Epson’s new PhotoPC 3100Z is the company’s first digital camera to include its new Print Image Matching technology, designed to aid photographers in producing high quality image prints by improving the input-output synergy between digital cameras and printers.
With this technology, the PhotoPC 3100Z has preset critical image-specific parameters for printing, such as gamma level, color space, contrast, sharpness, brightness, saturation, shadow point, highlight point, and color balance to ensure optimum results, according to Epson. The camera saves the ideal print commands in each image data file. Print Image Matching-compatible printers, such as the Stylus Photo 785EPX, use this information automatically when printing the image to most accurately reproduce the image captured by the camera. In addition to the automatic Print Image Matching feature, the PhotoPC 3100Z customers have the ability to manually apply print adjustments for sharpness and brightness after an image is captured.
The three-megapixel PhotoPC 3100Z is the successor to the PhotoPC 3000Z. The camera — which is Mac and Windows compatible with USB connectivity — will be available later this month for an estimated street price of US$799.
According to Lisa Graham, product manager, digital cameras, Epson, the camera offers a convenient way to mark pictures for printing with a print button located on the back of the camera and includes the company’s HyPict image enhancement technology.
HyPict offers 2544 x 1904 pixel resolution or 4.8 megapixels. The PhotoPC 3100Z has a 3.34 megapixel CCD sensor for resolution up to 2048 x 1536. With HyPict image enhancement technology, images are interpolated to 2544 x 1904 pixel resolution, or 4.8 megapixels, inside the camera before JPEG compression.
Graham said that a feature that is new to the digital camera market is the print button on the back of the PhotoPC 3100Z. By taking advantage of the Digital Print Order Format (DPOF), the photographer can actually “mark” the images on the memory card by scrolling through the images on the camera’s LCD panel. As photos are viewed, they can be selected for printing by pressing the button either once for a single print or multiple times for more than one print of the same image. Once images are marked for printing, the card can be placed in a printer — the printer will automatically detect the marked photos, and the selected images will be printed.
The PhotoPC 3100Z features a 3x optical zoom, which is equivalent to a 34mm-102mm lens on a 35mm camera, a 35-second, Web-ready video clip feature, and built-in microphone. Included with the PhotoPC 3100Z is a 16MB CompactFlash card that stores up to 199 standard resolution images. Need more storage? The PhotoPC 3100Z supports cards up to 320MB for expanded storage capabilities.
What’s more, the PhotoPC 3100Z contains a variety of features that professional and advanced photo enthusiasts demand, such as manual exposure and aperture priority, Graham said. The camera offers three different capture modes: manual, programmed and fully automatic. The manual setting is the ideal mode for more experienced photographers with its aperture priority, shutter priority, adjustable focus and spot metering settings, Graham said.
The manual mode can be used to change the exposure, sensitivity settings and white balance. The programmed mode has settings for sports, portrait and landscape photography. The fully automatic mode for “point and shoot” picture taking contains macro (2.36 to 20 inches) and digital zoom. The camera also offers a new stitching feature that enables customers to snap multiple images and stitch them together to make a panoramic photograph.
For shooting photos with a flash, photographers can add an optional external flash unit using the built-in hot shoe. Additionally, the camera’s standard built-in flash supports red eye reduction and slow synchronized flash. The camera also offers add-on lens capability for optional 49mm close-up, wide angle and telephoto converter lenses, as well as filters.