New ‘timeslicing’ camera from Sony

Slightly OT by way of Yahoo News- Sony just announced the new Cyber-shot M1 camera, same miniscule ‘deck of cards’ footprint and a 5.1 megapixel yield, but this one has a new twist- capturing 5 seconds of QVGA video before and 3 seconds after a still image is shot. I can’t count how many times a ‘candid’ shot I thought was priceless at the time ended up being about a second late when finally downloaded to my desktop- this should address that sort of annoyance rather well. The new MPEG-4 encoder allows for roughly 27 minutes of 30fps VGA video w/stereo audio (assuming 16-bit audio, tho it wasn’t called out specifically in the press release) on an (optional) 512MB Memory Stick Duo. Translated- if you bump up to a 1GB Memory stick, that’s almost an hour’s worth of VGA video on a very usable 5.1mp digital camera, that easily slips into your shirt pocket. This won’t displace my bulletproof Nikons in the short-term, but I’m definitely hoping to see more high-end cameras offering this type of video ‘time-slicing’ feature in the near future- sounds incredibly handy.