Peter Glaskowsky <[email protected]> writes:
One day at the recent Microprocessor Forum, I sat next to Rick Doherty, who is Steve Wozniak’s business partner at Envisioneering. I didn’t know who he was at first, but I was struck by the remarkable variety of consumer electronic devices he was carting around. One item particularly attracted my attention, and I asked him about it. It was a Ricoh digital camera, currently only on sale in Japan, and I didn’t catch the model name/number. It’s about the size of one of an old Instamatic camera for 110 film, and is used in that orientation. It takes 720 x 512 images, and records them to a small internal Flash-memory card (like a PC Card, but smaller).
Now, get this – it can also capture motion video. It has an internal motion JPEG hardware codec, and can record up to six seconds of video per 8 MB of Flash. It has a detachable video interface with RCA plugs for connection to a VCR (I didn’t catch whether it has a video input, but it definitely has a video output). I don’t know if it supports NTSC.
The downside is that the unit is about $1,300 in Japan. Doherty said he’s been told that Ricoh is thinking about making it available in the USA, but that they believe they could sell them for even more money, up to $2,500 or so. Apart from the price, it looked like an extremely neat product.