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CES 2004 (Consumer Electronic Show)

By Terry Currier

The 2004 CES (Consumer Electronic Show) ran January 8-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Did I get to see everything there, no. Even going for three days, I could not see everything. At least I could not see and get information on everything. Here are some of the things I found interesting. This is my third part of a series. In this part there is information about ImageScape (a gathering of press people for showing of products related to digital imaging).

To see information about Computers click here for Storage for Digital Cameras for DVDs /Portable players/home use (TV recording)/a few unique recorders for Portable Media/TV/USB TV/Speakers for Video Projectors

Digital Cameras (video & still)

Canon www.usa.canon.comCanon’s digital camcorders ZR80, ZR85 and ZR9
Canon’s three new digital camcorders ZR80, ZR85 and ZR90 will be in stores beginning in March for estimated selling prices of $399, $499 and $599. Enhancements found in the digital camcorders include: Skin Detail Mode that automatically recognizes and softens skin tones when shooting close-ups of people; Extended battery life; End Search feature that locates the end of the last recorded scene with one touch of the button; record Motion JPEG – short movie clips saved to the SD Memory card for easy email attachment. Optical zoom is 18x on the ZR80, 20x on the ZR85 and 22x on the ZR90 models. Factor in the 360x digital zoom on ZR80 model, the 400x digital zoom on the ZR85 unit and the 440x digital zoom on the ZR90 model. The camcorders feature a 2.5” LCD Screen, a Color Viewfinder, an IEEE 1394 terminal, an assortment of digital effects and fades, and a seven setting Program AE function that offers a choice of Easy Recording, Auto, Sports, Portraits, Sand & Snow, Low-Light and Night shooting modes.

Concord Camera www.concord-camera.comConcord Eye-Q 2040 & Eye-Q 3341
FFeaturing a 3.1 Megapixel CCD the Concord Eye-Q 3341z has a 3X optical/4X digital zoom. Their Eye-Q 4360z is a 4 Megapixel digital camera with 3x optical and 6x digital zoom. Both comes with 16 MB of internal memory and use SD memory. They can record AVI video clips at 320x240 resolution at 30 frames per second. The 4360z has a burst speed of 7 images at 3 images per second. It has macro focus of 10cm, auto and user selectable white balance and preset exposure modes. The Concord Eye-Q 2040 is a 2.0 megapixels, (1600 x 1200 Resolution), with 4x digital zoom. It also uses SD memory. What I liked about it was the rubberized feel, smooth yet easy to grip.

Hitachi www.hitachi.us UltraVision Digital DZ-MV550A
Hitachi showed the UltraVision Digital® DZ-MV550A, and DZ-MV580A camcorders. They comes with light chassis with a comfortable grip and a new Quick Mode menu function that allows for easier navigation through the camcorder's menu system. Additionally, the DZ-MV580A adds an optional 16x9 widescreen filming format for DVD-RAM recording. The camcorders can record digital still photos directly to the DVD-RAM disc or to a MultiMediaCard (MMC) or Secure Digital (SD) flash memory card. Users can select between increased recording quality or extended recording time. The camcorder's DVD-R function shoots approximately 30 minutes of high quality DVD video in fine mode or approximately 60 minutes in standard mode. The DVD-RAM discs offer in-camera editing. This allows consumers to shuffle scenes and add special transition effects including fades and wipes without the need for a computer

Kodak www.kodak.comKodak EASYSHARE LS743 & LS753
The EASYSHARE LS743 camera boasts a 4 MP resolution and 16 megabytes (MB) of internal memory, allowing photo enlargements up to 20 x 30 inches. The EASYSHARE LS753 camera goes one step further with 5 MP resolution and 32 MB of internal memory. They have large 1.8-inch high-resolution indoor/outdoor LCD screens. The Share button also allows individuals to immediately select photos for printing and even e-mailing, with up to 32 e-mail addresses stored in the cameras' memory. Both feature a new, professional-quality SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH C-VARIOGON 2.8X compact optical zoom lens and the new KODAK Color Science image processing chip for phenomenal image quality with rich color, accurate skin tones, low noise and precise exposure. TV-resolution (VGA) movie capture and playback capability, multiple sound themes, and a SD card/MMC memory expansion slot.

Kyocera www.kyoceraimaging.com Kyocera SL300-R Digital Camera
The Finecam SL300R impressed me. It is a 3.17 megapixel camera that is small (3.9”W x 2.5”H x 6”D ) light and yet easy to work with. Using what they call RTUNE Image Processing Technology, from the time you turn it on and it is ready for you to take a picture, is less than a second. With a shutter lag time of .07 second it can capture 3.5 frames per second. It has a 3x optical zoom, and uses SD memory. Focus is Wide, Spot, Manual Macro, and Infinity. The swivel lens/flash body rotates for the hard to capture/view shots. Shoots movies at 30 frames per second up to the limit of the card.

Olympus www.olympusamerica.comOlympus D-560
At 3.2 MP the D-560 is a compact digital camera with 3x optical zoom, and 3.3x digital zoom. Choose between Portrait, Self-portrait, Landscape, and Night Scene mode for desired results or mix it up and record a mini movie via QuickTime® movie mode. PictBridge™ technology lets you print directly from any PictBridge-enabled printer. It uses the Olympus brand xD-Picture Card. It can take panoramic pictures.

Norcent www.norcent.netNorcent 4800 4 megapixel digital camera
A 4 MP digital camera the Norcent 4800Z has a 3x optical zoom lens. The LCD panel is 1.5" TFT,  (110,000pixels), comes with build in 16MB flash memory, and uses SD memory. Preview mode has a 4x digital zoom. The Norcent 5000Z is a 5MP digital camera with the same features as the 4800Z.

PENTAX www.pentaxusa.comPentax Optio 33LF digital camera
PENTAX’s new 3.2MP Optio33LF digital camera comes with an LCD monitor that swivels 180 degrees horizontally and up to 270 degrees vertically. Features include a movie mode to record video, a variety of picture and shooting modes, 12 MB of internal memory, and built-in auto flash. It has a 3x optical zoom lens that combines with a 2.7x digital zoom for a total zooming capacity of 8.1X zoom. Macro mode lets you capture images as close as 0.33 ft (0.1m). There are seven picture modes including Portrait, Self-portrait, Flower, Sunset, Landscape, Surf, and Snow. Simple selection of Movie mode allows movie files without sound to be recorded with durations from one second to 30 seconds for MultiMediaCard use, or up to available memory card capacity for SD memory card use.  The video files are recorded with the clarity of 320 x 240 pixels in AVI format.

Philips www.philips.comPhilips Key Ring camera
Philips Electronics' Key Ring digital camcorder (KEY07) serves as a digital camera, with 640x480 resolution. Operation of the camcorder is simple with its one button control, direct USB plug and play, and direct battery recharge through the USB. For added convenience, the Key Ring allows users to carry data files with them for easy transfer. Available in retail May 2004 at a suggested retail price of $64.00. With 64MB users can take  up to 400 1.3 Mega pixel quality pictures, or store and carry data files equal to 44 floppy disks. Their KEY019 can do 80 minutes of continuous MPEG4 video recording, and digital camera in addition to its camcorder functionality at 2.0 mega pixels.

Sanyo www.sanyo.com Sanyo FVD-C1 camcorder and the VPC-J1 3.2 digital still camera
Completely tapeless the FVD-C1 records onto a SD Memory Card. Records DVD-like quality full-motion video (up to 30 minutes on included 512 Megabyte SD Memory Card; up to 1 hour on forthcoming 1 Gigabyte SD Card.) It will take 3.2 megapixel still pictures. Their 3.2 Megapixel CCD VPC-J1 Xacti has something to say. The talking navigation menu system keeps you informed of camera status and talks you through camera menus with a recorded voice. The color LCD monitor is 1.6", 2.8x inner optical zoom, digital zoom is 4x. Video recording is VGA (640x480) resolution w/audio at 15/30 fps. SD Card / Multimedia Card compatible.

Sharp www.sharpusa.comSharp VLZ800 camcorder
Sharp introduced the VL-Z500 and VL-Z800 models. They feature a color 2.5 inch CG Silicon LCD for views under all lighting conditions, which can be turned 240 degrees. They have a 10x optical zoom with a 700x digital zoom. The battery will last for 2 hours. The VL-Z800 can take 1.33 megapixel digital stills, and can record in 16:9 widescreen format. Comes with digital image stabilization, quick review and return, edit and search ability. There is a SD card slot. Connects with USB, or iLink. It will weigh only 1.07 pounds without the battery. Available in April 2004

Toshiba www.toshiba.comToshiba PDR-4300 & PDR-5300
The new PDR-4300 is a four megapixel digital camera with 2.8x optical and 2.2x digital zoom. The lens is an all-glass f-2.9 with a 35mm focal range of 35mm to 100mm. The lens is designed for use with conversion lenses and filters from Tiffen. Shutter speed is 1/2 -1/1000 second. It will record video at 16 fps without audio at 320x240. Their PDR-5300 is a 5.0 megapixel camera with 3x optical and 4x digital zoom. It records video at 320x240. Both use SD memory.

Veo www.veo.com Veo Photo Traveler 130S
Veo showed the Photo Traveler 130S™ a 1.3 megapixel camera designed to utilize Secure Digital IO™ (SDIO) card slots on select handheld devices. It  has standardized JPEG encoding, which allows users to easily transfer photos between devices or print 3"x5" photos directly from their handheld. The lens design features a 180 degree swivel lens. Their Wireless Observer uses 802.11b and can be placed up to 300 feet from any WiFi access point. Both have 640x480 resolution.

Vivitar www.vivitar.comVivitar VIVICAM 4000 & MagnaCam
The VIVICAM 4000 digital camera is a compact 6.36 megapixel with 3x Optical Zoom for $600. Available May, 2004 it’s shutter speeds is from 8-1/1500 second. The macro function allows images to be made at distances as close as 4 inches. The LCD display is a 2.2” color TFT. Video clips may be recorded at either 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 resolution with sound. The ViviCam 3935 is a 5.25MP digital camera with 3x optical zoom and movie-clip capability. It has 11 MB of internal memory. Maximum resolution of 2560 x 1920 for still-images or 320 x 240 for movie clips with audio. Both cameras use SD memory cards. Just for the fun of it look at the MagnaCam 10x25x1Compact Binoculars with built in digital camera. It has 10x magnification in a lightweight and compact binocular with the added benefit of being able to photograph your images and transfer still images, or movie clips to your PC.

Accessory For Digital Cameras

 Epson www.epson.com Epson P-1000
The Epson P-1000 has a 10 GB hard drive and can print directly to select Epson printers. With it users can simply take their CompactFlash Type I and II, IBM Microdrive™, Memory Stick®, Smart Media™, and Secure Digital, pop it into the unit to download and print the images. It has a 3.8" LCD high resolution screen to display up to 262,144 colors. The user can also zoom in and rotate images to inspect them closely. Users can even play back the images as a slideshow for viewing and sharing quickly, and easily. If the user wants to share images on an even bigger screen, the photo viewer has a video interface--NTSC or PAL--that can connect directly to a television, monitor or projector with video input. .

MediaGear www.mymediagear.comMediaGear Flash-HD 40GB
For storage the MediaGear Flash-HD 40GB drive lets you copy your images from any Flash Media to it. It reads CompactFlash Type I and II, IBM Microdrive, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Smart Media, Secure Digital (SD), MultiMediaCard (MMC), and eXtreme Digital (xD). It works with USB 2.0. Simply put the media in the appropriate slot, press the button, and your images are copied to the hard drive. The 40GB is a pocket size with a suggested retail price of $300. They also have a desktop model with 120GB, and the SRP for it is $250.

Norazza www.norazza.comNorazza Ape Case for protecting camera and equipment
Norazza makes Digital Cleaning Kits that can be used to maintain digital cameras (and other things) to keep them working in top condition. It contains cleaning cards that clean and polish all connectors, along with brushes and swabs for cleaning hard to reach areas. They also make what they call Ape Cases, which offer beefed-up protection for cameras and accessories. They are made with nylon and well padded to help protect that investment you made in the camera.

Pacific Digital www.PacificDigital.comPacific Digital MemoryFrame
New digital products include Wireless MemoryFrame™. A stand-alone, 80-image, stereo-sound, electronic photo album. Transfer photos wirelessly from a PC over 802.11b, or from a digital camera, or card-reader over USB directly into it. The images are displayed on a 8x10 inch TFT flat screen LCD screen. Comes with software that allows users to add captions, stereo sound and special effects to slideshows. They also have a 5x7 inch version.

ImageScape

ImageScape is a gathering of press people for showing of products related to digital imaging. I enjoy it because they have a panel of industry experts who gives their opinions of where technology is going. The following is some of the information I gathered there.
There are almost 70 million digital cameras in use. Digital cameras are now out selling film camera. Camera phones are limited by users not able to send the pictures to phones other than their own providers. To get pictures to others they upload to websites for others to see there. They expect camera phones sales to explode in the future, much like they are in Japan. They said the average person gets 22 photo emails a month. For those that don’t get any, I think my nieces are making up for you by sending so many to me.
Some of the comments giving by digital camera users that are sore spots include;

Storage issues for digital camera owners

Favorite way to share photos

Users comment on-line picture albums are great. They like the ease of showing them on TV. They do feel that the industry needs to prepare the user, for what really needs to be done before being able to print, or store images.


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