[Sony Electronic Inc. Open House 2002] Models Include Built-in Technologies to Ensure Better Pictures Every Time.
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.
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.”
DSC-P31 Sony Cyber-shot® Digital Still Camera
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The new DSC-P31 and DSC-P51 models offer 2.0 megapixels (effective) of resolution, while the top-of the-line DSC-P71 provices 3.2 megapixels (effective) from its CCD imager.
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 $220 and $400, respectively. The DSC-P51 will be available at the end of April for about $300.