PMA, Las Vegas--From the rebirth of their famous Spy Camera, now in digital form, along with "spy accessories," to addition of two new top-of-the line APO HG binoculars, MINOX should attract a lot of attention at the 2009 PMA Show in Las Vegas as they unveil their ever-expanding line of quality optics in Booth #Q170-4 in the German Pavilion.
Even with their many recent technological break-throughs in binoculars and spotting scopes, the name MINOX still first brings a smile to many lips as they remember the legendary little spy camera of years gone by, whether it's from a James Bond film or even earlier. Now it's back, for fun and practical use -- the DSC SpyCam, complete with the added advantages of high-quality digital imaging.
German engineers and designers at MINOX have been working closely with the creative staff of Volkswagen-Design for more than 10 years, winning several design awards, and they consider the digital SpyCam their latest spectacular coup.
"It's not often that a designer gets the opportunity to deal with a legend," said head designer Jens Kohlhase, “and this MINOX classic has remained unmatched in photographic history.
"It's fascinating how much technical know-how can be packed into such a small space," he added. "Adapting the legendary spy camera to accommodate complex digital technology and still keep its ultra-miniature format was a real challenge."
Just 3-3/8"x1-3/16"x7/8" and weighing only 2.1 oz., the DSC SpyCam is so small it can disappear in a clenched fist, yet delivers quality images, with a resolution of 5.0 megapixels. Focal length is 8.5mm, equivalent to 42mm in 35mm format. And it has a close-focus distance of about 3 feet. It has an internal memory of 128 MB and can take a memory card up to 16 GB, and operates on a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. It will retail for $249.
Thorsten Kortemeier, MINOX managing director, said "The small spy camera has always been a legend, and it is a lot more than just a small camera. The DSC turns every photographer into a spy," he added with a wink.
As revival of their legendary spy camera, in modern digital form, puts some fun and intrigue back into photography, MINOX also has several spy accessories to go with it.
Even more secretive is the MINOX Digital Belt Camera. Deceptively hidden as an inconspicuous belt buckle, this camera lets you take photos without being noticed. The micro-optics are perfectly concealed on the front of this ingenious camera with 3GP format. Controls are arranged on the underside of the buckle, out of sight but within easy reach. Retail price is $299.
The MINOX Digital Sunglasses Camera has more than one surprise to it. A micro-photo camera is integrated into one of the earpieces and is operated by a remote control. The other earpiece houses an MP3 player. And the lenses are replaceable, making this ingenious eyewear adjustable to the diopter strength required by the wearer. It retails for $199.
A third choice for surreptitious photography is the MINOX Digital Pen Video Camera, which looks like just another ball-point pen. But hidden behind its clip is a micro video camera that records video footage in AVI real-time format. For quality sound, a high-power microphone is integrated in the chrome-plated clip. A USB port for downloading the videos is built into the front part of this normal-looking pen. Retails for $199.
If you can keep a secret, there's another great spy accessory coming soon. So you will look the part and enjoy even more advantages, MINOX is perfecting Spy Sunglasses. Lenses will be mirror-coated on the inside, at their outer edges, to reflect everything going on behind you, allowing perfect observation without having to turn around. At the same time, they will be exactly what they look like – a perfectly normal pair of sunglasses with excellent UV protection for your eyes. Will retail for $39. For more secret information, visit the www.license-to-shoot.com spy community page.
In addition to the spy family, the most impressive and most significant of the new MINOX optics are their two APO HG binoculars. Absolutely top-of-the line, these apochromatically corrected binoculars were developed with the very latest technology in binocular design to deliver unmatched features and capabilities, including an extended field of view.
Both the 8x43 and 10x43 models feature the special German-made SCHOTT fluoride ED-glass elements, required for the advanced APO HG technology that make these new binoculars produce pin-sharp images with brilliant color rendition, high contrast and minimal glare. Aspherical lenses inside the eyepieces guarantee consistent sharpness right to the outer edges.