Toshiba announces three new digital cameras! (UPDATED) By
Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 02:21 EST)One model features a touch-screen LCD, another sports an infra-red interface, and a third looks curiously familiar...
Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. has today announced three new digital cameras just a day before the start of the annual Photo Marketing Association trade show in Orlando, Florida. We'd actually thought we were told the NDA time on these announcements was 9AM of the 23rd, however on seeing our friends at Steve's Digicams have posted the info and noting that the press release only states "February 23, 2002 A.M." we presume we misunderstood the time and are also going ahead with the release.
Toshiba PDR-T10 digital camera
First up is an interesting model that features a touch-screen LCD display designed to remove the need for the usual morass of buttons (or the requirement that the slightest settings change mean a trip to the user manual to help navigate a maze of menus). Seen above, the PDR-T10 is a 2.2 megapixel (1600 x 1200 pixel) ultra-compact camera which also features interchangeable face-plates such as are all the rage with cell-phone users. The 'T10 has a 38mm-equivalent fixed focal-length autofocus lens, 2x digital zoom, five-mode flash, Secure Digital memory slot, USB interface, JPEG storage in three compression levels, and PRINT Image Matching-compliance. The camera is expected to sell for under $300, and ship in April or May of 2002. It comes bundled with an 8MB SD card, two AA nickel zinc batteries, USB cable, hand strap, instruction manual and Image Expert software. The interchangeable face plates are sold as an optional extra. The Toshiba PDR-T10 has dimensions of 3.36 x 2.83" x 1.1", and weighs 4.2 ounces. (Incidentally, our friends at LetsGoDigital.nl uncovered this camera on the Toshiba Japan website, and have two further small pictures including a rear-view showing the touch screen...)
Toshiba PDR-3310 digital camera
A second model in today's announcement features a 3.2 megapixel CCD imager, an all-glass lens equivalent to 35 - 105mm on a 35mm camera, a pop-up flash, and an uncanny resemblance to another camera we've mentioned in our PMA coverage recently. The Toshiba PDR-3310 looks to be the same camera as Kyocera's just-announced FineCam S3X - and to show you why we think so, we'd suggest looking at the image below. (Note the placement of the viewfinder and the two sensor holes to one side of the flash, the design of the lens - even details down to the tiny notch in one side of the flash unit). Apparently either Kyocera, Toshiba - or possibly both - have outsourced this camera from another manufacturer, and the two models are likely identical with the exception of the case and possibly the firmware.
A striking similarity: PDR-3310 and FineCam S3X
The ultra-compact PDR-3310 also features a 2x digital zoom, SD memory slot (16MB bundled), 15-second AVI video mode and USB connectivity. It apparently offers both automatic and manual (white balance, exposure compensation and focus) capabilities, has a macro mode for shots as close as 3 inches, and comes bundled with an AC adapter, rechargeable Lithium Ion battery, USB and video cables, hand strap, instruction manual and Image Expert software. The jury's out on what the camera's construction is, though - in one place the press release says the body is aluminum, and in another it mentions "durable Titanium". Either way, it is a metal body that should be able to take the gentle bumps and knocks it is likely to receive accompanying you everywhere! The Toshiba PRD-3310 is planned for an April/May 2002 introduction at a cost of $499.
The PDR-3300A straight from the drawing board
Finally, Toshiba announced what it calls its "step-up digital camera" - the PDR-3300, a 3.2 megapixel (2048 x 1536 pixel) unit with a 35 - 100mm-equivalent 2.8x optical zoom lens from Canon. This is coupled with a 2.2x digital zoom, JPEG storage in three quality levels, USB and wireless infra-red connectivity, Secure Digital storage, five-mode flash and a 1.6" LCD display. The '3300 apparently offers aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual modes, PRINT Image Matching-compliance, a burst-mode (speed and duration unspecified), multi or spot metering, and a 160 x 120 or 320 x 240 pixel AVI video mode at up to 15 frames per second. The camera comes bundled with an 8MB Secure Digital card, 4 AA alkaline disposable batteries, USB and video cables, hand strap, instruction manual and ACDSee imaging software. Pricing and availability for the Toshiba PDR-3300 have not been decided, and at this time we don't have an image of the camera.
UPDATED 2002-02-24 17:25PT: T10A Back and 3300 photos added...
Toshiba America Information Systems Inc.
Original Source Press Release:
Toshiba Expands Digital Camera Line at PMA 2002 with Three Bold New Cameras
EDITOR SUMMARY OF NEW CAMERAS:
PDR-T10: a sleek 2.2 MP with an innovative interactive touch-screen operation, changeable color face plate, 1600 x 1200 resolution, 2X digital zoom, SD Memory, USB interface
PDR-3310: Toshiba's answer to the ultra-small, optical zoom-equipped digital camera, 3.58(W) in x 2.24(H) in x 1.24(D) in, 3.2 MP with 3X optical and 2X digital zoom, SD memory, AVI video mode (15 sec.), AC adapter and rechargeable lithium ion battery, USB, auto/manual modes, aluminum body
PDR-3300: feature-rich, 3.0MP with Canon 2.8X optical zoom, AVI video mode, SD memory, USB, 2048 x 1536 resolution
ORLANDO, FL, February 23, 2002 (Photo Marketing Association Show, Booth #1233) - Electronics giant Toshiba is taking the unprecedented step of introducing three new digital cameras at the Photo Marketing Association Show 2002, opening tomorrow in Orlando, Florida. Each offers a bold package of non-legacy features that amplify the Toshiba commitment to innovation and consumer satisfaction.
"For decades, Toshiba has set the standard for consumer electronics excellence by consistently introducing products across a broad spectrum of categories that exceed expectations for performance, reliability and value," said Doug Freck, Vice President & General Manager, Toshiba Imaging Systems. "Our camera products, especially the three ground-breaking additions to our line we are introducing at PMA, continue in that tradition. They are designed around the real-world needs of the consumer who is captivated by the limitless potential of digital photography."
TOSHIBA PDR-T10: STYLE MEETS INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY Bursting onto the digital camera scene is the daring PDR-T10, the first digital camera ever to utilize its LCD as an interactive touch-screen menu for operation of all camera functions other than snapping a picture. An absence of buttons, levers and switches on the back of the camera furnishes the PDR-T10 with a streamlined, elegant styling that ideally compliments its compact dimensions of 3.36 x 2.83 x 1.1 inches (WxHxD). It weighs a mere 4.2 ounces.
On the performance side, the fully automatic PDR-T10 matches its beauty with a smart 2.2 megapixel CCD sensor that captures brilliant color photographs at resolutions up to 1600 x 1200 in universal JPEG format at three quality levels. Built to the highest standards of digital photography, the camera benefits greatly from an all-glass lens with macro mode that is equivalent to f=38mm on a 35mm camera.
Also contributing to the camera's success is its compatibility with Secure DigitalĂ (SD) Memory Cards. All three digital cameras introduced at PMA by Toshiba utilize the SD format, and are compatible with cards ranging up to 256MB, resulting in more capacity, faster downloading and enhanced convenience. SD cards are approximately the size of a postage stamp, and are non-volatile, meaning they do not require power to retain the information stored on them.
First time digital camera buyers will appreciate the PDR-T10's simple and fun design. Exceptionally easy to use, the PDR-T10 offers a host of consumer convenience features including USB digital interface, automatic focusing, five-mode flash system, and EpsonĂ PRINT? Image Matching technology, which enables it to work flawlessly with Epson StylusĂ Photo printers.
MSRP is expected to be under $300 with the camera shipping in the April/May time frame. Accessories include an 8MB SD Card that stores a maximum of 80 photos; two AA nickel zinc batteries; USB cable; a hand strap; instruction manual; and ImageExpertĂ software that makes it quick and easy to download, manage, print and e-mail photos. In addition, optional color face plates will be available that allow the user to alter the look of the camera to fit their mood.
TOSHIBA PDR-3310: FEATURE-RICH "MICRO" CAMERA When it comes to size/performance ration, few cameras can compete with the new PDR-3310, an astonishingly small 3.2 megapixel digital camera that packs a rich array of features into a compact form factor. Measuring a sleek 3.58 x 2.24 x 1.24, or about the size of a credit card, the PDR-3310 is Toshiba's entry into the ultra-small, zoom-equipped digital camera category.
From its 3.2 MP CCD sensor to its premium-quality, 7 element all-glass lens that offers a 35mm equivalent of 35-105mm, the PDR-3310A is fully outfitted to capture photographic images that rival those taken with conventional 35mm film cameras. And like the PDR-3300, it can capture fun, high-quality AVI video files.
Besides the convenience of automatic functionality, the PDR-3310 also offers user-selectable manual control of white balance and exposure compensation as well as manual focusing. In addition, the camera's macro mode allows the user to compose dynamic, eye-catching photographs as close up as three inches.
Unlike other ultra-small digital cameras, the PDR-3310 has a high-resolution 3X optical zoom rather than a limited 2X optical zoom, plus features a Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, an advantage rarely found in cameras in its class. Moreover, its body is fashioned from durable Titanium.
The camera is bundled with an 16MB SD Card, a Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, USB and video cables, hand strap, instruction manual and ImageExpert software and will be introduced into the market in April/May time frame with estimated price of $499.
TOSHIBA PDR-3300: THE STEP-UP DIGITAL CAMERA Another bold statement from Toshiba comes in the form of the new PDR-3300, a three megapixel, point-and-shoot digital camera boasting an advanced, all-glass (7-elements in 5 groups) CanonĂ lens that is equivalent to an f=35-100 mm on a 35mm camera, with 2.8X optical zoom and 2.2X digital zoom, plus a macro mode to capture stunning close-ups.
"The PDR-3300 is the ideal step-up camera for digital photographers looking to go to the next level of imaging technology, as well as for traditional camera users who are making the transition from film to digital, but who want to maintain the freedom of expression that comes with manual controls," notes Toshiba's Freck.
The PDR-3300 has it all: 3.2 MP CCD for picture resolution up to 2048 x 1536 in universal JPEG format with three quality settings; USB connectivity along with wireless IR interface; an array of manual controls including full manual, shutter-priority and aperture-priority exposure controls; SD storage; 1.6-inch color LCD; Epson PRINT Image matching technology; burst mode for rapid-fire action shooting; five-mode flash; spot and multi metering; and lightning-fast processing, downloading and playback made possible by an internal memory.
Besides being a great digital still camera, users can also take advantage of the PDR-3300's movie mode for shooting AVI digital video at 320 x 240 or 160 x 120 resolution with a frame rate up to 15 frames-per-second. Like a digital still photograph, an AVI video file captured by the PDR-3300 can be e-mailed to family and friends, burnt onto a CD, viewed on a TV, or uploaded to a web site.
The PDR-3300 comes bundled with an 8MB SD Card, four alkaline AA batteries, USB and video cables, hand strap, instruction manual, and ACDSee imaging software for advanced editing and management of photographs. Camera pricing and availability have not been set.
For more information, U.S. customers can call 1-800-288-1354. Fax, 1-800-640-8674. Or visit Toshiba on the Web at www.dsc.toshiba.com. Consumers are also encouraged to visit www.shoptoshiba.com for fast, convenient shopping.
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Toshiba Imaging Systems is a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., and part of the $48 billion Toshiba Corporation, a global leader in high technology products with 307 major consolidated subsidiaries worldwide. ###