A pocket digicam that doubles as a projector? It's true!
It only seems like yesterday that so-called 'Pico' projectors, battery-powered and pocketable, first arrived on the scene. Battery-friendly LED illumination and successful miniaturisation of projector imaging components made Pico projectors a reality and now Nikon has incorporated this projector technology into a compact digital camera, the Coolpix S1000pj.
The camera itself is fairly unremarkable. There are no manual exposure modes, although there are plenty of scene mode options, including a skin-softening portrait beauty mode. There is also a smile trigger option and a mode to combat the problem of subjects blinking. ISO sensitivity can be manually selected right up to ISO 6400. though ISO 3200 and 6400 are limited to 3 megapixel resolution instead of its usual 12.1 megapixels. Image stabilisation is featured, combining optical vibration reduction and electronic stabilisation. The 5x optical zoom lens offers a view equivalent to a 28-140mm lens. There are four movie modes, but none are HD or wide-screen.
There are few technical details about the projector section of the S1000pj, but we do know that the LED lamp brightness is 10 lumens, which is not the least bright of available dedicated pico projectors, but many are brighter. A slider on the top of the camera controls focus and we managed to get a projected image of around a metre wide, which compares well with the claimed 40 inch maximum. The view is, naturally, much better at close distances and with a smaller image size. Nikon suggests that an hour of projection should be possible with a freshly charged battery, but we struggled to exceed 20 minutes. It's possible to project video clips as well as stills. A stand and wireless remote control are included.
At around double the price of an equivalent camera without the projector feature, there is a big premium to pay. People we showed the SJ1000pj to were fascinated by the projection feature. It's definitely a crowd-puller. But just how useful this feature will be to the average photographer is unclear, especially as it can't be used to project an external video source, like a laptop's display.
Below is a thumbnail gallery tour of the Nikon Coolpix S1000pj. Click on a thumbnail to see the full-size illustration and captions:
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