April 22
Canon PowerShot S2 IS
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Canon has today announced the successor to the S1 IS, the all-new 12x optical zoom five megapixel PowerShot S2 IS. This camera is clearly aimed to compete with the other compact big-zoom club which is currently made up of the Panasonic DMC-FZ5, Konica Minolta Z5 and Sony DSC-H1. Just like the S1 IS the S2 IS utilizes a small USM (ultrasonic motor) to drive its zoom (multi-speed and quiet for shooting movies). Changes compared to the S1 include a body redesign, five megapixel CCD, a bigger zoom lens, DIGIC II, faster continuous shooting, night display function, stereo audio recording and a larger LCD monitor.
April 21
Women prefer Kodak digital cameras

When it comes to women and digital cameras, recent research from imaging industry market research company Lyra reveals that Kodak really pushes their buttons. The Digital Photography survey showed that more than 20% of women use Kodak cameras while only 10% of men choose to use the brand. The most popular camera manufacturer among the male of the species is Canon, with 17% of men using its products, followed by Sony. Lyra's president and director of the Digital Photography Advisory Service, Charles LeCompte, explains the findings: "The explanation is that women in general are less comfortable with technology and therefore are more attracted to trusted brands." So ladies, dump your D-SLRs and pick up an EasyShare!

Just posted! Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2 review
Just posted! The Lumix DMC-LZ2 is one of two new 'compact' 6x zoom cameras with image stabilization from Panasonic. On paper they seem to offer an interesting set of features at a real 'entry level' price point. Find out how we got on with the $300, 5 megapixel Lumix LZ2 in our concise review.
April 20
Canon posts EOS 20D firmware v2.0.0
Canon had today posted a firmware update for its digital SLR the EOS 20D. Version 2.0.0 adds support for the wireless file transmitter WFT-E1 to allow high speed transfer of images from the 20D and personal computers through wireless/wired LAN.
Pentax posts Optio X firmware v1.01

Pentax has today posted firmware version 1.01 for the swivel-lens Optio X. The new firmware improves autofocus performance in the five million pixel camera and also fixes a problem encountered when you change the image folder name from the standard to the date.

Nikon D50 and exclusive preview
Nikon has today announced their new affordable and easier to use D50 digital SLR. The D50 has the appearance and control layout of the D70, the major physical differences are size, weight and control layout. Under the skin the D50 has the same six megapixel CCD sensor as the D70 (and the D70s announced today). The D50 will be available in black and silver bodies and as a kit with the new AF-S DX 18-55 mm lens. The D50 Kit (including the 18-55 mm lens) will cost around US$899 (£649.99/€971) when it's available in June. Body only price will be £549.99/€821. . We have posted our exclusive detailed hands-on preview of the Nikon D50.
Nikon D70s
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Nikon has today announced an upgraded version of the D70, the new D70s. This camera has the same CCD sensor and imaging pipeline as the D70 so image quality should be identical. However several changes have been introduced including improved auto focus accuracy, slightly wider flash coverage, a higher capacity battery, a new larger 2.0" LCD monitor and re-designed menus. The D70s Kit including the 18-70 mm lens will cost around $1199 (£899.99/€1343), while the body only will be $899 (£699.99/€1045), expected to ship in early May.
Nikon D70 firmware adds D70s features
Nikon has today announced that a firmware upgrade due to be issued in mid-May will bring several new D70s features to the D70. It's refreshing to see a manufacturer not leaving existing owners stranded, although clearly there are some D70s improvements which can't be introduced with firmware (such as the larger 2.0" LCD monitor). Primary improvements include new menu design and improved auto focus performance, especially in motion tracking.
Two new Nikon AF-S DX lenses
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As part of its announcement of the D50, Nikon is also introducing two new lightweight, affordable AF-S DX lenses aimed specifically at buyers of the camera. The AF-S DX 18-55 mm F3.5-F5.6G ED (which becomes the D50's kit lens) and the complementary AF-S DX 55-200mm F4.5-F5.6G ED. Both lenses are compact and lightweight and are designed specifically for digital SLRs with Nikon's DX size sensor (1.5x FOV crop). Used on the D50 the two lenses combined would provide an equivalent field of view coverage of 27 - 300 mm and weigh just 210g and 255 g respectively. Both lenses will cost around £199.99/€299.
April 19
Wacom announces first Bluetooth tablet

Wacom Europe has announced the first pen tablet to incorporate wireless technology. The Graphire Bluetooth has an active area of 6x8 inches and is available now priced $249.99 (approx. €192). Bluetooth-enabled devices can communicate at distances of up to 30 meters. It comes bundled with a host of software including Adobe Photoshop Elements 2 and Corel Painter Essentials 2. Wacom Japan announced an A5 Bluetooth pen tablet, called FAVO, at the end of March which was not planned for launch in Europe.

Kodak ImageLink Print System products

Kodak has today announced the the worldwide availability of the first products compatible with its one-touch printing system, ImageLink. The Printer Dock Series 3 is currently available bundled with ImageLink-compatible cameras the EasyShare Z740 and EasyShare Z700. The Printer Dock will be on sale as a standalone product from May 2005. The ImageLink Print System is designed to simplify at-home printing and is supported by Konica Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Ricoh, and Sanyo.

Nikon encrypts white balance data
We are surprised and disappointed to hear that Nikon is trying to lock out third party RAW converters. According to PhotoshopNews.com, Nikon has encrypted white balance information in NEF files written by the D2X and the D2HS. While the encryption can be cracked, Adobe is concerned about being sued for violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Dpreview agrees with the sentiments of chief engineer and original author of Photoshop Thomas Knoll, who said "I think the copyrighted information inside the NEF file belongs to the photographer, not Nikon. But Nikon apparently thinks they own the information inside the NEF." UPDATE: Third party RAW converter, Bibble, has announced that it has decoded the D2X's RAW white balance parameter and will fully support it. Author of dcraw.c David Coffin has also decoded the encryption.
April 18
WWL recalls Polaroid x530
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World Wide Licenses (WWL) Europe confirmed today that the Polaroid x530 has been withdrawn from sale in the UK but will be re-introduced later in the year. In an official statement, WWL, which was given exclusive rights to sell Polaroid-branded products in 2002, says the x530 was sent to some Argos stores before it had been approved for shipment, but there also appears to be a 'technical issue'. The Polaroid x530 is the first compact digital camera to utilize Foveon's X3 sensor. UPDATE 05/11/05: The long-awaited x530 will ship in August 2005, according to the Polaroid's website. We won't hold our breath!
Adobe acquires Macromedia
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Adobe has announced an agreement to acquire Macromedia in an all-stock transaction valued at $3.4 billion. Graphics software giant, Adobe, will acquire the web and application development software company Macromedia at the close of fourth quarter 2005. A press release issued today said the two companies will provide customers with a 'more powerful set of solutions for creating, managing and delivering compelling content'. Bruce Chizen will continue as chief executive officer (CEO) and Shantanu Narayen will remain president and chief operating officer. Stephen Elop, president and CEO of Macromedia, will join Adobe as president of worldwide field operations.
April 15
Pentax posts *istDS firmware v1.02
Pentax has today posted firmware version 1.02 for its 6.3 megapixel digital SLR the *istDS. Version 1.02 of the firmware provides support for SD cards greater than 1GB. Announced in the run up to Photokina 2004, the *istDS is one of the smallest and lightest digital SLRs currently on the market. It's Pentax's most affordable digital SLR and is available for around $800, body only.
Fujifilm posts FinePix F440 and F450 firmware v2.1
Fujifilm has posted firmware version 2.1 for the four and five megapixel FinePix F440 Zoom and FinePix F450 Zoom. The minor update automatically increases gain in dark scenes on the 2.0-inch LCD to aid composition. These two ultra-compacts were announced last June, and replaced the F410 Zoom and F420 Zoom.
Just posted! Canon PowerShot SD500 review
Just posted! The PowerShot SD500 (Digital IXUS 700/IXY Digital 600) is the new flagship of Canon's ultra-compact 'Elph' range, and the first to hit the 7 megapixel mark. It also features a new curvier design, a DIGIC II processor, high performance movie mode and several novel in-camera special effects. See how it got on in our concise review.
April 12
Contax brand comes to an end?
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Kyocera has today announced that it has decided to terminate the Contax branded camera business. Contax joined forces with Yashica in the 1960s, which became part of the electronics giant Kyocera in the mid-1990s. The history of the name goes back to the original Contax camera produced by Zeiss Ikon AG in 1932. The company announced its first 35mm SLR film camera, the Contax S, in 1949. A dark cloud has been hanging over the Contax brand since Kyocera announced it was to end of camera production last month.
April 8
Nikon UK confirms entry-level D-SLRs for end of April
Nikon UK has today sent out an official press release which confirms the launch of two new entry-level digital SLRs at the end of this month. The first is a successor to the D70 and an upgraded version, likely to be the D70s, while the second camera, rumored to be called the D50, will be for people who are looking to upgrade from a compact. More news as we have it!
Just posted! Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 review

Just posted! Read our review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5, the replacement for the popular FZ3. Although externally almost identical to the FZ3, the new model features several key improvements, including a 5 megapixel sensor (bringing it closer to the FZ20 in spec terms) and faster focus. And of course it sports that huge 12x image-stabilized Leica zoom lens. Click on the link to see how it got on in our tests.

April 7
Image management program iView MediaPro and Phase One's Capture One PRO, which handles adjustments of RAW files, is now available as a bundle for $499. The offer is valid until May 5 and is only available as a download from the companies' respective websites www.iview-multimedia.com and www.phaseone.com. An accompanying RAW workflow guide detailing how the two programs can be used together is also available for download. The bundle represents a saving of around $199.
April 6
Just posted! Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT review
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of the Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT. The 350D / XT is the latest digital SLR from Canon and represents the 'affordable SLR' follow-up to the 2003 EOS 300D / Digital Rebel. The 350D / XT is smaller, lighter, has more features and now sports an eight megapixel CMOS sensor which effectively aligns it as the 'baby EOS 20D'. See how the 350D / XT performed in our tests.
April 4
Just posted! Canon PowerShot A510 review
Just posted! Our review of the 3.2 megapixel Canon PowerShot A510. This replacement for the very popular A75 offers several enhancements - most importantly a new 4x optical zoom - over its predecessor and is virtually identical to the 4.0 megapixel A520 reviewed last week.
Adobe Photoshop CS2
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Adobe has launched the second version of its design, publishing and image editing program with Creative Suite 2, including Photoshop CS2. New tools include 'vanishing point', which allows you to clone, paint and transform in the perspective or your images, advanced noise reduction, optical lens correction, which corrects barrel and pincushion distortion as well as enhanced 16-bit editing. Another new feature, multi-image camera raw, allows you to process several raw images while you continue to work in Photoshop CS2. Adobe Photoshop CS2 is expected to begin shipping in late May and early June for around $599. Licensed users of any previous version of Photoshop can upgrade for $149.
April 1
Matsushita and Olympus are expected to exhibit new digital SLRs at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show in February 2006. The interchangeable lens D-SLRs will comply with the FourThirds standard in 2006. The Japanese companies are working jointly in developing products and key components, but will market products under their own brands, which for Matsushita includes Panasonic. A joint statement says that Olympus and Matsushita are responding to what they see as a soaring global demand for digital SLRs, with shipments expected to reach 5.5m units in the year to 2007, from 2.7m in the current year to March 2005.
Epson posts P-2000 firmware v02.02
Epson has posted a firmware update for the multimedia storage viewer the P-2000. Version 02.02 of the firmware now allows the 40GB hard drive to support JPEG images captured with digital SLRs that have image sensors up to 17.8 million pixels, such as the 16.7 megapixel Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II. Other changes include the addition of a histogram and RAW file support for a number of digital SLRs and the Canon PowerShot Pro 1.
March 31
Just posted! Pentax *ist DS review
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of the latest digital SLR from Pentax, the budget priced *ist DS. The DS is quite similar to its bigger brother the original *ist D, both in size and design, however the DS does give up a few features and a little performance. Interestingly though the extra development time has afforded the DS some advantages over the *ist D and over some of its competition. See how the DS performed and how it compares in our review.
Nikon confirms D50 and D70s are real
News of Nikon's next digital SLRs leaked after Nikon Asia and Nikon Germany 'accidentally' dropped the user manuals onto their websites. This quickly spread and appeared on our forums within minutes. Nikon asked us to remove the primary leak thread (we don't normally do this but agreed to in this case, although it was pointless). After this we were a little surprised to then read an article on Macworld that Mr 'Susumu Enomoto', a spokesman for Nikon Corp, has now confirmed that the D50 is real, a further story on Rob Galbraith's site adds credence to the D70s.
Just posted! Canon PowerShot A520 review
We have just posted our review of the four megapixel Canon PowerShot A520, which was launched just before PMA along with its almost identical brother the A510. The A520 replaces the popular A85 the differences being a longer zoom lens (4x) and a smaller and lighter body design. Also Canon has chosen to use SD storage rather than CompactFlash and two batteries to power it, which assist in making the whole package that bit smaller than its predecessor. We will be publishing a review of the almost identical A510 (3MP) in a few days.
Pentax offers £100 cash back
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As several other manufacturers are tempting consumers with money back offers on D-SLR purchases, Pentax UK doesn't want to be left out and is offering up to £100 cash back on its entry level SLR the *istDS. The promotion includes £50 for the *istDS body and the same amount for the smc Pentax DA 18-55mm lens. The *istDS is currently selling for £700 (RRP) body only or £799 with a 18-55mm lens. The offer is valid until May 31.
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Anyone who buys a Canon EOS 20D or EOS 350D between now and December 31 will receive a voucher booklet with £600 off lenses and accessories. Cash back offers are between £35 and £100 and are redeemable on a selection of products from EF and EF-S lenses, extenders, EX Speedlite flash systems and an inkjet printer. Customers must redeem their vouchers by sending them to the Canon Promotion Centre. This offer is only available in selected European countries and only one cash back is available per person, per coupon, name or address.
Olympus Evolt E-300 underwater housing
Olympus has announced an underwater housing for the Evolt E-300. The PT-E01 Underwater Case will protect the eight megapixel D-SLR down to a depth of 60 meters. There are also three underwater lens ports available which are compatible with four Zuiko Digital lenses as well as the PFL-E01, an underwater case for use with the FL-36 external flash unit. All underwater housings will be available in June.
March 30
Adobe to launch Photographers Directory
Adobe has announced the launch of a Photographers Directory, which will list professional photographers accessible from with Adobe's creative professional products. It will initially be available in North America, but over time will be extended to other countries. Adobe is working closely with the America Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) to produce the directory, which will be searchable by geographic location or by photographic specialty and will include portfolio imagery. Photographers who want to be a part of the directory should visit the ASMP website.
Casio posts EXILIM Pro EX-P505 firmware v1.0.1
Casio has today posted firmware version 1.0.1 for the five megapixel SLR- like EXILIM Pro EX-P505 camera. The new update increases USB communication speed, adds 'autumn leaves' scene to BESTSHOT modes and provides support for SD cards with a greater capacity than 1GB. The EX-P505 boasts a rotating 2-inch LCD display, 5x optical zoom and super macro mode of 1cm.
March 29
Toshiba launches fast-charging lithium ion battery
Toshiba has today announced a new lithium ion battery, which, it claims, can recharge 80% of the battery's energy capacity in just one minute, 60 times faster than the other lithium ion cells. It takes an unspecified 'few' more minutes for a complete recharge. The battery has a long life cycle, losing only 1% of its capacity after 1,000 cycles of discharging and recharging. Due to be launched next year, it will initially be used to power hybrid electric vehicles but could be used for smaller devices in future, such as mobile phones and digital cameras.
Rebates for the DiMAGE Z2, DiMAGE Z3 and Maxxum 7D
Konica Minolta is offering mail-in rebates on the DiMAGE Z2, DiMAGE Z3 and Maxxum 7D bought between now and June 30. Consumers can claim a $50 rebate for the DiMAGE Z2 (available now for around £360) and DiMAGE Z3 (approx. $400), and, if purchased with a qualifying Epson printer, are eligible for a further $50 rebate from Epson. Konica Minolta is also offering a $200 mail-in rebate for its digital SLR, the Maxxum 7D, which currently retails for around $1,599. The offer is only open to consumers in the US.
Canon posts EOS-1D Mark II and EOS-1Ds Mark II firmware updates
Canon has today posted firmware for two of its digital SLRs, the EOS-1D Mark II and the EOS-1Ds Mark II. Both the updates add Russian, Traditional Chinese and Korean languages to the menu systems, plus an improvement in communication reliability when using some CF cards. Firmware version 1.2.1 for the EOS-1D Mark II also addresses the issue of communication failure between the camera and some personal computers.
March 28
Olympus E-300 firmware version 1.2
Olympus has today posted a new firmware update for its E-300 digital SLR. Coming just over a month since the last update version 1.2 adds four new 'professional like' features to the E-300, some of which existed on our pre-production E-300 but were removed in the final production model, now they're back! Features added: Shading compensation (lens shading / vignette correction), Anti-Shock (mirror-lock up to avoid vibration), Release Priority S (shutter priority over focus in S-AF mode), Release Priority C (shutter priority over focus in C-AF mode).
March 26
dpreview forums: Ten million posts
Over the last six years the dpreview.com discussion forums have grown to become the largest photographic community on the Internet and one of the largest forums of any subject. Today we crossed a pretty amazing milestone, the ten millionth message posted. We are fortunate to have a very high ratio of helpful and knowledgeable posts and regular posters who make our forums the place to learn and develop your digital photography. The dpreview.com forums average over 11,000 new message posts every single day and we have just over a quarter of a million subscribed forum members. Our thanks to each and every one of you.
March 25
Lexar wins $465.4 million against Toshiba
On Wednesday a Californian jury found Toshiba guilty of theft of trade secrets from Lexar and issued damages of $381.4 million dollars, a day after they awarded an additional $84 million in punitive damages. The total awarded to Lexar in this case is some $465.4 million which is apparently the largest IP verdict in California history and the third largest IP verdict in the United States. This case relates to the use of Lexar trade secrets in Toshiba's NAND flash chips, CompactFlash cards, Secure Digital and xD-Picture Cards. Toshiba said that it 'believes that the verdict rendered by the jury was in error, and we plan to pursue all available legal avenues to correct it'.
March 24
Just posted! Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 review
Just posted! Our review of the big hitting 12x zoom Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5. It is the latest in the range to feature Konica Minolta's unique CCD-shifting Anti-Shake system seen in the A2/A200 and Maxxum 7D digital SLR. The five megapixel has a love-it-or-hate-it design like the rest of the Z series. Find out if we think you should pack the DiMAGE Z5 in your suitcase for your summer vacation.
Wacom Volito2 and FAVO Bluetooth tablets
Wacom Europe has today announced a new consumer new A6-sized pen tablet called the Volito2 (pictured). The dark gray, metallic-colored tablet has improved ergonomics, an updated design and now comes with an interactive tutorial which fires up when the tablet is first used. It will be available at the end of March priced £35.99 (approx €51.84). Meanwhile Wacom Japan has announced the A5-sized FAVO, a Bluetooth pen tablet, which has a 10m range. It can be recharged and used for up to 25 hours. The Wacom FAVO will be available in Japan from March 25 priced ¥19,824 (approx $186). There are currently no plans to launch the product in Europe.
iPod Photo Camera Connector available
Apple's iPod Camera Connector is now available from its online store for $29. It will ship in 1- 3 weeks. The connector allows you to transfer images from your digital camera via the USB cable to your iPod Photo for instant viewing slideshow playback. It supports any camera which has PTP, Normal (Type 4) or Mass Storage USB compatibility.
March 23
Two photo sharing websites have been snapped up by major corporations. Internet portal Yahoo! was the first to announce that it had acquired Canadian company Ludicorp Research & Development Ltd, which operates year-old photo sharing website Flickr. While HP has just announced that it has agreed to buy Snapfish, which has 13 million registered members. Snapfish offers free photo sharing, editing tools and software as well as online print ordering. In 2001 Canon bought photo sharing site Fotango and Eastman Kodak acquired Ofoto.
March 22
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After floating on the stock market just five months ago UK camera retailer Jessops has announced that its shares fell 30% yesterday due to a decline in digital camera sales. Trading has slowed considerably in February and March and shares fell 47.5p to 107p. The shares cost 155p when they were first issued. The competition on the high street and the internet is fierce and Jessops has had to slash the prices of digital cameras to entice sales and compete with other retailers. Despite the drop in sales in the last two months, Jessops says that overall sales were up by 1% in the first half.
Lensbaby 2.0
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Are you bored of your lenses? Do you want to get a bit creative? Then check out what the stork delivered from lensbabies.com. Lensbaby 2.0, an attachment for digital SLRs, offers a greater aperture range than The Original Lensbaby and a much sharper 'sweet spot' of focus, the size of which can be controlled by changing the apertures. Lensbaby 2.0 also features a coated, high refractive index, low dispersion optical glass doublet instead of the singled uncoated optical glass element in The Original Lensbaby. Apertures snap into place using the magnetic aperture system and can be lifted out with the complimentary Cell-Klear Lenspen. Suggested retail price is around $150.
March 18
Panasonic SD CardBus adapter tested
We've just received a production sample of the recently announced Panasonic SD CardBus PC Card adapter (BN-SDPC3E). This works in the same manner as the 32-bit CardBus CF adapters we've seen in the past. With more and more devices using SD cards and now even some digital SLR's faster access to SD cards will become more important. If you use a laptop or notebook the Panasonic SD CardBus adapter is now the fastest method for reading (and writing to) SD cards. (Windows only at the moment).
Konica Minolta cuts financial year forecast
Konica Minolta lowered its forecast for the financial year ending March 2005 due to strong price competition in the digital camera market and delays in introducing new products in its information equipment business. Konica Minolta, which announced its merger in January 2003, foresees a 72% drop in net income from ¥25 bn ($240 m) to ¥7 bn ($67 m) on net sales of ¥1.06 trillion ($10.1 bn), down 3.6% from the previously forecast ¥1.1tr ($10.5 bn). The camera manufacturer will also accept an extraordinary write-off of ¥5.4 bn ($51.2 m). Konica Minolta stocks are currently trading below their issuing price, with total stock capital ¥30 bn ($287.5 m) below full value.
March 17
Nikon D2Hs launch date and price
Nikon has announced that its 4.1 megapixel professional D-SLR, the D2Hs, will be on sale worldwide from March 25. It will retail for around £2,499.99 ($3,733). The D2Hs, which was announced just before PMA, offers a range of improvements over the D2H, including a burst rate of 8 fps up to 50 JPEG frames or 40 NEF shots. It has also borrowed some features from the D2X, including sYCC color space support, 3D Matrix Metering II and a higher resolution 2.5-inch LCD.
March 16
More on Kodak's 18.6 megapixel CCD
Kodak has today issued a press release which reveals a little more information about the sensor used in Pentax's yet to be fully revealed 645 medium-format digital camera. The sensor is named the KAF-18000CE, it has 18.6 million total pixels producing an 18 million pixel final image. Pixel pitch is 9 x 9 µm, no other specs are currently available but if we assume a 4:3 aspect ratio we can guess the total pixel size to be something like 4992 x 3744 which would make the active sensor area approximately 45 x 34 mm (a 1.3x FOV crop for a 645 medium format camera).