The Spying Game: Minox Camera Gear

Minox makes its mark with new digital spy cameras and other photographic accessories.rnThe tiny Minox spy camera made a huge impact and probably a greater impact than we will ever know. New releases from Minox look set to continue the tradition.
Minox has brought their classic spy camera into the digital age with the 5Mpixel (actually 3.3Mpixel but interpolated to 5MP) Digital SpyCam. The same size as the classic model, it comes in at 86 x 29 x 20 mm. A bright optical viewfinder should work well in low light. A flash turns on automatically in low light. The system has an additional external flash that can be connected to the side of the DSC. And to provide the user with the accustomed convenience of a display for viewing film and image results, the flash has an integrated 1.5 inch TFT LCD monitor. The image data can be saved on micro SD memory cards of up to 16 GB, in addition to the internal memory. The lens is a 42mm equivalent f2.8 lens.

The specs are reproduced below, before we talk about some other Minox gear.

Minox Spy Camera

It is great to see the Minox back but I do have some concerns. The minimum focusing distance of 1m (40 inches) seems way too long for shooting some documents and such. Another is just how relevant is a dedicated, tiny camera when most of us are carrying small cameras as part of our phones? Sure, the Minox is tiny but the only places where we d not have our phones is in places where camera phones are not permitted especially because of the security aspect. Such buildings are likely to have metal detectors and I see nothing about the SpyCam being made entirely from glass and composite fiber.

So I am not sure just what the market is for this camera or the other spy products show later, although some of them look quite interesting. But it is an unusual development. The non-spy equipment looks great.

Minox Spy Camera

Minox have a dedicated site for their spy cameras: License to Shoot http://www.license-to-shoot.com

Technical Data MINOX Digital Spy Camera
Image sensor: 5,0 MP, CMOS Sensor (3,2 MP Hardware-resolution), Dimensions 6,59mm x 4,9mm, 8,21mm diagonal
Image resolution: Still: 2.560 x 1.920 pixels (interpolated), Videoclip: 640 x 480 pixels
Memory: Internal memory 128 MB NAND Flash memory, External memory: micro SD card up to 16 GB
Viewfinder: Optical (Galileian-Style)
Display: 1,5” TFT LCD display, 480 x 240 pixels
Flash: DSC: LED Flash, DSC Flash/Monitor: Electronic Flash: GN 12 (ISO 100/21°)
Lens: 4 elements glass lens with IR filter glass
Focal length: 8,7 mm (corresponds to approx. 42 mm with 35 mm format)
Lens aperture: F 2.8
Focus range: 1m to infinity
White balance: Automatic
Shutter speed: Automatic
Power supply: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion-Battery/mini USB-cable
Auto power-off: OFF-Mode after 1 min. inactivity
File format: Still: JPEG, Videoclips: AVI  
Computer interface: mini USB-cable
Dimensions: DSC: 86mm(L) x 30mm(W) x 21mm(H), DSC Flash/Monitor:76mm(L) x 41mm(W) x 21mm(H)
Weight: DSC: ca. 90g, DSC Flash/Monitor: ca. 80g

Wait, But There is More

When even their tiny Spy Camera is not secretive enough for you, use 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.

Minox Spy Camera

Another option is the MINOX Digital Sunglasses Camera, with 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.

Minox Spy Camera

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 realtime 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.

Minox Spy Camera

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.

Minox Spy Camera

For Birders

MINOX has opened a whole new world for anyone who enjoys the outdoors with introduction of their all-new DCM digiscoping system – a digital camera, video, monitor and eyepiece all combined in one compact unit. Fitted to a quality spotting scope, the DCM (Digital Camera Module) provides a fast, simple solution for taking digital photos and video footage through a scope.

Simply fitted to the scope’s eyepiece bayonet, this optics innovation is an ideal combination of a digital camera with normal functions, a 2-3/8″ high-resolution monitor and an eyepiece all in one. Best of all, no additional equipment, such as brackets or special adapters, is needed to get into practical digiscoping. MINOX design-engineers have successfully bridged the separate worlds of high-performance optics and digital camera technology to create this compact, lightweight, affordable package.

Minox Spy Camera

The DCM is convenient to carry because it weighs less than one pound and measures only about 2-5/8″x2-1/4″x2-3/4″. The large screen allows more than one person to view the subject at the same time, and also see the pictures taken or being taken. It’s like a powerful telephoto lens, and the 5-megapixel camera is multi-compatible – with five different bayonet fittings now available for high-quality scopes from Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski and Kowa, as well as the MINOX MD 62 series. Using the MINOX MD 62 Spotting Scope, with a focal length of 440mm, the magnification is 40X.

Watertight and shock-proof, the DCM can be used in adverse weather conditions, and it’s built to stand up to rough outdoor use if necessary. A convenient, built-in “flip-up” lens hood protects the TFT monitor and operating controls when being carried or stored, and even more important it serves as an anti-dazzle shield when in use, preventing ref
lections on the viewfinder. The 2-3/8″ monitor serves not only as the viewfinder but also for fine adjustments of the normal camera functions and
for checking images after shooting. Remote control for zoom, shutter release, change between image and video and video operation.

Digiscoping with the MINOX DCM offers great advantages to a wide range of users. You can get a close-up view of distant scenes and take pictures or video footage at the same time, always capturing sharp images, rich in detail. To store images, this exceptional camera has an internal memory of 128 MB, and a port for SD memory cards with up to 4 GB capacity. Power is provided by a replaceable, high-capacity lithium-ion battery. And the DCM comes complete with battery, remote control and soft pouch. MAP is $399.

Mini Telescope

The new 8×25 Minoscope from Minox/USA is a powerful yet compact miniature telescope that fits neatly in the palm of your hand.

Minox Spy Camera

It measures only 3-5/8″ x 2-1/4″ x 1-3/4″ and still delivers high-quality optical performance from a close-focus distance of just 13-3/4″ with its 8X magnification. The Minoscope provides a perfect solution for close-up study of everything from insects to wildlife. Ideal, too, for sports arenas, horse races, opera, sightseeing trips – wherever you want to bring interesting distance views up close to you.

The field of view at 1,000 yards is 342 feet. Despite its light weight (5.3 oz.), the Minox Minoscope is protected from wear and tear with tough rubber armor-coating, and it is waterproof to more than 16 feet.

With a lens diameter of 25mm, an innovative optical system and multi-layer coating of the optics, the Minoscope ensures bright images with high contrast and accurate color rendition under all conditions.

Minox also has considered those who wear eyeglasses, making the full field of view visible thanks to an extended exit pupil. The twist-up/twist-down eye-cup is an additional quality feature. The Minoscope comes complete with a stay-on case and strap. MSRP is $249.

Binoculars

Pin-sharp images with natural color rendition are primary features that position the new APO HG binoculars from MINOX at the very top of the optics world. Two models of these apochromatically corrected binoculars are available – 8.5×43 and 10×43, both developed with the latest technology in binocular design. 

With SCHOTT flouride ED-glass lens elements, the APO HGs deliver a brilliant color-fringe- free image, and the all-new Minotec multicoating on the glass repels dirt, dust and water, or other general soiling of external glass surfaces. You can wipe them clean with no damage to the lens, and water droplets tend to roll off.

Minox Binoculars

MINOX and SCHOTT engineers worked together to create the special high-quality ED glass composition required for the advanced APO technology. The result is an optical system that produces natural color rendition, high contrast and minimal glare. Aspherical lenses inside the eyepieces add a further guarantee for consistent sharpness right to the outer edges.

These APO binoculars include all of the proven features from the original HG line, including the M*multicoating of 21 layers, the silver-bearing Minobright reflection of the phase-corrected roof prisms, and also the exclusive MINOX Quick-Close-Focus (QCF) feature. A single turn of the focus knob takes you quickly from close-up to infinity and also includes a convenient distance scale on the knob. The body is made of rugged but lightweight magnesium, weighing just 23.3 oz. With a protective rubber armor coating, they are watertight to a depth of 16 feet.

These new APO HG binoculars come in a handsome wooden box, with an elegant leather case and a neoprene strap. Retail prices are $1,799 for the 8.5×43 and $1,849 for the 10×43.

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