Sony's new camera doesn't get the shakes

Sony's latest digital still camera, the DSC-T9, incorporates two anti-blur systems for people who can never seem to take a clear picture.

Sony's latest digital still camera, the DSC-T9, has something for people who can never seem to take a clear picture. The camera incorporates two anti-blur systems: one to compensate for the effect of unsteady hands and one to capture fast moving objects clearly.

Cameras on the market at present with an anti-blur function typically incorporate one or the other system, but the DSC-T9 marks the first time that both have been built into a camera, said Yousuke Aoki, senior manager of Sony's mobile network products marketing division, at a Tokyo news conference on Tuesday.

The first system attempts to compensate for camera shake by moving a lens in time with movement of the camera. Two sensors pick up the movements and transmit the information to a small motor mounted next to the lens that moves it. The system works well but does so at the expense of battery life. However, in Sony's new camera, the energy consumption has been reduced so that up to 240 images can be taken before the battery runs down, the company said.

The second system is useful in preventing blur on a picture that includes fast movement, for example when taking pictures of sports. By increasing the shutter speed, the fast movement is captured clearly. However, a downside of this is that noise is typically introduced into the image. A new noise reduction system in the DSC-T9 keeps this to a minimum, the company said.

By building both systems into the camera, Sony says it is responding to growing demand from consumers for such features. About one third of compact-class digital still cameras on sale in Japan at present include an anti-blur system of some type and that number is growing, the company said.

Other features of the 6-megapixel resolution camera include its rear 2.5-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) panel, which is brighter and can display more colors than competing panels, Sony said. Compared against several competing cameras from other manufacturers, prepared by Sony and on display at the Tokyo news conference, the DSC-T9 did show a clearer, more vivid picture.

The camera is credit-card sized and about 21 millimeters thick. It weighs 159 grams.

The DSC-T9 will go on sale in Japan on Nov. 18 and will cost around YEN 47,000 (AUD$540). It will be launched in Europe, Asia and Australia before the end of the year and in the U.S. in January, said Sony.

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