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Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W5 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sony Europe unveils Cyber-shot DSC-W5
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 11:20 EST)

A new digital camera model that briefly appeared on (and just as quickly disappeared from) consumer electronics giant Sony's shopping website SonyStyle a few days ago has now been officially announced by Sony Europe in Berlin.

Updating the popular DSC-W1 model, the DSC-W5 is set to ship later this month across Europe, with pricing set at €370 (roughly equivalent to US$483, ignoring exchange rate fluctuations, taxes and duties). Note that a significantly lower US price was shown on the SonyStyle site when the camera was accidentally posted there, but as the camera has not yet been announced in this region, we don't currently know if that price is accurate - hence we're not posting that price here.

Full specifications for the DSC-W5 have not yet been released, but courtesy of Sony Europe, specifications highlights are as follows:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W5
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W5 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Image Sensor
5.1 effective Megapixels
Sony SuperHAD CCD
Lens

Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® lens

3x Optical Zoom, up to 12x Smart Zoom, 6x Precision Digital Zoom

38 - 114mm (35mm equivalent)
F2.8 - F5.2
Focusing Features AF Illuminator
Viewfinder Optical
LCD Display
2.5" LCD
100% LCD Field of view
Improved contrast
New non-glare finish and low-reflection coating
Viewing angle increased by 25%
Exposure Control
Auto, Program Auto, Manual modes
Seven scene selection modes
Storage Media
32MB Internal Memory
Memory Stick / Memory Stick PRO slot
Connectivity USB 2.0 High Speed
Power Source
AA NiMH rechargeable batteries, charger included
Battery life: 420 shots
Chassis Material Aluminum
Movie Mode
MPEG VX Fine with audio
640 x 480 pixels
30 frames per second
Speed
Start-up time: 1.3 seconds
Shutter lag: 0.3 seconds
Shutter release lag: 0.009 seconds
Histogram Indication Yes
Compliance PictBridge compliant
Supplied Accessories 2 x NH-AA-DA rechargeable batteries and charger, wrist strap, AV and USB cables, software CD (Sony Picture Package, ImageMixer, and USB Drivers)
Optional Accessories Marine pack, high-power batteries, custom cases, conversion lens, filters, starter kit
More Photos
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W5 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W5 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W5 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
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Original Source Press Release:

Sony Cyber-shot W5 compact digital camera combines ease of use with high quality and traditional design

Sony’s new Cyber-shot W5 is a 5.1 effective Megapixel model featuring a large 2.5-inch LCD display, durable aluminium casing in a traditional design, considerable STAMINA, Carl Zeiss zoom lens and a focus on ease of use

Top quality photography
Sony has launched the brand new Cyber-shot W5, a camera that provides 5.1 effective Megapixel resolution as well as a very high level of STAMINA battery life, easy-to-use functions, 32MB internal memory and large 2.5-inch LCD display. The appeal of this camera is strengthened by a robust aluminium metal body, which features a superb Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens with a 3X optical zoom.

The Cyber-shot W5 is designed along classic lines, appealing to the traditionalist as well as those looking for a stylish digital camera. However there’s nothing old-fashioned about its functions. As well as its several fully automatic modes for quick shooting and ease of use there are also manual exposure settings suitable for the more creative photographer.

W stands for Worry-Free
Sony’s energy-efficient STAMINA system dramatically improves the amount of shooting time available to the new Cyber-shot W5 camera. The supplied rechargeable batteries are capable of up to 420 shots** on one charge, so you can be sure you’ll have enough power for any situation. The durable metal body is not only tough enough to be safe from occasional knocks, but is also styled in a more traditional manner, to give a more familiar feel to your photography. There’s also no need to worry about fiddling with camera settings to get the right picture - it features straightforward menus and seven different Scene Selection modes, which cover the majority of shooting situations. When at the beach, in the snow, taking landscapes or in several other circumstances, you can be sure that that Cyber-shot W5 will rise to the occasion with perfectly exposed pictures every time.

Image conscious
The quality of this camera is matched by the images it is capable of. Able to support up to 5.1 effective Megapixel resolution, the pictures you take with the Cyber-shot W5 will be pin-sharp with no loss in quality. Sony’s Real Imaging Processor improves image quality further, making your colours more realistic as well as speeding up camera operation. Another key factor is the sizeable LCD display, capable of displaying your high-resolution images off to their best advantage and allowing easy framing and menu selection. The display has also been improved, with higher contrast for a more realistic and vivid display of your images. This combined with a new non-glare finish and low reflection coating; the viewing angle is greatly improved by an impressive 25% - great for reviewing and sharing your images. You can use Sony Memory Stick and Memory Stick PRO for fast and efficient image storage, but there’s also the 32MB of internal memory to fall back on when your Memory stick is full or when you forget to bring one with you.

Extended functionality
With USB 2.0 high speed connectivity, the transfer of images to a compatible PC for further editing is extremely fast, and the camera can also connect directly to a PictBridge* printer without the need of a PC. The Cyber-shot W5 can also handle video. Sony’s MPEG Movie VX Fine allows high quality video recording at up to 30 frames a second, ideal for playing back full screen on TV. A range of optional accessories further extends the power of the new Cyber-shot W5, including a new marine pack for underwater shooting and a selection of lenses and filters for more creative shots.

About the Cyber-shot W5
The Sony Cyber-shot W5 is capable of delivering 5.1 effective Megapixels, due to an enhanced Super HAD CCD, which works in conjunction with Sony’s Real Imaging Processor to produce high-resolution, high quality images.

It is encased in a sturdy aluminium body, which features a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens (F2.8-5.2) with 3X optical zoom at a focal length of 38-114mm (35mm conversion). An innovative zoom lens, this has been specially designed to keep the camera compact by operating within the body and extending out when needed. Drawing on the considerable experience of the Carl Zeiss brand, the high quality lens ensures less distortion and bright images. A conversion lens can be attached to the Vario-Tessar lens to enable more creative photo options, while to supplement the optical zoom a 6X precision digital zoom is available, as is a Smart Zoom facility which allows 12X shooting in VGA mode.

This precision optical system is supported by a 2.5-inch LCD display, which covers much of the back of the camera. The large display has the dual benefit of aiding proper framing of shots and giving access to well-sized menu screens to control basic or advanced camera functions. In addition this screen becomes a great photo viewer with which to review and share your images. An optical viewfinder provides a more traditional alternative to framing shots.

To suit the more traditional styling, the camera features a Manual Exposure mode, as well as Auto Exposure and Programmed Auto Exposure. In addition the Cyber-shot W5 offers seven Scene Selection modes to provide automatic presets for occasions such as shooting portraits by candlelight or at twilight and locations such as beach scenes or on the ski slopes.

The camera features 32MB of internal memory for storing images, with support for Sony Memory Stick and Memory Stick PRO. With Hi-Speed USB 2.0 onboard for connectivity requirements the Cyber-shot W5 can transfer images quickly to a compatible PC for editing. It also features the PictBridge interface, which allows direct connection to a compatible PictBridge* printer without any need for a PC. Short video clips in the high-resolution MPEG Movie VX Fine (480 x 460, 30 frames per second) format can also be recorded with the Cyber-shot W5 when used in conjunction with Sony Memory Stick PRO.

The Cyber-shot W5 will ship throughout Europe at the end of February 2005.

About the Real Imaging Processor and STAMINA
Sony’s STAMINA power management technology allows a very substantial 420 shots** to be taken on the Cyber-shot W5 with one charge of the supplied batteries. The energy-saving Real Imaging Processor, designed by Sony to provide the heart for its Cyber-shot range, is another factor in power conservation and in making this camera stand out from the crowd. Among the many improvements offered by this chip are more accurate colour reproduction, improved auto focus performance and a greater signal to noise ratio for clearer images, as well as enhanced auto white balance and auto exposure. The Real Imaging Processor also reduces the playback and shooting intervals, as well as improving the shutter and release time lag so you can shoot faster.

About the Cyber-shot Accessories
Supplied accessories for the Cyber-shot W5 include two NH-AA-DA rechargeable batteries and charger, a wrist strap, AV and USB cables, and a software CD containing Sony Picture Package, ImageMixer, and USB Drivers.

Other optional accessories include a marine pack for underwater photography, higher power batteries for an even greater number of shots, a range of custom cases, conversion lens, and filters. Some of these accessories are also available as part of a cost-effective starter kit.

Key specifications: Cyber-shot W5

  • Large 2.5" LCD
  • Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® lens
  • 3x Optical Zoom, up to 12x Smart Zoom, 6x Precision Digital Zoom
  • 5.1 effective Megapixels
  • Quick Operation (Start-up 1.3 sec, Shutter Time Lag 0.3 sec, Shutter Release Lag 0.009 sec)
  • Stamina Battery Life (approx 420 shots**)
  • Real Imaging Processor
  • Manual Exposure Setting
  • Rechargeable Batteries & Charger included
  • MPEG VX Fine with Audio
  • AF Illuminator
  • Histogram Indication
  • USB 2.0 High Speed Transfer
  • Scene Selection Mode
  • Internal Memory 32MB
  • 100% LCD Field of view
  • Conversion Lens Compatible (Optional)
  • PictBridge* Compatible
  • High Quality Aluminium Body
  • PictBridge is a trademark

** The measurement method is based on the CIPA standard (CIPA: Camera & Imaging Products Association). Subject to errors and technical changes.

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