Rollei brings Premier's long-zoom digicam to market (UPDATED)|
(Tuesday, December 2, 2003 - 11:12 EST)
Regular readers of this site will remember we reported on the first long-zoom digital cameras appearing on booths of Taiwanese digicam manufacturers last Spring at the PMA show.
One such camera was Premier Image Technology's DC2A30, a model very much in early development at that time (a woodblock model was shown on Premier's booth as well as that of partner Vivitar). It seemed that Vivitar, who were calling the camera the Vivicam 3696, had managed to line itself up to be the first to sell the new camera. Two variants were predicted, with resolutions of two and three megapixels respectively, but nine months later they don't seem to have reached the market under any brandname.
It was with interest that we saw a news item from our friends at LetsGoDigital.org today then. They've covered the announcement of a new digital camera model from Rollei that is clearly the Premier DC2A30 rebadged - the design is identical right down to the styling.
The new Rollei dp3210 is a 3.2 megapixel camera (the higher-resolution of the two versions offered by Premier), and features a 10x optical zoom lens branded as a "Rollei Germany D-VarioApogon 1:2.8 - 3.1 / f=5.7 - 57mm HFT", equivalent to 35 - 350mm on a 35mm camera. Focusing distances range from 50cm (wide) / 120cm (tele) to infinity, with a macro mode allowing focusing to 10cm (wide) / 90cm (tele). Interestingly, this lens is a little brighter than the f2.8 - 3.7 that was initially inscribed on Vivitar's woodblock model, but it looks to be the same in other respects.
Other features include a 2.5" TFT LCD display with 119,548 pixels, and a 0.33" electronic viewfinder with 114,000 pixels, a Secure Digital storage slot plus built-in memory (size unknown), a USB interface plus PAL / NTSC video out and a built-in five-mode flash (Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye Reduction and Slow-Sync). There's also a choice of automatic, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure modes, as well as portrait, landscape, night and sports / action scene modes, ISO ratings from 70 to 400, spot and center-weighted average metering, a "bulb" setting for long exposures, automatic exposure bracketing in 1/3EV steps, automatic white balance with daylight, tungsten and fluorescent presets plus a white balance "hold" feature, a 2 or 10-second self timer, a 1.25 frames per second burst mode, a high-speed burst mode allowing nine images at 3.3 frames per second, and a 320x240 pixel, 15 frames per second AVI video clip mode (with sound).
For more details, read the LetsGoDigital item; to see pictures and our coverage of the Premier / Vivitar announcement see our earlier item.
UPDATED 2003-12-04 10:40ET: Well, it appears that Premier's long-zoom digicam has been shipping for a while now without our realising. First of all our friends at Steve's Digicams noticed that the Toshiba PDR-M700 looks almost identical (although it has been restyled ever so slightly). Shortly afterwards, we received an email from our friends at Digitalkamera.de pointing out that the Jenoptik JD 3.3 Z10 digital camera is also identical to Premier's model.