Monday, August 17, 2009

It’s a Camera and a Movie Theater

Nikon is offering something that would make Thomas Edison’s jaw drop. Hey, it made MY jaw drop. The new Nikon Coolpix S1000pj is more than a digital camera. It’s digital theater.

Nikon Projector CameraWhat makes this palm-size gadget so different? It’s got a built-in projector. That gives the S1000pj the ability to not only take pictures and movies. It can also show them. Not just on a 3x5 card in a coal mine, either. You can project photos, movie clips and slide shows up to 40 inches in size on a flat surface, although you'll probably need a darkened room or at least dim lighting to get decent results.

The name Nikon tells you this is more than some gimmick device. It’s an advanced compact digital camera. In addition to the “wow factor” of being first in the world with a built-in projector, the Coolpix S1000pj has other impressive specs.

It starts with an effective 12.1 Megapixels of resolution for outstanding prints up to 16 x 20 inches. That’s coupled with 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens with 28 mm wide-angle coverage plus macro capability down to 1.2 inches from the subject. The telephoto reach is equivalent to a 140 mm lens in 35 mm photography.

With all the resolution available in the latest cameras, the idiosyncrasies of the photographer start to dominate the quality of the photos. It’s hard to hold one of these boxes completely still to avoid at least some minor blur in dimmer light. This Nikon model features no less than 5 advanced image stabilizing features, both optical and electronic. That includes a Best Shot Selector that automatically takes a series of pictures, instead of just one, and then saves the one with the sharpest focus.

You’ve heard of shutter priority and aperture priority? The Coolpix S1000pj offers face priority. It adjusts focus and exposure for up to 12 faces in a single framed shot. There’s a skin softening function that detects the subjects skin and applies smoothing. No more horrified relatives who blanche when they see how how high levels of resolution show off every minor wrinkle and skin anomaly.

But how about that projector? It has up to 10 lumens of brightness with an image size of 5 to 40 inches. The throw distance ranges from 10 inches to 6 1/2 feet. Why, it’s just like the old home movie projector without having to lug that heavy beast out and thread the film. You can take pictures and movies and then show them off during the family event. Or prepare something for a business presentation. The resolution is VGA equivalent and you’ll have up to 1 hour of battery life to present your show.

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