Ricoh preparing latest digital camera – RDC-4300 – Product Development

Ricoh preparing latest digital camera – RDC-4300 – Product Development – Brief Article

John Poultney

Ricoh Corp.’s Consumer Products Group is putting the finishing touches on a new digital camera that can zoom, annotate sound and switch resolutions.

The RDC-4300 will feature a continuous optical zoom lens capable of changing its focal length from 35mm to 105mm. The lens will rotate 180 degrees, and it will have f-stop equivalencies ranging from 5.6 to 16.8. With a macro setting, users will be able to focus as close as 8 centimeters. They will also be able to see the camera’s view on a 2-inch color LCD screen.

The camera will operate with a 1.3-million-square-pixel CCD and will capture photos on SmartMedia cards. The device will ship with one 4-Mbyte cartridge; users will be able to substitute an 8-Mbyte cartridge. Users will be able to switch among fine, normal and economy resolutions in two modes: An SXGA mode with a resolution of 1,280 by 960 pixels will provide six, 12 and 23 images, respectively; a VGA mode will capture 23, 41 and 71 images, respectively, with a resolution of 640 by 480 pixels, Ricoh said.

An uncompressed TIFF setting will hold one high-resolution photo in the camera’s standard memory; each image taken with this setting will take up about 2.4 Mbytes, Ricoh said.

The camera, which will come with the four required AA batteries, will have automated focus, white balance, flash settings and exposure times. Ricoh said a mechanical shutter will give the device the feel of a traditional camera.

Up to eight seconds of voice annotation may be included with every image, although this will affect the camera’s capacity. Users can employ this function to create slide shows and run presentations by connecting the camera to a TV set through an included NTSC port. A standard video-out port is also included.

Ricoh has not finalized the camera’s price but said it expects the RDC-4300 to ship by midsummer for less than $1,000.

Ricoh Corp.’s Consumer Products group of Sparks, Nev., can be reached at (702) 352-1600 or (800) 225-1899; fax (800) 544-8246;

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