Carl Zeiss today announced that its Camera Lens Division will extend their successful collaboration with Sony Corporation for a further 5 years. Taking full advantages of their competence both companies agreed to cooperate even closer in developing and commercializing new imaging devices in the future.
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Press release from Sony, March 3rd 2009 – important bits highlighted in bold, uncalled-for comments in italics:
The Cyber-shot HX1 by Sony, teams stunning picture quality, lightning-fast shooting and powerful creative features in a stylish, supremely easy to use camera. The new flagship of the Cyber-shot range showcases a range of sophisticated image sensing, optical and processing technologies that offer unrivalled creative possibilities.
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Sony has announced another release of Cyber-shot pocket cameras, without giving any price indications at this stage. 720p movie mode is present in the three of the camera types, and a new GPS tracking unit is separate, not built-in.
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You can download a Sony press conference video from IFA Berlin show via this link:
It is mainly about HDTV Motionflow, LED technology, Reader, OLED (Organic LED) screens, Handycam, the electronic Picture Frame, something called Sountina which appears to radiate sound from a column speaker – etc. It features Fujio Nishida, President of Sony Europe; Chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer making jokes which fell on a rather mirthless set of ears;
“We continue to grow our enormous digital imaging business where we maintain leading market share”, said Stringer, before lauding the success of Blu-Ray (something which was by no means sure until recently).
He promised network connectivity in 90% of devices in 2010 – which means, perhaps, that DSLRs will have built-in WiFi, just to keep up the count towards a target figure. But he also refers to “electronic” devices in this context, and the Alpha division appears to be a separate category.
He said that Sony has committed to doubling its revenue from countries like China, Russia, Brazil and the Eastern European zone. “The global economic downturn is beginning to have an effect on Western Europe”, he told the journalists, but the east was showing a 25% growth. Eastern Europe and Russia show a 60% sales increase for Sony. Poland showed a 65% sales increase in the first four months of 2008. In Turkey, Sony has seen 43 months of consecutive growth, increasing by 500% in five years.
Nishida said that new products would be launched in Europe on the same date as in Japan. These include the OLED TV XEL-1 which is only 3mm deep. The Bravia EX-1 HDTV will receive its HD content via a wireless link from a media box sited up to 30 metres away. It mounts on the wall like a picture, without wires except power supply.
He said that the 50Hz frame rate of TVs was now old-fashioned and too slow for fast-moving sports. Motionflow introduced 100Hz in March 2007. The new Bravia 200Hz Z-4500 has four times the frame rate of standard HDTV, using algorithms to interpolate between the frames of the original. It will be on sale by Christmas.
New LED TVs would use side-injected illumination instead of a lighting panel placed behind the picture elements. The Bravia ZX-1, only 9.9mm thick, is the world’s slimmest TV and uses this new illumination method. It will also go on sale in Europe in December.
After discussing Blu-Ray, Nishida introduced the Sony T-500 with 10.1 megapixel still camera shooting 720p HDTV video clips, which goes on sale from this month. He then moved on to Walkman S-series players including photo storage, and mood sensing – it will pick the right music to play according to your activity level.
The Sony Reader was explained in the conference by Nishida – it is an electronic book reading device – and its first launch will be in the UK this week, followed by rollout in other countries. Nishida-san concluded with discussion of built-in wireless networking and control connectivity, including reference to Cybershot cameras but not to the Alpha range.
Simon McDowell, of Sony Entertainment Europe, spoke mainly about Blu-Ray and home entertainment. The most spooky thing is a new Blu-Ray based feature, BDLive, which lets you upload a snapshot of yourself into a movie and appear in the film…
Fujio Nishida concluded the press conference by announcing football sponsorship of the EUFA Champions League – a new signing to continue for a further 3 years up to 2012. “We have some exciting technology developments planned for football in the coming months”, he said.
BDLive to let the viewer in as a substitute?