In an announcement today, Konica Minolta has said that they're exiting the camera business. Since they announced their "partnership" with Sony in July of 2005, they've been working to sell a portion of their assets to Sony. Sony is expected to continue to develop digital SLR cameras using the Maxxum/Dynax assests from Konica Minolta.
Along with several new products that they're featuring at CES, the one digital still camera (they also have a hybrid camera - the Cyber-shot DSC-M2) that they've announced is the Cyber-shot DSC-S600. It looks like Sony is aiming for a much lower price point than they have in the past with this model, for which they're taking pre-orders for $199 now.
Sony has announced the Cyber-shot DSC-T9, the latest in their T series of ultra-slim digital cameras. This camera shoots 6 megapixels and has a 2.5 inch LCD. The non-protruding lens has a 3x optical zoom and, new with this camera, optical image stabilization. This is the first camera to use a lens shift stabilization system in the "folded-path" lens. The T9 will be available in January for around $450 from Sony at www.sonystyle.com, at Sony Style retail stores and authorized dealers.
This week, Samsung and Pentax announced that they are entering an agreement to develop digital SLR cameras (not unlike the Sony/Konica Minolta arrangement announced recently). Samsung's electronics experience and Pentax's lens expertise will allow both companies to combine resources and remain competitive in the segment of the digital camera market that can still yield a decent profit.
Sony continues to come out with devices that define a new category. With the Sony Cyber-shot N1, you can take 8 megapixel pictures and then view/share then on the 3 inch touch screen LCD. The N1's album feature can handle up to 500 images, so all you have to do is shoot away. The N1 digital camera will be available in mid-November for about $500 online at SonyStyle.com.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 is the first integrated lens camera that uses a digital SLR class image sensor. The R1 captures 10.3 megapixels with a larger sensor than you will find in a point and shoot. Also, with Sony's expertise in the sensor technology, they are able to moderate the power usage of the sensor to allow a live preview on the two inch LCD. Also, Sony has put a wide angle Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens on the camera that provides 24-120mm focal lengths. (35 mm equivalent) Expect the R1 in November for around $1000.
Sony has announced the latest camera in their T-series, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T5. The T5 will come in four colors: silver, champagne gold, black, and red. The 5.1 megapixel camera has a 3x optical zoom lens, 2.5 inch LCD and better battery life than its predecessors (240 shots). The lens is covered with a sliding cover that moves vertically. The silver T5 will be available in September for $350 and the remaining colors will be available in October.
Sony and Konica Minolta have announced that they are going to jointly develop new digital SLR cameras. With the digital SLR market growing, both companies can benefit from this collaboration.
Sony has announced their latest offering in their T series, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7. The camera is just over a third of an inch thick, their thinnest model yet. The camera also features a 2.5 inch "hybrid" LCD, 5.1 megapixel resolution, 3x optical zoom Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens, and an advanced power management system. The camera will be availabe in May 2005 for around $500.
Sony waited for a pre-PMA press event to show off their new camera lineup. The H1 ($500) is a prosumer model with 5.1 megapixels and 12x optical zoom. The W5 ($350) and W7 ($450) are 5.1 and 7.2 megapixels with 2.5" LCD and metal bodies. The S40 ($200), S60 ($250)and S90 ($300) are value oriented models with a 3x optical zoom and 550 picture battery life.
Sony has announced the Cyber-shot DSC-W5, a 5.1 megapixel update for the DSC-W1. The W5 also features a large 2.5" LCD screen, 32MB of integrated memory and 3x opitcal zoom. The DSC-W5 will retail for $350.
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