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Samsung's U-CA3 digital camera. Courtesy of Samsung, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Samsung UK, China announce U-CA3
(Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 14:16 EDT)

Samsung has quietly introduced a new product in the UK and China that it is calling "[as] much of a fashion accessory as a digital camera".

Noticed on the Samsung UK site by our friends at the Digital Photography Review, the U-CA3 is a 3.2 megapixel, 3x optical zoom camera which is noteable for its use of Sony's Memory Stick Duo flash media.

We can't find any hint of a press release from Samsung on this new model - it doesn't even seem to have been announced by the head office in Korea as yet.

Note that detailed specifications for the U-CA3 are not currently available even on Samsung UK's site, which incorrectly links to the specs for a different camera. Correcting the URL just results in an error page... Specifications highlights are as follows, however:

  • Dimensions of 102 x 52.8 x 31mm
  • Weighs 145 grams
  • 3.2 mega pixel resolution
  • 3 x optical zoom
  • MPEG-4 Video format
  • Memory Stick Duo
  • Personalised welcome screen function
  • Multi-coloured function light
  • Unique colour adjustment support
  • Voice memo & voice recording
  • Five Flash modes (Auto, Red-eye reduction, Slow sync, Fill-in Flash, Flash off)
  • Colour, white balance and sharpness options
  • Graphic User Interface (GUI)
  • One-touch playback
  • LCD brightness auto adjustment functions
  • Slow shutter speed function
  • Optional Date and Time imprinting
  • Recording still images (JPEG, EXIF and DPOF), Movie Clips as MOV (MPEG 4) and voice as WAV files
  • Image play-back via TV (PAL / NTSC)
  • PictBridge, direct camera-to-printer printing system.
The Samsung U-CA3 digital camera will ship in the UK from the end of this month, at a price of £280 (equivalent to US$446 / €399 / CAD$613 / ¥52,000 ignoring exchange rate fluctuations, taxes and duties). A little digging turned up a Chinese website which has better pictures of the U-CA3, and briefly describes a Beijing dealer event at which the camera was shown. It recaps the spec highlights for the camera as above, but adds a few details.

First of all, Zol.com.cn notes that the U-CA3 will be sold in seven different body colors. It lists a movie mode of 320 x 240 pixels at 15 frames per second which it says offers clips up to 60 minutes in length; presumably since the UK item says 24 frames per second, there is a selection of different movie mode. The Chinese site also says the camera weighs 119 grams rather than 145 grams - perhaps this is the weight without batteries and flash card. Finally, it also mentions a macro mode that can focus to 5 centimeters.

Unrelated to this specific camera, but one other point of interest is that the article says that Samsung China showed a product plan which predicts the company will announce a 7 megapixel camera by year's end.

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