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Polaroid's Digital MiniPortrait System. Courtesy of Polaroid, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Polaroid announces digital miniportrait system
(Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 04:12 EST)

Polaroid Corp. yesterday announced its new Polaroid Digital MiniPortrait Camera in a press release covering its upcoming presence at the PMA Spring 2003 show in Las Vegas.

The camera is designed for tethered use in a store or studio, as it has no internal power source (the press release doesn't specify whether power is provided over the camera's USB connection or via a separate power-cord). It can be handheld, but at a weight of 5 lbs. is more likely to be used on a tripod. Few specifications are available in the press release or the product page on Polaroid's site, but we can tell you that the camera has a 6.2 - 18.6mm 3x optical zoom with autofocus, tiltable preview LCD screen that the company says is "the largest available on the market", built-in flash and x-sync for studio strobes, and a built-in thermal printer.

Prints can have 1, 2, 4 or 6 copies of a photo on them, and take roughly 80 - 90 seconds to print. Print resolution is 300 dots per inch, and the camera apparently can be set up for "one-touch" operation (press the shutter and the print will appear without further user intervention). Polaroid is targetting the device at "major retailers, minilabs, professional dealers and small malls", and has set pricing at $1,199 with delivery expected in June 2003. The press release also announces a self-service instant photo kiosk which produces 4" x 6" prints in 2 seconds, which is based on the company's long-awaited, patent-pending Opal technology and should be shipping in the first quarter of 2003.

Source: Polaroid Corp.

Original Source Press Release:

Polaroid Unveils the Latest Advancements in Instant Photography and Digital Printing Technology at PMA 2003

- What's in Sight at the PMA Polaroid Booth: Polaroid One, Digital MiniPortrait, T690 Professional Film and Instant Digital Prints Kiosk -

LAS VEGAS and WALTHAM, Mass., - February 26, 2003 - Polaroid Corporation will introduce several new imaging products for both the consumer and professional markets at the 2003 Photo Marketing Association (PMA) International Annual Convention and Trade Show, Booth #E38, March 2-5, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The new product line up features the all-new Polaroid One instant camera, a sleek, contemporary update to the Polaroid OneStep; T690 technologically advanced professional peel-apart instant film; Polaroid Digital MiniPortrait all-in-one digital camera and thermal printing system for document photography applications; and, the next generation in instant digital printing technology, the Polaroid instant digital prints kiosk.

"At this year's PMA, Polaroid will introduce its latest product offerings in instant imaging, for traditional instant photography and the next generation of digital printing," said Todd Hoskins, vice president, Polaroid Corporation, North America. "This show is a perfect platform for Polaroid to show its commitment to staying on the forefront of new technology, and how our latest innovations meet the needs of the consumer and professional users, as well as retailers."

Polaroid will premiere the following products at PMA:

  • Polaroid One - The all-new Polaroid One instant camera is a sleek, contemporary update to the classic Polaroid OneStep. This stylish new camera is 33 percent smaller and 23 percent lighter than its predecessor, making it the ideal companion for everything from special events to everyday fun. Key features include: a built-in automatic flash, self-timer and tripod socket, digital film counter to track available photos and red-eye reduction. Making its trade show debut, the Polaroid One will be on shelves in April 2003 at major retailers, traditional photographic stores and computer and electronic stores for a U.S. suggested retail price of $49.99.
  • Polaroid Digital MiniPortrait Camera - The new Digital MiniPortrait is an all-in-one digital camera and thermal printing system designed specifically for passport photography. This all-new, low-cost digital camera system solution is easy-to-use and features a simple user interface, reducing training time for store personnel. Other key benefits include a 3X zoom, one-push autofocus and a large adjustable on-board strobe; hand-held or tripod mount options; largest LCD screen on the market for previewing pictures; USB port for connection to a monitor; a 80-90 second print time; and exceptional image quality with 300 dpi resolution. The Polaroid Digital MiniPortrait can be used with Polaroid thermal media film and is targeted at major retailers, minilabs, professional dealers and small malls for a U.S. suggested retail price of $1,199.
  • Polaroid T690 - The Polaroid T690 is a brand-new, technologically advanced professional peel-apart instant film. Engineered specifically for proofing and passport photo applications, the T690 delivers bright, well-saturated colors with flexible development times and consistent results photo after photo. This high-performance film also incorporates a new chemistry that offers greater temperature tolerance and dependable performance from 55°F to 105°F - making it one of the first film types to maintain consistent results when used in climates above 95°F. The new T690 film will be available this month through authorized Polaroid dealers, and will be sold in both a single-pack and a twin-pack at a U.S. suggested list price of $20.90 and $39.80 respectively.
  • Polaroid Instant Digital Prints Kiosk - Addressing retailers and consumer demand for fast, simple, high-quality photos, the Polaroid instant digital prints kiosk produces 4x6 digital prints at a rate of one print per two seconds. This speed, coupled with the kiosk's all-in-one, self-service ATM-like interface, enables a customer to select, print and pay for 24 4x6 photos in less than two minutes. The revolutionary thermal printing platform, called "Opal," a patent soon to be issued in the United States, features a unique, "frozen ink" technology that is at the cornerstone of the Polaroid system and is the main driver behind the kiosk's speed. Marking Polaroid's entry into the kiosk marketplace, the company will display its digital prints kiosk at PMA with significant advances over the kiosk shown at Photokina in November of 2002. Polaroid plans to begin installations at select locations in the first quarter of this year.
  • About Polaroid
    Polaroid Corporation is the worldwide leader in instant photography. The company supplies instant photographic cameras and films; digital imaging hardware, software and media; identification systems; and sunglasses to markets worldwide. Additional information about Polaroid is available on the company's Web site at www.polaroid.com.

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