The latest in the company's S-series, the Sony S980 is closely related to the S950 model which was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show a few weeks ago. The Sony S980 looks to be a fairly straightforward resolution upgrade of the previous camera, as it will be based around a 1/2.33" SuperHAD CCD image sensor with 12.1 megapixel resolution, just slightly higher-res than the S950's 10.1 megapixel image sensor. This imager is coupled to a 4x optical zoom lens with equivalent focal lengths ranging from 33 to 132mm, while the maximum aperture varies from f/2.5 to f/5.6 across the zoom range. Macro focusing will be possible down to a minimum of five centimeters. The S980 will forgo any optical viewfinder in favor of a 2.7" LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution.
The Sony Cybershot S980 will be limited to a maximum ISO sensitivity of 3,200 equivalent, and will not offer true mechanical image stabilization, instead opting only for Digital Image Stabilization which functions by raising the camera's sensitivity (and along with it, the noise levels) so as to achieve a higher shutter speed and reduce motion blurring. The Sony S980 will also include face detection capable of identifying eight faces simultaneously, and will take into account the locations of detected faces when calculating autoexposure and autofocus variables.
Other features of the Sony DSC-S980 will include six scene modes, Motion JPEG AVI video, in-camera red-eye correction and image cropping, and a multi-function terminal that will cater for both USB / video output and DC input connections. The S980's 25.9mm thick body will be available in three colors - silver, pink and black. Pricing is expected to be in the region of $150, a $20 premium over the lower-res S950 model, with availability from March 2009.