updated 02:40 pm EST, Wed January 23, 2008
Sony W and T Cams for 2008
Continuing its Cyber-shot updates, Sony on Wednesday rolled out upgrades to its more mainstream W- and S-series cameras. The W-series receives the largest upgrade with changes both to optics and to their intelligence. The 7.2-megapixel W120 and 8.1-megapixel W130 now provide 4X zoom lenses, allowing them to shoot further than their 3X predecessors; the 8.1-megapixel W150 and 10.1-megapixel W170 shoot further still with a 5X wide-angle lens.
Each also brings the first instance of Sony's smile detection technology that allows the camera to shoot only when an adult's or child's smile is visible; the W150 and W170 also bring the music slideshow and iSCN features of the T300 to respectively provide on-camera presentations and auto-adjust picture quality. All share improved shadow correction. The entry W120 and W130 cameras ship first in March for $200 and $230 and should be followed up by the W150 and W170 in April for $250 and $300.
Although considered a starter series, the S line is also said to be receiving a major upgrade: both the 7.2-megapixel S750 and 8.1-megapixel S780 operate with a 3X zoom lens but now switch from AA batteries to lithium-ion packs, allowing them to shoot for longer before needing a fresh charge and reducing the thickness of the camera to exactly one inch. They also carry face detection support and a higher ISO 1250 sensitivity (up from 1000) for better focusing, especially in low light. Sony releases the S750 first in March for $150 and finishes with the S780 in April for $180.