Toshiba Imaging Systems announced that its PDR-M81 digital camera will hit store shelves in July with a suggested retail price of under US$1,000. The camera features a 4.2 megapixel CCD sensor and a newly designed lens system.
The PDR-M81 supports resolution modes from 720 x 480 pixels to 2400 x 1600 pixels. It features a 35mm-equivalent lens (35-98mm) with 2.8 optical zoom and a 2.2 digital zoom. The lens also has a macro mode for shooting down to a range of about four inches away from the lens.
The PDR-M81 supports a variety of automatic settings like auto exposure control, red-eye reduction, fill-in flash, auto white balance and auto-sensing flash. It also comes equipped with manual features for photographers who prefer to take a more hands-on approach, including user-selectable white balance and full manual exposure control with 1/2 second to 1/1000 second shutter speeds and f-stop in 1/2 stop increments up to +/- 2 stops.
The PDR-M81 also sports the ability to record AVI movies for up to three minutes at 160 x 120 pixel resolution (at 15 frames per second) or sixty seconds at 320 x 240 pixel resolution (also at 15 frames per second). The camera sports a built-in microphone to record sound as well.
The camera features a 1.5-inch LCD viewscreen and records content to SmartMedia cards. Toshiba describes the PDR-M81 as “pocketsize,” although it did not offer specific dimensions. The camera weighs eight ounces and runs on four AA batteries. It transfers data either through a serial cable or USB cable.
Toshiba Vice President and General Manager Doug Freck suggested that the PDR-M81 has been developed for consumers, businesspeople and pros alike.
“While other manufacturers are talking about consumer digital photography someday reaching the same quality as traditional photographic film, Toshiba is doing it here and now,” said Freck.
Included with the camera are an 8MB SmartMedia card, a USB cable, serial cable, wrist strap, lens cover, soft carrying case, and CD with drivers and software. Toshiba indicates the camera will work with both Mac OS and Windows (though the company did not offer specific system requirements or limitations). Toshiba’s Web site had not been updated with information on the camera as MacCentral went to press with this article.