March 8
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7, ultra-slim
Sony has today announced the ultra-slim Cyber-shot DSC-T7. This camera is the latest in the T line of ultra-compact digital cameras, the unique feature of this amazing little digital camera is that it is only 14.8 mm / 0.6 in 'thin' (9.8 mm / 0.4 in at the thinnest part). It feels about half the thickness of the recently announced DSC-T33 and is approximately the same size from the front. Sony has achieved this by placing the LCD monitor to the side of the lens assembly (yes, this camera still has a three times optical zoom folded lens). Unlike the recent T models the DSC-T7 has has sliding cover / power switch just like the original DSC-T1. We have some exclusive hands-on images of a darker colored DSC-T7.
Nikon Capture software update v4.2.1
Nikon has today posted another update for Nikon Capture, which adds support for the newly-announced Nikon D2Hs plus a host of other new features. Version 4.2.1 supports RAW images captured with the D2Hs and opens them faster. The shooting data area can now display extra information if required. Automatic rotation is now achievable when using the Draw Level line or manually typing a degree of rotation. For a full list of changes, see the release notes.
Sony launches MiniDisc with built-in camera
Sony's latest MiniDisc incarnation has a 1.3 megapixel built-in digital camera with a 1.5-inch color screen and MP3 playback. The MZ-DH10P Hi-MD can capture 1.3MP and VGA-quality images which can be stored on MiniDisc media. Captured shots can be displayed as a slideshow with music, individually or as thumbnails. Camera controls are on the same side as the LCD and the shutter button is on top of the device. The lens cover of the camera controls the mode; when it's open the Walkman is in camera mode, and when it's closed it changes to audio mode. It will be available in May for around $500 and comes supplied with a charging cradle.
Fujifilm posts FinePix S3 Pro firmware v2.12
Fujifilm has today posted firmware version 2.12 for the FinePix S3 Pro and a new plug-in for Hyper Utility Software HS-V2. The new firmware updates the auto rotate function as well as adding support for the AF-S Nikon and AF-VR Nikon lenses and the use of higher capacity storage media. Version 3.1 of the Hyper Utility software enables remote camera operation via FireWire connection between the camera and the computer.
March 3
Kyocera to end camera production
Sources at Kyocera have confirmed that the company is to cease production of film and digital cameras, putting a huge question mark over the future of one of the oldest brands in photography, Contax. Contax cameras have been produced since the early 1930's, when the brand was launched by German optical legend Zeiss Ikon. Contax joined forces with Japanese manufacturer Yashica in the 1960's, becoming part of electronics giant Kyocera in the mid-1990's. UPDATE: Kyocera Japan has officially confirmed that it is to quit production of digital cameras.
February 28
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Gizmodo have what appears to be a picture of the (long awaited) USB connector which will enable an iPod (just iPod Photo?) to transfer images directly from a digital camera. Apparently this little connector will cost around $30. The source appears to be an Apple Japan ad for the device with the tagline "iPod, Meet Camera". We don't yet know if it will be USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) or USB 1.1, but in most cases the camera will be USB 1.1. I still think it's a pity Apple didn't provide SD / CF slots in the original iPod Photo (think, killer app), but I guess this is at least a step forward.
Ricoh Caplio R2
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Ricoh Japan has today announced the new Caplio R2, almost the same as the recently announced R1V this interesting looking camera has a five megapixel CCD and wide-angle 4.8x zoom (28 - 135 mm equiv.). The R2 does away with the R1V's optical viewfinder and instead has a much larger 2.5" LCD monitor (which is cool these days, apparently) and 28 MB of built-in memory. The R2 will be available in both silver and black. Once more there's no news about distribution, thin on the ground in Europe and nonexistent in the US.
February 27
Konica Minolta 7D review updated
Just before PMA Konica Minolta announced a firmware update for the Maxxum 7D digital SLR. This firmware update was of special interest to us because (a) it appeared not long after we had posted our review and (b) it addresses several performance issues raised in our review. Hence we have now updated our 7D review with results from our 7D with the new firmware. The main highlights are improved USB 2.0 transfer (3.4x faster) and much faster CF throughput (between 3.2x and 6.8x faster).
February 26
Europe becomes largest digital camera market
According to a press release issued by Lyra Research, Europe took the top spot for digital camera shipments from the United States which is now second in terms of shipments. Total shipments in 2004 exceeded 60 million units, up 35% compared to 2003, Lyra forecast that shipments will surpass 100 million units in 2008.
February 25
Pentax *istD firmware v1.12
Pentax has today announced an upgrade to the firmware for the *istD digital SLR which adds one minor change to the previous update. Version 1.12 now allows users to use media cards that are 4GB or higher. The Pentax *istD offers 6.1 megapixels and was the smallest and lightest digital SLR on the market when it was launched in June 2003.
February 24
Just posted! Olympus Stylus Verve review
The Olympus Stylus Verve Digital (also known as the Mju mini) is an affordable compact 2x zoom, four megaxpixel camera with unique styling and a 'weatherproof' exterior that's available in six colors. Find out how it did in our concise review.
iView MediaPro update v2.6.3
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iView Multimedia has released a free update to image management program iView MediaPro, which now adds support for Adobe DNG files made with DNG converter v2.4. Version 2.6.3 of the cataloging program also includes improved support for Minolta RAW files, plus preliminary support for Sigma's RAW format and Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Mamiya ZD launch date and pricing
The world's first medium format digital camera and digital back, the Mamiya ZD first previewed at Photokina last year, is expected to start shipping in the summer. The camera is currently being tested in Japan and results show that initial production tests have been successful. No official pricing has been announced but it is expected that the ZD body will be no more than £8,000 (approx $12,600) and the Mamiya ZD Back £7,500 (approx $11,800).
Apacer launches 2GB MultiMedia Card
Apacer has launched the world's highest capacity MultiMedia Card at 2GB. It can store up to 3000 images at 1024 x 768 pixels and supports plug and play. Apacer is also introducing a 1GB MMC. The range is available in capacities starting at 32MB. The 2GB card will be available from next month.
Hitachi 6GB Microdrive sells for just $299
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is offering a 6GB Microdrive for $299. The Microdrive 3K6 can hold up to 6000 one megabyte images and is available in CompactFlash Type II and embedded versions. A 4GB Microdrive 3K6 will be offered at $199. Hitachi is planning to develop a 'baby Microdrive' later this year, named Mikey. The one-inch hard drive will be 20% smaller and have a capacity of 8 - 10GB.
February 23
Apple introduces 30GB iPod Photo and announces pricing
Apple has introduced a new slim 30GB version of the iPod Photo, priced $349, which is now available with the 60GB model, priced $449. Both will both hold up to 25,000 photos and 7500 songs (30GB) / 15,000 (60GB). A new iPod Camera connector for importing images and slideshow playback will be available at the end of March for $29. The iPod Photo is bundled with earbud headphones, a USB 2.0 cable, a USB power adapter and a CD with iTunes 4.7.1 for Mac and Windows computers.
February 22
Leica in financial crisis
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German website, Spiegel Online, has reported that Leica is in financial crisis after many banks cut its credit lines following an announcement last week, which said it stood to lose half its operating capital. The company, which introduced the first 35mm still camera in 1924, is also expected to close the financial year with an operating loss of €10 million (approx $13 million). Last year it reported a loss of €1.6 million (approx $2.1 million). Shareholders will hold a meeting on May 31 to discuss the future of the company. Spiegel Online says that Leica has missed the boat where digital photography is concerned and it is also suffering due to the low rate of the US dollar versus the Euro.
Polaroid announces x530 availability
PMA 2005: Eight months after its original shipping date Polaroid has finally announced that the Foveon-sensored x530, which was previewed at PMA last year, is now available in the US. Interested parties in Canada, Japan, Germany and the UK will have to wait until the end of March. The 4.5 million-pixel Polaroid x530 is the first point and shoot camera to house the 1/1.8" X3 Direct Image sensor, which captures light on three layers; red, green and blue. Other features include JPEG and RAW capture, plus a 3x optical zoom. It is expected to retail at $299 (£299).
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S80
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PMA 2005: Sony has announced the Cyber-shot S80, which will be sold in Europe along with the S40 and S90. It has the same 4.1 megapixel resolution, 3x optical zoom lens and 2.0-inch LCD as the Cyber-shot S60, which isn't available in Europe. Sony is also marketing these new models as 'stamina' cameras as the user can take around 440 shots from one charge of the supplied rechargable batteries. The S80 will be available in April priced between £180-£200 (approx €215 - €238).
February 21
Tamron AF 18-200 mm F3.5 - F6.3 Di-II
PMA 2005: Tamron's AF 18-200 mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro lens, designed exclusively for digital cameras with small sensors, will ship in the spring. The wide to tele capabilities of this lens, which is equivalent to 28 - 300 mm in 35 mm terms, means that you should seldom need to change lenses. The lens, which is just 84mm long, features enhanced peripheral illumination, minimizes peripheral light fall-off and its internal surface coating reduces ghosting and flare. It is compatible with Canon AF, Konica Minolta AF-D, Nikon AF-D and Pentax AF mounts.
PNY high speed Optima CompactFlash and SD cards
PMA 2005: PNY Technologies has announced new Optima CompactFlash and Optima Secure Digital (SD) cards that can read/write digital data at speeds of 12MB/10MB per sec (80X/66X) and 10MB/8MB per sec (60X/58X), respectively. Optima CompactFlash cards are available in capacities up to 4GB priced $499.99; the largest Optima SD card available is 1GB which will cost $99.99. The Optima range will be available in the second quarter.
Nikon posts D2H firmware v2.01 and WT-1 firmware v1.10
Nikon has today posted firmware version 2.01 for its D2H SLR which fixes a number of problems. The problem of the D2H freezing with uninterrupted navigation between a number of photographs while playback zoom was activated has been corrected. Other bugs that have been rectified include saving the WT-1 settings when it was connected to the camera, plus incorrect character displays in Spanish, Chinese and German menus. There is also an new update for the WT-1 wireless transmitter which adds support for the D2X and D2Hs. See release notes for a full list of changes.
PMA 2005: Kodak has announced a new website for the ImageLink Print system, which is designed to simplify at-home printing. The system is supported by Kodak, Konica Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Ricoh and Sanyo and will mean that images taken with these manufacturers' cameras can be printed just by pressing one button when the devices are docked in compatible 'snapshot' printers. www.imagelinkprintsystem.com, which will go live in March, will have links to compatible cameras and printers, a frequently asked questions section and news related to the specification.
Lexar Platinum Series new speed rating
PMA 2005: Lexar has expanded its Platinum Series cards to include Memory Stick Pro and Secure Digital flash media. The full range of cards, which Lexar says is ideal for digital cameras that capture video and stills, are also now speed rated at 40X, equivalent to a sustained read/write speed of 6MB per second. Lexar Platinum cards are available in capacities of 256 MB, 512MB and 1GB.
February 20
Corel RawShooter essentials 2005
PMA 2005: Corel has announced a 30-day free trial of its new software RawShooter essentials 2005, which allows users to automatically import and batch process RAW files. Raw Shooter works with Paint Shop Pro, Paint Shop Pro Studio, Paint Shop Photo Album, and Photo-Paint. During the RAW conversion process image adjustments such as color and exposure correction, sharpening and noise suppression can be made. The result is TIFF or JPEG files which can be opened in Corel software.
Sony 1GB and 2GB Memory Stick PRO Duo
PMA 2005: Sony has today announced Memory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed) in 1GB and 2GB capacities. They are one third the size and half the weight of full-size Memory Stick media, and all MS Duo media ship with an adapter that is compatible with devices that have Memory Stick slots. The 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo media is designed to support transfer speeds of up to 80 Mbps which varies with supporting hardware.
Lexar launches website for digital photographers
PMA 2005: Lexar Media has launched a new website aimed at digital photographers. www.lexar.com/dp has tutorials on how to get the best from Lexar products, information on photography techniques, product and services. It also will also feature professional who use Lexar products.
Lexar announces Professional Memory Stick PRO and SD card
PMA 2005: Lexar Media has today announced that it is expanding its line up of Professional cards to include Memory Stick PRO, speed rated at 80X and and SD, speed rated at 60X. The speed of the Professional Memory Stick PRO is the equivalents to a minimum sustained read and write speeds of 12MB per second. It will ship later this month in capacities of 512MB and 1GB.
Kodak EasyShare Z7590 and Easyshare Z730

PMA 2005: Kodak has today announced two new five megapixel additions to the Z-series, which include the 10x zoom EasyShare Z7590 and EasyShare Z730. The SLR-like Z7590 offers manual and automatic exposure and features a Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 10x optical zoom lens (38 – 380 mm equiv). The second zoom lens compact offers a 4x optical zoom (33-132 mm equiv), a 2.2-inch LCD and is powered by a lithium battery. Both available in May, the Z7590 will cost £349.99 (approx $546) and Z730 will cost £199.99 (approx $312).

Kodak EasyShare C300 and C340
PMA 2005: Kodak has today announced two new C-series cameras; the EasyShare C340, which has a five megapixel resolution, and the EasyShare C300, which boasts 3 million pixels. The C340 sports a 3x optical zoom and features a new on-camera cropping function plus automatic picture orientation. It will be priced £179.99 ($250) and will ship in May. The fixed focus C300 is an affordable model for those wanting 'to explore digital photography'. It will cost £79.99 ($100) and will also ship in May.
PMA 2005: The specification for the Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS), first announced at Photokina last year by Kodak, Fujifilm and Konica Minolta, has now been finalized. PASS is designed to allow users to share digital files saved onto CD or DVD in years to come without incompatibility issues. The three manufacturers will first implement the new standards, utilizing them on their existing photo CD products beginning this year.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1
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PMA 2005: Sony has today announced the SLR-like Cyber-shot DSC-H1, which offers a massive 12x zoom and image stabilization to cope with camera shake at the long end. The manual H1 offers a 5.1 million pixels, a 2.5-inch LCD, 640 x 480 @ 30 fps movie mode limited only by the capacity of the Memory Stick (PRO) in use. It will ship in June and will cost around $500 (£400).
Canon EOS 350D samples gallery
Yesterday we ran out and briefly snapped a few shots with our pre-production Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT). I've now managed to put these together into a samples gallery of twenty images from this camera. Apologies that they don't have our normal variety but we only had a limited amount of time and have been extremely busy preparing for the PMA 2005 show which starts today.
February 19
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W5 and DSC-W7
PMA 2005: Sony has today announced both the DSC-W5 and new seven megapixel DSC-W7. We heard about the DSC-W5 a few weeks ago but has been confirmed in this announcement alongside the seven megapixel version of the camera. Both offer a standard 3x optical zoom (38 -114 mm), 6cm macro mode and are compatible with conversion lenses. Storage media is Memory Stick / Memory Stick PRO and both come with a 32 MB internal memory which will allow you to store all of nine fine quality images on the W7. The Cyber-shot W7 will ship throughout Europe at the end of March and will cost around £330 (approx $515).
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S60 and DSC-S90
Pre-PMA 2005: In Sony's second announcement of the day comes two near-identical four million pixel cameras. The only difference between the Cyber-shot DSC-S60 and the Cyber-shot DSC-S90 (pictured) appears to be that the latter has a 2.5-inch LCD, while the S60 has a 2.0-inch LCD and is very slightly lighter. Other than that there is little to distinguish between the pair. They both sport 3x zoom lenses (39 - 117 mm equiv), offer seven scene modes, are PictBridge-compatible and have a 32 MB internal memory. The S60 and S90 will be available in mid March priced $250 and $300 respectively.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S40
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PMA 2005: Sony has today announced the first of three four million pixel cameras in the shape of the Cyber-shot DSC-S40. Design-wise the S40 takes on the long lines seen in the U-series cameras but is offering more functionality and a slightly larger 1.5-inch LCD. The S40 is aimed clearly at the entry level user and features include MPEG movie mode, a top shutter speed of 1/2000 sec, down to 30 seconds in manual mode, as well as a quite generous (for most manufacturers) 32 MB internal memory.
SanDisk Ultra II SD PLUS
PMA 2005: SanDisk has today previewed the Ultra II SD PLUS card, which converts into a USB 2.0 flash drive. The product, which was first announced at CES in January, does away with the need for card readers; the bottom half of the card flips back using hinges and you can simply plug it in your USB port and download your images. There is also an LED that blinks when data transfer is taking place. The card will start shipping in April and will be available in capacities of 512MB and 1GB, with suggested retail prices of $109.99 and $149.99 respectively.
dpreview at PMA 2005
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PMA 2005: It's the day before the 2005 Photo Marketing Association Show opens, the dpreview team arrived last night and we're now ready to bring you our live 'from the show floor' reporting as we did at PMA and Photokina 2004. Live updates will appear both on the front page and the Show Report page. There are going to be several more product announcements today and tomorrow so stay tuned for all that's new from PMA 2005.
February 18
HP Photosmart R607 BMW Williams F1 edition
Pre-PMA 2005: HP has today announced a BMW Williams F1 Team version of the four megapixel R607. The metal bodied-camera boasts a 3x zoom, eight shooting modes, a 6cm macro function and HP Adaptive Lighting technology plus in-camera red-eye removal. The special edition camera also features HP image advice for instant analysis and ideas on how you can take better photos. It comes with a customized BMW camera case and is expected to ship in May priced $349.
Pentax 50 - 200 mm F4 - 5.6  lens
Pentax has today announced a new digital camera zoom lens designed for use with K-AF-mount cameras such as the *istD and *istDS. The smc Pentax-DA 50 - 200 mm F4 - 5.6 ED is constructed of 11 elements in 10 groups including ED elements (Extra-low Dispersion). It has a filter diameter of 52mm and weight just 260g. It is expected to be available in July.
HP Photosmart R717
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Pre-PMA 2005: HP has today announced a replacement for the dpreview highly recommended R707. The 6.2 megapixel Photosmart R717 is the new range topper and features HP's wave-shaped indent signature styling designed to improve grip. The R717 has a brushed stainless steel front with a rubberized back. It features 12 shooting modes, a 1.8-inch LCD (compared to 1.5-inch on the R707) and manual controls, which can be saved as custom settings. The Photosmart R717 is available in the spring priced £199.99 ($299) or as a bundle version which includes the R-Series camera docking station, as well as a second HP R07 rechargeable battery (price to be confirmed).
HP Photosmart M417
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Pre-PMA 2005: The third addition to the M range is the elongated HP Photosmart M417 which boasts 5.2 megapixels, 1.8-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom, adaptive lighting technology and in-camera red-eye removal. Images are stored on to SD/MMC cards or there is a 16 MB internal memory. The M417 can be easily recharged and images can be viewed on a TV screen by using the optional docking station.The Photosmart M417 will be available in the spring priced $199.
HP Photosmart M22 and M23
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Pre-PMA 2005: HP has today announced two M series cameras, the Photosmart M22 and M23. The sliding lens weather-resistant pair are available in silver (M22) and bronze (M23) and both have four megapixels. Also on offer is in-camera red-eye removal, adaptive lighting technology and in-camera panorama assist, all technologies found in the R707. They are expected to be available in Spring priced £99.99 ($149) for the Photosmart M22 and $169 (no UK price as yet) for the Photosmart M23.

Lexar previews secure technology for CompactFlash cards
Pre-PMA 2005: Storage solutions manafacturer Lexar will preview new technology at PMA that offers more security for CompactFlash cards. The Nikon D2X is the first camera to incorporate LockTight technology. Central to the system is software that will allow the user to establish security settings on the memory card and digital camera. Digital content can only be accesed by the digital camera with the corresponding encryption key or via a PC with a valid username and password. It is expected to be available in April.
February 17
Exclusive Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT Preview
Just posted! Our exclusive detailed hands-on preview of the brand new Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT). First impressions are good, the smaller bodied 350D is solidly built and has a much broader range of features and options than the original 300D. Performance has been increased significantly, the camera starts up (and wakes up) almost instantly and continuous shooting capability has been transformed. Come inside for an exclusive look at what will probably be Canon's most important digital SLR of 2005.
Olympus announces three 4/3 lenses
Pre-PMA 2005: Olympus has today announced the development of three new Zuiko Digital Four Thirds lenses compatible with the E-system. The first two are the wideangle Zuiko Digital ED 14 - 35 mm and telephoto zoom Zuiko Digital ED 35 - 100 mm lens, which are said to be the only interchangeable lenses to offer the world's first fixed aperture of F2.0 across the entire zoom range. The third new lens designed to appeal to sports and nature photographers is the Zuiko Digital ED 90 - 250 mm. All lenses are dust and splash proof and use Super ED or ED glass elements to minimize chromatic aberration.
Olympus Stylus Verve S / µ-mini Digital S
Pre-PMA 2005: Olympus has announced a new addition to the sleek Stylus Verve range with the addition of the Stylus Verve S, available in four colours; black, blue, champagne gold and pink. The main differences, aside from a more limited choice of colours, is the 5.0 megapixel resolution, the addition of night scene with portrait mode and a new metal strip on the front of the camera bearing the Olympus name. Like its little brother, the Verve S has no viewfinder but a 1.8-inch LCD, a movie mode limited only by the memory card and an 8cm macro function. The Stylus Verve S will be available in April priced £259.99 ($349.99).
Olympus D-595 Zoom / C-500 Zoom
Pre-PMA 2005: The third five million pixel camera announced by Olympus today is the D-595 Zoom. Design-wise the D-595 Zoom sports a blocky handgrip, thumb indent and, unusually for the current crop of Olympus compacts, an optical viewfinder, despite the 1.8-inch LCD. The D-595 Zoom has a 38 - 114mm 3x zoom lens and offers full manual control. For close-ups the camera boasts an impressive super macro mode of 2 cm and for the complete beginner there are 15 scene modes available to choose from. It will be available next month priced $279.99.
Olympus D-630 Zoom / FE-5500
Pre-PMA 2005: Heralding a new design for Olympus, it has today announced the D-630 Zoom. The slim (24mm) five million pixel camera has a unique 'twisting lens' offering a 3x optical zoom (35 - 105 mm), movie function with sound and a 2.0-inch LCD. Other features include a 14MB internal memory, PictBridge compatibility and a panorama function. The D-630 Zoom will be in the shops by May, priced around £230 ($299.99).
Olympus IR-300 Total Imaging System camera
Pre-PMA 2005: After previewing the Total Imaging System (TIS) last October, Olympus has announced a second compatible camera, the five million pixel IR-300, and a DVD recorder. The Total Imaging System is designed to be a portable 'digital photography lab', which allows users to share, shoot, print and archive digital images without using a PC. The IR-300 is quite different from the first TIS camera (IR-500), with long sleek lines and a non movable 2.0-inch LCD. Integral to the TIS, the IR-300 comes supplied with a dock, which when connected to the S-DVD-100 DVD recorder allows the user to burn images to DVD or CD. Both products will be available in May priced £299.99 ($349) (IR-300) and £289.99 ($399) (S-DVD-100).