Sony has taken at the digital SLR customer with a new high-end Cyber-shot packed with technologies that have yet to be duplicated on an interchangeable lens system at comparable price points.
That technology consists of a 10-megapixel full-frame Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) sensor capable of live preview on its 2-inch LCD.
The Cyber-shot R1 is the first Sony camera to use the company's 10-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. The sensor is larger than those found on traditional digital cameras. Larger sensors reduce the effects of “digital noise” and are more sensitive to light, creating a sharper picture than those produced by smaller sensors with the same resolution.
The sensor on the R1 is roughly the size of those employed in digital SLRs but unlike SLRs currently on the market, the fixed-lens R1 can offer a live preview through the LCD screen. It also loses the mirror and prism typical found in SLR lenses, which is necessary to create an image in the optical viewfinder. Sans mirror and prism, the camera is smaller and quieter, Sony said.
The camera also features a 5x optical zoom (24-120mm, 35mm equivalent), a one-second shot-to-shot time, three frame-per-second burst shooting, and a shutter release time of 7.5 milliseconds.
New processing circuitry gives the camera a battery life of up to 500 shots per charge, depending on usage.
For advanced users, the R1 offers three different modes of color reproduction including Adobe RGB, standard sRGB and Vivid sRGB. It captures images in both JPEG and RAW file formats.
The camera also features a user selectable Advanced Gradation Control System (AGCS) which optimizes image contrast.
The camera features slots for both Memory Stick PRO and CompactFlash Type I and Type II. The camera can save images in either the JPEG and RAW file formats.
The Cyber-shot R1 camera will be available in mid-November for an estimated $1,000.