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Samsung's Digimax i5 digital camera. Courtesy of Samsung, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Samsung Digimax i5 nears market
(Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 02:23 EDT)

Regular readers may remember we told you of the upcoming Samsung Digimax i5 a month ago when it was first unveiled by the company's Chinese subsidiary, Tianjin Samsung Opto-Electronics Co. Ltd., at the 2005 Shanghai Imaging Expo.

An interesting-looking ultracompact model with an all-metal body, five megapixel imager, prism-folded 3x optical zoom SHD lens, and a 2.5" LCD with a fairly high 230,000 pixel resolution, the Digimax i5 is quite reminiscent of Nikon's Coolpix S1 model. Images are stored on SD or MMC cards, or in the rather generous 50MB of built-in memory. One unusual feature we noticed when browsing the press materials is that the i5 does allow user of the optical zoom during movie recording, but mutes the recording during zoom operation so as to prevent noise from the lens being heard on the video. A "movie stabiliser" function is also listed, which likely operates by simply changing the area cropped from the sensor data during capture. The i5 also incorporates the "safety flash" feature seen on certain past Samsung camera models, which is actually not a flash at all, but rather brightens the image to simulate flash use in situations where using the actual flash would be undesirable.

The Samsung Digimax i5 should ship next month, with European pricing set at €350 - roughly equivalent to US$440, ignoring exchange rate fluctuations, taxes and duties. The camera may possibly be known as the Digimax SL1 in some markets, as early prototypes shown at the Shanghai tradeshow bore this name - or perhaps Samsung decided to change the name to be somewhat less similar to Nikon's model. Plans for sale outside of Europe have not been announced at this time.

Preliminary specifications follow below.

Samsung Digimax i5
Samsung's Digimax i5 digital camera. Courtesy of Samsung, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.
Camera Type Ultra Compact
Manufacturer Samsung
Model Number i5
Dimensions 3.5 x 2.4 x 0.7"
89.6 x 59.8 x 17.3mm
Weight 133.0 g
4.7 oz
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.5" CCD
5.10 megapixels (total)
5.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Image Dimensions 2592 x 1944 (5.0 megapixels)
2272 x 1704 (3.9 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality 3 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 2.5", 230,000 pixels
Playback Zoom 10.1x max
Lens Type Samsung SHD Lens
3x optical zoom
Image Stabilization No
Focal Length 6.6 - 19.8mm (actual)
39 - 117mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/3.5 (wide) / f/4.5 (tele) - ???
Focusing Range Normal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.4" - 20" (1 cm - 50 cm)
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100, 200, 400
Shutter Speed 16 - 1/2000 second
Exposure Modes Program
Metering Modes Multi, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/2EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent_H, Fluorescent_L, Tungsten, Custom, Manual
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in flash, Slow sync, Flash off
Range: Wide : 0.2m ~ 2.4m, Tele : 0.3m ~ 1.9m (ISO AUTO)
Scene Modes Night, Portrait, Children, Landscape, Text, Close-up, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Fireworks, Beach & Snow
Digital Zoom 1.0 - 5.0x
Self Timer Yes, 2 or 10 seconds
Movie Format AVI (MPEG 4) without audio
640x480 and 160x128
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Recording Medium SD/MMC, Built-in
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 2.0 Full (LOW) Speed
Other DC In
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary SLB-0737 3.7V
Product Bundle
Software Digimax Viewer, Digimax Reader, ArcSoft PhotoImpression
Battery / Charger Proprietary SLB-0737 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery
Flash Memory 50.0MB built-in memory
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Remote Control No
More Photos
Samsung's Digimax i5 digital camera. Courtesy of Samsung, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.
Samsung's Digimax i5 digital camera. Courtesy of Samsung, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.

Original Source Press Release:

Samsung Camera releases the slim digital camera - Digimax i5

Samsung Camera has recently announced the launch of a new 5 mega-pixel, 3x Optical Zoom digital camera with Internal Zoom technology adopted for the first time in Samsung digital cameras (model name: Digimax i5). With enhanced design and multimedia capabilities, the Digimax i5 will accelerate Samsung's penetration into both the domestic and international slim digital camera market, where demand is surging among the young population.

The newly-released Digimax i5, to which the company has devoted a strong R&D team and invested millions of dollars, is the digital camera that brings internal zoom capability to Samsung Camera. Its cool stylish stainless body means it will not scratch or tarnish. Moreover, the product provides enhanced capabilities in a portable package to satisfy those whose focus is on function and style.

The Digimax i5 allows an additional 5x digital zoom function with 3x optical zoom (equivalent to 39-117 mm in 35 mm format), for a total of 15x zoom. The i5 dimensions are 89.6 mm(L) x 59.8 mm(H) x 17.3 mm(W) and it only weighs 130.0 g. It also comes in four different colours: silver, black, red and grey. The Digimax i5 achieves clearer image quality by integrating the 3x optical zoom capability to Samsung Camera's exclusive SHD lens technology, recognized throughout the world. With a 5 mega-pixel CCD that utilizes primary colour filtering technology, it provides excellent sensitivity and colour reproduction, and can be used great pictures as well as for shooting text for printing.

The Digimax i5 has a 2.5" 230k-pixel high resolution LCD for improved contrast and colour reproduction, allowing you to enjoy a wider and clearer image.

The Digimax i5 is equipped with the unique SF (Safety Flash) capability that has been even further improved. The SF (Safety Flash) function gives enhanced image clarity and colour in places without a sufficient light source, when the use of a flash is not desirable. This unique technology uses proprietary algorithms to interpret sharpness and colour information to deliver an image that looks like it has been taken with the flash. As the flash is disabled red eye will be prevented. Furthermore, a separate SF (Safety Flash) button makes it easy for the user to access the feature.

The Digimax i5 supports MPEG-4, the high-compression high-quality video format, for an enhanced video shooting experience. When used with a 256 MB memory, the user can record up to 2 hours 10 minutes of movie with sound, and i5 can be used like a camcorder due to its 3x optical zoom capability, while recording (mute mode). With the Digimax i5, the user can record a high quality movie of up to 30 frames per second at VGA resolution and then play it on TV without any loss of quality, or enjoy it on a PC screen at twice the size of conventional clips.

The Digimax i5 also has a movie stabilizer function, maintaining steady recording of a subject by means of automatic detection and correction of minor lateral and vertical camera movement. The product also provides a continuous video recording function that allows the user to pause and resume video recording at any time. Add to this the built-in movie editing function, allowing movie clips to be edited within the camera itself and this cameras movie function can be really powerful.

The new Digimax i5 flexible charging system allows the user to perform charging and data transfer at any time and in any place. Since it employs the same 24-pin charging system as a cellular phone (depends on region), the same charger can be used for both camera and cellular phone, eliminating the need to have separate chargers in the office or while traveling. The Digimax i5 comes with a cradle to enable even easier charging and image transfer.

The Digimax i5 provides an M button for even quicker mode switching. The user can switch between Auto, Manual and Scene Modes more quickly and easily. When it is set to Auto Mode, the Digimax i5 automatically adjusts the shooting distance and focus from between 5 cm to infinity, helping the picture taker to get better pictures. The user does not need to activate the macro function separately in order to take pictures as close as 5cm. Furthermore, the super macro function enables subjects to be photographed up to as close as 1 cm.

The other features of the Digimax i5 are the various photographic effects it provides. Digimax i5 has four different special effects: Colour, Photo Frame, highlight and Composite. The Colour effect includes Red, Blue and Green in addition to Sepia, Negative and B/W. Highlight, enables the user to emphasize a subject by putting its surroundings into soft focus. Photo Frame lets the user choose from various frames and add them to a picture, which can then be uploaded to a website, or personal blog. With Composite, the user can divide the shooting scene into 2-4 segments and save them into a single file.

Digimax i5 has various scene modes to obtain the best picture result in a variety of settings. The scene modes provided are Night Scene, Portrait, Children, Landscape, Text Recognition, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Fireworks, Beach and Snow. In particular, Text mode extends the camera's application potential. The user can shoot documents such as books, papers and magazines and then extract text from the images taken using the "Digimax Viewer" text recognition software included.

In addition to the successful launch earlier this year of advanced models including the 7 Mega Pixel Digimax V700, leading camera manufacturer Samsung Camera is now releasing the Digimax i5, with enhanced design and portability, to lead the trend of a young population, introducing a revolutionary change in applications for a digital camera.

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