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Sony Announces 10x H3 Compact

Sony today launched a mid-range zoom camera, the Cyber-shot DSC-H3 compact. As an entry-level H camera, sitting under the H9 and H7, the H3 sports a 10x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization. The H3 possesses high definition output and face

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August 21, 2007 – Sony today launched the compact, mid-range zoom Cyber-shot DSC-H3. The 8-megapixel H3 is an entry-level addition to Sony's H series and sits beneath the H7 and H9. It sports a 10x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization, high definition output and face detection abilities. It will retail at $300 when it is available in September.

The 10x optical zoom Sony Cyber-shot H3 follows two 15x optical zoom models, introduced in February. The H3, with its shorter zoom, comes with a notably smaller price tag, costing $100 less than the H7 and nearly $180 less than the H9.

Equipped with a 10x Carl Zeiss optical zoom lens, the Sony H3's focal length measures 6.3-63.0mm, or 38-380mm in 35mm format, with an aperture of f/3.5 to f/4.4. The lens touts optical image stabilization, utilizing Sony’s Super Steady Shot system that promises to reduce blur associated with camera shake. The camera also features digital image stabilization that increases sensitivity up to 3200 ISO for low light shooting.

Aside from the zoom difference, the H3 borrows many features from its predecessors. The Cyber-shot compact still retains the 2.5-inch LCD with 115,000 pixel resolution, like the H7, but lacks the flip-out screen of the H9.

The H3 maintains Sony’s face detection system which automates exposure, focus, flash, and white balance on up to eight faces for portrait photography. The H3 also contains the Bionz processor Sony uses in its Alpha line of digital SLRs and includes in the H9 and H7 compacts. With the processor comes the Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) feature that automatically selects exposure before JPEG compression to produce a broad range of tones.

Users can retouch images with built-in editing functions such as fish-eye effect and cropping. The Cyber-shot camera also includes HD (high definition) output so users can view their photos on HD televisions. The camera can be hooked up to an HDTV with the Sony VMC-HD1 high definition component cable that currently retails for $40.

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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3 accepts lithium-ion batteries and is compatible with MS (Memory Stick) Duo, MS Pro Duo, and MS Pro HG Duo. It will be available in silver and black.

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