...from the BIG Photokina show
Digital sex appeal: The very cool-looking Rollei d530 flex is billed as the only German-manufactured digital camera in the world and should be appearing at U.S. dealers as you read this. The 5MP SLR (and yes, it's a genuine optical reflex, not an electronic viewfinder) uses a PCMCIA Type II interface, which means you can use a variety of storage media via an adapter: CompactFlash, IBM microdrive, SmartMedia, etc. A nearly antiquated built-in SCSI connector lets you also tether directly to a PC or Mac for direct data transfer and remote control. Lens is a 40-120mm (equivalent) f/2.8-4 Rollei D-Variogon HFT, and image playback is on a nice big 2.5-inch LCD monitor. Selling price is expected to be in the $2,800 range.
The luxe-level, titanium-bodied Contax T VS Digital we told you about last month somewhat overshadowed another hot little 5MP camera from Kyocera, the Finecam S5. Billed as "the world's smallest 5-megapixel digital camera" (Kyocera will need to speak to Konica on this-read a little further), the S5 is indeed tiny (it can hide under a credit card) and lightweight (8 1/2 ounces). It has a 3X optical zoom (equivalent to 35-105mm in 35mm), a 4X digital zoom, and the expected bells and whistles, such as AVI movie mode and voice messaging. A new up-and-coming feature: you can downsize images in playback mode to gain memory space, or for fast transmittal. (The S5 uses the Secure Digital or MultiMedia wafer cards.) Kyocera says its redesigned lithium-ion battery will provide 180 minutes of continuous playback, and that the "Day Fine" 1.6-inch LCD monitor can be viewed easily in bright daylight. Street price will be under $600; the new Finecam S3L has mostly the same features and 3MP resolution for under $400 retail. Street price of the Contax T VS Digital, by the way, will be around $1,000.
World's smallest 5MP?
Call in the calipers (or a mediation team), because Konica says its new Digital Revio KD-500Z is-yep-the world's smallest 5-megapixel digital camera-the same claim Kyocera makes for its S5. We'll be diplomatic and say that the new Konica is equally tiny, with its own distinct personality due to its clamshell design-similar to the Revio 430, but in a smoke-gray stainless finish. Lens is a 39-117mm equivalent, augmented by a 3X digital zoom. Signature feature here is a dual slot that allows use of either a Memory Stick or SD/MMC card. Movie clip as well as voice note recording are here, as is image resizing. Power is via a proprietary lithium-ion rechargeable. The KD-500Z has a suggested retail of $650, which includes Adobe Photoshop Elements software.
Pixels in your pocket
The Casio QV-5700 is Son of QV-4000-the appearance, size, and control layout of the well-regarded 4000 stay pretty much the same, but the CCD imager gets a boost to a full 5MP of picture power. This coat-pocket-sized camera allows everything from point-and-shoot automation to full manual control with a wide array of options in between, including an intriguing variation on the Best Shot mode: A CD provided with the camera allows you to load the camera memory with any of about 100 highly specific scene settings-indoor sports arenas, for example, or architecture. You can also program your own custom setting into memory. The 3X optical zoom is the equivalent of 34-102mm. The QV-5000 uses Type I or II CF cards, including IBM microdrives, and the camera runs on four supplied NiMH rechargeables. Street price is expected at $800.