Casio Cameras Snap It All Up

NEW YORK (06/29/2000) - Casio Computer Co. Ltd. announced two new cameras this week that pack a lot of picture-taking power in a portable package, for a very competitive price.

Both 2-megapixel models are compact enough to travel, but can take an optional 340MB IBM Corp. micro drive to let you shoot up to 400 stills at high-quality 1600 by 1200 resolution--or a whopping 1587 pix in 800 by 600 normal mode.

The QV-2800UX and the QV-2300UX Plus each also have built-in flash, standard and panoramic 360 degree image capture, and can record up to 30 seconds of AVI video. Both should be available in September.

Aimed at mainstream photographers, the US$700 QV-2300UX Plus comes with 3X optical zoom (2X to 4X digital). The 9-ounce model has a 1.8-inch LCD for picture display. Its menu system, like that of its predecessors, is fairly easy to navigate. With its NTSC port, you can hook up to your VCR or TV, and use its real-time video feature to display images directly to the TV or record on standard VHS tape in your VCR.

The unit comes with Photo Loader software on CD to help you sort and manage your images once you download them to your PC through the included USB cable.

(Mac users go through the serial port.) You also get a wireless remote control unit. The camera requires four AA batteries for operation--you can use standard alkaline batteries or opt for rechargeable nickel metal hydride ones.

The $800 2800UX has the same LCD display and menu system of the 2300UX, as well as the same video, software, remote control, battery and port features. But unlike its sibling, it can go all the way up to an 8X optical zoom (about 40mm to 320mm). So you can hone in on an image the size of a dime and blow it up with fine detail even for 8 by 10 images, for example.

The Canon-made lens lets you attach microscopes or telescopes for specialized photography, making it well-suited for those in the science or medical fields.

Also, unlike the 2300UX, which has a maximum shutter speed of 1/1500 of a second, the 2800UX can snap as fast as 1/2000 of a second. The camera weighs 10 ounces and offers an external flash connection and lets you take time-lapsed photographs, as well. The standard model comes with an AC adapter and an 8MB CompactFlash memory card. If you want it with the MicroDrive, add about $200.

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