So you need to show off your latest holiday snaps or home movie to your friends and family, and don't have a digital photo frame, tablet computer or laptop anywhere nearby. What you need is a camera that can throw images onto a nearby wall. Happily, Nikon has announced that it has upgraded its projector-wielding Coolpix compact. There are more megapixels, high definition movie capabilities and an even brighter projector, as well as a body redesign and new color options.
Last year Nikon introduced the world's first compact camera to feature a built-in projector, the S1000pj. As well as the front-facing projector, it also packed a 12.1 megapixel CCD sensor, a 5x optical zoom lens, a 2.7 inch LCD display and SD/SDHC support. Now Nikon has revealed its successor, the appropriately named Coolpix S1100pj.
It's obvious just by looking at the new camera that things have changed quite a lot. It now sports a curvy new design and comes in a couple of extra color choices – as well as black and silver, users are also offered violet and green. The technology has been given a spruce-up too, the S1100pj now benefiting from a projector unit that is 40 percent brighter than its predecessor, at 14 lumens. Projected images benefit from a full 16 million color palette and can range from 5 to 47 inches (13 to 120cm) diagonally across from a throw distance of 10 inches to over 7 feet away (26 to 240cm). There's a 30:1 contrast ratio and a built-in touch interface.
The camera's CCD sensor is now 14.1 megapixels but the lens remains the same 5x optical NIKKOR wide-angle zoom as before. Image stabilization is a combined lens shift and electronic effort in still image mode, with lens-shift making a solo performance in movie mode. The camera now records up to 720p high definition and the touchscreen LCD display is now 3 inches diagonally and has a resolution of 460,000 dots. The ISO sensitivity remains the same as the S1000pj at ISO80 to ISO6400, but memory card support has been extended to include SDXC.
There's a host of user creativity features on offer, such as a Paint function that allows snappers to draw or write on projected images in real-time, plus a raft of new Retouch functions like miniature or fish-eye effects are also included. There are 17 scene modes, subject-tracking auto focus, and Nikon's Smart Portrait System, which is said to automatically fix red-eye, capture smiles when they happen and focus on up to a dozen faces at once.
The Coolpix S1100pj will carry a manufacturer's suggested retail of US$349.95 when it's released next month.
Just time for one moreAt the same time, Nikon also revealed another addition to the Coolpix family which benefits from both quick start-up and short shutter release times, as well as one-touch 720p high definition movie recording at 30 frames per second. The S5100 also features a 12.2 megapixel CCD sensor, 5x optical zoom lens, lens-shift vibration reduction and a new tripod detection function found on premium NIKKOR lenses. When the camera detects a tripod, sensitivity, shutter speed and exposure settings are automatically adjusted to help get the best shot.
Users will also find subject-tracking auto focus, a choice of 18 scene modes and a 2.7 inch LCD display panel with a 5-level brightness adjustment. ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO100 to ISO3200 and the included Lithium-ion battery should be good for around 200 shots, but card support limits storage to a maximum 32GB on SDHC.
The Coolpix S5100 will be available in a range of colors from October for a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US$179.95