Konica has recently put up a flash teaser on their Japanese web site, very much in the vien of Nikon with their Coolpix SQ earlier this year. It shows a number of Konica cameras through the years and ends with a sillouette of the new model with the promise of more information coming on the 6th of June. There are two very good samples linked from the page though, so I think again its a case of wait and see.
Nikon has today announced the new five megapixel four times optical zoom Coolpix 5400 (the Coolpix 5000's sucessor). The Coolpix 5400 is especially interesting because it offers a wide angle 28 mm equiv. four times zoom compared to the typical 35 or 38 mm equiv. Other noteworthy specifications include 1/1.8" sensor (the Coolpix 5000 used a 2/3"), ISO 50 - 400 sensitivity, up to 10 minute Bulb exposures and front or rear flash sync.. Available "Summer 2003" with a list price of $799. UPDATE: 5400 will get RAW "in Spring 2004" via a firmware update.
Sony has today announce two new U-series ultra-compact digital cameras. The DSC-U30 (available in three colors) is essentially an update to the DSC-U20, it has a two megapixel CCD sensor and fixed lens. The 'new feature' for the DSC-U30 is a convex mirror on the front of the camera so that you (or your friends) can see yourselves before taking a shot. The DSC-U60 is Sony's first ruggedized and waterproofed model, it has a rubber body and is waterproof in up to 1.5 m (5 ft) of water. Both cameras should be available in July at $200 and $250 respectively.
Media and SanDisk have today both announced support for the xD-Picture
Card format, which was developed by Olympus, FujiFilm and Toshiba. Lexar
Media will now be offering xD-Picture Cards
in Lexar packaging through many of its worldwide retail outlets and SanDisk have signed a 5 year agreement with Olympus to manufacture as well as sell xD-Picture Cards under the Olympus brand.
An interesting story on EE Times today about a new image processor for digital cameras from NuCore Technologies called CleanCapture. CleanCapture chips lower noise in the analog stage, thefore improving compression using standard algorithms. If an image file contains noise, the noise is treated as data and deteriorates compression efficiency. "A JPEG file created by NuCore's processor is on average a half or one third the size of conventionally processed JPEG files" said Seiichiro Watanabe.
In their second announcement of the day Fujfilm has revealed the new FinePix A210 Zoom, a three megapixel, three times optical zoom entry-level digital camera. The camera has a 1.5" LCD monitor, is powered by two AA batteries and stores images on xD Picture Card (16 MB included). The A210 is designed to appeal to first time digital camera users with an easy to use interface which includes larger buttons and clear labelling.
To coincide with the Olympus announcement (which just pipped them to the post) Fujifilm has also today announced their 512 MB xD Picture Card. The xD Picture Card format was jointly developed by Fujifilm, Olympus and Toshiba (who produce the cards). Adrian Clarke, Director of Consumer Products at Fujifilm, said: "The new capacity for the xD-Picture Card takes it into a commanding competitive position compared to other storage formats, whilst the tiny physical dimensions are of considerable benefit with regard to camera design and size."
Olympus Japan has today announced another step in capacity for the relatively new xD Picture Card flash storage format, according to the press release they expect the 512 MB xD Picture Card (M-XD512P) to go on sale in Japan this June (next month). This new, higher capacity card, is already compatible with several recently released Olympus digital cameras; C-5050 Zoom, C-50 Zoom, C-730 Ultra Zoom, C-740 Ultra Zoom, C-750 Ultra Zoom, Stylus 400 (mju 400) Digital, Stylus 300 (mju 300) Digital. Although not confirmed in the Japanese release we assume this new card would be compatible with the US models D-560 Zoom and D-390.
Lexar has recently identified a rare compatibility issue between some of their 32x and 40x Professional Series CompactFlash cards and Nikon D1x & D1h cameras. Under certain conditions, the cards can become corrupted resulting in a standard "CHA" error message on the camera's LCD display. The affected cards can be identified by the card's serial number located at the bottom edge of the card opposite the connector. Cards with a serial number ending with the last 4 characters of 4D8D or 6DB4 should be updated with the latest firmware.
Pentax has today issued an English (the previous was only in Japanese) press release about the delay of the *ist D digital SLR. "Due to a delay in the delivery of some components, the product launch has been pushed back to late August of this year. In the sales memorandum of February 27, 2003, the original date was announced to be sometime in June or July. Final specifications will be announced later." For their sake I hope they can hit this new target and not delay any further, having a flagship digital product is important and Pentax really need to prove that they can actually produce a digital SLR.
Displaytech has announced the LightView 311k Display Module, the highest resolution display produced for digital still camera and camcorder viewfinders. The 311k is a 0.26-inch diagonal FLC on reflective CMOS microdisplay with 432 by 240 pixel display resolution. Each pixel has 24-bit color depth, and it operates at 120 Hz (360 Hz RGB field rate) to provide flicker free, full color video imaging.
Phew! Perhaps one of the most exhaustive (and exhausting) reviews I've ever produced, our review of the fourteen megapixel DCS-14n spans no less than 24 pages, five of which are dedicated to comparing this camera to Canon's eleven megapixel EOS-1Ds. We've had our DCS-14n for some time now so I've had a good chance to evaluate the camera, and the various firmware versions which have flowed our way. And that's part of the problem, is the 14n actual finished yet? Dive into our review and see how Kodak's latest digital SLR stacks up.
Nikkei recently ran a story about the success of digital camera manufacturers. They were initially burdended with heavy investment costs, but now have a cash cow as production increased. The top five manufacturers operating profits in their digital-camera-related divisions skyrocketed 130% in fiscal 2002. Global digital camera shipments soared 70% on the year to 24.55 million units in 2002, surging 50% in value terms to about 800 billion yen.
Creative Technology Ltd. has today announced the Graphics Blaster Picture Perfect graphics accelerator, it is based on a 64MB VP500SE Visual Processing Unit (VPU) from 3Dlabs and is bundled with full versions of ArcSoft's PhotoImpression, Panorama Maker, and ArcSoft PhotoPrinter. The Graphics Blaster Picture Perfect has an ESP of US$179.99.
Pentax Japan has today published a press release informing their customers of a delay to the availability of their new '*ist D' digital SLR which was announced at PMA this year. The *ist D was originally scheduled for sale in June 2003, this has now been moved to 'the end of August 2003' due to 'a delay in the procurement of material required'. While delays in the delivery of materials is something out of Pentax's hands it must be slightly embarassing after the fiasco of the previous Pentax digital SLR which was forever delayed and eventually cancelled.
Kodak may have to write off "tens of millions'' of dollars invested in a failed venture with Hewlett Packard, called Phogenix, that was making picture-developing kiosks. Kodak was counting on the mini-labs to catch up to Fuji Photo's five-year head start, instead it will now focus on a development agreement with Noritsu Koki Co. of Japan as its "core'' mini-lab.
Sigma has today posted (as promised) firmware v18.104.22.1682 and Photo Pro v1.1 (1302). The firmware has three major features; support for Lexar WA (write acceleration) technology, a bug fix for occasional hangs in long exposures, compressed preview images resulting in smaller X3F files. The new version of Photo Pro has a wide variety of fixes, the most important of which is improved JPEG output quality by using 4:4:4 downsampling (fully sampled chroma). UPDATE: Image quality comparison included.
has today posted firmware v1.1 for the Coopix 2100 digital camera. This
firmware appears to address the same issue as the recently released firmware
update for the Coolpix 3100. This new firmware fixes an issue with the
reporting of battery level on the LCD monitor, the camera may have under-reported
the available power when using the EN-MH1 rechargeable battery, although
this didn't affect the actual life of the battery. The download is available
in English for Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
Kodak has today announced an agreement to acquire Applied Science Fiction's film processing technology, Digital PIC. Digital PIC is a non-chemical process for developing standard color negative film. It produces a digital image file that can be used to print photographs and be written to a CD. As a result, Kodak's will have the only kiosks capable of taking any input, including film, and giving the consumer the prints they want, in minutes.
Sigma has announced new SD9 firmware and a new version of Sigma Photo Pro will be made available for download next Wednesday, 14th May. The new firmware and Photo Pro combination deliver improved noise reduction, improved processing speed and the primary concern of SD9 owners higher quality JPEG images from Photo Pro. JPEG files from Photo Pro are now saved with the 4:4:4 down sampling when the quality is set to 7 or higher, the previous version of Photo Pro used 4:2:0 down sampling which could lead to loss of color resolution and odd color artifacts.
Fujifilm UK has today announced a £300 price reduction for their S2 Pro Digital SLR. To this day the S2 Pro remains one of my favourite digital SLRs with superb resolution and 'only Fujifilm do it this well' color. Will Rolls, Marketing Manager, Fujifilm UK said, "For consumers, two things have improved on the FinePix S2 Pro - firstly, it is now available more widely than before, and secondly, at a very accessible price. It is not the newest digital SLR on the market, but we are confident that it will easily outgun recent additions to this important category."
Aska Corporation, Japan has today announced the new CF32A 'Speed Over' PCMCIA CardBus CF adapter. Because this new adapter uses the high speed 32-bit CardBus interface it can deliver transfer speeds of 5 MB/sec (compared to the 1.2 MB/sec of the normal PCMCIA interface). This would no doubt provide welcome relief to Notebook users and photographers 'in the field' who often have to put up with slow image transfer performance. The CF32A is a PCMCIA Type II CardBus card and supports Compact Flash Type I or II including the IBM Microdrive. UPDATE: Japan only product.
Olympus America announced that it will reunite with photo visionaries Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen, original creators of the highly acclaimed Day in the Life series of photography books, for America 24-7, the largest collaborative photography event in history. A huge corps of digital photographers will shoot images for a digital time capsule representing life in America over the course of one week, May 12th-18th.
Kodak has recently posted a firmware update for the DCS 14n. This firmware upgrade, version 4.2.2, fixes a problem with the display of the card capacity under the Japanese and Chinese languages plus the focus area can now be changed whenever soft pressing the shutter button. New features also include a card write speed measurement feature, support for SD/MMC cards, faster startup and shutdown, plus much more.
Lenmar Enterprises has today announced a new high performance nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) AA battery. The NoMEM PRO(R) series now features AA batteries with an industry-leading capacity rating of 2300mAh. "This new power level for AA batteries gives digital camera users the improved rechargeable battery performance they desire to make digital photography more enjoyable and economical," stated Marty Goldberg, Lenmar CEO.
Maha Energy Corp., the maker of the PowerEx brand batteries and chargers has today announced their latest hike in AA NiMH battery capacity, now up to 2200 mAh. Just four months after announcing 2000 mAh AA NiMH batteries they have managed to squeeze an extra 10% (200 mAh) capacity into the batteries. 'As part of its global marketing program highlighting that Not All Batteries are Created Equal, indeed due to variation in design, quality control and rating, even identically rated batteries could have significant variation in performance as much as 30%.'
08:00 CET: Canon has today announced two new Canon 'Card Photo Printers', the CP-200 and CP-300. Both printers are based on dye-sublimation technology and both can be connected directly to any Canon digital camera which supports Canon's own 'Direct Print' system. Both cameras have 300 dpi engines for printing and can print at the standard 10 x 15 cm (4 x 6 in) sizes as well as other smaller sizes. A full 10 x 15 cm (4 x 6 in) print takes approximately 85 seconds. The CP-200 is powered by an AC adapter, the CP-300 by a dedicated Lithium-Ion battery or AC adapter. There is also an optional car battery adapter for either.
08:00 CET: Canon has today announced the new three megapixel, two times optical zoom PowerShot SD100 (US name) / Digital IXUS II (EU/SE Asia name). This camera is the smallest and lightest Digital IXUS (Digital ELPH) to date, it has a stainless steel body an updated lens system, orientation sensor and DiGiC processing. The most significant detail about the SD100 however is that it is the first Canon digital camera to use SD for storage, Canon's first departure from Compact Flash. Exclusive: We have a full review of the Canon PowerShot SD100 available.
Today we have posted not one, not two but three full in-depth reviews of three ultra-compact three megapixel digital cameras. Reviews posted today are of the Pentax Optio S (3 mp, 3x), the Casio EXILIM EX-Z3 (3 mp, 3x) and the new Canon PowerShot SD100 (3 mp, 2x). All of these cameras are aimed as pocketable 'carry anywhere' cameras with a basic easy to use capability as well as a few advanced features you can grow into. Each has their merits but which offers the best combination of image quality, feature set and value for money?
Kyodo News have posted an interesting story about Fujifilm planing to reduce its digital camera shipment outlook for fiscal year 2003 by 500,000, fearing it will become difficult to procure components manufactured in China due to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Company officials said Wednesday "Digital cameras are strategic products, for which demand has been rapidly expanding on a global basis, creating procurement difficulties for some components."
I/OMagic the manufacturer of data storage devices, recently introduced the Digital Photo Library. It is a portable, stand alone device that is equipped with a 6 in 1 memory card reader supporting CF Type I/II including MicroDrive, Smart Media, Memory Stick, SD/MMC and a 20 GB 2.5" HDD. The Digital Photo Library is available now for an MSRP of $229.99.
Just posted! Our full, in-depth review of Canon's four megapixel ultra-compact PowerShot S400. This camera is also known as the Digital IXUS 400 in Europe. The PowerShot S400 was announced just before PMA this year as part of Canon's new line of digital cameras. It differs from previous PowerShot ultra-compacts in the use of a new 'Cerabrite' material which is a ceramic / metal alloy, it's lighter in color and doesn't mark as easily. The S400 is also remarkable as it packs a three times optical zoom lens into the same size body as the S230 which has only a two times lens. Come in and see how the S400 performed in our tests.
Canon has recently launched their 2003 Digital Creators Contest. The contest started in 2000, targeting professionals, students and amateurs who can present innovative digital media in four categories - digital photography, graphics and illustration, movie, and the Web. Entries can be made in New York, Tokyo, Amsterdam, or Hong Kong. Top creative professionals will serve as judges, searching for new talent and rewarding those whose work displays originality, novelty, expressiveness, and the ability to convey a message to viewers.
Just posted! Our full review of the five megapixel Olympus C-50 Zoom. The C-50 Zoom was announced at Photokina last year and was noteworthy at the time for being the first Olympus digital camera to be supplied with a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery and charger. The stylish metal bodied design was also a pointer for future Olympus digital cameras. See how the C-50 Zoom did in our tests, read the review in full.
Just posted! Another compact five megapixel digital camera review, the Pentax Optio 550. The Optio 550 was introduced at PMA this year, it's an attractive offering because it packs five megapixels and a five times optical zoom lens into a compact body. It's powered by a supplied Lithium-Ion battery (which lasts forever) and stores images on Secure Digital cards. See how the Optio 550 did in our tests, read the review in full.
Nikon has released a major new version of its Nikon View software, and it's available for free download from the Nikon Europe website. Nikon View 6.0.1 has various improvements, fixes and features which include the integration of the automatic red-eye solution from Pixology, image search, various copy/move and rename functions and a copy and resize function. Nikon View 6.0.1 is available for both Windows and Mac Operating Systems (inc. OS X) currently in English only with French, German and Spanish versions "coming soon".
Nikon Europe has today posted new firmware for the Coolpix 3100 digital camera. Firmware v1.2 addresses an issue with the reporting of battery level on the LCD monitor, the camera may have under-reported the available power when using the EN-MH1 rechargeable battery, although this didn't affect the actual life of the battery. The download is available in English for Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
Sony has released a statement on its support site about a potential issue affecting some of its Cyber-shot DSC-P1 digital cameras. The cameras may exhibit shorter time between charges and/or the inaccurate indication of the need for battery recharging. The issue seems to be caused by corrosion on the connection between the AC adaptor and the camera.
Leica has today announced the new D-Lux digital camera. The D-Lux has a three million pixel sensor and three times optical zoom lens. It is powered by a Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery and stores its images on SD / MMC storage card (a large 64 MB SD card is provided). It has a 1.5" LCD monitor and even supports full speed USB 2.0 data transfer. There are some sample images available on the Leica website which appear to have been shot in Las Vegas just before PMA 2003. As noted in our forums the D-Lux does appear to be a re-styled re-branded Panasonic DMC-F1. UPDATED: Added press release.
Rob Galbraith has today posted his review of Kodak's DSC-14n digital SLR. The 14n certainly caused quite a stir at Photokina last September when it stepped up to the start line with a fourteen megapixel CMOS sensor. Since then has been fraught by delays which have left people wondering if the camera would ever make it into buyers hands. About the 14n Rob has this to say, "...until the 14n can produce vibrant, pleasing, printable colour in a variety of shooting situations, and until noise processing is less harmful to detail in low contrast areas, this is not a camera we would be prepared to shoot with to get our work done. Even at the low ISO settings this camera will be best used at."
This coming Wednesday Phase One will release 'Capture One DSLR Limited Edition', this cut down version of their excellent Capture One DSLR software offers a cheaper option ($99) for RAW conversion to owners of Canon EOS-10D/D30/D60 and Nikon D100 digital SLR's. We have a review version 1.2 Beta 7 of Capture One DSLR Limited Edition. At the same time Phase One will be updating the full Capture One DSLR software with the new features introduced with LE as well as support for the Canon EOS-10D/D30/D60 and Nikon D100. UPDATED: Review updated with improved EOS-10D profile and better sharpening settings.
Matsushita Display Technology Co. has today announced a new LCD display which can actually capture the image of an object in front of the screen. The LTPS LCD ('Input Display') has QVGA resolution (320 x 240 x 3) and has an optical sensor in each pixel, this means that not only can it display an image but it can also capture one by scanning down the screen. At the moment this device is monochrome only and captures a 960 x 240 image (3 sub-pixels for each square pixel). Original story: EE Times.
Nixvue Systems has today announced the new Digital Album Lite HDO, this new version of the Digital Album product comes without a pre-installed hard disk, instead the buyer can choose to install a 2.5" laptop type hard disk of their choosing. Installation requires only basic PC component knowledge, a screwdrive and pair of scissors. The DA Lite has a high speed USB 2.0 interface and a Compact Flash Type I/II slot. This new low price option is priced at just $199.
Fujifilm Japan has today announced that its first digital camera based on the high dynamic range SuperCCD SR sensor has been delayed until 'Summer 2003'. The announcement notes that originally Fujifilm had hoped to release the camera in May but has had to delay the camera until the Summer. The reason given is "A delay in material procurement". The FinePix F700 has a 3.14 million pixel SuperCCD SR sensor, the new sensor design has two photodiodes at each photosite, one captures a 'normal' dynamic range the second captures higher details which should give the F700 the ability to reproduce a much higher dynamic range (dark to light).
JOBO has announced the Apacer Disc Steno CP100. It is a battery powered image-copying machine which burns CDs (CD-R/CD-RW) directly from memory cards without a computer. It is compatible with CompactFlash (CF) Type I and II, MicroDrive, Memory Stick (MS), SecureDigital (SD), MultiMedia (MMC), SmartMedia (SM), xD (with optional xD to CF adapter), and has multi-session capabilities for adding the contents of mutiple cards.
Seiko Epson Japan has today announced the Rio PhotoPC Player P-1000. It is a very interesting product because with the features it has, it could be used in place of PC. It has a new 3.8" "Photo Fine" TFT LCD, 1.8" 10GB hard disk of which 9GB is available, Type II Compact Flash slot with support for other cards using a CF adapter, USB direct print to a number of Epson printers and USB connection to CD-R/RW drives for archiving. It is expected to ship in the summer for approx. 70,000 Yen ($590, 545 Euros).
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Canon's EOS-10D Digital SLR. The EOS-10D is the direct successor to popular EOS-D60, with the same six megapixel CMOS sensor and the same basic functionality, however there have been some significant improvements. Gone is the at times frustrating AF, replaced with an improved seven point system from the EOS-30, gone is the plastic body, replaced with magnesium alloy, gone is the ISO 1000 limit of the EOS-D60, the EOS-10D goes up to ISO 3200. Best of all though has to be the value proposition, the EOS-10D enters the market with a list price $600 less than the EOS-D60 at the time it was introduced. Did Canon cut any corners to reduce the price? Read our full review to find out.