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Epson Expands Digicam Line, Updates Photo Viewer

Long Beach, Calif. — Epson announced a new digital camera and photo viewer last week and touted a new LCD technology.

The 5-megapixel L-500V features a 2.5-inch Epson Photo Fine LCD screen – a propriety LCD technology that the company says has a higher pixel density than competitive monitors.

According to Epson, the Photo Fine LCD has 256 pixels per inch vs. the 80 to 100 pixels on a “typical camera display.” These additional pixels provide smoother gradations and fewer jagged edges when viewing images on the screen, Epson said. The technology can also deliver more colors per pixel than a typical small display with three colors (red, green and blue) per image pixel vs. one color per image pixel on other displays.

According to a Grace Huang, product manager, digital input products, Epson is considering licensing the technology to third parties.

The L-500V also features a 3x optical/4x digital zoom with a continuous shooting mode capable of shooting up to 3 frames per second (fps) to the capacity of an SD memory card. The card must support a 10MBps write speed.

It also incorporates the company’s proprietary PRINT Image Framer (P.I.F) that lets users add a frame to a photo using the dedicated P.I.F. button on the back of the camera. The frames will not affect the original image file and can be added either in-camera before or after a shot or on a PC via included software. There are over 100 frames, four of which reside on the camera’s internal memory, the rest on the included software which can also be uploaded to a memory card for use in the camera.

The camera ships in November for a suggested retail price of $399.

The company also introduced a multimedia storage viewer, the P-2000, as a successor to the P-1000. It features a 3.8-inch Photo Fine LCD, 40GB hard drive and card slots for CompactFlash and SD memory.

The USB 2.0 Hi-Speed device can connect to a TV, and supports JPEG and select RAW image files in addition to MPEG-4 and Motion JPEG video files, and MP3 and AAC audio files. It ships with one lithium-ion battery and charger/AC adapter next month for a suggested $499.