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Sony shafts Motion JPEG, takes new DSC-T500 high-def with MPEG4 AVC/H.264

MPEG4 AVC/H.264 used to improve video quality on latest Cyber-shot point-and-shoot.

Sony Electronics Inc.

Portable media players aren't the only thing Sony's been up to this month. Following on the DSC-T77 and DSC-T700 launches a couple weeks back, the company's line of Cyber-shot digital camera family grows by one today with the announcement of the DSC-T500.

While it shares many of the hardware specs of the T700 (10.1 megapixels, 3.5-inch touch-screen LCD, optical image stabilization), it sheds the 4GB of internal memory, but adds MPEG4 AVC/H.264 video capable of capturing frames at 30 per second at an HD resolution of 720p. By not using Motion JPEG--pretty much the standard for video capture on still cameras--the T500 can store high-quality clips at a low bitrate with a small file size.

You'll still be able to snap up to three still shots with an onscreen "Photo" button while shooting video as well as use the camera's 5x optical zoom. When you're done, connect the T500 directly to your HDTV via HDMI cable (sold separately) and you can use the built-in slide-show features to give an impromptu playback with effects and music.

The T500 comes only in black with a brushed metal finish and hits stores late September for about $400.