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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Digital Cameras with 2 Million Pixels Become Popular
  • February 23, 1999 (TOKYO) — Makers of digital cameras have recently started introducing products featuring more than 2 million pixels, following the growing popularity of digital cameras with at least 1.3 million pixels.
    New digital cameras with charge-coupled devices (CCDs) featuring more than 2 million pixels became available on a commercial basis from late January.

    Sony Corp. was the first to introduce such a high-resolution camera, followed by Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Nikon Corp., Ricoh Co., Ltd., Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. and other major manufacturers.

    Image quality is drastically improved by using a resolution of 2 million pixels or more. Such digital cameras have standard picture-like quality similar to those of regular silver-halide cameras, according to the producers.

    Also, the newest digital cameras feature functions found in many single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras.

    “Users of single-lens reflex cameras will be able to make such 2-million-pixel digital units their second cameras,” an Olympus Optical official said.

    “We hope that digital cameras can play a role as a transitional product from single-lens reflex cameras to digital cameras,” a Nikon official said.

    Both producers emphasize the high-performance features of their digital cameras.

    The new digital cameras have improved startup and recording times, and they are priced in the range of 100,000 yen to 130,000 yen (US$835 to US$1,085).

    Fuji Photo Film appears to be the price leader. The company offers a lightweight model called FinePix2700 priced at less than 100,000 yen. It comes with a single focus lens, and retails for 94,800 yen (US$790).

    The release of lower-priced digital cameras featuring 2 million pixels will probably exert an impact on the pricing of digital cameras with 1.3 million to 1.5 million pixels. Those cameras are priced between 50,000 yen and 70,000 yen (US$420-US$580), but they will soon be priced even lower.

    Many customers may rush to buy the low-priced digital cameras featuring 1.3 million-1.5 million pixels, because the resolution levels of those digital cameras are generally sufficient. Many models even feature optical zooming functions.

    Producers are likely to introduce price-leading models of 1.3-million and 1.5-million pixel cameras, industry observers said.

    Japan’s digital camera market is growing at a rapid pace, and the coming of the 2-millon-pixel era will further boost that growth.

    Related stories:
    Olympus Unveils 2.11-Million-Pixel Digital Camera
    Nikon Debuts Two Digital Cameras With 2.11M Pixels
    Ricoh to Sell High-End Digital Camera with USB Port
    Fuji Photo Film to Sell 2.3-Million-Pixel Digital Camera
    Sony Unveils Digital Camera with 2.1 Million Pixel CCD
    High-Performance Digital Cameras Debut in Rapid Succession

    (Nikkei Personal Computing)

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