A quick shot before I started visiting the exhibitors. The room was huge and there were so many products to see, so I got started right away.
Last night (Monday, June 22, 1999), at the DigitalFocus 99 held at the Tribecca Rooftop, in conjunction with MobileFocus 99, I saw dozens of new and innovative digital imaging products. It was hard to see everything in only three hours - I wish the event was longer. Here are some of the products that were there.
Agfa ePhoto 780c digital camera
This inexpensive camera ($199 suggested retail) not only allows you to snap 1024x768 pixel images every second and a half, but uses PhotoGenie image processing to boost pictures to near megapixel quality. Includes 2 Mb SmartMedia card.
Agfa SnapScan Touch flatbed scanner
This $129 landscape oriented scanner offers true 600x1200 dpi optical resolution, USB interface, and cover handles in your choice of iMac-like colors: Translucent blueberry, strawberry, tangerine, grape, lime, green, and opaque gray. Programmable buttons can instantly fire off your scans as emails, faxes, or copies.
Avid Cinema for Windows - video capture/edit device
Capture video from any video source with this USB device, then drag and drop clips onto a timeline. This $249 hardware/software combo from Emmy award winning Avid turns your desktop into a video production studio, complete with animated titles, 70+ special effects, and soundtracks.
Caere PageKeeper Pro screen shot
PageKeeper Pro is a $49 document manager application which enables you to store, organize, use and FIND paper documents (scanned) and electronic files (Word, Powerpoint, Excel and HTML (Web) Pages). PageKeeper automates the tasks involved with setting up a document management system and maintaining it. Some of these automated features are Smart folders (file documents automatically via user-defined criteria), Automatic monitoring of added documents (keeps indexes up to date) and Folder Watch (automatically adds documents into PageKeeper when created). It also includes sophisticated search capabilities to find documents quickly and keeps the documents in their original file format. This product started shipping in June of 1999.
It will be innovative, low cost products like PageKeeper that may help reduce the amount of filing and searching for information that we perform each day. Maybe we could achieve the epaper concept that Dr. Charles M. Geschke talked about in his keynote address on Thursday. PageKeeper Pro runs on Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0.
Canon A5 Zoom digital camera
This compact camera's 2.5x zoom lens, flexible exposure modes, and ability to shoot 15 pictures in 15 seconds makes this $399 camera an agile performer. If the 1024x768 pixel resolution isn't enough, the A5 Zoom offers in-camera StitchAssist for creating multi-shot panoramas.
Club Photo screen shot
This software helps you organize your pictures into albums with picture annotations. You can then post these pictures on line for FREE! (You can also order prints, tee shirts, mugs also from Club Photo). This is a unique e-business.
InFocus portable projector 330
Shipping soon, the InFocus 330 portable projector weighs 4.8 pounds, features XGA resolution, 650 lumens of output and will retail for around $7,000. Most importantly, it has an easy setup for quick, trouble free presentations.
Kodak DC265 digital camera
This digital camera features a 3X zoom with a 1536 x 1024 maximum resolution, uses Compact Flash removable media and retails for $999.. Reviews OnLine will be reviewing this camera in an upcoming issue.
Minolta 3D 1500 captures objects in 3D
Incorporating MetaCreations' MetaFlash technology, this revolutionary digital camera does what no other consumer device can do: Capture objects in 3D. A special lens attachment enables the camera to record both surface colors and 3D contours. You can then publish your objects to the Web where visitors can interact with dynamically lighted, realistic models of your subject.
Mitsubishi S120 LCD Projector
This ten pound projector shoots SVGA and compressed XGA resolution images across the room at 800 ANSI Lumens. And, you can leave your PC at home, if you want. Just drop your presentation (or digital camera pictures) into the S120's PC Card input and the projector becomes a standalone presentation device. Street price: $4995
Nikon D1 digital camera
This camera takes digital photography to a new level. The D1 takes ultra-high definition pictures at 2,012 x 1,314 resolution. Besides the resolution, Nikon has added other useful features, lacking in other digital cameras, such as half second startup and the ability to shoot at 4.5 frames per second in bursts of 21 consecutive shots (fastest of any digital camera). It uses Nikon's 3D matrix metering, tuned for digital technology and a high speed autofocus system. The camera is capable of accepting more that 80 Nikon F lenses (with a focal length magnification of 1.5). Comprehensive exposure control is available with three different metering systems (3D color matrix, center-weighted and spot metering), three different auto exposure modes (programmed, shutter-priority and aperture-priority) along with automatic bracketing functions. Finally a digital camera that borrows from BOTH its parents - the film camera and the portable computer! If that's not enough, the shutter speeds range from 30 seconds to 1/16,000 of a second. Wow, I could have used that feature at the Indy 500 this year! I'm not complaining, I did use a Nikon 900S (See 900S review) and my Sony Mavica MVC-FD7 (See Mavica review) at Indy. The long shutter speeds would be great for low light conditions, something I find hard to get good quality when shooting with digital cameras. OK, the camera will retail for $5,580, but with all these features, it appears to be a no sacrifice digital camera.
Nogatech USB TV - PC/TV input device
Watch TV, listen to FM stereo radio, capture images, or record live video approaching 30fps at 352 x 288 resolution with this $159 USB device. Advanced compression is built into Nogatech's USB TV device which keeps throughput high, while reducing demands on the computer's CPU.
Olympus C2000 digital camera
Olympus, the world leader in film and filmless cameras, showed this 3x zoom camera with a 2.1 megapixel unit with a 1600x1200 resolution, less than 2 second "boot" time, and can take one picture per second. For faster shooting, it has a mode that you can take 4 pictures in 2 seconds. It also features a fast f2.0 lens ( good for lower light situations ) and includes aperture or shutter preferred modes. This is one of the first 2+ megapixel digital cameras built for consumer usage. The C2000 retails for $999 and shipped about 6 weeks ago.. Olympus also announced a USB interface "pod" for Flash Pix memory, which this camera uses.
Reviews OnLine had already been to Sony's Pre-PC Expo event in New York last month and Sony displayed theFD88 Digital camera. (See more Sony coverage).
Sharp VN-EX1U MPEG4 camera (viewer side)
This product was unveiled at PC Expo as the world's first digital video camera with MPEG-4 compression. Its intended use is primarily to make video practical on the Internet. Priced at only $700, this wallet sized camera can shoot and store up to 60 MINUTES of video on a removable 32 Mb SmartMedia cards. An MPEG-4 video is 1/3 the size of an MPEG-1 video, which making download of this camera's files three times faster. The unit comes with a 4 Mb card which can store 7.5 minutes of video. The stunning part is that the unit weighs only 5.2 OUNCES and is 3.2" x 3.5" x 1.7". It features a 1.8" LCD screen, 4X digital zoom and can run for an hour on four alkaline AA batteries. Available now!
Sharp VN-EX1U MPEG4 camera (front)
Here is the opposite side of the same Sharp MPEG-4 digital camera. The video lens pivots in a protective housing that can rotate 270 degrees, so you could take shots overhand, underhand or even record yourself taking shots.
Tektronix Phaser 780
This 12 in x18 in printer can produce tabloid-sized (11 x 17 in) output with edge to edge color (full bleed). The Phaser 780 is for demanding workgroup applications since it features a 4 ppm print speed (11x17), 1200 dpi black and white or 600 dpi color, true PostScript Level 3 support and standard Ethernet and parallel port interfaces. This is the printer that Kinko's has chosen to replace their current printers in 900 locations worldwide.
3Com HomeConnect PC Digital Camera
3Com displayed their recently announced HomeConnect Digital camera. By connecting to the USB port, this PC digital camera offers users the capability to easily videoconference with others. The HomeConnect camera has automatic light compensation, which adjusts for lighting extremes such as direct sunlight or the glow of birthday candles (< 1 lux). The unit is easy to install and comes with NetMeeting for videoconferencing, NetCard Pro for sending dynamic digital postcards through the Internet, PictureWorks Live! for creating, editing and sharing video files and WebCam32 for live Internet video. It has a USB frame rate of up to 60 frames per second at 160x120 pixels. The HomeConnect camera has an estimated street price of $149.95, requires a Pentium 166 MMX computer, a USB port and 32 Mb of RAM. It has a five year limited warranty. Although 3Com says that this camera will work in Windows 95, I have seen few people run USB successfully on anything other than Windows 98 or 2000. (And sometimes even Bill Gates has problems running USB peripherals on Windows 2000. See Spring Comdex 99 Keynote Address.
Toshiba PDR-M4 digital camera
At DigitalFocus, many exhibitors were showing two megapixel cameras. Toshiba's entry in this product category is the PDR-M4. It is a currently shipping model, offers a 1600x1200 maximum resolution and has a 2x zoom. It uses Flash Pix memory and retails for $699.
Toshiba PDR-M5 prototype
Toshiba also displayed a mock up of their PDR-M5 which has features very similar to the shipping Olympus C2000 (under 2 second boot, 3X optical zoom, 1600x1200 and burst rate of 4 pictures in 2 seconds), but it will retail for $799!
Xerox 480cx all-in-one scan/fax/print device
Xerox is demonstrating its $499 (street price) multifunction device for the SOHO market. Besides printing at 8 ppm (black and white) or 4 ppm (color) at 1200x1200 dpi, this unit scans color documents at 300x300 dpi. In addition, the 480cx can function without a computer, as a standalone 5 ppm color copier and FAX machine.
© 1999 Rick Smith and Stephen R. Jones
All rights reserved.