Toshiba shows HDD-based video camera

Toshiba has developed a digital video camera based on its miniature hard-disk drive and it showing it at Ceatec in Japan.

Toshiba has developed a digital video camera based on its miniature hard-disk drive and is showing it for the first time at the Ceatec Japan 2005 show currently taking place in Japan.

The camera, called the GigaShot V10, includes one of the company's 4G-byte capacity 0.85-inch hard-disk drives. The drive provides enough storage space for between 1 hour 25 minutes and 4 hours 15 minutes of video depending on the quality selected.

Features include a 5X optical zoom lens and a 5-megapixel CCD (charge coupled device) image sensor. That won't give you anything more than standard definition images in video mode but it should mean good quality pictures are possible with the camera's still image mode. The hard-disk drive can store more than 30,000 images in the lowest quality mode and there's room for almost 2,000 images at full quality.

There's a shutter button on the front of the camera -- just under the lens at about the place your finger is when holding it -- for snapping still images and a button at the back for starting and stopping video recording. A fold out 2-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) panel on the left hand side of the camera provides an image of what's being shot and also access to playback and camera functions.

Should users run out of hard-disk space, the camera also accepts SD (Secure Digital) memory cards.

The camera will be available from Oct. 21 in Japan and will cost YEN 59,800 (AUD$690).

Toshiba's gadget isn't the first digital video camera to utilize a hard-disk drive. For example, at last year's Ceatec show Victor Co. of Japan Ltd. (JVC) debuted its Everio HDD camcorders. Given the falling prices of drives, growing demand for digital video and ease of use compared to tape, it will undoubtedly not be the last either.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

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