Sony have announced an addition to their Cyber-shot digital range in the form of the DSC-P7. This 3.2 megapixel compact camera features a 3x zoom and 14-bit DXP processing technology. It also integrates new Cyber-shot features that were introduced earlier this year, such as Clear Luminance Noise reduction, Multi burst, Multi Point AF and Auto Bright monitoring.
Sony UK has today announced a strategic addition to its popular compact Cyber-shot digital still camera range. In replacing its market-leading generation model with the DSC-P7, Sony has established improved image quality, ease of use and fun features within this mid-range price category. Featuring a Super HAD CCD which can offer a 3.2 effective Megapixel resolution and superior 14-bit DXP processing technology, the DSC-P7 integrates the new Cyber-shot features introduced earlier this spring, such as Clear Luminance NR, Pre-flash, Multi burst, Multi Point AF, Multi pattern metering, Even brightness pictures, MPEG HQX and Auto Bright monitoring. The result is a super stylish digital camera that assures crisp and clear images in the broadest range of lighting conditions.
A major advantage of the Sony Cyber-shot family is their integration of these advanced features within a very compact, lightweight and stylish aluminium body. At the heart of the Sony Cyber-shot range is a proposition which enables users to step-up to an advanced and sophisticated digital photography system that integrates seamlessly with their PC to create an archive and e-mail based distribution network and which looks great at home, on the move and on holiday. Sony forecasts that the introduction of this new model will add further sales growth to this market leading digital camera range.
'A particular strength of the DSC-P7 is its sophisticated automation, explained Anton Nishikawa, Director Digital Still Camera Marketing at Sony Digital Imaging Europe. 'As a result, this model will appeal equally to the photography enthusiast and someone wanting a light and stylish camera that takes high quality images quickly and easily.
High quality, intuitive operation
With many of the new features found in the DSC-P7 already integrated within models
introduced this Spring, Sony predicts that this camera will be well received in Europe. Clear Colour Noise Reduction, for example, is an important feature that aids high quality JPEG image processing. It analyses colour frequency of an image, detects and levels noise data, creating a natural tone reproduction in those areas where colour is flat as in skies and seas, skins and different textures.
At the same time, Clear Luminance NR smoothes the transitions between diverse luminance signal areas where there are significant differences in light levels is also the new noise reduction feature which is effective for luminance signal. This feature creates the crispier and cleaner images without destroying the edge data, especially in the high brightness areas of the image.
Advanced low-light capabilities
A new even brightness feature is a form of electronic image processing which analyses peripheral areas of the CCD, which are furthest from the lens centre, where light levels can be diminished. Theoretically peripheral areas tend to receive slightly less light, which leads to create a slight shade on the image. This image analysis and consequent adjustment of the gain in affected areas prevents shading on the edges of digital pictures.
The DSC-P7 incorporates slow shutter noise reduction, a feature that improves image quality when shooting in low-light conditions. One press of the button in Twilight Mode takes two simultaneous images, one normal picture and one black picture, which contains only noise, this feature creates cleaner and noise-less images by extracting the noise picture from the normal picture.
Other new features developed to assist in accurate and easy image capture are multi-point AF, pre-flash and multi pattern metering. Multi point AF ensures that even if the subject is not in the centre of the screen, the camera focuses automatically on the subject without using focus lock. Pre-flash technology uses image data immediately prior to flash, creating optimum exposure of any subject, from any angle of view, under flash conditions. Also, multi pattern metering is useful where the subject is off-centre or where there are significant variations in brightness across the screen. With 49 regions on the screen, the camera automatically calculates and calibrates for optimum exposure. The Spot meter function is menu selectable.
Multi Burst is a new feature developed for lovers of action shots. Sixteen shots are taken and stored in one JPEG file. The shots can be reviewed on the camera monitor at intervals of approximately 0.8 seconds, or alternatively downloaded to a PC and viewed together on screen.
The new cameras integrate MPEG Movie HQX, which an enhancement of the popular Sony MPEG EX facility found within previous models. This advanced feature enables the user to fill up any remaining space on the Memory Stick with full motion, high-quality MPEG movies. The system captures 16.7 frames per second in 320 x 240 size and delivers great quality short films that can be played on a television across the full screen.
Once the movies have been shot, they will need editing. The DSC-P7 comes bundled with Image Mixer editing software from Pixela. This software can be used to file and edit both still and moving images as well as sound. Image Mixer is easy to use, providing a rich blend of advanced and fun features. Users can drag and drop segments into a story line, set in and out for editing material and combine edited material into a single movie.