Pre-Photokina 2002, 0600 GMT: Canon has today announced the PowerShot S45. This new camera is essentially a refresh of the S40, it adds newly announced technologies such as the DIGIC processor, FlexiZone AF/AE, 9-point AiAF, Custom exposure mode, two manual white balance presets, focus bracketing, orientation sensor and up to 3 minute movie clips (using a high speed CF card). The PowerShot S45 has a four megapixel sensor and three times optical zoom lens.
Yesterday we noted a short article posted on the Japan Industrial Journal website (in Japanese) about a new Pentax D-SLR to be announced next 'Spring' (PMA). I've waited until now to get this news verified by our Japanese contact, and it does appear to be accurate and official as it was based on an interview with Pentax. The camera will be based around an APS sized sensor and will have a price around 200,000 YEN (US$1,600). It's not really surprising to find out Pentax have something in the works especially considering the announced and cancelled full-frame D-SLR of two years ago. Good news for increased competition in the D-SLR market, although I'm sure this won't be the only new D-SLR at PMA next year.
Jeff Keller over at DCResource has today posted his review of the four megapixel Nikon Coolpix 4300, "The Nikon Coolpix 4300 is a worthy follow up to its predecessor, the 885. It offers most of the features found on the more expensive Coolpix 4500, including the use of conversion lenses and the macro ring flash! Most importantly, the 4300 has the excellent photo quality that is found on the more expensive Coolpix". In addition Jeff has also posted a small gallery of side-by-side comparison shots from the Coolpix 4300 and Kodak's LS443.
For users of digital cameras which take AA batteries the new MH-C401FS 100 minute charger could be just what you need. The MH-C401FS charges each battery independently which makes for a better overall charge and no overcharging. This charger also has a five hour 'gentle charge' option for optimum charge capacity. The MH-C401FS fast charges at 1000 mA, for a 1800 mAh battery that's 0.6 C.
Pentax has today announced a firmware update for the recently introduced 330GS digital camera. This update improves "the compatibility of the Optio330GS with various new CF cards being introduced in the market". Current 330GS digital cameras will have firmware version 1.0 loaded, this new firmware is version 1.1. The update is carried out by copying the new firmware (.bin) file onto a Compact Flash card and inserting it into the camera. The updater is available for Windows and Mac OS.
Nikon has today announced new firmware for the Coolpix 885 digital camera. Firmware v1.2, which is slightly less radical than the new firmware announced for the Coolpix 5000, simply adds EXIF 2.2 (ExifPrint) support and PTP USB connection mode. Interestingly (and I hadn't noticed this with other similar firmware upgrades) Nikon specifically notes that Epson's PRINT Image Matching is no longer supported. Looks like PIM is dead.
Panasonic Japan has today confirmed the details of the Lumix DMC-FZ1 which was quietly introduced at Photokina (and reported in detail here), they have also announced the Lumix DMC-F1 which seems to be based on the existing DMC-F7. In addition to this there are also two new interesting SD products. The SV-PT1 is a portable storage device based around a 5 GB hard disk PCMCIA card, you can use it to store images from your SD card while out in the field and print directly to the new SV-P20 portable printer. The SV-P20 is a portable printer which can be connected to the SV-PT1 or can support an SD card directly. UPDATE: Yamada posts samples from DMC-FZ1.
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Minolta's compact four megapixel, three times optical zoom, DiMAGE F100. This slim digital camera offers a wide and flexible feature set, small dimensions, SD/MMC storage and just double AA battery requirements (which also keeps weight down). The DiMAGE F100 enters the higher end of the compact market where image quality and features can sometimes win over price. See how the F100 did in our tests.
Photokina 2002: Panasonic has announced (and demonstrated) the new two megapixel DMC-FZ1 digital camera which has a unique "Leica" F2.8 12x optical zoom lens with a built-in stabilizer. The camera has selectable sensitivities of ISO 50 - 400, an electronic viewfinder, a 1.5" LCD monitor and stores images to SD / MMC cards. The DMC-FZ1 will soon be available in Silver (DMC-FZ1-S) or Black (DMC-FZ1-K) finishes.
Olympus Europe has this morning become the first Olympus website to publish information on the new C-5050 Zoom. This new prosumer level digital camera has a F1.8 - F2.6 3x optical zoom lens (35 - 105 mm equiv.), a tilting 1.8" LCD display and a 5 megapixel 1/1.8" CCD sensor. The last detail being the most interesting, with a 5 megapixel 1/1.8" CCD around we're likely to see many more new 5 megapixel cameras hitting the market utilizing the same lenses seen in previous 3 and 4 megapixel digital cameras. UPDATE: Detailed specifications.
Nikon Europe has today announced new firmware for the D100 (ver 2.00) and D1X / D1H (ver 1.10). Both firmware upgrades contain some common elements such as embedded ICC profiles for Adobe RGB images and support for Lexar Media Pro 'Write Acceleration' technology. The D100 upgrade adds support for PTP USB connections, the D1X / D1H upgrade adds EXIF 2.2 support, better battery power detection and additional lens information in EXIF headers. Firmware upgrades will be carried out free of charge although you will have to return the camera to your nearest Nikon Support Facility.
Photokina 2002: UPDATE: At last the sun is shining here in Cologne so we ran back to the Sigma booth and grabbed an SD9. These images are far more representative of what we had hoped and expected from Foveon's X3 technology and really show what an amazing step forward it is. I'm very happy with these images, and am looking forward to a full and final review of this camera sometime in October. UPDATE: Added more information about RAW converter, re-converted images.
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Sony's five megapixel DSC-F717. In this review we have gone further than we have before including comparisons of the DSC-F717 to the camera it replaces, the DSC-F707 as well as a three way comparison between the DSC-F717 and Minolta's new DiMAGE 7Hi and Nikon's Coolpix 5700. The DSC-F717 brings new hardware changes, new software changes and some clear image quality tweaks. Noteworthy is the fact that our production camera doesn't have the red clipping problem we noted on the pre-production unit. See how well it performed in our tests and against the competition.
We regularly receive emails from readers confused as to the actual size of sensor used in digital cameras. Sensors (CCD / CMOS) are often refered to with an imperial fraction designation such as 1/1.8" or 2/3", this measurement actually originates back in the 1950's and the time of Vidicon tubes. Those who find the specification sheets for these sensors are then even more confused about the relationship between the fraction and the actual diagonal size of the sensor. Inside you'll find an explanation and a table of common sensor sizes. We'll be adding this information to our glossary for future reference.
Nikon Europe has today announced Nikon Capture Version 3.5. This new version of the excellent (and ever improving) image management / RAW conversion application adds several new features including D100 capture control with Mac OS X and PTP compatibility, support for Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar), 10 megapixel output mode for D1X NEF files, Large thumbnail (1600 x 1063) output option, improved noise reduction and interestingly Automatic Vignette Control which can automatically counteract the effects of fall of at lens edges experienced with certain lenses at maximum aperture. The new Auto Vignette Control feature requires the new firmware upgrades announced today (because of the additional lens information required).
Nikon Europe has today announced the availability of a RAM upgrade for the D1x digital SLR. This upgrade increases the D1X's buffer depth from the standard 9 JPEG frames to 21 JPEG frames and from 6 RAW frames to 14 RAW frames. This upgrade will cost approximately €250 here in Europe, we have yet to receive pricing details and availability from Nikon USA.
Just posted! Our updated Photokina 2002 Show Report covers twenty two manufacturers over five pages of images and product detail, links back to news articles and manufacturers websites. Photokina 2002 was another huge show, but this time had a much stronger digital influence. New products were around although at the consumer end we saw more product refresh than innovation. Photokina 2002 however will be remembered on one side as the beginning of a new age of digital SLR's with high pixel count full image frame sensors and on the other the first time the general public got the opportunity to examine Foveon X3 images.
Photokina 2002: In addition to the huge interest surrounding the SD-9 Digital SLR Sigma has also introduced three new big zoom lenses at the Photokina show. These are the APO 80 - 400 mm F4.5 - 5.6 ES OS, APO 120 - 300 mm F2.8 EX IF HSM and the APO 300 - 800 mm F5.6 EX IF HSM. The last of which would provide a huge 1360 mm when mounted on the SD-9! The APO 80 - 400 mm is the first Sigma lens to feature image stabilisation.
As of this morning ACD Systems has made available ACDSee 5.0 for download. Existing ACDSee users can upgrade to 5.0 for $34.95, a full non-upgrade license is $49.95. The ACDSee 5.0 PowerPack includes ACD FotoCanvas (basic photo editting) and ACD FotoAngelo (slideshow / screensaver builder) for $79.95. ACDSee 5.0 includes several new features including calendar based browsing, image grouping and interface customization. ACDSee 5.0 also performs lossless JPEG rotation by default (yipee!)
Photokina 2002: About a month ago we first heard of the Kyocera Finecam S5 and some hint of a new Contax TVS Digital. At Photokina Kyocera / Contax took the covers off a pre-production TVS Digital, and a stylish looking compact digital camera it is too! As far as we can tell the five megapixel TVS Digital is based on the Finecam S5 digital engine but has a different lens, which is labelled "Carl Zeiss" (not the same Carl Zeiss lens as the Sony's?;) UPDATED: Specifications confirmed and updated.
Nikon USA, Europe and Japan have today posted new firmware for the Coolpix 5000. Version 1.7 adds numerous features Nikon introduced into the 5700. Thesei nclude RAW (NEF) image format, quick response shutter release option, internal flash off function, PTP USB support, EXIF 2.2 support, improved LCD display, Auto Focus improvements and a fix for the recorded shutter speed in Bulb exposures. This has to be one of the most comprehensive firmware updates issued by any manufacturer for any digital camera, Kudos to Nikon.
Canon's newest digital SLR looks to be the best digital EOS yet. With a full sized 35 mm eleven megapixel CMOS sensor and a body, metering and AF system from the EOS-1D/1V the EOS-1Ds is certainly an amazing digital camera. The only thing we couldn't say about this camera (until now) is the image quality. Today I have posted a gallery of twelve sample images from the EOS-1Ds as well as a test shot of our standard resolution chart.
Photokina 2002: Canon has introduced a new wider replacement for the popular EF 28 - 70 F2.8 L USM lens. The new lens provides wide angle coverage from 24 mm up to a standard-zoom 70 mm, all at a constant maximum aperture of F2.8. Other improvements include a closer minimum focus distance, rubber environment seal around the mount and near circular aperture diaphragm between F2.8 and F5.6.
Photokina 2002: Kyocera has announced the new Finecam S3L and S5. Both cameras are based on the previous ultra-compact Finecam platform but now feature a new silver body design and new features. As the name implies the S5 features the same five megapixel sensor we have seen as an upgrade to several other models at this Photokina. Both cameras have a three times optical zoom lens, store images on SD/MMC cards and come supplied with a Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery.
Photokina 2002: Konica has introduced the five megapixel Revio KD-500Z and the ultra thin Revio C2. The KD-500Z is based on the dual-slot four megapixel KD-400Z but now features a new five megapixel 1/1.8" CCD sensor and a restyled black case. The Revio C2 is based on a 1.2 megapixel 1/3.4" CMOS sensor and a fixed focal length lens, it has 14 MB of internal storage is powered by two AAA batteries and can also record short video clips.
Photokina 2002: Phase One has announced that it will be producing a version of its much admired image processing and workflow software for Canon's new EOS-1Ds and will also be compatible with the EOS-1D. This new software will be able to manage and convert RAW files directly from these cameras and the release states, Nikon, Fuji and Kodak D-SLR users at a later date.
We've had a pre-production Coolpix 4300 in-house for a few days now, just enough time to produce a very brief First Look at Nikon's latest digital camera. The 4300 has many advanced features such as manual exposure, 5-area selectable Auto Focus, Noise Reduction, Bracketing and a 4 cm (1.6 in) macro mode. Note that this level of camera doesn't represent final image quality and thus we will not be posting any sample images at this stage.
Photokina 2002: EXCLUSIVE: We have managed to get a sample from Kodak Pro's new DCS 645H mounted on a new Hasselblad H1 medium format camera. The sample was taken in a studio environment and measures 4072 x 4072 pixels (16.5 megapixels). Quality looks good and the image size is unbelievable. But then so is the total price of this particular photographic solution.
Photokina 2002: EXCLUSIVE: We have had an opportunity to shoot some sample images with a late pre-production Sigma SD9. Thanks to the weather here in Cologne (wet and heavily overcast) we have been struggling with very slow shutter speeds but have managed to put together a few samples. If the weather improves tomorrow or the day after we'll get some nicer sunlit shots for you too. In addition we also have two images provided by Foveon.
Photokina 2002: Belgian electronics company FillFactory has today announced that it is the supplier of the 35 mm full frame 13.8 megapixel CMOS sensor used in Kodak's new DCS-14n. "This new high-resolution CMOS image sensor is the result of a joint research and development effort that started about 18 months ago."
Pre-Photokina 2002: Fujifilm has today announced the FinePix F402. This ultra compact, ultra slim digital camera has a fixed 39 mm equiv. lens and a 2.4 megapixel SuperCCD. The F402 is notably slimmer than the F401 but does lose the zoom lens. The F401 also now uses the new xD Picture Card for storage and comes with a PictureCradle for easy connectivity and charging.
Photokina 2002: Fujifilm has today announced the new multi-function FinePix M603. This 'two in one' device is designed to provide the best of a still camera and a camcorder. It can record VGA moves at 30 or 15 fps with video and also capture still images using its 3 megapixel SuperCCD (6 megapixel final image size). The M603 supports both xD-Picture Card as well as Compact Flash (specifically the IBM Microdrive). With a Microdrive installed the M603 can record 15 minutes of 30 fps video or 30 minutes of 15 fps video.
Photokina 2002: Lexar has today announced that it will be opening up Image Rescue for purchase by consumers. Lexar's Image Rescue software is designed to retrieve deleted or damaged images from their own brand cards, it does so by interacting with the cards controller at a lower level than is possible with other Compact Flash cards. Lexar also note that they will be providing a copy of Image Rescue for free pre-loaded onto their new range of 'Write Acceleration' cards. Image Rescue is now available on both Windows and Mac OS X platforms.
Photokina 2002: Lexar has today announced new 'Write Acceleration' technology which can improve write speed between their Pro series Compact Flash cards and certain professional digital SLR's. Write Acceleration is made up of two parts, the firmware on the Compact Flash card and the firmware in the camera. Thoses cameras which recognize a 'WA' card will use a more efficient protocol for writing images which can improve write speed by up to 20%. The first partners for this technology are Kodak Professional, Nikon and Sanyo.
Photokina 2002: Kodak Professional has today announced the new DCS Pro Back 645H. The 645H is fully compatible with the new Hasselblad H1 camera system and delivers 16 megapixels of resolution. The 645H is completely portable with a built-in power supply, LCD monitor and storage slots. The 645H has a user selectable ISO sensitivity range of 100 to 400. The suggested U.S. list price is $11,995.00.
Photokina 2002: EXCLUSIVE: Live from the show floor, just three hours after arriving at Photokina we have a set of exclusive pictures, which Olympus kindly allowed us to take, of a prototype 'Four Thirds System' D-SLR with a removable lens. This prototype is an early example of the design process and does look remarkably similar to an E-20 with the optional grip / battery pack. This prototype will appear behind glass on the Olympus stand throughout the show.
Photokina 2002: In a press release issued today Olympus and Kodak has confirmed the new 'common standard' for digital cameras. Called the Four Thirds System (4/3 System) it is designed to be a new standard for digital SLR cameras with interchangeable lens mount capability. Interestingly the press release also mentions that Fujifilm has also agreed to participate in the new 4/3 System standard. While it's encouraging to receive such news it's a real shame that neither company has yet announced a product considering that we first heard about this alliance 19 months ago.
Photokina 2002: Olympus has today announced the five megapixel metal bodied successor to the C-40 Zoom. The new C-50 Zoom has a three times optical zoom lens and a five megapixel 1/1.8" CCD. This camera is also the first Olympus to be supplied with a Lithium-Ion battery and charger. The stylish, ultra-compact C-50 Zoom should be available in November and as a UK list price of £549.99.
Photokina 2002: As a part of our coverage of the new DSC-14n digital SLR from Kodak we've had a chance to question Jay Kelbley, Worldwide product manager. This article includes some exclusive questions I asked as well as a reproduction of a set of questions and answers supplied by Kodak as part of the DCS-14n press kit. We asked some probing questions about the new camera and especially Kodak's entry into large format CMOS sensor territory.
Photokina 2002: Kodak has announced the new 14 megapixel DCS-14n. This new digital SLR is even more remarkable for its capture device, a 13.89 megapixel full-frame (36 x 24 mm) CMOS sensor. The magnesium-alloy body is built around a Nikon F100/F80, has a built-in portrait grip and is notably smaller than any previous Kodak DCS D-SLR. The camera is powered by a Lithium-Ion battery, takes Compact Flash (Type I/II) and SD/MMC storage, supports JPEG-ERI (higher dynamic range JPEG) and also features an orientation sensor. The camera should be available in December with an expected street price of US$4,000.
Photokina 2002: Kodak has announced the four megapixel tree times optical zoom EasyShare LS443. The LS443 features a new 'Variogon lens' from German lens maker Schneider-Kreuznach. The camera also features a 1.8" indoor/outdoor LCD monitor stores its images on SD/MMC and comes with the dock (pictured here). The LS443 should be available in October and is priced at $499.95.
Photokina 2002, 0600 GMT: One day short of a year after the EOS-1D Canon has officially announced the 11 megapixel, full-frame capture EOS-1Ds digital SLR. This camera had a leaked introduction to the web world a couple of weeks ago. The 1Ds is heavily based on the excellent EOS-1D D-SLR with that superb environmentally sealed magnesium body, 45-point AF, selectable colour space, Firewire connectivity, FAT32 support for CF cards greater than 2 GB and RAW+JPEG imaeg output (as well as many other features). Also new to the 1Ds is control of personal functions from the camera menu. The EOS-1Ds has a continuous shooting capability of 3 frames per second for up to 10 frames. We have an exclusive preview of the EOS-1Ds online now.
Pre-Photokina 2002: Sony US has today announced the new two megapixel DSC-U20 to complement the already announced 1.3 megapixel DSC-U10. "We're challenging the notion that photography is exclusive to special occasions - weddings, graduations, birthdays," said Steve Haber, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging Product Division. "Between these special occasions, life happens. We've made this camera so small and so cool that it can become an everyday accessory, making sure you don't miss a thing."
Pre-Photokina 2002: In preparation for Photokina 2002, the largest trade fair of its kind. We have posted the beginnings of our full Photokina 2002 show report. The report format repeats that used for the PMA 2002 show report (which was well received, thanks for all your emails). The report currently contains an index of of products announced before the show, this index will be regularly updated as new products are announced over the next few days. We are expecting several very exciting announcements which will appear both on the show report page and here on the front page of the site. The show starts on Wednesday, although we expect the majority of announcements to be made the day before.
Pre-Photokina 2002: Foveon and Sigma have today revealed the list price and shipping date for the SD-9 digital SLR, the first digital camera to use Foveon's ground-breaking X3 sensor. The SD-9 (body only) will have a list price of $1800 in the US and £1299.99 inc VAT in the UK and should be available in late October. Taking into account the difference street price will make this places the SD-9 in an extremely competitive position compared to the Nikon D100 and Canon EOS-D60. Inside: Press Releases from Foveon and Sigma UK as well as links to our exclusive information on the SD-9 and X3 sensor.
Pre-Photokina 2002, 2200 GMT: Minolta has today announced the DiMAGE Xi, a three megapixel update to the ultra-compact DiMAGE X. "The new Minolta DiMAGE Xi is approximately ¾ of an inch thick and shares the same revolutionary folded 3x optical zoom lens as the DiMAGE X. Making a camera this thin would be impossible with conventional zoom lens technology. ". Phil: Personally I'm a little concerned that a lens system which couldn't deliver particularly sharp 2 megapixel images will be even weaker with a 3 megapixel sensor, it will be an interesting camera to review.
Pre-Photokina 2002: Well, the ongoing saga continues. Silicon Film (also previously known as Imagek) has been in and out of our headlines for at least three years now with their digital film cartridges for 35 mm film cameras. A year after Irvine Sensors a 51% shareholder in Silicon Film suspended operations at the company we discover there may be a new product in the pipeline. Th EFS10-SF features a 10 megapixel sensor has a color LCD monitor and a Compact Flash slot.
Pre-Photokina 2002, 0600 GMT: Canon has today announced the PowerShot G3. This new digital camera appears go slightly further than the typical 'product refresh' we've seen recently. The G3 now has a 'proper' hand grip with a rubber finger edge, a new body design, command wheel and an all new 4x F2.0 - F3.0 optical zoom lens with a bayonet fitting optional thread adapter. It maintains all of the G2's functionality but adds some of the new features also introduced to the S45 (DIGIC processor, FlexiZone AF/AE, Custom exposure mode, etc.) Expected street price: US: $799, EU: €999. UPDATE: Other sites post previews from pre-production G3's. Canon BeBit post sample images.
Pre-Photokina 2002, 0600 GMT: Nikon has today announced the new three megapixel Coolpix 3500. The 3500 is based on the uniquely designed 2500 but now has a grey coloured body and increases imager resolution to three megapixels. "The COOLPIX 3500 boasts a sophisticated grey color and unique inner-swivel lens design that lets users shoot from nearly any angle. With the lens retracted snugly into the body, the camera's slim shape makes it easy to carry anywhere, and all essential controls are placed in comfortable reach."
Pre-Photokina 2002: Toshiba has today announced the two megapixel PDR-2300 and the three megapixel PDR-3320. "The PDR-3320 ideally meets the needs of today's tech-savvy buyer with an unprecedented value proposition and a feature-rich, easy-to-use design," said Doug Freck, Vice President and General Manager, Toshiba Imaging Systems.