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Sony's DSC-P9 Digital Camera. Copyright © 2002, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Sony announces two new P-series digicams! (UPDATED)
(Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 08:00 EST)

Of the two new models, only one is currently slated for sale on the US market...

Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging Product Division has today announced two new digital cameras in its P-series, the Cyber-shot DSC-P2 and DSC-P9. Of the two, the company is currently planning to sell only the latter on the US market; the lower-resolution 'P2 model will sell in Europe. We have full specs for the DSC-P9 camera along with the official press release below, however for the DSC-P2 we only have very brief specifications highlights and a single image courtesy of the folks at Dutch website LetsGoDigital.nl. (Incidentally, LetsGoDigital will be covering this year's CeBit show [where the cameras are being announced] live - check it out!)

  • 1/2.7" 2 megapixel imager
  • 3x optical zoom lens equivalent to 39 - 117mm on a 35mm camera
  • f/2.8 (wide) / f/5.6 (tele)
  • Multi-point Auto or 5-step Manual focus with illuminator light
  • MPEG HQX movie mode (w/audio): 320x240, full screen playback, 16 fps, 10kHz/sec Audio, length limited only by media capacity
  • ISO automatically selected from 100, 200 or 400
  • Has Clear Color Noise Reduction mode
  • Bundled with a 16MB Memory Stick
  • Weighs 206 grams inclusive of Memory Stick and battery
  • Dimensions are 114 x 51.5 x 35.6mm
  • European price expected to be €769 (US$673 at current exchange rates)
The higher-resolution DSC-P9 - an update to the existing DSC-P5 model which features a 4.1 megapixel imager - is actually planned to cost less than this, just $600 when it ships in May...

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P9
Lens & Imager
Imager, Gross Pixels 1/1.8" 4.1MP CCD
Effective Pixels 4.0 MegaPixel
Lens/Optical Zoom, Aperture Sony, 3X f2.8 - 5.6
Focal Length 8 - 24mm
35mm Equivalency 39 - 117mm
Digital Zoom Precision, 2X
Lens Thread N/A
Lens Cover Integrated, Auto
Auto Focus Contrast Detect
Manual Focus Yes, 5 Step
Multi-Point AF Auto, 3 Area
Visual Focus Confirm N/A
AF Illuminator Light Yes, On/Off Select
Normal Minimum Focus 19.7" (50 cm)
Macro Minimum Focus 3.9" (10 cm)
A/D Conversion 14-bit DXP
ISO Auto/100/200/400
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Fluorescent / Tungsten
Exposure Metering 49-segment Multi-Pattern / Spot
Aperture Priority (range) Auto, f2.8 - 8.0
Shutter Priority (range) Auto, 1/30-1/2000
Slow Shutter NR Yes, 1/2 - 2 sec
Clear Color / Luminance NR Yes / Yes
Manual Exposure N/A
Program AE Twilight / Twilight Portrait / Landscape
Exp Value Compensation ±2, 1/3 EV Incr
In-camera Sharpening ±2, 1step Incr
Flash Modes Auto / Forced / Off
Red-eye Reduction On / Off
Flash Level Adjustment Auto / High / Low
Flash w/Slow Shutter Yes, Twilight Portrait
Flash Range 1.8-12.5 ft, (.5-3.8m)
External Terminal N/A
LCD 1.5" 123K Pixel
LCD Backlight On / Off, Adjustable
Auto Bright Monitoring Yes
Eye level Viewfinder Optical, True Zoom
Eye-level Magnifier Compatible N/A
Shots Taken / Remaining Yes / Yes
Battery Remaining Indicator Accu-Power Meter
Recording Media Memory Stick
Still Image Formats JPEG
4MP Image 2272 x 1704
UXGA Image 1600 x 1200
SXGA Image 1280 x 960
VGA Image 640 x 480
3:2 Image 2272 x 1520
Compression (Quality) Standard / Fine
Burst Mode N/A
E-mail Mode Yes, adds 320x240
Voice Memo Mode Yes
Picture Effects 4 Modes
MPEG Movie Modes MPEG HQX (w/audio): 320x240, full screen playback, 16 fps, 10kHz/sec Audio, length limited only by media capacity
Multi-Burst Mode 16 Frame 320x240
Clip MotionAnimated GIF 160x120, 80x72
Index Display 9 Frame
Review / Quick Delete Yes / Yes
Playback Zoom Yes, 1.1 - 5X
Trimming / Resizing Yes / Yes
MPEG 6X Cue / Review Yes, EX & HQ
MPEG Divide Yes, EX & HQ
Storage Supplied 16MB Memory Stick
Connections AV / USB / AC Power
Battery Requirement InfoLithium C
Battery Supplied NP-FC11
AC Adaptor / Charger Supplied AC-LS2
Supplied Software Pixela ImageMixer v1.0
Dimensions (inch) 4-1/2 x 2 x 1-7/16"
Dimensions (mm) 114 x 51.5 x 35.8
Weight (w/battery & media) 7.5 oz (206g)
More Photos

UPDATED 2002-03-13 07:35ET: Our friends at the Digital Camera Resource Page have posted a first-look at the DSC-P9 digital camera. So have the folks at the Digital Eye website, whilst the Digital Photography Review has several pictures of the camera in their coverage of the announcement (posted sometime before our NDA expired due to an apparent leak of the info from Japan)...
Source: Sony Electronics

Original Source Press Release:


Eye-catching New Camera Maximizes Digital Technologies to Create Striking Images

SAN DIEGO, March 12, 2002 - For people who want to take the most attractive pictures possible and be fashionable at the same time, Sony Electronics today announced its next generation of the diminutive P-series Cyber-shot® digital still camera -- the new DSC-P9 model.

Instead of capturing images to cumbersome rolls of film, Cyber-shot cameras record to very small and reusable Memory Stick® media cards. Data stored on Memory Stick media can be shared with hundreds of high-tech products made by various manufacturers. In fact, images taken with this new camera can be displayed on virtually any PC with a USB interface. Using the removable Memory Stick cards, they can also be transferred to other digital devices like TVs, PDAs and printers.

Offering four megapixels of resolution, the new DSC-P9 model combines high quality picture-taking with a sophisticated body that makes the most of miniaturization. But, beyond outward appearances, the camera comes packed with professional-level features combined with point-and-shoot simplicity.
The camera's AF Illuminator mode briefly illuminates the subject of a picture with an infrared light for an accurate focus lock in total darkness. Multi-point auto focus allows the camera to intuitively choose between three separate focus areas within the frame and automatically select the best setting.

Additionally, the DSC-P9 camera makes it easy to get the right exposure when lighting is irregular. The multi-pattern metering feature divides the scene into a matrix of 49 independently metered cells. The camera calculates exactly the right exposure for each cell so that a brightly lit portion of the picture doesn't cause the camera to leave a dimly lit subject in the dark.
In low or no light conditions, the new Cyber-shot camera seamlessly employs built-in pre-flash exposure metering to calculate the right exposure with light from the flash itself. The flash strobes twice with every shot - once to illuminate the subject and work out proper exposure, and again to capture the moment without washed-out faces or unexpected shadows.

The camera not only takes high-resolution digital images, but also comes with features that blur the boundaries between still photos and motion pictures.
With multi-frame burst mode this Cyber-shot camera can capture fluid movement by taking 16 rapid-fire sequential pictures at any of three selected intervals. Saved as a single digital file, these images can be used to analyze a golf swing.

The camera also features Sony's new MPEG Movie HQX video mode that records non-stop, full-screen, high-resolution MPEG videos with audio up to the capacity of the Memory Stick media. Memory Stick media in 16MB, 32MB, 64MB and 128MB capacities are available for around $25, $35, $50 and $90, respectively at retailers nationwide and at www.sonystyle.com.

The new P-series Cyber-shot DSC-P9 ships with a 16MB Memory Stick card and will be available in May for about $600.

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