Original Source Press Release:
Minox: Tiny new retro digital (UPDATED)|
(Friday, September 13, 2002 - 15:16 EDT)
An email from frequent correspondent Peter Burian (who in turn spotted the item on DCViews.com) alerted us to a new camera announced by Minox last month which we'd not previously seen...
The 'MINOX Digital Classic Camera Leica M3' was announced on August 6th, at the same time as the company unveiled its DC 1311, an outsourced version of Taiwanese manufacturer Premier's DC 1311. The cameras are quite similar in specifications (1.3 megapixel CMOS cameras with fixed focal-length lenses) - but not in style. If you're wondering why Minox and Leica's names are both on the new camera, here's the reason: Leica acquired Minox's camera division on April 1st, 1996.
Where the DC 1311 is a rather bland-looking camera with a 'computer peripheral' look, the new camera is designed to look like Leica's 1950's M3 rangefinder camera. This goes right down to a replica of the film rewind knob and various switches on the front of the camera - but where the original M3 had a choice of intechangeable lenses, the digital version's lookalike lens is a non-removeable fixed focal length type that is likely fixed-focus as well.
Minox has a tradition of making sub-miniature and miniature cameras, and this new model combines that tradition with the styling of the Leica. The digital equivalent is much, much smaller than the original camera that sold from 1954 to 1968, and somewhat less than 1/5th of the weight. Using the numbers provided by Minox, which look likely to be incorrect to us (the camera is listed as being thicker than it is high, which seems strange) the digital camera is roughly 1/3rd the volume of the Leica M3. Our guess is that it is probably actually somewhere between 1/5th and 1/8th the volume of the original Leica camera. You can see just how small this camera is by comparing it to the USB cable and ferrite bead on the cable in the picture below...
Minox says that the digital M3 has a metal housing, but it isn't clear if the camera is entirely metal as the original would have been, or whether it has metal detailing on a plastic body. The press release also makes no mention of pricing and availability.
Courtesy of Minox, specifications and product photos for the camera follow:
UPDATED 2002-09-14 12:25ET: Thanks to IR readers Ken Poli and Lee Yuan Sheng for pointing out an error in our description of the original Leica M3, which has now been corrected!
Peter Burian / DCViews.com
for this item!
Minox Digital Classic Camera Leica M3
|Image Sensor ||1.3 megapixel CMOS sensor |
|Image Resolution ||Still Image: 1280 x 960 pixels |
|Video Conference ||320 x 240 pixels |
|Internal Memory for Image Storage ||32MB flash memory |
|Image Capacity || |
|High: 60 images based on 500 KB |
|Low: 99 images based on 320 KB |
|Viewfinder ||Optical, built-in reverse Galilean filter |
|Status ||LCD: 2 digit LCD |
|Flash ||Compatible with Classic Camera Flash |
|Lens ||5 elements glass lens with IR filter glass, 10.6 mm |
|Lens Aperture ||F3.0 |
|Focus Range ||1.5m – infinity |
|White Balance ||Automatic |
|Exposure ||Auto Exposure |
|Self-Timer ||10 seconds |
|Power Source ||1 x CR2 battery, USB cable |
|Auto Power-Off ||Stand by mode (After 30 seconds inactivity) |
|File Format ||JPEG, supports Windows 98 / SE / ME / 2000 / XP / Mac compatible |
|Computer Interface ||USB |
|Dimensions ||65mm(L) x 48mm(W) x 44mm (H) |
|Weight ||95g |
|System || |
- Microsoft Windows 98SE / ME / 2000 / XP
- Pentium Processor or later
- 64 MB recommended
- Video with 2-MB-RAM for displaying at least 16 Bit (High Color)
- CD-ROM with 4x speed
- One free USB-port
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|Digital world novelty - Classic Meets Digital: The MINOX Digital Classic Camera Leica M3|
A unique synergy of digital photography and nostalgia - there is just no better way to describe this world novelty presented by the Wetzlar camera manufacturer, which will be on show for the first time at the photokina 2002. MINOX has equipped this miniaturized LEICA M3 classic camera of the fifties with a digital interior. Extravagance and outstanding precision mechanics have always belonged to the values fostered by MINOX, and which are now being transferred to the ever growing digital world.
Simple and fast to operate, meaning that the new MINOX Digital Camera Leica M3 is also ideal for beginners entering the world of digital photography and guarantees unlimited photographic fun for all with its innovative, striking looks.
With a resolution of 1.3 million pixels it is able to capture impressive images. All pictures are internally stored an can be downloaded onto a PC in a fast and easy manner using the USB cable which comes with the camera, and then processed with the provided software. The clearly laid out LCD display on the camera back presents information on the number of shots taken, at any time.
"In today's fast-moving age", says MINOX general manager, Thorsten Kortemeier, "it's good to recollect the good things of the past - and where there's a possibility to combine these with the practical advantages of the latest digital technology, this is going meet with great enthusiasm among many users."
The many details in the metal housing, which accentuate the design, make this new MINOX DCC Leica M 3 a very special item and an absolute eye-catcher among digital cameras. The exceptionally compact dimensions will make this unique digital masterpiece a constant companion, ready for action whatever the situation.
It's a MINOX - a digital one!