Posts Tagged ‘Sony’

Sony Announces Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 and DSC-H55

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Breaking: Sony has announced two new slim and compact point-and-shoot cameras, just days before the PMA show in Anaheim. The Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 is “the world’s thinnest and smallest certified waterproof camera” (up to ten feet deep), and is “certified to be freeze proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, shockproof up to about a 5 foot-drop and dust proof.” The TX5 is also Sony’s first digital still camera with an “Exmor R” CMOS sensor. The 10.2MP CMOS image sensor marks a shift from the more common use of  the CCD (charged-couple device) image sensor usually found in point-and-shoot cameras, compared to the larger CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) sensor found in D-SLRs. The TX5 also offer 10fps continuous burst shooting. It will be available in silver, black, pink, green, and red this April for about $350.

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The DSC-H55 offers a 10x optical zoom Sony G lens with 25mm wide-angle (equivalent) and has a 14.1MP CCD sensor. Like the TX5, it lets you take panoramic shots in one sweeping motion with Sweep Panorama mode and has HD movie recording (1280 x 720 at 30p). The H55 will be available in black and silver this April for about $250. Find the full press release for both cameras below.

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From Sony:

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 17, 2010 – Leading the industry in innovation and design, Sony today unveiled two new Cyber-shot® digital still cameras (models DSC-TX5 and DSC-H55).
Slim enough to fit in your pocket or purse at less than an inch thin — about the size of a deck of cards — the TX5 is the world’s thinnest and smallest certified waterproof (up to 10 feet deep) digital still camera with Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization and touch operation. Additionally, the 10.2 megapixel model is Sony’s first digital still camera with an “Exmor R” CMOS sensor that is also certified to be freeze proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, shockproof up to about a 5 foot-drop and dust proof.
“Only Sony can deliver a technology-packed, ultra slim, fashionable T-series camera that is also durable. Until now, you couldn’t have it all in one camera” said Kelly Davis, director of the Digital Imaging business at Sony Electronics. “It is so versatile because it’s a great camera for both indoor and outdoor usage. You can easily take it from a day at the beach with the kids to a cocktail party with friends. This camera is also great for activities such as snorkeling, snowboarding or boating.”
Waterproof, Freeze Proof, Shockproof and Dust Proof
Waterproof in up to 10 feet of water for an hour, the TX5 lets you take high-quality photos, including panoramic pictures, and 720p high definition videos of your friends, family or pets underwater. From the tropics to the top of the mountain, the camera is also freeze proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can take pictures of the kids sledding or snowboarding. Not only is it ready for cold weather, but the TX5 is durable enough to withstand an accidental drop from up to approximately 5 feet. Additionally, it is dust proof, so you can take it with you on a camping trip or a mountain bike ride.
The camera features an “Exmor R” sensor and offers 10fps continuous burst shooting for capturing action shots, so you can get great photos of the perfect moment such as when your kids are in mid air while jumping into the pool. Additionally, the sensor provides outstanding low-light performance so you can take high-quality photos even after the sun sets.
In one easy press-and-sweep motion, take panoramic photos of the underwater landscape or breathtaking views from the top of the mountain using the Intelligent Sweep Panorama™ feature. Another benefit of the “Exmor R” sensor, this innovative feature combines separate captures, detects faces and subject motion and intelligently adjusts the width while stitching the images together, resulting in natural looking panoramic photos.
The camera features a three-inch (measured diagonally) Clear Photo LCD Plus™ (230,400 pixel) wide touch screen display that functions—even underwater. You can focus on your subject, operate the menu and share photos and videos with a touch of the screen—wet or dry.  Additionally, you can decorate your photos using the paint feature or scroll through images by simply sweeping your finger across the screen.
Shadows and Details Made Easy
In addition to making it easy to capture entire landscapes or tall buildings, the TX5 camera also helps to manage difficult lighting situations. The “Exmor R” CMOS sensor lets you take high-quality photos in low light without a flash. Additionally, the TX5 has a solution for backlight situations.
With in-camera multi-shot Backlight Correction High Dynamic Range (HDR), the camera combines highlight and shadow detail of two separate captures into one remarkably natural looking image—even without a tripod. HDR offers a solution for strong backlight situations which typically result in either dark shadows in the foreground or a washed out background. Sony’s “Exmor R” sensor and BIONZ® processor help to correct these issues.
Sony also is introducing the H55 model, which offers high zoom in a compact design. The H55 camera’s 10x optical zoom Sony G lens with 25mm wide-angle (equivalent) takes better shots from greater distances and of wider landscapes. With a 14.1 megapixel CCD sensor, this camera lets you take panoramic shots in one sweeping motion with Sweep Panorama™ mode. You can also frame and view photos on its three-inch (measured diagonally) Clear Photo™ LCD screen (230,400 pixels).
Featuring 720p movie recording, the H55 model offers Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization to help reduce blur in photos without compromising image quality. It also adds Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode, which lets you shoot smoother movie clips even if you are walking while shooting. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode allows a moveable lens element inside the camera to shift with greater range of motion—10 times the range of the Optical SteadyShot feature at wide end in standard mode—to compensate for camera shake.
The TX5 and H55 cameras share intelligent features including HD movie recording (1280 x 720 at 30p). Additionally, these cameras have a Self portrait timer that automatically takes the shot two seconds after one or two faces are detected, making hand held self-portraits easy. They also offer Smile Shutter™ technology to automatically capture smiles and iAUTO and Easy modes, which make it easy to get the best shot in nearly any lighting situation.
To give customers greater choice and enhance the overall customer experience, the TX5 and H55 cameras feature a memory card slot compatible with both Memory Stick® (PRO Duo™) and class-four and above SD/SDHC formats.
Pricing and Availability
The TX5 camera will be available in silver, black, pink, green, and red this April for about $350, and the H55 camera will be available in black and silver this April for about $250. Pre-sales begin in February.
The cameras and a range of accessories will be available online at Sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores (www.Sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges and at authorized dealers nationwide.

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Sony Announces First Compact Cameras w/HD 1080i AVCHD Video

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At CES, Sony has announced two new Cyber-shot cameras—the DSC-HX5V and DSC-TX7—which are “the world’s first compact digital still cameras to include full HD (1920 x 1080 60i) Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) video capability. They are also the world’s smallest and thinnest AVCHD capable cameras,” according to the manufacturer.

From Sony:
Sony took the wraps off two new Cyber-shot® digital still cameras today that create a new standard of mobility with technologies that answer consumers’ on-the-go needs.

Sony has designed two new innovative Cyber-shot cameras (models DSC-HX5V and DSC-TX7) that are the world’s first compact digital still cameras to include full HD (1920 x 1080 60i) Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) video capability. They are also the world’s smallest and thinnest AVCHD capable cameras.

These are the first Cyber-shot cameras with an in-camera Backlight Correction High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature for managing difficult lighting situations and TransferJet™ wireless technology for sharing, storing and viewing images. The HX5V model is also the world’s first still camera to include GPS + Compass and Optical SteadyShot™ with Active Mode technologies.

With Sony’s “Exmor R” back illuminated CMOS sensor technology, these cameras provide excellent low-light performance, 10fps burst shooting and the new Intelligent Sweep Panorama™ feature.

In addition to its cameras, Sony introduced three other devices with TransferJet technology at CES, including a Sony Memory Stick® memory card (model MS-JX8G) with a wireless transmitter/receiver, a Sony TransferJet Station (model TJS-1) and a VAIO® F Series notebook.

“Adding to the outstanding low-light performance and impressive Sweep Panorama feature, we are providing high-quality movies with full HD video, stereo sound recording when capturing movies on the go and an in-camera HDR solution for capturing high-contrast scenery. Sony can provide these solutions because of its expertise with other imaging products including Handycam® camcorders and α DSLR cameras,” said Kelly Davis, director of the Digital Imaging business at Sony Electronics. “Our goal is not only to make it easy for consumers to get the best shot—still or video—but also to have the best sharing experience.”

High-Quality Stills and Videos

With the AVCHD format, these new cameras record movies in 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution at 60i in 17Mbps. The AVCHD format captures a high degree of detail and smooth movement, and when footage is burned to disc, it can be played back on your HDTV using most Blu-ray Disc™ players, Sony® PlayStation®3 systems and compatible Blu-ray Disc enabled PCs. In addition to the supplied PMB software for Windows users, it is also possible to edit recorded AVCHD file using iMovie® for Macintosh users.

The camera will also capture videos in the MP4 format (up to 1440 x1080 30p 12Mbps) for online sharing.

Managing Difficult Lighting

The HX5V and TX7 cameras offer in-camera multi-shot High Dynamic Range (HDR), which combines highlight and shadow detail of two separate captures into one remarkably natural looking image—even without a tripod.

HDR offers a solution for strong backlight situations which typically result in either dark shadows in the foreground or a washed out background. Sony’s “Exmor R” sensor and BIONZ™ processor help to correct these issues.

Impressive Panoramas

The HX5V and TX7 cameras have an Intelligent Sweep Panorama™ feature that captures wide landscapes or tall buildings in one easy “press and sweep” motion. Due to their “Exmor R” CMOS sensor technology, they can take up to 270 and 258-degree panorama shots, respectively, horizontally or vertically with an image size of 7,152 x 1,080 (horizontal wide panorama mode). In addition, these cameras’ Intelligent Sweep Panorama feature, which is comprised of up to 100 separate captures, detects faces and subject motion and intelligently adjusts the width of each picture while stitching them together, resulting in natural looking panoramic photos.

Relive the Experience

Ideal for travelers who take hundreds of photos, the in-camera GPS + Compass feature on the HX5V camera makes it easy to store and share the location and direction of where photos were taken.

With social networking sites becoming more popular, people want to share more details of their experiences. The GPS + Compass feature provides a fun new way to share where they were — beyond the location. Using the free online satellite imagery application, Google Earth™ mapping service, users can view the images from a bird’s eye view or from the direction in which the photo was taken. The GPS function automatically adjusts the camera’s internal clock by selecting the travelling area, without the hassle of setting the time manually.

A Wireless Way of Sharing, Storing and Viewing

TransferJet technology, which was developed by Sony and is supported by a consortium of other companies, allows you to transfer files between two TransferJet-enabled devices just by bringing the TransferJet marks on each product within one inch of each other without the hassle of hunting for cables or the complication of pairing. To transfer photos, TransferJet-enabled still cameras must each utilize the TransferJet Memory Stick media (sold separately).

TransferJet technology is perfect for sharing on the go. You can select up to 10 pictures and transfer them from camera to camera. For storing images, you can place the HX5V or TX7 cameras on the lower left-hand corner of the VAIO F Series notebook and import photos. For sharing at home on devices which do not have the technology, you can connect the TransferJet Station to devices with a type-A USB port, including your TV, digital photo frame or PlayStation®3.

Designed for Technology Enthusiasts

With the most innovative digital imaging technologies, the HX5V camera is ideal for everyone from travelers to party-goers.  The multi-occasion camera features a 10 megapixel “Exmor R” sensor, a 3-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally) and a 10x optical zoom with wide-angle 25mm-250mm equivalent high-quality G lens allowing easy group shots and close ups when on the move.

In addition to its AVCHD video capability, the HX5V camera has Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization with Active Mode, which lets you capture moving subjects such as kids walking or running. It allows a moveable lens element to shift with greater range of motion—10 times the range of the Optical Steady Shot™ feature at wide end in standard mode—during camera shake. The feature reduces camera shake so users can shoot smoother movie footage on the move. The cameras also have an HDMI™ output adapter for easily connecting to an HDTV for viewing pictures and movies (HDMI cable required).

Powerful and Stylish

For those seeking a sleek, compact camera, the 10MP TX7 model is just under an inch thin and is slim enough to slip into a pocket or purse.  The 3.5-inch (measured diagonally) high resolution (921K) touch LCD screen offers easy image scroll by simply swiping your finger across the display. The camera’s high-performance Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® 4x optical wide angle 25mm-100mm equivalent zoom lens brings distant subjects closer and Close Focus snaps close-ups in just under a half an inch from the subject.

The DSC-TX7 camera is also compatible with the Party-shot™ (model IPT-DS1) automatic photographer, which pans, tilts, zooms and adjusts composition to capture spontaneous images. Additionally, an embedded touch sensor located on the front edge illuminates when the TX7 camera is attached.  By touching the sensor, the camera goes into the “On-demand shot” mode, which allows users to select the shutter timing without losing the advantage of Party-shot’s built-in intelligence.

To give customers greater choice and enhance the overall customer experience, the TX7 and HX5V cameras feature a memory card slot compatible with both Memory Stick® (PRO Duo™) and SD/SDHC formats. Sony is also expanding its industry leading line of consumer media with the addition of SD/SDHC memory cards.

Additional features found on HX5V and TX7 include iAuto, which detects eight and nine scenes, respectively, and optimizes camera settings and Easy Mode, which simplifies the camera menu. Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization reduces blur without impacting image quality, Face Detection and Smile Shutter™ technology, which captures faces and smiles naturally.

A New Way to Share Photos and Videos Online

These models include Picture Motion Browser (“PMB”) software for viewing, editing, organizing and uploading images to many major video and photo sharing Web sites.

This spring, Sony will launch a new service and a new integration with Facebook® allowing users to easily and quickly share their photos and videos privately with friends and family. The service and the integration will be available as a downloadable update to the “PMB” and “PMB portable” software applications that are embedded with bloggie™ and Cyber-shot cameras and bundled with Handycam® camcorders, bloggie cameras, Cyber-Shot cameras and α cameras. The Facebook integration complements the existing sharing capability with such sites as YouTube™ and Picasa™ Web Albums.

Pricing and Availability

The HX5V camera will be available in black this March for about $350, and the TX7 camera will be available in silver, blue and red this February for about $400. The TransferJet-enabled Memory Stick media will be available in January for about $100, and the station will be available in February for about $150. Pre-sales begin in January.

The cameras, Memory Stick, station, and a range of accessories will be available online at Sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores (www.Sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges and at authorized dealers nationwide.

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Sony Announces first CCD Cameras w/Sweep Panorama Technology

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At CES, Sony has announced two new 14MP Cyber-shot cameras—the DSC-W370 and DSC-W350—with a CCD image sensor that provides the Sweep Panorama mode that we first saw at PMA last year in the Sony DMC-HX1 mid-range camera.

From Sony:
Sony today announced two new 14 MP Cyber-shot® cameras (models DSC-W370 and DSC-W350) with a CCD image sensor that provides the innovative Sweep Panorama™ feature in a slim, compact body, making it easy to get the best shot.

Sony also announced three cameras (models DSC-W330, DSC-W310 and DSC-S2100) that offer a new thin, stylish design with advanced features such as longer zoom and wide-angle lenses, which provide versatility when shooting.

“We’re expanding Sweep Panorama, which has been such a well received feature, to our more affordable models,” said Kelly Davis, director of the Digital Imaging business at Sony Electronics. “Allowing users to capture the impact of a full panoramic scene with an easy to use, practical camera provides a great value to our customers.”

Innovative Sweep Panorama™ Technology

Sweep Panorama mode, first introduced in Sony’s breakthrough Cyber-shot DSC-HX1, DSC-TX1 and DSC-WX1 CMOS models, utilizes a CCD sensor to capture dramatic panoramic scenes. The W370 and W350 cameras shoot images continuously to capture wide landscapes or tall buildings in one easy “press and sweep” motion. They automatically stitch the images together to create one stunning panoramic photo.

The W370 and W350 Cyber-shot models can take up to 243 and 268-degree panorama shots, respectively, in one easy press-and-sweep motion with an image size of 7152 x 1080 (horizontal wide panorama mode).

Compact Design and Rich Technologies

The W370 and W350 cameras are designed for customers who seek Sweep Panorama technology at an affordable price. For those seeking a long zoom and a compact body, the 14 MP DSC-W370 camera has a 7x long zoom lens for capturing far-away subjects, a 3-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally) for scrolling through images, Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization, 720p movie recording capability and HDMI™ output for easily viewing movies on compatible televisions.

For those looking for the ultimate in portability, the W350 is the smallest camera in height and depth in the Sony 2010 line. It has a 2.7-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally) for viewing and sharing photos, a Carl Zeiss® wide angle 26mm equivalent lens for excellent close-up shots and a 4x optical telescopic zoom. With 720p movie recording capability and Sony’s Optical SteadyShot image stabilization on the W350 camera, it helps overcome camera shake when taking photos and videos on the move.

With HD video capability, these cameras record HD movies in 720p high definition MP4 format  for stunning large-screen home movie playback. You can record up to 29 minutes (or up to 2GB file size) in the 720p format.

If sharing with friends and family is your first priority, the 14MP W330 camera has a large 3-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally) that makes viewing images easy.  Additionally, it has a 4x Carl Zeiss lens with a wide angle 26mm equivalent lens.

Designed with size and affordability in mind, the 12MP CCD W310 model has a 2.7-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally) and 4x zoom with wide angle 28mm equivalent lens. For ultimate convenience and simple, straightforward image capture, the 12 MP S2100 model covers your basic camera needs with a 3x zoom, 3-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally), and it is powered by AA batteries.

Auto Intelligence and Easy to Operate

All five cameras include core Sony technologies: Intelligent Auto (iAuto) mode and Easy mode, which recognize scenes, lighting conditions and faces, and adjusts settings resulting in clearer images, faces with more natural skin tone and less blur. They also have Smile Shutter™ technology, which automatically captures a smile.

To give customers greater choice and enhance the overall customer experience, the cameras feature a memory card slot compatible with both Memory Stick® (PRO Duo™) and SD/SDHC formats. Sony is also expanding its industry leading line of consumer media with the addition of SD/SDHC memory cards.

A New Way to Share Photos and Videos Online

These models include Picture Motion Browser (“PMB”) software for viewing, editing, organizing and uploading images to many major video and photo sharing Web sites.

This spring, Sony will launch a new service and a new integration with Facebook® allowing users to easily and quickly share their photos and videos privately with friends and family. The service and the integration will be available as a downloadable update to the “PMB” and “PMB portable” software applications that are embedded with bloggie™ and Cyber-shot cameras and bundled with Handycam® camcorders, bloggie cameras, Cyber-Shot cameras and α cameras. The Facebook integration complements the existing sharing capability with such sites as YouTube™ and Picasa™ Web Albums.

Pricing and Availability

The cameras and a range of accessories will be available online at Sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores (www.Sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges and at authorized dealers nationwide. Presales begin in January.

* The W370 camera will be available in silver, graphite black, green and red this March for about $230.
* The W350 camera will be available in silver, black, pink and blue this January for about $200.
* The W330 camera will be available in silver, black, red and blue this February for about $170.
* The W310 camera will be available in silver, black and pink this March for about $150.
* The S2100 camera will be available in silver, black and orange this February for about $120.

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Check out the New Issue of DP!

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The new issue of Digital Photographer features profiles on top photographers, including renowned night/low-light photographer, Jill Waterman, and fine art photographer, David Julian. The issue also features hands-on reviews of new D-SLRs, compact cameras and camcorders,  including: The Canon Rebel T1i, the Sony A330, the Olympus Stylus Tough-8000, the Sigma DP-2 and the Sony HDR-XR520V. Also, check out reviews of the latest optic swap system from Lensbaby and Nik’s Dfine 2.0 noise-reducing software. Brush up on your understanding of focal length with a Back to Basics article and learn about special effects in video production.

Of course, there are always the columns you love: Digital Insider, Exposure and Inside the Image, which features the work of a DP reader. Learn how your photograph could be featured in the next issue here. We look forward to your feedback on the new issue, and as always, you can catch us on Twitter for up to the minute photo world news and Facebook for photo community discussions.

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Continuing the Discussion: The Future of Point-and-Shoot Cameras

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photo © Stefan Baudy (Flickr creative commons)

UPDATE: In order to get several perspectives on our discussion about the future of point-and-shoot cameras (see original post about the topic below),  I approached Ed Lee, Director of Consumer Imaging Services Group for InfoTrends to get his “insider’s” take on the issue. He had a lot of great insight, and some very explicit views about the digicam VS camera phone questions we raised, which would be interesting to both people in the camera manufacturing business and camera consumers. Here’s what Ed had to say:

“Point and shoots will continue to hold a strong position in the digital camera market. Camera phones will co-exist. While some people will decide to forego a digital camera and just use the one on their phone, others will be inspired by their camera phone photography to go out and buy a digital still camera. As for sophistication, digital still cameras will continue to offer better features than camera phones because they are dedicated devices and do not have to make compromises because of other product constraints. They also continue to work hard at staying one step ahead of camera phones, for instance, digital still cameras offer 14 MP resolution today and camera phones are just getting into the 5 MP range. Digital cameras have a good flash, which when used drains the battery, something that phones cannot afford to happen, if people want to still use the phone function and have a long idle time between charges. Decent 10 MP digital cameras can be purchased for well under $100 now, so in many instances, the up charge to buy a more fully-featured camera phone will far exceed what an entry-level digital camera will cost. So besides the integration feature, some will not see the benefit of paying the extra money. 5 years from now, it may not matter what device you use to capture the image. The key will be what can you do with the image after capture. That is where the real value begins.”

Now we want to hear what you have to say about this topic. Do you think Ed Lee’s predictions are correct? Do you see yourself continuing to use digital point-and-shoot cameras down the road even as your cell phone’s camera advances it’s technology? Comment below or join the discussion at the DP Facebook Page.

Original Post:

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As fans of both the art of photography and the complex tools that help us to capture images–namely cameras–we at Digital Photographer would like to pose a question:

What do you think the future holds for point-and-shoot cameras, when it’s possible that in, say, five years time the cameras built into cell phones will meet the level of shooting sophistication of most consumer level digicams? Will point-and-shoot digital cameras as we know them today become irrelevant or, perhaps, extinct?

So called “instant cameras” have been around on the consumer level since 1948, when the Polaroid Model 95 went on sale (ref. The Impossible Project); and beginning in 1963, the Kodak Instamatic began to make photography accessible to the masses.

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As it stands today, there are over 130 new compact digital cameras on the market, offered by Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Samsung, Fujifilm and Kodak, and each of these manufacturers seems to be in a never-ending race to crank out more. Meanwhile, most anyone who owns an Apple iPhone (like myself) would agree that the image quality of the camera feature in the phone is inferior to even the lowest level point-and-shoot digital camera on the market. Sure, the 3MP camera boasts a built-in auto focus (iPhone 3GS) and a tap-induced digital zoom, but most digital cameras being produced by the above named companies come standard with, at the very least, an 8MP image sensor and 3x optical zoom. Oh, and there’s also always a little helpful feature called flash, which the iPhone still lacks. But the iPhone does record video as well as stills–something that a large number of the current point-and-shoot cameras on the market cannot also claim.

Join the discussion by posting a comment with your thoughts here, or at the DP page on Facebook.

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