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Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sony launches new compact W-series digicams
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, February 13, 2006 - 01:00 EST)

Sony Electronics Inc. has today unveiled two new digital cameras that place the traditional point-and-shoot styling of its past W-series digital cameras into a significantly more compact body.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W30 and DSC-W50 are closely related, with a feature set differentiated by LCD display size. The metal-bodied, 23mm-thick cameras both feature an effective resolution of six megapixels courtesy of a 1/2.5" CCD imager, coupled with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lens. Where the DSC-W30 includes a two inch LCD display with 85,000 pixels, the W50 boosts the size to 2.5", and the display resolution to 115,000 pixels. Both models draw power from an NP-BG1 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, with a CIPA rating of 400 shots per charge for the W30, and slightly less (390 shots) for the W50 due to the larger LCD display. Sensitivity ranges rather higher than average for compact cameras, from ISO equivalents of 80 to 1000.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W30 will ship later this month priced at $230, while the W50 will follow in March priced at $250.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W30
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W30 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type Compact
Manufacturer Sony
Model Number DSC-W30
Dimensions 3.5 x 2.3 x 0.9"
89.0 x 59.0 x 23.0mm
Weight 153.0 g
5.3 oz
Planned Price $230.00
Planned Availability Feb 2006
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.5" CCD
6.00 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions 2816 x 2112 (5.9 megapixels)
2816 x 1872 (5.3 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1632 x 1224 (2.0 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Capture Speed Continuous: 1.4 frames per second for 3 frames
Image Quality 2 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, True-zoom optical
LCD 2.0", 85,000 pixels
Playback Zoom 5.0x max
Lens
Lens Type Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar
3x optical zoom
30mm lens thread, Body threads w/ adapter
Focal Length 6.3 - 18.9mm (actual)
38 - 114mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f2.8 - 7.1(W), f5.2 - 13(T)
Focusing System 5-area Contrast Detection with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (5) steps
Focusing Range Normal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.8"
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
Shutter Speed 1 - 1/2000 second
Metering Modes Multi-pattern, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash WB
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Auto w/ Red-Eye Reduction, On, On w/ Red-Eye Reduction, Off, Slow Synch, Slow Synch w/ Red-Eye Reduction,
Range: ISO Auto: 0.6-7.8 ft, (0.2-2.4m)
Creative
Scene Modes Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Beach, Snow, High Sensitivity, Soft Snap
Digital Zoom 2x precision
Self Timer Yes, 2 or 10 seconds
Time Lapse No
Movie Format MPEG with audio
640x480 and 160x112
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Storage
Recording Medium Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Built-in
File Format JPEG
Connectivity
Video Yes
Computer USB 1.1
Other DC In
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary NP-BG1
Product Bundle
Software Cyber-shot Viewer v1.0
Battery / Charger 1 x proprietary NP-BG1 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 32.0MB built-in memory
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
More Photos
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W30 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W30 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W30 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W30 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W30 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W30 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W30 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W30 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W30 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W30 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W50
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type Compact
Manufacturer Sony
Model Number DSC-W50
Dimensions 3.5 x 2.2 x 0.9"
89.0 x 57.0 x 23.0mm
Weight 157.0 g
5.5 oz
Planned Price $250.00
Planned Availability Mar 2006
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.5" CCD
6.00 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions 2816 x 2112 (5.9 megapixels)
2816 x 1872 (5.3 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1632 x 1224 (2.0 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Capture Speed Continuous: 1.4 frames per second for 3 frames
Image Quality 2 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, True-zoom optical
LCD 2.5", 115,000 pixels
Playback Zoom 5.0x max
Lens
Lens Type Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar
3x optical zoom
30mm lens thread, Body threads w/ adapter
Focal Length 6.3 - 18.9mm (actual)
38 - 114mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f2.8 - 7.1(W), f5.2 - 13(T)
Focusing System 5-area Contrast Detection with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (5) steps
Focusing Range Normal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.8"
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
Shutter Speed 1 - 1/2000 second
Metering Modes Multi-pattern, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash WB
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Auto w/ Red-Eye Reduction, On, On w/ Red-Eye Reduction, Off, Slow Synch, Slow Synch w/ Red-Eye Reduction,
Range: ISO Auto: 0.6-7.8 ft, (0.2-2.4m)
Creative
Scene Modes Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Beach, Snow, High Sensitivity, Soft Snap
Digital Zoom 2x precision
Self Timer Yes, 2 or 10 seconds
Time Lapse No
Movie Format MPEG with audio
640x480 and 160x112
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Storage
Recording Medium Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Built-in
File Format JPEG
Connectivity
Video Yes
Computer USB 1.1
Other DC In
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary NP-BG1
Product Bundle
Software Cyber-shot Viewer v1.0
Battery / Charger 1 x proprietary NP-BG1 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 32.0MB built-in memory
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
More Photos
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Original Source Press Release:

SONY'S NEW CYBER-SHOT W-SERIES CAMERAS BRING ADDED PERFORMANCE AND EYE-CATCHING DESIGN

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 13, 2006 — Sony has re-engineered its W-series of top-performing Cyber-shot® digital still cameras to embody the virtues of a traditional camera style and satisfy modern tastes for sleek, compact design.

In addition to sporting eye-level viewfinders in the fashion of traditional cameras, the new DSC-W50 and DSC-W30 models have large LCD screens and are significantly more compact than previous W-series models.

Both new cameras offer six-megapixel image resolution for high-quality prints, high-light sensitivity for fast-action shooting and more natural-looking pictures in low-light conditions, precision Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lenses, and MPEG1 movie recording.

Available in silver, the DSC-W50 model features a 2.5-inch, easy-to-view LCD screen wrapped in a metal-alloy body with sophisticated etching and details. The DSC-W30 model also comes in silver with a two-inch LCD.

“These new models will be attractive to people who prefer the look and feel of a traditional camera, but without the bulk,” said James Neal, director of digital imaging products at Sony Electronics. “We’ve also increased the light sensitivity, which minimizes the need for flash photography, and improved the cameras’ user interface for better photography results and overall camera experience.”

No More Guessing What those Icons Mean
Anyone who has ever found menu icons on a digital still camera mysterious will appreciate the new function guide on the latest W-series models. When menu icons are selected, such as a specific shooting function or scene mode, a text explanation is displayed on the LCD making it easier to take a great shot. This function guide can be turned off once the user becomes more familiar with the camera.

Built for Better Performance
Both new models include high light-sensitivity settings up to ISO 1000, which allow for shooting at higher shutter speeds to capture fast-moving subjects with less blur. With higher light sensitivity at your fingertips, you can shoot in available light without a flash for more naturally-exposed, “true-to-life” pictures. With Sony’s Clear RAW ™ imaging technology, you can up the camera’s sensitivity without dramatically increasing picture noise, which makes pictures look blurry and grainy.

Sony’s ultra-fast Real Imaging Processor™ circuit delivers quick start-up, fast shot-to-shot times, and long battery life -- up to 400 shots on a single charge for the DSC-W30 model. It also speeds up the cameras’ sophisticated auto-exposure and multi-point, auto-focus features so that users get the picture right the first time.

Both cameras have 32MB of internal memory, which can be expanded further with an optional Memory Stick Duo™ media card or Memory Stick PRO Duo™ card, now offered in capacities up to two gigabytes.

Make the Most of High-Resolution Images through Prints
You can make high-quality prints by simply connecting these models to a Sony DPP-FP50 digital photo printer. You can even create postcards or calendars using the printer’s supplied software.

With Sony’s ImageStation® online photo service, you can expand your options to print tens or even hundreds of pictures, create online photo and video albums, or make customized gifts such as photo books and calendars.

The Cyber-shot DSC-W50 will be available in early March for about $250, and the DSC-W30 is available this month for about $230. Bundled accessories include rechargeable Lithium ion batteries (NP-BG1), charger (BC-CSG), USB and AV output cables, and Cyber-shot viewer software. Options include a lithium ion battery (NP-BG1) for about $50, a travel charger (BC-TRG) for about $60, a sports pack (SPK-WA) for about $100, and a 30mm lens/filter adapter (VAD-WB) for about $30.

Both models can be purchased at Sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), and at authorized dealers nationwide. Pre-orders begin today at http://www.sony.com/w30 and http://www.sony.com/w50.

# # #

Editor’s Notes: The actual battery life may vary according to usage. The viewable area of LCD displays is measured diagonally. The available storage capacity of Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo media may vary. A portion of the memory is used for data management functions. For additional information about Sony products, your readers can call toll-free (888) 222-SONY, or visit Sony's web site at: www.sonystyle.com. Press releases and digital images are available for the news media at Sony Electronics’ news and information web site at: www.sony.com/news.

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Top 3 photos this month win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

2 $200 Adorama Gift Certificate

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