Sony, always wanting a little more space for its wares to get attention, waited until yesterday to announce its Digital Camera range updates, after other regulars such as Canon and Olympus spilled the beans on Friday at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) Trade show.

The new Daddy of the bunch is the 5.1 Mega Pixel Cybershot DSC-H1. You're spoiled on either side of the camera with a Super HAD CCD 12x optical zoom lens and Super Steady Shot auto-stabiliser to take the picture with the minimum of blurring from shaky hands, and a 2.5” LCD screen monitor to get the best composition before saying cheese. As if that wasn't enough, Macro photography can reach 2cm in depth, and you can record in MPEG VX fine mode in SVGA/640 x 480 at 30fps. We shouldn't be shocked by an estimated $500 price point, but in the UK that shouldn't stay at £500 for long. It isn't long ago that you'd have expected this much technology to cost at least double that price. Onboard memory measures 32Mb to get you started and the most powerful digicam rechargeables available (2500mAh) will take you just over 200 or so pictures before you'll need a new set.

Elsewhere, the S-Series of cameras drop one Mega Pixel to 4.1, and the lenses change back from Sony's own to the well-regarded Carl Zeiss models we're used to seeing in the CyberShot range. The DSC-S60 and -S90, practically identical save for differing LCD Sizes (2in and 2.5in), aren't expected to sport much of a price difference ($/£50 at most- if both models make it to the UK), optical zoom is rated at 3x with optional additional wide/telephoto lens attachments and the same MPEG VX fine recording with audio is available.

There are still some digital refuseniks out there who won't look at anything but film- along with these prices, that's something else we find strange to write. Sony hopes to woo this market with the DSC-S40, the screen of which is chopped down to 1.5in to cut the price all the way down to £/$200, but remains at 4.1MP, so that even the worst photographer in the world can do some zooming and cropping without the pictures turning to blocky rubbish.

These cameras accompany the previously announced DSC-W5 and the DSC-W7 which, as the name suggests, ups the ante to 7.2 Mega pixels while retaining many of the same specs as you can see in the above link.