Japan Files: D-Snap Digital Camera

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Date: Monday, December 9th, 2002, 00:00
Category: Archive

D-Snap, a spiffy new digital camera/media player from Japan. First, see it here at the official Japanese site (but hold on to your hats). The girl advertising it is Japanese pop star Ayumi Hamasaki, isn’t she lovely?

This little device is quite cool. It’s basically a camera that uses SD media to store pictures (up to 14,000), video (up to 10 hours in economy mode), voice data, MP3s, you name it. It accepts the new 512 MB SD media that you have to sell internal organs on the black market in order to be able to afford, and of course the “up to” numbers above are with the largest media. It records in MPEG4 video, and the video is actually pretty good, although “good” means “good for a Web movie” and doesn’t compare with full Firewire digital video.

In addition to being a fairy cool camera, you can record TV shows, DVD video and what not on the unit in MPEG4, and sit there and watch it. Might not be the best way to enjoy your local TV programs, but if you want to win “tech wars” with others, it’s just the thing. Unfortunately for gaijin who will be tempted to pick one up when they come to Japan for Macworld here, it only works in Japanese, with no English menus that I can find (unlike Sony’s products) — bummer. (Macworld Expo Japan was cancelled last week after Apple pulled out -Ed.)

Another downside: there is no support for ASF files in QuickTime. What is the point of supporting MP4 when the actual format that every commercial product (that I’ve seen at least), the ASF file, is not supported at all? This means no importing into QuickTime, no use in iMovie, no iDVD burning, no viewing in the way you want to view it — you must use Windows Media and nothing else.

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