Pre-Photokina 2002: Pentax has today announced the new three megapixel Optio 330 GS. The camera appears to be based on the Optio 230 design with the same body design (although with a champagne colour finish), control layout, lens system and fold out LCD monitor. The Optio 330 GS now has a three megapixel 1/2.7" CCD sensor combined with the three times optical zoom lens. The LCD monitor can fold out of the body up to 180 degrees.
Pre-Photokina 2002: Casio has today announced the QV-5700 five megapixel digital camera. This camera is clearly based on the QV-4000 with the same body design and three times optical zoom lens. One major improvement over the previous model is the ability to select ISO sensitivity between ISO 50 and 800. As I predicted when Olympus announced the C-5050Z it's increasingly easy for manufacturers to simply drop the latest CCD into an existing design, with the same lens, I'm keen to test the image quality of these new five megapixel digital cameras.
This is an advanced warning that the dpreview.com web servers will be shut down this Saturday 14th September at 9 AM BST (4 AM EST) for a maximum of six hours. This is to enable the switch over from our current servers (which have done us proud for the last 12 months) to a new set of servers which should be able to cope with our ever increasing traffic over the next 12 months. After the switch over we will also need to re-build the forums full text index, as there are 2.5 million messages in the forums this can take up to 24 hours during which time the forums search feature will be unavailable. Thank you for your understanding.
We were lucky enough to have a very early Japanese pre-production unit in house for a couple of weeks. Although we can't publish any images from the camera I do have a few additional images of the camera including the new combined xD / SmartMedia slot which promises support for what are now 'legacy' SmartMedia cards and the new xD Picture Card.
As everyone else seems to be posting samples from production Sony DSC-F717's I thought I may as well join in. Inside you'll find a small (10 image) gallery from a production DSC-F717. So far the camera seems to be performing almost identically to the DSC-F707, unfortunately it looks as though Sony still haven't addressed the F707's tendancy to over saturated reds, as is clear from some of my samples.
0700 EST: It's been a rush (just three hours with the camera so far) but I've managed to put together a first look at the DiMAGE 7Hi. Also included in this article is comparison of features and specifications with the DiMAGE 7i. While it's very welcome to see a manufacturer developing their model line it's a little surprising to see the 7Hi just six months after the 7i and especially considering that the improvements could probably have been included in the original model. A surprising number of the improvements made were mentioned as cons in my 7i review. UPDATED: Added small samples gallery.
0700 EST: Seybold SF 2002: Minolta has today announced the DiMAGE 7Hi. This camera is base on the DiMAGE 7i with a black body design and has new features and improvements including a built-in PC Sync terminal, selectable color space (with embedded profile), extra-fine JPEG mode, more white balance modes and a full rubber hand grip.
Kodak has today announced a recall of all Kodak DC5000 digital cameras with a serial number from 01800001 through 11700825. The Kodak Statement reads, "Kodak has received 12 reports, including six in the U.S., of consumers who experienced an electrical shock while changing batteries, or installing or removing the memory card or USB cable. There have been no reports of serious injury."
Just a quick note to the tens of foreign websites who regularly copy our content without permission. We are now actively seeking you out. Since publishing my Sony DSC-F717 and HP 850 articles images (including studio shots), specifications and even editorial content as appeared on Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Taiwanese and numerous other so called 'serious' hardware websites. These sites are nothing better than leaches attaching themselves to successful sites such as ourselves (some even carry advertising from digital camera manufacturers!). In the last hour we have added no less than eight new sites all of which have been contacted and their details added to our database of known offenders. This database will be shared with other sites and in some cases legal action may follow.
Sinar has today announced the development of a digital back (for medium format cameras) with an amazing 1-shot resolution of 22 million pixels. Even more interesting is that the sensor used by the camera is the Kodak KAF-22000CE CCD sensor which has a pixel area of 4080 x 5440 and measures 38.8 x 50.0 mm (1.5 x 2.0 in). This is a huge sensor with a huge pixel count and according to Sinar "This makes this sensor suitable for applications as a digital replacement of film in modern 645 medium format camera systems, without the need for significant changes in focal lengths."
Sony US has today confimed the DSC-F717, set the RRP at $1,000 and expects the camera to be in stores in October. PR: "The Cyber-shot DSC-F717 camera offers the best of both worlds: the superb technology people expect from Sony and the pure fun of a product that allows for unlimited creativity." said Steve Haber, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging Product Division. "And, with an expected selling price of $1,000, we know this model bridges the traditionally wide gap between mass market cameras and semi-professional models."
Minolta Corp. has today announced a limited recall for the DiMAGE 7i digital camera. This recall affects a limited number of cameras with serial numbers in the range 95217273 - 95219999 and 96201000 - 96226022. The problem is not thought to be serious and is related to a potentially faulty main switch. Send in your camera and Minolta will replace the faulty part and return your camera free of charge. Note that this does not apply to DiMAGE 7 cameras.
Nikon has today announced the new four megapixel Coopix 4300. This new digital camera is based on the popular Coolpix 885 but has been upgraded with a four megapixel sensor. A quick glance down the features and specifications and this camera appears to be operationally identical to the 885. Just like the Coolpix 885 the 4300 will appear in both black and silver bodies (silver for the US market this time around).
Nikon has today announced the new four megapixel Coopix 4300. This new digital camera is based on the popular Coolpix 885 but has been upgraded with a four megapixel sensor. A quick glance down the features and specifications and this camera appears to be operationally identical to the 885. Just like the Coolpix 885 the 4300 will appear in both black (North America) and silver (rest of the wolrd) bodies.
Casio has today announced a new two megapixel version of its ultra small, ultra thin 'Exilim' digital camera / MP3 player. There are two models both of which have the same digital camera functionality, the EX-M2 adds MP3 audio playback and voice recording capability. Both of the new Exilim models have a larger 2 megapixel CCD, fixed 36 mm equiv. lens, internal RAM and SD/MMC storage slot, 1.6" TFT LCD and can take still images and movie clips. The EX-S2 weighs in at just 88 g (3.1 oz) without its battery. UPDATE: Our friend and colleague Yamada Kumio has already posted some samples from the EX-S2. Kai Thon of digit.no has also previewed the EX-M2.
Total Digital Photography is a new magazine from the makers of Photography Monthly, Professional Photographer and Which Camera. The magazine is written by an established editorial team based here in London. Total Digital Photography's style is fresh and modern with a wide range of articles from news to reviews as well as lots of detail technique tutorials. To complement the magazine there's also a new website which contains image downloads, a kit guide and various other features. Congratulations and best wishes to the entire totaldp team from everyone at dpreview.com! (Magazine will be on the shelves in the UK tomorrow and in the US a few days later).
We've just received news from an anonymous source that Casio will be announcing a new QV-5700 digital camera. At this time we have no images, specifications or images for this new camera but it would be fair to assume the camera is based on the new 1/1.8" 5 megapixel CCD sensor. The trend we predicted when Olympus announced the C-5050Z seems to be coming true, lots of manufacturers using the 1/1.8" 5 megapixel sensor. UPDATE: Confirmed as 5 megapixel, CF Type I/II support, price in Europe - €1050.
Thanks to an anonymous contributor who noted that Sony's own memorystick.org website has a road map showing images of new Memory Stick (Magic Gate) in capacities of 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB and 4GB. According to this road map capacities up to 1 GB this year with 2 and 4 GB coming in 2004 and 2005. Also interesting is that the half-sized Duo should also be available in 256 MB, 512 MB and 1 GB capacities.
State Street Direct Online, our online retail affiliate has opened their new Sony Store. The Sony Digital Imaging Center includes products from Sony's digital camera and camcorder lines. As an opening promotion State Street Direct are offering free overnight shipping on all Sony Digital Cameras and Camcorders. All those users who have been waiting to order their Sony products through dpreview can now do so. All orders help to support this site.
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Nikon's Coolpix 5700. The 5700 builds and improves on the Coolpix 5000, a new big eight times optical zoom lens, a smaller but brighter flip-out and twist LCD and an excellent EVF (Electronic View Finder - the same we first saw on the Fujifilm FinePix S602 Zoom). See how the Coolpix 5700 performed in our tests...
We've just received a pre-production DSC-U10 from Sony, while we can't yet publish sample images from this ultra-tiny digital camera I have prepared a short preview article. The U10 is the smallest Sony digital camera to date, it has a 1.3 megapixel CCD sensor, a fixed focal length lens and writes to normal MemoryStick. Power comes from two AAA batteries and the U10 also features a power saving 1.0" daylight LCD (reflective).
Kyocera Germany has today announced the five megapixel Finecam S5. This camera will be introduced at Photokina (25th September). The camera is an ultra-compact which is clearly based on the S4 design. This camera appears to be another new five megapixel based on the new five megapixel 1/1.8" CCD. Also mentioned in this news release is a new digital Contax TVS which is described as a "5 Megapixel for the semiprofessional use", sounds interesting.
Moshe Alima, webmaster the Hebrew website digital-camera.co.il yesterday published a press release from Olympus of a new camera called the C-5050 Zoom. According to his information this new camera will have a five megapixel sensor, a bright F1.8 - F2.6 three times optical zoom lens, a flash hot shoe and a tiltiing LCD display. According to Moshe's information the new camera will support xD-Picture Card, SmartMedia and Compact Flash (Type I/II). The press release is dated 19th August so we're likely to find out much more tomorrow.
Iomega has started to ship the new 750 MB Zip Drive and Disk. The new drive is USB 2.0 (and 1.x) compatible with a maximum transfer rate of 7.5 MB/sec (USB 2.0), a Firewire native drive is due later this year. Iomega claim that the 7.5 MB/sec speed is equivilent to a 50x50x50 CD-RW drive, the advantage of course is that Zip disks act just like mini hard disks and don't need to be re-formatted to be re-written (unlike CD-RW). The new USB 2.0 750 MB Zip Drive should retail for $179.95, the 750 MB disk will be priced at $12.49 (in an 8 pack) which works out at 1.6 cents/MB.
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of a production Nikon Coolpix 4500. The Coolpix 4500 is the latest in a line of split-bodied Coolpix digital cameras which first started back in 1998 with the Coolpix 900. The 4500 has a smaller and cleaner body design which utilizes all of the best bits of the split-bodied design but removes some of the design mistakes made along the way. The 4500 has a four megapixel CCD sensor and four times optical zoom lens. See how the Coolpix 4500 performed in our tests...
Taiwanese manufacturer Apacer Technology in conjunction with SST of Sunnyvale, California have announced a CompactFlash card designed specifically to improve write performance. The new card is claimed to have a write speed of up to 4 MB/sec, it achieves this by multi-tasking the write process to four commands at a time. The card will be priced higher than normal cards and we have yet to see if its performance lives up to its billing. Remember that Compact Flash write performance is heavily dependent on the throughput of the digital camera's CPU and CF interface, this new card would probably only be useful for high-end D-SLR users.
09:00 EST: Kodak has today announced two new digital cameras, the $350 three megapixel DX4330 and the $180 two megapixel CX4200. The DX4330 features a 3x optical zoom lens, a special new 1.8" indoor/outdoor LCD for improved viewing in direct sunlight (Sony have tried similar screens before) and continuous video recording (limited only by the size of the SD/MMC storage card). The CX4200 has a 2x optical zoom lens, stores its images to SD/MMC card, has 16 MB of built-in storage and a 1.6" LCD monitor (not the new indoor/outdoor type).
Seasoned professional photographer and author Thom Hogan has today announced that his 265 page eBook on the Nikon D100 is shipping. "byThom Press today announced that it had begun shipping Thom Hogan's Complete Guide to the Nikon D100. The 265-page eBook is completely searchable, cross-referenced, indexed, and bookmarked, making it easy to hunt down specific information about the camera."
HP has recently released new firmware for the PhotoSmart 812. We certainly wouldn't normally update a review based on new firmware but this was at least partially instigated by our review findings and does have a significant effect on image quality. The new firmware improves image quality, especially sharpness and detail.
Delayed, but better late than never, I've just posted a complete update to our Sony DSC-P71 review. The original review (based on a pre-production camera) found problems with the P71's metering system and white balance when using the flash. I'm glad to report that these problems have now been solved and that the P71 performs very well for its price.
Just posted! Our full review of Fujifilm's FinePix S2 Pro digital SLR. The S2 Pro is the much awaited successor to the acclaimed if slightly understated S1 Pro. The S2 Pro is based around Nikon's F80 (N80) film SLR body and so looks very much like Nikon's D100. The S2 Pro utilizes Fujifilm's latest generation of SuperCCD sensor, with an effective resolution of 6.2 megapixels. So just how well does this camera perform in our tests? You'll have to read the review...
We don't normally cover camcorders here but this one does seem fairly significant for its still image resolution. The new Sony Network Handycam IP220K (DCR-IP220K) is the first camcorder (that we know of) which has a 2.1 megapixel CCD and can capture 1600 x 1200 still images (although we will reserve judgement on image quality until we see some samples). The IP220K records video the MicroMV, still images onto Memory Stick, has a 10x optical zoom lens, a 180,000 pixel EVF,a 2.5" LCD and is equipped with Bluetooth. More specifications inside.
Fujifilm has today announced five new digital cameras, all of these cameras use the recently announced xD Picture Card storage. Just to add more confusion to matters three of the cameras will have different names in the US than in Europe or Japan (nice move). US names: FinePix A200 (AKA. A202), FinePix 2650 (AKA. A204), FinePix A203, FinePix A303, FinePix 3800 (AKA. S304). As if consumers weren't confused enough by the announcement of so many new models...
Minolta USA has now made the Minolta DiMAGE 7 upgrade kit available for purchase directly from their online shop. The upgrade kit brings a large number of the new features available on the new DiMAGE 7i to the older DiMAGE 7. The most interesting improvements are those made to AF speed, drive speed, live view histogram and the addition of Direct Manual Focus. You can choose between the $49.95 upgrade which simply includes the firmware or $79.95 upgrade which includes the firmware and new DiMAGE Viewer software.
TOKYO 16:00: Fujifilm has today announced the new xD Picture Card flash storage media. The xD Picture Card was developed in conjunction with Olympus as the replacement for the aging SmartMedia format. The card will be produced by Toshiba. As mentioned in the Olympus news article below both companies will continue to support the SmartMedia format and will continue to produce SmartMedia cards into the future. The xD format is designed to address the need for smaller sized cameras and higher capacity storage. Note: Fujifilm's press release includes an extensive Q&A section.
TOKYO 16:00: Olympus has today announced the new xD Picture Card flash storage media. The xD Picture Card was developed in conjunction with Fujifilm as the replacement for the aging SmartMedia format. The card will be produced by Toshiba. Both companies are keen to stress that they are and will continue to support the SmartMedia format and will continue to produce SmartMedia cards into the future. The xD format is designed to address the need for smaller sized cameras and higher capacity storage, it will be available initially up to 128 MB with 256 and 512 MB just around the corner. I personally am not that keen to see yet another flash storage format.
Canon BeBit (Japan) has today posted firmware 1.4.0 for the EOS-1D. This new firmware addresses five issues: 1. Noise reduction tone curve settings are added to the EOS-1D's monitor menu. 2. Continuous shooting is supported with Remote Capture 2.5 or higher. 3. Exif 2.2 (Exif Print) is supported. 4. Windows XP is supported. (Direct connect support via WIA 4.5) 5. Camera settings metadata has been modified. Note: If you install this new firmware you must be running the latest drivers on your computer (updated EOS-D drivers noted previously in our news).
Canon has posted new drivers for the EOS-D30, EOS-D60 and EOS-1D digital SLR's. The latest version of drivers for Windows are marked Ver 4.5.3. The Canon PowerShot page has a full summary of the latest versions of RAW Image Converter and Remote Capture for Windows and Mac, so not only is it worth downloading the latest drivers for your camera but it may also be worth checking to see you have the latest versions of the full software suite.
There has been talk of a 'recall' elsewhere, we can clarify that this is simply a firmware update but it is one which can't be applied by the user. This update solves an issue with White Balance Bracketing: "When Image Review (Custom Setting 1) is set to On and Bracket Set (Custom Setting 11) is set to WB Bracketing it is possible that the White Balance bracketing feature may not perform as expected. Additionally, if Image Review is Off but the Monitor button is pressed while images are being written to the CF Card the White Balance bracket may not perform as expected." Check your camera by viewing exposure information in camera, simply display an image and press the left or right arrow until 'FIRM VER' is displayed. Nikon D100 cameras with firmware V1.0 will need updating.
It's taken a little longer than I would have liked but today I have posted our full and final Nikon D100 review. The D100 continues Nikon's strong tradition for high quality digital SLR's, and best still it does so at a price many can afford. The D100 offers a compact, light weight digital SLR with high resolution and great compatibility. See how the D100 performed in our tests. UPDATED: 29/July/2002: Added coverage of Nikon Capture Camera Control.
Thanks to our friend Peter iNova for noting that Nikon Europe has posted a new firmware for the Coolpix 995 digital camera. Firmware 1.7 is noted to "improve the issue of images captured by Coolpix 995 appearing too red when using Auto White Balance under incandescent light". It's good to see a manufacturer continuing to support its older models as well as the latest cameras.
Japanese reviewer and friend of dpreview Yamada Kumio has today posted a head to head comparison between Casio's Exlim EX-S1 and Sony's DSC-U10. The comparison includes a quick side-by-side size and features followed by a variety of sample shots taken in different conditions and with different camera settings. If you think you may be in the market for one of these tiny digital cameras (and if you can get them where you live) then be sure to check out this comparison.
Forgent Networks (formally known as VTEL) has posted a press release stating their claim to JPEG and their intention to pursue licensing revenue from companies who use it. They own United States patent 4,698,672 which covers the JPEG compression standard, this patent was created by Compression Labs who Forgent bought back in 1997. The press release specifically mentions digital cameras as well as PDA's, web browsers, phones and scanners. It looks as though Sony has already paid for the privilege...
TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) has announced the results for 'Best Photo Products in Europe' from the European Photo & Imaging Awards 2002-2003. Best Digital Prosumer camera went to the Olympus E-20, Best Design went to the Minolta DiMAGE X, Best Digital Consumer camera went to the Canon PowerShot S40, Best Digital SLR went to the Canon EOS-1D, Best Lens was the Canon 400 mm F4 DO IS, Best Innovative Technology was Foveon's X3 chip.
The ever reliable (for leaks) website of the French printed magazine Chasseur d'Images is running a news article about the death of SmartMedia to be replaced by a new card called the XD Picture Card. According to their article this new card will be considerably smaller than SmartMedia, about the same size as an SD card and stiffer. They say that the card will be available in capacities of 128, 256, 512 MB and up to 1 GB with 4 and 8 GB a possibility. The card appears to be manufacturered by Toshiba and doesn't contain a controller chip (just like SmartMedia).
Adobe has announced an new version of Elements. Version 2.0 adds a variety of new features and improvements including a Glossary of digital photography terms, Quick Fix dialog which can add immediate fixes in one pass, Frame From Video which allows you to capture frames from video files, Selection Brush, PDF Slideshows, E-mail friendly output sizes. "Digital camera unit sales in North America are expected to grow to 18.7 million by 2007. Within this period, most digital camera users will desire easy-to-use tools for image editing and photo printing," said Michelle Slaughter, digital photography analyst at InfoTrends Research Group. "Photoshop Elements 2.0 offers a powerful feature set that is easy to use."
After well over two years (first announced in April 2000) the first tiny Memory Stick Duo is about to go on sale in Japan. The first model, MSA-M16A will have a capacity of just 16 MB but is about half the size (and considerably thinner) than a normal Memory Stick, this makes the Duo about the same size as an SD/MMC card. Also available will be a Memory Stick Duo adapter to allow the Duo to be used in a normal Memory Stick slot. The Duo is aimed primarily at the Mobile Phone and PDA market. The first application for the Duo will be the new Sony Ericsson P800 mobile phone (with built in digital camera).
DPReview and ColorVision have come together to offer our visitors a very special offer. Under a special promotion we are able to offer a 20% discount on the excellent ColorVision Monitor Spyder with PhotoCal or OptiCal software. This new Spyder can now be used on both CRT and LCD displays (Laptop or Desktop) and will ensure that your display is accurately calibrated and profiled so that you get optimum colour. There's nothing worse in the digital darkroom than a badly setup monitor, the Spyder with PhotoCal or Optical will ensure you get the most accurate colour from your display.