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Home >> New Players Seeking Entry-Level Digital Users And First Timers
As prices drop, the competition for the entry-level and first-time digital camera user will sharpen this year as more companies make a play for the sub-$500 end of the market.
One new company, jWIN, will enter the market at CES while a second, Hartford Computer Group, will relaunch the Argus camera brand that it bought last year. They will join a hotly contested field comprised of Vivitar and DXG, among others, offering both stand-alone digital still cameras and hybrid still/MPEG-4 video recorders.
Hartford Computer Group will introduce eight Argus-branded cameras, all under $100.
The eMail Express, for a suggested $14.99, offers 320 by 240 still resolution and 2MB built-in memory, and will ship with Arcsoft imaging software. The Sports! Cam is a VGA model with 8MB of internal memory, multiple flash settings and a rubberized grip for a suggested $19.99.
The TraVel Cam, for a suggested $19.99, offers VGA resolution, 8MB of internal storage, and multiple flash modes, and will be available in multiple colors. Under the QuickClix brand, the company will introduce models with added features. The QuickClix 1930 for $39.99 offers a glass lens, 1-inch color LCD, VGA resolution, 16MB of internal memory, and multiple flash modes.
A step-up 1935 adds an SD card slot.
The 1170, for $49.99, offers 1.3-megapixel resolution, 16MB of internal memory with an SD expansion slot, three mode flash, PictBridge compatibility and a glass lens.
The 2-megapixel 2180 offers a 4x digital zoom, 16MB of internal memory, 1.5-inch LCD, USB 2.0 and 320 by 240 MPEG-4 video capture at 30 fps. It will retail for a suggested $79.99.
A 3-megapixel step-up, the 3180, with the same features as the 2180 will retail for $99.99.
DXG will introduce its first 5-megapixel, 3x optical zoom model. The DXG-502 will ship in the first quarter with an estimated street price of $199.
The camera features an optical viewfinder, 16MB of internal memory with an SD/MMC card slot, MPEG-4 video capture, six white balance settings and USB 2.0 connectivity.
The company will also introduce the DXG-409, a 4-megapixel unit with optical zoom. Further details were not available at press time.
In the hybrid market, DXG will introduce a combination 3-megapixel still camera/MPEG-4 video recorder. The DXG-305V features a fold-out 1.6-inch LCD screen, 16MB of internal memory with an SD expansion slot and 4x digital zoom, and can capture 640-by-480 video at 15 fps or 320-by- 240 video at 30 fps.
The unit can also serve as a PC camera when connected via USB. It will have an expected street price of $129.
jWIN is jumping into the digital camera market, bringing four models to CES. All the new models ship in January; pricing was not available at press time.
The 6-megapixel JD-C6325 features a 3x optical zoom and a 2.5-inch LCD screen. It uses SD memory.
The 5-megapixel JD-C5015 features a 3x optical zoom, 16MB of internal memory with an SD card slot and a 1.5-inch LCD screen. The 4-megapixel JD-C4220 slim-form factor model features a 2-inch LCD screen and a 3x optical zoom lens. The unit features unlimited video capture to the length of an SD card (512MB maximum) and a macro focus up to 2.4 inches.
The 3-megapixel JD-C3215 sports a 3x optical zoom, 1.5-inch LCD and offers 14MB of internal memory with an SD card slot.
CompanyNameVivitar will introduce three hybrid digital still/video/MP3 units and two new digital still cameras at the show.
The DVR-390H is a hard-drive based device with 20GB of storage. It can record MPEG-4 video, features a 3-megapixel still camera, MP3 playback through internal speakers, and a 3.6-inch LCD screen that can double as a digital photo frame when using an included dock.
The 390H records MPEG-4 video at 640-by-480 or 320-by-240 resolution and can store 10 hours of VGA video on its hard drive. A clip-on microphone provides audio recording.
In still mode, the 390H captures 3-megapixel images and can store 21,000 of them. Still photo features include a 2x digital zoom and an integral flash.
The device can record video directly from a DVD/VHS or another camcorder, and can store up to 5,000 MP3 audio files for playback on included headphones or through built-in speakers.
The 390H, which ships this month for a suggested $499.95, consists of three detachable units: the player body, a camera module which can swivel 270 degrees and a docking cradle. The player body, which features the LCD screen, can be docked into the cradle where its batteries are recharged.
The dock also serves to perform all the device's input or output functions and battery recharging.
The unit can serve as a digital photo frame using the dock with images displayed in a slideshow on the LCD. It can also function as a portable hard drive to transfer or backup data files.
Also shipping this month for a suggested $149.95, the DVR-210 combines an MPEG-4 video recorder, 2-megapixel still camera, voice recorder and MP3 player. It features a 1.5-inch LCD display, 16MB of internal memory, headphone jack, built-in speakers and an SD card slot.
The company will ship a 3-megapixel version of the DVR-210, the DVR-310, in the first quarter for a suggested $199.95.
The company will ship the 5-megapixel Vivicam 3945s this month. It features a 3x optical/4x digital zoom with macro focusing up to three inches, a 2.5-inch TFT display, and VGA resolution movie recording with sound at 15 fps to the length of an SD memory card (32MB included) for a suggested $449.95.
The 4-megapixel ViviCam 3835 will ship in the first quarter for a suggested $245.95 and offer 14MB of internal memory, an SD card slot, 1.4-inch color TFT LCD display, voice memo recording and macro focusing up to 2 inches.