By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Sony added three Cyber-shot digital cameras and a new PictureStation photo printer to its lineup, including both its thinnest camera to date and a digital rangefinder model to appeal to those of a more sturdy bent.
All the new cameras feature an MPEG-VX Fine movie mode that can capture and play back VGA video at 30 frames per second (fps) to the capacity of the specified Memory Stick flash card.
The 7.2 megapixel-DSC-V3 is styled after a rangefinder camera and features a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 4x optical zoom lens; 2.5-inch LCD screen; PictBridge compatibility; multi-pattern measuring; a hot-shoe for external flashes; and a number of manual controls, including shutter and aperture priority.
It will be available in late October for about $700.
The camera accepts Memory Stick PRO and CompactFlash Type I memory cards and can shoot in the uncompressed RAW file format, capturing roughly 260 shots per charge of its InfoLithium battery. A high-speed burst mode captures up to eight full-resolution images at just over 2 fps.
For low-light photographic environments the camera offers Sony's Hologram AF Illuminator, which projects a laser pattern on the subject to create contrast for focusing; NightShot Infrared, which can snap infrared images in darkness up to 15 feet; and NightFraming, which combines the aforementioned modes to frame, focus and light the scene with the appropriate amount of flash.
Sony also launched its thinnest model to date, the 5.1- megapixel DSC-T3, sporting a 2.5-inch LCD screen. At under 0.75 inches, the PictBridge-enabled T3 offers a burst mode to capture up to four full-resolution images at 3 fps.
The T3's Carl Zeiss 3x optical zoom lens operates internally rather than protruding from the camera's body to maintain the model's svelte appearance. Available in October for an estimated $500, the T3 ships with a Cyber-shot Station USB cradle. It can capture 180 photos on a single InfoLithium battery and offers nine scene modes.
The company will also ship an ultra-compact, 4.1-megapixel, 3x- optical zoom DSC-L1 camera in four colors — brushed silver, dark blue matte, black and a red piano gloss — for $300. The silver L1 will be available in mid-October, and the blue, black and red models will follow in January.
The L1 features a 1.5-inch transflective LCD for improved viewing in sunlight, a first in Sony's ultra-compact line. It can capture approximately 240 shots per charge of its InfoLithium battery.
The company also expanded its PictureStation dye sublimation photo printer family with the addition of the entry-level DPP-FP30.
Shipping in October, the unit can print photos while connected to a PC and is PictBridge compatible for direct printing via a USB cable with other PictBridge-enabled digital cameras. It does not feature slots for flash memory cards.
The printer will be bundled with a 40-sheet print pack and retail for an estimated $150. It prints in two sizes: 3-inches by 5-inches and 4-inches by 6-inches. It can produce a borderless 4-inch by 6-inch photo in 90 seconds when printing from a PC and roughly two minutes when printing directly from a PictBridge camera via USB.
The DPP-FP30 seals each photo it prints with Sony's SuperCoat 2 laminate for resistance to spills, moisture and fingerprints.
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