updated 11:15 pm EDT, Tue August 21, 2007
Sony T200 and H3
Sony tonight confirmed the launch of its first two mainstream touchscreen Cyber-shot cameras as well as a new, high-zoom camera for dedicated amateurs. The T70 and T200 share an 8-megapixel sensor as well as the completely touch-driven interface of the premium G1 that controls everything from camera settings to drawing over existing photos. The point-and-shoots also mark the first Sony cameras to include a Smile Shutter feature that not only detects faces but waits for a genuine grin before capturing the shot. Each of the widescreen cameras can themselves output a widescreen image to an HDTV through either a component AV cable or Sony's Cyber-shot Station dock.
The camera maker has also given the T-series more conventional upgrades, starting with sensitivity up to ISO 3200, image stabilization, and an enhanced LCD visible in bright outdoor light. The T70 comes with a 3X zoom lens, a 3-inch touchscreen, and black, pink, silver, and white color options. Its high-end T200 counterpart increases zoom to 5X, adds a larger 3.5-inch LCD, and comes in black, red, or silver. Both cameras will be available next month for $300 and $400 each.
A third model, the H3, becomes Sony's lowest priced high-zoom camera. Capable of 10X zoom with actual optical image stabilization, the 8-megapixel device borrows the HD output of the new T-series but replaces Smile Shutter with Sony's advanced sports mode that forces high shutter speed and continuous autofocusing. The H3 also takes a cue from the Alpha digital SLR line by including a Dynamic Range Optimizer mode that intelligently reckons the best exposure and color tone before compressing the pure image into a JPEG file, which normally loses some of the full color range.
Face detection, ISO 3200 sensitivity, and a 2.5-inch preview LCD are also staple features of the mid-range camera, which will be ready in September with the T-series and should sell for $300 in either black or silver.