My articles regarding digital cameras (starting in TidBITS-297) have prompted scores of comments, including reports of newer and cooler cameras. Each time I get a new report, I think, "Enough about these digital cameras," and each time I read the note and think "Wow, that's too cool!" So, here are more details about the Ricoh DC-1 (or RDC-1, depending on who you believe) digital camera along with a note from Japan about a new single-lens reflex digital camera from NEC. I'm going to try to avoid writing more about digital cameras for a while, and perhaps we'll see some serious price drops in the near future, since I think price is the main concern for most people.
David Andrew <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
In TidBITS-301, Peter Glaskowsky described a new digital camera from Ricoh. Here are the details (according to the Sep-95 issue of Multimedia Producer, p. 62). [There's also an article about it in the Dec-95 issue of Popular Photography. -Adam]
The Ricoh DC-1 digital camera weighs nine ounces, can record up to 492 still images, 100 minutes of sound (8-bit, mono) or four full-motion video scenes of five seconds each on a single 8 MB PC Card [MacWEEK recently reported similar specs but mentioned 10-second video clips and a 24 MB PC Card for an $1,800 price point and a U.S. spring release. -Adam]. It sports a F2.8 CCD that averages between 380,00 and 410,000 pixels. The screen resolution is 640 x 480, and it records all images in JPEG format.
According to the article, Ricoh claims the camera can record and play back footage at 60 frames/second in 24-bit color. It generates an NTSC signal, so it can connect directly to a television or video printer. There is also an optional 2.5" LCD which swivels like the Sharp ViewCam.
The DC-1 takes Type 1 PC Cards and can transfer images to a PC using an RS-232 cable. Other options include a built-in strobe flash, 3X zoom and auto exposure.
The DC-1 is only available in Japan, but will soon be in the U.S. for $1,600 to $2,300, depending on options. Of course, how soon is anybody's guess. I'll take two.
Masato Ogawa <email@example.com>, a longtime TidBITS reader from Japan, notes that with the necessary options, the Ricoh DC-1 would cost about $2,400 in U.S. dollars, although he was impressed by the picture quality. Masato also passed on some information about an NEC digital camera demoed at the Telecom '95 conference in Geneva, Switzerland. It's a single-lens reflex camera, so you can change lenses, and it stores the data on a PC Card in JPEG/TIFF format so you don't need to convert the pictures after downloading. The price is most alluring, at about $1,000.