updated 10:55 am EDT, Wed August 30, 2006
Ricoh Caplio 500SE
Building a digital camera to protect it against the elements usually involves closing the sealing gaps in a conventional design or offering a waterproof housing. Japanese electronics firm Ricoh has taken a much larger step by developing its new 8.1-megapixel Caplio 500SE model. In addition to a dustproof and waterproof shell, the 500SE's body is built to absorb significant drops without damaging its electronics. The design also reduces the need to remove and potentially lose the SD cards used inside: variants of the camera ship with either Bluetooth 2.0 or WiFi to transfer photos wirelessly, and all models include 26MB of internal memory for when cards fail. Ricoh is shipping the 500SE to Japan on September 1st for the equivalent of $990 US with Bluetooth included and $1100 US with WiFi. No details of a North American launch are available.