Inexpensive pocket camcorders that look like mobile phones have become pretty standard ever since the Cisco Flip came along – but the 3M Shoot ‘n Share CP45 Camcorder Projector is the first device we’ve seen that lets you shoot your footage and show it instantly using a built-in projector.
With projectors rapidly dwindling in size while still managing to producing satisfying brightness, colour and contrast ratios, it seems like an obviosu move – and while this two-in-one device won’t satisfy home cinema buffs, it could just be the ideal ‘party’ camera for the youth market.
Looks like Apple
Looking at the Shoot ‘n Share CP45 Camcorder Projector from the front, you could be forgiven for thinking this was an Apple creation, with its glossy white cover and chic array of brilliantly backlit control icons that let you choose between still or moving pictures and projection. Dominating the top half is a 2.4in LCD display which outlines all the essential facts around the rim of the screen and contains a 4x digital zoom slider on the right-hand side.
Once you turn the machine on its side, you realise it’s a lot chunkier than it initially appears – but its 24mm depth is to allow for the projector body, and it still only weighs a comfortable 190g. There are, however, some small design peculiarities like the deliberate angling of the body for no discernible reason than style, and the overly extended camera strap-holder on the base.
On the side you’ll find a MicroSD card holder, enabling you to supplement the built-in 2GB memory (which is enough for six 25-minute videos or 1,000 photos) with up to 32GB memory card. There’s also a USB connector to plus the device into your PC, an HDMI-out, an AV input (which lets you attach a DVD player or gaming console to project from) and a focus wheel for the projector. Round the back is the 5-megapixel camera lens that can record up to HD 720p videos with mono sound, and which boasts an impressive LED flash.
The projector lens is at the top of the device and projects an image with a diagonal size of between 25cm and 165cm (10in-65in) at 800×600 SVGA resolution, with a brightness of 20 lumens. That may not sound very large or bright, but in relatively confined rooms (which is where you suspect it will mostly be used) the results in terms of image sharpness and authentic hues are surprisingly good, making the most of the 200:1 contrast ratio.
On the down side, it’s a shame that that the image is limited to a 4:3 aspect ratio rather than the more popular 16:9 widescreen, and the digital zoom is decidedly jerky and should be avoided during video recording. On the plus side, the included ArcSoft Media Converter 3 software lets you convert a range of digital formats to MPEG4/MP4 which is the CP45′s native format – and there’s a handy tripod mount on the base for more stable projector usage.
Contact: 3M on 08705 360036
- Impressive video-to-projection performance.
- Clunky digital zoom.
3M is undoubtedly on to a potential winner with its combined Camcorder Projector which records good quality HD video, projects clearly and sharply on almost any surface and allows for external DVD and game console playback.