Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 ultrazoom announced

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In a press release this morning, Sony has provided details about the latest additions to its Cyber-shot line, including the 9.1 megapixel, 15x zoom Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50

As noted, the H50’s most prominent feature, visually and functionally, is its 15x Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar zoom, which covers an impressive equivalent range of 31-465mm. Out back, the H50 wears a 3-inch tilting LCD that allows equally easy shooting from low and high angles and features a scratch resistant UV coating.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50

Stylistically, the new camera is much in keeping with other recent offerings in the H line, presenting a mini-DSLR look with an offset lens barrel and prominent hand grip.

The H50 comes equipped with Sony’s Advanced Sports Shooting mode that we’ve seen recently on other higher-end cameras from the manufacturer. Using the expected high shutter speeds in addition to a predictive auto focus system, previous implementations of the mode have made for easier action shooting than is normally the case for a non-DSLR.

Perhaps most significantly, Sony’s press materials state that the amount of in-camera noise reduction on the H50 is user-selectable. The company has taken criticism in the past for overly aggressive noise reduction choices that tend to smear fine detail at higher ISOs. With this move, there’s reason for cautious optimism that Sony is actively responding to concerns, and that what has often been the primary weakness of recent Cyber-shot models is finally being addressed.

Sony’s bevy of intelligent soft features, including Smile Shutter and Face Detection with child/adult priority settings, have also found their way to the H50, as have new image capture technology improvements like Sony’s advanced D-Range Optimizer and a NightShot mode capable of taking pictures in extremely low light. HD component output provides a simple solution for viewing photos and video on HDTVs.

MSRP for the Cyber-shot H50, which will begin shipping in May, is $399.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 Specifications:

Sensor 9.1 megapixel, 1/2.3" Super HAD CCD
Lens/Zoom 15x (31-465mm) Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar, f/2.7-4.5
LCD/Viewfinder 3.0", 230K-pixel Hybrid TFT LCD; 201K-pixel electronic viewfinder with diopter adjustment
Sensitivity ISO 80-3200
Shutter Speed 30-1/4000 seconds
Shooting Modes Auto, Easy Auto, Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Movie, Scene, Smile Shutter, High Sensitivity
Scene Presets Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Portrait, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Advanced Sports Shooting
White Balance Settings Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3, Incandescent, Flash, Manual
Metering Modes Multi, Center, Spot
Focus Modes Multi AF, Center AF, Flexible Spot AF, Semi-Manual, Manual, Macro
Drive Modes Normal, Burst
Flash Modes Auto, Forced On, Slow Synchro, Forced Off
Self Timer Settings
10 seconds, 2 seconds, Off
Memory Formats Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
Internal Memory
15 MB
File Formats JPEG, MPEG
Max. Image Size 3456×2592
Max. Video Size
640×480, 30 fps
Zoom During Video Yes
Battery Rechargeable InfoLITHIUM 960 mAh lithium-ion
Connections USB 2.0, AV output, DC input
Additional Features Face Detection, Super SteadyShot, Smile Shutter, NightShot, HD component output, D-Range Optimizer
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