Today Sony announced the Cyber-shot DSC-R1, a new high-end enthusiast digital camera that will include Sony's own large CMOS sensors. This is a first for Sony, which has, in the past, only manufactured CMOS sensors for sale to D-SLR manufacturers. Though the DSC-R1 isn't a D-SLR, it's the first Sony product to incorporate Sony's own CMOS sensors.
The R1 is a 10.3MP camera that includes a fixed Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens and an articulating LCD that sits on top of the camera, just behind the pop-up flash. The camera looks like a superzoom, but has only a 5X optical zoom range. What is impressive is that the zoom's 35-mm equivalent range runs from 24 to 120 mm, providing excellent wide-angle coverage. The lens is fast, running from f/2.8 to f/4/.8 across the zoom range, reports PC Magazine.
According to PC World, one of the biggest features of the camera lurks inside. The CMOS image sensor is APS-class, meaning it is about the same size as an APS (Advanced Photo System) negative, and similar to those found in professional digital still cameras, according to Sony. This means users can expect high sensitivity to light and low image noise, or graininess, Sony says.
In addition to a viewfinder, the camera has a 2-inch LCD that folds up from the top of the camera and can be swiveled around to face the photographer, or into nearly any other position.
The image displays a live preview of the picture about to be taken, so the photographer can better judge things like shot framing and color, according to Sony.
Shot-to-shot time is 1 second and the camera has a 3-shot burst shooting mode. Shutter lag, which is the delay time between pressing the shutter button and the shutter release, is 7.5 milliseconds. The battery lasts for about 500 shots, Sony says. The camera accepts both Memory Stick and Compact Flash memory cards, and can store files in JPEG or RAW image modes.
Sony plans to launch the DSC-R1 in the U.S. in mid-November. It will cost around $1000. Launch plans for other markets were not announced.
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