SiPix's inexpensive digital camera good for outdoor...

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November 12, 2001

SiPix's inexpensive digital camera good for outdoor snapshots

Digital cameras compete quite handily with film cameras, but now there's a new front -- a California company has announced an inexpensive digital camera as a "fashion accessory."

So if your outfit will be enhanced by a $69.99 digital camera that's smaller than a pack of cigarettes, consider the StyleCam by SiPix Inc. of Milpitas, Calif.

Weighing 2.6 ounces, the camera will take 16 640 x 480 pixel VGA images, and up to 180 in what's called "streaming snapshot mode" that can also produce an AVI movie with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels.

It runs up to four hours on two AAA batteries and comes with a belt-loop carrying case and a swivel strap. There's also a stand so it can be used as a PC video-conferencing camera. The user interface is a small LCD panel and various features, including a 10-second self timer, can be toggled with a control button and the shutter. There's also an automatic power-off after 60 seconds.

Bundled software allows the user to upload photos via a USB cable (included) and perform basic editing of still and video images.

Outdoor photos were fine, with good color and clarity. Indoor photos tended to blur with camera motion as the shutter was pressed, at least those taken under ordinary office lighting and home lighting. Bottom line, as a camera it's about on par with a non-flash disposable camera, and for outdoor shots it will do fine. The StyleCam requires a PC with a Pentium processor running Windows 98 or later.

Information: www.sipix.com or 408-719-8888.-- Larry Blasko/AP

Nikon's CoolPix 775 offers one-touch transfer to PC

Want to see college through your kids' eyes this year? Slip a digital camera into the next care package you send them. The $399.95 Nikon CoolPix 775 is a good choice for several reasons.

The 2.14-megapixel CoolPix 775 is ready to shoot right out of the box. It features a fully automatic setting and seven preset modes for point-and-shoot simplicity. Best of all, this model adds a "one-touch" transfer feature for uploading images directly to the Web or to a computer.

Users also get free access to NikonNet (www.nikonnet.com), which includes photo storage, online photo albums and personalized e-cards.

A relatively standard but stingy 8-megabyte compact flash card comes with the CoolPix 775. It stores up to 16 images at maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels and produces vivid digital images or prints.

A 1.5-inch LCD monitor delivers sharp image viewing and intuitive setup menus. LCD monitors are battery killers, but the rechargeable lithium-ion battery included with the CoolPix held up for 100 minutes. A charger is included.

The 6.5-ounce CoolPix 775 is 3.4 by 2.6 by 1.7 inches, lending it portability and easy handling. Its 3x optical zoom controls, mode selector and shutter button are well placed for easy access.

Adding audio to its movie clips and speeding up the refresh rate when viewing images in playback mode are two areas for potential improvement. Still, this camera is great for the novice. CoolPix 775 is compatible with Windows and Macintosh systems, and is available at most major retailers.

Information: www.nikonusa. com/coolpix775 or 800-Nikon-UX.-- Sam Wells/KRT

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