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Digital Cameras(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 02,2006)

Crystal Clear

Photo

Video, voice and photos can all be recorded by these 3.1 megapixel digital cameras with 16MB built-in flash memory from Sky Light Industrial Ltd
Sleek, convenient and feature-rich - that's the focus of Hong Kong digital camera manufacturers who are zooming in on major export markets with a wealth of hi-tech, innovative offerings.

One such company is GiGa Technology Co Ltd, a leading OEM/ODM manufacturer and exporter of digital imaging products, storage media and audio devices.

GiGa's latest 5.0 megapixel TDC-501AT and TDC-509AT models, which went into mass production in May this year, boast combined still image/webcam/video capability, built-in flash, a 1.5-inch TFT screen, 32MB Nand flash memory, 8x digital zoom and an interpolation of 12 megapixels.

Designed in-house utilising sensors, flash memories and digital signal processors from the US, Korea and Taiwan respectively, the cameras are assembled by 1,100 workers at factories in Dongguan, Long Hua and Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland.

Sales and marketing manager Annie Yung predicts combined output of 600,000-plus units per year for these new models.

"Standard delivery time is 30 days, but for other ODM or special design cameras it may take up to 60 days," Yung states, adding that the minimum order quantity is 1,000 pieces and the FOB Hong Kong unit price for both models is US$49.

She says the market is changing, so GiGa expects production capacity will shift from lower 100k-300k pixel resolution cameras to the 1.0 megapixel-plus categories - with increasing output of 3.0 and 5.0 megapixel cameras. "The US and Europe are our prime export markets," Yung adds.

Similarly conscious of growing demand in the mid- to high-resolution bracket is Ginfax Development Ltd, which manufactures a broad range of digital cameras such as the new 3.1 megapixel models, DS3133 and DS083.

"We project that digital camera clients will be asking for higher resolution models," predicts executive assistant Jan Chan, adding that Ginfax will follow the trend towards more advanced models "but significant demand still remains for film and lower-end digital cameras".

The DS3133 and DS083 both feature 1.5-inch TFT colour displays, 4x digital zoom and all-in-one camera/video/webcam capability, while the former houses a higher flash memory - 32MB as opposed to 8MB - no viewfinder and a more compact design.

Supplying clients such as Concord, Kodak, Carrefour, Disney, Wal-Green and Wal-Mart, Ginfax employs 3,500 workers at its ISO 9001-certified mainland factories in Dongguan and Kaiping.

"We have a daily production capacity of 1,000 units and export to most major markets, including North America, Asia, Australasia and Europe," adds Chan, noting that Ginfax products meet CE, UL and GE standards.

Minimum order for the DS3133 and DS083 is 1,000 pieces, FOB Hong Kong unit price is US$45, and delivery is 30-60 days from order confirmation.

Equally cutting-edge is OEM/ODM manufacturer Sky Light Industrial Ltd, whose repertoire of digital and single-use cameras, webcams and MP3 players includes the 3.1 megapixel TDC-300 and TDC-310 digital cameras.

Both models feature still-image/video/webcam functions, 16MB flash memory, 4x digital zoom, built-in flash, a 1.5-inch TFT colour display and voice recording.

Sky Light employs more than 800 workers at its 2,800- square-metre, ISO 9001-certified mainland factory in Shenzhen and exports primarily to the US and Europe. "We require a minimum order of 500 units," marketing manager Florence Tse notes, adding that Sky Light has its own Next brand. "Our products are CE and FCC compliant, and are delivered 30-35 days after order confirmation."

Also setting standards in the mid- to high-resolution categories is Vivitar (Asia) Ltd, which manufactures a full line of photographic products at its factories on the mainland and in Japan, Taiwan and Singapore.

Recent models include the 5.0 megapixel Vivicam 3945s and the 8.0 megapixel Vivicam 8300; both of which feature still-image/video/audio functions, 3x optical and 4x digital zoom, a 2.5-inch colour TFT display and automatic flash with red-eye reduction.

The 3495s has a 16MB expandable memory and the 8300 is SD card-supported up to 1G, but both models require 1,000-3,000 unit minimum order quantities.

"Prices vary depending on order size, OEM requirements and packaging but minimum order quantity is 1,000-3,000 pieces," says export manager Micella Tong, noting that Vivitar has its own Vivitar brand and delivers 45-60 days after order confirmation. "As an indication, the local retail price of the 3945s is US$250."

Freefire Ltd is also making a splash with its 3.0 megapixel EC-300WP, an OEM entry-level digital camera waterproof up to 1.5 metres that it began producing three years ago with a view to cracking the US and European markets.

"We are going for the niche market," explains manager Ernest Cheung. "The digital market will be separated into two categories - the big brand names like Olympus, Canon and Sony will capture most market share, but the niche market for toy-grade items still has huge potential."

The EC-300WP features a 1.8-inch TFT colour LCD, 4x digital zoom and built-in 16MB memory, in addition to still-image/video capability, and is suitable for most water sports enthusiasts. "Minimum order is about 2,000 units," says Cheung, "and delivery is about 4-6 weeks after orders are received."

With the digital camera revolution well and truly under way, it's clear that Hong Kong manufacturers are intent on covering all angles with a diverse range of ingenious, high quality designs.

WRITTEN BY NICK LINDSEY

CONTACT DETAILS

Freefire Ltd
Rm A, M/F
20 Tai Yau St
San Po Kong
Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2351-8633
Fax: 852-2351-8637
Email:
info@ffreefire.com
Web:www.ffreefire.com

GiGa Technology Co Ltd
Unit 3, 8/F
South China Ind Bldg
1 Chun Pin St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2429-3168
Fax: 852-2481-8498
Email:
sales@giga.com.hk
Web:www.giga.com.hk

Ginfax Development Ltd
Units 10-12, 13/F, Blk A
M.P. Ind Centre
18 Ka Yip St
Chai Wan
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2897-2977
Fax: 852-2558-0247
Email:
ginfax@ginfax.com
Web:www.ginfax.com

Sky Light Industrial Ltd
Rm 1009
Kwong Sang Hong Centre
151-153 Hoi Bun Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2790-8343
Fax: 852-2790-2903
Email:
sales@sky-light.com.hk
Web:www.sky-light.com.hk

Vivitar (Asia) Ltd
Units 1004-5
Conic Investment Bldg
13 Hok Yuen St
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2363-6313
Fax: 852-2765-7531
Email:
vexport@vivitarasia.com
Web:www.vivitar.com