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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H7 and Cyber-shot DSC-H9 Digital Cameras Announced - 15x Optical Zoom
by Ben Stafford -  2/23/2007

Sony has announced two new digital cameras to update their ultra-zoom H series. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H7 and Cyber-shot DSC-H9 will ship in April 2007 for $400 and $480 respectively. The new cameras improve upon their successors (the H2 and H5) with new Sony technology (like the Bionz processor) and increasing their zoom capabilities to 15x optical zooms.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H7
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H7 (view large image)
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9 (view large image)

Both cameras get 8 megapixel sensors and 15x optical zoom Zeiss lenses. The Bionz processing engine, first seen in the Sony Alpha digital SLR, is behind the image processing and features of the H7 and H9.

The H7 has a 2.5 inch LCD and the H9 gets a 3 inch articulated screen. The articulated screen can flip up or down, making it easy to take high-angle or low-angle shots.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H7
Back of H7 (view large image)
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9
Back of H9 (view large image)

Both cameras have a fastest shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second. The Sony Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization system counteracts camera shake and the camera's ability to shoot at up to ISO 3200 ensures that you can get a shutter speed fast enough to counteract subject movement.

An "intelligent" continuous AF mode uses some predictive technology to determin where the subject will be at the time of the shot. This will provide more accurate focus and less focus lag time. A new scene mode, called Advanced Sports Shooting Mode enables high shutter speed mode and intelligent continuous AF.

Many of Sony's new cameras, including the H7 and H9 will be capable of HD output to your HD TV. The HD cable will be sold separately. For optimum display on your wide-screen display, you can capture images in a 16:9 mode.

Sony is also including a new 9-point AF system and their facial detection system that sets focus, exposure, and flash control based on the faces in the image.

The Sony H9 will include NightShot technology which can currently be found in their camcorders. NightShot allows pictures to be taken in the dark.

Sony will also be including several in-camera editing features. The Dynamic Range Optimizer, also seen on the Sony Alpha digital SLR, improves the image exposure and tonality before the image data gets compressed to JPEG. You will also be able to apply several filters, like a partial color filter to emphasize a particular color or a soft edge filter. In-camere red-eye correction will also be available.

If you want to get your order in ASAP, you can pre-order the H7 and H9 starting on February 28th at SonyStyle.com/newcameras.