The DSC-P9 model is a slim point-and-shoot model aimed at advanced hobbyists. It is slated to go on sale in May, according to a Sony statement.
While its price would have been a bargain a few months ago, it qualifies the new camera as a "premium" product in today's market, said IDC analyst Chris Chute, noting that Eastman Kodak recentlya 4-megapixel camera priced at $399.
"Prices are dropping a little bit faster than we expected," Chute said, with the upshot being that consumers are getting more camera for the $300 to $400 most want to spend.
Two-megapixel cameras accounted for 35 percent of the digital camera market last year, compared with 19 percent for 3-megapixel models, Chute said. He expects the distribution to be nearly even this year, at around 32 percent.
"What's pushing that is the 4-megapixel cameras," he said. "Prices for those cameras have dropped really sharply, and that's pushing the rest of the market."