Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - SMaL Camera 07/08/03 Press Release




SMal Camera Technologies

Press Release - July 8, 2003




SMaL Camera Technologies Enables the World's Thinnest and Lightest 1.3-Megapixel Digital Cameras by FUJIFILM AXIA



Launch Validates SMaL's Leadership Position in Popular Credit Card Camera Category





Cambridge, Mass. (July 8, 2003) - SMaL Camera Technologies, a developer of digital imaging solutions and the creator of the award-winning 6mm thin Ultra-Pocket« VGA digital still camera, announced today that it has enabled the 1.3-Megapixel "eyeplate mega" digital camera by FUJIFILM AXIA CO., LTD, a subsidiary of Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. of Tokyo (Nasdaq: FUJIY). The release of AXIA's second-generation, SMaL-enabled slim cameras validates SMaL's leadership position in the credit-card size camera category, which it created in response to consumer demand for lifestyle products that offer ultra-portability, long battery life, style, quality and value.

The AXIA eyeplate mega, released initially in Japan, is based on the same sleek industrial design as its predecessor, released in 2002. Featuring a mere 8mm thin body, the innovative camera is now the "world's thinnest" print-quality digital still camera. The new camera offers unprecedented portability with megapixel resolution, allowing users to capture spontaneous images that can be printed as high-quality photos. The camera also features an SD memory card slot, macro mode for close-up shots, and a compact plug-in strobe flash, completing the total portability of the camera.

"Our partnership with FUJIFILM AXIA to develop its second-generation credit card camera demonstrates SMaL's commitment to pushing the envelope in the thin camera category and enabling OEMs to produce attention-grabbing mass-market digital cameras in record time," says Stuart Nixdorff, vice president of sales and marketing, SMaL Camera Technologies. "The enormous success of the first generation AXIA eyeplate, combined with the initial consumer reaction to this next-generation product, demonstrates that a major portion of the global consumer market is far more concerned with owning an extremely thin camera for spontaneous picture-taking than it is with carrying an inconvenient and bulky digital camera."

About SMaL's Ultra-Pocket 1.3-Megapixel Kit

The Ultra-Pocket 1.3-megapixel kit includes SMaL's proprietary 1.3-megapixel CMOS imager with Autobrite«, ASIC controller, lithium-polymer rechargeable battery, taking lens, viewfinder with aiming mark, and complete camera reference design. SMaL's LongevityÖ ultra-low-power design is the primary enabler of the ultra-thin credit card-sized design and extremely long battery life. SMaL's solution, which consumes at least ten times less battery power than other digital camera platforms, allows OEMs to rely on SMaL's extremely thin battery, instead of more bulky alternative technologies. The battery recharges automatically via USB during picture download and stores enough charge for 1000 snapshots - an advantage of 10 to 20 times over other digital cameras. These unparalleled features completely eliminate the familiar hassle and expense of frequent battery changing or charging common to other digital cameras. In addition, the high level of integration in SMaL's kit results in cameras with 2 to 3 times fewer components than other digital cameras. This low component count means smaller form factors, higher product reliability, and higher manufacturing yields.

The 1.3-megapixel kit also features SMaL's proprietary Autobrite technology, which adapts to bright lighting conditions such as backlighting or glare, solving the dynamic range problem that exists with most other digital cameras. Users no longer have to worry about the position of the sun when snapping a photo -- Autobrite does the thinking for them. Due to its vertically integrated imager and optics, SMaL's kit is the only 1.3-megapixel platform that enables cameras capable of producing high quality 5x7-inch prints. Competing cameras manufactured with an off-the-shelf lens and imager lack the optimization to full utilize the resolution of the sensor, and therefore tend to lack the sharpness and clarity of the crisp, film quality SMaL images. The kit ships with SMaL's simple to use photo album and offers support for Windows 98, ME, and 2000, as well as Mac Classic and OS X.

In addition to enabling existing and future lifestyle digital cameras, SMaL's technology is being leveraged in the surveillance and automotive markets. In the security and surveillance market, SMaL's Ultra-Wide and Autobrite technologies enable video cameras that help security professionals increase safety and security with the display of wide-angle views and clear, crisp video content, regardless of extreme variations of brightness within the same scene. In the automotive market, SMaL's Autobrite technology provides high-quality video that will enable driver assistance applications in the near future.

About SMaL Camera Technologies (www.SMaLcamera.com)

SMaL Camera Technologies is an award-winning developer of electronic imaging solutions for the digital camera, security and surveillance, consumer electronics and automotive markets. SMaL's solutions are built around its proprietary CMOS image sensors, video processing ASICs and Autobrite« technology. These solutions provide previously unavailable benefits, revolutionizing the digital photo and video markets. With SMaL's consumer solutions, featuring low-power consumption and advanced imaging techniques, consumer electronics manufacturers can now offer convenient digital photography by producing the thinnest, most user-friendly digital cameras and mobile imaging devices in the world. SMaL's technology powers digital still cameras from leading consumer electronics companies. In the security & surveillance markets, SMaL's Autobrite technology enables video cameras that help security professionals increase safety and security with the display of clear and crisp video content, regardless of extreme variations of brightness within the same scene. In the automotive market, SMaL's Autobrite technology provides high-quality video that will enable driver assistance applications of the future. SMaL was co-founded and launched in 1999 by leading electronic imaging experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). SMaL is a privately held, venture-backed company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

For more information on SMaL Camera Technologies and its products, visit the company's web site at http://www.SMaLcamera.com.

Ultra-Pocket« and Autobrite« are Registered Trademarks of SMaL Camera Technologies, Inc.

About FUJIFILM AXIA

FUJIFILM AXIA CO., LTD. is a subsidiary of FUJI PHOTO FILM CO., LTD., a leading global manufacturer in three business segments, including Imaging Solutions, Information Solutions and Document Solutions. AXIA is the top distributor of the FUJIFILM brand digital cameras in the Japanese market. In addition, AXIA designs and markets its own brand products. AXIA is headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. On the Net: FUJIFILM AXIA's site: http://www.axia.co.jp





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