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Epson Announces New Colour Digital Camera


Epson announced its most advanced digital camera, the PhotoPC 500.Joining the original PhotoPC, the price-for-performance leader in digital photography, the PhotoPC 500 is smaller, has improved optics, larger storage capacity and red eye reduction flash, all for a $729 manufacturer's suggested retail price.

The versatile PhotoPC 500 now has an optional Epson PhotoView colour liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor that lets users preview, playback and perform other timesaving functions. This new addition to Epson's colour digital camera line will be shipping in November and works on both Windows and Macintosh platforms.

"We've done a lot of research to determine how we could develop another digital camera that was worthy of the same award-winning reception as the original PhotoPC. I couldn't be happier with the outcome," said Anna Jen, product manager, digital cameras, Epson.

"The PhotoPC 500 will debut at the same price point, but with several exciting feature improvements. We believe Epson has another winner!"

Consumer Promotions

Epson has two promotions running with its new camera. For consumers who buy the PhotoPC 500, a free camera carrying case is included in the box and a free AC adapter is offered through a mail-in rebate when the Epson PhotoView LC colour monitor is purchased. Both of these promotions will continue through first quarter 1997.

For Work or Play -- Open Up A World of Colourful Possibilities

PhotoPC 500 is ideal for business and home users who desire a quick and easy way to bring photographs into their computers for printing picture-enhanced documents or sending over the Internet.

PhotoPC 500 images are used to communicate more effectively and creatively in correspondence, proposals, newsletters and presentations, and to add a special touch to personal letters, greeting cards, flyers and school projects. The camera saves time when developing comps for graphic design projects such as brochures, storyboarding or packaging.

Internet Applications

The Epson PhotoPC 500 provides high quality images for immediate inclusion in e-mail messages or Websites. Epson's digital cameras store images automatically as JPEG files and are the first digital cameras in their class to use this standard compression technology. By using this standard, Epson cameras allow users to bring their pictures instantly into documents or Web pages without wasting time or potentially losing data during file format conversion.

To help users get started with Internet applications, the Epson Internet Sampler Pak is included in the box. The Sampler Pak contains a free trial version of Claris Home Page Web authoring software, Network Sound & Light Inc.'s fun-to-use Postcards From the Net software, 50 free hours on America Online and 30 free days on EarthLink.

Product Features

Versatility and ease of use are important qualities of Epson's digital cameras, and the PhotoPC 500 is a perfect example. "Our customers have the opportunity to pick and choose what accessories they want. And like traditional photographers, digital camera buyers want to mix and match optional components.

Having the ability to change resolution and flash settings, use filters, close-up and wide-angle lenses, quickly upgrade memory, and attach a LCD monitor makes this digital camera one of the most flexible on the market today," said Jen.

The point-and-shoot PhotoPC 500 has the look and feel of a fully-featured traditional 35mm film camera, weighs less than one pound and measures 6.5 x 3.25 x 2 inches (WxHxD). The PhotoPC 500 takes pictures in 24-bit colour or 16.7 million colours for clear colour reproduction, and because some applications have different resolution requirements, users can choose between high- and standard-resolution settings of 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 respectively.

For added versatility, users can switch between four flash modes (auto, forced, flash off and auto with red eye reduction) to provide flash ranges from 1.5 to 10 feet. Users can also thread their own 37mm video camcorder accessory lenses or filters for close-up, wide-angle and special effect pictures.

Optional Colour LCD Monitor

An exciting accessory for the PhotoPC 500 is the Epson Photo View LCD monitor, a real-time live preview and playback device. It provides a convenient, fast and easy way for users to preview images without first downloading them to a computer. The active-matrix TFT colour LCD is 1.8" and has settings for image preview, playback, multiple image display, selective image erase and close-up/macro picture taking (from 1.5 feet away). The Epson PhotoView LCD monitor, which will carry a $279 manufacturer's suggested retail price, is a flexible way for users to explore their creativity with digital photography.

High Quality Images

Epson's ColorTrue in-camera processing system produces accurate and brilliant colour images by using advanced image processing and enhancement algorithms. It is this technology that sets Epson digital camera image quality above all others in this category. ColorTrue ensures each picture has excellent colour accuracy, saturation, balance and contrast, making Epson's image quality visibly superior to other, even more expensive cameras. And the new Epson ClearView optics system provides sharper and clearer images with reduced lens distortion.

The PhotoPC 500 base unit stores up to 30 high- or 60 standard-resolution images. Optional expandable Epson PhotoSpan memory modules increase total storage capacity to 100 high- or 200 standard-resolution images.

Ease of Use

The PhotoPC 500 comes with everything users need to get pictures into their Windows and/or Macintosh computers -- digital camera, serial communications cable, Epson's PhotoPC 500 image editing and management software bundle, TWAIN driver and batteries. Among its many features, the photo software allows users to preview, retrieve, delete, organize and edit pictures taken. With the Special Effects feature, users can personalize pictures.

For efficiency, the TWAIN driver allows users to acquire images directly from software packages such as Adobe PhotoShop and Micrografx Picture Publisher. For Windows users, the bundled Sierra PrintArtist 3.0 software enables users to design and produce stunning photo print projects such as greeting cards, invitations and flyers.

For convenience, the Epson EasyTouch Control Panel and status display on the camera indicates the number of images taken, number remaining, image resolution, flash setting and battery level. To avoid wasted shots, such as a person with his/her eyes closed, the EasyTouch control panel allows users to erase the last image taken. Users can also take self-portraits with the built-in self timer.


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