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Technology On The Horizon: Digital Cameras Offer A Host Of New Features

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TWC News: Technology On The Horizon: Digital Cameras Offer A Host Of New Features
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In part two of NY1’s week-long series "Technology On the Horizon," Tech Beat Reporter Adam Balkin rounds up some new concepts in cameras.

Just like digital music players that now do everything from hold your photos to brew your morning coffee, cameras are also now going through a bit of an identity crisis.

A case in point is the Samsung 6-in-1. It's a still camera, video camera, mp3 player, video player, voice recorder, and it'll even let you watch broadcast TV.

“We want to make it a functional device,” says Alison Bale of Samsung Electronics. “People are on the go constantly, we need to be able to have them take everything, such as their data, their voice recordings, their mp3s, in addition to their memories, with them."

Samsung is also updating its Sportscam. The detachable lens is now a wireless detachable lens.

“One of our major features this year will be a wire-free version, offering you an external lens that you can attach to a helmet or a shoulder as you're out doing your adventure sports and record the image wirelessly,” says Bale. “It is RF, and you can go about 15 feet, so [that’s] plenty for any activities you're doing."

Archos, known for creating the devices you watch your videos on, now has the Gmini 402 for creating the videos themselves. It shoots and holds around 50 hours of lower quality VGA video.

“It’s for the young kids, the teenagers who like their own content; skateboarders, extreme sport enthusiasts can share their video," says Marco DelRosario of Archos.

Finally, the Xacti really signals the beginning of a whole new category of must-have devices. Right now, most High Definition camcorders are geared towards a more professional market and most of them are really expensive. Sanyo though, is coming out with the new Xacti, which shoots High Definition, easily fits in your pocket, and they say it'll probably cost less than $1,000.

However, it uses SD memory cards instead of tape, so you'll have to get a pretty expensive card to shoot a decent amount of HD content.

"You can record up to 42 minutes of High Definition footage onto one of those 2 GB cards,” says Michael Harris of Sanyo. “The trick for keeping it in High Definition is to record it finally onto a High Definition DVD. Those are not available yet, but you can instantly play it back on your television set. There's a little docking and charging station that comes with it so you can immediately upload it to your PC or Mac."

And you will eventually want to get one of those High Definition DVD burners, out later this year.

Plus, you'll probably need a more powerful computer if you want to edit the video. So the warning here is that this little guy will send you down a very slippery, very expensive, slope.

- Adam Balkin
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