Photos: Sony hauls cameras, electronics to Vegas

Consumer electronics giant holds a double-header in Las Vegas to show not just its latest camera technology, but also Blu-ray players, home theater systems, and more.


Erica Ogg

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Line show attendees

Sony crammed two events together in Las Vegas this week: its annual product showcase and its press event before the start of the annual PMA International photo/imaging expo. Here members of the press and camera reviewers test out some of Sony's latest offerings in the ballroom of the Paris Las Vegas hotel.
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Sony underwater camera housings

For the scuba-and-snorkel set, Sony announced several new underwater housings for its digital Cyber-shot compact cameras. These housings generally cost about $230 for models that will protect cameras to depths of 132 feet and $75 for the pool-oriented models that work only to a depth of 5 feet.
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Sony's SPK-WB underwater camera housing

The $200 SPK-WB housing for Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W290 camera works at depths of up to 10 feet. It includes a silicone jacket case that you can leave around the camera to protect it from scratches and bangs even when it's not in the underwater housing.
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Sony boombox

The ZS-E5 boombox unveiled here is a bit of an oddity. Instead of slapping on an iPod dock like most of today's portable speaker systems, this little toadstool-esque music box keeps things simple with a CD player, aux input, and AM/FM radio. The CD player works with CD-R/RW discs and includes an LED track number display and large buttons. It will be available in April for $40.
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Sony Bravia W-Series

Usually the Sony Line Show is brimming with brand-new Bravias. This year, however, we saw most of Sony's new TVs at CES. The exception is the W-series of flat panels. The electronics giant showed off the Yahoo Widgets-packing 52-inch KDL-52W5100, 46-inch KDL-46W5100, and 40-inch KDL-40W5100. Neither pricing nor availability beyond "spring" was released.
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Blu-ray home theater system

The company announced two new home-theater-in-a-box systems with built-in Blu-ray players, the BDV-E300 ($600) and BDV-E500W ($800). When they ship in June, these new models will replace the more expensive, current lineup, consisting of the BDV-IS1000 ($1,000) and BDV-IT1000ES ($2,000).

Both of the new systems incorporate full-featured profile 2.0 Blu-ray players that can send the latest BD soundtracks, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio, out over the included speakers (or out an HDMI port via LPCM or bitstream).

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S360 Blu-ray player

Of the two new Blu-ray players announced at the Sony event, this is the lower-end one. The S360 was short on details, except that it will come out this summer for $299.
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It's nothing new--for Sony at least--but the company reliably trotted out its OLED TV technology at the show. Sony is still the only TV maker with an OLED product on the market today.
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OLED side

This is the side view of the impossibly thin OLED prototype from Sony. Without the bezel, you can see that the 0.3 mm prototype display is thinner than a playing card.
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GPS for camera

It's not new, but Sony trotted out its GPS device for cameras that takes note of the place, time, and date of your photos. The GPS-CS3KA has a 15-hour battery and sells for $150.
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S560 Blu-ray

Sony jumps on the wireless standalone Blu-ray player bandwagon by cutting the Ethernet cable on its S560 model. It will be available for $350 starting this summer.
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At PMA, Sony is showing these six prototype lenses, including a supertelephoto and 28-75mm f2.8 zoom, that are geared for full-frame cameras such as Sony's Alpha A900. The others, for the mainstream SLRs with smaller sensors, are a 50mm f1.8, 30mm f2.8 macro, 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 zoom, and 55-200m f4-5.6 zoom.
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Shigeki Ishizuka

Shigeki Ishizuka, president of Sony's digital imaging business group, touted Sony's in-house expertise in camera lenses, image sensors, and image processors. The company started building electronic image sensors in 1978 and, in January, manufactured its 1 billionth, he said.
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DSC-HX1 camera

Sony's new Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 will incorporate several technologies from its Alpha digital SLR products, including a 1/2.4-inch 10-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor (for 9-megapixel images) and a 20X f2.8-5.2 28-560mm-equivalent optically stabilized lens based on the company's higher-quality G series lenses.

In theory, the combination should deliver better photo quality than is generally seen in this class. Price is set at $499 when it ships in mid-April.

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