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(Nikkei BP Group)

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

  • Victor Japan Camcorder Records Still Pictures on Memory Card
  • January 22, 1999 (TOKYO) — Victor Company of Japan Ltd. debuted the GR-DVX7 compact, light digital camcorder that records motion pictures on a tape and still pictures on a removable memory card.
    Digital camcorders currently on the market can take still pictures, but use a tape for the recording media. According to Victor Japan, recording still pictures on a memory card makes it easy to exchange data between the camcorder and a PC or other devices, and also enables the camcorder itself to easily handle the still pictures.

    Measuring 48mm wide x 119mm high x 89mm deep, the GR-DVX7’s body alone weighs about 435 grams. It weighs 520 grams including the battery, tape and other attachments at picture-taking time. The company claims that it is the smallest and most lightweight digital camcorder in the world.

    The camcorder uses the DV format for recordings, and a mini DV cassette for a tape to record motion pictures. It features a 1/4-in. charge-coupled device (CCD) with a total of 680,000 pixels.

    It takes still pictures in resolutions up to 640 x 480 dots by a progressive method, and records the pictures in a JPEG format. Victor Japan claims that this technique captures clearer still pictures than those taken by using the conventional interlaced method, which paints pictures by combining two sets of CCD data.

    A “MultiMediaCard” is used for the memory card. The card is a small version of the CompactFlash card. It was developed by SanDisk Corp. of the United States. It measures 32mm x 24mm x 1.4mm and weighs 1.5 grams, and is inserted into a base section of the camcorder body.

    The camcorder body has a MultiMediaCard with a 4MB recording capacity. Users can choose the desired recording format of the 4MB card from 30 frames (fine), 40 (normal) and 100 (economy). The difference comes from the JPEG compression ratios. The 8MB MultiMediaCard is optionally available at 9,800 yen (US$85).

    When the MultiMediaCard is removed from the camcorder and inserted into a PC card slot (Type II), a dedicated adapter is used. The adapter will be provided separately, but the price and release schedule are not known at this stage.

    The camcorder records still pictures on a memory card, not a tape, and therefore has additional functions that could not be incorporated in the traditional digital camcorders. The typical functions include replaying existing motion pictures, simultaneously converting one scene of the pictures to still pictures and recording converted pictures onto a MultiMediaCard, and a slide show for regenerating still pictures recorded on the MultiMediaCard.

    Both the 0.55-in. liquid-crystal display finder and the 2.5-in. LCD monitor can display colors. For the zoom function, the camcorder functions at 10x in optical mode and 100x in software processing mode.

    The standard BN-V507 battery enables the camcorder to continuously shoot for about 65 minutes in LCD finder mode and about 55 minutes in LCD monitor mode.

    The company plans to release the camcorder in early February for 240,000 yen (US$2,100) and produce 15,000 units monthly.

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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