Minox reveals its latest miniaturized retro-style digital camera
By Simon Crisp
March 28, 2013
Minox has revealed the latest version of its miniaturized digital classic camera, the Minox DCC 14.0. The tiny camera – which is made to a scale of 1:3 and can fit in the palm of your hand – features a 14-megapixel sensor, a fixed lens and an optical viewfinder. But users shouldn't expect image quality to rival higher-end (and considerably larger) retro-shooters like the Fujifilm X100S.
At first glance the Minox DCC 14.0 certainly looks the part, complete with nice touches like a chrome-plated brass lens cap and a metal plug-on optical viewfinder. However, the DCC 14.0, and earlier versions like the tiny Leica M3 or DCC 5.1 are more collectors' toys than serious photographic tools.
For starters, Minox has not stated the size of the 14-megapixel CMOS image sensor used in the DCC 14.0. However, it has said that the F2.4 7.4mm lens gives a focal length equivalent of approximately 45mm in 35mm format. That suggests the camera uses something like a 1/2.5-inch sensor (5.76 x 4.29 mm), the same as deployed in a budget compact point-and-shoot, which is essentially what this is … albeit in a very nice-looking package.
While the camera looks like it should offer manual controls, it's actually fully automatic. The shutter speed dial won't do anything … and what did you expect a film advance lever to do on a digital camera anyway? The pint-sized camera shoots JPEG images or AVI video at a modest 640 x 480 pixels, and records them to an SD card. It has a 4x digital zoom, a minimum focusing distance of 50 cm (20 inches) and a two-inch LCD on the the rear.
But technical specs are not what this camera is about – it's about the retro styling which has been squeezed into the miniaturized 82 x 67 x 46 mm (3.2 x 2.6 x 1.8 inch) body which weighs just 113.5 g (4 oz.). Proving it's aimed at collectors, the DCC 14.0 comes in a satin-lined wooden box. Optional accessories include a wide angle converter, tele-converter and a classic camera flash.
The Minox DCC 14.0 will be available in either black or silver for a price of US$240.