Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., better known as Panasonic, will launch a new home photo printer in Japan later in April. One of the SV-AP30's main features is support for PictBridge, a recently introduced standard that allows users to directly connect compatible cameras and printers together and then control the printer via the camera's interface. It does away with the need to run images through a personal computer, therefore making it perfect for anyone who wants to use a digital still camera but isn't keen on using a PC. Resolution is 259 dpi (dots per inch) and the printer can accept four different paper formats. In addition to PictBridge, users can load images directly from an SD (Secure Digital) memory card or connect to the printer to a PC via USB (Universal Serial Bus). It measures 180 millimeters by 68 millimeters by 280 millimeters and weighs 1.6 kilograms. It goes on sale on April 24 and will cost around ¥26,000 (US$240).
Web: http://panasonic.jp/dc/ap30/ (Japanese)
IO Data IVDR Mini Disk and Drive
If you bought an iPod or hard-disk drive based video recorder last year you might be avoiding electronics stores today. The quick advances in storage technology now mean devices offering double the storage capacity are probably available at an equivalent or even lower price. Enter IVDR, a removable hard disk drive system first announced two years ago and now finally making its commercial debut. An IVDR disk is little more than a hard disk drive in a plastic case with a common interface but its introduction could mean that equipment you buy today doesn't become obsolete so quickly. That's because upgrading becomes as easy as pulling out one drive and inserting another higher-capacity one. It also means that transferring a large amount of data, say a video file from a PC to TV, is as simple as transferring the disk rather than messing around with cables and possible network delays. The success and usefulness of the system depends on the number of devices that will support it but right now there's just one: a USB disk drive from IO Data Device Inc. It will go on sale later this month in Japan bundled with a 20G byte IVDR Mini disk for ¥34,000 (US$315) while the disk alone will cost ¥24,000. No plans for an overseas launch have been announced.
Web: http://www.iodata.jp/prod/storage/hdd/2004/usb2-ivdr (Japanese)
Sony DSC-T11 Digital Still Camera