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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U40 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sony announces Cyber-shot DSC-U40 (UPDATED)
(Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 00:00 EDT)

Sony USA has today announced a new digital camera model for its DSC-U series, all style-conscious models which (with the exception of the unusually shaped DSC-U60) are all ultracompact cameras- and the new DSC-U40 follows that trend.

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-U40 has a 1/2.7" 2.0 megapixel CCD coupled with an F2.8 33mm-equivalent fixed focal-length lens. A sliding cover protects the lens and functions as a power switch; turn the camera on and it starts up in under a second. Macro focusing down to 10 cm is possible. 5 scene modes are available (Soft snap / Illumination snap / Twilight / Vivid /Active) to help users get the images they want, along with a 6-mode white balance function.

The DSC-U40 writes images and MPEG video (15 second clips at 160 x 112 pixels, no audio) to either Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. A built-in flash with red-eye reduction, preflash metering and adjustable strength should help get photos in less-than-ideal conditions, and a 1-inch transflective LCD display (suitable for outdoor viewing) acts as the camera's viewfinder - there is no optical viewfinder on the camera. A 2-step (2.5x, 5x) playback zoom is available to confirm images are correctly focused.

Power comes from NiMH AAA batteries, with a charger supplied in the camera bundle, whilst when transferring images the camera is USB-powered. 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-U40 will go on sale in January at a cost of US$200, with four camera body colors planned (silver, black, dark blue and red).

UPDATED 2003-10-22 01:12ET: Sony has now provided us with specifications for the DSC-U40, which are as follows:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U40
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U40 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Image Sensor 1/2.7” 2.0 Megapixel effective Super HAD™ Progressive Scan CCD
Lens 5mm (33mm - 35mm eq.), fixed focal length f2.8 lens; 5 elements in 4 groups, 1 aspheric element
Focusing Center weighted Auto Focus, 4-step Manual Focus (0.2m / 0.5m / 1.0m / inf) with Auto Macro
Exposure Center weighted Program Auto exposure mode; Auto Shutter range 1/8 ~1/2000 sec; Auto aperture
Flash 4 Mode flash (Auto, Red-eye reduction, Forced on, Forced off), TTL Pre-flash metering
White Balance Auto White Balance with 5 presets (Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent)
Scene Mode Scene Mode with 5 presets (Twilight, Active outdoor, Soft snap, Illumination snap, Vivid nature)
Resolution 2MP (1632x1224), VGA (640x480) picture sizes
Image Modes JPEG, Burst (2 shot 2MP / 10 shot VGA) still image modes
Movie Modes MPEG Movie modes (no audio) – Video mail (160x112 8fps), Presentation (320x240 8fps)
LCD Display 1” 64k Pixel LCD; Transflective design reflects ambient light for increased brightness
Playback Zoom Playback Zoom with 2.5 / 5.0x magnification
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 NH-AAA-DA NiMH batteries, BC-CS2 battery charger, USB cable, neck strap, MSA-M8A 8MB Memory Stick® Duo media, MSAC-M2 adaptor, CD-ROM w/Pixela ImageMixer for Sony, USB driver
Unit Weight 4.2 oz (114g) (w/ battery, strap, media)
Unit Dimension
3-1/4 x 1-1/2 x 1”
83 x 39 x 26mm
More Photos
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U40 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U40 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U40 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


Ultra-Slim U40 Camera Captures Looks

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 21, 2003 — Lipstick: check. Car keys: check. Stylish camera to capture an evening with friends: check—if you have the latest Cyber-shot® U-series camera from Sony.

Expected in January for about $200, the stylish U40 camera will come in four colors (silver, black, dark blue and red) that match your mood or your outfit.

Slide the front cover sideways and the two-megapixel camera comes to life in under one second—giving enough time to capture candid shots.

“Life happens in the blink of an eye, and the U40 camera is ready when you are,” said Steve Haber, senior vice president for Sony Electronics’ Personal Mobile and Imaging Division. “It’s about the size of a candy bar, but full featured enough to ensure that the shots turn out great.”

The new camera accepts both the ultra small Memory Stick PRO Duo™ and Memory Stick Duo™ flash memory cards.

As with other Cyber-shot U-series cameras, the U40 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. These include:

  • 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-U40 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 comes supplied with Sony’s Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) AAA Stamina batteries and an external charger.
  • Print Directly to Printers: Via a USB connection, users can print their images directly with any PictBridge™ compatible printer.

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