Sony Japan today announced details of the release there of a new Cyber-shot digital camera that was first seen at trade shows earlier this year. The DSC-W200 is particularly noteworthy for having a 12.1-megapixel sensor and high-definition output for viewing snaps on an HD TV.
For the ¥50,000 (£210) asking price, the W200 offers that jumbo sensor with the added attraction of a Super HAD (Hole Accumulated Diode) CCD. This should go some way to eliminating the bad performance in low light levels that Sony's consumer cameras are notorious for. It does this by allowing more light to fall on each pixel, which increases sensitivity. Naturally, Sony's recently introduced SteadyShot image stabilisation engine is part of the equation too.
The lens gives a very standard 3x optical zoom. Although Sony claims the digital zoom is smart enough to focus on the central part of an image and avoid the serious image degradation that digital zooms generally guarantee. Other features of, frankly, dubious value include a face detector that highlights human skin, TV slideshow playback accompanied by MP3 tunes stored in the camera or on a Memory Stick and Photoshop-like filters that can be applied in-camera.
On the other hand, among the more interesting technologies in the W200 are a high-sensitivity ISO 6400 mode that cuts the resolution down to 3 megapixels to allow night shots without a flash and a nine-point autofocus system. Lastly, the internal memory is 31MB and the W200 is available in the UK right around now, albeit for £330.