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Konica's E-Mini-M digital camera, front view. Courtesy of Konica Photo Imaging Inc. Konica announces E-Mini-M MP3 digital camera!
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 14:26 EST)

Konica debuts digital camera with MP3 playback, video and audio recording at PMA...

Konica announced four new digital cameras at PMA 2001, two of which are intended for the US market. The first, the E-Mini-M, features still image and audio recording capabilities, as well as MP3 playback. If the unit looks familiar, that is because it appears to be a slightly modified version of a camera we showed you yesterday, Vivitar's ViviCam 2795 (which is actually manufactured by Taiwanese company Premier Image Technology Corp., better known as Pretec). There are a few differences between the Konica and Vivitar versions, though. For one, the chassis has been redesigned cosmetically, although it still bears a very strong resemblance to the Vivitar camera (which is also sold by Premier themselves as the Premier DC530 MP3). Another change seems to be that the video capabilities of the Vivitar / Premier unit have been removed, and in their place the Konica camera seems to have added the ability to function as a tethered USB webcam. As with the Vivitar / Premier camera, the Konica E-Mini-M features a fixed focus, fixed-focal length lens, CMOS image sensor and CompactFlash storage (alongside 2MB of built-in memory). Full specs are below, along with images of the camera body. Images of the Vivitar / Premier versions can be found in our previous news item...

Specification Highlights - full specifications here
Konica E-Mini-M
Konica's E-Mini-M digital camera, front view. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Model Number: E-Mini-M
Camera Format: Compact
Retail Price: $199
Date Available: 2001-02-11
Image Capture
Image Sensor: 300000 pixel CMOS image sensor - size unknown
Image Resolution: 640 x 480
Lens
Focal Length (effective): 45mm fixed focal length
Digital Zoom: Unknown
Auto Focus: No, fixed focus
Manual Focus: No
Normal Focus Range: 50 cm to Infinity; 20.4 in to Infinity
Macro Focus Range: See Normal Focus Range
Aperture Range: F2
Display
Optical Viewfinder: Yes (Real Image type)
LCD Viewfinder: No
Exposure
ISO Settings: Unknown
White Balance Settings: Auto
Manual White Balance: No
Shutter Speeds: Unknown, electronic shutter
Exp Adj Range: Unknown
Metering Modes: Auto
Exposure Modes: Auto
Self Timer (seconds): 10 seconds
Flash
Internal Flash: Yes
Flash Modes: Auto, Off
Flash Range Description: Unknown
Ext Flash: No
Image Storage
Flash Memory: Built-in, CompactFlash
Memory Included (MB): 2
File Formats: JPEG
More Information
Weight: 136 g; 4.8 oz
Weight With Batteries? Yes
Size: 91 x 80 x 35 mm; 3.6 x 3.1 x 3.4 in
Notes & Features: Cosmetically altered version of a camera manufactured by Premier Image Technology Corp. (Pretec) of Taiwan, the Premier DC530 MP3, which is also available from Vivitar as the ViviCam 2795. Vivitar /Premier version can record video clips at 160 x 120 8 fps or 320 x 240 2fps, however Konica's documentation suggests that this functionality may have been disabled in their version. It also appears the Konica version can double as a web-cam. Can record audio (wav format). Has black and white text LCD info display. Can draw power from USB port. Can play back MP3 audio files. Bundled with strap, software CD-ROM, USB cable, video cable, earphones, camera case, 2 AA alkali-manganese batteries and operating manual.
More Photos
Konica's E-Mini-M digital camera, rear view. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Konica's E-Mini-M digital camera, top view. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Konica's E-Mini-M digital camera, front right quarter view. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Konica's E-Mini-M digital camera, front view. Courtesy of Konica Photo Imaging Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Original Source Press Release:

KONICA UNVEILS E-MINI-M DIGITAL STILL CAMERA WITH BUILT-IN MP3 CAPABILITY

First in a new Konica family of "lifestyle accessory" digital cameras, the E-Mini-M is a true four-in-one entertainment solution...

ORLANDO, Florida, February 11 -- The compact, light and user-friendly E-Mini-M - which features built-in MP3 capability - debuts here at the 2001 Photo Marketing Association conference February 11-14, Robert E. Striano, president and chief executive officer of Konica Photo Imaging, announced here today.

With its designer good looks, advanced technology and appealing $199.95 retail price point, the new "take it anywhere" E-Mini-M is first of a new line of Konica-branded digital still cameras. It will be showcased at the Konica Booth #1948.

The E-Mini-M boasts a hot purple-and-silver color scheme, great resolution and video outputs. It can be used as a digital still camera and as a monitor-mounted "computer cam." In addition, it is designed with an integral MP3 player and audio recorder -- making it a palm-sized, four-in-one entertainment solution.

"The E-Mini-M is a perfect example of why people are rediscovering Konica," said Striano. "It is a 'lifestyle extension' product that entertains consumers and offers platform versatility. Think of it: on vacation, consumers can upload a picture, download a favorite song and create unforgettable digital files that can be sent anywhere, via the Internet.

"As the other members of the new Konica digital still camera family are introduced in the U.S., the excitement and fun of digital photography will be in the grasp of virtually every photo and PC enthusiast," Striano said. "From entry level to sophisticated recreational end-users -- and those with demanding business applications, as well -- our new line-up will offer unsurpassed quality and features at each price point."

Konica has long been highly regarded as an OEM manufacturer of digital still cameras, Striano added. "Our role in the international OEM market represents a powerful endorsement of our cutting-edge technological expertise, heritage of innovation and quality of manufacture. And, as we market our Konica-branded digital cameras, we will further establish ourselves as the imaging industry's leading systems solution provider focused upon entertainment and communication applications."

Clearly, the consumer buzz around digital photography has accellerated, thanks to the sophistication of today's sophisticated, PC-familiar consumer base. According to industry research, home computer penetration doubled during the 1992 to 1999 time period, and was met with a concurrent rise in interest in digital imaging. "Two-thirds of all U.S. households now know about digital cameras, up from one-fourth in 1996, and digital camera ownership has quadrupled -- to four percent -- since that time," Striano added.

The good-looking, high-performance E-Mini-M is a mere 3.5" x 3.1" x 1.4" and weighs less than five ounces (without batteries). Unlike other cameras, the E-Mini-M offers both fine and normal image storage, video outputs (NTSC and PAL), an audio recorder, LCD monitor and 10-second self-timer. Bundled software includes MGI Photo Suite and SIREN Juke Box. Two AA alkaline batteries or optional AC adapter power the unit.

ABOUT KONICA PHOTO IMAGING

Konica Photo Imaging, Inc., based in Mahwah, New Jersey, is a leading manufacturer of Konica brand 35mm color print film, 35mm cameras, Advanced Photo System color print film, Advanced Photo System cameras, single-use cameras, color print paper, digital minilabs, digital cameras, digital scanners, digital imaging systems and ink jet papers. Konica also provides wholesale photofinishing services and Internet imaging services.

For product information, or to reach a Konica sales representative, call 1-800-7-KONICA, or visit the company's web site at www.konica.com.

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