Many, if not most, pocket gadgets that people invent are largely needless as they simply combine two existing tools for no particularly useful reason. But every so often somebody comes up with a “twofer” that genuinely solves a problem.
Here’s a problem you may well have experienced (though you might need the marketing men to point it out to you, just as they did with “How come you have to decide what music to listen to before you leave the house?”): You go out for the day, take a bunch of cool photos, and then you want to show them to your friends right away.
Option A is to crowd round the tiny screen on the back of the camera and either squint or pass the camera round. Option B is find a computer and either hook up the camera or fiddle about getting the memory card out and into a suitable slot or adaptor. That’s not exactly convenient.
Enter Nikon with option C: a camera with a built-in projector.
The Coolpix S1000pj is a pretty standard 12.1 megapixel digital camera with a 5x wide angle zoom. Standard that is, except that all you need is a flat wall surface and you can project an image ranging for 5 to 40 inches in diameter.
To make things even better, the camera records and projects video. It’s not exactly an HD picture, but rest assured that if you’re in the bathroom when your friend does that silly dance, gets blown out by a potential mate or is the victim of a fly-by pigeon attack, you’ll be seeing it in near life-size footage the moment you return. And the camera has a speaker, so you’ll hear every cringe, insult or splat.
There is one other feature that may come in useful: a Skin Softening tool which acts as a virtual airbrush to remove skin blemishes. Given the potential for the projector to get a lot of use in late night/adult beverage situations, that might be best for all concerned.
For those interested in the logistics of building a projector into a camera, Gearlog has diagrams of how the whole thing fits together.
[Coolpix S1000pj – $429.95 – Available for pre-order on Amazon.com]