Sony announces digital camera with touch-screen focusing

San Diego (CA) - Sony preps a new tweak for its Cybershot digital still camera series. The DSC-N1 comes with a "Free Spot Focus," which lets users focus on objects with a simple tap on the LCD screen. The camera will also integrate enough internal memory to house a photo album with up to 500 pictures.

While the photo album is an interesting feature, we would expect more consumers to be more drawn to the touch sensitive 3.0" LCD screen that powers many of the user menus and functions. The screen also helps in focusing and in addition to auto focus, the Cybershot N1 has a unique "Free Spot Focus" that lets users tap on the LCD screen to make the camera focus on an object.

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Sony Cybershot DSC-N1

The LCD monitor works in conjunction with the "Pocket Album" feature. 26 MByte of internal memory will hold up to 500 640 X 480 pixel copies of all pictures taken. These copies can be played back in an on-camera picture album, and will be kept in the memory even after the main pictures are dumped from the removable Memory Stick Pro/Duo - which by the way are not included in the camera package that will be available by mid-November for around $500.

Like other Sony digital cameras, the DSC-N1 has a Carl Zeiss lens with a 3x Optical and a 6x digital zoom. The shutter speed will range from 30 seconds to 1/1000 of a second in 46 steps. Focal length covers 7.9 to 2.7 mm (38 - 144 mm equivalent on a 35 mm camera) and an aperture of f2.8 to 5.4. According to the product specification page, the battery carries enough capacity for around 270 shots.