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*July 31, 2005 – *Sony unveiled their latest T-series model today, adding the Cyber-shot DSC-T5 (spec sheet) to their slim-styled line of Cyber-shot cameras. Marketed as an ideal "next" camera, the fashionable T5 offers a vertically-oriented modification of previous T-series offerings to second and third generation digital camera users. Keeping with a 5.1 megapixel CCD, 3x optical zoom Carl Zeiss Lens and 2.5-inch LCD screen, the aluminum bodied DSC-T5 will be available in red, champagne gold, silver, and black, adding a bit of flare to the holiday camera selection when it hits retail selves early this fall.
James Neal, director of digital imaging products at Sony Electronics introduced the T5 as "the perfect ‘next’ camera for anyone who doesn’t want to miss a moment, whether out on the town or at family gatherings." Neal continued, stating, "it’s the most affordable model in our T series and a great value given its enhanced performance."
Also marketed as Sony’s latest "always with you, always ready" compact camera, the T5 will rely on a 1/2.5-inch 5.1 effective megapixel Super HAD (Hole Accumulation Diode) CCD sensor, Real Imaging Processor, and 5 area multi-point Auto Focus system to help point-and-shooters instantly attain quality images. The vertically-styled T5 is headed by a 3x optical Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar zoom lens, with a variable focal length equivalent to 38-114mm in 35mm format. The lens, constructed of 11 elements in 8 groups (with 3 aspheric elements and 1 prism), is formed on a folding optical path to restrict it from extending beyond the plane of the camera body. The camera’s sliding lens cover helps protect the glass when not in use.
In addition to the increased durability offered by the T5’s sliding lens cover and inner lens tract work, the T5 provides Real Imaging Processing technology to improve shooting and performance speeds (Sony reports the T5’s start-up to capture time at less than a second). The added efficiency of the T5’s Real Imaging Processor power management system also purportedly increases battery life to up to 240 shots per charge with the camera’s InfoLithium® T series battery.
The sleek, vertically-oriented Cyber-shot T5 is designed for pocket-portability, spanning 3 1/16 x 2 3/8 x 13/16 - inches and weighing 3.98 oz. with batteries, media, and wrist strap. The lightweight aluminum design holds a 2.5-inch Clear Photo LCD screen composed of 230,000 pixels. While the T5’s large display does not dwarf the competition in size (as the T1’s oversized screen once did), the 230,000 pixel monitor contains nearly twice the resolution of many competing cameras and is estimated by Sony to be a 40% improvement from previous Cyber-shot models. The LCD’s anti-reflective design is made to reduce glare in direct lighting and optimize visibility when viewed at an angle.
Following many T-series models before it, the DSC-T5 continues the trend towards hybrid functionality, offering advanced video capture in addition to still recording potential. The DSC-T5 contains an MPEG VX Fine movie mode, enabling users to record 640 x 480 MPEG video at 30 frames per second up to the capacity of the card, when using an optional Memory Stick Duo PRO™ media card. A 1-gigabyte Sony Memory Stick card is estimated to hold up to 12 minutes of VGA-quality 640 x 480 MPEG video and 384, 5 megapixel JPEG Fine images. Potential consumers drawn to the camera’s video capture capabilities should likely build an additional $124.99 into the price of the camera to purchase a 1GB Duo Pro card (current price on www.SonyStyle.com). The Cyber-shot DSC-T5 does include 32MB of internal storage, although the video capture will be limited in duration and restricted to a 16.6 fps recording rate without the additional Duo Pro card.
For point-and-shooters, the camera contains 9 preset scene modes to help instantly acclimate the camera to a variety of shooting scenarios. The camera functions on a sensitivity range of ISO 64-400 and can be manually or automatically selected. A customizable white balance setting is not available; however, five color presets are included to accompany the automatic selection. The T5 includes slow shutter noise reduction to improve image quality in compromised lighting and utilizes a multi-pattern metering system with a TTL pre-flash metering for accurate flash exposures, although the illumination range is a bit limited at just 4" – 8’2."
The T5 release comes on the heals of an announcement that Sony would be cutting back their projected profits by 87%, citing decreasing digital camera prices as one reason for the discrepancy. While this may mark a dismal day for Sony partners, the revelation may explain why the chic DSC-T5 enters the market at a far more economic entry-price than previous T-series offerings. Targeting existing digital camera users, the T5 will retail for $350, making the T-series an affordable alternative for many potential point-and-shoot consumers.
The Cyber-shot DSC-T5 will ship with an NP-FT1 InfoLithium battery, BC-CS3 battery charger, multi-connector cable, wrist strap and software CD-ROM, along with a 1 year parts and labor warranty. Silver bodied T5 models will begin shipping in September, while fashion-conscious camera users will have to wait until October to pair the red, black, and champagne gold frames with their wardrobes. Eager consumers can pre-order the T5 beginning on August 1st at www.sony.com/T5.