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A bounty of budget Sony shooters

Sony has announced four new sub-$200 digital cameras.

Sony has some new cameras on the way, and they're all strangely similar. The company just announced the Cyber-shot DSC-W35, W55, S650, and S700, four sub-$200, 7-megapixel point-and-shoot cameras. They're simple, inexpensive models with the standard complement of snapshot features, including a top sensitivity of ISO 1000 for low-light and high-speed shots.

The Cyber-shot DSC-W35 and W55 replace the DSC-W30 and W50 in Sony's Cyber-shot W-series of ultracompact snapshot cameras. At just more than five ounces with battery and memory card, they're light and easily pocketable. They both use 38 to 114mm-equivalent lenses and include more advanced settings and features than the S-series cameras, including contrast adjustments, 64-shot VGA burst modes, included rechargeable batteries, and autofocus lamps. The W35 and W55 are nearly identical save for their displays. The W35 has a 2-inch screen, and the W55 has a 2.5-inch screen.

The Cyber-shot DSC-S650 and S700 replace the S600 in the Cyber-shot S-series of snapshot cameras. At 6 and 7 ounces with batteries and media, they're both simpler and larger than the W-series cameras, and have smaller price tags to match. The S-series cameras have slightly wider 35 to 105mm-equivalent lenses, but they lack the W-series' slow shutter function, contrast adjustment, and autofocus light. They have burst modes, but they can only take three shots at a time.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S650, W35, and W55 ship in February with suggested retail prices of $150, $180, and $200. The DSC-S700 ships in March with a price tag of $180.