It’s not every day that we see something released that is genuinely new and relatively surprising, especially within the compact camera world — where everything new seems to just have the addition of little features, more megapixels or smaller form.
However, this week in the form of the un-snappily named Nikon COOLPIX S1000PJ (no, I don’t know why they have to choose such long names either), we have one and its hidden secret is, wait for it…..a mini LED projector built into the camera!
But let’s come back to that, and have a look at the actual camera part first for fear of us ignoring that part altogether, which would be incredibly unfair as it is actually fairly well adorned by itself: it has 12 megapixels, 5x optical zoom and, an ISO range 80-6400.It also offers four movie and sixteen scene modes (movie recording with sound), 36MB of internal memory (and of course an SD card slot) and weighs in at 155g excluding batteries and card.
Then you also get a host of ‘COOPIX’ features which make your photo taking experience that bit easier and more effective, for example to help create blur free and in focus shots you have a combination of Nikon’s Optical lens shift, Electronic VR Image stabilisation, Motion Detection and BSS; the first two work to reduce blur, Motion Detection dictated shutter speed and finally BSS (Best Shot Selector) which takes multiple photos and choose the one that is most in focus. Other features include a special portrait system and the ability to retouch photos on the camera.
But of course as impressive as these specifications are they aren’t the main selling point of the camera — this of course is the projector which is cleverly fitted into the camera which remains at a relatively small size of 99.5 x 62.5 x 23mm. In fact the only way you could tell that there was something different about this camera is that it kinda looks like it has two lenses at the front (although of course one is the projector).
Obviously the best thing about the projector that’s embedded into this Nikon is the size, and a you can imagine the specifications don’t exactly blow you down (until you consider its size and appreciate that it’s surrounded by camera): it has a brightness of up to 10 lumons, and image size of up to 40 inches (although of course brightness does deteriorate somewhat with size) with a throw distance of up to 2 meters.
The resolution is around that of VGA and although that means it won’t be able to display all of the wonderful 12 million pixels that the camera can use, but it will still be perfectly satisfactory for showing pictures and video (which it is compatible with).
So is the Nikon COOLPIX S1000PJ something that will become more widespread? Definitely! Will we be seeing every camera being equipped with one? Not for a while yet! Despite the obvious advantages of being able to easily show photos on any wall, the days of crowding around a small LCD screen aren’t over yet mainly due to the hefty price tag that having a projector entails — in this case it is £399. So, this is definitely something new (this is officially the first camera to combine the two) and it’s a little exciting, but don’t expect to see me rushing out to get one — it’s just that bit too expensive at the moment!