Sony's new T500 is the first Cyber-shot camera that captures HD movie clips with stereo sound.

The HD movie mode allows continuous shooting time of up to 10 minutes per clip. Movie files are recorded in MPEG4 AVC/H.264 format, which the company says offers great HD picture quality while keeping files down to a minimum size.

The camera can switch instantly between still and movie modes at the touch of a button on top of the model. You can capture still images at 1280-x-720-pixels without interrupting video shooting.

The Carl Zeiss lens features a new ring-type Zoom button, allowing adjustment throughout the 5x zoom range while you’re shooting movies.

Stills and video clips can be viewed on the widescreen 3.5-inch touchscreen LCD, which allows spot focus by touching areas of the screen. Touching a face turns on Face Detection, ensuring that people’s faces in the scene are in sharp focus and with perfect exposure. Up to eight faces can be tracked at a time, according to Sony.

Optical SteadyShot is teamed with an improved High Sensitivity mode to allow faster shutter speeds. This ‘Dual Anti-blur’ solution is complemented by Clear RAW Noise Reduction for clean, natural images, even in low-light conditions like at parties or twilight.

The Cyber-shot T500 will be available from October 2008, in a choice of black, silver and red finishes.