The Sony T200 continues to be one of the most popular, most searched for cameras out there, but in an announcement this afternoon Sony indicated its intention to replace the device with a new model, the Cyber-shot DSC-T300.
Baseline specs for the T300 are similar to its predecessor: 10.1 megapixel sensor (upgraded from 8.1), a 5x Carl Zeiss zoom, and Super SteadyShot mechanical image stabilization. Of course, much of the draw for this camera will undoubtedly focus on the fact that the T300 also keeps the T200's 3.5-inch touch screen. Overall, little has changed from a design standpoint, with the T300 sharing the T200's basic look and sliding lens cover.
The rest of the refresh focuses on soft features; as with the rest of its lineup updates, Sony is hyping a load of new tech for the T300.
Sony's Smile Shutter feature (which allows the camera to fire only when faces in the frame are smiling) gets an update that works in conjunction with modified Face Detection technology to distinguish between child and adult faces and prioritize them.
A reworked Dynamic Range Optimizer now has the ability to separately analyze different areas of the composition and make multi-segment d-range adjustments. A T300-exclusive Real color mode adds a lighter-saturation option beyond the T200's Standard and Vivid selections, designed with users who prefer to post-process in mind. We couldn't be happier about this turn of events, and hope Sony's neutral color option will find its way into other models (and other brands) soon.
Alternately, if you want to handle all post-processing in camera, the T300 also allows users to apply a built-in Unsharp Mask sharpening process a la Photoshop.
For novice users and those looking for a quick and easy shooting experience, the T300 adds Sony's iSCN intelligent scene recognition (which automatically selects an appropriate scene preset based on conditions), as well as the stripped-option Easy Shooting Mode. A new slide show playback mode with music support and lots of other bells and whistles, and a feature that uses Face Detection technology to allow searching photos for a specific face, complete the onslaught of upgraded and updated in-camera specs.
As with the T200, expect the T300 to command a premium price: current MSRP is $399, but even at this price point, with the device slated for March release you might want to go ahead and get in line.
Sony DSC-T300 specifications:
|Sensor||10.1 megapixel, 1/2.3" Super HAD CCD|
|Zoom||5x (33-165mm) Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar, f/3.5-4.4|
|LCD/Viewfinder||3.5", 230K-pixel Hybrid TFT LCD with touch interface|
|Shutter Speed||60-1/1000 seconds|
|Shooting Modes||Auto, Program, Easy Shooting, High Sensitivity, Scene, Movie|
|Scene Presets||Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Hi-Speed Shutter, Smile Shutter, Underwater|
|White Balance Settings||Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3, Incandescent, Flash, Underwater|
|Metering Modes||Multi, Center, Spot|
|Focus Modes||Multi AF, Center AF, Spot AF, Flexible Spot AF, four approximate distance AF modes, Macro, Close Focus|
|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|
| Internal Memory|| 15 MB|
|File Formats||JPEG, MPEG|
|Max. Image Size||3648x2736|
| Max. Video Size|| 640x480, 30 fps|
|Zoom During Video||No|
|Battery||Rechargeable 680 mAh lithium-ion|
|Connections||USB 2.0, AV output, DC input|
|Additional Features||Face Detection, Improved Smile Shutter, Adult/Child Face Detection, DRO Plus, Real Color Mode, iSCN, Easy Shooting Mode, Favorites, Face Search, New Slide Show, Unsharp Mask Retouch, Happy Face Retouch|