Toshiba announces speedy sensor, develops Lytro-like module


Perhaps you like the idea of post-capture focus as provided by Lytro’s light field camera, but don’t want another single-function device? You might be in luck if rumors of a small sensor from Toshiba that emulates that ability prove true early next year.

But first the company officially announced a new 20-megapixel CMOS sensor it says “offers the industry’s highest resolution in the 1/2.3 inch optical format, using backside illumination technology to improve sensitivity and imaging performance.” Also, the TCM5115CL achieves a 15 percent improvement in full well capacity — the amount of charge an individual pixel can hold before saturating — over Toshiba’s previous generation. And it’s “designed to meet the demands of high quality, fast frame rate image capture and HD video recording supporting smooth, slow motion playback,” with fast capture at 60 frames per second at 1080p, or 100fps at 720p. The sensor is set for mass production in August 2013.

The new post-capture module will reportedly house an array of 500,000 tiny lenses. It’s aimed at phones, and so it’s smaller than Lytro’s system — just one centimeter thick. Also, it even captures video with selectable focal planes. However, it’s not likely to come out until the end of next year.

The Asahi Shimbun has a full report here.


Toshiba HD camcorders upload wirelessly, capture 3D

The new Camileo AIR10 from Toshiba uploads to a computer via a WiFi connection, and can double as a wireless webcam.

The $150 camcorder captures 1080p HD; it has a 2-inch LCD, 5 megapixel back side illuminated CMOS sensor, and a fixed focal length lens.

Also: The Camileo Clip is billed as “the ultimate young adventurer’s ideal tool, fitting many of the features typically found in full-sized camcorders into a compact design.” Toshiba says the rugged splash-resistant and shock-proof mini candy bar style camcorder comes with a built-in clip that “allows users to quickly snap it on to their clothing or belt to capture every second of their hike, climb or bike in 1080p Full HD.” The $100 “ultraportable” weighs 2.5 ounces and measures 3.1 by 1.8 by 0.6 inches.

And finally: The Z100 3D camcorder captures both 2D and 3D. The $219 barrel-style camcorder has a 2.8-inch LCD touchscreen that displays both 2D and 3D, glasses-free.


Sony + Toshiba + Hitachi = Japan Display Inc.

Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi officially joined a government-backed joint venture Japan Display Inc.

The three manufacturers signed definitive agreements to transfer all shares of certain subsidiaries and integrate their small- and medium-sized display businesses into a new company to be established and operated by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan. INCJ is a public-private partnership that provides financial, technological and management support for next-generation businesses.

Japan Display is scheduled to begin operations in Spring of 2012.


Toshiba introduces trio of traditional-style camcorders

The latest Camileo 1080p HD camcorders from Toshiba all feature three-inch swiveling touchscreens and on-screen video trimming — and low prices, the company says.

The X200 is a “budget-friendly traditional barrel-style camcorder” that sill packs interesting features such as slow-motion and time-lapse. It has a 12x optical zoom and is $230.

A 23x lens and touchscreen for $280.

The X416 is $320 for a 23x optical zoom and 16 gigabytes of  storage that holds three hours of HD video. The X400 also has a 23x lens, but lacks the built-in Flash and so needs a storage card in its expansion slot. It’s $280.

More information is here.


Samsung, Toshiba offer new Android tablets

Toshiba claims its Thrive 7-inch tablet “is the first seven-inch tablet in the U.S. market to offer a true HD display” —  a 1280 by 800 resolution that “puts bright and crisp images from movies, photos, books and games right in your hand.”

Toshiba claims the highest-res screen on a 7-inch tablet.

The tablet sports Adaptive Display and Resolution+ video enhancement technologies, a dual-core processor, and NVidia GeForce graphics. It has a five-megapixel camera with an LED flash on the back for capturing pictures and video, plus a two-megapixel camera on the front for video chat.
It weighs under a pound, and measures just under half an inch thick.

Samsung Mobile announced a new Galaxy tablet. The Tab 8.9 is 8.6 millimeters thick. It has a dual-core processor, WXGA TFT display with a 1280 by 800 resolution, rear-facing 3-megapixel camera with flash and autofocus, and a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chat.
The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is $569 for the 32GB version and $469 for 16GB.

Also: Samsung’s upcoming  $269 Galaxy Player 5 will have rear 3 megapixel camera and VGA front camera. It will measure 3 by 5.56 by 0.46 inches.