PMA 2000AN IMAGING RESOURCE SPECIAL REPORT
Toshiba Introduces PDR-M70 3-Megapixel Digital Camera
LAS VEGAS -- Toshiba Imaging Systems, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced it would market its first three-megapixel filmless digital camera, the PDR-M70. The long-awaited camera allows consumers to digitally capture images of professional photographic quality in an easy-to-use design. Slated to ship in March 2000, the PDR-M70 will sell for under $1,000.
With its brushed-aluminum body and high-tech features, the PDR-M70 builds on the Toshiba tradition of award-winning digital cameras. Key to its success is an advanced 3.37 megapixel CCD capable of recording 2048 x 1536 pixel images that are exceptionally rich in sharpness, color accuracy and clarity. The 1/1.8 inch CCD is much larger than those found in competitive cameras, resulting in a less noisy signal and vastly superior pictures that can be printed in sizes up to 11" x 14" free of jagged edges, artifacts or pixelation.
Another exclusive feature to the PDR-M70 is a custom-designed gate array that improves exposure detection rate for the automatic exposure by four times, resulting in the elimnation of damaging noise signals and the correction of light levels for maximum image quality.
Attributes of the PDR-M70 include: an all-glass aspheric lens system (f=7.0-21mm or 35-105mm in 35mm conversion) with 3X optical zoom, 2X digital zoom and an extra-large aperture of F=2.0-2.5; lightning fast download speeds (12 mbs/second) via its USB port; 1.8-inch LCD with illuminator; built-in speaker/microphone; plus an exciting and fun AVI movie function capable of recording up to two minutes of video (15fps) with audio on a SmartMedia card˘. An easy-to-navigate graphic user interface enables everyone from professional photographers to "digicam" rookies to be pointing, clicking and downloading images in minutes.
According to Doug Freck, Vice President and General Manager, Toshiba Imaging Systems, the PDR-M70 is the end-product of exhaustive market research: "This camera was shaped by the evolving needs of the digital camera market. Customers told us what they wanted: improved image quality, faster downloads, as well as added features to enhance the creative process. The PDR-M70 satisfies those needs better than any other digital camera on the market today."
Advanced Imaging For Demanding Users
The PDR-M70 is well suited for those who demand uncompromising quality in digital images for business or personal use. Professionals in real estate, law enforcement, insurance and graphic design will find the PDR-M70 to be a highly effective communications and documentation tool, whether it is employed as a digital still camera or for the production of short video clips with audio.
Combining increased resolution with ultra-fast USB downloading, the PDR-M70 makes it easy to incorporate digital imaging into marketing materials, Web sites, presentations, sales proposals, business reports, and email. Of course, it is also the perfect digital camera for capturing and sharing special moments with friends and family.
The comparatively low cost of ownership of the PDR-M70 adds to the camera's broad appeal, as it brings all the advantages of a fully featured three-megapixel camera to users for the same price as competitors' lessor-quality two-megapixel models.
Breakneck Processing Speeds
Unlike other three-megapixel cameras, the PDR-M70 does not sacrifice processing speed for higher resolution. Equipped with a 24MB D-Ram buffer for accelerated performance, the PDR-M70 boasts one of the industry's quickest "off-to-on" boots for an optical zoom camera (under three seconds), along with outstanding recycle times between shots (about 1.5- seconds).
In burst mode, the camera performs high-speed continuous shooting at a rate of 1.25 frames per second. Plus, in the Multi Shot mode it is possible for the PDR-M70 to capture up to thirty-six 320 x 218 fast action shots in only 2.3 seconds (10 320x218 images/second)-- blisteringly fast.
Photos and video clips are downloaded from the postage-stamp size SmartMedia˘ card via the included USB connection cable at a rate of 12mbs per second, or about one high-resolution image every three seconds. Photos are saved as industry standard JPEG files allowing instant viewing in image-editing software or browsers.
Optional FlashPath floppy disk adapters and PCMCIA adapter cards can also be used to readily download SmartMedia cards. SmartMedia cards are currently available in 8, 16, 32 and 64MB sizes.
Giving The User More Control
The PDR-M70 offers advanced photographic controls, including two levels of recording images: 2048 x 1536 and 1280 x 768 in user-selectable fine, normal and basic compression modes. Shutter speeds can be set from 1/2 second to 1/1000 of second, while the camera's five-mode flash system (automatic, red-eye reduction, forced-fill flash, slow synchro and force-off) is easily adjusted to any lighting condition up to 13-feet (4 meters) from the subject, extending the camera's effectiveness to a wide range of lighting conditions.
The ranges for focus are from eight inches to infinity in Macro, or 20 inches to infinity in the normal Autofocus mode. However, because the Macro mode has a slower focus speed, it is recommended that it only be used up to 35 inches. Additionally, the PDR-M70 includes a built-in dioptric corrector to focus the viewfinder to the user's eyesight. With the use of an optional filter/lens ring adapter, commercially available 52mm optical filters or lens can be attached to this camera.
Lights. Camera. Video.
In addition to being a powerful digital still camera, the PDR-M70 brings the added capability of being able to capture up to two minutes of AVI video onto a SmartMedia˘ card. Just point. Shoot. And the PDR-M70 is making movies for instant viewing on the LCD screen or for downloading to a computer to share with friends. These videos are excellent for email attachments, documentation, demonstrations or Web pages.
If the movie mode up is set for the best resolution, "Full Fine," and the size is 320x240 at 15 frames-per-second and the shooting time is 30 seconds. If set at the lower "Half Basic" resolution/jpeg compression, the size is 160x120 at 15 frames per second and the shooting time is 120 seconds.
The PDR-M70 is lightweight at 14.1 oz (with batteries) and very compact with dimensions of 116mm x 76mm x 62mm.
The PDR-M70 comes bundled with multi-platform CD software from Sierra Imaging for accessing, managing and enhancing digital photos. Also included is a rechargeable lithium battery with extended power capacity; a USB cable (Mac/PC); audio/video-out cable; neck strap; soft case; and a 16MB SmartMedia Card.
For information, U.S. customers call (800) 288-1354. Fax, (800) 640-8674. Or visit Toshiba on the Web at http://www.toshiba.com.
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Toshiba Imaging Systems is a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., and part of the $48 billion Toshiba Corp., a global leader in high technology products with 307 major consolidated subsidiaries worldwide.
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