to a compatible PC twenty times faster than camcorders with only a serial interface.

Additionally, Sony supplies MGI PhotoSuite and MGI VideoWave software to facilitate the transfer of digital still images and MPEG movies from the camcorder to a PC. With this software, camcorder users can perform a variety of imaging enhancements, including color alteration, drawing and more.

In addition to the above, the DCR-TRV17 and the DCR-TRV30 are equipped with a number of superb performance features that include:

  • Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar Lens - Carl Zeiss lens have an advanced optical multi-layer coating offering less glare and flare with increased contrast. This results in vivid image brilliance, true-to-life color saturation, and perfect renditions of subtle tones.

  • Progressive Shutter System - A mechanical shutter system that provides Progressive Scan performance. The result is clearer, sharper images with excellent definition.

  • 10X Optical/120X Precision Digital Zoom - Sony's optical zoom not only brings the action up close but the precision digital zoom uses interpolation technology so digital zooming is cleaner with less distortion than conventional digital zooms.
The DCR-TRV17 delivers the powerful combination of digital video, digital audio and digital still capability with Memory Stick media in a compact design. It also has a ¼-inch advanced CCD and a 3.5" SwivelScreen LCD display.

The aforementioned new features on the DCR-TRV17 and DCR-TRV30 complement Sony's convenient Worry Free RecordingÔ features:

  • i.LINK Digital Video Interface -- i.LINK (IEEE 1394) DV interface allows for high speed bi-directional digital communication between two devices equipped with IEEE 1394 DV interface, including digital camcorders, digital VTRs and PCs*.

  • InfoLithium® Battery with AccuPower System -- All Sony Handycam camcorders conveniently indicate the remaining minutes of battery life on the LCD or viewfinder display, allowing users to keep an accurate and constant reading of remaining battery power.

  • Super LaserLink Wireless Transmission system -- Uses infrared light to make a wireless playback connection from the camcorder to the optional receiver and your television up to 26 feet away.

  • Super NightShot O Lux Recording system -- Captures video in total darkness up to 10 feet away by using an advanced infrared system. Super NightShot recording employs an automatic slow-shutter control to deliver brighter, sharper images with more detail when shooting in the dark.
The DCR-TRV17 and the DCR-TRV30 will be available in April for about $1,100 and $1,700, respectively.

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