Creo has today announced that their digital camera back system - the Leaf Valeo - is now wireless. This next generation Leaf Valeo is being introduced with a wireless display on two models: the Leaf Valeo 22Wi and the new Leaf Valeo 17Wi, with resolutions of 22 and 17 million pixels respectively. The new Leaf Valeo Wi family uses Bluetooth to accomplish two-way communication between the camera and the Leaf DP-67 (based on an HP iPAQ). Special offers are available for the purchase of the Leaf Valeo 22Wi and Leaf Valeo 17Wi systems.
Sanyo has recently announced its Xacti VPC-J4. The Xacti J4 has a 4 megapixel CCD that outputs 8 megapixel interpolated images, and a bright, 2.8x inner optical zoom lens (F2.7) achieves high-speed zooming in around 1.5 seconds. The Xacti J4 records VGA-size (640 x 480) video clips at 30 fps with simultaneous audio, for viewing quality equivalent to that of DVD. Another Xacti J4 advantage is the ability to use the zoom while shooting video clips.
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Sigma's new SD10 digital SLR. The SD10 is the successor to the SD9, it features a new and updated 10M X3 Foveon sensor which achieves higher sensitivity thanks to the addition of microlenses. There are also numerous other improvements to both the camera and Photo Pro RAW conversion software. See how the SD10 performed and how it stacks up to the current six megapixel digital SLR's.
CeBIT 2004: The latest camera on the compact six megapixel band wagon is Konica Minolta's G600, a resolution upgrade from from the G500 (which itself was based on the Konica KD-510 Zoom before the K-M merger). That out of the way the G600 does appear to have a new Signal Processing Engine and algorithm coined 'A*IPS'. "The new compact and fully-featured DiMAGE G600 is a value-packed, high performance digital camera at an affordable price," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Konica Minolta's Camera Division. "This new compact camera is ideal for every day snapshots as well as a second camera for serious amateur or professional photographers."
CeBIT 2004: Olympus today announced two new digital cameras which will be available all around the world and one which will be only available in the UK. These three cameras will be known as the C-60 Zoom, C-460 Zoom del Sol (UK only) and C-160 (D-395 in the US). Probably the most interesting camera here is the C-60 Zoom which again is another six megapixel compact camera which started life as a five megapixel, a relatively simple 'drop in a new chip' upgrade for Olympus.
CeBIT 2004: Kodak today announced the all new DSC Pro SLR/c, a Canon mount version of the SLR/n which utilizes a new body made by Sigma (this isn't stated but is obvious). This announcement now brings Kodak back full circle to the 'good old' Kodak DCS days when they would have both a Nikon and Canon mount of each camera. Other than the obvious differences between a Nikon and Canon body there are also a few other subtle differences, the SLR/c is slightly smaller, has a 1/180 sec flash sync speed, a new AF system and a smaller LCD monitor. The SLR/c becomes the highest resolution Canon mount digital SLR, and a full 35 mm sensor to boot!
Following on from Olympus USA's move at the end of January Olympus UK has announced a £200 trade-in promotion on their digital SLR E-System. You can take any SLR camera, film or digital for a £200 rebate against the E-1 digital SLR body and 14-54 mm lens bundle. You can also choose if you wish not to take the £200 cash back but instead opt for an FL-50 flash, 50 mm macro lens, P-440 printer or 2 GB 40X Lexar Pro card. This offer is available at certified Olympus E-System dealers until April 30th 2004.
Sigma today announced three new lenses, an all new 18 - 125 mm F3.5 - F5.6 DC (designed specifically for digital SLR's) as well as putting some official specifications behind their recently announced 4/3 System lenses, the 18 - 50 mm F3.5 - F5.6 4/3 DC and the 55 - 200 mm F4.0 - F5.6 4/3 DC. The 18 - 125 mm will be of interest to all digital SLR owners as it offers a small, lightweight 7x zoom capability. The 18 - 50 mm and 55 - 200 mm 4/3 DC lenses should also be of interest to Olympus E-1 owners but in my opinion hint more towards a more 'affordable' 4/3 System digital SLR coming from Olympus in the not to distant future.
Pentax has announced the Pentax Remote Assistant camera control software to users of the Pentax *ist D digital SLR camera. Features include remote shutter release, uploading and filing of captured images and adjustment of basic and auxiliary functions. The software can be downloaded for free from the Pentax Web site from March 18, 2004, for Windows users and mid April for Macintosh users.
If like me you consider ACDSee to be the best image browser but have been disappointed by the recent buggy and bloated feeling version 6.0 you'll be very pleased to hear that ACD Systems has released an update which improves speed, reliability and solves several annoying problems. ACDSee 6.03 now feels almost as zippy as 'good old' version 3.1 with proper quick cached thumbnails and very fast image rendering. Kudos to ACD Systems for fixing these problems and addressing performance, although let it be a lesson to any software developer, don't ruin your software by bloating it out with features without addressing performance first.
Pentax has recently announced the OptioS30. Featuring a 3.2 effective megapixel CCD, a lens offering 3X optical zooming and with an attractive, hairline-textured aluminum exterior, it's also strikingly stylish. All buttons and controls have been located within easy reach from a ready-to-shoot position. The shutter release button has been enlarged for swift access, and buttons on the back of the camera have also been made bigger for easier control.
Shown only in prototype form and behind glass at PMA this year Epson has today fully revealed their R-D1 'Rangefinder Digital Camera'. This camera has come out of a collaboration between Epson and Cosina, it supports Leica M mount and L mount with an adapter and has a six megapixel APS size sensor with an output image size of 3008 x 2000 pixels (which sounds to me like the sensor used by Nikon in the D100 & D70). Epson's timing for this announcement is the 2004 Photo Expo to be held in Tokyo between 19th and 21st March. This announcement has received a lot of attention from the Japanese websites who have lots of images of the camera, see inside for links. UPDATE: Specifications added.
Kodak has today filed a suit against Sony alleging that they infringed 10 of Kodak's patents related to digital photography. Kodak spokesman Gerard Meuchner said the lawsuit follows the failure of talks between the companies that Kodak hoped would produce a licensing pact. "We have attempted to resolve the matter with Sony for almost three years, and the discussion between us have not led to a suitable licensing agreement," he said. A Sony spokesman said he had just become aware of the suit and had no comment. (Reuters)
Pentax has today announced its second generation fully-immersable digital camera -- the Optio43WR. Featuring a 4.0 megapixel CCD, 2.8X zoom lens (37-104mm eqiv.), and a JIS Class 7 waterproof rating that keeps the Optio43WR watertight even when the camera is rinsed, splashed or submersed in water (up to three feet). The Optio43WR features a new high-speed CCD and innovative image processing circuitry to record movies at 640 x 480 pixels and 30fps. The Optio43WR will ship to major camera retailers in June 2004.
Ricoh has recently announced the release of the Caplio RX, a slim wide-angle 28mm digital camera that commands the worlds fastest shutter response time at only 0.12 seconds and quick start-up time. The Caplio RX is quicker, slimmer, lighter and even easier to use than its wide-angle lens predecessor the Caplio G4wide. The Caplio RXs has a 3.24-megapixel CCD and a 3.6x optical zoom.
Following the current trend for retro looking digital cameras, it seems that Rollei are showing a digital version of their classic 1929 Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex at PhotoExpo 2004 in Japan. The Rollei MiniDigi has a 2 megapixel CCD, a 9mm F2.8 fixed lens and uses SD card for storage. In keeping with the original the viewfinder/LCD is at the top. According to the Japanese news site PC Watch it is expected to sell for 39,800 Yen and will be available from May 21st.
Software: Breeze Systems today announced Breeze PSRemote Version 1.2 with support for Canons new PowerShot Pro1 camera, as well as the PowerShot A75, S500, S410 and SD110 announced by Canon at PMA. Chris Breeze explained, PSRemote has been designed to learn the settings of PowerShot cameras when the camera is first connected. This usually enables the program to support new PowerShot models without modification. PSRemote runs on Windows and costs US$49. A free trial version is available.
Philips Research at the CeBIT exhibition is demonstrating a unique variable-focus lens system that has no mechanical moving parts. Suited to a wide range of optical imaging applications, including digital cameras. Philips FluidFocus system mimics the action of the human eye using a fluid lens that alters its focal length by changing its shape. The new lens, which lends itself to high volume manufacturing, overcomes the fixed-focus disadvantages of many of todays low-cost imaging systems.
Sigma today announced development of 18 - 50 mm F3.5 - F5.6 and 55 - 200 mm F4.0 - F5.6 lenses which will be compatible with the "Four Thirds System". The Four Thirds System was devised by Olympus as a new standard for lens interchangeable digital SLR's, it consists of a standard sensor size, lens mount and body to lens communication protocol. At PMA last month Olympus announced that Panasonic, Sanyo and Sigma had joined itself, Fujifilm and Kodak as the group of companies supporting the Four Thirds System. This is the first announcement from anyone other than Olympus who are producing compatible equipment.
Uwe & Bettina Steinmueller from the Digital Outback Photo website have released the DOP2000 Digital Photography Workflow Handbook in PDF e-book format. This new e-book has over 360 pages of information on professional digital photography workflow including Photoshop CS, RAW manipulation and output, understanding histograms, using features such as shadow / highlights and sharpening as well as covering more basic aspects of exposure correction. The e-book is available as a downloadable PDF at just $34.95.
Just posted! Our final, updated Canon EOS 300D review. This review has been updated with test results from a final production EOS 300D, image samples have been re-shot and a new samples gallery added. The overall conclusion remains the same as the late pre-production camera we had for our initial review appears to be very similar in quality to the final camera. Also added is a new 20 image samples gallery including several long exposure night shots.
Casio has today announced the 4-megapixel EX-Z40 and the 3.2-megapixel EX-Z30, two new models in the EXILIM® ZOOM range of digital cameras with long battery operation and 3X optical zoom. These two new cameras have a battery life of 2.5 times that of previous models (comparison between the EX-Z4 and EX-Z40), allowing up to 360 photos to be taken on a single charge. Other features common to both models include a 2.0-inch TFT LCD screen and the Direct On function for one-touch record and play modes.
Fujifilm today announced the entry leve 'point and shoot' FinePix A120, a three megapixel digital camera with a fixed focal length lens, 1.5" TFT LCD monitor and xD-Picture Card storage. The A120 is another new Fujifilm digital camera which doesn't utilize Fujifilm's own SuperCCD sensor but instead uses a traditional square layout 1/2.7" CCD. Adrian Clarke, Fujifilm UK's Director of Consumer Products, commented, The FinePix A120 has been designed to provide users with a camera equipped to take great pictures on auto but with the option of experimenting with its full range of features, as they grow in confidence..
George Mann over at dpmac.com has posted an interesting (if short) article on the Nikon Factory in Ayuthaya, Thailand which is producing the Nikon D70. George states that the factory expect to produce 800,000 D70's this year (over 60,000/month). The article has images of the D70 in various stages of production as well as an interesting 'exploded' view of the major camera components.
PMA 2004: DIMA, the Digital Imaging Marketing Association have announced the winner of the 2004 Innovative Digital Product Award. This year the award went to Picasa's Hello, an instant photo sharing application that enables users to share images securely over a peer-to-peer network and chat about them in real time. Last year the honor went to the company's flagship photo organizing software, Picasa.
Those who followed our site during the PMA show last week will have seen our exclusive live from the show floor reporting. This was achieved in no small measure thanks to Nikon's D2H and WT-1 wireless transmitter. And as a follow-up to the show and our use of the D2H and WT-1 I have added a new page to our D2H review covering the use of this wireless add-on and our experiece of using it in live-to-web environment.
Matsushita, best known for its Panasonic brand, has recently announced the development of its next-generation image sensor "v(nu)MAICOVICON". Compared to the conventional image sensors, the new product has advantages such as less power consumption than the CCD image sensors, and higher quality image production compared to CMOS image sensors. Mass production of the sensors will start this month. Future models will feature increased number of pixels and enhanced performance speed, capable to be applied to AV-related products such as digital still cameras, digital video cameras.
Fujifilm has today unveiled a new addition to its digital camera range based on the Super CCD SR technology: the FinePix F710 Zoom. The FinePix F710 Zoom enters Fujifilm's range as a partner to the FinePix F700 Zoom, which has won more awards than any other camera in the company's compact digital line-up. The new model ups the ante further with a 4x zoom lens, widescreen LCD display and a pop-up flash. The F700 model will continue to be available alongside the F710. The FinePix F710 Zoom will be available in the UK from leading photographic retailers from April 2004. Pricing will be announced nearer to the date of retail launch.
PMA 2004: Buried within a press release for their RTUNE engine are the announcements for the two new Kyocera cameras being shown at PMA. The Finecam SL400R which is essentially a 4 megapixel version of their recent SL300R, and the M410R a 4 megapixel, 10x optical zoom digital camera, the Japanese press release also shows the same camera in silver as the M400R, we're not sure whether this is a Japanese only model though. RTUNE provides unparalled high speed capture, faster start-up/shutter response/shot-to-shot times and improved picture quality.
PMA 2004: Pixology has today announced its collaboration with Texas Instruments, to develop an automatic solution for removing red-eye the moment a digital image is taken, while the picture is still in the camera. The solution will combine Pixology IRISS, the company's pioneering red-eye detection and correction technology and TI's DSP based digital media processing technology, which provides a highly integrated, programmable platform for digital still cameras and multimedia systems.
PMA 2004: DIMA, the Digital Imaging Marketing Association have announced the winners of the 2004 Digital Camera Shoot-Out. They are the Leica Digilux 2, Olympus C-8080, Sony CR-PC330, Olympus C-5060, HP Photosmart 945, Casio QV-R51, Konica Minolta DiMage X20, HP Photosmart 735 and finally the Mustek MDC4000.
PMA 2004: Panasonic leaves it until the second day of PMA to launch its new DMC-LC1 Lumix camera. The 5-megapixel DMC-LC1 has a digital brain but the heart and soul of a finely crafted 35mm camera, right down to its controls. Zoom, focus and aperture are manually controlled by ring settings on the lens; shutter speed is controlled by a dial located on the top of the unit. The new DMC-LC1 incorporates a finely crafted, F2.0 - 2.4 Leica DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens (13 elements in 10 groups) with zoom capability equivalent to 28 - 90mm on a 35mm camera. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC1 is scheduled for March, 2004 delivery. It will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $1,599.00
PMA 2004: Olympus has announced the addition of three more firms to the roster of companies supporting the Four Thirds System standard for digital SLR camera systems. The three firms (in alphabetical order) are: Matsushita (Panasonic), Sanyo, and Sigma. The Four Thirds System standard was announced in September 2002 by Olympus and Kodak, and has been supported since its inception by Fuji.
PMA 2004: Casio has today announced its first prosumer model for quite a few years, the six megapixel Pro EX-P600. This flagship model has a four times Canon F2.8 - F4.0 optical zoom lens and a six megapixel CCD. The EX-P600 has a wide range of manual controls, a large 2.0" TFT LCD monitor, 9 MB of built-in storage, an SD/MMC slot and is powered by a supplied Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery.
PMA 2004: Adobe Systems has today announced a new Camera Raw plug-in for Photoshop® CS, extending raw file support to 14 additional digital camera models. Available as a free download from Adobe's Web site, the plug-in builds on the raw file functionality integrated in Photoshop CS, adding new support for digital cameras from leading manufacturers such as, Fujifilm, Kodak, Leaf, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax and Sony. Additionally Adobe will provide Foveon X3F raw file format support in the Photoshop® CS Camera Raw plug-in. Support for X3F raw-format files is expected to be available from Adobe in the third quarter of 2004.
PMA 2004: PNY has announced its new Optima SD and CF cards store digital information at blazing, sustained write speeds of up to 5 (33X) and 6 (40X) megabytes per second (MBps), respectively. PNY Technologies high-speed Optima SD cards will be available in 128MB and 256MB storage capacities, while its Optima CF cards will support 128MB to 1GB. All PNY Optima SD and CF cards will be available for purchase in the second quarter of 2004 from distributors and specialty photo dealers in the United States and Europe. Optima SD will carry an MSRP of $89.99 and $119.99, respectively while Optima CF cards will carry MSRP's of $69.99, $89.88, $169.99 and $329.99, respectively.
PMA 2004: Signaling its commitment to the digital imaging industry, Microsoft Corp. today will make its first appearance at PMA 2004, the annual convention and trade show of the Photo Marketing Association International, being held in Las Vegas Feb. 12-15. At the show, Microsoft is demonstrating its breadth of digital imaging products and technologies for hardware and software developers, retailers, professional photographers and consumers.
PMA 2004: Luminous Parrot Technologies has today introduced its debut product, Dream in Pictures, at PMA 2004. The software is designed to meet the varying needs of digital imaging beginners, hobbyists and enthusiasts. It combines a unique and intuitive interface, the most useful and popular image management and editing capabilities as well as enjoyment features such as a creative slideshow builder, an interactive 3-D art gallery, a fun photo mosaic builder, a challenging picture puzzle game and a screensaver.
PMA 2004: Lexar has today announced that it has doubled its highest capacity Secure Digital (SD) memory card to 1 gigabyte, speed-rated at 60X, which signifies a minimum sustained write speed capability of 9MB per second.. In a form factor roughly the size of a postage stamp, Secure Digital memory cards will now be available from Lexar Media in capacities from 32MB to 1GB. Lexars 1GB Secure Digital memory card will be available at consumer electronics stores worldwide this spring, with an estimated retail price of $499.99
PMA 2004: Lexar has today announced a new line of updated Memory Stick products that will have significantly increased read speeds. Available this spring in capacities of 64MB, 128MB and 256MB (total 128MBx2), the enhanced Memory Stick delivers data read speeds that are up to four times faster than current cards, when used with compatible (4-pin parallel), high-speed Memory Stick-enabled devices. The new Memory Stick cards are also compatible with serial interface Memory Stick-enabled products. Lexars new Memory Stick will be available with expected retail pricing of $39.99, $59.99 and $99.99 for capacities of 64MB, 128MB and 256MB, respectively.
PMA 2004: Lexar has today doubled the minimum sustained write speed capability of its Professional Series CompactFlash (CF) product line to 80X, or 12MB per second. With this introduction, Lexar Media is providing the fastest CompactFlash with guaranteed write speeds available. Lexar is offering its 80X Professional Series CompactFlash cards in five different capacities, including 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, 2GB and 4GB capacities, with expected retail prices of $99.99, $199.99 and $399.99, $699.99 and $1,499.99, respectively. Lexar Medias new 80X speed-rated Professional Series CompactFlash will be available in photo specialty stores beginning May 2004.
PMA 2004: Lexar has today announced its 8GB Professional Series CompactFlash card, the highest capacity memory card available in the world today. In addition to delivering extraordinary capacity in a matchbook-sized memory card, Lexars new 8GB CompactFlash card delivers a 40X speed-rating, signifying a minimum sustained write speed capability of 6MB/s. The new 8GB CompactFlash cards will be available at many photo specialty stores in May of this year. Pricing for the 8GB card will be released at time of shipment.
PMA 2004: MAGIX has today announced MAGIX Photo Cleaning Lab, the digital camera accessory that repairs, organizes and preserves the thousands of digital images collected by photographers and consumers. Priced at only $49.99, MAGIX Photo Cleaning Lab includes real-time image correction, high-speed photo management, instant album creation, accelerated image explorer, photo printing, CD archiving and a powerful image editor in one easy-to-use program. MAGIX Photo Cleaning Lab for Windows® will be available in late February 2004 through major retailers for $49.99 SRP.
PMA 2004: We are proud to present our live show report direct from the Show Floor at PMA 2004. We don't use the word Live and not mean it, wirelessly connected across the entire PMA show we are beaming images back to our server using a Nikon D2H + WT-1 wireless transmitter while each stand report follows from an ultra compact notebook. In combination this means that you get to see our stand reports coming in live and experience our tour of the PMA show from the comfort of your web browser! New stand reports appear as soon as text and images are received. Live updates are shown at the top of the front page of the site as well as the introduction page of our PMA report.
PMA 2004: Konica Minolota today made a development announcement about a new digital version of their Maxxum 7 / Dynax 7 SLR. The Maxxum 7 Digital will have a six megapixel APS sized CCD, will have body integrated anti-shake (just like the DiMAGE A1/A2) which will work with all lenses and will be fully system compatible. This camera should be available in 'Fall 2004'. We, along with a few others had an opportunity to take a few pictures of an early pre-production camera.
PMA 2004: Konica Minolta today placed its chips on the eight megapixel roulette table with the DiMAGE A2. Clearly based around the DiMAGE A1 the A2 has the same seven times optical zoom lens and Anti-shake system achieved by moving the CCD rather than a lens element. Other new features include a '3D Auto Focus system' which Konica Minolta claim to be 1.5 times faster than the AF system in the DiMAGE A1, a new high resolution electronic viewfinder and a higher resolution and higher frame rate video mode.
PMA 2004: In the second of three announcements, Konica Minolta have revealed a new version of the slightly odd looking DiMAGE Z1, the four megapixel, ten times optical zoom DiMAGE Z2 (it still looks a bit Buck Rogers to me.) The DiMAGE Z2 squeezes its four megapixels out of a tiny 1/2.5" CCD, has a brand new ten times optical zoom lens (38 - 380 mm equiv.), predictive focus control and streaming SVGA or VGA movies with audio. The only thing I feel this camera lacks is Image Stabilization.
PMA 2004: Konica Minolta today announced the DiMAGE Xg, an updated version of the DiMAGE Xt, the Xg has a new lens design,a larger LCD monitor, streaming 30 fps movies, a faster startup time (claimed 0.8 sec, a third of a second faster than the Xt), PictBridge direct printing support and of course wears the new Konica Minolta name and logo. "The DiMAGE Xg packs the popular features that today's consumers are seeking into an inviting take-anywhere design that's already a proven winner. said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Konica Minolta's Camera Division.
PMA 2004: Olympus today moved its prosumer 'stake in the ground' onto eight megapixel soil with the new C-8080 Wide Zoom. This camera is curvier and more 'design concious' (in my opinion) than any previous prosumer level Olympus. It has a large five times optical zoom lens coupled to that 2/3" Type eight megapixel sensor. The other thing immediately noticeable about the C-8080 Wide Zoom is its speed, taking under a second to startup with the lens at wide angle. Preview online: We have had a C-8080 Wide Zoom for a hands-on preview.
PMA 2004: Olympus today widened the range of lenses available in its 'E System' by adding the impressive Zuiko Digital ED 150 mm F2.0 lens. On the E-1 digital SLR this lens will provide an equivalent field of view as a 300 mm lens would on a 35 mm film camera, and this with an impressive F2.0 maximum aperture. It's no lightweight though, this lens weighs in at 1.35 KG (3 lb). UPDATE: There was an error in the pricing on this press release, the quoted price is WELL below the expected price, we are awaiting confirmation of pricing from Olympus.