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Sony's logo. Click here to visit the Sony website! New Sony digicams on the way? (UPDATED)
(Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 11:43 EST)

Rumors from a Dutch website suggest Sony is planning to launch two new digital cameras...

A news item on the Dutch LetsGoDigital.nl website (which is published bilingually in English and Dutch) predicts that Sony is preparing to announce two new digital cameras that will reach the market in mid-late summer of this year. The LetsGoDigital item has rumors of two cameras, as follows:
  • Sony DSC-P20
  • Similar to existing DSC-P cameras, but body colors changed to grey/orange. Aimed at being a low-cost, "fun" camera for the entry-level market.
  • 1/2.7" 1.3 megapixel CCD image sensor
  • Images captured at 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768 and 640 x 480 pixels as either JPEG or TIFF files
  • 3x optical zoom lens
  • 1.5" 123,000 pixel LCD display
  • USB connectivity
  • MemoryStick storage
  • ISO ratings of 100, 200 and 400
  • Expected release date (Holland) around August 2001
  • Sony DSC-S85
  • Similar to existing DSC-S75
  • 2/3" 4 megapixel CCD image sensor
  • Images captured at 2240 x 1680, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480 pixels
  • Carl Zeiss 3x optical zoom lens equivalent to 34-102mm on a 35mm camera
  • 14-bit A/D conversion
  • AE bracketing and AE lock functions
  • Non-intelligent external flash hot-shoe
  • Burst mode of 3 frames per second
  • MPEG video capability ("long MPEG, MPEG HQ")
  • USB connectivity
  • 1.8" 123,000 pixel LCD display
  • MemoryStick storage
  • AF illuminator light
  • Expected release date (Holland) around July 2001
Bear in mind that there is no source quoted for this information, and we cannot provide any confirmation of it ourselves... Hence at this time, this goes in the 'unsubstantiated rumor' category, but is extremely interesting nonetheless. Whilst the DSC-S75 body would seem a logical recipient for any new chip, we've yet to hear of any 4 megapixel CCD on the way from Sony, and it seems unlikely that the company would use a competitor's chip when it is so proficient at making its own - so the rumored 'DSC-S85' doesn't seem to make a lot of sense in this light... Manufacturers are becoming more and more interested in the entry-level marketplace, and low-cost cameras are proliferating, so it would make some sense to see a 'P20'-like camera from Sony targetted at this market...

With the rumored release dates only 4-5 months away, if these cameras are for real then we likely won't have to wait long before the official word from Sony comes out. Sounds like we may have an interesting summer in store for us! Be sure to check out LetsGoDigital's item to get the word from the horse's mouth, so to speak. ;)

UPDATED 2001-03-13 14:54ET: Whoops - of course Sony's CCD is 5 megapixel, not 4 megapixel - we've updated the item to remove conjecture based on our error, and now see the 'DSC-S85' rumor as somewhat less likely...

UPDATED 2001-03-14 14:16ET: LetsGoDigital.nl have removed the Sony item from their site... We have modified our links to point to their main index page instead.

Source: LetsGoDigital.nl website

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