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Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sony announces long-zoom DSC-H1
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Saturday, February 19, 2005 - 16:00 EST)

Sony USA has today announced its new DSC-H1 digital camera, a model that marks a step into territory from which they've been conspicuously absent until now - the so-called "SLR-style" long-zoom high-resolution digital camera.

Sony has certainly had its share of long-zoom digital cameras, but those models have either been models from the company's Mavica series (known for their floppy diskette-based storage and relatively low resolutions), or models like the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 which have featured mid-range 5 to 7x optical zooms and high resolution, and a swivelling body design. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1 is the first truly long-zoom Cyber-shot, which brings a high resolution five megapixel imager and 12x optical zoom lens into a package that looks much like a traditional SLR camera (although it should be noted that as with other "SLR-styl"e digicams, the H1's viewfinder uses a miniature LCD display, rather than a true SLR optical viewfinder).

Scheduled to reach stores this June at a price of $499.95, the DSC-H1 uses a newly developed Sony lens with optical image stabilisation that functions using a gyroscope to detect motion, and moving lens elements that correct for the motion. The camera offers an array of manual controls, and optional accessories will include wide, tele and close-up conversion lenses.

Detailed specifications and product photos follow below:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type SLR-style
Manufacturer Sony
Model Number DSC-H1
Dimensions 4.2 x 3.2 x 3.2"
107.8 x 81.4 x 81.7mm
Weight 460.0 g
16.1 oz
Planned Price $499.95
Planned Availability Jun 2005
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.4 Sony SuperHAD CCD
5.10 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Image Dimensions 2592 x 1944 (5.0 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality 2 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, Electronic viewfinder
LCD 2.5", 115,000 pixels
Lens
Lens Type Sony Lens
12x optical zoom
Image Stabilization Yes
Focal Length 36 - 432mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.8 (wide) / f/3.7 (tele) - ???
Focusing System 5-area multi-point / center with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (5) steps
Focusing Range Macro: 0.8"
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100, 200, 400
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/2000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes 49-area multi-pattern
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent
Internal Flash Modes: Auto / Forced On / Forced Off / Slow Synchro / Redeye Reduction
Range: TBD
Creative
Scene Modes Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Candle
Digital Zoom 2x
Self Timer Yes, 10 seconds
Movie Format MPEG VX with audio
640x480 and 160x112
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Storage
Recording Medium Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Built-in
File Format JPEG
Connectivity
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 2.0 Full (LOW) Speed
Other DC in
Power
Battery Type Alk. disposable, NiMN / NiMH rechargeable
Battery Form Factor 2 x AA
Product Bundle
Software Picture Package for Sony v1.6 (Windows), Pixela ImageMixer VCD2 (Macintosh)
Battery / Charger 2 x AA NiMH rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 32.0MB built-in memory
Other
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
Operating System Compatibility Windows / Mac OS
More Photos
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

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