March 2
Minolta Messenger

PMA 2003: Minolta has today announced its unique and innovative new communication software application called 'Minolta Messenger'. Messenger allows you to attach interactive hot-spot messages to your standard images (TIFF, JPEG, BMP), these messages are embedded into the image header, the image can then be sent to another user with Messenger who can browse the image and add their own messages. "People say that 'a picture is worth 1,000 words,'" said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing for Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "But we say, 'we give you both'."

Minolta DiMAGE E223

PMA 2003: Minolta has today announced the new DiMAGE E223, a new entry level digital camera is the direct successor to the E203, with a two megapixel sensor and three times optical zoom lens. "Perfect for home and small business use, and the ideal tool for sharing images via e-mail, the DiMAGE E223's 2.1-megapixel CCD and versatile zoom lens provide high-resolution, clear and crisp images," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group.

Minolta DiMAGE F200

PMA 2003: Minolta has today announced the direct successor the the F100 (and you thought it was the F300!), the new four megapixel DiMAGE F200. Interestingly the F200 has a different layout than the F100 or F300 with rubberized strips and relocated controls, levers and displays. "The compact body borrows the fine soft curves and intersecting planes of its predecessors, and adds distinctive rubberized grips and a new control layout. The rich aluminum exterior reflects the quality of the design. The camera is available in two colors: silver and indigo."

Olympus D-390 / C-150
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PMA 2003: Olympus has today announced the entry level D-390 (C-150 in Europe) digital camera. This model is the successor to the D-380 / C-120 model, the new camera is some 15% smaller than that which it replaces, it has a two megapixel CCD sensor and a fixed 38 mm equiv. lens. The D-390 / C-150 stores its photos on xD-Picture Card and is powered by AA size batteries. The D-390 / C-150 also features a larger 1.8" LCD monitor. Price: $149 (US street) / £139 (UK RRP).

Olympus D-560 Zoom / C-350 Zoom

PMA 2003: Olympus has today announced the D-560 Zoom (C-350 Zoom in Europe) digital camera. The competitively priced D-560 / C-350 offers a three megapixel sensor and three times optical zoom, as we would expect it stores its images on xD-Picture Card and is powered by AA batteries. This new camera is smaller than the D-550 it replaces and also features a new easier to use menu system. Price: $299 (US street) / £249 (UK RRP).

Olympus C-740 / C-750 Ultra Zoom

PMA 2003: Olympus has today announced the three megapixel C-740 and four megapixel C-750 Ultra Zoom digital cameras. These are direct successors to the C-730 Ultra Zoom. Featuring the now familiar C-7xx body the both cameras feature a 10x optical zoom lens (38 - 380 mm equiv.). Like all newly announced Olympus digital cameras they store images on xD-Picture Card, and are powered by AA batteries. Although the format may be familiar the lens system is new, all elements are glass and we hope this will help to eliminate some purple fringing seen in other C-7xx models.

March 1
Lexar 256 MB xD, Photo Player, fast SD and more

PMA 2003: Lexar has today announced 256 MB Olympus xD Picture Cards, a new version of their Digital Photo Player, High-Speed Secure Digital, Jump Drive secure and a new USB 2.0 multi-card reader which supports MemoryStick Pro. "Not all flash memory is the same speed or quality and our X-speed rating system lets customers know what speed they are buying, while providing a level of assurance regarding the integrity of the memory," said Doug Kellam, vice president worldwide marketing, Lexar Media. "In addition, some of the newest digital applications, such as VGA quality video, require high-speed cards to insure the host products will function optimally."

Casio EXILIM EX-S3
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PMA 2003, 0:00 GMT: Casio has today announced the new EXILIM EX-S3, an ultra-thin magnesium alloy bodied digital camera with a three megapixel CCD sensor and fixed focal length lens. The EX-S3 weighs just 72 g (2.5 g) and measures just 90 x 57 x 12 mm (3.5 x 2.2 x 0.5 in). Also up since the EX-S2 is the LCD monitor which has grown from 1.6" to a huge (considering the size of the camera) 2.0" TFT. The EX-S3 has 10 MB of internal RAM and also supports SD / MMC storage, it's powered by a supplied Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery and comes with a cradle.

Lexar 2 and 4 GB Compact Flash

PMA 2003: Lexar has today announced 2 and 4 GB Compact Flash cards with a rated speed of 32X (where X = 150 KB/sec). These cards are also equipped with Write Acceleration (WA) which increases performance with compatible cameras like Kodak's DCS-14n, Nikon D1x, Nikon D1h, Nikon D100 etc. "We are pleased to be the first company to bring 4GB CompactFlash to market, which is made possible by our advanced controller technology and the new industry leading 4-gigabit quad die pack flash memory from Samsung. The close Lexar Media and Samsung relationship allows us to collaborate to optimize our controller with the Samsung 4-gigabit flash memory device and deliver the largest CompactFlash available."

Minolta DiMAGE Xt

PMA 2003, Live: Today we got a sneak peek of Minolta's next evolution of the DiMAGE X. "The new design eliminates more than 5% from the size and nearly 8% from the weight of the DiMAGE Xi. At 85.5 x 67 x 20mm and 120 g (3.4 x 2.6 x 0.8 in., 4.2 oz), the DiMAGE Xt can be slipped into a pocket or bag as easily as a wallet. The exclusive folded optical zoom system allowed Minolta to recreate the world's thinnest compact, planar digital camera with a 3X optical zoom. This revolutionary non-extending lens is responsible for maintaining the camera's 20mm (0.8 in) thin profile either while recording or when stored." UPDATE: Specifications added.

dpreview.com wins DigitalFocus award at PMA

PMA 2003: It has been announced that dpreview.com will tonight be awarded a DigitalFocus Award for the best "Digital Imaging Site or Service". Here at dpreview we are very proud to receive this award and must thank all those people in the industry who have shown their support for our aim of bringing high quality, timely, independent, factual and accurate news and reviews to the digital photography public. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our visitors and especially our long term supporters who contribute so much through our forums. Other winners were the Canon EOS-1Ds (Professional Digital Camera), Olympus C-50 (Prosumer Digital Camera).

Sony HVL-F32X Flash first pictures

PMA 2003, Live: Hot from the early morning Sony Press event we've got some pictures of the new HVL-F32X flash, the unit we saw was on a DSC-V1 and thus will take advantage of the new communications pins on that camera's hot-shoe. The HVL-F32X can be programmed for various exposure and flash mode settings, it has a backlit LCD status monitor, AF assist and even a modeling light. The unit we saw was pre-production and thus its finish is not representative of the final product.

The 123 of digital imaging e-book

Pre-PMA 2003: Site contributor Vincent Bockaert has today published "123di v1.0 - The 123 of digital imaging Interactive e-book". Earlier this month I had a sneak preview of this new e-book and was amazed at the depth and detail of coverage. The e-book which stretches over 2000 pages covers everything from the basics of digital camera operation to detailed discussion about what goes on inside your digital camera, JPEG compression, color space and so much more. Additionally there are entire sections covering popular image manipulation packages such as Adobe Elements and Photoshop 7. And all this for a launch price of just $39.99. Think you know everything about digital imaging? Think again.

Nixvue Visor CD-ROM based storage device

Pre-PMA 2003: Nixvue Systems the manufacturers of the Digital Album and Vista (Visual Storage Album) has today announced a new concept in mobile digital image storage. The Visor is based around a portable CD writer device which can copy images directly from flash memory cards (Compact Flash, SD/MMC, Memory Stick and others) onto CD-R discs. This ia a very interesting device as it allows for safe 'record to archive' capabilities and would be extremely useful on holidays or long trips. The Visor can also playback images on a CD-R to a TV or PC.

February 27
Zoran connected processor
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Pre-PMA 2003: Zoran has today announces their sixth generation COACH 6 (Camera On A CHip) processor. They claim its the most connected OEM processor on the market. There will be two versions that support cameras with CCD's between 3 and 16 megapixels. Both feature its ClickConnect™ capability, which expands the digital camera's connectivity beyond the PC, with support for direct printing over USB, and both wired and wireless connectivety.

Kodak Ships DCS Pro 14n, finally

Pre-PMA 2003: Kodak has today announced that after a couple delays they will be shipping their DCS Pro 14n this week. Featuring a 13.89-megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor and magnesium body. Madhav Mehra, General Manager, Digital Cameras, Kodak Professional said "We're pleased to bring the Kodak Professional DCS Pro 14n Digital Camera to market in time for the imaging industry's largest gathering in the Western Hemisphere - PMA,".

Fujifilm Camera Back with 20.8 Megapixel Super CCD

Following our recent article about their new 20.8 megapixel digital back, Fujifilm Japan have released more detailed information. Initially only available for the Fujifilm GX680, a further release for the GX645AF will be available at a later date. Main features include a burst mode capability of up to 7 frames at 1.5 second intervals, the ability to output RAW, JPEG and TIFF files, Micodrive support and ISO sensitivities of 100, 200 and 400. It will be available in the fall for an as yet undecided amount.

Hands-on Canon EOS-10D Preview

Pre-PMA 2003: Just posted! Our detailed hands-on preview of the new Canon EOS-10D. The article includes a full summary of new features and improvements, design comparison, displays and menus, exploration of some of the new features, image quality tests (noise, resolution, color) as well as a head to head comparison with the EOS-D60 and a nineteen image samples gallery. Eleven pages of preview, and it's all right here, right now. Note that the camera used in this preview is considered pre-production.

Canon EOS-10D - the improved D60

Pre-PMA 2003, 14:00 GMT: Canon has today announced the new six megapixel EOS-10D digital SLR. The EOS-10D is the direct successor to the popular EOS-D60 digital SLR, just like the D60 the 10D utilizes a six megapixel 22.7 x 15.1 mm CMOS sensor which is a development of the D60's sensor. Unlike the D60 the 10D now has a magnesium body, orientation sensor, Adobe RGB color space, Kelvin selectable WB, ISO 1600 and 3200, more flexible image parameters and a new 7 area AF sensor (from the EOS-30). Other good news comes with the price, the US list price will be $1,999 (expected street $1,499), in Europe the 10D will have a €2,200 list price.

Canon EF 17 - 40 mm F4.0 L lens

Pre-PMA 2003, 14:00 GMT: Canon has today announced a new 'L series' EF lens. The 17 - 40 mm F4.0 L is designed to be a high quality, lightweight lens for both film and D-SLR cameras. On the new EOS-10D this lens would produce a field of view range equivelant to a 27 - 64 mm zoom lens. For film SLR or EOS-1Ds users this lens provides ultra wide-angle zoom. Other features include a constant F4.0 aperture and minimum focus distance of 28 cm across the entire zoom range.

Canon PowerShot S400 (Digital IXUS 400)

Pre-PMA 2003, 14:00 GMT: Canon has today announced the new PowerShot S400 Digital Elph / Digital IXUS 400. This new Digital Elph / IXUS has a four megapixel sensor and a three times optical zoom lens. The design is overall cleaner and smoother and uses a new 'Super Hard Cerabrite' (what a mouth full) finish which is supposedly a mix of metal and ceramics. The S400 isn't just good looking there's a lot more packed inside than was available on previous Digital Elph / IXUS models including nine point AiAF, a wide ISO range and a 2.5 fps continuous shooting speed. List price: $599 / €629.

Canon PowerShot S50
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Pre-PMA 2003, 14:00 GMT: Canon has today announced the new PowerShot S50, the new head of their 'S' product range with a five megapixel sensor and three times optical zoom lens. This camera is based on the S45 with which it shares its lens, body and controls. The S50 also gets many of the features enabled by the DiGiC processor, these include nine point AiAF, flexizone focus selection, three minute movie clips and automatic image rotation thanks to the orientation sensor. List price: $699 / €799. (Black body in North America, Silver in the rest of the world).

Canon PowerShot A60 and A70

Pre-PMA 2003, 14:00 GMT: Canon has today announced the new PowerShot A60 and A70. These two models are the sucessors to the A30 and A40. Far from being simply 'entry level' digital cameras the A60 and A70 are now fitted out with a wide range of features including manual, aperture and shutter priority exposure modes. Just like the new A300 the a60 and A70 get a DiGiC processor, expanded sensitivity range (ISO 50 - 400), an orientation sensor and three minute movie clips (with audio). These two new cameras comer closer to the prosumer 'G' series. List prices, A60: $349 / €329, A70: $449 / €429.

Canon PowerShot A300
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Pre-PMA 2003, 14:00 GMT: Canon has today announced the new PowerShot A300. This new three megapixel fixed lens digital camera is the sucessor to Canon's current entry level A100. The A300 introduces several new features including five point AiAF, image voice memos, movie clips of up to 3 minutes (including sound), an orientation sensor, the new DiGiC processor and an expanded sensitivity range of ISO 50 to 400. An impressive specification for Canon's entry level digital camera. List price: $299 / €279.

Just posted! ACDSee 5.0 PowerPack review

Just posted! Our full in-depth review of the latest incarnation of what has to be one of the best image browsing / organizational packages available. ACDSee has been my image browser of choice for many years, the latest version marks a huge step forward in functionality and performance. The new version has full support for EXIF Metadata as well as advanced searching and categorisation features. Lossless JPEG rotation is back as well as automatic rotation based on the orientation flag in the EXIF header (useful for all those new Canon cameras with built-in orientation sensors!)

Sony DSC-V1 - Quick Preview

Pre-PMA 2003: As part of our ongoing coverage of new products announced at PMA we have produced a quick preview of Sony's new five megapixel four times optical zoom DSC-V1 digital camera. This compact digital camera packs a lot into a space only a little bigger than Canon's PowerShot S330 (IXUS Digital 330). The V1 gets all of the new features introduced by Sony in their latest wave of Cybershot cameras, this includes MPEG VX (640 x 480, 16 fps, unlimited), USB 2.0, color saturation / tone adjustment and more. Additionally the DSC-V1 has a flash hot-shoe and additional manual features.

Kodak EasyShare DX6340 Zoom

Pre-PMA 2003: Kodak has today announced the three megapixel, four times optical zoom EasyShare DX6340 Zoom digital camera. The DX6340 is said to be the smallest four times optical zoom digital camera on the market, it has a Schneider zoom lens which provides an equivalent focal length range of 36 to 144 mm and a maximum aperture of F2.2. The DX6340 should be available in May at a suggested retail price of US$329.

Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock 6000

Pre-PMA 2003: Kodak has today announced the EasyShare Printer Dock 6000. This innvoative product is a dock and dye-sub 4 x 6" printer all in one. You simply drop your EasyShare camera onto the dock on top of the device and can execute prints immediately. The printer dock can also be used for normal image transfer and battery charging. The dock is expected to retail at US$199 with paper/ink packs costing US$14.99 for 20 prints, US$24.99 for 40 prints and $39.99 for 80 prints.

February 26
Pentax *ist D
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Pre-PMA 2003: Pentax has today announced the world's smallest and lightest digital SLR. The new *ist D is based on the *ist 35 mm film camera which was announced this time last week. The *ist D measures just 129 x 95 x 60 mm (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.3 in) and weighs 510 g (18 oz). The camera has a 6.1 megapixel 23.5 x 15.7 mm sensor (identical size to the D100) which equates to a 1.5x field of view crop. It's compatible with K, KA, KAF and KAF2 mount lenses and 645 / 67 lenses with an adapter. It has a sixteen segment metering system, eleven point AF sensor and continuous shooting rate of 2.7 frames per second. Pentax has also announced a new 18 - 35 mm lens to complement the *ist D. UPDATED: New official pictures added.

Ricoh GPS compatible RDC-i700 G

Ricoh Japan has today announced yet another variation of the RDC-i700, the RDC-i700 model G. This one supports the CFGPS2 Compact Flash GPS card from I-O Data. When fitted fitted into the camera the GPS card enables it to record the exact location at which each image is taken (recorded into the image file header). It's not yet clear if this model is destined for worldwide release or just for the domestic Japan market. The RDC-i700 which is the basis for this camera is a three megapixel three times optical zoom digital camera which has both Compact Flash Type II and PCMCIA slots. The RDC-i700 model G is priced at 208,000 YEN (approx. US$ 1800).

dpreview Mobile News
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Today we are introducing a new site feature, 'dpreview Mobile' provides access to dpreview news on the go. The Mobile pages (basic HTML) contain a stripped back, white background version of our latest news articles designed to be used on mobile 'smart phones' and PDA's. Note that this new site feature is still in Beta form and as such doesn't yet re-compress images within news articles. We hope that you will find this feature useful during trade shows such as the upcoming PMA 2003. Please note that these new pages are not WAP phone compatible.

February 25
Lexar announces 40x Pro CF cards

Pre-PMA 2003: Lexar Media has today announced new 40x professional Compact Flash cards. Lexar claim a throughput of 6 MB per second (although they don't specify which camera this was tested on) where 1x is 150 KB/sec. The new 40X cards will be available in 256MB and 512MB capacities and will feature the company's Write Acceleration technology (WA), which further increases write speed in WA-enabled digital cameras. Lexar will also increase the speed of its 1GB Type I CompactFlash card to 32X.

February 23
Sony DSC-P32, P52, P72 and P92

Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 GMT: As a part of no less than nine new digital cameras Sony has introduced four new Cybershot 'P' cameras with a range of features. The DSC-P32, P52 and P72 are all based on a three megapixel sensor and incrementally a fixed, two times and three times optical zoom lens. The DSC-P92 has a five megapixel sensor and a three times optical zoom lens. All four cameras get some common improvements including support for Memory Stick Pro, USB 2.0, MPEG VX (VGA, 16fps), Smart Zoom and more. What's interesting is that Sony appear to have chosen three megapixel as their new lowest, 'entry-level' resolution and abandoned two and four megapixel resolution completely.

Sony DSC-V1 - 5 mp, 4x zoom

Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 GMT: Sony has today announced its first foray into the compact prosumer market since the excellent DSC-S85. The DSC-V1 is designed to battle against Canon's hugely popular PowerShot G3, Nikon's Coolpix 4500 and Olympus's C-5050 Zoom. The DSC-V1 has a five megapixel sensor and a four times 'Carl Zeiss' zoom lens. It has all the major manual controls you would expect, as well as various shared enhancements including MPEG VX (VGA, 16 fps), USB 2.0, color saturation / tone adjustment, Smart Zoom and MS Pro support. All this plus a flash hot-shoe, metallic case and it measures just 99 x 65 x 57 mm (3.9 x 2.6 x 2.2 in) - about the same size (from the front) as Canon's PowerShot S330 (Digital IXUS 330). UPDATE: Preview online.

Sony DSC-P8 and P10
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Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 GMT: Sony has today announced two new ultra-compact, pocketable 'P' series Cybershot digital cameras. The DSC-P8 has a three megapixel sensor and three times optical zoom lens, the DSC-P10 has a five megapixel sensor and three times optical zoom lens. Just like other cameras announced today both cameras benefit from some new features such as support for Memory Stick Pro, USB 2.0, MPEG VX (VGA, 16fps), color saturation / tone adjustment, Smart Zoom and more.

Sony CD Mavica CD350 and CD500

Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 GMT: Sony has today announced two new CD Mavica digital cameras. The first is the three megapixel, three times optical zoom CD350 which has a slim profile thanks to the location of the lens / sensor unit to the side of the CD mechanism. Secondly is the black bodied five megapixel CD500. Based on the CD400 the CD500 has a five megapixel sensor and 'Carl Zeiss' three times optical zoom lens. Both cameras get the new MPEG VX 640 x 480, 16 fps movie recording mode (almost 6 minutes on a 156 MB disc). The CD350 has three area multi-point AF, the CD500 features five area multi-point AF. Other common enhancements include color saturation and contrast adjustment (at long last).

February 21

Pre-PMA 2003: Our friends over at DC Resource have noticed a small paragraph in one of the press releases from Fujifilm. This refers to the development of a new medium format camera digital back utilizing a newly developed 20.8 megapixel Super CCD sensor with the dimensions of 52 x 37 mm (2.05 x 1.46 in), this translates into an output file of 7,648 x 5,408 (41 million pixel) images. This is news to us, and we will be doing all we can to find out more about this interesting new product.

PCMCIA announces NEWCARD format

The PCMCIA technology association has today announced the 'NEWCARD' format. This new format makes use of PC Card, PCI Express and USB 2.0 technologies. The NEWCARD format is also aimed at both Mobile and Desktop PCs. "By drawing upon USB 2.0 and PCI Express, the NEWCARD specification will bring serial bus technology to a smaller form factor that offers more performance and improved ease of use. This new specification will revolutionize how PC developers and OEMs utilize the expansion slot for next-generation features such as wireless networking, storage and card readers."

PMA 2003 Show Report - Preview

Pre-PMA 2003: Due the popularity of this feature last year and knowing the importance of the show I have posted the beginnings of our PMA 2003 show report. The show report introduction page will enable you to stay informed about all the latest product announcements as well as getting reports and live updates from the show floor once the show commences. We are expecting several more announcements next week which will be posted both on the front page of the site and linked from the 'New Product Index' page in the show report. The show starts next Sunday and we will of course be there to bring you all the hottest news as it happens.

Fujifilm Finepix F700 comparison

Pre-PMA 2003: Fujifilm has handed us a set of three comparison shots between the Finepix F601 (third generation SuperCCD) and the new Finepix F700 (fourth generation SuperCCD SR). These comparisons clearly demonstrate the additional dynamic range produced by Fujifilm's unique double photodiode design. Note that these samples are not those posted on the Fujifilm US site and are not available elsewhere.

February 19
Pixology signs deal with Nikon

Pre-PMA 2003: Pixology have announced a global deal with Nikon for its automatic red-eye solution, IRISS. It will be integrated within Nikon View 6, the new Nikon software utility that will be bundled with all Nikon digital cameras from March 2003.

Adobe Photoshop Album released

Pre-PMA 2003: Adobe also yesterday announced the release of its Photoshop Album software which we reviewed last month. "Photoshop Album takes digital photography far beyond film. It makes it easier and more fun to do what users want to do today with pictures," said Alexis Gerard, president of Future Image Inc. "Since the product thinks the way picture takers do, users will appreciate unprecedented control and access to their entire lifetime of photos, along with sharing options that enable visual communication with loved ones around the world."

Adobe Camera RAW & JPEG 2000 plugins

Pre-PMA 2003: Adobe has today released its Camera RAW converter and JPEG 2000 format plugin for Adobe Photoshop. The RAW converter plugin supports a wide range of RAW image formats from various digital cameras (Canon, Fujifilm, Minolta, Nikon and Olympus) and allows for a certain amount of adjustment (white balance, exposure adjustment etc.) to be carried out during the loading process. The JPEG 2000 plugin adds support for the new JPEG 2000 image format in Photoshop. The plugins are available for Windows and Mac OS X platforms and are priced at $99 for the set. Note that the plugins require Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1.

Fujifilm Finepix F700 - SuperCCD SR

Pre-PMA 2003, 09:00 GMT 06:00 GMT: Fujifilm has today announced the new Finepix F700, the first Fujifilm digital camera to utilize the new high dynamic range SuperCCD SR sensor. The camera has a three times optical zoom lens and a three megapixel SuperCCD SR sensor (which produces a six megapixel output image). The F700 also supports VGA 30 fps movie capture, RAW output and comes with a PictureCradle docking station. UPDATE 20/Feb/03: Fujifilm post F700 samples.

Fujifilm Finepix F410 Zoom - SuperCCD HR

Pre-PMA 2003, 09:00 GMT 06:00 GMT: Fujifilm has today announced the new Finepix 410 Zoom. This is the first Fujfilm digital camera to utilize the SuperCCD HR (High Resolution) technology, although not in its six megapixel guise, the 410 Zoom has a three megapixel SuperCCD HR sensor (which produces a six megapixel output image). The F410 Zoom is clearly a development of the F401 Zoom design, with the same three times optical zoom lens and body design. The F410 also comes with a supplied PictureCradle docking station.

February 18
Pentax announce two new 35 mm lenses

Pre-PMA 2003, 00:00 TOKYO (19th): Pentax has today announced two new SMC PENTAX-FA J ZOOM lenses. The first is the big 75 - 300 mm F4.5 - F5.8 AL, the second a 28 - 80 mm F3.5 - F5.6 AL. These lens announcements coincide with the announcement of the new *ist 35 mm film SLR and have the same silver aluminium look. The aperture range of these lenses clearly places them at the amateur photographer end of the market.

Pentax Optio 550 and 450
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Pentax has today announced the five megapixel Optio 550 and four megapixel Optio 450. Both cameras are based on the same modern and stylish aluminium alloy case and both feature an impressive five times optical zoom lens, this places the 550 in particular into a pretty special position of having five megapixels and five times optical zoom in a compact case. Both cameras are also fully featured with a wide range of manual control and features. Storage is via SD/MMC card and the 550/450 are powered by a supplied Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery.

Pentax Optio 33L
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Pre-PMA 2003, 00:00 TOKYO (19th): Pentax has today announced the new Optio 33L, this camera has a three megapixel sensor and a three times optical zoom lens. It also has a new swivel LCD screen which can rotate in both horizontal and vertical directions, unlike the Optio 330GS which could only swivel horizontally.

Pentax *ist 35 mm film SLR

Pre-PMA 2003, 00:00 TOKYO (19th): Pentax has today announced their new compact 35 mm film SLR, the '*ist' (yes, just asterisk-I-S-T). Wait, I hear you cry, what has this to do with digital photography? Well, nothing at the moment but you never know this could be quite an interesting body design. Pentax claim that the new *ist is the world's smallest 35 mm autofocus SLR camera. The *ist measures just 122 x 84 x 64 mm (4.8 x 3.3 x 2.5 in) and weighs just 335 g (11.8 oz).

Nikon Coolpix SQ
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Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 TOKYO: Nikon has today announced the radical new Coolpix SQ. Once more Nikon has taken their trademark split body design and implemented it into a different form factor. The SQ is a pocketable almost square digital camera which has a twisting lens / flash portion which would typically be orientated 90 degrees to the front in normal shooting situations. The Coolpix SQ measures just 83 x 85 x 25 mm (3.3 x 3.3 x 1.0 in) and weighs 216 g (7.6 oz) fully loaded, slightly larger and heavier than Minolta's DiMAGE X/Xi but still small and pocketable. And it has an AF assist lamp!! Another first for a Nikon Coolpix digital camera.