Sanyo launches iD Photo optical disc format

Sanyo used this week's CEATEC electronics show just outside of Tokyo to officially launch its iD Photo memory storage disc for digital still cameras. The format was developed jointly by the company with Olympus and Hitachi. Unlike existing storage formats such as SmartMedia, Compact Flash and Memory Stick which are based on memory chips, the new Sanyo format uses a 5cm magneto-optical disc. This gives users an immediate advantage in the amount of data they can store on a single card. The current highest capacity memory-based cards can accommodate 64MB of data and last week several companies announced the imminent launch of 128MB cards but iD Photo offers 730MB of storage space. In terms of images, that's space for 11,000 pictures at VGA resolution (640-x-480). To accompany the format launch, Sanyo also took the wraps off a new iD Photo-based digital still camera. The IDC-1000Z, nicknamed iD-Shot, is a 1.5 megapixel class camera that also has the ability to record video clips at 30fps. Three levels of video quality are available, low resolution (160-x- 120), medium resolution (equivalent to a basic television picture) and a higher resolution mode for VGA size movies. Additionally it has an IEEE1394 (aka FireWire) high speed data port and a USB connector for hooking up to a personal computer or other device. It will go on sale in Japan from December and carry a suggested retail price of 160,000 yen (around £1,000). Sanyo said it plans to produce 10,000 of the devices during its first month on sale. UK release details have not yet been announced.

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