New Sony pocket Cyber-shot U range includes waterproof digital camera

Comment: To get things wet normally meant encasing them in the biggest plastic bubble ever, now it seems Sony have managed to do that without the need for the plastic bubble. The DSC-U60 works to a depth of 1.5 metres making this ideal for around a swallow pool as long as you don't take it into the deep end. Both the new cameras are 2 mega pxiel making them aimed at the entry level or the fun market, and judging by the design they will fit in nicely.

Sony UK has announced two pocket digital still cameras in its Cyber-shot U range that make the digital still camera an essential lifestyle accessory. First is the DSC-U30, one of the most compact digital still cameras available in its class and the successor to the popular DSC-U20, a model which introduced the concept of the digital still camera as a pocket accessory. Next, the sporty DSC-U60 is the first waterproof pocket digital still camera in the Cyber-shot U range. A host of new features for both models include a hybrid LCD screen, more scene selection functions, enlarged playback and compatibility with Memory Stick PRO. Offering sleek styling and photo quality 2.0 megapixel resolution these cameras are exceptionally versatile.

“You really can have your life in your pocket with these cameras,” says Adam Williams, Product Manager for Digital Still Cameras, Sony UK. “You can take them anywhere and take shots that are spontaneous and of excellent quality, without having to be concerned about setting up the camera or whether the conditions are right. And with the DSC-U60, you no longer have to stay out of the water to capture precious moments.”

DSC-U60 has all of the qualities of the DSC-U30 in a sporty chassis, and can take shots in water of up to 1.5 metres deep. It is the ideal holiday digital still camera to use on the beach, snowboarding, or by the pool.

The DSC-U30 is ultra-compact and ultra-stylish and is available in four colours - silver, champagne gold, sapphire blue and graphite. A reflective disc on the sliding lens cover is cleverly designed to act as a mirror, helping you to easily frame self-portraits.

New features on both models make it easy to take great shots in challenging conditions. For example in Playback Mode, Enlarged Playback allows you to check a shot's focus immediately after it has been taken by enlarging the centre of the image to either 2.5 or 5 times its actual size, a feature which is particularly useful in low light conditions.

New scene settings, Twilight and Active Outdoor, add to the existing Soft Snap, Illumination Snap and Vivid Nature. The underwater setting on the DSC-U60 makes it easy to shoot when you are having fun in the water without having to worry about the camera set up.

Sony has applied ingenious technology to create a new Hybrid LCD screen that performs as well in bright, outdoor conditions as in indoor or lower light environments. The one-inch, 64,000 pixel screen uses both transmitted and reflected light to maintain clarity, so that you can get great shots whatever the conditions.

The cameras provide impressive storage capabilities and image transfer is easy, making them an ideal accessory for the connected lifestyle. Both are Memory Stick PRO compatible, giving up to 1GB storage and cable-free transfer to other Memory Stick PRO compatible devices. Both are also USB-equipped and are supplied with software that provides direct image transfer to a PC; this can be done even without the camera batteries, as the USB cable provides power for the transfer. The supplied Image transfer software, which is easily installed on a PC, automatically downloads the images and sorts them by date to user specified folders.

The DSC-U30 and DSC-U60 will be available from July.