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The camera is the latest in a growing line of small models that offer basic functions and are designed to be suitable for carrying in a bag or pocket for taking snapshots. The D-snap is 62 millimeters by 75 millimeters in size and 26 millimeters deep, meaning it will easily fit in most hands, and weighs 122 grams, or about the same as a cellular telephone.
Its picture-taking features are simple. The 350,000 pixel CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) is a step down from most digital still cameras and puts it in a class with cellular camera handsets and zoom is limited to 2X digital. In movie mode, users can record MPEG4 video clips at 15 frames per second in one of two resolutions: 320 pixels by 240 pixels (QVGA) or 176 pixels by 144 pixels (QCIF). An audio mode allows for basic recording.
There is no view finder but a 2-inch TFT (thin film transistor) LCD (liquid crystal display) panel folds up from the top of the device allowing users to frame their pictures and also play back still and video images.
But comparing the device’s specifications to other digital cameras might be missing the point. A Matsushita representative at World PC Expo said the D-snap is designed to appeal to young, fashion-conscious users who will value the combination of these functions and others — it also doubles as an MP3 and AAC digital audio player — in a small form factor and stylish design.
The D-snap uses SD (Secure Digital) memory cards and a 128MB card provides enough space for 42 minutes of QVGA or two hours and 30 minutes of QCIF standard quality video, between 880 and 3,520 images depending on compression or eight hours and 30 minutes of audio.
The camera will cost around ¥48,000 (US$390) and be available in Japan in December. It will be sold under the “Will” brand, a brand created by a group of companies to sell a variety of products to fashion aware users. Other members of the Will group include Toyota Motor Corp., travel company Kinki Nippon Tourist, confectionary maker Ezaki Glico Co. Ltd. and stationary supplier Kokuyo Co. Ltd.