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Toshiba M Series with 10x Zoom

By dpreview staff on Jun 19, 2003 at 08:37 GMT

Toshiba Imaging Systems has recently announced its new M Series range of digital camera, the PDR-M700 and PDR-M500. The PDR-M700 offers a 3.2 megapixel resolution, while the PDR-M500 offers 2.0 megapixels. Both have with 10x Canon optical zoom lenses (35mm equiv. to 35mm - 350mm) and 16Mb SD cards. The PDR-M700 is priced at around US $449 and the PDR-M500 at around US $349.

TOSHIBA UNVEILS NEW M SERIES DIGITAL CAMERAS, COMPANY'S FIRST 10X OPTICAL ZOOM EQUIPPED CAMERAS FEATURE 2.5 INCH LCD SCREEN, STARTS AT $349

NEW YORK, NY, June 17, 2003 (Digital Experience! 2003 Show) - Toshiba Imaging Systems, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today introduced its new M Series -- two multi-featured digital cameras boasting 10X optical zoom Canon® lenses, ultra-bright 2.5-inch LCDs, blazing high-speed continuous shooting, and a long-running AVI video mode with audio.

Both M Series cameras -- the PDR-M500 2.0 megapixel camera (US $349) and the PDR-M700 3.2 megapixel camera (US $449) -- are designed to meet the needs of advanced amateur shutterbugs seeking a variety of high-quality photographic and inventive multimedia requirements. They are expected to ship in early July.

"The PDR-M500 and PDR-M700 represent a number of firsts for Toshiba in digital cameras, including our most powerful telephoto zoom with total 40X zooming capability, our fastest continuous shooting, and our largest LCD screen," said Doug Freck, Vice President and General Manager, Toshiba Imaging Systems. "We are very excited about these cameras as they are a perfect complement to today's digital lifestyle."

Feature Set

Stylish, compact, and feature-rich, the two new cameras are identical in appearance, apart from the color of their housings. The PDR-M500 sports a high-tech silver hue, while the PDR-M700 has a classic champagne tint. The body design mirrors the traditional look and feel of a 35mm SLR camera while showcasing the impressive digital technology.

In the booming category of digital cameras for consumers, M Series cameras are standouts. With their wealth of advanced photographic features and controls, the PDR-M500 and PDR-M700 redefine what a digital camera should be.

  • 10X OPTICAL ZOOM LENS: Both cameras provide for a range of shooting possibilities thanks to a Canon 10X optical zoom lens equivalent to a 35-350mm lens on a 35 mm camera. This up-close feel is greatly enhanced by a 4X digital telephoto mode that, when used in conjunction with the optical zoom, produces a jaw-dropping 40X zooming capability without compromising image clarity from any distance.
  • CONTINUOUS SHOOTING: For action sequences, M Series cameras have a continuous shooting mode that captures up to 4 high-resolution images per second for up to 9 frames (PDR-M500) or 6 frames (PDR-M700) when the shutter button is held down. In addition, the photographer can capture one shot per second for up to 16 seconds (PDR-M500) or 14 seconds (PDR-M700). Unlike other cameras in its class that are troubled by slow shutter response time, M Series cameras achieve optimal speed with their vastly-improved TTL method auto-focus featuring a more sensitive contrast detection system. On the other end of the photographic spectrum, the shutter can be manually set to remain open for up to 16 seconds (0.7, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 seconds) for extended exposure photography, excellent for night-time shooting and fireworks.
  • 2.5 INCH LCD SCREEN: M Series cameras give shutterbugs the really big picture thanks to a 2.5 inch low-temperature poly silicon LCD. The 118K-pixel screen is 60% larger than the LCDs found on most other digital cameras. Moreover, the Toshiba LCD automatically adjusts to ambient lighting conditions for maximum visibility to aid the user in framing and shooting.
  • MANUAL CONTROLS: In addition to its point-and-shoot automatic features, M Series cameras offer a full array of manual controls, empowering the advanced shooter to select ISO sensitivity, exposure control method (Program AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Shutter-Priority AE), exposure compensation (±2.0 EV in 1/3 increments), aperture (F2.8-F8), shutter speeds, white balance, Macro mode, plus flash settings (auto, red eye, forced, suppressed, off and slow sync) for greater personal expression.
  • AEB FUNCTION: As any experienced photographer knows, it may be difficult at times to settle on the exact exposure value while shooting in manual mode. For that reason, M Series cameras have AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) to make several bracket shots of the same subject with different exposure points, and then choose the best exposed shot for saving.
  • VARIABLE RECORDING MODES: Ideal exposure in standard shooting situations is assured with the M Series' six programmed recording modes: portrait, macro, landscape, night mode, sepia, and black and white.
  • MULTIMEDIA: Adding to the camera's appeal is an extended play movie mode with audio that records uninterrupted based on the capacity of the SD™ card, rather than pause each 15 seconds as is the case with lesser-quality cameras. Like digital photos, the AVI videos (320x240, 15 fps) can be stored on an SD memory card, viewed on a TV, burned onto CDs or DVDs, e-mailed to friends or colleagues, posted on a website, or used in multimedia authoring. The cameras are equipped with a terminal so that users can also connect an external microphone for higher audio quality.
  • ADAPTER RING: For the first time in a Toshiba digital camera, an adapter ring will be included standard with the PDR-M500 and PDR-M700 cameras. This 52mm ring allows conversion lens and filters to fit onto the camera lens barrel to enhance versatility.
  • SD MEMORY CARDS: PDR-M500 and PDR-M700 cameras ship with a 16MB SD card capable of holding up to 268 JPEG images. Both cameras support SD card up to 512MB. Exceptionally compact, SD cards do not need a power source to store information and permit fast downloads of images. Individual storage folders can be created inside the SD card to better organize pictures.
  • SOFTWARE: ACD Systems Ltd. ACDSee™ software is a comprehensive solution for downloading, editing, printing and e-mailing photos. The cameras are compatible with Windows® (98/2000/ME/XP) and Apple Macintosh (OS 9.0, OS 10.1.3-10.1.5, 10.2) operating systems.
  • ACCESSORIES: Other accessories included with PDR-M500 and PDR-M700 cameras are: a wireless remote control, a soft case, a wrist strap, a protective lens cap, an instruction manual, ACDSee™ software on a CD, a USB cable, a Video cable (PAL/NTSC), and 4x Alkaline AA batteries.

For more information, U.S. customers can call 1-800-288-1354. Fax, 1-800-640-8674. Or visit Toshiba on the Web at www.dsc.toshiba.com. Consumers are encouraged to visit www.shoptoshiba.com for on-line shopping.

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