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One Camera for Video and Still Pictures

Techstination feature for Monday, June 21, 2004

One camera for video and still pictures. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. How much more convenient would it be if you can take just one camera along on that vacation..or other family events…to shoot both video and still pictures. There are plenty of digital still cameras that can also shoot video…and just about all digital camcorders can shoot still pictures. But most of the time…those secondary functions aren't of very good quality or are limited by memory capacity. But Canon is billing its new Optura 400 and 500 camcorders as true hybrids. Company consultant Jon Sagud says both can shoot two megapixel still pictures…and can do it while you're in the midst of shooting video. And the print quality is impressive…

"Enlargements literally up to eight and a half by eleven full bleed prints with quality that competes with four and five megapixel still cameras. So the Optura 400 and 500, as I see it, are really setting a new standard for what an imaging device can be…literally two cameras in one."

Both include a built in flash for still pictures and SD memory card slots. Among the other features…

"Auto exposure bracketing. Also selectable auto focus."

On the downside…pricing starts at about a thousand dollars. Keep in mind, if you are pretty serious about photography…and use software to crop images…or make prints larger than 8 by 10, you'll probably want to bring that stand alone still camera along anyway. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.