Sony releases digital camera with ‘world first’ smile detector

By James Wells in Berlin

BERLIN, GERMANY: Sony has released a new Cyber-Shot digital still camera with a ‘smile shutter’ that takes a photo when someone is smiling into the lens.

Sony claims this is a world first feature and will be available on the new T200 and T70 models which feature touch-sensitive LCDs with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratios measuring 3.5-inches and 3-inches respectively.

Sony Europe president, Fujio Nishida, released the camera during his keynote presentation at the 2007 IFA show in Berlin this week.

The auto shutter system is capable of identifying when someone smiles and will immediately take a shot without the user needing to press the shutter.

“This is our flagship digital still camera — the first ever Cyber shot with full 16:9 widescreen touch screen which boasts the so-called Smile Shutter, which will automatically take a picture when someone is smiling, like me,” Nishida said.

“Furthermore it features full HD image display on Bravia TVs, the possibility of enjoying digital photos in an HD living room environment is increasingly becoming popular and appreciated by consumers.”

According to Sony, if there are several people in the frame, the shutter only fires when the main subject — as selected using the touchscreen — smiles.

A sequence of up to six smiling shots can be taken without needing to manually press the shutter. So you can always have pictures of children or adults looking happy in every shot!

The products also feature a ‘Face Detection’ capability which automatically adjusts exposure, flash and other settings.

Tapping any point on the screen immediately locks focus on that part of the image, while touching a face on screen turns on Face Detection. During playback, a brief touch anywhere on screen zooms in on that part of the image for quick checking.

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