Matsushita, the Japanese consumer electronics giant better known by its Panasonic brand name, has developed a digital video camera that splits into two pieces,
one of which functions as a digital still camera.

The new camera, which will be unveiled on Monday, is the first of its kind.

Digital video cameras have offered still camera functions for some time. But they are bulkier and heavier than standalone digital still cameras.

Matsushita's new camera separates the camera and picture processing functions into one piece and the videocassette deck into a second piece, allowing users to leave behind the latter when they just want to take still images. Users can store still images on a Secure Digital memory card.