Unlike most digital camera manufacturers, Sony was not a major player in the film camera market before beginning to make Sony cameras in digital form. Sony cameras include the company's Cyber-Shot line of digital cameras, which has become very popular. Sony cameras ranked second in digital camera units manufactured in 2007, according to Techno Systems Research's report. Sony manufactured 23.0 million units in 2007, good for a 17.5% market share.
Sony was founded as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo in 1946, which manufactured telecommunications equipment. The company created a paper-based magnetic recording tape in 1950, brand named Sony, and the company became Sony Corporation in 1958.
Sony focused on magnetic recording tape and transistor radios, tape recorders, and TVs. In 1975, Sony launched its one-half inch Betamax VCR for consumers, followed by a portable CD player, called the Discman, in 1984.
The first digital camera from Sony appeared in 1988, the Mavica. It worked with a TV screen display. Sony did not create another digital camera until 1996's release of the company's first Cyber-shot model. In 1998, Sony introduced its first digital camera that made use of the Memory Stick external memory card. Most previous digital cameras had used internal memory.
Sony's global headquarters are in Tokyo, Japan. Sony Corporation of America, which was established in 1960, is loaded in New York City.
Today's Sony Offerings
Sony customers will find Cyber-Shot digital cameras aimed at beginner, intermediate, and advanced users.
- SLR. Advanced SLR (single-lens reflex) digital cameras from Sony will work best for intermediate photographers and advanced beginners, with interchangeable lenses available. Prices range from about $500-$3,000 for the Sony digital SLR models.
- Consumer. Sony offers its Cyber-shot point-and-shoot models with a variety of camera body types and feature sets. Ultra-thin models range in price from about $300-$400. Some larger models offer high resolutions and large zoom lenses, and these more advanced models range in price from $250-$500. Others are basic, low-end models, ranging in price from about $125-$250. Many Cyber-shot models are colorful, giving consumers many options.
- Related products. On the Sony Web site, you can purchase a variety of accessories for Cyber-Shot digital cameras, including batteries, AC adapters, battery chargers, camera cases, interchangeable lenses, external flashes, cabling, memory cards, tripods, and remote controls, among other items.