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PMA 2001 show report: Section four of four.
In this section we'll cover the following manufacturers:
Samsung had two digital cameras on show, the Digimax 210 (2.1 megapixel, 3x optical zoom) and the Digimax 35 combo digital camera (fixed lens, CMOS, 640 x 480 still, webcam mode).
|Samsung Stand||Digimax 210|
|Digimax 35 digital camera / MP3 player|
External links: Samsung
SanDisk, in a surprise announcement unveiled their 512MB Type I CompactFlash card. This interesting move came shortly after Lexar announced a 512MB Type I card. SanDisk had the card along with a 128 and 192 MB card on display in a cabinet beside the stand.
|SanDisk Stand||SanDisk Compact Flash Cards (inc. 512MB)|
External links: SanDisk
Sanyo had several fully working IDshot IDC-1000Z digital cameras on the stand, this unique 1.5 megapixel digital camera shoots directly onto the 730 MB ID MO discs which allow for up to 1200 images at the highest resolution or nearly 12,000 at VGA, you can also record approx. 20 minutes of video at 320 x 240 @ 30 fps (with audio). Each disc costs little more than US$35 which works out as just 4.7 cents per MB.
|730MB ID MO Disc|
External links: Sanyo
Silicon Film, after many years of press releases and delays have finally brought working product to a trade show. At PMA Silicon Film finally demonstrated their EFS-1 digital film product (along with various add-ons). Essentially the EFS-1 is a digital insert which replaces film in a normal 35mm camera and records the images digitally.
There are still however several limitations, first of all the unit itself has a built-in capacity for 24 images (64MB) after which time it must be inserted into the E-Box and its contents either transferred to a computer or CompactFlash card. The second limitation is that the relatively small 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensor uses only about 30% of the center of the frame, this means that when looking through the viewfinder you have a small field of view (marked out by a supplied rub-on transfer) which equates to a 2.58x focal length multiplier, thus a 28mm lens becomes 72mm. Lastly it only currently supports certain camera models: Nikon F5, F3, N60/N90 and Canon EOS-1N, EOS-A2, EOS-5.
That said, Silicon Film have brought this product to market and we hope are capable of producing similar devices with larger sensors and more internal capacity (or wireless transfer to storage devices). We were lucky enough to be allowed to take a couple of sample images away from the stand, I'll let you decide for yourself.
Shooting an image writes an RAW file onto the EFS-1 which is then decoded by a Photoshop plugin which performs bayer interpolation, white balance, gamma and exposure compensation.
|EFS-1 digital film insert||EFS-1 and its two batteries (good for several hundred shots)|
|EFS-1 being inserted into e-port||e-port (note PCMCIA connector, can be inserted directly into a PCMCIA slot for download)|
|e-port inserted into e-box for "in the field" download onto CompactFlash cards (Type I/II)||EFS-1 and e-box|
|EFS-1 inserted into camera||Photoshop plugin transferring three images|
|Three images transferred and ready for saving||A final Silicon Film image|
External links: Silicon Film
The award for "new kid on the block" must go to SiPix who came to the show aiming to deliver "affordable, entry level" products. The iQuest digital combo camera can shoot digital stills at 640 x 480 (up to 20 images on internal storage) or act as a USB webcam, just $99. Secondly comes the SC-2100 fixed lens 2.11 megapixel digital camera which takes CompactFlash (8MB supplied) and requires 4 AA batteries (AC adapter included), just $279. SiPix also had a small, portable, A6 pocket printer.
|SiPix Stand||iQuest $99 VGA digital camera / webcam|
|SC-2100 $279 2.11 megapixel digital camera|
External links: SiPix
Sony were of course displaying their existing digital cameras along with the seven recently announced digital cameras, three Cybershots: DSC-P30, P50 and S75 along with four Mavicas: FD75, FD87, FD92 and FD97. Probably the most interesting details where the more "photographic" feel of the S75 and the addition of a MemoryStick slot on the FD92 and FD97. Our own review of the S75 will be coming up fairly soon.
The other significant items on the Sony stand were 128MB MemoryStick which we announced for the first time on our news page (see below for a link) and the "Print by Sony" system, this counter-top / kiosk / mini-lab printing system allows for extremely easy and fast high quality dye-sub (coated) prints directly from storage media such as PCMCIA Card, CompactFlash, SmartMedia or MemoryStick as well as CD-ROM or Floppy Disk. The software itself is well designed and integrates well with the touch screen allowing you to carry out even sophisticated tasks such as red-eye removal. Prints appear within seconds and are available in a variety of sizes (depending on attached printers). Print by Sony also supports higher-end input and output devices such as film scanners and large format printers.
|128MB MemoryStick||128MB MemoryStick|
|Mavica FD-92||Mavica FD-97|
|Lots of "hands-on" at the Sony Stand||DSC-P1 waterproof case|
|"Print by Sony" counter-top print system||"Print by Sony" software|
External links: Sony
Toshiba were showing their recently announced PDR-M61 and PDR-M65 along
with the existing PDR-M70 and other cameras in the range. Interestingly
the PDR-M11 and M12 appear to have disappeared.
External links: Toshiba