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The Smallest Digicam on Retail?

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 25 comments

It's barely larger than its own USB plug!

The Chobi Mini Digital Camera can capture 1280 x 960 AVI videos at 30 frames per second, and take 2048 x 1536 JPEG photos (around 3 megapixels). Not really impressive off the bat, until you realize that the Chobi is smaller than an eraser.

At 4.4 x 2.9 x 1.2 cm (length, height, and depth respectively), the Chobi Mini nevertheless has enough space to accommodate microSD memory cards (8GB max), and even a voice recorder. Made by Japanese manufacturer JTT, the camera lacks the LCD viewfinder that's a standard today, but makes up for this somewhat with an old-school viewfinder.

The JTT Chobi Mini can plug into Mac OS and Windows PCs via USB. It comes with a one-month warranty(!) and a Japanese(!!) manual, at a very reasonable price of 13850 yen (a bit below $150). Currently available from Geek Stuff 4 U.

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  • 5 Hide
    cscott_it , April 12, 2010 2:13 PM
    Too small. I mean, outside of novelty I don't see any real use for this thing.
  • 5 Hide
    mavroxur , April 12, 2010 2:24 PM
    While 3 megapixels and 1280x960 avi's arent too bad for something that's roughly the size of a 9V battery, I wonder what the quality of the photos and video looks like. If they're clear and have good quality, it'd be neat, but grainy low quality photos with poor color aren't very useful. I'm curious to see some samples of what it does.
  • -1 Hide
    KT_WASP , April 12, 2010 2:24 PM
    This is getting a bit stupid now. This reminds me of that Wendy's $2.99 combo meal commercial, where the dude is eating those tiny fries.... Small is cool and all, but there is a point where it becomes ridiculous.

    BTW, found the commercial
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    Shadow703793 , April 12, 2010 2:37 PM
    cscott_itToo small. I mean, outside of novelty I don't see any real use for this thing.

    *cough* .... *cough*... hidden pr0n cam *cough*
  • 5 Hide
    Dirtman73 , April 12, 2010 2:42 PM
    $150 is not a "very reasonable price" for this thing. It looks like a cheap-ass disposable camera.
  • 2 Hide
    mynameisspoon , April 12, 2010 2:46 PM
    My phone has a better specced cam on it, why the fek would I buy that?
  • 1 Hide
    cadder , April 12, 2010 2:53 PM
    This is very cute, but too expensive.

    Phone cams are generally pure crap, regardless of specs. So the question is does this tiny cam give images like a real cam or like a phone cam?

    3MP is plenty for a good 4x6 print, IF the lens and sensor are up to it. If the lens and sensor are too cheap, then no matter how many MP you have you won't get a good pic.
  • 0 Hide
    michaelzehr , April 12, 2010 3:01 PM
    Smaller and with higher resolution than the FlyCamOne, a camera used by model airplane and rocket hobbyists, and also advertised as a kite cam. I don't see the weight listed (which is crucial for rocket applications). One plus the flycamone has is the ability to set it to continuous record prior to flight/launch. If it weighs 1oz or less it would be nice to see a version with the continuous record. (There are also cyclists that use helmet mounted cams to record rides and races.)
  • 1 Hide
    lordcrazex , April 12, 2010 3:12 PM
    I believe its potentials when I see a video clip of it in use. TQ :) 
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , April 12, 2010 3:18 PM
    My video and photo camera is smaller. It has a size of zero. It is in my phone. Who is this not true for?
  • 1 Hide
    sliem , April 12, 2010 3:30 PM
    Too small. Too expensive.
    1 month warranty, only japanese manual.

    No thanks unless it's $40.
  • 1 Hide
    icepick314 , April 12, 2010 3:39 PM
    from Japan???

    I will be expecting LOT more high school girl panchira shots in the trains....
  • 1 Hide
    warezme , April 12, 2010 4:21 PM
    You could do like that Japanese guy that got arrested for gluing them to his shoes and looking up little girl skirts
  • 0 Hide
    2zao , April 12, 2010 4:30 PM
    how is that "smaller than an eraser" i don't ever remember using an eraser that size... its more like double the size of an eraser... which is still extremely small
  • -1 Hide
    nebun , April 12, 2010 4:33 PM
    stupidity, pure stupidity
  • 0 Hide
    zaixionito , April 12, 2010 5:47 PM
    Dirtman73$150 is not a "very reasonable price" for this thing. It looks like a cheap-ass disposable camera.

    Under $50, I will laugh at it, but think it is reasonably priced. Over $149, I will laugh at it, and think it is insanely priced.
  • 0 Hide
    rooket , April 12, 2010 6:19 PM
    That's cool as long as it makes actual 3 megapixel photos and not super craptastic 3 megapixel photos like my Ericsson makes. I get a lot better photo out of a 5 year old 2 megapixel camera which eats a lot of AA batteries than a lot of these new tiny gadgets.
  • 3 Hide
    babybeluga , April 12, 2010 6:44 PM
    cscott_itToo small. I mean, outside of novelty I don't see any real use for this thing.

    That's what she said.

    Epic win.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 12, 2010 8:57 PM
    My phone doesn't have a camera, and something like this would be great for taking spur-of-the-moment pictures since I can easily carry it around in my pocket.

    Unfortunately the price is just too high. My regular-sized, 10-megapixel camera with a 3" inch display was only ~$80. Drop the price of this miniature to ~$40 or less, and I'll be all over it.
  • 0 Hide
    flaminggerbil , April 12, 2010 10:20 PM
    So very Japanese.

    Also, 1 month warranty, lol.
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