Feature Design Cyber-shot DSC-G3
[ 2009.3.27 up ]

Picturesque ticket to the world of photo sharing

Discoveries and excitement captured on a digital camera can be shared with others on the spot, using wireless networks and photo-sharing websites. It adds a new dimension of fun to shooting. In the DSC-G3, Sony anticipates this trend and unlocks new potential in cameras. But what will drive the trend is design that wraps key features up in such a stylish package. It may be just the ticket to the next stage in photography.

Satoshi Masamitsu
Satoshi Masamitsu
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Chief Art Director
Noriaki Takagi
Noriaki Takagi
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Producer and Senior Designer
Nobuki Furue
Nobuki Furue
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Interaction Architect

Timely advances in the G series

Masamitsu: Cyber-shot owners should not only enjoy taking photos but also viewing shots later. This goal has led to several enhancements, including larger, higher-resolution LCD screens, greater memory capacity, and slideshows with music. Another way we enjoy cameras is by sharing images, and in 2007, the DSC-G1 was one solution for this. It supported wireless LAN communication and introduced several original features, such as image exchange between cameras and image transmission via a home network.

Two years have passed since then. Wireless networks are now even more pervasive. New photo-sharing websites have been launched one after another, and their user base is growing. This means the G series has greater potential, and its advantages are better than ever. Taking the next step in development, we wanted the DSC-G3 to be easy for anyone to enjoy in all respects, from shooting to uploading your images to a photo-sharing site.

First we upgraded the specs. Uploading utilizes a full-featured browser, and there's a touch-panel screen, for example. The hard part was improving the design. At first glance, the back of the previous model (the DSC-G1) appears to be a simple LCD viewer. To shoot, you slide the camera body right and left to expose the lens and controls. How could we improve on its portability and usability, and the element of pleasant surprise? Refining this concept proved a true test of our designers' ability.

Necessity is sometimes the mother of great design identity

Takagi: The thinner and more compact digital cameras are, generally the harder they are to hold. That was a primary issue we considered when designing the DSC-G3. I suggested that the lens cover could also serve as the grip, after it was slid open. The key was to reinterpret the role of lens covers from protecting the lens to offering a place to hold the camera. This ultimately made the new shape seem even more inevitable, and it's a more practical format for a camera. With this as our starting line in design, so to speak, we decided the internal layout and overall structure.

We also wanted the lens cover to be seamlessly integrated into the camera body. Somehow we had to blur the lines between the lens cover and body. My instincts told me that in this, we would find a distinctive new design identity for the G series, a face unlike that of the T series. It encouraged me to propose this lens cover, which you open by sliding the entire front panel. On back, you see nothing but a large LCD viewer when you're not shooting. It doesn't look like a camera at all. If you get the impression that the opening mechanism isn't obvious, I'd say that's the point.

For a better grip, the back of the front cover has a non-slip, dimpled texture. Instead of a pattern of raised dots, the surface is indented, which was a detail that was important to me. Raised dots would have left a strange sensation on your fingers after you held the camera for a while, so I couldn't compromise. I looked for inspiration in golf club grips and sports car steering wheels, but it certainly wasn't easy to achieve this finish.

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