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Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-U50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sony announces swivel-body Cyber-shot U camera
By
(Friday, August 15, 2003 - 07:00 EDT)

At a press conference in Berlin, Germany, Sony has today announced the first ever swivel-bodied digital camera in its Cyber-shot U-series.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U50 is essentially a Cyber-shot DSC-U30 in a different body. It has the same 2.1 megapixel (2.0 megapixel effective) CCD imager and 33mm-equivalent fixed focal-length lens as that camera, along with the new Real Imaging Processor also used in the Cyber-shot DSC-F828 digital camera. The swivel section of the body is intended to allow users to take photos at unusual angles, including self-portraits, and gives a total body size slightly larger than the U30.

Thanks to the new processor, the DSC-U50 is compatible with PictBridge, the new standard for direct camera/printer photo printing. It also provides long enough battery life that Sony actually rates the camera as compatible with AAA alkaline batteries, although NiMH batteries are included.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U50 will ship in October at a price of $250. Three body colors (silver, black and orange) will be offered. Specifications and product photos follow below...

 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U50
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-U50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Imager
1/2.7" 2.0 Megapixel Effective CCD, 12-bit DXP
(2.1 Megapixel Gross)
Image Resolution 1632 x 1224, 640 x 480 pixels
Image Compression Unknown
Recording Media Memory Stick DUO, Memory Stick Pro DUO
Zoom None
Filter Diameter N/A
Focal Length 5mm Fixed
35mm Equivalent 33mm
Aperture f 2.8
Exposure Metering Center-Weighted
Auto Focus Contrast Detect
Manual Focus Yes, 4-step
Minimum Focus Distance 3.9" (10 cm)
Macro Yes, auto
Shutter Speed Auto, 1/8– 1/2000 sec
Manual Exposure None
Color LCD 1" 64K Pixels Reflective
Eye-level LCD Finder None
Flash Modes Auto, On, Red-Eye Reduction, Off
Flash Effective Range 1.7 - 5.9 ft, (0.5 - 1.8m)
Flash Shoe / Terminal None
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent
Picture Effects None
ISO Auto
Scene Modes Active outdoor, Soft snap, Illumination snap, Twilight, Vivid nature
Self Timer Unknown
Audio / Video Out None
Erase / Protect Yes
Still Image Modes JPEG
MPEG Movie Modes
MPEG Presentation (320x240, 8fps, 4kHz / sec audio)
MPEG Video Mail (160x112, 8 fps, 4kHz / sec audio)
Clip Motion None
Microphone/Speaker Yes / Unknown
USB Terminal Yes
Supplied Software Pixela Image Mixer for Sony v1.5, SPVD-010 USB Driver
OS Compatibility
Microsoft® Windows® 98 / 98SE / Me / 2000 Professional / XP Home / Pro;
Macintosh® OS 8.5.1 / 8.6 / 9.0 / 9.1 / 9.2
Supplied Accessories 2 x NiMH AAA Stamina batteries, BC-CS2 External Charger, Software CD-ROM, 8MB Memory Stick DUO, further accessories to be determined
Dimensions (W / H / D) 3 15/16" x 1 5/8" x 1" (99.9 x 40.5 x 24.9mm)
Weight 4.8 oz. (132 g)
Additional Features
Burst Mode (2 x 2MP or 10 x VGA images)
Rotating Lens (120° front, 90° rear)
More Photos
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-U50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-U50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-U50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-U50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-U50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-U50 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
.

Original Source Press Release:

SONY'S NEW DIGITAL CAMERA LETS 'U' BE A PART OF THE PICTURE

Cyber-shot U50 Camera is a Fun Addition to Back-to-School Gear

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 15, 2003 - Just in time to capture quick photos of the kids leaving for school or for the students themselves as they gear up for a memorable academic year, Sony's new pocket-size Cyber-shot® DSC-U50 digital camera is being introduced to make it easier to capture the memories in stylish fashion.

Engineered for quick start-up time and ease-of-use, the new camera has a carry-anywhere size, making it convenient to take pictures whenever the moment strikes.

Available in three eye-catching colors (black, silver and metallic orange), the new digital camera features a 180-degree rotating lens that makes it easy to take self-portraits with friends. Its two-megapixel CCD lens and quick power-on capability ensure that both candid and framed shots can be captured and printed with confidence or shared via e-mail.

Priced at about $250, the U50 digital camera that is designed for fun will be available online at SonyStyle.com and at retailers nationwide in early October.

"With the new Cyber-shot U50 camera, students and parents can recall that between the lectures and the exams, life happens," said Steve Haber, senior vice president for Sony Electronics' Personal Mobile and Imaging Division.

The new camera is the first to accept both the new ultra small Memory Stick PRO Duo* and Memory Stick Duo* flash memory cards.

As with other Cyber-shot U-series cameras, the U50 model has a simple-to-use interface. But behind-the-scenes, advanced photographic features work invisibly to allow users to concentrate on capturing the moment without being distracted by camera settings.

  • Pre-Flash Metering: For capturing a subject with a scenic background under low-light conditions, the camera illuminates the subject and calculates exposure through the lens directly from the CCD for accurate flash metering. Adjustable flash level and red-eye reduction insure great flash shots.
  • MPEG Movie Mode (Video only): For those moments when a simple still picture doesn't capture the entire mood, DSC-U50 camera captures up to 15 seconds of MPEG video (160 x 112 pixel resolution) that are perfect for emailing to family and friends.
  • Bright LCD Monitor: For framing a picture accurately, the reflective LCD absorbs and reflects the ambient light through the LCD to improve brightness outdoors.
  • Supplied Rechargeable NiMH Batteries: The unit come supplied with Sony's Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) AAA Stamina batteries with external charger.
  • Print Directly to Printers: Via a USB connection, users can print their images directly any PictBridge* compatible printer.

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