TOKYO (06/08/2000) - It's been on sale just two weeks in Japan but this new digital still camera from Canon is already one of the hottest products in Akihabara - Tokyo's famous electronics district. Attracted by ads on the city's trains featuring Japanese soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata, consumers are finding there is much more to this camera than just the celebrity endorsement.
The Digital Ixy, which will be sold under the Elph name in North America and Ixus in Europe and Asia, represents the smallest 2-megapixel class digital still camera developed so far, according to its maker. Imagine a credit card sized package 2.7 centimeters (approximately one inch) deep, and you have a good idea of the dimensions of this camera.
Despite its size, Canon has managed to pack in a range of features that include a 2x optical zoom in addition to a digital zoom, a 3.8 cm (1.5 inch) TFT liquid crystal display (LCD), and an auto focus system with an artificial intelligence engine that Canon says can determine a picture's subject even if it is off-center.
The camera has three shooting resolutions: large/super-fine 1,600 by 1,200 pixel resolution; large/fine 1,600 by 1,200 pixel resolution; and small/fine 640 by 480 pixel resolution. An 8M bit memory card holds a maximum of 4 images taken in the large/super-fine mode, 12 images in large/fine mode, or 46 images in small/fine mode.
Most of the camera's functions are accessed through a row of five buttons under the LCD and an on-screen GUI (graphical user interface), which makes for easy use. The GUI can also be switched between five languages -- Japanese, English, French, German and Spanish.
Canon claims a shutter release lag-time, which is the time difference between when the camera establishes focus and when the picture is taken, of just 0.05 seconds, and a shooting interval, the minimum amount of time that can elapse between shots, of 1.7 seconds. A continuous shooting mode, with the LCD switched off, allows for two shots to be taken per second.
The Digital Ixy stores images on a Compact Flash-type memory card. Canon also supplies a kit that enables the camera to be connected via a USB (universal serial bus) interface to a personal computer. A video output socket also allows images to be viewed on a television or video monitor.
Product Name: Digital Ixy (Japan), Powershot S100 Digital Elph (Americas and Taiwan), Powershot S100 Digital Ixus (Oceania and Asia)Manufacturer: Canon Co. Ltd.
Price: 74,800 yen
Availabilty: Early June in Japan, United States, Europe and Asia; late June in the Americas; July 1 in Australia and New Zealand.
Web: http://www.canon.com/ixy-d/index.html (Editors: Images to accompany this story are available now on the News Service wire through Lotus Notes or http://www.idgns.com/. For comments on this new feature, please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.)