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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sony announces Cyber-shot DSC-T1 (UPDATED)
(Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 00:00 EDT)

Sony USA has today announced a new digital camera model that, based on the product name, looks to be the start of a new product line as well.

Sony has unfortunately not yet provided us with detailed specifications for this model, however we can summarise a few basic points from the press release. The DSC-T1 - the company's first T-series digital camera - follows a trend set by Minolta and later by Sanyo as well (Minolta's engineers must be feeling rather proud!).

The design is aimed at getting an optical zoom lens into the smallest possible package, achieved by folding the light path with a prism and placing the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar branded F3.5 - 4.4, 38-114mm 3x optical zoom lens vertically inside the camera. This brings several advantages - a *much* slimmer camera body, a lens that is permanently extended (meaning a quicker startup time, less power usage, less mechanical noise from moving parts), and better protection of the lens from the elements as well. The potential disadvantage is loss of image quality through the prism. The lens is coupled with a 1/2.4" 5.1 megapixel CCD image sensor, making the DSC-T1 the smallest 5 megapixel camera announced thus far.

We don't have the DSC-T1's exact dimensions currently, but the body is 2.4 inches high, 0.8 inches thick - roughly 61 mm high and 20 mm thick for those of you that speak in metric. Based on an unscientific look at the product photos, we would guess that the width is around 3.5 inches / 90mm.The lens is protected when the device is powered off by a large cover that slides vertically down the front of the camera body, also functioning as a power switch. On the rear of the camera, a large 2.5" 211000 pixel transflective LCD display is the sole way of framing images - the DSC-T1 has no optical viewfinder.

A multi-point / center-weighted, continuous / single / monitoring autofocus is used, and exposure is also controlled automatically, with eight scene modes available to help users get the right shot (magnifying glass, twilight, portrait, landscape, snow, beach, high speed shutter and fireworks). Sharpness, contrast and saturation of images can all be adjusted by the user, and the camera also features auto exposure bracketing and speed / framing priority modes. Images are stored on Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Sony says that the DSC-T1 can shoot images at 1 frame per second, and has a burst-mode that can capture up to four images at 2 frames per second.

Power comes from a new NP-FT1 InfoLithium battery, and to keep size down further, the USB port, A/V Out and DC jacks are all located on a camera docking station / charger (a first for Sony, we believe) that is provided in the product bundle. The USB connection is compatible with PictBridge, for computer-less printing of images via a direct connection between the camera and printer.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1 will go on sale in January at a cost of US$550. Several accessories will be available, including an MPK-THA underwater camera housing rated to 40 meters ($200), NP-FT1 InfoLithium battery ($60), BC-TR1 travel charger ($60) and an LCS-THA leather case ($50).

UPDATED 2003-10-22 01:28ET: Sony has now provided us with specifications for the DSC-T1, which are as follows:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Image Sensor 1/2.4” 5.1 Megapixel effective Super HAD™ CCD image sensor
Lens Carl Zeiss™ Vario Tessar 3X Optical zoom lens (38~114mm 35mm equivalent), f3.5~4.4
Digital Zoom Selectable 2X Precision Digital zoom, (6X total) and 1.3X (3M), 2X (1M), 4X (VGA) Smart Zoom, (up to 12X total)
Focusing Five area Multi-point Auto Focus, with AF Illuminator low light focusing assist
Noise Reduction Clear Color and Clear Luminance Noise Reduction, Slow Shutter NR subtractive noise reduction for long exposures
Exposure Auto, Program Auto Exposure modes; Auto Shutter range 1 ~1/1000 sec; Auto aperture f3.5, f5.6, f8
Metering 49 Segment Multi-pattern measuring exposure system and Spot meter modes
Flash 4 Mode flash (Auto/On/Off/Slow Synchro), TTL Pre-flash metering, red-eye reduction selectable in all modes
White Balance Auto White Balance with 6 selectable presets (Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent and Flash)
Scene Mode Scene Mode w/8 presets (Twilight, Tw Portrait, Landscape, Snow, Beach, High Sp Shutter, Fireworks, Magnifying)
Histogram Live Histogram display in record and playback modes
Resolution 5MP (2592x1944), 3:2 5MP (2592x1768), 3MP (2048x1536), 1MP (1280x960), VGA (640x480) picture sizes
Image Modes JPEG (Fine/Standard), Voice Memo and E-Mail still image modes
Multi-shot Modes 4 Shot 2.5fps Burst mode, 3 Shot Auto-exposure Bracketing with 1/3, 2/3, 1 EV (stop) adjustable increments
Movie Modes 3 MPEG Movie modes (w/audio) – Video mail (160x112), VX Std (640x480 16fps) and VX Fine (640x480, 30fps, requires Memory Stick PRO™ Duo media). EX (EXtended) clip length limited only by capacity of media.
LCD 2.5” 211k Pixel LCD; Transflective design reflects ambient light for increased brightness
Display / Editing Functions Playback Zoom with selectable resolution trimming function, in-camera re-size and copy functions, A/V Output
USB Driver USB driver for Microsoft® Windows® 98 / 98SE / Me / 2000 Pro, XP Home / Pro, Macintosh® OS 8.5.1 / 8.6 / 9.0 / 9.1 / 9.2 / 10
Supplied Accessories Supplied Acc: InfoLithium® NP-FT1 Battery, AC-LM5 AC Adaptor/charger, cradle, A/V cable, USB cable, wrist strap, MSA-32A 32MB Memory Stick® Duo media, MSAC-M2 adaptor, CD-ROM w/Pixela ImageMixer, USB driver
Unit Weight 6.6 oz (180g) (w/ battery, strap, media)
Unit Dimension
3-9/16 x 2-3/8 x 13/16”
91 x 60 x 21mm
More Photos
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


World’s Smallest Five Megapixel Camera Packs Performance and Style

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 21, 2003 —Adding one more case to the “How’d They Do That?” file, the miniaturization wizards at Sony (known formally as product designers and engineers) took features found on more full-figured digital cameras and squeezed them into a slim, pocket-friendly design no larger than a deck of cards.

Slide the front lens cover down and in just over one second, the Cyber-shot® DSC-T1 digital camera’s large 2.5-inch LCD viewfinder comes to life. It occupies roughly two-thirds of the camera’s back-surface area, giving more room to see and show off images at the moment they are captured.

Press the shutter release button and the camera demonstrates why it is perhaps the fastest five megapixel camera. Due in large part to Sony’s Real Imaging Processor™ circuit, it shoots full-resolution images in one second intervals, and can capture four high-speed burst shots in less than two seconds.

But the camera offers more than great still pictures. With optional Memory Stick PRO Duo™ cards, the T1 camera captures and plays back high resolution moving images in MPEG-VX Fine mode—good enough to make onlookers believe that it was captured with a digital camcorder.

“True to Sony’s DNA, we created a digital camera that balances the cutting-edge performance with eye-catching design,” said Steve Haber, senior vice president of Sony Electronics’ Personal, Mobile and Imaging Products Division. “If the best camera is the one that you have with you at all times, then this is that camera.”

So, How Did They Do That?
The slim metallic design of the Cyber-shot T1 digital camera is attributed to a new Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® optical lens that operates within the camera rather than extending out. In spite of its compact design, the camera still features a five megapixel CCD image sensor and a 3X optical zoom to ensure great image quality.

Other miniaturization efforts include the development of a new rechargeable Infolithium® battery system that is roughly the size of a matchbox and a tiny Memory Stick PRO Duo removable media slot.

The USB port, A/V Out and DC jacks have also been relocated to the new camera docking station (bundled accessory) for charging the battery pack or connecting the camera to a TV or computer.

The result is a camera that measures about 0.8 inches thin and 2.4 inches tall.

Taking the Guess Work Out of Lighting Conditions
The Cyber-shot T1 camera is packed with sophisticated auto-focus and auto-exposure options to help get the picture right the first time.

Users can also select from eight different shooting modes in accordance with the shooting conditions. The camera automatically makes the optimum settings to match the scene, making it easy to shoot high quality images even under difficult lighting conditions.

In the Magnifying Glass scene mode, subjects that appear on the LCD screen are magnified up to 3.3 times, which allow users to see details that would otherwise be difficult to confirm with the naked eye.

Other modes include twilight, portrait, landscape, snow, beach, high speed shutter and even fireworks.

The Cyber-shot T1 camera will be available in January for about $550.

Accessories To Go
To get the most of the new digital camera, Sony will offer a variety of accessories that includes:

  • Marine Pack for Cyber-shot T1 camera (MPK-THA): Underwater camera housing that protects the camera to depths as low as 120 feet (40 meters). Available for about $200.
  • Removable Battery (NP-FT1): An additional power source for those occasions when a lot of pictures will be captured. Available for about $60.
  • Compact Travel Charger (BC-TR1): Convenient and portable AC charger. Available for about $60.
  • Memory Stick PRO Duo (MSX-M256A, MSX-M512A): Ultra-small memory card with capacities up to 512MB with prices starting at about $125.
  • Leather Case (LCS-THA): Stylish and durable carrying case designed specifically for the Cyber-shot T1 camera. Available for about $50.

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