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FUJIFILM AXIA's eyeplate mega digital camera. Courtesy of SMaL Camera Technologies. SMaL's 1.3 megapixel credit card digicam now available
(Tuesday, July 8, 2003 - 14:17 EDT)

Regular readers may remember that we told you last year of plans from SMaL Camera Technologies to update its credit card camera design with several new or improved features.

Our prediction has now become reality with the announcement by FUJIFILM AXIA Co. Ltd. of a new camera based on SMaL's updated design. Fuji's AXIA subsidiary was the first to commercialise the original SMaL credit-card camera design. The "AXIA eyeplate mega" has received upgrades over its predecessor in a number of areas. Perhaps most noticeable, the resolution has been quadrupled from 640 x 480 to a much more useful 1280 x 1024 - which should be enough for reasonable prints. The built-in memory has been doubled from 8 to 16MB, and a new Secure Digital card slot allows for storage expansion.

Along with the sensor change, the new design has a brighter lens (F3.0 versus F3.8 on the old design) with a macro mode that lets it focus much closer than its predecessor. A new addition is an external flash unit which is almost the same weight as the camera itself. Both are welcome modifications that should help users in avoiding the perils of camera shake in low-light situations. The USB interface from the original AXIA eyeplate has been upgraded to a USB 2.0 type, although as noted in another news item recently a USB 2.0 device is not necessarily faster than a USB 1.1 device. The longest shutter speed has been extended to 1/15 second from 1/30 previously...

The FUJIFILM AXIA eyeplate mega will go on sale in Japan from July 25th, with pricing as yet unannounced. We are not currently aware of plans to sell the camera outside of Japan.

FUJIFILM AXIA eyeplate mega
FUJIFILM AXIA's eyeplate mega digital camera. Courtesy of SMaL Camera Technologies. Click for a bigger picture!
Effective Pixels 1.31 megapixel
Image Sensor CMOS sensor with AutoBrite feature
Storage Media 16MB built-in flash memory, 16 - 256MB Secure Digital memory card (not included)
File Type DCF compliant JPEG *(converted on downloading with bundled software)
Image Size SXGA: 1280 x 1024; VGA: 640 x 480 pixels
Focal Length F = 7.07mm (35mm equivalent: 46mm)
Aperture F3.0
Viewfinder Optical
White Balance Automatic
Focusing Range 1m - infinity; macro (25cm)
Shutter Speed Automatic (1/15 - 1/4000 second)
Focusing Fixed focus
Interface USB 2.0 (Mini-USB Type B)
Flash External (requires single AA alkaline battery)
Image Quantity SXGA: Approx. 21; VGA: Approx. 91
Power Source Built-in Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
External Dimensions Width: 86.8mm x Height: 54.8mm x Depth: 8mm (excluding projections)
Weight Approx. 40g (including built-in battery); 76g with external flash attached
Operating Environment Temperature: 0 - 40°C; Humidity: 80% or less (non-condensing)
Accessories Flash, soft case, hand strap, USB cable, software CD-ROM, 1 x AA alkaline battery, instruction manual, quick start guide, guarantee
More Photos
FUJIFILM AXIA's eyeplate mega digital camera. Courtesy of SMaL Camera Technologies. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

SMaL Camera Technologies Enables the World's Thinnest and Lightest 1.3-Megapixel Digital Cameras by FUJIFILM AXIA

Launch Validates SMaL's Leadership Position in Popular Credit Card Camera Category

Cambridge, Mass. (July 8, 2003) - SMaL Camera Technologies, a developer of digital imaging solutions and the creator of the award-winning 6mm thin Ultra-Pocket® VGA digital still camera, announced today that it has enabled the 1.3-Megapixel "eyeplate mega" digital camera by FUJIFILM AXIA CO., LTD, a subsidiary of Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. of Tokyo (Nasdaq: FUJIY). The release of AXIA's second-generation, SMaL-enabled slim cameras validates SMaL's leadership position in the credit-card size camera category, which it created in response to consumer demand for lifestyle products that offer ultra-portability, long battery life, style, quality and value.

The AXIA eyeplate mega, released initially in Japan, is based on the same sleek industrial design as its predecessor, released in 2002. Featuring a mere 8mm thin body, the innovative camera is now the "world's thinnest" print-quality digital still camera. The new camera offers unprecedented portability with megapixel resolution, allowing users to capture spontaneous images that can be printed as high-quality photos. The camera also features an SD memory card slot, macro mode for close-up shots, and a compact plug-in strobe flash, completing the total portability of the camera.

"Our partnership with FUJIFILM AXIA to develop its second-generation credit card camera demonstrates SMaL's commitment to pushing the envelope in the thin camera category and enabling OEMs to produce attention-grabbing mass-market digital cameras in record time," says Stuart Nixdorff, vice president of sales and marketing, SMaL Camera Technologies. "The enormous success of the first generation AXIA eyeplate, combined with the initial consumer reaction to this next-generation product, demonstrates that a major portion of the global consumer market is far more concerned with owning an extremely thin camera for spontaneous picture-taking than it is with carrying an inconvenient and bulky digital camera."

About SMaL's Ultra-Pocket 1.3-Megapixel Kit

The Ultra-Pocket 1.3-megapixel kit includes SMaL's proprietary 1.3-megapixel CMOS imager with Autobrite®, ASIC controller, lithium-polymer rechargeable battery, taking lens, viewfinder with aiming mark, and complete camera reference design. SMaL's Longevity™ ultra-low-power design is the primary enabler of the ultra-thin credit card-sized design and extremely long battery life. SMaL's solution, which consumes at least ten times less battery power than other digital camera platforms, allows OEMs to rely on SMaL's extremely thin battery, instead of more bulky alternative technologies. The battery recharges automatically via USB during picture download and stores enough charge for 1000 snapshots - an advantage of 10 to 20 times over other digital cameras. These unparalleled features completely eliminate the familiar hassle and expense of frequent battery changing or charging common to other digital cameras. In addition, the high level of integration in SMaL's kit results in cameras with 2 to 3 times fewer components than other digital cameras. This low component count means smaller form factors, higher product reliability, and higher manufacturing yields.

The 1.3-megapixel kit also features SMaL's proprietary Autobrite technology, which adapts to bright lighting conditions such as backlighting or glare, solving the dynamic range problem that exists with most other digital cameras. Users no longer have to worry about the position of the sun when snapping a photo -- Autobrite solves this problem for them. In addition, due to its vertically integrated imager and optics, SMaL's kit is the only 1.3-megapixel solution that enables cameras capable of producing high quality 5x7-inch prints. Competing cameras manufactured with an off-the-shelf lens and imager lack the optimization to fully utilize the resolution of the sensor, and therefore tend to lack the sharpness and clarity of the crisp, film quality SMaL images. The kit ships with SMaL's simple to use photo album and offers support for Windows 98, ME, and 2000, as well as Mac Classic and OS X.

In addition to enabling existing and future lifestyle digital cameras, SMaL' s technology is being leveraged in the surveillance and automotive markets. In the security and surveillance market, SMaL's Ultra-Wide and Autobrite technologies enable video cameras that help security professionals increase safety and security with the display of wide-angle views and clear, crisp video content, regardless of extreme variations of brightness within the same scene. In the automotive market, SMaL's Autobrite technology provides high-quality video that will enable driver assistance applications in the near future.

About SMaL Camera Technologies (www.SMaLcamera.com) SMaL Camera Technologies is an award-winning developer of electronic imaging solutions for the digital camera, security and surveillance, consumer electronics and automotive markets. SMaL's solutions are built around its proprietary CMOS image sensors, video processing ASICs and Autobrite® technology. These solutions provide previously unavailable benefits, revolutionizing the digital photo and video markets. With SMaL's consumer solutions, featuring low-power consumption and advanced imaging techniques, consumer electronics manufacturers can now offer convenient digital photography by producing the thinnest, most user-friendly digital cameras and mobile imaging devices in the world. SMaL's technology powers digital still cameras from leading consumer electronics companies. In the security & surveillance markets, SMaL's Autobrite technology enables video cameras that help security professionals increase safety and security with the display of clear and crisp video content, regardless of extreme variations of brightness within the same scene. In the automotive market, SMaL's Autobrite technology provides high-quality video that will enable driver assistance applications of the future. SMaL was co-founded and launched in 1999 by leading electronic imaging experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). SMaL is a privately held, venture-backed company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

For more information on SMaL Camera Technologies and its products, visit the company's web site at http://www.SMaLcamera.com.

Ultra-Pocket® and Autobrite® are Registered Trademarks of SMaL Camera Technologies, Inc.


FUJIFILM AXIA CO., LTD. is a subsidiary of FUJI PHOTO FILM CO., LTD., a leading global manufacturer in three business segments, including Imaging Solutions, Information Solutions and Document Solutions. AXIA is the top distributor of the FUJIFILM brand digital cameras in the Japanese market. In addition, AXIA designs and markets its own brand products. AXIA is headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. On the Net: FUJIFILM AXIA's site: http://www.axia.co.jp

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