They say every party has a pooper and that’s why taking pictures of your family can be a drag. A certain girl-child in my passel -o-four is famous for making us all stand around for ages with our cheesiest grins on, while she frowns gloomily. And then she flashes her wickedly adorable smile sparingly and lightning fast, making the picture taker feel like a contestant attempting their luck at a rigged carnival game. Click… miss! Click… too late! Click…better luck next time! Sucker!
No giant stuffed animal prize for you.
All that is about to change since I came home from a Sony Mommy Blogger Event in La Jolla four days ago with Sony’s new Cybershot T2 camera with Smile Shutter Smile Recognition Technology. In plain English this translates to, “takes the picture the very instant the grumpy kid smiles”.
My poor tricky daughter. She had no idea what was about to hit her (see smiling photo below). Call it digital prozac without the side effects. This is big. This is going to save us thousands when she shows her therapist all her childhood pictures. She is actually a very happy kid. But until now there was little photographic evidence.
The Cybershot T2 camera is small as a deck of cards and not much heavier. It is able to recognize multiple faces and distinguish between kids and adults. Touch the screen to choose who you want to put on smile watch, press a button, and the camera does the rest, taking the picture at just the right moment. How is this even possible? I have absolutely no idea. “Complicated algorithm” was about all I could pry loose from the Sony folks. They hide their secrets even better than a bunch of Carnie folk.
I’ve long been a fan of Sony cameras. My very first camcorder, purchased to document our trip to Russia to adopt our oldest, was a Sony. My husband worked overtime and weekends to pay for that purchase. And then my first digital camera was an early Sony Cybershot. So early that it stored the pictures on floppy disks. Yep, that is how old I am. We set the pics to music on our 8-track (kidding!). Nowadays the 4GB Cybershot holds all your photos right on the camera – thousands of them. No more playing “where’s the memory stick” as you are rushing out the door, or worse, getting to a soccer game or birthday party and realizing you left the stick at home in the computer. If you’ve never experienced such a panic attack, then you are a far more organized mom than me.
The Sony Cybershot T2 takes beautiful snapshots in auto mode and has a list of features a mile long – everything from HD output (so you can watch your beautiful smiling pics on your HDTV) to long battery life, red eye reduction, 10 minutes of mpeg video capability, image stabilization and versatile (but simple) shooting modes such as “soft snap” and landscape settings that allow you to get professional quality pictures from your point and click. The touch screen on the back makes navigation and changing modes, as well as seeing your pictures, a snap. Oh – it’s 8.1 megapixels and has a 3x optical zoom lens. Which worked for me! What I know about mega pixels… well, not much. But I know nice pictures and an easy to use camera.
Sony wanted to make their cameras more appealling to women so they come in cute colors like pink and blue. Which I do like. But I’d also like to see a rubberized camera case, Sony people! I never understand why all the electronics with rubber cases are marketed at men (with terms like “sporty, action, rugged” attached) when it is us moms spending our days in sandpits and at swimming pools. We need a camera that takes a licking (literally, my kids have been known to lick my stuff) and keep on clicking.
For a comprehensive list of features, see the SonyStyle Site. They are offering a free gift box with engraving on the Cybershot T2 now through May 14th. It would make an excellent and smile-worthy Mothers Day present.
Full disclosure here: In a rare stroke of luck, and under the guise of being a “momfluential” (a dubious title indeed) I was happily wined and dined last week at this Mommy Blogger Conference hosted by Sony Electronics. It was held in La Jolla and involved a group of fabulous blogging women, a fabulous hotel in La Jolla, an inspiring seminar on picture taking led by Me Ra Koh (more on her awesome dvds in a later post, but click the link for event pics including one of my baby!) and some fabulous new Sony electronics for me. That’s three fabulouses and an inspiring if you were keeping track. I know. Still pinching myself and I actually think I hate me too. If I wasn’t already such a Sony fan, I’d probably be converted. I can only hope my past history as a Sony Consumer speaks to my integrity as a reviewer! I’ve voted with my dollars.