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Sony USA has quietly introduced the Cyber-shot DSC-S500 that couples a six megapixel imager with a Sony-branded 3x optical zoom lens.

The DSC-S500's lens offers from 32mm wide angle to 96mm telephoto equivalent (the actual focal length range being 5.4 - 16.2mm). There's no optical viewfinder, with a large 2.4" 110k pixel LCD display being provided as the sole method of framing and reviewing images instead. ISO sensitivity ranges from 80 to 400.

Other DSC-S500 features include a 320x240 movie mode (length limited only by media capacity), power from two AA batteries, six scene modes (Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, Candlelight, and Beach), plus Auto and Program Auto exposure modes.

The DSC-S500's 25MB of built-in memory gets you started, while a Memory Stick Duo (PRO Duo compatible) card slot offers expanded storage. Sony includes its Cyber-shot Viewer v1.0 software, a USB cable, wrist strap and two disposable Alkaline AA batteries.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S500 ships in August, priced at $180.