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Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H5 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sony: Two new long-zoom digicams
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 15:30 EST)

Rounding out its digital camera announcements for the day, Sony has unveiled two new digital camera models that will compete in the increasingly competitive long-zoom segment.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2 is the direct successor to the company's popular DSC-H1 model that was announced at last year's show. The DSC-H2 offers a sensor resolution of six megapixels along with a new Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 12x optical zoom lens with 58mm threading and Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization. Other features include ISO sensitivity to ISO 1000, a choice of both aperture- and shutter-priority plus a fully manual mode, 32MB of internal memory, and a two inch LCD display. Battery life is rated at 400 shots.

The Cyber-shot DSC-H5 features the same lens, but boosts resolution to seven megapixels and offers a three inch LCD display with Sony's Clear Photo LCD Plus technology. Battery life on the H5 is rated at 340 shots - a little lower than the H2, but not as much so as might be expected given the significantly larger LCD size. Where the H2 will only be offered in a silver body, the DSC-H5 will ship in both silver and black-bodied variants.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2 will be the first to ship this April, priced at $400. The DSC-H5 will follow in May, priced at $500.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H2 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-H2
Dimensions 4.2 x 3.2 x 3.6"
107.8 x 81.4 x 91.2mm
Weight 591.0 g
20.7 oz
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.5" CCD
6.00 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions 2592 x 1944 (5.0 megapixels)
2592 x 1728 (4.5 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, 0.3" 115k pixel LCD
LCD 2.5", 115,000 pixels
Playback Zoom 5.0x max
Lens
Lens Type Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar
12x optical zoom
58mm lens thread, Body threads w/ adapter
Focal Length 6.0 - 72.0mm (actual)
36 - 432mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f2.8 - 8.0
Focusing System 3-area Contrast Detection with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Focusing Range Normal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.8"
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/1000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes Multi-pattern, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incande scent, Flash WB, Manual, Manual
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: 1.0-26 ft, (0.3-9m)
Creative
Scene Modes Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Portrait, Landscape, Beach, High-speed Shutter, Candle
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
Power
Battery Type Alkaline disposable, NiMH rechargeable
Battery Form Factor 2 x AA
Product Bundle
Software Cyber-shot Viewer v1.0
Battery / Charger 2300mAh NiMH 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-H2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H5
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H5 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-H5
Dimensions 4.2 x 3.2 x 3.6"
107.8 x 81.4 x 91.2mm
Weight 591.0 g
20.7 oz
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.5" CCD
7.20 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions 3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)
3072 x 2048 (6.3 megapixels)
2592 x 1944 (5.0 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1632 x 1224 (2.0 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality 2 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, 0.3" 115k pixel LCD
LCD 3.0", 230,000 pixels
Playback Zoom 5.0x max
Lens
Lens Type Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar
12x optical zoom
58mm lens thread, Body threads w/ adapter
Focal Length 6.0 - 72.0mm (actual)
36 - 432mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f2.8 - 8.0
Focusing System 3-area Contrast Detection with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Focusing Range Normal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.8"
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/1000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes Multi-pattern, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor, Manual
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: 1.0-26 ft, (0.3-9m)
Creative
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
Power
Battery Type Alkaline disposable, NiMH rechargeable
Battery Form Factor 2 x AA
Product Bundle
Software Cyber-shot Viewer v1.0
Battery / Charger 2300mAh NiMH 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-H5 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H5 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Original Source Press Release:

TELL MR. DeMILLE YOU'RE READY FOR YOUR CLOSE-UP

Sony Zooms In On Fast-Growing Product Category with Two New Digital Cameras

ORLANDO (PMA 2006, Booth #4150), Feb. 25, 2006 — Sony is expanding its high-zoom digital still camera line with two new Cyber-shot® models that are sure to zero in on the subjects you most desire.

Clad in black, the new DSC-H5 model has a 7.2-megapixel CCD imager and extra-large, three-inch LCD screen. It also shimmers in silver along with the stage-worthy DSC-H2 model, which has a six-megapixel imager and two-inch LCD. Both cameras flaunt Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar 12x optical zoom lenses and focal length ranges of 36 to 432 millimeters (35 mm equivalence).

“High-zoom cameras are one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry,” said James Neal, director of digital imaging products at Sony Electronics. “They are powerful enough to get those hard-to-see distant shots, and have the easy-to-use functionality of point-and-shoot cameras.

Ready, Steady, Shoot
Even without the steadiest of hands (or subjects), the cameras’ anti-blur technologies ensure challenging shots can be executed with ease.

These new models incorporate Sony’s Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization to help reduce image blur caused by hand movement. Because these cameras feature high-light sensitivity settings up to IS0 1000, fast-moving cars and people along the boulevard can also be captured with considerably less blur and graininess. Sony’s Clear RAW™ noise reduction technology minimizes picture noise, making it easier to shoot at faster shutter speeds.

These anti-blur technologies are an advantage when shooting in low-light conditions, such as outdoor shots in the evening or inside dark museums. These shots can be taken without a flash, resulting in naturally-exposed images that truly capture the drama and atmosphere of the moment. And, you can get as close as you want with the cameras’ significant macro mode of three-quarters of an inch.

You Are Big! The Cameras Got Smaller – And Smarter
The new H-series cameras are substantial, without feeling bulky, and feature a comfortable grip with controls easily accessible by thumb.

You can count on detailed image previews using the H5 model’s three-inch, high-resolution LCD screen, with a pixel count of 230K and Sony’s Clear Photo LCD Plus™ technology. The LCD features high-quality color reproduction and displays pictures with vivid clarity.

Sony’s ultra-fast Real Imaging Processor™ circuitry increases both models’ battery efficiency for quicker start-up, faster shot-to-shot times, higher-quality movie capture, and longer battery life. The H5 camera delivers up to 340 shots on a single charge, while the H2 model offers 400 shots per charge.

The new cameras include auto-exposure and multi-point, auto-focus features along with pre-set scene modes customized for specific shooting conditions, all working silently in the background while you concentrate on the “center-stage” action. When greater creative control is needed, aperture/shutter priority and manual exposure modes are available options.

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

My Autograph, Please
Make the most of your close-ups by producing high-quality prints. Simply connect these models to a Sony DPP-FP50 digital photo printer and produce lab-quality photos at home. You can even create postcards for all of your budding fans with 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-H5 camera will be available in May for about $500 and the DSC-H2 model ships in April for about $400.

Bundled accessories include rechargeable AA NiMH batteries, charger, lens hood with adaptor and lens cap with strap, and USB and AV output cables. Options include a wide conversion lens (VCL-DH0758) for about $150, a tele-end conversion lens (VCL-DH1758) for about $150, a close-up lens (VCL-M3358) for about $70, a jacket case (LCJ-HC) for about $50, and a soft carrying case (LCS-HA) for about $40.

Both models can be purchased direct at Sonystyle.com, Sony Style® retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), and authorized dealers nationwide. Pre-orders begin today at www.sony.com/h5 and www.sony.com/h2.

# # #

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

3 $100 Adorama Gift Certificate