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Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-T7 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sony announces Cyber-shot DSC-T7
(Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - 12:00 EST)

We recently heard a quote attributed to hockey player Wayne Gretzky - "you miss 100% of the shots you never take."

Wayne might have been talking hockey, but we feel the quote can actually be rather aptly applied to digital photography as well. Digital photographers often seem to fall into the trap of wanting every possible feature jammed into their digital cameras - with the end result being a bulky, heavy camera that sits at home unused when that surprise photo opportunity comes calling. There's little question that having a camera you can take anywhere means you're more likely to get the once-in-a-lifetime shot you weren't expecting.

With that in mind, fans of ultra-compact digital cameras will doubtless be excited by Sony's latest digital camera announcement, an update to the company's T-series of Cyber-shot digital cameras. The svelte new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7 builds on the heritage set by the original T1 model - but with a pretty impressive reduction in size and weight. Ready to shoot, the new T7 tips the scales at just 134 grams, a reduction of over a third from the already pocket-friendly T1. That's despite retaining a sliding lens barrier as in that model, rather than the design of later DSC-T3 and DSC-T33 Cyber-shots. To keep size and weight down, the new barrier only spans about 2/3 the width of the front of the camera, where the DSC-T1's barrier was almost the same width as the camera body.

Height and width remain unchanged, but the new model is significantly slimmer than the original T-series Cyber-shot. The T1 was 21mm thick including the sliding lens barrier, or around 17mm without - already a pretty respectable slim model. The new DSC-T7 is incredibly just 14.8mm thick including the sliding lens barrier, and much of the camera without the lens barrier is only 9.8mm thick.

Sensor size and resolution are identical to the original DSC-T1, and the LCD display remains a 2.5" type - although resolution is boosted slightly to 230,000 pixels. The lens looks to be similar, with the same maximum aperture of f3.5 - f4.4 across the zoom range. Sony's preliminary specs list slightly wider actual focal lengths than we were given for the original T1, but curiously the effective focal lengths given are the same as the older camera.

The movie mode from the DSC-T1 has now been upgraded to 30 frames per second (fps) from the original 16 fps, and the USB computer connectivity upgraded from USB 1.1 to USB 2.0 High Speed. One final change - and probably a significant contributor to the size and weight reductions - is a switch to an NP-FE1 InfoLithium battery from the original NP-FT1 type.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7 will go on sale this may, with pricing set at $500 - just a touch below the initial $550 price of the T1 at launch. We felt the original DSC-T1 was very impressive when we reviewed it last year, and happily gave it a place in our "Dave's Picks" section of the site. We'll definitely be looking forward to trying the new DSC-T7 for ourselves, and seeing how it compares!

Preliminary specifications and product photos courtesy of Sony follow below:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-T7 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera Type Ultra Compact
Manufacturer Sony
Model Number DSC-T7
Dimensions 3.6 x 2.4 x 0.6"
91.7 x 60.0 x 14.8mm
Weight 134.0 g
4.7 oz
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.4" Sony SuperHAD CCD
5.10 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions 2592 x 1944 (5.0 megapixels)
2592 x 1728 (4.5 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality 2 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 2.5", 230,000 pixels
Lens Type Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar
3x optical zoom
Image Stabilization No
Focal Length 6.3 - 19.0mm (actual)
38 - 114mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f3.5 - f5.6 (W); f4.4 - f8.0 (T)
Focusing System 5-area multi-point with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (5) steps
Focusing Range Normal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.4"
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100, 200, 400
Shutter Speed 1/8 - 1/1000 second
Metering Modes 49-area multi-pattern
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash
Internal Flash Modes: Auto/Forced On/Forced Off/Slow Synchro (red-eye reduction on/off)
Range: 3 7?8" - 5ft 1?4" (0.1 - 1.6m)
Scene Modes Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, High-speed Shutter, Candle, Magnifying Glass
Digital Zoom 2.0x
Self Timer Yes, 10 seconds
Time Lapse No
Movie Format MPEG1 with audio
640x480 and 160x112
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Recording Medium Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo
File Format JPEG
Video Yes
Computer USB 2.0 High Speed
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary NP-FE1 InfoLithium
Product Bundle
Software Picture Package for Sony v1.1 (Windows), Pixela ImageMixer VCD2 (Macintosh) ImageData Converter v1.5 Macintosh), USB Driver, Cyber-shot Life tutorial (Windows)
Battery / Charger Proprietary NP-FE1 InfoLithium rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 32.0MB Memory Stick Duo
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
Operating System Compatibility Windows, MacOS
More Photos
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-T7 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-T7 digital camera. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


LAS VEGAS, March 8, 2005 – Sony’s new, incredibly thin Cyber-shot® DSC-T7 digital camera makes you the center of attention wherever you go.

Thanks to a highly efficient design, the Cyber-shot T7 is just over a third-of-an inch, making it Sony’s thinnest, fully-featured model yet. Though small in stature, the camera packs a powerful punch. It has a 2.5-inch ‘hybrid’ LCD screen, covering about two-thirds of the back of the camera, which is perfectly sized for framing, displaying and sharing pictures.

Through Sony’s distinctive miniaturization and high-density packaging technology, the camera incorporates virtually all the benefits of other T series models despite its amazing thinness. It features 5.1 effective megapixel resolution and an enhanced power management system for extended shooting time. Folded within the sleek body also lies a Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® lens with 3x Optical Zoom.

Unbelievable Imaging
One of the camera’s most distinctive features is an anti-reflection Clear Photo LCD ™, which enhances viewing quality by preventing reflected light from interfering with the displayed image. The LCD offers a number of improvements, including higher contrast, brightness and resolution. Whether you’re entertaining at home or out snowboarding, the LCD allows you to spot your subject easily, whatever the lighting conditions.

“This ultra-compact camera represents a milestone in ingenious design,” said Hiro Takahashi, vice president for digital imaging products at Sony Electronics. “Thin is the theme, but this camera is absolutely bursting with great picture quality and style. The Cyber-shot T7 is a must-have camera for the fashion-forward crowd.”

Simplicity Itself
Slide the front lens cover down and in just under one second, the camera is ready to capture images.

The ten Scene Selection modes mean you don’t have to worry about capturing the perfect shot, because the camera will help you do it. Simply select a mode, such as twilight, fireworks, beach or snow, and the camera will make all the necessary adjustments. A magnifying glass mode allows macro shooting up to 1cm from the object. A high-speed burst mode with great response is also available for quick shooting.

Speed and Battery Life
Sony's Real Imaging Processor™ circuitry in the Cyber-shot T7 is lighting fast, so it can shoot full-resolution images at approximately one-second intervals. Even with its diminutive size and huge LCD on, the camera's InfoLithium™ battery gets about 180 shots per charge so you can snap away to your heart's content without fear of running down the power.

With optional Memory Stick PRO Duo™ media cards, the camera can also capture and play back high-resolution motion video on a removable, transferable card. The MPEG-VX fine mode helps to record MPEG video with 640x480 pixel resolution at 30 frames per second, up to the capacity of the memory card being used. And when connected to a PictBridge™-compatible printer, such as Sony's PictureStation® DPP-FP50 digital photo printer, printing a specific image is a breeze.

The Cyber-shot DSC-T7 camera is supplied with a 32 MB Memory Stick Duo™ media card, a NP-FE1 InfoLithium battery, connector block and external battery charger. It will be available in May for about $500.


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