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Sony’s New 15X Cybershot H9 and H7 Cameras

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March 11, 2007

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March 12, 2007 Responding to the growing demand for super zoom digital cameras, Sony showed its new 8-megapixel DSC-H9 and DSC-H7 models at PMA, with both cameras featuring powerful Carl Zeiss 15x optical zoom lenses, Sony’s new advanced sports shooting mode and high-definition outputs so they easily connect to a HDTV for spectacular reproduction. The advanced sports shooting mode combines high shutter speed shooting and intelligent continuous auto-focusing. The cameras can quickly focus on fast-moving subjects by predicting where those subjects will be in the frame. This predictive technology also helps to reduce shutter lag, the time it takes for the camera to focus and shoot.

Sony’s new face detection technology is also employed on both models and it can identify up to eight faces in the camera’s LCD frame, and automatically adjust white balance and flash as well as focus and exposure for correctly exposed, sharp photos

Even if you’re not at full speed during the soccer match on Saturday morning, the H9 and H7 models will be. These new cameras can shoot up to 1/4000 of a second, a critical speed for capturing fast-moving sports and freezing the action.

Both cameras are powered by the Bionz processing engine, first used in Sony’s Alpha digital SLR camera system. This new circuitry speeds up response times and delivers the fast image processing speeds needed to produce color-rich, detailed pictures for true high-definition photo viewing.

Capturing fast action does not have to result in blurry photos. The H9 and H7 cameras incorporate Super Steady Shot optical image stabilization to minimize blur caused by camera shake, an important feature when shooting at slow shutter speeds at full zoom. Their high sensitivity, up to ISO3200, also helps to fight blur resulting from fast-moving subjects.

The H9 camera takes fast-action shooting a step further. It sports a 3-inch, flip-up LCD screen so that you can shoot comfortably from nearly any position. You can hold the camera low to the ground for eye-level shots of kids, without having to contort yourself or crawl on the ground, or hold it high for shots of the crowd. The H7 camera has a non-articulating but large 2.5-inch LCD screen for easy sharing and viewing.

The H9 camera is the only Cyber-shot model in this year’s line to feature NightShot technology. This feature allows you to take photographs in environments with virtually no light so you won’t miss the action, even at a late night game.

Both cameras’ high sensitivity (up to ISO 3200) will also help preserve the mood of your pictures by capturing well-exposed, natural-looking photos, even in challenging low-light conditions. You can shoot at higher shutter speeds to take in the maximum amount of light without using the flash. Picture noise, common to pictures shot at high ISO levels, is minimized by Sony's Clear RAW noise reduction technology.

The H-series cameras incorporate selectable in-camera editing functions so you can spend more time on the field and less time behind a computer. Equipped with Sony’s Dynamic Range Optimizer, originally developed for the Alpha digital SLR system, the new cameras can analyze captured image data and instantly determine the best exposure and tonality of each picture before JPEG compression.

Other helpful in-camera functions include red-eye correction and photo retouching effects with filters. You can create fun and artistic photos with up to four filter selections, such as the partial color filter that can highlight your star athlete in color while the background of the photo is in black-and-white.

The DSC-H9 and DSC-H7 cameras will ship in April for about US$480 and US$400, respectively. The VMC-HD1 high-definition component cable will also be available in April for about US$40. Additional accessories will include wide and telephoto conversion lenses, filters, batteries, travel chargers, sports packs and cases.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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