According to Foveon, Inc., the California company’s new image-sensing CMOS chip will allow digital cameras to surpass, within a year, the quality of film cameras. Foveon officials say their chips are capable of capturing digital images with 4,096 by 4,096 pixels resolution, about twice that of 35mm film, for the same price as current digital cameras. Eastman Kodak had previously announced a chip with similar capabilities, but their chip will reportedly cost significantly more than Foveon’s.
In a related story, a new camera by Ricoh would seem to presage the future of all cameras. The Ricoh RDC-i700 3.34-megapixel digital camera weighs about one pound and is shaped like a video casette. It includes 3x optical zoom and takes still or video pictures. It has a built-in speaker and microphone and has a flip-up 3.5″ LCD touch screen that can be used to access the Web via wireless modem, LAN, or WAN, and send or receive e-mail. Images can be up- and downloaded or stored using type II Compact Flash cards.