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Sony Intros Two New Cameras

San Diego, Calif. – Sony announced two new digital cameras last week, one of which will be the company’s first to ship with a USB docking station.

Sony said 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 is designed to zoom within the camera rather than extending out.

A new, smaller, rechargeable Infolithium battery system and Memory Stick PRO Duo removable media slot also serve to 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 such as mobile phones.

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, a one second interval between shooting, an MPEG-VX Fine movie mode, eight shooting modes, and can capture four high-speed burst shots in less than two seconds.

A new Magnifying Glass scene mode magnifies subjects on the camera’s LCD screen up to 3.3 times, allowing users to see details that would otherwise be difficult to confirm with the naked eye.

The Cyber-shot T1 camera will ship in January for about $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 adjustable flash level with red-eye reduction, and an MPEG movie mode (video only) for up to 15 seconds of video at 160 by 112. The U40 is PictBridge-enabled.