All-In-One: Movie Camera and Projector

Today, Nikon announced its new Coolpix S1000pj digital camera. It’s pretty typical for a higher-end point-and-shoot camera: 12.1 megapixel resolution, 5x optical zoom, optical and electronic image stabilization, 2.7 LCD panel, and a host of image processing magic features built in. And like most digital cameras these days, it can also take digital video clips (at VGA resolution, 640 by 480 pixels, which is equivalent to standard definition).

The Nikon Coolpix S1000pj has a tiny projector built into the camera, so you can show still photos and movies.

But the Coolpix S1000pj can do something that no other camera can do (yet); it can also project those still images and movies on just about any surface, using a tiny projector that is built right into the camera. These new “pico projectors” have started to appear in mobile phones and MP3 players, but this is the first time that one has been built into a digital camera. According to Nikon representative, the projector is the company’s own design, and produces VGA-resolution images using tiny LEDs as the light source.

As you might expect, the projector is not very bright, so you’ll want to keep the image fairly small unless the room lights are very dim. It’s rated at only 10 lumens; by comparison, a typical classroom or meeting room projector is rated at 1,000 to 2,000 lumens. Still, the tiny projector in the camera is enough to show images large enough to be viewed by many people at once, as opposed to trying to crowd around the 2.7 inch LCD panel.

The new camera is slated to ship next month with a list price of $430.