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Sony Introduces Two Digicams To Ship In 2004

San Diego – With a large bulk of digital camera buying still to be done, Sony put an eye on next year with the introduction of two new digital cameras set to ship in January.

One model, the DSC-TI, is the company’s first to ship with a USB docking station, a device popularized by Kodak and Hewlett Packard, among other vendors.

According to Sony, the 5-megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-T1 features a variety of new technologies designed to achieve the camera’s diminutive dimensions (0.8 inches thin and 2.4 inches tall). Among them, new optics from Carl Zeiss: the Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lens. The lens zooms within the camera rather than extending out.

A new, smaller, rechargeable Infolithium battery system and Memory Stick PRO Duo removable media slot also conserve real estate on the camera body, Sony said. Memory Stick Duo is a reduced-sized version of Sony’s flash memory format, designed for smaller electronics devices.

The T1 will also be Sony’s first to ship with a USB docking station for recharging the camera’s batteries and transferring images from camera to computer. Sony said the dock is another size reducing measure, allowing it to move the USB port, A/V out and DC jacks off the camera.

Other features of the T1 include a 2.5-inch LCD screen and a one second interval between shooting.

The Cyber-shot T1 will retail for approximately $550 and be accompanied by a number of standalone accessories. A Marine Pack (MPK-THA), for a suggested $199, is an underwater camera housing that protects the camera to depths of 40 meters. Other accessories will include a removable battery (NP-FT1) for $60, a compact travel charger (BC-TR1) for $60, and a leather carrying case (LCS-THA) for about $50.

The company also added another model in its Cyber-shot U series of diminutive cameras with the new 2-megapixel U40. The camera will ship in January for about $200, in four colors: silver, black, dark blue and red.

The new camera accepts both Memory Stick PRO Duo and Memory Stick Duo flash memory cards. It features an MPEG movie mode (video only) for up to 15 seconds of video at 160 by 112. The U40 is also PictBridge-enabled, allowing it to connect to any PictBridge enabled printer via USB, regardless of vendor, to produce prints without a computer.