December 22
Asia Times has reported that Sony plans to invest around ¥50 billion ($480 million) to build a new center, which will accommodate new machinery designed for the production of CMOS image sensors for camera phones. The new facility, at the Kumamoto Technology Center, is expected to be operational by spring 2006. Sony already leads the world in CCD production and this investment suggests it wants a large share of the low power CMOS sensor market.
Canon posts EOS-1Ds Mark II firmware 1.0.3
Canon BeBit has posted firmware version 1.0.3 for the EOS-1Ds Mark II which improves AF tracking in AI Servo AF and reduces noise when shooting bulb exposures as well as color differences between RAW and JPEG thumbnail images. This firmware applies to cameras which already have the 1.0.2 update installed.
December 20
Adobe has made the Camera Raw 2.4 beta available for Photoshop CS on both Windows and Mac platforms. The new plug in, which is free to download, adds support for raw files from several digital cameras including the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, Konica Minolta Dimage A200 and the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D, as well as preliminary support for many others.
Just posted! Pentax S5i review
Just posted - our review of the Pentax Optio S5i! We give the five megapixel replacement for the S4i more than just a quick once over. Find out whether the ultra-compact, pocketable camera is as good as it looks, with it's new coarse handgrip and textured body. The S5i has the same 1.8-inch LCD as its predecessor and incorporates Pentax's sliding lens mechanism, which enables the manufacture of considerably small cameras with zoom lenses.
Kodak posts Pro 14n/nx firmware 5.3.0
Kodak has posted firmware update 5.3.0 for the Pro14n/nx digital SLRs. The new firmware fixes the problem that occasionally caused some Windows systems to restart while the camera was connected to the computer via FireWire during continous mode. The firmware also addresses the fact that some files couldn't be opened by PhotoDisk, eradicates green and magenta blocking and adds a Manual Mirror Prerelease option that uses the shutter button to raise the mirror and the OK button to open the shutter and capture the exposure.
December 16
The International Imaging Industry Association (i3a) has issued a press release which details tests it carried out in conjunction with SanDisk and the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to discover the effect of airport X-ray scanners on digital film (flash storage). The results showed that none of these such scanners, nor walk-through or hand-held metal detectors had any effect on the content of flash storage.
A study by InfoTrends/CAP Ventures predicts that worldwide digital camera revenue will reach $24 billion by the end of 2004, and will exceed $30 billion by 2009. Europe, the United States and Japan top the table for digital camera sales this year while it is expected that Asia and Rest of World (ROW) regions, which currently has a combined share of 10%, will share 33% of the revenue by 2009.
December 15
Fujifilm announces UK pricing for S3 Pro
Nearly three months after Fujifilm UK announced the FinePix S3 Pro, it has now announced its SRP as £1599 ($2499). The S3 Pro has a Super CCD SR sensor that gives a 12 megapixel output. The SR chip features two photodiodes at the same photosite which enables an extended dynamic range. Other features include film simulation modes, equivalent to changing film type to suit shooting conditions, the ability to adjust the dynamic range and color space selection. The FinePix S3 Pro will be available in January next year.
Pentax smc 40mm F2.8 Limited lens
A new 40mm pancake-style lens has been announced by Pentax which has been designed exclusively for use with its digital SLRs, the *istD and the *ist DS. The smc Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens (equivalent to 61mm) measures just 15mm long and weighs 90g. It also features Quick-Shift Focus System for instant switching to manual-focus operation, a nine-blade diaphragm to assure true to life reproduction of out of focus areas, a minimum focus distance of 40cm and the ability to attach filters. The lens is due to ship in February 2005.
December 14
Reuters has reported that Sony and Samsung have struck a deal that allows the two electronics giants to share basic patents to speed up product development. Sony has agreed to share 94% of its 13,000 US-registered patents and Samsung, which has 11,000 US-registered patents, will share a similar amount. The deal will eradicate the potential for legal action over patent infringement which many Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese manufacturers have experienced recently. The agreement excludes 'differentiation technology patents' such as TFT LCD and OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode), Sony's Play Station architecture and Samsung's home networking technology.
Samsung launches MMCmicro
Samsung has launched a new multimedia card for camera phones that is one third the size of RS-MMC. The MMCmicro has been designed as a response to the decreasing size of mobile phone cameras. The card has exceptionally good read and write speeds for such a small device at 10MB and 7MB per second respectively. Production of the MMCmicro will begin early next year with 32MB, 64MB and 128MB capacities.
December 13
Closure of Kodak's Ontario operation results in 360 job losses
The Globe and Mail has reported that Kodak Canada is to close its Ontario manufacturing operation resulting in a loss of 360 jobs by the middle of next year. Kodak Canada president Michael Ducey said: "Kodak Canada remains committed to the Canadian market and will continue to offer the full array of leading traditional and digital imaging products and services." As with other closures around the world, employees are expected to receive severance packages and access to counseling support services. The decision to close the Toronto plant is part of Kodak's aim to reduce employment by 12,000-15,000 and facilities by a third.
Casio QV-R62
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Casio Europe has announced another version of the QV-R61 and renamed it the QV-R62. The difference? The new model doesn't come with a power adapter and is thought to be a Europe-only launch. Like its twin it has 6.0 megapixels, a 3x zoom and a 2-inch LCD. The QV-R62 will hit the shelves in January.
December 9
ACDSee 7 update
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ACD Systems has announced a free update to its image management software program ACDSee 7. The 'build 61' update uses cameras' EXIF data to determine the orientation of the picture when it was shot and automatically rotates the image (JPEGs and TIFFs) when displayed in ACDSee. This only works with cameras that have an orientation sensor. Another new feature that has been added is the Create Slide Show Wizard, which allows you to save and edit slide shows and screen saver projects.
Panasonic has developed a three megapixel camera module for mobile phones with image stabilization and auto focus capabilities. Advanced mounting and image processing technologies, plus an ultra-mini focus actuator and thinner lenses have allowed Panasonic to develop the v Maicovicon image sensor and have contributed to reducing its size. The module has a focus range of approximately 8cm to infinity. Panasonic has also announced a two megapixel module with auto focusing and a 1.3 megapixel module with a built-in macro zooming function. Production of the these two modules will start in January, with the three megapixel module following in March. Panasonic has also launched the only compact cameras to include optical image stabilization in the FX2 and FX7.
Just posted! Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX7 review
Just posted - our review of the sleek and sexy Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX7, bigger brother to the FX2 announced at the same time. The diminutive 5 megapixel FX7 is the only compact camera on the market to feature a stabilized 3x zoom lens, using Panasonic's proprietary MEGA O.I.S (optical image stabilization) technology. It has a large 2.5-inch LCD and, according to Panasonic, has improved responsiveness and performance. Check out our concise review to see if the FX7 will be going on your Christmas list this year.
December 8
The 123 of digital imaging 3.0
Site contributor Vincent Bockaert has today announced an all new version of his excellent 'The 123 of digital imaging Interactive Learning Suite'. This new revision moves 123di on to a new level with many more interactive tools such as calculators and visualisation tools, increased product coverage and better separation of learning levels; 'starter', 'essential' and 'advanced'. 123di is hugely comprehensive and covers almost every detail of digital cameras and digital imaging. I have no hesitiation in recommending it. At the same time as producing this new version of 123di Vincent has also been responsible for a complete re-write of our glossary.
December 7
Canon posts EOS 20D firmware 1.1.0
Canon has today posted firmware version 1.1.0 for its EOS 20D which adds three new languages to the camera menus: traditional Chinese, Korean and Russian. The new firmware also fixes the problem of horizontal line noise in images shot at high ISO settings while using the built-in flash.
December 2
Just posted! Sony DSC-V3 review
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of the new seven megapixel Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V3. Following on from the DSC-V1 Sony decided a chunky black body and large hand grip better suited the prosumer end of the market, and to some degree they were right. The V3 also has the largest LCD of our 'group test', a huge 2.5" monitor with a good anti-reflective coating. See how the DSC-V3 performed in our tests and how it compares to the other four seven megapixel digital cameras we tested together.
Just posted! Canon PowerShot G6 review
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of the new seven megapixel Canon PowerShot G6. Canon's latest G series prosumer digital camera looks considerably different to the camera it replaces, silver body, chunky hand grip and a almost square profile it looks a more like a compact SLR than ever before. It features a four times F2.0 - F3.0 lens which is inherited from the G5 but now features new lens coatings. See how the G6 performed in our tests and how it compares to the other four seven megapixel digital cameras we tested together.
Just posted! Casio EX-P700 review
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of the new seven megapixel Casio EXILIM Pro EX-P700. With its compact body design this Casio could be mistaken for a pocketable point-and-shoot but its feature set and functionality prove that it's much more than that. The metal bodied P700 has a four times optical zoom lens, big 2.0" LCD monitor and a hybrid AF system. It's also got no less than 27 scene modes built in to the camera. See how the EX-P700 performed in our tests and how it compares to the other four seven megapixel digital cameras we tested together.
Just posted! Olympus C-7000 Zoom review
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of the new seven megapixel Olympus C-7000 Zoom (AKA. C-70 Zoom). This Olympus is considerably smaller and lighter than previous C series digital cameras but still packs an impressive array of controls and features as well as a five times optical zoom lens (which extends in under a second). See how the C-7000 performed in our tests and how it compares to the other four seven megapixel digital cameras we tested together.
Just posted! Pentax Optio 750Z review
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of the new seven megapixel Pentax Optio 750Z. This camera has a retro styled appearance, a five times optical zoom lens, a wide range of features and a flip-out and twist LCD monitor. See how the 750Z performed in our tests and how it compares to the other four seven megapixel digital cameras we tested together.
December 1
Phase One has announced Capture One version 3.6 for Mac which converts raw files from the following cameras: Canon 1Ds MKII, 20D, Pro 1, G5, G3, G2, Fuji S3, Olympus C-8080WZ, Konica Minolta A1, A2 and Maxxum 7D (Alpha 7). Users of C1 LE, SE or PRO can get an upgrade for free or you can get a free 30-day trial. C1 for Windows is expected around December 20.
Canon has today posted firmware version 1.0.1.0 for the PowerShot Pro 1. The new firmware improves the AF speed, incorporates a specification change for the way the images are displayed in continuous AF mode and improves the responsiveness of the zoom ring. Continuous AF is around 30% faster while single AF is twice as fast.
November 29
Sony pays out $40 million over patents
Sony has settled with Ampex for $40 million over patent litigation which relates to digital still and digital video cameras as well as PDAs. Back in July this year Ampex announced that it was aiming to block Sony from importing and selling products in the US which contained Ampex's intellectual property. Ampex has already come to license agreements with Canon, Sanyo and Kodak worth tens of millions of dollars. Ampex currently has outstanding litigation against Kodak for violation of the same patents. It looks as though Ampex will come out from these agreements with ongoing royalty payments too. Its patents related to "image storage and retrieval".
Olympus Stylus 500 Digital
Olympus has today announced the Stylus 500 Digital / mju Digital 500, a compact five megapixel three times optical zoom digital camera. As with other mju models this camera has a metal weather-proof case and, like the mju mini, doesn't have an optical viewfinder. The mju Digital 500 features a very large 2.5-inch 215,000-pixel LCD monitor, just like the C-8080 and C-7000 this screen has a fast refresh and response time to avoid smear or visual lag.
November 26
Luminous Landscape field tests the R-D1
Luminous Landscape has carried out a field test of the world's first digital rangefinder camera, the Epson R-D1. The camera was jointly developed by Epson and Cosina, has a 6 megapixel APS size sensor and accepts Leica M and L mount lenses. While the R-D1 has all the usual features of a digital camera, it exhibits some unique differences, such as cocking the shutter by using something akin to a film advance lever. The R-D1 should be available now and is expected to cost around $2,999 (€2,269).
November 25
Canon posts three new software updates
Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP) 1.5, EOS Viewer Utility (EVU) 1.2.1 and EOS Capture 1.2 are available now to download from Canon's website. Previous versions of EVU and DPP are required to install the new versions. The three new software updates are available for both Mac and Windows platforms.
November 24
Just posted! Canon PowerShot SD300 Review
Just posted! Our review of Canon's newest and highest resolution ultra-compact digital camera, the PowerShot SD300 Digital ELPH (AKA. the Digital IXUS 40). This metal clad pocketable digital camera has an impressive three times optical zoom lens which has a tight profile which enables the SD300 to be just 20 mm thin. The SD300 also features a four megapixel CCD, large 2.0" LCD monitor, Lithium-Ion rechargable battery and SD storage. Check out our concise review of the SD300 to see what we thought of it.
Olympus announces price of Evolt E-300
Olympus has announced that the eight megapixel EVOLT E-300 will be priced $999 for a kit including the body and a 14 - 45mm lens. The E-300 is the first 100% digital-from-the-ground-up consumer SLR and the second Four Thirds System camera from Olympus. While traditional SLRs use glass prisms, the EVOLT uses a sideways swinging mirror system and, to reduce the effects of dust on the CCD and to improve the resultant image quality, features Olympus patented technology first seen on the E-1, the Supersonic Wave Filter.
November 23
Rollei dr5100
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Rollei has announced a second new camera, the five megapixel wideangle lens dr5100. The aluminum-bodied compact offers a 3x zoom lens (28 - 85 mm) as well as a movie mode, 1.8-inch LCD plus a very close macro mode of 1cm. Like the dk4010 also announced today, the dr5100 has a hot shoe for accessory flash, as well as a built in flash. Storage media of choice is SD/MMC card and there's 16MB of internal memory to get you started, although with a five megapixel CCD, this isn't likely to last very long. It is available now priced €349 (approx. $458).
Rollei dk4010
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Rollei has announced a super zoom in the shape of the 10x zoom, four megapixel dk4010. Despite going for a long zoom, popular with many manufacturers, it has a fairly small, by today's standards, 1.5-inch screen on the back. It also offers a 640 x 480-pixel movie mode, a burst rate of 3.3 fps and storage media is SD/MMC. The dk4010 can also accept wide angle and teleconverter lenses. It is available now priced €399 (approx. $524).
Leica Digital-Modul-R delayed until April 2005
Leica's Digital-Modul-R has been delayed and will now begin shipping in April next year. First deliveries were originally expected next month. The reason for the delay is that some software components needed for the universal insertion of the digital solution could not be realized up to the standards of Leica until now, says the company. A need for additional programming has also surfaced.
Sony announces 2 and 4GB Microdrives
Sony Electronics is expanding its range of media storage with the announcement of two Microdrives available in 2 and 4GB capacities. They offer data transfer rates of 97.9 Mbits/sec, are compatible with CompactFlash type II standard and with a PC adapter can be used in devices that have a PC card type II slot. The 2GB version will retail for $179 (approx. €137) and the 4GB Microdrive will sell for $279 (approx. €214).
November 22
Kodak offers $1000 discount on Professional DCS Pro SLR/c
Kodak is offering a $1000 instant discount off the Professional DCS Pro SLR/c bought from a Kodak dealer from now until 31 December. The 14 million-pixel camera has a Canon mount, a full 35mm sensor and retailed for around $4495 when we reviewed it in June this year. This offer is only valid in the US and does not apply to the Professional DCS Pro SLR/n.
Kodak gains on Sony in US digital camera market
At last Kodak has some good news after it shipped only 10,000 fewer units in the US than the current number one seller of digital point and shoot cameras, Sony. According to market research firm IDC, Sony delivered 1 million consumer cameras in the third quarter, while third placed Canon shipped 800,000 followed by Olympus with 585,000. Kodak is clearly aiming for the top spot in US digital camera sales and its decision to concentrate on the burgeoning digital camera market in favor of film photography seems to be paying dividends.
November 19
Just posted! Kodak DX7590 review
Just posted! Our review of Kodak's flagship superzoom model and successor to the popular DX6490, the EasyShare DX7590. The 5 megapixel DX7590 has a 10x Schneider - Kreuznach Variogon zoom lens and a wealth of advanced features in a very compact design. It also boasts 16 scene modes and a large 2.2-inch LCD screen. Check out our concise review of the DX7590 to see what we thought of it.
November 18
Kodak to cut 500 jobs and close five UK sites
Kodak is to close five labs in the UK over the next 12 months resulting in a loss of 500 jobs. The news of the closures in Northampton, Glasgow, Walsall, Wimbledon and Portishead follows the announcement of 600 job losses last month after Kodak closed a factory in Nottinghamshire and 250 people lost their jobs at a site in Harrow, North London. A call center is also due to close, The cuts are a result of Kodak's shift towards the digital market and its plans to cut up to 15,000 jobs worldwide in three years. Employees are expected to receive enhance severance terms, access to counseling and assistance in finding alternative employment.
November 15
Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 review
Just posted! Our full review of Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 software. Elements 3 is designed to be the 'Photoshop for Everyone else' with a reduced range of features and removal of more professional Photoshop features such as CMYK conversion. Elements 3 appears to be a fairly significant step forward from Elements 2 and introduces lots of new features including RAW conversion and 16 bit/channel support. This review was written by site contributor and author of the 123 of digital imaging, Vincent Bockaert.
November 12
Nikon profit triples
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Nikon's first half profit more than tripled as a result of demand for chipmaking equipment and digital cameras, Bloomberg reports. The manufacturer forecast profits of ¥3 billion ($28 million) (based on ¥2.05 billion ($19 million) last year) but blew that figure out of the water with a net income of ¥7.8 billion ($74 million). Profit is due to demand for LCDs, chipmaking equipment and digital cameras, such as digital SLR the D70.
November 10
Olympus to boost in-house digital camera production by 50 percent
Reuters has reported that Olympus is set to boost in-house production of digital cameras to 50 percent in one or two years to boost its ailing camera division. The decision to bring it in-house is due to losses of around $27.49 million and a 57 percent decline in net profit for the April - September first half period. Around 60 percent of Olympus digital cameras are currently produced by other companies.
SanDisk doubles the capacity of industrial CompactFlash and PC cards
SanDisk Corporation has expanded its industrial product line with the introduction of 4 and 8GB ComopactFlash cards and 8 and 16GB PC cards. The new cards double the current maximum capacity available and offer faster read and write times of 20 megabytes per second. Industrial grade CF and PC cards offer extended temperature ranges, extreme endurance, an MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) of 3 million hours, extended shock and vibration resistance, complete serialization and traceability, and a seven-year warranty. The standard grade cards offer a competitively priced product with high endurance and 1 million hours of MTBF.
Just posted! Nikon Coolpix 4800 review
Just posted! Our review of Nikon's first budget super zoom camera the Coolpix 4800, which has four million pixels and an 8.3x zoom. This point and shoot is considerably larger and more powerful than the 5200 and 4200 before it, sports a larger handgrip, is crafted entirely out of plastic and sports an ED lens. It also boasts 11 scene modes, a 640x480-pixel movie mode and fast startup and operation. Click on the link below to see how it fares in our test.
November 9
ArcSoft PhotoImpression 5.1
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ArcSoft has announced an upgrade to its image editing program PhotoImpression. Version 5.1 is said to feature 'significant' upgrades to previous editions of the software including easy acquisition from cameras, scanners, freehand and template-based cropping and auto colour enhancement, as well as offering the usual tools of red-eye removal, decorative frames and project templates. It is available as a download from the website for €49.99 (£29.99).
Rollei Prego dp5200
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Rollei has announced its latest high roller in the shape of the 5.2 megapixel Rollei Prego dp5200, which boasts a 2.5-inch LCD screen with high resolution movie mode. The metal-bodied compact is just 24mm thin and is said to fit in the 'middle class' of digital cameras. It also has a 3x optical zoom and a 32 - 96mm focal range. It is available now priced €329 (approx $424).

November 8
Canon and Nikon offer DSLR rebates
Nikon and Canon US have announced Fall 2004 rebates for its digital SLRs with savings of up to $500. The Nikon offer applies to the D70 body, the D70 kit with an 18-70mm DX Nikkor lens ($100) and a D1X body which qualifies for a $500 rebate, among other items. The Nikon offer ends December 31. Canon's offer is extended until January 31 and includes a $100 rebate on the EOS Digital Rebel, plus a deal whereby if you buy any two different items you get double the rebate amount, and three times the amount if you buy three different items. Nikon UK is also offering consumers a voucher booklet worth £300 for money off D70 accessories and Canon UK is enticing consumers by offering £100 cashback when purchasing the EOS 300D plus a 256MB CompactFlash card when registering for Canon's iMAGE GATEWAY.
Just posted! Olympus E-300 hands-on preview
Just posted! Our detailed hands-on preview of the new Olympus E-300 digital SLR. The E-300 becomes the second 'Four Thirds' system digital SLR from Olympus and is targetted at the more affordable end of the market. Its unusual shape comes from the use of a sideways swinging mirror and porro finder system. The E-300 has an eight megapixel Kodak CCD sensor and a 4/3 system lens mount. Our preview includes full specifications, body, controls, operation, displays and menus. We are not posting sample images at this stage.
November 4
Just posted! Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 review
Just posted! Our review of Panasonic's flagship model and the third generation of super zoom cameras, the Lumix DMC-FZ20. The 5 megapixel FZ20 has a whopping Leica-branded DC Vario-Elmarit 12x zoom and numerous improvements over its predecessor, the FZ10, as well as new technologies. It boasts a newly-improved optical image stabilization Venus II engine for shots at the long end of the zoom. Check out our concise review of the FZ20 to see what we thought of it.
November 3
Just posted! In-depth Canon EOS 20D review
Just posted! Our final, in-depth review of Canon's eight megapixel EOS 20D digital SLR. Successor to the EOS 10D the 20D not only increases resolution but is also faster, can shoot at five frames per second continuously, a new AF system, support for EF-S lenses, true RAW+JPEG, B&W mode and USB 2.0, among other new features. The review took much longer than we'd expected but it's also now our largest ever.