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The Sony W290 is based around a 1/2.3" SuperHAD CCD image sensor with 12.1 megapixel resolution coupled to a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar branded 5x optical zoom lens. The Sony W290 offers equivalent focal lengths that range from a useful 28mm wide angle to a 140mm telephoto, while the maximum aperture varies from f/3.3 to f/5.2 across the zoom range. Macro focusing will be possible down to a minimum of ten centimeters. The W290 will forgo any optical viewfinder in favor of a 3.0" LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution.

The Sony Cybershot W290 will offer ISO sensitivity ranging from 80 to 3,200 equivalent, and will include both true mechanical image stabilization, as well as 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 W290 will also include face detection capable of differentiating between children and adults, recognizing and prioritizing one specific individual's face whenever they're present in a scene, and detecting when your subject blinks during an exposure. The W290 will also take into account the locations of detected faces when calculating autoexposure and autofocus variables. The Sony Cyber-shot W290 will feature in-camera retouching capabilities, with soft focus, fish eye effect, cross filter, partial color, retro, radiation, red-eye correction, trimming, unsharp masking and smile effects being on offer.

Other features of the Sony DSC-W290 will include eleven scene modes plus an Intelligent Scene Recognition mode which automatically chooses between eight of these modes, plus 720p MPEG-4 high-definition video, a Dynamic Range Optimizer function, and both USB / video output connections. The W290's body will be available in a range of colors including silver, bronze, blue and black. Pricing is expected to be in the region of $250, and availability is set for April 2009.