We've know for some time now that Olympus & Polaroid will be holding a joint press conference live on the web (anytime now in fact), however their press release by PRNewswire came through a little ahead of time. As we'd expected the C-211Z is a 2.1 megapixel, 3 x optical zoom digital camera with the ability to print directly onto Polaroid 500 instant film (10-pack for $9.99). Expected release is October 2000, retail price $799.

It's important to note the wording of the press release "First Digital Printing Camera in North America". That's because FujiFilm produced the first Digital Printing camera (the PR-21, which I've actually had my hands on) but they didn't release it into the US market.

Click for larger image

Notes from the "live webcast" (held at 8.30AM PST)

  • Aimed primarily at Business Users but also designed to be "fun"
  • When asked why not a separate portable printer and smaller camera, answer was "the product was designed to be fun"
  • There are likely to be other joint products from Olympus & Polaroid
  • No optical viewfinder
  • Has a hybrid LCD with a sunlight "window" in the top
  • Printing takes 10-15 seconds
  • It's possible to print thumbnails of either 2x2 or 3x3
  • A print is 2.25" x 2.875", cost per print is around $0.70
  • Prints are waterproof (I'd say water resistant) and have a 30-40 year life
  • Film pack contains batteries for printer portion of camera (thus printing doesn't sap cameras batteries)

Olympus C-211 Zoom specifications

Product Description Digital Camera with 5 cm/2 inch color TFT LCD monitor and captive printer
Dimensions 7" x 5 3/8"x 2 1/2" (h x w x d)
Weight < 500="" grams="" (without="" battery,="" printing="" media="" and="" smartmedia="">
Memory Removable 3V (3.3 V) SmartMedia (SSFDC) Card (2M, 4M, 8M, 16M, 32M, 64MB); one 8MB card including Panorama function is supplied with camera
Number of storable frames with 8MB SmartMedia card 1 (SHQ mode; non-compress) file size 5.6 MB; 5 or more (SHQ mode; compress) file size 1.3MB (max.); 17 or more (HQ mode) file size 470KB (max.); 109 or more (SQ1 mode) file size 75 KB (max.); 37 or more (SQ2 mode) file size 220 KB (max)
Recording system JPEG (DCF), TIFF (non-compress)
Image capture �.7 inch CCD solid-state image pickup; 2.11Mill pixel CMY interlaced CCD
Recording image 1600 x 1200 pixel (SHQ/HQ, SHQ-TIFF mode)640 x 480 pixel (SQ � mode)
Lens 5.4 - 16.2 mm F2.8 - F4.4, 8 elements in 6 groups (equivalent to 35 - 105 mm lens on 35 mm camera) including 2 aspherical lens
Focus TTL system auto focus, one-touch focus (2.5m and infinity)
Work range 20 cm - 80 cm (macro mode), 80 cm -infinity, LCD viewfinder is turned on automatically in macro mode
Digital Tele Digital 2x Tele at any focal length is possible
Photometric system TTL digital ESP metering with imager, spot metering possible
Sensitivity Auto, equivalent to ISO 100, 200 and 400 fix selectable
Exposure control Programmed auto exposure (+/- 2Ev by � Ev steps exposure compensation possible)
Aperature Wide; F2.8 or F8, Tele F4.4 or F8.6 (auto select)
Shutter � - 1/1000 sec mechanical shutter
White balance Full auto TTL, pre-set (daylight, overcast, tungsten light, fluorescent light)
Viewfinder 2" color LCD only
LCD monitor 2 inch color low temperature TFT with 113,500 pixel, backlight bright light with brightness adjustment
Display mode One frame, slide-show mode, index-display mode (4/9 frames), close-up display, file-name
Motion picture mode Format: quick time motion JPEG; HQ: 320 x 240 pixels, 15 frame/sec. up to approx. 15 sec.
Flash mode Manual, pop-up flash; Auto (low & back-light), read-eye reducing, slow synchronization
Flash working range Wide: 0.2 - 4.0 m; Tele: 0.2 - 2.6 m
Sequence mode Takes up to 5 shots in HQ and up to 45 shots in SQ mode; 1.3 shots/sec. (LCD off)
Self timer 12 second delay
Direct printing Built-in Polaroid print engine and captiva media (apprx. 15 sec. printing time)
Outer connector DC input terminal, data input/output terminal (USB), video output terminal (NTSC)
Operating environment Temperature 7-40C (operation)/-20-60C (storage) Humidity 30-90% (operation)/10-90% (storage)
Power supply Main power source: 2 x CR-V3/optional AC adapter or 4x AA alkaline batteries/ 4 x AA NiMH batteries/ 4 x AA Lithium batteries/4 x AA NiCd batteries
Date/Time/Calendar Simultaneous recording onto image data; up to year 2030

Full press release:

Olympus and Polaroid Join Forces To Deliver First Digital Printing Camera in North America

C-211 ZOOM Combines Advanced Digital Image Capture With the Benefits of Instant Print Technology

MELVILLE, N.Y. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus, Inc. and Polaroid Corporation (NYSE: PRD - news) today jointly announced the introduction of the first digital photo printing camera in North America. Leveraging the strengths of both companies, the new C-211 ZOOM will offer filmless digital camera capture with a built-in instant photo printer, creating a new imaging category, "digital photo printing cameras.''

"With the formation of this new strategic alliance, the industry is seeing for the first time a partnership that marries the strengths of two photo industry leaders,'' said Joe Kojima, general manager, Olympus, Inc.

"The partnership of Olympus and Polaroid enables both companies to capitalize on strengths in digital imaging and instant photography to address the needs of the marketplace, while establishing a platform for future mobile technologies,'' said Gary DiCamillo, chairman and CEO, Polaroid Corporation.

Offering the advantages of digital capture along with the unique ability to preview, and then instantly print a digital image, the C-211 ZOOM provides both professional and consumer users a portable, mobile digital imaging solution that allows them to produce digital instant prints on silver halide film, anytime and anywhere, without the use of a computer. In addition, the C-211 ZOOM enables professional users, who still require quality instant prints for documentation purposes, to make the transition to digital imaging without compromising access to instant output. The versatility of the C-211 ZOOM offers users an ideal solution - the ability to capture digital images and the flexibility of printing high-quality photos on-the-spot.

For Professional Use or Photo Fun

The C-211 ZOOM is an ideal tool for use wherever photography is needed and in a wide range of professional applications, including insurance, health care, law enforcement, real estate and construction, to name a few. In addition to professional users, families, children and other photo enthusiasts also will enjoy the benefits of this unique product.

Award-winning Digital Camera Technology

Building on the Olympus tradition of quality digital cameras, the C-211 ZOOM offers a 2.1 megapixel camera with 1600 x 1200 resolution for optimum image quality. Other imaging technologies featured in the digital camera include: 3x optical glass zoom; 2x digital zoom; 2-inch LCD monitor for easy viewing and playback in any condition. The camera offers Tiff and JPEG for still images and QuickTime(TM) Movie modes for maximum flexibility and fun with a digital camera. In addition, the C-211 ZOOM comes with a 8MB SmartMedia(TM) removable memory card allowing for increased levels of picture storage and capture. The C-211 ZOOM also features USB connectivity for both Mac and Windows computers.

True Photographic Printer

Offering the ease-of-use and simplicity of traditional instant photography, the C-211 ZOOM built-in print engine uses a combination of a proprietary print mechanism and Polaroid advanced instant film to provide true, fade-resistant photographic prints in just 15 seconds. The superior optical front end and electronics in the print engine enables the system to optimize an image electronically for printing. The result is a true, continuous tone output that is superior to an inkjet printer and better than other photographic output.

The Olympus C-211 ZOOM will utilize Polaroid 500 film, featuring a new "Polaroid Digital Prints'' branded icon that will appear on the packaging and the camera print engine.

Pricing and Availability

The C-211 ZOOM will be available in the United States through authorized Olympus dealers and select camera and computer electronics stores in October 2000 and has a suggested list price of $799. The C-211 ZOOM will ship with a 8MB SmartMedia removable memory card, Polaroid Type 500 film pack, (2) LB-01 long-life lithium batteries, Camedia Master software, Mac/Windows USB cable, strap, instruction manual and quick start guide. To obtain more information about the C-211 ZOOM, customers may call 800/622-6372 or visit the Olympus Web site at www.olympus.com.

Polaroid 500 instant film is sold as a 10-photo pack and has a U.S. retail price of $9.99. Polaroid film is available through authorized photographic dealers, catalogs and at more than 30,000 retail locations. To obtain more information, customers may call 800/816-2611, ext. D254 or visit the Polaroid Web site at www.polaroidwork.com.