Kyocera is fattening up its line of digital cameras with one hefty new pro offering and two slim new point-and-shoot models. The Finecam S3x and S4 offer 3.2 and 4.0 megapixel resolution respectively and dimensions small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, while the Contax N Digital is billed as the first digital SLR camera with a full-frame 6.29 megapixel sensor.
Finecam S3x, S4 details
The Finecam S4 utilizes a 3x optical zoom lens and a 2x digital zoom, which Kyocera claimed is the 35mm equivalent of a 35-105mm lens. It sports a pop-up flash and dimensions of 3-3/8 by 2-3/16 by 1-3/16 inches, and a stainless steel body with a dark finish.
The Finecam S3x is the same size as the S4, and features a silver-finished body. Features include auto exposure control, exposure compensation, white balance controls, various shooting modes and playback functions. They also sport an AVI movie recording mode, enabling users to store up to 15 seconds of continuous footage.
Both of the new Finecam cameras sport improvements over the Finecam S3 model, including 30 percent faster operation, improved battery consumption and faster click-to-click processing. They also both feature Epson’s Print Image Matching technology, designed to optimize output to supported Epson Stylus Photo printers (in related news, Epson today noted the forthcoming release of a Print Image Matching plug in for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements).
The cameras use either Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMedia Card (MMC) flash media for memory and feature USB interfaces for downloading to a PC or Mac. They feature 1.5-inch color LCD TFT displays which allow users to view shots while they’re being take and afterwards. The cameras also feature Macro mode, which enables users to shoot objects about 9 cm from the lens surface in wide angle, Infinity Mode, manual focusing, four different flash modes and more.
Both Finecam cameras ship with rechargeable lithium ion batteries and ArcSoft’s Pixela software. The S3x ships this month for about US$500. Look for the S4 to hit store shelves in March for about $600.
More on the Contax N Digital
The Contax N Digital is based on the Contax N1, which was introduced in fall of 2000. The camera is billed as the world’s first digital SLR camera to use a full-frame 35mm, 24x36mm, 6+ megapixel CCD. The use of a full-sized CCD enables the camera to utilize Carl Zeiss T* N Series auto focus lenses.
Because it’s based on the N1, the N Digital shares the same basic functions — including “Dual Focus Mechanism,” a five point wide array diagonal auto focus system, and “Fine Focus ABC (Auto Bracketing System).” The Contax N Digital features a 1/8000 sec. maximum shutter speed, flash synchro of 1/200 sec., and TTL evaluative metering, center-weighted average metering, and spot metering. A flash auto set function is also incorporated.
The Contax N Digital can use the seven lenses already developed for the N system, as well as the eight lenses that comprise the Contax 645 System, although to use the 645 System’s lenses the N Digital will need the NAM-1 Adapter.
The Contax N Digital utilizes a thin, lowpass filter developer by Kyocera that the company said helps to eliminate false color producing filters that can affect image quality. It writes in three formats — including JPEG (with three separate compression ratios), RGB-TIFF, And RAW. There’s a menu of white balance selections, too, including Auto, One Push Preset and Custom.
The company said that the N Digital’s high speed digital image processing makes it possible to take 3 frames per second. Digital images are written out to Compact Flash Type I and Type II media (and IBM’s 1GB Micro Drive too). FireWire is also supported.
The Contax N Digital sports a 2.0 inch TFT color LCD display on the back, which can be used to help check exposure, focus and file information. It offers a Shooting Assist Function histogram and much more.
Pricing and availability on the new Contax N Digital was not available as MacCentral went to press with this article.