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Pentax' DigiBino DB-100 binocular/digicam combo. Courtesy of Pentax Corp., with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Pentax' DigiBino - more details!
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, February 19, 2002 - 16:30 EST)

Interesting combination of digital camera and binoculars will be available in the USA...

We reported yesterday on the Pentax DigiBino DB-100, a hybrid creation consisting of an 800kpixel digital camera inside a pair of binoculars uncovered by our friends at the website - and we've since spoken to Pentax and confirmed that the DigiBino is coming to the USA. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced, but we now have complete specifications and two images of the device.

Pentax' DigiBino DB-100 binocular/digicam combo - front view. Courtesy of Pentax Corp., with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax' DigiBino DB-100 binocular/digicam combo - front view.

Type:Roof prism type binoculars with built-in digital still camera, binocular-linked focusing, auto exposure, center focusing.
Lens:PENTAX 37mm (equivalent to 280mm in 35mm format) f/4.0.
Objective lens:2 elements in 1 group
Eyepiece lens:3 elements in 2 groups
Objective Lens Diameter:17mm x 14mm
Real Field of View:7.1°
Apparent Field of View:50°
Field of View at 1000m:124m
Field of View at 1000 yards:372 ft.
Exit Pupil:2.4mm x 2.0mm
Eye Relief:11mm
Relative Brightness:5
Diopter Adjustment Range:-5m-1 to +3m-1
Eye Width Adjustment Range:2.2 in. - 2.8 in. (57mm - 72mm).
Focusing Range:Approx. 6.6 ft. to infinity (Approx. 2m to infinity).
Eyepiece:Rigid type.
Digital Camera
Effective Pixels:0.8 megapixel
Sensor:0.85 megapixel (total pixels); 1/3 inch progressive CCD
Recorded Pixels:Still - 1024 x 768 pixels, 640 x 480 pixels.
Sensitivity:Auto (equivalent to ISO100 - 1600).
File Formats:Still - JPEG (Exif 2.1), DCF.
Quality Levels:"Fine", "Normal", "Basic".
Storage Media:Internal memory 16MB.
Digital Zoom:1.6X, 3.3X
Focusing Type:Binocular-linked focusing system.
Focusing Range:Binoculars & camera: 6.6 ft. (2m) to infinity.
Focusing Indicator:Cross hair in binocular field of view.
Metering System:TTL metering center-weighted metering.
Exposure Modes:Programmed auto exposure.
Shutter:Programmed AE CCD electronic shutter.
Shutter speed:approx. 1/8000 sec. to 1/30 sec.
Drive Modes:One shot, Continuous (max. 10 shots at 5 shots/sec., Fine image).
White Balance:TTL auto.
Optical Viewfinder:Binoculars (diopter adjustment from -5m-1 to +3m-1).
LCD Monitor:1.6 inch, D-TFT color LCD.
LCD Function:Nine-image and 1X-3.3X (soft zoom) magnification available in playback mode.
Interfaces:Video output terminal, USB terminal.
Video Output:NTSC format model or PAL format model.
Power Sources:Two AA size alkaline batteries, two AA nickel-hydride rechargeable batteries, one lithium battery (CR-V3 type).
Body Color:Silver
Dimensions:5.0 (W) x 2.7 (H) x 1.7 (D) inches (127mm x 69mm x 44mm)
Thickness:1.7 in. (44mm).
Accessories:Case, strap.

Pentax' DigiBino DB-100 binocular/digicam combo - rear view. Courtesy of Pentax Corp., with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax' DigiBino DB-100 binocular/digicam combo - rear view

Source: Pentax Corp.

Original Source Press Release:


DENVER, Colorado (February 16, 2002) . . . More than a pair of binoculars. More than just a digital camera. More, in fact, than the combination of both. The new PENTAX DIGIBINO DB100 is the world's first digital camera binocular*. It allows you to view distant images clearly with 7X magnification, and gives you the revolutionary ability to capture what you see with high-level digital precision. Ideal for birdwatchers, outdoorsman, sportsfans or anyone looking to capture images electronically that are normally seen with a pair of binoculars.

In focusing, the DIGIBINO DB100 surpasses the capabilities of a conventional camera. It achieves fast focus, even when using super telephoto settings, and it achieves a level of precision equal to conventional binoculars. The DIGIBINO DB100 provides more options after images have been captured, with the convenience of video output and versatile USB compatibility.

* The DIGIBINO DB100 is the world?s first pair of CCD digital binoculars equipped with an LCD monitor.

Major features of the DIGIBINO DB100:

The power of 800,000 pixels and 7X magnification
With a 1/3 inch progressive CCD and 800,000 pixels, the DIGIBINO DB100 captures distant objects with precision. Such imaging excellence also means that images can later be enlarged while still retaining impressive clarity. PENTAX advanced digital technology also allows the DIGIBINO DB100 to achieve impressive 7X magnification equivalent to a 280mm lens in 35mm format.

Progressive CCD
The DIGIBINO DB100 is equipped with a progressive CCD, which allows high-speed shutter release that can be advantageous when capturing fast-moving subjects.

Convenient Flash memory
With 16MB of built-in Flash memory, the DIGIBINO DB100 is capable of recording and storing up to 100 pictures in Fine mode. Capacity of this kind has done away with the need for external memory.

Space-efficient JPEG format imaging
All images can be easily stored as JPEG files ? a space-efficient format that retains a high level of image quality and is compatible with a wide range of computer applications.

Precision 1.6 inch LCD panel
The DIGIBINO DB100 offers traditional binocular-style viewing. It also incorporates a handy 1.6 inch LCD panel, which allows one clear view of your subject and assists when composing shots for recording.

An impressive range of shutter speeds from 1/8000 - 1/30 sec.
The DIGIBINO DB100 is exceptionally useful in a variety of situations. For those wishing to view and record distant scenery or low-light subjects, exposure speeds as slow as 1/30 sec. offer high-level versatility. For those wishing to capture wildlife and other moving subjects, the DIGIBINO DB100 also has shutter speeds up to 1/8000 sec.

The simplicity and versatility of USB connectivity
USB compatibility gives the DIGIBINO DB100 maximum versatility. It allows you to import recorded images with ease into a range of popular computer applications, or even send shots effortlessly via e-mail.

AV output adds more options for display
Recorded images can be easily viewed at any time on the 1.6 inch LCD screen. For additional versatility, the DB100 can also be connected to a TV.

Manual focus for greater control
Manual focus allows greater control and makes it easy to place greater emphasis on any subject within the field of view. For added convenience, focal adjustment on the binoculars is linked with that of the camera.

Compatible with AA and CR-V3 batteries
The DIGIBINO DB100 can be powered by two AA size lithium, or AA size nickel-hydride batteries. It is also compatible with lithium CR-V3 batteries for further convenience. Such battery sizes are available virtually anywhere, making the DIGIBINO DB100 ideal for use when traveling.

Program auto exposure control
For additional ease of use, the DIGIBINO DB100 offers auto exposure. Not only does this achieve combinations of aperture and shutter that fit the subject, it also gives the user the freedom to concentrate on viewing and composition.

Fully automatic TTL White Balance
Fully automatic, through the lens White Balance means that the DIGIBINO DB100 is not confined to use outdoors. In fact, this additional advantage means that a natural range of colors can be preserved when shooting in various different kinds of light.

Capture the action with five frames per second shooting up to a maximum of ten frames
The DIGIBINO DB100 is invaluable for the wildlife enthusiast, the sports spectator, or indeed anyone wishing to capture distant action. It even offers continuous shooting of up to ten frames at five frames per second, allowing you to capture instances of action, frame by frame.

A minimum focusing distance of just two meters
The DIGIBINO DB100 is excellent for viewing and recording distant scenes and action. Its capabilities, however, are appreciated up close as well with the viewing and capture of subjects just two meters away.

PENTAX Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Optical Company, Ltd., of Japan. Corporate headquarters are located in Englewood, Colorado. PENTAX markets cameras, lenses, sport optics, surveying equipment, closed circuit television lenses, and a wide range of specialized lenses and accessories.

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