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NHJ Intros New Digital Camera

4/28/2004 03:26:00 PM Eastern

San Marcos, Calif. — NHJ USA introduced today the 2-megapixel ultra-thin Foxz2 digital camera based on the SMaL Camera Technology platform, as part of a broader effort to increase its North American retail distribution.

The 9.8mm thin Foxz2 features a 1.5-inch color TFT LCD screen, 2x digital zoom, built-in Lithium-Polymer rechargeable battery, 8MB of internal memory and an SD expansion slot. The camera will feature SMaL’s Autobrite technology, which automatically enhances the dynamic range and adjusts the exposure for optimum image quality so that details in the bright or dim areas are clear. Cambridge, Mass.-based SMaL Camera Technology licenses ultra-thin digital camera designs and technology to manufacturers and retailers.

The Foxz2 camera will initially ship to Target stores this month for a suggested retail of $99.

NHJ USA is the U.S. subsidiary of Tokyo-based NHJ Limited. According to Ron Davis, president, NHJ USA, the five-year-old parent company decided the company was "mature enough" to tackle the competitive North American retail market. It has partnerships with OEM factories in China, tech-support and a domestic fulfillment center in San Diego and will offer a one-year warranty with all its products, Davis said. Its first American retail partner is Target.

The company will offer an assortment of 28 products, principally digital cameras, combo still/video recorders and MP3 players. It also offers a TV watch (VTV-101) with a 1.5-inch TFT LCD screen and a Sony Micro-TV tuner built in.

"NHJ Limited had success in the niche market of entry-level digital cameras in Japan, and we also enjoyed success in Europe," Davis said. NHJ will use distinctive styling, advanced feature sets and competitive pricing to break into the U.S. market.

"We don’t want to be a low-end, low-quality competitor," Davis said, pointing to the use of glass lenses and metal exteriors on its entry-level cameras where competitors typically use plastic.

NHJ USA will look to hit aggressive price points with the introduction of a 5-megapixel with a 3x optical zoom lens in the fourth quarter for under $300.

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