February 26, 2006 The high zoom prosumer digital camera marketplace continued to heat up at the PMA Show with Sony announcing two new Cyber-shot models in the category. Clad in black, the new DSC-H5 model has a 7.2-megapixel CCD imager and extra-large, three-inch LCD screen. It also shimmers in silver along with the stage-worthy DSC-H2 model, which has a six-megapixel imager and two-inch LCD. Both cameras flaunt Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 12x optical zoom lenses and focal length ranges of 36 to 432 millimeters (35 mm equivalence). "High-zoom cameras are one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry," said James Neal, director of digital imaging products at Sony Electronics. "They are powerful enough to get those hard-to-see distant shots, and have the easy-to-use functionality of point-and-shoot cameras.
The new models incorporate Sony's Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization to help reduce image blur caused by hand movement. Because these cameras feature high-light sensitivity settings up to IS0 1000, fast-moving cars and people along the boulevard can also be captured with considerably less blur and graininess. Sony's Clear RAW noise reduction technology minimizes picture noise, making it easier to shoot at faster shutter speeds.
These anti-blur technologies are an advantage when shooting in low-light conditions, such as outdoor shots in the evening or inside dark museums. These shots can be taken without a flash, resulting in naturally-exposed images that truly capture the drama and atmosphere of the moment. And, you can get as close as you want with the cameras' significant macro mode of three-quarters of an inch.
The new H-series cameras are substantial, without feeling bulky, and feature a comfortable grip with controls easily accessible by thumb. You can count on detailed image previews using the H5 model's three-inch, high-resolution LCD screen, with a pixel count of 230K and Sony's Clear Photo LCD Plus technology. The LCD features high-quality color reproduction and displays pictures with vivid clarity.
Sony's ultra-fast Real Imaging Processor circuitry increases both models' battery efficiency for quicker start-up, faster shot-to-shot times, higher-quality movie capture, and longer battery life. The H5 camera delivers up to 340 shots on a single charge, while the H2 model offers 400 shots per charge.
The new cameras include auto-exposure and multi-point, auto-focus features along with pre-set scene modes customized for specific shooting conditions, all working silently in the background while you concentrate on the "center-stage" action. When greater creative control is needed, aperture/shutter priority and manual exposure modes are available options.
Both models have 32MB of internal memory, which can be expanded with an optional Memory Stick Duo media card or Memory Stick PRO Duo card, now available in capacities up to four gigabytes.
The Cyber-shot DSC-H5 camera will be available in May for about US$500 and the DSC-H2 model ships in April for about US$400.
Bundled accessories include rechargeable AA NiMH batteries, charger, lens hood with adaptor and lens cap with strap, and USB and AV output cables. Options include a wide conversion lens (VCL-DH0758) for US$150, a tele-end conversion lens (VCL-DH1758) for about US$150, a close-up lens (VCL-M3358) for US$70, a jacket case (LCJ-HC) for US$50, and a soft carrying case (LCS-HA) for US $40.
Both models can be purchased direct at Sonystyle.com, Sony Style retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), and authorized dealers nationwide. Pre-orders begin today at www.sony.com/h5 and www.sony.com/h2.