Fuji releases new credit card-size camera

A new 1.3 megapixel credit card-size camera offering print-quality images was released in Japan on Tuesday by Fuji Axia, a division of Fuji Photo Film, in Tokyo.

Fuji's Eyeplate Mega, measuring 8mm (0.8cm) in thickness, is based on the Ultra-Pocket reference camera design developed by SmaL Camera Technologies.

The Eyeplate Mega is based on the second update of the Ultra-Pocket design, which can produce images of 1280 by 1024 pixels, said Romney Williams [CQ], executive director of business development with SmaL. Fuji has licensed the Ultra-Pocket camera components and specifications from SmaL and will assemble and distribute the camera under the Eyeplate Mega brand.

Running on a lithium-polymer rechargeable battery, the camera can take as many as 1,000 photographs on a single battery charge, said Aimee Yoon [CQ], a SmaL spokeswoman. The camera recharges automatically when connected to a computer via a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port.

The USB connector also allows users to download images from the camera to the computer, she said. The camera is compatible with the Windows and Mac OS X platforms.

The camera's internal 16M bytes of memory can hold 21 high-resolution pictures and 88 low-resolution pictures. The camera will ship with an SD (Secure Digital) memory card slot that allows users to add memory.

A compact plug-in strobe flash will ship at no extra cost with the camera, said Williams. The flash will be powered by its own AAA battery so it doesn't infringe on the camera's battery capacity, he said. "Fuji Film wanted to develop the smallest camera possible," which is why Smal developed the flash as an accessory that plugs in easily, Williams said. The introduction of a strobe flash overcomes a problem with the earlier version of the camera, which had difficulty taking photographs in dimly-lit settings.

The digital camera also incorporates improved Autobrite technology from SmaL, which allows the camera to better adjust to backlighting and glare, Williams said. Autobrite technology uses sensors and a chipset to perform its adjustments, according to SmaL.

The first version of the camera, which measured 6mm (0.6cm) in thickness, is included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's thinnest digital camera. It was capable of producing 1 megapixel images, he said.

Instead of trying to compete with companies offering high-resolution, feature-rich cameras, SmaL is trying to enter segments that other digital camera makers cannot hit, particularly in terms of size and weight, according to Williams. "We're not in the megapixel race." he said. "We are in the race to produce the smallest and most stylish lifestyle products. We're continually pushing the envelope on the thin form factor. That's where we see our strengths."

The camera is aimed at three segments, he said. The first target segment is first-time digital camera buyers, who are looking for an entry-level camera as opposed to an expensive camera. The second is the segment of existing owners of high-resolution, bulkier digital cameras. "They're carrying those cameras only for photo opportunities, whereas they miss out on spontaneous events, so this is a companion camera," he said.

The third target is gift givers, as "the thin form factor amazes people," and makes for a good present, said Williams. U.S. consumers bought 9.4 million [M] digital still cameras in 2002, according to a research report by the Photo Marketing Association. Of that figure, 25 percent of the digital still cameras were given as gifts.

The Fuji Eyeplate Mega camera, priced at ¥12,800 (US$109), will become commercially available on July 14 in Japan and later in the U.S. and Europe, according to Williams. Australian availability is to be advised.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?