July 30
Kodak introduces digital GEM plug-in
Kodak has introduced a professional version of its DIGITAL GEM plug-in which enables users to reduce noise and film grain in 8-bit and 16-bit digital images without excessive softening. The noise suppression algorithm is an improved version of that used in the original DIGITAL GEM plug-in and works on extreme noise problems. The grain suppression algorithm reduces grain while preserving detail. The professional version includes a ‘Noise Preview Screen’ to enable users to view the effect before committing to it.
July 28
Stolen Nikon D70 kits
0
Nikon Europe has today informed us that 18 cartons with 108 D70s (including 18-70 DX lenses) were stolen at Schiphol Airport in The Netherlands. Nikon is asking for your help in tracing these stolen cameras and has provided a list of serial numbers as well as important information relating to the packaging of these particular digital SLR kits.
Fujifilm S3 Pro Update
0
Fujifilm has today issued a Press Release adding more meat to what we already know about the upcomgin S3 Pro digital SLR. New details include the ability to change the 'mix' between the S-pixel and R-pixel data and hence the captured dynamic range. Fujifilm will also provide a number of 'film simulation modes' which we assume to mean a way to reproduce the look of some of Fujifilm's well known films. UPDATE: Added brand new S3 Pro product shots.
Fuji FinePix S5500 Zoom

Fuji has today announced the FinePix S5500 Zoom, which maintains the SLR styling of its predecessor the S5000 Zoom and 10x optical zoom (37-370mm equiv.). It houses a conventional CCD sensor (compared to the S5000 which had a Super CCD HR sensor) but adds an extra million pixels, taking the effective resolution up to 4 megapixels. Other features include RAW mode,
ISO 64-400 and a 640x480-pixel movie mode.

Fuji FinePix S3500 Zoom
Fuji has today announced the FinePix S3500 Zoom, a replacement for the FinePix S3000 Zoom. The new model retains the metallic silver look of its predecessor as well as the 6x zoom but it now offers 4 million effective pixels and PictBridge connectivity.
It maintains the SLR styling and electronic viewfinder and also offers movie capture at 10fps.
Fujifilm FinePix F810 Zoom
Fujifilm has announced another widescreen F series camera, the F810 Zoom, which is essentially the same as the FinePix F710 but with a new 6.3MP Super CCD HR sensor. The new sensor delivers a claimed 12.3 million pixel output and has a wide sensitivity range of ISO 80-800. Fujifilm is aiming the F810Z at 'off-duty' photographers and enthusiasts who want 'manual control in a compact camera', as it features exposure control, flash compensation, raw mode, manual focus and a 4x optical zoom.
Fujifilm FinePix E550 Zoom
The highest resolution camera of the new E range, announced by Fujifilm today, is the 6.3 megapixel FinePix E550 Zoom. It is similar in specification to the F810, with a Super CCD HR sensor, but will be more 'competitively' priced. The top-of-the-range camera has a metallic casing and is aimed at enthusiasts. It boasts manual features, a 2-inch LCD, RAW mode and can be powered by two AA batteries. PictBridge compatibility allows direct printing to any printer.
Fujifilm FinePix E500 Zoom and FinePix E510 Zoom
Fujifilm launched a new range today in the shape of the E series, which is characterized by 'wide zooms, large LCD screens and a competitive price'. The new models include the
4.1 megapixel FinePix E500 and the 5.2 megapixel FinePix E510. Both have 28-91mm equivalent wideangle lenses, 2-inch LCDs, a sturdy hand grip, a pop-up flash and are, Fujifilm says, "sure to bring even the most hardened sceptic round to digital photography". They also offer movies with sound and are PictBridge-compatible.
July 27
Sony P150 hands-on Preview
0
The DSC-P150 is Sony's latest salvo in the megapixel wars, and the first truly compact 7 megapixel camera. It's based closely on the current P100, with the only differences - resolution aside - being the brushed metal casing and a new 'Real Image Processor' LSI, claimed to speed up most aspects of operation. We managed to get our hands on an early pre-production sample for a hands-on preview (unfortunately we cannot publish any sample images as yet).
July 23
Panasonic DMC-FX2 & DMC-FX7 hands-on Preview
The DMC-FX2 and DMC-FX7 (four and five megapixel) are follow on products to the DMC-FX1 and DMC-FX5 (three and four megapixel). Nothing groundbreaking there, however what is remarkable is that Panasonic have achieved a significant reduction in size (both width and depth) and yet still maintained an optically stabilized lens system. These are the only ultra-compact's in the market which feature stabilization, that alone means they should be worth a look.
July 22
Panasonic DMC-FZ3 hands-on Preview
The DMC-FZ3 is Panasonic's new budget priced, compact, twelve times optical zoom, three megapixel digital camera. It's based around the guts of the higher end FZ15 and FZ20 digital cameras with a smaller sensor and lens system. The first thing that strikes you when you pick up the FZ3 is just how compact it is an how light, it may not have the expensive feel of the FZ20 but it's certainly good enough and some $200 cheaper. Again, as the camera we have is pre-production we will not be publishing any sample images.
Panasonic DMC-FZ20 hands-on Preview
Announced yesterday Panasonic's Lumix new DMC-FZ20 is a step-change upgrade to the popular DMC-FZ10. On paper the FZ20 looks very good, a five megapixel CCD, twelve times optically stabilized zoom lens with an F2.8 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range, a range of manual controls wrapped up in a relatively compact body (compared to a digital SLR). We have received a pre-production camera and have produced a very brief hands-on preview with more product images and menu captures. Unfortunately no sample images are available at this stage. UPDATE: Screen captures added.
Kodak film sales decline further
According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Kodak is winning the battle to ditch film with more people taking and printing digital images with its products. Sales of digital cameras, printers and accessories nearly doubled during April, May and June, while traditional film sales fell by 8%. The decline of film has been quicker than expected and its plans to cut 15,000 jobs by 2007 are ahead of schedule, with profits of $253m higher than Kodak's previous predictions.
July 21
BenQ DC E40
0
BenQ has today announced a new 'female-friendly' camera in the shape
of the 4 megapixel DC E40, its first touch-screen camera, which allows you to draw on your images and add built-in photo frames. The brushed metal sliding lens camera also offers MPEG 4 movie recording. A Dual Recharge Mode means the lithium ion battery can be recharged via an adapter or, if you're outdoors, via USB connection to a laptop. So ladies, ditch your digital SLRs and snap up a BenQ DC E40. Oh, and don't forget to be fun and fearless too.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ15
Here's a new Panasonic digital camera which slipped under the radar as it wasn't included in our intial press pack. The DMC-FZ15 will be available only in the US, it's based on the FZ20 body and has the same twelve times optical zoom lens, the main difference is it has a four megapixel CCD (just like the FZ10) and no flash hot-shoe. This makes six the total number of new digital cameras announced by Panasonic today.
Major Glossary rewrite complete
Site contributor and author of The 123 of Digital Imaging e-book Vincent Bockaert has just completed a total rewrite of our free online glossary. This has involved the rewriting of over seventy individual entries as well as the addition of several more. As you can appreciate in a technology sector which is changing as quickly as digital photography it can be hard to keep up with the latest developments, Vincent has done an excellent job of bringing our glossary right up to date and will ensure it stays that way into the future. It's also a great way to see his expertise and experience a little of what's available in his excellent e-Book. If you've never browsed the glossary I recommend you do so now, if you've seen it before it's worth going back to appreciate the improvements.
Sony DSC-P150, 7 megapixel
0
Sony today revealed its latest move in the megapixel battle, the seven megapixel Cybershot DSC-P150. This new camera is essentially a DSC-P100 with a new seven megapixel 1/1.8" Type CCD, it has the same three times optical zoom lens, body design and feature set. The DSC-P150 is due to go on sale in September for around US$499. This is no doubt the first of what will be several seven megapixel digital cameras to be announced by various manufacturers during the upcoming Photokina trade show.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20
Following on from the success of the FZ10 Panasonic has today revealed the new DMC-FZ20 which increases the sensor pixel count to five megapixels has an improved body design (including a better hand grip) new features and an improved processor (the "Venus Engine II") which promises better performance, improved image stabilization and image quality. "the newly developed Venus Engine II gains new imaging process which adds the luminance signal extracted only from the G pixels upon detecting the horizontal / vertical lines in the image. This results in the improvement of the horizontal and vertical resolution by more than 10% compared to the former Venus Engine"
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3
Panasonic has today announced the new twelve times optical zoom three megapixel DMC-FZ3, the little brother to the new FZ20. The DMC-FZ3 is aimed at the 'soccer mom' market with a surprisingly compact body, lower resolution, fewer features and a lower price. However the FZ3 still manages a respectable zoom range, a very fast lens (F2.8 throughout zoom range) and Panasonic's optical image stabilization.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX2 & DMC-FX7
Panasonic has today announced two extraordinary ultra-compact digital cameras. On the face of it the DMC-FX2 and DMC-FX7 appear to be a pair of fairly ordinary if attractively designed four and five megapixel digital cameras. Both feature large LCD monitor (2.5" in the case of the FX7, 2.0" in the case of the FX2), both have improved responsiveness and performance and both are visibly smaller than the FX5 and FX1 they replace. However these cameras are remarkable because despite their ultra compact dimensions Panasonic has managed to squeeze optical image stabilization into the lens system. Impressive indeed and certainly enough (at least on paper) to raise these cameras above the competition.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC80
As part of the announcement of no less than five new cameras Panasonic has today revealed the five megapixel DMC-LC80. This new entry level model sports a five megapixel CCD sensor and three times optical zoom lens, it is the natural evolutionary step from the four megapixel DMC-LC70. The DMC-LC80 provides high speed 2.7 fps continuous shooting (up to 9 standard frames) as well as 320x240 30 fps movie clips limited only by storage.
July 20
Nikon D2H firmware update
0
Nikon has today posted a firmware update for the D2H digital SLR. Update 2.0 applies no less than twenty fixes and new features. The most interesting of which are improved autofocus performance, improved auto white balance performance, support for EXIF 2.21 (_ prefixes for Adobe RGB images), removal of ICC profiles from JPEG's, ISO embedded in EXIF, support for cards greater than 4 GB and increased playback magnification. Just like the earlier D70 update this update must be applied in two steps (Firmware A, then Firmware B) to download the firmware you will need your D2H serial number.
Canon PowerShot A85
0
Canon has today announced the PowerShot A85 a replacement to the entry-level PowerShot A70 which Canon are claiming was "one of the most successful cameras in Canon's seventy year history". The A85 is a four megapixel three times zoom but has been upgraded with several improvements we saw introduced in the PowerShot A75 including six new 'special scene modes', 9-point AiAF, VGA movie clips (10 fps, up to 30 secs) and a larger 1.8" LCD monitor. The A85 also features Canon's single-button Print/Share feature for immediate transfer to a USB connected PC or Printer.
Sigma 18-50 mm F2.8 EX DC lens
Sigma has today announced a further extension to its range of DC lenses which are designed specifically for digital SLR's. The new 18-50 mm F2.8 EX DC has a very usable 18 mm wide angle (approx 28 mm FOV on a digital SLR) to 50 mm telephoto (approx. 2.7x zoom). Like all DC lenses the image circle produced by this lens is designed to be just the right size for APS size sensors and hence allows the lens to be more compact than it would otherwise be.
Rollei Prego dp6300
0
Rollei has announced its highest resolution compact camera to date in the shape of the 6.3 megapixel dp6300. The stainless steel-bodied camera also sports a 3x (35 - 105mm equivalent focal length) F2.8 - 4.7 optical zoom, a wide range of photographic features, ISO 50 - 200 sensitivity, shutter speeds from 8 - 1/1500th second, exposure bracketing and a 2.0" TFT screen. The 6.3MP CCD produces image sizes up to 2816 x 2116 pixels, large enough for prints up to A3 size. The Rollei dp6300 will be available at the end of July priced €449 ($558.60).
July 14
Canon S1 IS firmware update
Canon has today posted new firmware for the PowerShot S1 IS. Version 1.0.1.0 fixes two issues: (1) Specification changes for the way images are displayed in Continuous AF Mode, (2) Improvements for the overexposure phenomenon that occurred during daytime synchronized shooting. Installation of the new firmware can be carried out by the user, it's simply a case of placing the firmware update file on a CF card and restarting the camera.
July 12
Samsung 3mp camera phone
Although I'm not overly keen on camera phones this one does seem significant because it is more like a digital camera than any phone before. It has the same form factor as a traditional compact camera, a three megapixel CCD, a flash and a three times optical zoom lens thanks to Pentax's super-compact slidng lens system which we first saw on the Optio S. All yours for around $700.
Epson PhotoPC L-410
0
Epson has today introduced the PhotoPC L-410 digital camera which features a four megapixel CCD sensor and three times optical zoom lens. This new camera extends Epson's range of digital cameras to three which include the PhotoPC L-300 and L-400 which were announced in April of last year. Naturally the L-410 supports direct printing via USB using the Print Image Matching II protocol (not stated however is whether it supports the more popular Direct Print).
July 7
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3
Konica Minolta today announced a new Z series digital camera, the new DiMAGE Z3 which has an all new twelve times optical zoom lens and a stabilized four megapixel CCD sensor. This places the DiMAGE Z3 as a direct competitor to Panasonic's impressive DMC-FZ10 (which fans will be glad to hear we have in-house and is in our review queue!). It's also interesting to see Konica Minolta implementing their CCD-shift Anti-Shake system into mid-range cameras, not just the flagship 'A' series prosumer models. The DiMAGE Z3 also supports VGA size movie recording and a silent zoom mode which allows the camera's zoom to be used in movie record mode with minimal noise. Unlike other Z series digital cameras the Z3 does not employ the quirky flip-mirror LCD/Viewfinder display instead it has separate LCD and EVF displays.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10

Konica Minolta today announced the eight times zoom three megapixel DiMAGE Z10, styled in a similar fashion to the DiMAGE Z1/Z2 the Z10 has slightly less zoom, a fixed (not pop-up) flash unit and is aimed at a lower price point. According to Konica Minolta the DiMAGE Z10 also has a 'fastest in class startup time of 0.5 seconds'. The Z10 has a combined passive and video AF system, stores images on SD/MMC card and is powered by four AA batteries. The only thing Konica Minolta has not yet revealed about this camera is its price, although we expect it to be well below the DiMAGE Z2's current $450 street price.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 and X31

Konica Minolta today announced the two new ultra-compact 'X'-series digital cameras, the three megapixel three times zoom DiMAGE X31 and the five megapixel two-point-eight times zoom X50. The DiMAGE X31 was revealed a couple of weeks ago by Konica Minolta Europe. As with previous 'X'-series digital cameras both of these new models utilize a 'folded optics' zoom lens mounted within the camera body. The X50 looks quite different to previous 'X'-series, its folded optics lens mounted horizontally providing 2.8x zoom with a sliding lens cover on the front which doubles as a power switch.

June 30
Canon EOS-1D Mark II firmware 1.0.2

Canon has today posted a firmware update for the EOS-1D Mark II digital SLR. This new firmware addresses three issues: "1. The screen becoming magenta-colored when shooting bulb exposures, 2. The values being cleared when C.Fn-06 is set to “2” and the battery is removed, 3. Improves image quality of NTSC video output". Updating is very easy, drop the firmware update file onto a Compact Flash or SD card, insert it into the camera and select the Firmware option from the camera menu.

June 29
Just posted! Kodak DCS Pro SLR/c review

Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Kodak's 14 million pixel Canon lens mount SLR/c digital SLR. The SLR/c is unique in being the only (current) third party digital SLR with a Canon lens mount, it features the same full 35 mm size CMOS sensor as the SLR/n and a Sigma based body which has a very similar layout to the SA9 / SD9 / SD10. See how the SLR/c performed in our tests and how it measured up to the competition.

Nikon release new D70 firmware

Nikon has today posted a firmware update for the D70 digital SLR. Since we first reported this news the firmware is now available in the US, Europe and Japan.. The D70's firmware is split into two parts (A & B) with this new firmware labelled as "A:Ver.1.01/B:Ver.1.02". It addresses several issues; removal of potential color cast at high shutter speeds, improved Auto ISO when used with speedlight, support for CF card greater than 4 GB in capacity, fixed an issue related to the CF indicator light and power off switch, improved Chinese menus.

June 24
Kowa Prominar TD-1, 3mp, 1350 mm zoom

Kowa Prominar first announced the TD-1 digital spotting scope in March last year, the company has now posted a new press release with specifications, it also reveals that this unique digital camera should be reaching shelves in Japan sometime in July. The 210,000 YEN (approx. $2,000) digital spotting scope has a huge 450 - 1350 mm F2.8 - F4.0 zoom lens (equiv. approx. 10x - 30x zoom) coupled to a 1/2.5" 3.14 megapixel CCD. It also has a true TTL optical viewfinder. This beast is 39 cm (15.4 in) long and weighs 2.3 Kg (5.1 lb).

Toshiba's methanol fuel cell

It will certainly be some time before we see fuel cells used in digital cameras but it's worth noting that development fuel cells is accelerating. Toshiba today announced a small methanol fuel cell which weighs just 8.5 g (0.3 oz) and can produce 100 mW of power. Toshiba describe this new unit as "small enough for integration into a wireless headset for mobile phones, but still efficient enough to power an MP3 music player for as long as 20 hours on a single 2cc charge of highly concentrated methanol. The new fuel cell outputs 100 milliwatts of power, and can continue to do so, non-stop, for as long as users top up its integrated fuel tank—a process that is as simple as it is safe."

June 23
Phase One P25 first look, 22 megapixel

Michael Reichmann over at The Luminous Landscape has today posted is first look at the 22 megapixel, $29,990 almost full-frame medium format 645 digital back. This back delivers images which have 5440 horizontal pixels and 4080 vertical pixels from a 48.9 x 36.7 mm (1.9 x 1.4 in) 22 megapixel CCD sensor. "The Phase One H25 has become something of a benchmark for studio-based professional photographers during the nine months or so since introduction. There is something about Phase One's ability to extract shadow detail and produce extremely clean raw files that seems to me to be just a step ahead of what is seen from other backs."

61.5 million digicams from Japan in 2004

According to a news article on Nikkei Electronics today the six major Japanese manufacturers expect to ship 61.5 million digital cameras in 2004. Sales for financial year 2003 topped 40 million units which is an increase of 71% over financial year 2002. Of all the manufacturers Canon posted the best improvement, a 100% increase year on year with an estimated 76% increase coming this year. Matching Canon will be Sony who expect to ship 15 milliion units, closely followed by Olympus with 11 million. Most interesting is that Canon and Nikon combined expect to ship more than 1 million digital SLRs in 2004, considering their higher price it's certainly shaping up to be a lucrative market for them.

Lots of photos, not many prints

A new study published by InfoTrends/Cap Ventures reveals that while most digital camera owners are taking more photos than they ever had that most of them aren't printing and when they do it's only in small numbers. Most users share their photos through e-mail or online. This is something I've been arguing for some time now, obviously there are some manufacturers who have vested interest in increasing the number of digital photos printed however thanks to pervasive Internet usage and other methods of sharing images users simply don't feel the need to print.

Olympus post E-1 firmware 1.2

Olympus has today posted the second firmware update for their E-1 digital SLR. Version 1.2 improves the function of the shutter release button, allowing you to repeatedly 'pump' the shutter release button while it is half-pressed. Additionally this update also adds a display of focus points in the finder's LCD. For those who haven't yet upgraded their E-1 this update also includes improvements made in 1.1 such as higher shparness settings, improved exposure in macro mode with flash and quicker startup time from sleep mode. This update can be installed automatically via the Olympus Studio software.

June 21
Foveon 1/1.8" X3 Image Sensor

Foveon has today issued a press release announcing the F19 1/1.8" Type CMOS 'Direct Image Sensor'. This press release essentially puts a name to the sensor to be used in the Polaroid x530 digital camera which was announced at PMA. As with previous X3 sensors the F19 captures three individual colors (red, green and blue) for each pixel location, in this case 1440 x 1080 x 3 layers. Hence this new chip is being labelled as a '4.5 Megapixel CMOS Direct Image Sensor'. This sensor is also designated to be used in the new HanVision HVDUO-5M digital camera which is aimed at industrial, scientific, medical, and communications applications.

June 20
First Epson R-D1 samples online

The Japanese IT news website Impress PC Watch has today posted a hands-on article with Epson's unique and unusual R-D1 rangefinder digital camera. This camera is a joint development between Epson and Cosina, it supports Leica M and L mount lenses and features a six megapixel APS size CCD sensor. The R-D1 was first revealed by Epson at PMA (behind glass), more detail and a full press release was published later. This new article (published in Japanese) is a hands-on with the R-D1 and contains a set of (fairly average) samples taken with the camera in combination with a range of different prime lenses.

Sigma update 50 mm and 105 mm Macro lenses

Sigma today announced new versions of the 50 mm F2.8 and 105 mm F2.8 Macro lenses. Both of the new lenses carry the EX DG notation have improved coatings and a new 'Floating Mechanism' to reduce aberrations. Both lenses are also 'improved for the characteristics of digital SLRs'. For improved macro depth of field both lenses have an impressive minimum aperture of F45 on Sigma, Canon and Konica Minolta lens mounts, F32 on Nikon, Pentax mounts.

June 17
Fujifilm FinePix F440 and F450 Zoom

Fujifilm has today announced the FinePix F440 and F450 Zoom. These two ultra-compact cameras are successors to the popular F410 and F420 Zoom. Perhaps the most interesting element of this announcement is that just like the FinePix A330 and A340 (announced just before PMA) the F440 and F450 feature standard CCD sensors of four and five megapixels respectively. This means that out of the eight new cameras announced by Fujifilm this year five of them are based around standard CCD sensors rather than Fujifilm's own SuperCCD. Both cameras have 3.4x optical zoom lenses, are powered by a Lithium-Ion battery, store images on xD-Picture Card and 2.0" LCD monitors.

June 16
Nikon to increase digital production, exit film

In an interview with Reuters Nikon's managing director Makoto Kimura has stated that Nikon will be increasing production of the D70 by 20,000 units per month to a total of 90,000 units per month and may soon exit the compact film camera market. To quote Mr Kimura, "There is still the matter of timing, but eventually we will have to dissolve this business... ...there really is no region in the world where you can do good business in compact film cameras anymore."

Konica Minolta announce X31

Konica Minolta Europe today announced the DiMAGE X31, a three megapixel version of the two megapixel X21 announced back in February. Just like that camera and other DiMAGE X models the X31 features a 'folded optics' lens system which fits vertically in the camera body, a prism mirror then 'folds' the optical path through 90 degrees. This allows the camera to have a slim profile, have no extending lens and maintain a very fast startup time.

June 15
Nikon Coolpix 5400 Firmware 1.4

Nikon has posted new firmware for the Coolpix 5400. This new release of firmware adds RAW file format support to the camera, this will be a significant improvement for current owners as it opens up a wide range of RAW development options as well as higher image quality. NEF files created in the Coolpix 5400 are compatible with Nikon View 6.2.2, Nikon Capture 4.1.0 and PictureProject 1.0 (or later). Installation of the firmware is fairly straightforward, just drop the 'firmware.bin' file into a firmware folder on a CF and start the camera in play mode.

June 14
Just posted! Canon EOS-1D Mark II Review

Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Canon's latest professional digital SLR, the EOS-1D Mark II. This remarkable digital SLR has a high resolution eight megapixel CMOS sensor, can shoot at over eight frames per second and buffer up to forty frames (JPEG). And that's just the achievement of the camera internals, externally the camera is built 'like it was hewn from a solid block of metal' and has environmental seals around all compartment doors and controls. All this for around $4,500, making it around $1,000 cheaper than the four megapixel EOS-1D it replaces (price at time of introduction).

June 11
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 firmware 1.12

Konica Minolta has released new firmware for its DiMAGE A2 digital camera. Version 1.12 applies several improvements including LCD brightness while using Flex Digital Magnifier, focusing at a specific zoom range and with Flex Focus Point, improved flash metering, EVF timing functionality, improved support for add-on lenses. This firmware can be downloaded and installed by users of the camera by simply placing the firmware update file on a Compact Flash card or transfering it via USB directly to the camera.

June 9
Seagate to introduce 5 GB HDD CF

Seagate has announced it is to produce a 5 GB HDD in the CF Type II form factor, although they can't use the name 'Microdrive' that is essentially what this device is. Details at this point are a little thin on the ground, the metal cased device will be available in 2.5 GB and 5 GB capacities, it has a rotational speed of 3600 RPM and features 'RunOn' technology which appears to be a buffering system which avoids data loss if the unit is knocked or vibrated in use. Seagate will also be producing a 'built in' version of the device which is designed to be hardwired into devices such as MP3 players or PDA's.