Apparently announcing 10 cameras at PMA wasn't enough for Sony. Today the electronics company announced two more cameras to top off its Cyber-shot W and H series: the Cyber-shot DSC-W300, a 13.6 megapixel compact point-and-shoot and the Cyber-shot H50, a 9.1 megapixel megazoom model.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 Showing no signs of slowing down the megapixel madness running rampant in the digital camera industry, Sony boasts that with a 13.6-megapixel CCD, its new top-of-the-line W-series camera is the highest resolution ultra-compact camera available. But while that's more megapixels than anyone reasonably needs, this slick little camera has more than resolution in its bag of tricks. Sony's improved face-detection technology can distinguish between children's or adult faces, and allows you to set focus, exposure, white balance, and flash color controls for up to eight faces. Additionally, a Smile Shutter mode uses face detection to take a photo when your selected subject smiles. Other gee-whiz intelligence includes scene-recognition technology that automatically detects up to five types of scenes and includes an advanced mode that allows you to take two shots--one using standard settings and the other using scene-optimized settings--almost simultaneously. The camera's "extra high-speed" burst mode can shoot five frames per second by bumping resolution down to 3-megapixels, which is handy for shooting the kids' soccer game. The camera sports a 35 to 105mm-equivalent f/2.8-5.8 lens and a 2.7-inch LCD screen (which is augmented by an optical viewfinder). In addition to optical image stabilization, the W300 also offers a special low-light mode that lets you set sensitivity up to ISO 6400. Another stand-out feature is the user-selectable noise reduction setting, which lets you set the camera for high, low, and standard noise reduction. Unlike other point-and-shoots which automatically process their images to reduce noise without allowing you to adjust how much, the W300 gives you more control so you can choose to lower noise reduction in favor of more resolution and finer details. Some cool image-viewing and -mananagment features are built into the camera as well, including date and calendar views, an in-camera photo search by face or date, a slideshow mode with customizable MP3 music, and high-definition output for viewing photos on an HDTV. Add to all that its scratch-resistant "ultra-hard" titanium coating and slim 3.7x2.3x1.1-inch design (weight = 5.5 ounces), and you might just be willing to cough up the $350 suggested retail price when the product ships in May. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 Not quite as exciting as the W300, the Cyber-shot DSC-H50 is an incremental upgrade to Sony's DSC-H9 megazoom camera. Using the same 31 to 465mm (f/2.7-4.5) 15x zoom lens and 3-inch tilting LCD, the H50 bumps resolution up to 9.1 megapixels. Other improvements include an "advanced sports" shooting mode which uses higher shutter speeds (up to 1/4000 of a second) combined with predictive continuous auto-focusing to improve fast-action shooting. Additionally, the H50 shares some of the fancy new features of the W300, like user-selectable noise reduction, Smile Shutter, and adult- or child-priority face detection. Also shipping in May, the Cyber-shot DSC-H50 will be priced at $399.
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