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*February 17, 2006 – *Yesterday, German digital camera manufacturer Ben Q released the DC E600 with a 2D rotating "Lens-Eye" and a dedicated "PM Mode" – panoramic focus mode.
According to Ben Q’s own specifications the 6 megapixel CCD digital camera comes equipped with a 3x optical zoom lens. But instead of filling the full frame of the lens barrel, the "Lens Eye" sits to one side within a silver disc that rotates within the lens barrel space. The lens has an aperture of f/2.7-f/5.2, and focal length equivalent to 35-105mm (35mm format). Its focusing range is 40 cm to infinity, and in macro mode 15-50 cm. Shutter speed is between 1/2000 and 2 seconds, but will increase to 8 seconds in Night Scene mode.
The 2.5-inch LTPS LCD screen takes up most of the back of the camera, but there is no information on the pixel count at this time.
Manual options are minimal, limited to flash, white balance and ISO. Flash options are red-eye reduction, slow sync, forced flash and flash off, in addition to the typical automatic setting. The Ben Q E600 flash offers a range, according to their own specs, of only 0.3 m – 2 m. Aside from auto, white balance can be selected from daylight, cloudy, tungsten and fluorescent options. ISO, after auto, can be at 100, 200 or 400.
Image resolution is said to be 2848 x 2144 at 6 MP, 2304 x 1728 at 4 MP, 1600 x 1200 at 2 MP and 1280 x 960 at 1 MP. The self-timer is between 10 and 2 seconds, adjustable in 2 second increments, which is an uncommon option. Ben Q also mentions a trim and size feature that allows users to crop and resize a shot, as well as change an entire image’s resolution and size.
The Ben Q DC E600 also includes a Movie mode in which users can capture MPEG-4 images at 30 fps in 640 x 480 VGA with continuous sound recording.
The E600 takes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and is SD card compatible, which will augment the limited 24 MB of internal memory. There is also a USB 2.0 port for transferring images to PC.
The E600 is approximately 3.6 x 2.4 x 1 in. (92 x 60 x 24.5 mm) and weighs 4.76 oz. (135g) unloaded. Release date and price in the US has not yet been announced.