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The projector: A camera buyer's next must-have?

Built-in digital camera projectors are on the way to store shelves, thanks to Nikon. But will they be quickly adopted by consumers, gradually transforming the industry?

I'm a digital-camera fanatic. I can't get enough. But as much as I love taking pictures with them, I dislike the task of showing friends the pictures I've taken--not exactly a simple endeavor. So when Nikon this week announced that it's bringing the Coolpix S1000pj to store shelves later this year, I became extremely excited.

The digital camera for which I've been waiting. Nikon

The camera is nothing more than a standard point-and-shoot. Its overall quality won't compare with my Nikon digital SLR. But the Coolpix S1000pj has the single feature that I've been craving: a built-in projector capable of showing pictures and video in a 40-inch display.

If I decide to show friends my snapshots on the camera's small LCD display, they won't be able to get the full effect. In fact, many pictures look much different when they're finally ported to the computer.

If I opt instead to let them see the pictures on my computer, it takes time. I need to bring my camera to my computer, plug it in, and transfer the photos to the hard drive. Only then can I show them the images. By then, none of us is all that interested.

Another option is popping the SD card out of my camera, inserting it into my HDTV, and viewing its contents on the 50-inch display. It tends to be quicker. Plus, it allows anyone in the room to see them. But there's a major limitation: I need to be home to do that.

That's precisely why I think that Nikon's projector camera is such a major step forward. I believe that projectors will be the next big thing in the digital camera space.

For me, owning the Nikon S1000pj will be kind of like having an HDTV with me wherever I go. Granted, I don't know how well the projector will work, and it might not even provide an ideal image. But you know what? It'd be better than the alternatives. I will be able to instantly share my camera-stored photos and videos in a large-scale format wherever I am. I won't need to pass my camera around anymore, worrying about someone dropping it. The projector keeps the camera in my hands (or on the included stand). Everybody wins.

Do you agree? Let's hear it in the comments.

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