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Minox's Digital Classic Camera Leica M3. Courtesy of Minox, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Minox updates retro digicam
(Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - 02:41 EDT)

German camera company Minox (famous for its sub-miniature "spy" film cameras of days gone by) has announced an update to one of its digital camera models.

The Minox Digital Classic Camera Leica M3 5.0 retains much the same styling as its predecessors, which date all the way back to the DCC M3 1.3 announced back in September 2002. Resolution remains identical to the most recent two versions - the DCC M3 3.2 and 4.0 - which have both used a 3.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor. Where the M3 4.0 interpolated the 3.2 megapixel sensor data to a resolution of four megapixels, the DCC M3 5.0 interpolates even further to five megapixel resolution. Thankfully, the camera's native 2048 x 1536 resolution is offered as well, so users won't be forced to expend valuable storage space on data that could have been interpolated on a PC once home. The three megapixel sensor is coupled to a 42mm-equivalent fixed focal length, fixed aperture, fixed focus lens with glass elements.

Increased interpolation is far from the only change - the new DCC M3 5.0 is probably the biggest update to the line since the original 1.3 megapixel model, and should prove much more useable thanks to two changes in particular. Firstly, where the previous models offered only a Galilean optical viewfinder, the M3 5.0 supplements this with a new 1.5" LCD display - perhaps a bit small for a digicam these days, but that's understandable given the size of the M3 5.0 (and a welcome addition that will allow both more precise framing, and the ability to review images immediately after capture). The other main change is the addition of a Secure Digital card slot - meaning that users will be able to store many more images than was previously possible in the camera's limited 32MB internal memory. The built-in memory is retained, allowing the camera to be used straight out of the box.

Pricing and availability have not been announced at this time.

Minox Digital Classic Camera Leica M3 5.0
Minox's Digital Classic Camera Leica M3. Courtesy of Minox, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.
Camera TypeUltra Compact
Model NumberDCC Leica M3
Dimensions2.9 x 1.9 x 1.7"
74.0 x 47.0 x 44.0mm
Image Capture
Sensor TypeCMOS
3.20 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio4:3
Image Dimensions2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels, interpolated)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
Image Preview / Review
ViewfinderYes, Galilean optical
Lens TypeMINOX
Image StabilizationNo
Focal Length8.5mm (actual)
42mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.0 (fixed)
Focusing SystemFixed Focus
White BalanceImage Sensor - Automatic
Digital Zoom4x
Self TimerYes, 10 seconds
Movie FormatAVI without audio
Max. frame-rate: 0 frames per second
Recording MediumSD/MMC, Built-in
File FormatJPEG
ComputerUSB 1.1
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary
Product Bundle
Battery / ChargerProprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory32.0MB built-in NAND flash memory
Remote ControlNo

Original Source Press Release:

MINOX DCC Leica M3: New edition of the nostalgia digital camera offers top of the range technology and a touch of extravagance

The new digital Classic Camera from MINOX comes in a really stylish format! On the outside it features the miniaturized shell of the legendary Leica M3, designed in great detail, and inside it is packed with innovative technology in the form of a powerful digital camera. A unique harmony of classic design and state-of-the-art features. This new edition of the wee camera is a logical and up to date further development of the previous DCC model, and features a color monitor and a memory card slot, making the miniature camera geared to continue a success story.

With the DCC Leica M3, MINOX GmbH has demonstrated in a most impressive way how a legendary classic camera be revived. It is a highlight in the segment of lifestyle digital cameras and is a milestone which has already acquired cult status in the history of the Wetzlar-based company with its rich tradition. The concept on which this small classic camera is based relays the strong points of MINOX in a concise form: perfect, high-precision miniaturization of top technology combined with a touch of extravagance. Many details designed in metal enhance the form of the DCC Leica M3 most effectively making it a real gem. The State-of-the-art technology and optical systems behind the nostalgic look provide images of a brilliant quality. Functional controls have been discretely integrated in the body, including the 1.5 inch TFT color monitor.

As a supplement to the optical viewfinder the display can optionally help the user compose the subject and provides information on the selected specific camera settings as well as on the number of images. At the same time the digital MINOX Leica M3 is extremely easy to use and therefore excellently suited for those getting started in the world of digital photography. Based on its innovative, striking appearance it’s a real eye-catcher and guarantees unlimited photographic fun to people of all ages. In video mode it is possible to shoot film sequences with the wee DCC in AVI format.

With a resolution of up to five mega pixels, the new Digital Classic Camera delivers detailed images with an impressing sharpness. And there’s no need to worry about memory space. All data are stored on SD cards with a capacity of up to 2 GB. The engineers at MINOX have been able to integrate a card slot in the small body next to the USB interface for transferring data to the computer. In addition, there is a 32 MB internal memory available for storing files. And for the first time a built-in Li-ion battery provides the camera power supply.

The DCC Leica M3 draws attention wherever it goes and its compact dimensions make it a permanent and attractive companion, ready to capture candid shots and memories of every occasion. It also serves as a reliable digital notebook.

The scope of delivery includes a USB cable, a CD-Rom with software as well as a manual.

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