Sony Establishes a New Class of High-End Digital Camera

Sep 08, 2005, 01:00 ET from Sony Electronics Inc.

    SAN DIEGO, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony intends to create a new benchmark
 in digital photography with the introduction of its high-end Cyber-shot(R)
 DSC-R1 camera.
     The Cyber-shot(R) R1 camera is the world's first integrated lens digital
 still camera to combine a professional-grade, 10.3-megapixel image sensor and
 the flexibility of live preview while shooting.  With its ultra-wide Carl
 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* zoom lens (24mm - 120mm) and free-angle, two-inch LCD,
 the Cyber-shot R1 brings professional level imaging performance to mainstream
     "The R1 represents a breakthrough in digital camera technology and
 construction," said James Neal, director for digital imaging products at Sony
 Electronics.  "You can grab this camera and go, confident that you will be
 prepared for a wide range of shooting situations.  Its many convenience
 features and exceptional performance can not easily be matched with a typical
 consumer-level digital SLR."
                               A Class of Its Own
     Photo enthusiasts know that image sensor size is one of the most important
 influences on picture quality.  Professional-grade image sensors, sometimes
 referred to as advanced photo system (APS) or APS-class, are many times the
 size of compact sensors used in point-and-shoot cameras; large sensors deliver
 extraordinary resolution, high sensitivity to light, and lower image noise or
 graininess for exceptional pictures.  At 10.3 megapixels, the R1's sensor
 offers one of the highest resolutions available in the APS class.
     Unlike digital SLRs, the Cyber-shot R1 unit's sensor allows for a "live"
 preview thanks to Sony Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS)
 technology.  Until now, the extraordinary power consumption of these large
 sensors has limited their operation to image capture only -- unable to support
 the benefit of a live preview.  Sony's distinctive design is employed to
 reduce power consumption, as well as increase image processing speeds.
     The camera's electronic viewfinder or two-inch LCD lets you evaluate scene
 conditions, such as exposure and how color is rendered before taking a shot.
 Because the R1 camera can preview electronically, using the image sensor
 itself in real-time, framing is always 100% accurate.
                        Built Digital from the Ground Up
     The R1's integrated Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens was carefully crafted to
 take full advantage of the resolution, clarity and color performance of its
 APS-class CMOS image sensor.  Because of the sensor's live preview capability,
 there is no need for the camera to have a traditional "mirror and prism"
 construction common to digital SLRs.  This allows a lens-to-sensor distance of
 as little as 2 mm, optimizing image quality and color accuracy.
     Another benefit of this structure is the ability to incorporate an
 extraordinary wide field of view and zoom range.  The 24 mm wide end of the
 lens is particularly suited for architectural photography, landscapes and
 large-group portraits, while the 120 mm telephoto end is perfect for filling
 the frame with distant subjects.  This is a range not easily matched by any
 other lens for use with cameras using large-scale image sensors.
     Furthermore, no mirror and prism construction means that the R1 is a quiet
 camera, perfect for shooting at a tennis match or in nature without disturbing
                       Get the Shot without the Backache
     The Cyber-shot R1 sports a two-inch, LCD screen that folds flat and
 swivels so you can shoot from nearly any position.  This flexibility allows
 you to get the shots that other cameras miss.  For example, you can hold the
 camera low -- down to the ground -- for eye-level view shots of kids and pets
 without having to bend yourself into a pretzel or crawling on the ground.
                     The Power of Optimal Image Processing
     A 10.3-megapixel camera needs a fast processor.  Sony harnessed the power
 of it Real Imaging Processor(TM) LSI to achieve fast response times, low power
 consumption and clear images.
     The new camera features a one-second shot-to-shot time, three
 frame-per-second burst shooting, and a shutter release time of only
 7.5 milliseconds.  Because it consumes 70 percent less power than Sony's
 previous processing circuitry, the camera has a battery life of up to 500
 shots per charge, which can vary according to use and camera settings.
     For enhanced versatility, Cyber-shot R1 offers three different modes of
 color reproduction: Adobe RGB used for professional graphics and offset color
 printing, Standard sRGB for most computer-based uses, and Vivid sRGB for more
 intense primary colors.
     The camera's user selectable Advanced Gradation Control System (AGCS)
 optimizes image contrast, in order to avoid "blown out" highlights in
 high-contrast scenes and "crushed" blacks in low-contrast ones.  AGCS
 evaluates the distribution of brightness and then automatically applies the
 appropriate gamma curve to achieve better pictures.
     Users will also enjoy the added convenience of storing images onto Memory
 Stick PRO(TM) media, as well as CompactFlash(R) Type I and Type II media or
 Microdrive(R) media.  The camera supports both JPEG and RAW formats, which can
 then be manipulated on a PC using the supplied Sony Image Data Converter SR
     The Cyber-shot R1 camera will be available in mid-November for about
 $1,000 online at, at Sony Style retail stores
 (, and at select authorized dealers nationwide.
 Pre-orders begin online today at
     The new camera is supplied with a NP-FM50 InfoLithium battery, an AC-L15
 adaptor, a USB and video cables, shoulder strap, and CD-ROM software with
 PicturePackage and Image Data Converter SR for RAW.  There are a variety of
 optional accessories (sold separately), including wide angle and telephoto
 conversion lenses, adaptors, filters, tripods, flashes, carry cases, a neck
 strap and a battery.
     Editor's Note:  For additional information about Sony products, your
 readers can call toll-free at (888) 222-SONY, or visit Sony's web site at:  For more information about the Cyber-shot DSC-R1, they can
 visit  Press releases and digital images are available
 for the news media at Sony Electronics' news and information web site at:
      Contact:  Yolanda Hunt-Boes
                Sony Electronics Inc.
                (858) 942-4714
                Joslyn Beloff
                (212) 614-4664

SOURCE Sony Electronics Inc.