...from the BIG Photokina show
In pocketable point-and-shoots, Casio showed the new QV-R4 and QV-R3 cameras, metal-bodied 3X zoom cuties with 4MP and 3MP resolution, respectively. They have a certain similarity to Pentax Optio models-in fact, they sport Pentax lenses. Street prices around $500 and $400.
Digitless digital video
Gary Regester, once the driving force behind the Plume and Chimera lines of studio gear, had a thought: If handholding his camcorder resulted in jittery video clips, why not support his mini-DV machine with a more stable appendage-his forearm? The result is the Regester Handi-Pod II, a lightweight metal bracket that uses a canvas strap and a few patches of Velcro to clamp around a photographer's forearm (see photo of prototype). The bracket has a ribbed rubber grip and is topped by a circular camera platform with a ¼ -20 tripod bolt. We've seen the Handi-Pod II in action and can attest that it will support a Mini DV-sized camcorder with minimal help from a videographer's tremble-prone hand. The only requirement? It helps to have a camcorder with a flip-out monitor for viewing. For information about pricing and availability of Regester's latest camera support, contact him at email@example.com.
Konica marketed a single-use camera with a 17mm wide-angle lens some years ago, but it was set up for pseudo-panorama format only. But now the 17mm camera is back, this time using the full 24x36mm frame area. The appropriately named Film-In Superwide is being marketed as a group self-portrait camera, because a 17mm lens can easily take in three people in a waist-up portrait at arm's length! To help with composition, a mirror around the lens shows you what's in the picture. You can turn it around and shoot the Grand Canyon, too. It's Loaded with 27 exposures of Konica's fast and good Centuria 800 film. No plans for U.S. intro yet, but stay tuned.
Pixels in a clamshell
Here's another pocketable, 3X zoom 5-megapixel camera, but in that unmistakable Olympus clamshell style (or should we say Stylus?). The C-50 Zoom uses the newish xD Picture Card, an itty-bitty storage medium that allows for yet more downsizing. The 38-114mm (equivalent) zoom can be boosted electronically via a 4X digital zoom. Besides five scene-specific auto settings, the "My Mode" lets you program your specific settings for quick recall. Serious shooters can opt for a variety of overrides and full manual operation. It has video clip with sound, panoramic stitching, that sort of thing. It uses a proprietary Li-ion battery. Street price should be $599.