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Sony Reveals Cyber-shot W150 and W170 with Improved Smile Detection

Sony today announced two additions to its Cyber-shot W-series – the DSC-W150 and DSC-W170. Both come with a number of improvements and new features, including an Intelligent Scene Recognition that automatically detects and shoots in one of six Scene mod

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******Jan. 23, 2008 - Sony today announced two additions to its Cyber-shot W-series – the DSC-W150 and DSC-W170. Both come with a number of improvements and

new features, including updated Smile Shutter and Face Detection modes that can prioritize the smiles and faces of children or adults and an Intelligent Scene Recognition feature that automatically detects and switches to one of six Scene modes. The W150 will retail for $249 and the W170 will retail for $299. Both will be released in early April.

The two models are nearly identical, with the exception of their megapixel counts – the W150 has 8.1 megapixels, and the W170 has 10.1 megapixels. The W150 is the successor model to the 7.2-megapixel W80, and the W170 is the successor model to the 8.1-megapixel W90. Both feature Sony’s Super SteadyShot anti-blur technology, which combines image stabilization with a high sensitivity ISO 3200 to reduce blur in images.

Both cameras feature a 2.7-inch LCD with an industry-standard 230,000-pixel resolution. The earlier W80 and W90 had smaller, 2.5-inch screens with less resolution, at 115,000 pixels. Both also offer extended 5x optical zooms, up from the 3x optical zoom found on the older models.

The W150 and W170 offer a number of new features Sony is debuting this year. Intelligent Scene Recognition (iSCN) automatically recognizes conditions for Portrait, Portrait and Backlight, Backlight, Twilight Portrait, Handheld Twilight, and Twilight with tripod, without the user having to switch to the specific scene on the mode dial. iSCN takes two photos – one with the Scene mode adjustment, and one without, allowing users to choose which shot they prefer.

Both models have an advanced option in Sony’s R-Range Optimizer mode (DRO), technology borrowed from its Alpha DSLR models. DRO Plus adjusts brightness and contrast for each area of an image, adjusting more areas individually for greater accuracy when shooting in bright light.

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Sony also improves its Smile Shutter and face detection technology on its new W-series models. Smile Shutter can recognize multiple smiles, and can be adjusted so the photo is taken only when a child smiles, and adult smiles, or both. Face detection also has Child and Adult Priority modes, allowing users to choose which faces should be prioritized in focus and exposure.

Sony’s new Easy mode, on the mode dial, offers and even simpler option than Auto mode for users who don’t want to adjust any options before taking pictures. The Easy mode locks out almost all options, and an Auto mode is still available for users who want more control.

Both models also feature semi-manual focus, which allows users to select the approximate distance they are away from their subject. The camera then focuses based on the distance selected. Users can also search for their favorite photos in Playback mode in a date view and a favorites folder. Users can also see photos grouped into categories such as "child’s face," "smile," or "baby’s face."

A new Slide Show mode also offers new music and transition options, as well as a dedicated button on the back of the camera. Slide shows automatically focus in on faces before transition.

The cameras also have in-camera editing options, including unsharp mask, an option to sharpen photos usually found in post-capture editing software like Photoshop. A "Smile" feature also allows users to add smiles to unsmiling subjects in Playback mode.

The cameras feature rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and have HD output for viewing on HDTVs. Both models are available in silver, black, red, and champagne.


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