VideoChip's Wallet LCD Picture Viewer
VideoChip's $349 Wallet is a solid state, digital photo album that will display your digital photos directly from any CompactFlash card. The Wallet fits in the palm of your hand and gives you the ability to share your photos anywhere and anytime.
You know what they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words." When you can show your digital photo to a business associate, potential home buyer or a family member right now, it's like that MasterCharge TV commercial says it's "priceless."
Nikon is selling an OEM branded version of the Wallet with their CoolGear logo. See info below about a new firmware upgrade for all Wallets.
If you own a digital still camera that uses regular CompactFlash cards then you gotta have one of these things! (Check here for info about CF2 and SmartMedia compatibility.) You can snap your photos, remove the card from the camera, slip it into the Wallet and view the pictures immediately.
The 1/4 VGA (320x240) TFT active-matrix color LCD is back lit and has a viewable area of 2.36 (H) x 3.16" (W) or 4" diagonal. The size of the Wallet is just 5.00" (H) x 3.75" (W) x 0.81" (D), weighs 10.5 ounces and fits nicely in your pocket, purse or camera bag.
It's powered by two DL 123A 3 volt Lithium batteries and gives you around 3 hours of continuous viewing or you may use the included AC adapter. The built in power saver puts the Wallet into a low power sleep state if a button has not been depressed within 5 minutes and after an additional 30 seconds the unit will shut itself off.
The stand does double duty as a protective cover for the LCD screen when the unit is not in use.
The minimal controls are clearly marked making it easy for anyone to operate and change viewing options. The folding and adjustable stand clips on the Wallet in either landscape or portrait mode. Portrait mode images can be rotated with one push of the button.
You may view your photos in:
- Thumbnail mode which is like looking at a proof sheet. You scroll around the thumbnails and then select a photo to display.
- Manual View mode scroll through your pictures manually by pressing a button, forward or reverse.
- Presentation mode displays each picture for 5 seconds in an automated slideshow format.
- Professional Presentation mode 5 second automated slideshow with a fade-in transition from one picture to the next.
I questioned the VideChip folks about the statements I saw on their web site claiming that SmartMedia cards could be used in the Wallet and here's their reply:
- "Our Wallet units first run have all been CF1. We have been working with IBM on a CF2 version for the MicroDrive. The MicroDrive now works in all our CF1 units, but the difference is the 1/32" cut off the slot on our Wallet. We have modified the Wallet slot plastic for our next run and they will be CF2 compatible.
The Delkin #DDSMFLS-AD2 is a SmartMedia to CF2 CompactFlash Adapter. Pretec also has a SmartMedia to CF2 CompactFlash Adapter."
VideoChip has posted a firmware update for the Wallet. Nikon sells an OEM branded version with their name on it ( CoolGear at the NikonMall) but it is identical to the VideoChip Wallet in every respect so either unit can use this firmware. The new firmware adds a lot of nifty features such as Pan and Zoom and a menu of settings that you can change.
Go here to download the new firmware and read the how-to instructions.