Will Sakar’s clone of the Samsung DualView land Polaroid in hot water?
posted Friday, October 5, 2012 at 3:09 PM EDT
Fancy picking up a new digital camera or camcorder, but don't want to spend a lot of money? A bevy of new products from Sakar International Inc. are vying for your attention, and not a one costs more than US$200.
Every model in the group has one other thing in common--although it's made by Sakar, it's being sold under the Polaroid brandname through a licensing arrangement between the two companies.
The most interesting for amateur photographers is probably the Polaroid iS2132, which at US$200 is also the most expensive of the bunch. It features a sixteen megapixel image sensor, and a 21x optical zoom lens with a 25mm-equivalent wide angle. As you can see in the pictures above, there's a physical Mode dial and a popup flash on the body, which aims for SLR-like styling. Other features include face-detection autoexposure, blink detection, a panorama function, and high-def video capture capability.
The Polaroid iF045 is also rather interesting. With tongue somewhat in cheek, we'd suggest it makes the ideal wedding present: you can cover something new, borrowed, and blue all in one gift. That leaves the bride-to-be only to find something old, and a silver sixpence.
What's borrowed, we hear you asking? That would be the iF045's basic design, which features a secondary, front-facing LCD panel for self-portraits. It's an idea first seen in Samsung's DualView digital cameras, and although the styling isn't that similar, the concept is much the same. It may not help that Sakar and Polaroid's joint press release actually contains the term "dual-view", given that Samsung DualView is a trademarked term. We don't know if Samsung has any patents on dual-display camera technology, but they certainly have design patents on DualView cameras. If their patents do cover the basic concept, their legal department may, perhaps, cast a concerned eye over the iF045.
Of course, while it mimics the Samsung DualView cameras' layout, with a price tag of just US$100 something had to give. Hence, the 14 megapixel sensor sits behind a fixed focal length lens, with the iF045 relying solely on digital zoom. It is, however, waterproof to ten feet, so you'll be the talk of your social networking circle once you start posting underwater self-portraits! ;-)
There's also one more camera model, but Sakar has yet to provide pictures. The Polaroid iS326 is priced at just US$80, and features a 3x optical zoom and a rechargeable battery pack.
Moving onto the camcorders, we start with the Polaroid iD642, shown above. It, too, is waterproof to ten feet and has a fixed focal-length lens. Unlike the iF045 it's got only one LCD panel, though, with a two-inch diagonal. It's also intended primarily as a 720p video camera. There's a 4x digital zoom function, a Type-B HDMI output, and a price tag of US$100.
The Polaroid iD450 (US$180) meanwhile hops on the WiFi bandwagon, offering direct YouTube or Facebook upload and even live uStream video streaming via a convenient WiFi network or compatible iOS and Android devices. The iD450 provides for full 1080p video capture.
Next up is the twelve megapixel Polaroid iD820 ($180), which Sakar claims to be one of the thinnest and lightest camcorders to offer true 1080p video capture. Other features include a 3-inch, 16:9 aspect touchscreen display, and dual-stream recording capability that saves a low-res copy of each Full HD video that's more conducive to placing on video sharing services like YouTube.
Finally, we have the Polaroid iD879, also priced at US$180. This looks to be similar to the iD820 in terms of specification, but with a 5x optical zoom lens. (Sakar again claims it to be one of the slimmest Full HD cameras with a built-in optical zoom.) Other features include slow motion capture, and an HDMI output.
Available immediately in the US market, all of the new cameras and camcorders will also arrive in Europe (including Cyprus and Turkey), India, and Latin America later this fall.