GW-302 -- The Hottest Gizmos and Gadgets from Japan

Japan Inc Magazine Presents:

The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Issue No. 302 Friday June 20, 2008
Subscribers: 9467
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JVC Everio GZ-HD40 video camera boasts a whole bunch of

Name: JVC Everio GZ-HD40
Category: digital video camera
Price: Open price (about JPY150,000)
Release date in Japan: Early July, 2008

With a 120GB internal hard drive - the same storage capacity as
many laptop computers these days - the Everio GZ-HD40 is good
for up to 50 hours of full high-definition (1920x1080i) movie
recording. That's the longest HD recording time of any shipping
camera, says JVC.

The tech behind that achievement includes a 2.68-megapixel CMOS
sensor and the 'Dual AVCHD/MPEG-2 Codec HD Signal-Processing LSI
for Video Cameras', the latter being another world's first,
according to JVC. You choose the codec to use: AVCHD (1920x1080)
for recording time of up to 50 hours but at a relatively low bit
rate; or MPEG-2 TS (1920x1080 or 1440x1080) for recording time
of only 10 hours but at a higher bit rate allowing more editing

There's more to like than just the ability to record the
equivalent of a couple dozen feature-length films. Push the
record button, and the GZ-HD40 starts capturing the scene in a
twelfth of a second - an impressive speed which JVC says is also
unmatched by anyone else. (Think that rounds out JVC's claims of
'We're #1'? Oh, no, not yet; the company also wants you to know
that this is the smallest hard disk-toting hi-def camera you can
buy, weighing only 455g.)

Additional niceties include a 10x optical zoom, microSD/SDHC
slot, and an 'Auto Grouping' feature to organize your footage.
(Good navigation is a necessity when you've got to sift through
50 hours of video to find a key scene.)

In addition to the JPY150,000 GZ-HD40, JVC is releasing a junior
model, the GZ-HD30 with 80GB hard disk, for about JPY130,000.
Also on sale in July: the CU-VD50 DVD writer, an
AVCHD/MPEG-2-capable disk writer to burn your camera footage
onto DVDs without need for a PC. It's expected to go for about

More info:

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Canon EOS Kiss F lures SLR beginners

Name: Canon EOS Kiss F
Category: digital SLR camera
Price: Open price (about JPY70,000 for body only)
Release date in Japan: late June, 2008

The 'F' stands for 'friendly' and 'family'. That's Canon's
message to potential buyers who may have been eyeing single lens
reflex cameras, but have been put off by price or complexity.
The Kiss F follows in the steps of the beginner-oriented Kiss X2
released in March of this year, with a lower pixel count and
smaller LCD screen to bring the price down by about JPY20,000.
(The older, bulkier Kiss Digital X is heading out of production
to make way for the F.)

Image size is 10 megapixels, more than enough for a home
printer's largest printouts. Automatic ISO setting and automatic
sensor cleaning remove those concerns from newcomers' minds.
Face recognition takes care of the best exposure, flash, etc.
for portraits. And like the X2, 'Live View' lets photogs compose
the image on the 2.5-inch LCD monitor before shooting, a plus
for compact camera users who aren't used to looking through an
SLR's viewfinder.

More experienced users will appreciate RAW image format in
addition to JPEG. Quick shooting allows 3 shots/sec using JPEG,
1.5/sec using RAW.

Expect a price of about JPY70,000 for the light 450g body, or
JPY80,000 for a kit with EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS lens, which
sounds like a good lens for wide and low-light shots, if not
telephoto shooting.

More info: (Japanese)


au Sportio W63T is your new running buddy

Name: au Sportio W63T
Category: mobile phone
Price: Open price
Release date in Japan: June 14, 2008

KDDI is now offering the Toshiba-made CDMA 1X WIN 'Sportio'
(W63T) mobile phone. Designed expressly for the 'au Smart
Sports' service, the new Sportio (whose name is said to combine
'sports' with the Latin 'actio') looks roughly like an iPod
(with added cell phone keys in an unorthodox layout) and packs
in the features for exercise nuts.

First, you enter your personal data (height, weight, etc.) into
the Smart Sports application. Then, with a touch of the SS
(Smart Sports) Key, you can easily active a stopwatch or the
built-in Smart Sports Run & Walk application, which tracks
steps, distance, average speed, and calories burned for current
and past running sessions, all aided by Sportio's three-axis
motion sensor. (Run & Walk and Sportio's GPS also let you map
out your runs online.) Even without activating Run & Walk,
Sportio will automatically watch your current motion, displaying
steps, distance, and calories on the idle screen. If you'd like
a running coach, Sportio offers BEAT RUN, a musical soundtrack
for your jog that changes as you match its tempo.

(Don't accidentally delete that Smart Sports Run & Walk
application. Some bug prevents re-downloading the app to a
Sportio; au expects to have this fixed soon.)

Like the iPod's collaboration with Nike, Sportio has also signed
up a big-name pal: Adidas, which will soon offer sportswear and
armbands designed to complement the Sportio look.

Other specs: 2.2-inch 240x320 TFT screen, 1.96-megapixel camera,
microSD card slot (max 2GB), Bluetooth. Missing from the feature
list are 1-seg TV and 'saifu keitai' electronic wallet.
Available in orange, black, green, white, and red.

More info:


Short items

Spotted elsewhere in the news:

1) This is sort of a clever gadget for the PC user: Canon
Marketing Japan's new 'LS-100TKM' looks like a regular black or
white PC mouse, but flips open like a clamshell phone to reveal
a ten-key pad. The keys rest on the bottom of the opened mouse,
while an LCD screen appears on the underside of the flipped-open
'lid'. Use it for either ten-key input, or as a calculator (with
the ability to transmit the calculated result to your PC). From
late June, JPY3500.

2) What's new in hard disks? Bigger storage in a smaller space -
same as always. From late June, BUFFALO will begin selling the
'LinkStation mini', a network external hard disk unit containing
two 2.5-inch disks in RAID configuration. It's fanless and
quiet, fits neatly on the palm of your hand, and weighs a mere
half a kilogram - great for a home server that won't take up
much space or make noise. JPY37,000 for 500GB, JPY74,000 for

3) SONY announced a prototype back-illuminated CMOS image sensor
with double the previous sensitivity and low noise. Additional
tech specs probably won't interest many readers; what it means
to you is this: significantly clearer, richer images from future
cameras once the sensor makes its way into products.
More info: (Japanese)
Space food pictures:
Written by: Timm Tuttle
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