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BenQ's X600 digital camera. Courtesy of BenQ, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. BenQ: Smallest 6mpix digicam?
(Friday, January 6, 2006 - 14:17 EST)

A press release from BenQ Corp. has announced three new digital cameras to add to the company's lineup, including one it claims is "the world's smallest 6-megapixel camera".

Whether that's accurate or not we can't say, as it is a very close-run thing. On paper Casio's EXILIM Card EX-S600 looks to be the smallest six megapixel camera we're aware of at the moment. That's based on extrapolating the volume from manufacturer-provided width, depth and height, though - which ignores the fact that no camera is a perfect rectangle.

Pentax's Optio S6 has near-identical dimensions - and in fact bears a striking resemblance to the new BenQ X600, suggesting the cameras hail from the same source. Regardless of which camera is actually the smallest, the BenQ X600 is certainly among the most portable six megapixel cameras on the market. All three of these cameras achieve their size largely thanks to the use of a clever 3x optical zoom lens that removes lens elements from the optical path when powered off, achieving a much thinner profile than most other 3x zoom lenses. (In the case of Casio's camera, the lens is unbranded, although Pentax and BenQ both refer to the lens as being a Pentax design).

The few other specifications that are currently available for the BenQ X600 look to be very similar to the Optio S6, and pricing is set at $399 list - surprisingly a little more than the Optio S6's pricing of $350. The X600 is apparently available immediately.

Two other cameras are announced in BenQ's press release, although virtually no details are available at this time. The $299 BenQ E521 is a five megapixel camera with a Pentax smc-branded 3x optical zoom lens and two inch OLED display, set to ship this month. BenQ's C800 meanwhile is an eight megapixel, 3x zoom camera with 2.4" LCD display, expected to ship for $229 later this month.

Original Source Press Release:

BenQ Announces New High-Performance, Ultra-Slim Digital Cameras

Stylish Cameras Include the World's Smallest 6-Megapixel Camera, a 5-Megapixel Model with an OLED Advanced Display and a Versatile 8-Megapixel Model

LAS VEGAS, Nev., (January 5, 2005) - BenQ, a leading manufacturer of digital lifestyle devices, today unveiled three new additions to its digital camera lineup, the X600, C800 and E521. The highlight of the three models is the X600, the world's smallest 6-megapixel camera. All three digital cameras offer an ultra-slim, compact design and versatile feature set, and are ideal for consumers seeking a high-quality multi-function digital camera at an affordable price.

Equipped with Pentax's Super-Multi Coating (SMC) lens and a 3X optical zoom, the X600 delivers true-to-life, crisp photos with pristine clarity and superb contrast. A 2.5-inch high resolution LTPS LCD screen and VGA movie recording at 30fps with AVI (MPEG-4) format ensures comfortable viewing and super smooth movie clips. In addition, the X600 offers a smart photo-editing function that includes trimming, resizing, rotation, color filter, movie editing, all of which can be done via a touch of a few bottoms on the camera itself. The compact design and ultra-thin thickness of 1.9 cm make the X600 an ideal accessory for on-the-go consumers.

The E521 features a 5-megapixel CCD (charge-coupled device), 3X optical zoom, MPEG-4 movie format and 2.0-inch OLED advanced display screen for very sharp rendering of photos. Targeting technology "first adopters" who demand the most advanced solutions, the camera features Pentax's Super-Multi Coating (SMC) lens, a 3X optical zoom and fluid VGA movie recording at 30fps with AVI (MPEG-4) format.

The compact C800 features an 8-megapixel CCD (charge-coupled device), 3X optical zoom, MPEG-4 movie format and a large 2.4-inch TFT LCD screen for clear and comfortable photo viewing. The camera comes equipped with a Printer Mode for direct printing via a compatible printer and Burst Mode that enables four (4) shots to be taken per snap. The camera can be used as a Dictaphone and is bundled with 26MB of built-in memory.

Technical Specifications:

Resolution 6 megapixel5 megapixel8 megapixel
Display2.5" color LTPS LCD
(968x240 pixels)
2.0" color OLED
(640x240 pixels)
2.4" color TFT LCD
(480x234 pixels)
MovieVGA 30fps, MPEG4VGA 30fps, MPEG4VGA 30fps, MPEG4
Internal Memory23MB20MB26MB
CIPA Power150 shots250 shots80 shots
Size85.5 x 53.5 x 19 mm89 x 58.5 x 23.7 mm89 x 60.5 x 32.7 mm
Pricing and Availability:X600E521C800
Estimated Street Price$399$299$229
AvailabilityCurrently availableJanuary 2006January 2006

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