Pre-PMA 2003: Our friends over at DC Resource have noticed a small paragraph in one of the press releases from Fujifilm. This refers to the development of a new medium format camera digital back utilizing a newly developed 20.8 megapixel Super CCD sensor with the dimensions of 52 x 37 mm (2.05 x 1.46 in), this translates into an output file of 7,648 x 5,408 (41 million pixel) images. This is news to us, and we will be doing all we can to find out more about this interesting new product.
The PCMCIA technology association has today announced the 'NEWCARD' format. This new format makes use of PC Card, PCI Express and USB 2.0 technologies. The NEWCARD format is also aimed at both Mobile and Desktop PCs. "By drawing upon USB 2.0 and PCI Express, the NEWCARD specification will bring serial bus technology to a smaller form factor that offers more performance and improved ease of use. This new specification will revolutionize how PC developers and OEMs utilize the expansion slot for next-generation features such as wireless networking, storage and card readers."
Pre-PMA 2003: Due the popularity of this feature last year and knowing the importance of the show I have posted the beginnings of our PMA 2003 show report. The show report introduction page will enable you to stay informed about all the latest product announcements as well as getting reports and live updates from the show floor once the show commences. We are expecting several more announcements next week which will be posted both on the front page of the site and linked from the 'New Product Index' page in the show report. The show starts next Sunday and we will of course be there to bring you all the hottest news as it happens.
Pre-PMA 2003: Fujifilm has handed us a set of three comparison shots between the Finepix F601 (third generation SuperCCD) and the new Finepix F700 (fourth generation SuperCCD SR). These comparisons clearly demonstrate the additional dynamic range produced by Fujifilm's unique double photodiode design. Note that these samples are not those posted on the Fujifilm US site and are not available elsewhere.
Pre-PMA 2003: Adobe also yesterday announced the release of its Photoshop Album software which we reviewed last month. "Photoshop Album takes digital photography far beyond film. It makes it easier and more fun to do what users want to do today with pictures," said Alexis Gerard, president of Future Image Inc. "Since the product thinks the way picture takers do, users will appreciate unprecedented control and access to their entire lifetime of photos, along with sharing options that enable visual communication with loved ones around the world."
Pre-PMA 2003: Adobe has today released its Camera RAW converter and JPEG 2000 format plugin for Adobe Photoshop. The RAW converter plugin supports a wide range of RAW image formats from various digital cameras (Canon, Fujifilm, Minolta, Nikon and Olympus) and allows for a certain amount of adjustment (white balance, exposure adjustment etc.) to be carried out during the loading process. The JPEG 2000 plugin adds support for the new JPEG 2000 image format in Photoshop. The plugins are available for Windows and Mac OS X platforms and are priced at $99 for the set. Note that the plugins require Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1.
09:00 GMT 06:00 GMT: Fujifilm has today announced
the new Finepix F700, the first Fujifilm digital camera to utilize the
new high dynamic range SuperCCD SR sensor. The camera has a three times
optical zoom lens and a three megapixel SuperCCD SR sensor (which produces
a six megapixel output image). The F700 also supports VGA 30 fps movie
capture, RAW output and comes with a PictureCradle docking station.
UPDATE 20/Feb/03: Fujifilm post F700 samples.
09:00 GMT 06:00 GMT: Fujifilm has today announced
the new Finepix 410 Zoom. This is the first Fujfilm digital camera to
utilize the SuperCCD HR (High Resolution) technology, although not in
its six megapixel guise, the 410 Zoom has a three megapixel SuperCCD HR
sensor (which produces a six megapixel output image). The F410 Zoom is
clearly a development of the F401 Zoom design, with the same three times
optical zoom lens and body design. The F410 also comes with a supplied
PictureCradle docking station.
Pentax has today announced the five megapixel Optio 550 and four megapixel Optio 450. Both cameras are based on the same modern and stylish aluminium alloy case and both feature an impressive five times optical zoom lens, this places the 550 in particular into a pretty special position of having five megapixels and five times optical zoom in a compact case. Both cameras are also fully featured with a wide range of manual control and features. Storage is via SD/MMC card and the 550/450 are powered by a supplied Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery.
Pre-PMA 2003, 00:00 TOKYO (19th): Pentax has today announced the new Optio 33L, this camera has a three megapixel sensor and a three times optical zoom lens. It also has a new swivel LCD screen which can rotate in both horizontal and vertical directions, unlike the Optio 330GS which could only swivel horizontally.
Pre-PMA 2003, 00:00 TOKYO (19th): Pentax has today announced their new compact 35 mm film SLR, the '*ist' (yes, just asterisk-I-S-T). Wait, I hear you cry, what has this to do with digital photography? Well, nothing at the moment but you never know this could be quite an interesting body design. Pentax claim that the new *ist is the world's smallest 35 mm autofocus SLR camera. The *ist measures just 122 x 84 x 64 mm (4.8 x 3.3 x 2.5 in) and weighs just 335 g (11.8 oz).
Pre-PMA 2003, 00:00 TOKYO (19th): Pentax has today announced two new SMC PENTAX-FA J ZOOM lenses. The first is the big 75 - 300 mm F4.5 - F5.8 AL, the second a 28 - 80 mm F3.5 - F5.6 AL. These lens announcements coincide with the announcement of the new *ist 35 mm film SLR and have the same silver aluminium look. The aperture range of these lenses clearly places them at the amateur photographer end of the market.
Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 TOKYO: Nikon today announced three new digital cameras, the Coolpix 2100, 3100 and SQ. This article is a quick preview of the new three megapixel, three times optical zoom Coolpix SQ. A radical design and another new approach from Nikon, the SQ has a flat square profile with their trademark twisting lens design. In forward shooting mode it's wacky looking but oh-so Nikon. This preview is based on an early pre-production model, as such I won't be presenting any image samples or a particularly in-depth analysis of performance.
Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 TOKYO: Nikon has today announced the radical new Coolpix SQ. Once more Nikon has taken their trademark split body design and implemented it into a different form factor. The SQ is a pocketable almost square digital camera which has a twisting lens / flash portion which would typically be orientated 90 degrees to the front in normal shooting situations. The Coolpix SQ measures just 83 x 85 x 25 mm (3.3 x 3.3 x 1.0 in) and weighs 216 g (7.6 oz) fully loaded, slightly larger and heavier than Minolta's DiMAGE X/Xi but still small and pocketable. And it has an AF assist lamp!! Another first for a Nikon Coolpix digital camera.
Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 TOKYO: Nikon today announced three new digital cameras, the Coolpix 2100, 3100 and SQ. This article is a quick preview of the three megapixel, three times optical zoom replacement to the Coolpix 885, the new Coolpix 3100. This preview is based on an early pre-production model, as such I won't be presenting any image samples or a particularly in-depth analysis of performance.
Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 TOKYO: Nikon has today announced the Coolpix 2100 and 3100. Both cameras are based on the same body (with some subtle styling differences), the Coolpix 2100 has a two megapixel 1/3.2" sensor, the 3100 a three megapixel 1/2.7" sensor. These cameras can be seen as the successors to the Coolpix 775 and 885, although these cameras offer significant developments including RGB color filter array, a new menu system and a smaller more stylish case. Storage is on Compact Flash card and the cameras are powered by two AA batteries (NiMH rechargeables supplied).
Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 TOKYO: Nikon has today announced a new Vibration Reduction lens, the 24 - 120 mm AF-S VR F3.5 - F5.6G. This lens marks Nikon's further expansion of their VR lens line and although not a DX lens this lens will no doubt be of interest to Nikon mount D-SLR owners due to its wide 24 mm bottom end. When used with the D1x, D1H or D100 digital SLR's this lens would offer the equivelant field of view of a 36 - 180 mm zoom lens.
Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 TOKYO: Nikon has today confirmed the details of their first digital only lens, the Nikkor AF-S DX 12 - 24 mm F4.0. This lens and the DX concept was first announced in December last year. The DX lens line is designed to be used exclusively with digital SLR's with a sensor size of 23.7 x 15.6 mm (a 1.5x FOV crop factor), thus this lens could be used on the Nikon D1x, D1H or D100. On these cameras it would provide an equivelant field of view range of 18 -36 mm.
Sony has today updated its CCD datasheets to include some of the newer 1/2.7" and 1/3.2" CCD sensors which are likely to be used in many new ultra-compact digital cameras announced over the next month. Every year sensor manufacturers increase pixel count and reduce sensor size to give us ever smaller, higher resolution digital cameras. This year we have already seen five megapixels in a 1/1.8" type CCD and three megapixels in a 1/2.7" type CCD.
US semiconductor manufacturer Atmel has announced a 35 mm eight megapixel CCD sensor, although not specifically targeted at the digital camera market it's clearly an indication that the development of large high pixel count sensors is no longer the preserve of a select few manufacturers. "The large format (35mm film compatible image format), high definition and high dynamic range make the device suitable for any application requiring high image accuracy. This full frame imager is designed for the Graphic Arts marketplace such as digital minilabs, retouch/enhancement stations, high resolution reprography, large format X-ray film scanning and high resolution microscopy applications."
Ricoh has today announced the Caplio G3, a three megapixel, three times optical zoom digital camera with SD/MMC storage (and 8 MB of internal storage). The big selling point of the Caplio G3 is (Ricoh's claim) the fastest focusing speed and shutter lag of any digital camera in this class. The G3 will be available in three variations: the base G3 (black, plastic body), G3 model M (black, magnesium body), G3 model S (silver, plastic body, supplied voice software). Personally I think it's a little confusing for Ricoh to choose a product name identical to Canon's well known PowerShot G3.
EXCLUSIVE: Nikon Europe has today responded to the recent publication of leaks and rumours about their upcoming products to be announced at PMA 2003. "We are extremely heartened by the enthusiastic media and public response about even the smallest details of some of the new additions to our range of photo and imaging products. However we feel it is worth reminding customers that all information currently circulating on the World Wide Web remains inaccurate or incomplete and request their patience until February 18th when a variety of new imaging products will be officially made public. We regret any confusion or inconvenience caused to our customers by the inadvertent release of information earlier than planned."
Sanyo Japan has today announced their new Xacti DSC-J1. This 3.2 megapixel camera has a 37 - 104 mm zoom lens and is available in silver or misty pink. The DSC-J1 is the first non-Minolta camera to use the prism / internal lens design. Because of this the camera has a very fast startup time of just 1.2 seconds. The DSC-J1 can also take full sized 640 x 480 videos at 30 fps using the improved PhotoJPEG codec.
In a story noted on our forums and originally reported in Nikkei Canon is planning to bring the production line for cameras and printers back to Japan as early as fiscal yeaqr 2004. They intend to spend some 100 billion Yen ($834 million) over the next three years to fully automate camera and printer production lines. The report goes on to explain that this is likely that the automated production lines would only be used for small film cameras and ink-jet printers.
Minolta have today announced the new DiMAGE S414 featuring a 4.1 megapixel CCD (4.0 million effective), a Minolta GT 4x optical zoom lens. "The new DiMAGE S414 combines high quality images and automatic features, allowing users to obtain the best photographic results with easy camera operation," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of Marketing, Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "It's the ideal digital camera for a variety of applications and users -- personal or business, from novice to enthusiasts."
Samsung have announced their new DigiMax V4, it has a 4 megapixel CCD, a 3x zoom Schneider lens (equiv. 38mm-113mm), and is capable of using an astonishing 9 power sources including AA alkaline, AA lithium, Mi-Nn,CR-V3, as well as rechargeable NI-MH , Ni-Cd, I-pack batteries, and AC Adaptor as well as the dedicated Li-on battery.
Contax has today confirmed the digital version of its TVS line of compact cameras. The TVS Digital was first seen (and reported on here) during Photokina last September. This new announcement by Contax confirms the specifications, sale date in Japan and availiability of the camera in both silver and black finishes. The TVS Digital has a five megapixel 1/1.8" CCD sensor and a three times 'Carl Zeiss' optical zoom lens. Storage is to SD/MMC cards and the camera is powered by a proprietary Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery.
Following on from our story earlier in the week about the Nikon SQ teaser it appears that sharp minded people "guessed" the URL of subsequent teasers, therefore they have been removed. We can't say any more at this stage, sufficient to say we will have a lot more information on the official announcement date.
Europe have announced their first range of cameras to use the new Memory
Stick PRO media, the Cyber-shot DSC-P32, P52 & P72. Akihiro Nishikawa,
Director Sony Digital Imaging Europe, commented: "Anyone who might
be nervous about making the step to digital photography should try the
new Cyber-Shot range. They are point and shoot cameras that
allow you to be spontaneous and take shots of real quality, whatever the
conditions and, when printing the quality is perfect."
UPDATE: Product images added.
Nikon has today posted a teaser on its 'nikon-coolpix.com' website, it reads "Starting February 3, meet a fascinating stranger.", "Nikon is getting ready to unveil an enigma", "And you won't believe your eyes." there then follows a very subtle shadowing effect around what appears to be a rounded square box. Nothing much to go on but we expect Nikon to update this teaser over the next few weeks so keep it on your bookmark list and keep going back for more information!
Camera Technologies have today announced their new Ultra-Pocket 1.3-Megapixel
digital camera, this builds upon the award-winning 6mm thin Ultra-Pocket®
VGA digital still camera. It has the same credit card size of its predecessor,
with only a slight increase in thickness due to higher resolution optics,
plus a strobe flash and an SD card for expanded memory storage.
Europe have posted the following message for users of their Coolpix line
of cameras: "We would like to hear your views on the documentation
and User instruction manuals which are currently included with our Coolpix
digital cameras. Any feedback you provide will go towards the future development
of our products; including the information provided with the cameras to
help new users get started." The page includes a small questionnaire
for you to fill in your details and comments.
to DPReview regular Steve for pointing out that Shop@Kodak, Kodak's e-Commerce
venture, is to close its doors on February the 13th. The following statement
is posted on their site: "Kodak.com is improving its website with
richer product and picture-taking information - all for your benefit.
As part of this change, shop@kodak will close on Febryary 13."
Hayman, author of the RAW conversion tools Bibble and MacBibble has just
sent me a note that MacBibble 3.0 is now available. Major new features
include support for raw files from D1/X/H/100,
Light & Motion have today announced an addition to its Professional Digital Photography line with the entrance of the Titan D100 SLR Underwater Photo Housing. The Titan D100 is designed specifically for the Nikon D100 and includes fingertip access to most camera controls using both mechanical interfaces, as well as infrared through the newly designed Smart Grips.
Technology Corporation, based in Taiwan and the manufacturer of the X'S-Drive
and V-MP3H storage devices, has announced the X'S-Drive II , a new 6 in
1 Portable Storage device with USB 2.0 and an LCD Panel. The Vosonic X'S-Drive
II is a new generation of X'S-Drive, combining the Fast USB 2.0 compatible
interface and an LCD panel to indicate the Working status, File transfer,
battery power level, and out of memory indicator.
UPDATE: Recommended selling price and web links added.
15:00 TOKYO: Nikon today announced three new digital cameras, the Coolpix 2100, 3100 and SQ. This article is a quick preview of the new three megapixel, three times optical zoom Coolpix SQ. A totally radical design and another new approach from Nikon, the SQ has a flat square profile with their trademark twisting lens design. In forward shooting mode it's wacky looking but oh-so Nikon. This preview is based on an early pre-production model, as such I won't be presenting any image samples or a particularly in-depth analysis of performance.
Fujifilm has today announced the new 'SuperCCD SR' sensor type. This announcement is the second of two which mark SuperCCD's fourth generation. The SuperCCD SR (Super Dynamic Range) offers almost two stops more dynamic range than conventional CCD. Beneath each microlens on the sensor surface (a photosite) are two photodiodes, the primary captures a dark and normal light levels (more sensitive), the secondary captures brighter details (less sensitive). The signals from the two photodiodes are intelligently combined by the camera to deliver an image with extended dynamic range. The first Super CCD SR sensor will have an effective resolution of three megapixels.
Energy Corp., the maker of the PowerEx batteries and chargers have announced
their latest Lithium battery packs for Digital Cameras. The MH-NB2L Lithium
Ion battery for Canon Powershot S30, S40 and S45 series will retail for
under $40 and the Lithium Polymer MH-ENEL2 for Nikon Coolpix 2500 and
3500 cameras for under $30. Both are designed to be 100% interchangeable
with the original and have up to 20% higher runtime.
UPDATE: Corrected model numbers in press release.
Fujifilm has today announced the new 'SuperCCD HR' sensor type. This announcement is first of two which mark SuperCCD's fourth generation. The SuperCCD HR (High Resolution) offers an effective resolution of six megapixels at the 1/1.7" size and three megapixels at the 1/2.7" size. This would for instance push the resolution of an S602 Zoom type camera up to six megapixels effective, twelve megapixels output image size. What's a little disappointing is that this announcement comes at the same time as the more interesting but lower resolution 'SuperCCD SR' sensor (see next news article).
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Olympus's C-5050 Zoom five megapixel, three times optical zoom digital camera. The C-5050 Zoom is one of the first of a new generation of five megapixel digital cameras based around a 1/1.8" (7.2 x 5.3 mm) CCD sensor. The advantage of sticking to the 1/1.8" format are that existing lens systems and bodies originally designed for three and four megapixel sensors can be used as the basis for the new cameras. This is exactly the case with the C-5050 Zoom. Read on to see how the camera fared in our tests.
Kodak Professional has today announced that it expects the ship date for the new fourteen megapixel Kodak DCS-14n to slip by approximately two weeks to mid February. Speaking to Jay Kelbley of Kodak Pro he reasons given for this delay are simply "to get image quality where we want it". In addition Kodak Pro has issued two sample images for us to publish and some more on the Kodak Pro website. UPDATE: More samples on Japanese website / Kodak replace existing samples with much improved versions (less noise reduction).
Today SimpleTech introduced a 512 MB SD Memory card. Featuring up to 10MB/s write speeds, this complements their original line up of SD cards in 32MB, 64MB, 128MB and 256MB capacities. It is available immediately for $400. SimpleTech have also announced the FlashLink USB Reader, the Bonzai USB Mini-Drive, 60GB SimpleDrive Deluxe External Storage Solution and the 5GB PC Card Hard Drive.
CES 2003: Samsung has announced their new SCD5000 combined MiniDV camcorder and four megapixel digital camera. Digital Video is recorded directly to MiniDV tape, digital stills to Memory Stick. The camera features a swivel ten times (video) / three times (stills) optical zoom lens, built-in flash, electronic image stabilisation and a two inch 211,000 pixel LCD monitor. There is a USB port for transfer of still images and a IEEE 1394 (Firewire) port for video, which sort of hints that although it's one product there are two separate systems inside.
2003: SanDisk has announced it will be producing its own Memory Stick
Pro media in 256 MB, 512 MB and 1 GB capacities. "SanDisk has invested
its expertise and intellectual property in its partnership with Sony to
make the Memory Stick PRO a reality," said Nelson Chan, senior vice
president and general manager of SanDisk's Retail Business Unit. "We
believe that the key features of the Memory Stick Pro card-high performance,
large capacities and advanced security features-will significantly enhance
the consumers' usage experience for storing their music, photos and videos
on their optimized devices."