Nikon pocket cam packs a projector

Nikon USA

Why wait 'til you get home to show that slideshow of boring enthralling vacation photos? That seems to be the thought behind Nikon's latest pocketable digital camera, the S1000pj.

Still, as annoying as it might be to seatmates subjected to "what I did on my summer vacation" on a stowed tray-table at 35,000 feet, the S1000pj offers a first-of-its kind pairing. It takes a pocket projector like those reviewed late last year by the New York Times' David Pogue and stuffs it, a speaker, and a decent-enough  camera into a package a little bigger than a deck of cards.

The $400 point-and-shoot comes with a respectable bevy of features along with its proprietary projector: a 12.1-megapixel sensor (though don't get caught up in the megapixel trap), 5x optical zoom, 2.7-inch LCD, and a wireless remote to lose.

Of course, the 10-lumen output of this tiny projector isn't exactly Alpha Centauri, and battery life will probably be just short of dismal. Still, early hands-on time by the folks over at PC World had the s1000pj throwing up a decent image at close range, with still-visible results from 10 feet away in a darkened room. As that publication's Tim Moynihan put it, "you shouldn't expect to host many drive-in movies with the S1000pj, but it could be the source of some nice party tricks (not to mention projecting virtual "Kick Me" signs on peoples' backs)."

Game-changer or gimmick?

The S1000pj's projector is a first for pocket cameras – that much is known. But will people be drawn to it? Over at CNET, blogger Don Reisinger calls the S1000pj "the next big thing in the digital camera space." Despite not having used the camera yet, Reisinger is sold on its utility:

I will be able to instantly share my camera-stored photos and videos in a large-scale format wherever I am. I won't need to pass my camera around anymore, worrying about someone dropping it. The projector keeps the camera in my hands (or on the included stand). Everybody wins.

Are you with him? Or does the prospect of a built-in projector seem more bumbling than brilliant? Watch the video below for Nikon's take on what owning the S1000pj could be like. Sound off in the comments, and be sure to follow us on Twitter.

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