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Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-L1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sony announces Cyber-shot DSC-L1
(Monday, August 30, 2004 - 00:06 EDT)

Alongside today's announcements of updates to the T- and V-series of digital cameras from Sony, the company has introduced a model that begins a new L-series lineup.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-L1, says the company, is aimed at users who want an ultracompact digital camera but don't want to compromise on feature-set or image quality. The new camera is somewhat reminiscent of the existing DSC-U40, but features a new 3x optical zoom lens that uses a linear electromagnetic focus drive mechanism, allowing reductions in size (the lens barrel is the diameter of a dime) coupled with fast AF speeds, according to Sony. Other features include a 1.5" transflective LCD display (for indoor / outdoor viewing, since the camera has no separate optical viewfinder), a 4.1 megapixel CCD imager, Sony's Real Imaging Processor, and Memory Stick Duo storage. The camera, which has a volume of just under 100 cubic centimeters, will be offered in three different color / finish combinations: silver (with a hairline brushed finish), dark blue (with a matte finish), dark red (with a high-gloss mirror finish), and black (we don't currently know what the finish of this version will be).

The silver version of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-L1 will ship in October at a price of $300, to be followed in January by black, blue and red models. Product specifications and photos courtesy of Sony follow below:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-L1
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-L1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Imaging Device 1/2.7" 4.1 (effective) Megapixel Super HAD™ CCD
Recording Media Memory Stick Duo™ Media, Memory Stick PRO Duo™ Media
Lens Construction 7 Elements in 6 Groups, 3 Aspheric Elements
Zoom 3X Optical
Smart Zoom Feature 0 – 10X (at VGA Resolution)
Digital Zoom Precision, 0 – 2.0X range, 6X total
Filter Diameter N/A
Focal Length 5.1 – 15.3mm
35mm Equivalent 32 – 96mm
Aperture f2.8 – f5.1
Auto Focus 5 Area Multi-Point AF, Center AF, 5-Step Manual
Minimum Focus Distance 4 8/11" (12cm)
Macro Mode N/A
Shutter Speed
1/8 – 1/2000 sec. (Auto)
1 – 1/2000 sec. (Program Auto)
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV Steps
Color LCD 1.5" 78K Pixel TFT Hybrid LCD Screen
Flash Modes Auto / Forced On / Forced Off / Slow Synchro
Red-Eye Reduction On / Off
Flash Effective Range 7 7/8" – 6' 6" (0.2 - 2.0m)
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash
Burst Mode 4 Shot (4MP), 4 Shot (3MP), 10 Shot (1 MP) 30 (VGA) 1.1 FPS
Picture Effects Sepia, Black & White
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400
Scene Modes Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, Candle, Snow, Beach
Self-Timer Yes, 10 Seconds
Audio/Video Output N/A
Still Image Modes Normal (JPEG Fine/Standard), Burst, Multi-Burst
MPEG Movie Modes
MPEG VX Fine with Audio (640 x 480 at 30fps), (MPEG VX Fine requires Memory Stick PRO media)
MPEG VX Standard with Audio (640 x 480 at 16fps),
Video Mail (160 x 112 at 8fps) with Audio
Microphone / Speaker Yes / Yes
USB Terminal Yes, Supports USB 2.0 (Not all products with USB connectors may communicate with each other due to chipset variations.)
Memory Stick PRO Media Compatibility Tested to support up to 512MB media capacity; does not support Access Control security function
Compatible Battery Designed for use with NP-FT1 InfoLithium® Rechargeable
Supplied Software Picture Package™ for Sony v1.1 (Windows), Pixela™ ImageMixer VCD2 (Macintosh), USB Driver, Cyber-shot Life tutorial (Windows)
OS Compatibility
Microsoft® Windows® 98/98SE/Me/ 2000/XP Home/XP Pro
Macintosh® OS 9.1/9.2/X (10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3)
Supplied Accessories NP-FT1 Rechargeable InfoLithium® Battery, AC-LS5 Battery Charger, Tripod Adaptor, USB Cable, Neck Strap, MSAM16A Memory Stick® Media, Memory Stick DUO Adaptor, Software CD-ROM
Dimensions 3 11/15" x 1 3/4" x 1" (95 x 44.3 x 25.7mm)
Weight 4.0 oz (122g) Body; 5.0 oz. (152g) Body w/Battery, Media, Neck Strap
More Photos
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-L1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-L1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-L1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-L1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


SAN DIEGO, Aug. 29, 2004 The challenge to Sony engineers: pack a 4.1-megapixel, 3X- optical zoom camera into a hip little package a fraction the size of a candy bar. Their answer? The Cyber-shot â DSC-L1 camera, an elegant confection that will come in four colors and finishes: brushed silver, dark blue matte, black and a striking dark red piano gloss.

The silver DSC-L1 camera will be available in mid-October, and the blue, black and red models will follow in January, each for about $300 .

Measuring 3 ¾” x 1 ¾” x 1” , the L1 model is powered by Sony's Real Imaging Processor™ circuitry, delivering outstanding shot-to-shot speed, stamina and quick start-up time for catching the action as soon as it happens.

For the first time in the ultra-compact class of digital cameras, the Cyber-shot L1 model delivers a 1.5-inch transflective LCD, making it easier to see what's on the LCD even in bright sunlight.

It also has a new Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® 3X optical zoom lens, setting the stage for picture quality typically delivered by larger, more expensive digital cameras.

“Decades of expertise in miniaturization have enabled us to achieve a balance between fashionable design and such advanced features as the world's smallest mechanical zoom lens,” said Greg Young, general manager for digital still camera marketing in Sony Electronics' Personal Mobile and Imaging Division. “But size and features are only half the story. In the L1 camera, we've also created something that's easy to grip and shoot, and takes outstanding pictures.”

Marrying High-Tech Features with Low-Tech Operation

Like all Cyber-shot cameras, the DSC-L1 model has speedy auto-focus and auto-exposure options to snap the best picture the first time. You can quickly select the best setting based on the shooting conditions by choosing from one of seven preset modes, including twilight, snow, beach and fireworks.

Four newly developed technologies – including a linear focus drive and a compact high-resolution optical system – combine to produce the ultra-small lens. This lets you zoom in for crisp images of a flower or zoom out for a far-away shot of the game-winning goal, all the while staying in sharp focus.

When used with Memory Stick PRO Duo ™ media, the L1 camera's high-quality MPEG Movie VX Fine mode captures and plays back high-resolution moving images with 640x480 pixel resolution at 30 frames per second, up to the capacity of the memory media card.

The L1 camera provides approximately 240 shots per charge of the InfoLithium™ battery, with a to-the-minute, on-screen display of remaining battery life.

Reveal New Sides to the Cyber-shot L1 Camera with Accessories

To get the most out of the new DSC-L1 camera, Sony will offer a variety of accessories, including:

• An accessory kit (ACC-CFT) with a leather carrying case and a spare battery;

• A leather carrying case (LCS-UP) that was designed specifically to protect the L1 camera;

• A gray polyurethane carrying case (LCS-UQ/H) designed for a more personal style statement; and

• A sportspack durable housing (LCS-UQ/H) to guard the camera in water up to three meters deep. It will be available in October for about $100.


Editor's Notes : Sony Electronics' Personal, Mobile and Imaging Products Division markets Cyber-shot® digital still cameras, Handycam® camcorders and related imaging accessories. In addition, the division markets personal audio products, such as the new Network Walkmans, along with the Hi-MD™, Net MD™ and CD Walkman® players. It also markets a variety of mobile electronics for enjoyment in the car. For additional information about Sony products, your readers can call (888) 222-SONY, or visit Sony's web site at: www.sony.com/di . Press releases and digital images are available for the media at Sony Electronics' news and information web site at: www.sony.com/news .

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