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.
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.
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|
|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||3456x2592|
| Max. Video Size|| 640x480, 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|