The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H7 is a replacement for the DSC-H2, and combines eight megapixel resolution with a 2.5" LCD display and an impressive Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar branded 15x optical zoom lens, offering a range from a better-than-average 31mm wide angle to a very useful 465mm telephoto. As with previous H-series models, the DSC-H7's lens incorporates Sony's Super Steady Shot optical image stabilization to minimize blur caused by camera shake - an essential feature for such a long zoom when not using a tripod.
Other Sony H7 features include ISO sensitivity to a maximum of ISO 3200, a new advanced sports shooting mode which combines predictive continuous autofocus with high shutter speeds, a Memory Stick Duo / PRO Duo card slot plus 31MB of built in memory, and power from a proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery. The DSC-H7 also offers high definition component video output, via a proprietary cable.
The H7 includes Sony's new face detection technology, capable of detecting up to eight faces simultaneously. Sony's system is apparently linked not only to the camera's autoexposure and autofocus systems as in most similar systems, but also to white balance and flash metering as well - allowing the camera to ensure proper flash exposure and pleasing flesh tones. Also, the H7 marks one of the first applications of Sony's Bionz image processor - first seen in the company's Alpha digital SLRs - in their compact camera models. Sony says Bionz will offer improved image quality, faster response times, and better battery life in its compact cameras.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H7 ships from April 2007 and is priced at US$400.