October 12
Canon posts EOS-1D Mark II firmware 1.0.3
Canon has today posted firmware version 1.0.3 for the EOS-1D Mark II digital SLR. The firmware adds new functions for communicating with Speedlite 580EX, reduces noise when shooting bulb exposures and fixes sensor cleaning operation.
Nikon D70 eBook
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Peter iNova, with Uwe Steinmueller, has announced the availability of his latest eBook uncovering secrets and workarounds for the Nikon D70. Its 14 chapters cover RAW image conversion, operation, a self-guided digital photography course as well as advanced problem solving. Over 140 new Actions have also been made to the exclusive requirement of D70 images for colorimetry, noise control, printing setup and barrel distortion elimination. UPDATE: Special discount for dpreview readers.
October 7
Canon posts EOS 20D firmware 1.0.5
Following several incidents of 'dead cameras' Canon pulled its 1.0.4 firmware update for the EOS 20D shortly after it was published. Today Canon has posted version 1.0.5 which includes all of 1.0.4's updates and should (hopefully) not cause any further update problems. On the update page there are no less than two 'apologies' to customers who may have had their cameras killed by the previous update. It's also worth noting the specific recommended procedure of update.
October 6
Kodak job losses and restructuring
Following Kodak's announcement in January to halt production of film cameras it is cutting jobs at manufacturing sites in France, the UK and Australia resulting in the loss of nearly 1500 jobs. Around 600 people are expected to lose their jobs in both the UK and Australia. The decline of film will see the closure of a facility in Harrow, UK that sensitizes film for the graphics industry, a plant in Nottingham, UK, which primarily produces consumer film, and a factory in Melbourne, Australia. Job losses in France will amount to around 270 following the closure of a site in Chalon, France which produces films and photographic paper. It also plans to restructure its sites in both countries which will reduce the company's square footage by one third.
October 4
ACDSee 7
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ACD Systems has announced the latest version of its image management software, ACDSee 7. New features include a Device Synchronization function that automates the downloading process of images and media, a Context Sensitive Toolbar, as well as support for RAW files. Advanced search capabilities allow users to view their entire collection in one window using the new Image Well. It is available now priced $49.99.
Canon posts EOS 20D firmware 1.0.4
Canon has today posted firmware version 1.0.4 for the EOS 20D digital SLR. This firmware fixes the problem of the shutter release not working when a lens is removed or a lens is attached when the camera is in auto power off mode, and improves the reliability when using some CF cards. This update applies to camera with firmware version 1.0.2. The firmware can be loaded via a CompactFlash card. Note: Canon has now pulled this update from the site with a brief note saying the Firmware update service is not available temporarily.
Sharp develops 2MP sensor for camera phones

Sharp has developed a two megapixel sensor with a 2x optical zoom to be used in camera phones. The first model will be the high end LZ0P3738 phone, which is launching this month. However, Sharp is still some way behind Samsung which launched a 3MP 3x zoom camera phone in July.

Photokina 2004 - 270 images, 3000 words
Photokina 2004 is now over and we can look back on one of the busiest and most successful weeks of the year for us. Just like PMA earlier in the year we posted live stand reports from the show floor, in the first three days of the show we posted 270 images and 3,000 words describing the 21 stands (and 108 products) which make up our Photokina 2004 show report. During the Photokina week we had 3.2 million visitors to the site who read 17.6 million pages (not including the forums).
October 1
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D gallery
As promised we have today been out shooting with our pre-production Maxxum 7D and have put together a samples gallery of twenty one images including daylight low ISO and indoor high ISO shots. So far the results are impressive, especially low noise at high sensitivities and the very capable Anti-Shake system which allowed us to shoot as slow as 1/2 or 1/4 sec without a tripod (slower speeds do also seem possible but we can't be 100% confident without proper testing). Otherwise the images have good tonal balance, color response and a conservative approach to image sharpening (perhaps considered soft in appearance).
September 30
Epson L500V
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Epson's has announced its latest entry level camera in the shape of the five million pixel L500V. Controls are basic but the model sports a large 2.5-inch LCD screen, doing away with an optical viewfinder altogether. It has a 32MB internal memory and can take SD/MMC cards.
September 29
Mamiya ZD and digital back
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Mamiya has announced the first medium format digital SLR, the 22 megapixel Mamiya ZD and a digital back of the same name. The ZD has a large 36 x 48mm sensor, is compatible with 645AF lenses and has a 1.8-inch LCD. It stores 12-bit colour images on to either CompactFlash or SD cards. The Mamiya ZD Back realizes full interactive communications through the MSCE (Mamiya Serial Communication for External) to bring out the best of all the advanced functions of these cameras.
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Following the launch of Kodak's first camera to use xD-Picture Card, the LS755, the company has now launched its own range xD-Picture Cards. Lexar will distribute and market the cards from the beginning of the next quarter. Lexar and Kodak formed a long-term relationship in May in a bid to gain a larger share of the market for removable digital media.
September 28
Contax i4R
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Contax has today announced the four megapixel i4R.The rather unconventionally designed camera has a sliding lens that also incorporates the flash. The fixed lens camera has a 1.5-inch LCD and can capture 640 x 480-pixel movies. It will be available in November priced £299 (approx $447) and will come with a high capacity SD card, approximately 256MB. This will be updated when we receive more information.
Contax U4R
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Contax has today announced a lookalike of the SL300R T*; the four megapixel Contax U4R. The swivel lens camera has a curvier body and boasts a Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar 3x zoom lens and a 2-inch LCD. It will be available in October priced £399 (approx $595) and we're told that will include a 'fairly large' SD card of around 256MB. This will be updated when we receive more information.
Exclusive Maxxum 7D samples
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We have just been handed a pre-production Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D digital SLR. On our way back from the show I've snapped a few samples for your viewing pleasure. Most of these shots were taken with a deliberately slow shutter speed to test Konica Minolta's Anti-Shake CCD stabilization system. And the results do look surprisingly good. We hope to bring you a more extensive gallery later in the week.
SanDisk Digital Photo TV Player
SanDisk has today announced a device that allows you display still images and movies on a television. SanDisk Photo Album (SPA) can take eight types of storage media as well as portable flash drives. One of the key features is that the SPA stores images in a format optimal for television viewing. The SPA comes with a remote control and will retail for around $49.99 (approx. €46).
SanDisk launches three card readers
SanDisk has announced three new card readers; the ImageMate 12-in-1, ImageMate 5-in-1 and the ImageMate CompactFlash. Each new reader has a one-touch transfer button and software for simplifying common tasks such as renaming and emailing files. All devices come bundled with image cataloguing program Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 Starter Edition.
SanDisk Extreme III
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SanDisk has today announced its new range of memory cards which double the performance speeds of its predecessor. Aimed at professionals, the new Extreme III range includes CompactFlash, SD and Memory Stick PRO media with the first two boasting read/write speeds of 20MB/sec, while the latter has 18MB/sec. SanDisk says its cards will work in extreme temperatures ranging from -13F (-25C) to 185F (85C). Integrated RescuePRO software allows photographers to recover accidentally deleted images or data. They will begin shipping in October.
SanDisk Ultra II
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SanDisk has quadrupled the capacity of its high speed Ultra II line of memory cards with an 8GB CompactFlash card. Also at the top end of the Ultra II range is a 4GB Memory Stick Pro and 2GB SD card. Each boasts a minimum write speed of 9MB/sec and read speed of 10MB per second.

SanDisk Shoot and Store range
SanDisk has announced the availability of its budget-priced Shoot & Store line of flash memory cards in Europe. The cards, including CompactFlash, SD, Memory Stick PRO and xD-Picture Cards, will be sold according to the number of images that can be stored as well as their capacities. The new range is aimed at new digital converts who want the convenience of leaving their flash cards with developers as well as those who don’t have the time or ability to download images to a computer. Prices are expected to range from around €10 for 32MB to approximately €15 for 64MB, both excluding VAT.
Panasonic Pro High Speed Series
Panasonic has today announced a new Pro High Speed Series 1GB and 512MB SD Memory cards this fall which use Panasonic's new LSI architecture and proprietary high speed technology to achieve data transfer rates of 20MB/sec. They will be availlable in October. Panasonic will also simultaneously launch a Cardbus compatible PC Card Adaptor as a host device to enable high-speed data transfer.
September 27
Extensis has announced an update to its Pro Photo Raw Image Filter for Portfolio 7. Using the Filter Portfolio 7 can extract EXIF metadata and IPTC from Raw files, create thumbnails and generate high resolution JPEG previews for displaying images in catalogues. Registered owners of Extensis’ digital asset management (DAM) solution will be eligible for a free upgrade.
Olympus m:robe
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Olympus has today announced that it wil launch a combined digital camera, image viewer and music player called the m:robe early next year. Information is very sketchy at the moment with no technical spec available or images but Olympus says it has an 'eye-catching, minimalist design'. It is due to be released early next and the price is yet to be confirmed. The only other company to release a similar product is Fuji with the FinePix 40i in June 2000.
Ulead PhotoImpact 10
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Ulead Systems has today announced PhotoImpact 10. Aimed at beginners, the update has a welcome screen which allows users quick access to tasks such as scanning, getting photos from a digital camera, browsing images or making simple edits. Some new high end features include an enhanced Lasso tool and Object Extraction Wizard for complicated cut-outs, a Touch up tool, live Histogram Panel display and enhanced High Dynamic Range (HDR) Engine. Other new features include a Basic Mode simplifies the interface and displays large, easy-to-recognise icons, revamped menu system, dockable and groupable panels, and a moe 'robust' Browse Manager.
Olympus E-300 Digital SLR (EVOLT)
Olympus today announced the second ever Four Thirds System digital SLR, the new E-300 (to be know in North America as the 'Olympus EVOLT E-300'). This digital SLR features an eight megapixel 4/3 size CCD, it has unique TTL Optical Porro Finder (mirrors instead of glass prisms) viewfinder which uses a sideways swinging mirror system. Although Olympus hasn't yet announced pricing we can derive from the specifications and design that this camera will be aimed at point lower than the E-1, in the consumer D-SLR market.
Three new Olympus 4/3 lenses
In conjunction with the announcement of the E-300 Olympus has also today announced three new Four Thirds System zoom lenses; ED 7 - 14 mm F4.0 (2x), E 14 - 45 mm F3.5 - F5.6 (3.2x) and E 40 - 150 mm F3.5 - F4.5 (3.8x). On the E-1 or E-300 these lenses will produce an equivelant field of view of 14 - 28 mm, 28 - 90 mm and 80 - 300 mm respectively. In addition Olympus has also improved the as yet to be released ED 150 mm F2.0 by fitting a faster AF drive unit.
Olympus FL-36 Flash
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Three new lenses, a new digital SLR and to round things off a new more compact, more affordable flash unit, the FL-36. This flash is designed to work exclusively with the Olympus E series (Four Thirds System) digital SLR's and provides 1/8 step illumination control with both TTL and FP-TTL automatic flash metering. The FL-36 has a range of 12 - 36 m (depending on focal length) and has a field of view coverage of 8 mm (16 mm equiv.). The FL-36 will be priced at $249 in the US.
Olympus D-590 Zoom / C-470 Zoom
Olympus has today announced the 4 megapixel D-590 Zoom for the entry level market. The camera has no optical viewfinder (like the AZ-2) and a 1.8-inch ‘sunshine’ LCD, 8 scene modes, movie with sound and is PictBridge-compatible. Aside from the new curvy designs we've been seeing from Olympus, it has chosen to position an on/off slider switch on the front of the camera.
Olympus AZ-2 Zoom
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The sleek AZ-1 has had an upgrade in the shape of the 4 megapixel AZ-2 which is just over 2cm (less than an inch) wide and includes a 2.8x zoom lens. The rear of the camera is dominated by a large 2.5" 'sunshine' LCD said to allow better viewing in bright light and it has a minimalist design with very few controls and notably no optical viewfinder. It also boasts 13 scene modes and is PictBridge compatible. It will be priced £299 ($399) when it is launched.
Adobe announces new format for raw files
Adobe Systems has today announced a new unified public format for raw digital camera files and a free software tool, Adobe DNG Converter, for translating raw photo formats into the new .DNG format, which is compliant with the Digital Negative Specification. There is no standard format for raw files, which vary between manufacturers and cameras. Digital Negative Specification will introduce a single format that can store information from a diverse range of cameras. An updated Adobe RAW File Converter adds support for DNG as well as several other cameras.
Three major manufacturers have announced an agreement to develop a set of storage standards to preserve digital photos on CDs, DVDs and other media. Konica Minolta, Fuji Photo Film and Eastman Kodak have formed the Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS) Group which aims to enable digital file compatibility with future playback devices. PASS wants to ensure that digital images can be retrieved from any digital device or storage medium in future
Lexar announces four new card readers
Lexar has today announced two new CompactFlash card readers, built with similar material to a digital camera, a Multi-Card Reader and single slot Card Reader. The two new Professional CompactFlash readers can be easily stacked and daisy-chained together for concurrent download of images. They offer read and write speeds in excess of 10MB per second, are available in USB 2.0 and FireWire format, and they support Lexar’s new ActiveMemory System. The four-slot Multi-Card Reader accepts Reduced-Size MultiMedia Cards (RS-MMC), Mini SD and Memory Stick Duo among numerous other media cards. The Lexar one-slot Card Reader replaces the Lexar JumpDrive Trio, and offers compatibility with Memory Stick, MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital and xD-Picture Cards.
Lexar announces ActiveMemory
Lexar has today announced a new technology designed to optimize digital photography workflow and enhance productivity in the studio. ActiveMemory System will allow photographers to store the owners name and image preferences on the card as well as append images with copyright information. The new technology is already supported by Professional CompactFlash cards and new Lexar Professional FireWire ad USB 2.0 card readers. Of course, to use these cards you will need to an ActiveMemory-enabled camera, which has yet to be announced.
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II samples gallery
Yesterday we managed to get our hands on a pre-production Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, after a short run around Cologne we've mangaged to put together a sixteen image samples gallery from this sixteen megapixel digital SLR. Two things are immediately obvious, firstly that noise levels are impressively low at high sensitivities and secondly that less sharpening appears to be required that the EOS-1D Mark II. Oh, and there are a lot of pixels in a EOS-1Ds Mark II image!
1GB xD-Picture Card announced
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Fuji and Olympus have announced a 1GB xD-Picture Card. The M1GB will be available at the beginning of next year. The new card uses high density MLC (Multi Level Cell) memory technology to make it possible to pack 1GB into an ultra-compact card.The new technology will allow for xD-Picture Cards up to a capacity potential of 8GB. The ultra-compact card was first launched two years ago and up until now has only been used in Fuji and Olympus cameras. Kodak has just announced that its latest camera, the LS755, uses xD-Picture Card storage media.

September 26
dpreview at Photokina
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Pre-Photokina 2004: It's Sunday and dpreview are already here in Cologne, Germany for the Photokina 'World of Imaging' Trade Show. During the show we will be bringing you our usual live show report as well as live breaking news and . Tomorrow is 'Press Day', a day which gives us press people the opportunity to meet with the exhibitors before the show begins on Tuesday. Tomorrow will be a big day with big samples and more new announcements.
September 24
Casio 2.2" VGA LCD monitor
Casio has announced the highest resolution LCD display to date, a 2.2" HAST TFT LCD monitor with full VGA (640 x 480) resolution. The majority of LCD monitors used in digital cameras today have QVGA (320 x 240) resolution (230,000 total pixels), this new screen would deliver over 900,000 pixels which would produce a far more detailed reproduction of images, very useful for immediate record review or playback verification. Casio claim that this new screen has the same power consumption as the older models.
September 23
Fujifilm FinePix F810 also for US
In an interesting surprise move Fujifilm US has today announced that it will carry the SuperCCD HR FinePix F810 digital camera. The F810 and E550 share much of the same componnetary (including the lens) the main differences are in the body design and the F810's unusual widescreen 2.1" LCD monitor and widescreen shooting mode. This camera was originally announced for the European market back in July, full details available inside. It should hit the shelves at around $600.
European digicam market to become largest
According to a new study published by InfoTrends/CAP Ventures digital camera sales in Western Europe this year are forecasted to reach 24.2 million units which is a growth of 42% compared to 2003. This will make the European digital camera market the largest (in terms of unit shipments) in the world. This is very interesting news and supports what we have seen in the ever growing number of European visitors we receive here on dpreview.
Just posted! Sony DSC-P150 review
Just posted! Our review of Sony's CyberShot DSC-P150, when announced it was the first digital camera to use the new 1/1.8" seven megapixel CCD, and so it becomes our first review of a camera based around this sensor. From a design and feature set point of view the DSC-P150 is the same as the DSC-P100. What the DSC-P150 has revealed is that this small seven megapixel sensor can actually deliver the goods. See how it shaped up in our concise review.
September 22
Microsoft announces MTP protocol
Microsoft has announced two new technologies that use the capabilities of Windows XP to make digital photography easier for all users. The new technologies, which will be unveiled at Photokina, include Media Transfer Protocol (MTP), designed to make camera connectivity easier, and Windows Connect Now (WCN), which simplifies the setup of wireless devices and networks - especially devices with a limited or no user interface. Together they should make connecting cameras wirelessly easier for users, as well as simplifying the development of camera drivers for manufacturers. Canon has already announced support for the new protocols, and Nikon will demonstrate an MTP-enabled SLR and consumer digital camera at Photokina.
Sigma Photo Pro Version 2.1
Back in August Sigma announced an update to the Photo Pro software used to develop SD9 and SD10 RAW images for output to JPEG or TIFF, we did miss this announcement. There are several improvements and benefits in this new version including improved Automatic White Balance, SD9-specific color highlights fix, SD10-specific purple-fringing fix, Monochrome processing (including tinting), As-Shot WB and various Info window improvements.
Sigma 18-125 mm DC Four Thirds lens
Sigma has announced their first Four Thirds System lens, the 18-125 mm DC Four Thirds lens. On a Four Thirds mount digital camera (the only one right now being the Olympus E-1) this seven times zoom lens provides an equivelant field of view of 36 - 250 mm. This lens is clearly the same 18-125 mm DC lens announced in May with a Four Thirds lens mount / communication protocol. This means that it's producing an imaging circle large enough for an APS-C size sensor.
Sigma EM-140 DG Ring Flash
Sigma has announced the EM-140 DG Ring Flash. Targetted at macro, medical and scientific applications the EM-140 DG can be configured to fire both flash rings (left & right) or just one depending on the look. It has a guide number of 14 and is is powered by four AA batteries. From a connectivity point of fview it is compatible with most modern TTL flash protocols including Canon E-TTL, Nikon D-TTL & i-TTL and Pentax P-TTL (as well as Sigma S-TTL).
Three new lenses from Sigma
Sigma has announced three new lenses designed for both film and digital SLR's. They are the APO Macro 150 mm F2.8 EX DG HSM (a fast tele-macro lens with a Hyper Sonic Motor), the 24-70 mm F2.8 EX DG Macro (a useful 24 mm wide angle zoom with a large maximum aperture and macro capabilities) and the 28-70 mm F2.8 EX DG (a compact standard wide angle zoom with a large maximum aperture).
Samsung announces six cameras
Samsung is fighting hard in the compact digital camera market with the launch of six new cameras to be officially announced at Photokina. First is the 7 megapixel Digimax V70 which has a tiltable 2 inch LCD and MPEG4 movie capture. The Digimax A400 is a four megapixel compact, boasting a 2.8x optical lens, 2" LCD and 640 x 480 pixel video clips. The Digimax A5 and Digimax A6 which have resolutions denoted by the model name. And for the style-conscious among you there's the fixed lens five megapixel U-CA 501 and U-CA 505. More news as get it from Samsung.
Fujifilm S3 Pro final press release
It's final, or so we're told. Here is what Fujifilm are calling the official final press release for the FinePix S3 Pro, this comes ten days after we posted our own exclusive hands-on preview of the camera. We've used the specifications provided in this final press release to double check the specs page provided in our preview. Still no official pricing yet, I guess that will be saved for another announcement...
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Samples
Konica Minolta has today posted two sample images from their upcoming Dynax / Maxxum 7D Digital SLR. The images carry the EXIF tag 'Konica Minolta Alpha-7 Digital v1.00'. The portrait shot (shown right) was taken with the Minolta AF 85 mm F1.4 (D) lens stopped down to F5.6. Only two samples at this stage but we hope Konica Minolta will soon add some more or even better give us the opportunity to bring you a gallery of our own!
September 21
Kodak EasyShare LS755
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Kodak Japan has announced the first digital camera to use xD-Picture Card storage media, previouslys only seen in Olympus and Fuji cameras. Kodak has always used in SD/MMC cards in its compact cameras. The five megapixel EasyShare LS755 also has 16 MB internal flash memory, like the LS743, a 3x optical zoom, 2.5-inch LCD and VGA movie mode. The EasyShare LS755 will be for the Japanese domestic market only.
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, wireless
Leaked in some detail over the weekend we can now bring you full details of the 16.7 megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II. Successor to the EOS-1Ds the Mark II maintains the 36 x 24 mm CMOS sensor (full 35 mm frame size), raises the pixel count by almost six million pixels, provides ISO sensitivity through to ISO 3200, faster continuous shooting (4 fps) with a large and improved buffer (32 JPEG, 11 RAW) as well as all of the changes we saw between the EOS-1D to EOS-1D Mark II. Additionally Canon has also announced the WFT-E1 Wireless Transmitter which supports 802.11b/g (WiFi) as well as tethered LAN for transmission of images directly back to a server. It will be priced £5,999 (UK), $7,999 (US) and €8,000 (Europe).