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FUJIFILM's DS-7 Has The New Solid-State Floppy Disk Card
In Camcorder & ComputerVideo's continuing evaluation of Digital Still-Video cameras, let's turn our attention to a "middle-class" model, the FUJIFILM DS-7. This camera represents a good value in point-and-shoot convenience, as well as efficient image downloading into your computer.
But it's also got one big, important feature that's a significant improvement over all previous models I have reviewed to date. FUJIFILM's DS-7 is the first released in the U.S. to incorporate the new Solid-State Floppy Disk Card (SSFDC) memory.
Essentially, your camera's memory problems are over!
Since the arrival of the SSFDC memory module is so important for Digital Still-Video cameras, we'll highlight its features and benefits. Then we'll turn to our review of the FUJIFILM DS-7. We'll show how it's not only a fun point-and-shoot Digital camera, but also an important imaging tool.
SSFDC--The New Era In Digital-Image Memory Cards
Developed by Toshiba Corporation, the SSFDC SmartMedia card is an integral part of the FUJIFILM DS-7. It's already incorporated into Minolta's Dimage V, the Apple Quicktake 200, and the ultraminiature Toshiba PDR-2A Digital Still camera.
All the cameras mentioned above are packaged with the 2MB version of the SSFDC module. So approximately 30 images can be stored in the Standard 640x480-resolution mode. FUJI's Economy (ECO) mode (320x240) ups that storage limit to about 60 images. The newer 4MB version of the SSFDC (estimated to be available later this year) will double those numbers: 60 images in 640x480 STD mode, and 120 images in 320x240 mode!
Now that's a still-video photographer's dream come true ... in one small, matchbook-sized SSFDC module, but thinner than a credit card--the equivalent of almost three rolls of 35mm film. Amazing!
And when that 4MB module fills up, you simply replace it with a fresh or recycled one! No more image drudgery of flushing out your camera's internal memory just to keep using it. Think of it just like replacing film, only better. The SSFDC SmartMedia card can be erased and reused!
Once the SSFDC card has reached capacity, the "roll of Digital film" can be removed and instantly replaced with another one. The contained images can downloaded onto a PC or MAC at your convenience, for storage or manipulation, and then the SSFDC card can be erased for later reuse in your DS-7.
But here's the best part: If your computer/laptop has a PC Card slot, you can insert the SSFDC Memory card (by way of a PC Card Adapter) directly into the PC Card slot. Then you can download image files up to 10 times faster than if you transferred them from your camera to your computer via the provided serial cable. FUJIFILM offers an optional PC Card Adapter for this very reason.
Most current laptops for either PC or MAC have the required PC Card slot. Users of desktop systems can get a PC card reader that works with their systems, either as an external or an internal unit. (Details on how I did that appear later in this …