From Peter iNova! Thanks to Peter for contributing no less than four new Image Technique articles to our "Learn Digital Photography" section, his new articles cover color correction (specifically white balance), special effects, long exposure noise reduction and producing animations using a still camera.
Canon BeBit has posted links to regional download pages for the latest ZoomBrowser EX release. Version 3.2.1 adds Windows XP support, EXIF 2.2 (ExifPrint) support, Increased processing speed, Improved user interface, Auto run and Improved image database reliability. As far as we are aware ZoomBrowser EX 3.2 is the only application which can currently support EXIF 2.2 input images through to the print process (although only supported Canon printers). This means that (in theory) if you have any of the new EXIF 2.2 cameras (S200, S330, A30, A40 etc.) and a supported Canon printer (phew!) they you should get better colour matching printing directly through ZoomBrowser.
Nikon has today released a major new version of its Nikon View software, and it's available for free download from the Nikon Tech USA website. Nikon View 5.0.1 has a whole new interface, improvements, fixes and features. Nikon View 5.0.1 consists of three main areas: Image Transfer, Nikon Browser (thumbnail browser) and Nikon View (image viewer). Nikon View 5.0.1 is available for both Windows and Mac Operating Systems (inc. OS X). UPDATE 19/Apr: Nikon View 5.0.1 for Mac is pulled. DO NOT INSTALL on OS X if you have already downloaded.
PictureFlow, authors of the YarcPlus (Windows only) Canon RAW conversion utility has today launched version 1.5 which adds EOS-D60 support and increases the performance of EOS-D30 RAW conversion by 20%. YarcPlus also provides a fast platform for browsing and selecting images for conversion. Other facilities include a proprietary Artifact Reduction Filter, batch conversion, JPEG extraction and even command line parameters for use in an automated setup. YarcPlus uses the Canon SDK to perform its RAW conversion. YarcPlus is priced at $35, evaluation downloads are available. (EOS-1D support coming later this week)
Canon BeBit has today posted firmware updates for the following cameras: PowerShot A10, PowerShot A20, PowerShot S30, PowerShot S40, PowerShot G2, DIGITAL IXUS v (S110), DIGITAL IXUS 300 (S300). Across all cameras the new firmware adds direct print support for Canon's new CP-100 photo printer, for the PowerShot G2, S30, S40 it also provides EXIF 2.2 (ExifPrint) JPEG support for these cameras. A summary of each firmware update can be found inside (there are various other small fixes included).
Just posted! Our review of Sony's pocket sized four megapixel DSC-P9. The P9 is a progression from the previous P1 and P5 models, it has a four megapixel sensor and three times optical zoom lens. The P9 faces stiff competition from the Minolta DiMAGE F100, Canon PowerShot S40, Pentax Optio 430 and Olympus D-40Z (C-40Z). All the cameras in this particular market segment ae around the $650-$700 mark, apart from the DSC-P9 which has an expected street price of $600. So just how did it fare in our tests?
The DiMAGE F100 was announced last month at CeBIT, this four megapixel, three times optical zoom ultra-compact is aimed squarely at the Canon PowerShot S40, Sony DSC-P9 and Pentax Optio 430. It takes its place in this new class of high-end, high resolution ultra-compacts. The F100 has a good set of credentials, a wide set of manual controls and other features. We have had a pre-production F100 for a week or so now and while we won't be reviewing the F100 until we can get a full production model I have prepared a fairly lengthy First Look along with a gallery of sample images.
Kodak (apparently three days ago) posted a flash "teaser" to a new digital camera they're about to announce. The LS-420 is an ultra-compact two megapixel digital camera with a two times optical zoom, 8 MB of internal RAM, SD/MMC storage and USB port (it looks as though it has a metal case - but this is unconfirmed). With echos back to the mc3 the LS-420 can record unlimited length movies (limited only by storage space). We'll bring you more information as we gather it.
Today we can confirm that the "expected street price" for the Nikon D100 is: USA - US$1,999, Canada - CAD$3,350, Europe - around 3000 (EUR), UK - below £2000 (UKP). This makes the price of the D100 just as competitive as we had expected it to be (compared to the EOS-D60). Indeed the D100 kit at US$1,999 includes everything you need to start shooting (except a lens). RAW conversion software is not thought to be included. UPDATED: 9/Apr/2002 08:00 GMT (from Nikon US official)
Rob Galbraith is running an article about two images from Canon's latest Digital SLR's used for double-page spreads in Sports Illustrated. The EOS-1D image taken by David Bergman was shot at ISO 200 in RAW mode, the EOS-D60 image taken by Mike Sturk at ISO 1000, Large Fine JPEG. Rob's article covers not just the images but also has some interesting insight into the workflow involved in getting the image from the field and onto the page.
Just a short note to say we will have a planned site downtime tomorrow (Thursday 11th April) between 06:30 and 07:30 EDT (11:30 and 12:30 BST). This is to install more RAM into our servers as well as carrying out other miscellaneous maintenance work. We don't expect the site to be down for more than an hour.
Site contributor Vincent Bockaert has put the finishing touches to his extensive "second opinion" review of the Nikon Coolpix 5000. His review is from a different perspective than mine, as a long time Nikon Coolpix owner Vincent takes a look at the 5000 in comparison to the 950, 990 and 995 Coolpix digital cameras. Vincent's article covers the add-on lenses, camera overview, batteries, image quality and the advantage to be gained over a two or three megapixel digital camera.
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Minolta's four megapixel, four times optical zoom DiMAGE S404. At $500 the S404 is one of the cheapest four megapixels (apart from Kodak's DX4900 - only two times zoom). The S404 is an evolution on last years three megapixel S304, it features the same four times optical zoom lens and extensive set of manual controls, additionally you now have four megapixels of resolution, improved buffering, a shifted ISO sensitivity range and histogram playback. So how did the S404 stand up to our tests? Also: updated DiMAGE X production review now posted.
The Japanese site 'Miscall' (who used to be associated with Dreamarts) has once more claimed another Internet first by being the first site to publish samples from Fujifilm's new S602 Zoom (a beta camera). The S602 Zoom, announced just before PMA 2002 is an evolution on the 6900Z. The S602 is also one of three new cameras based on Fujifilm's updated SuperCCD III technology.
Canon (USA and Europe) have posted updated Windows drivers and software for the EOS-D30, EOS-D60 and EOS-1D. There are new TWAIN (Windows 98, Me, 2000) and WIA (Windows XP) drivers for the D30 & D60 (Ver 4.2) as well as the new RAW Image Converter 2.0 (as described in our recent EOS-D60 review). EOS-D30, G1 and G2 users will be pleased to hear that this latest release of RAW Image Converter fully supports their camera.
PhotoPoint, the photo sharing / finishing service which went out of business back in December last year has today activated the members CD ordering service. This new service will enable old PhotoPoint members to order CD-ROM's containing their images. This service requires your email address and account password and will cost $24.95 per CD (+$9.95 shipping). This service will be available only until April 30th 2002.
Just catching up with a weeks worth of reviews at the other digital camera sites. Imaging-Resource has reviewed Canon's PowerShot A30 and A40 as well as updating their Minolta DiMAGE X and Nikon Coolpix 2500 reviews. Steve Sander's went on a Canon review spree earlier in the week and reviewed the A30, A40, S330 and S900 printer. Jeff over at DCResource has also reviewed the PowerShot A40.
Catching up with reviews started before PMA I've just put the finishing touches to my review of Pentax's four megapixel Optio 430. The camera (and thus my review) is based heavily on the Optio 330. Indeed, the entire body design, control system and menus are identical to the 330. What we needed to test in this review was the resolution advantage of going from the 3 megapixel to the 4 megapixel model.
If you live in one of the following locations: Boston, San Francisco, Montreal, London, Paris, Munich or Stuttgart, Singapore, Sydney, Seoul, Shanghai or Hong Kong then you could become a part of helping to shape the future of Kodak digital cameras. Kodak are conducting a global design and usability study in the above locations. All they need from you is a quick email with answers to a few simple questions, if chosen you'll be called by Kodak to discuss digital camera design and usability. Do you part, help to shape the future of digital cameras.
Steve Sanders over at Steves-Digicams has just posted a first look of a pre-production Minolta DiMAGE F100 digital camera. The F100 is an ultra-compact, metal bodied, four megapixel, three times optical zoom digital camera which stores images on SD/MMC cards. This is prime competition for Canon's PowerShot S40. At this stage Steve has no conclusion about the F100 but has been allowed to post sample images from the camera.
Two weeks ago (12th March) Contax Japan put a message up on their corporate server to say they were sorry but that the launch date for the N Digital which had supposed to have been that day was pushed back until the 25th. Digital Camera guru Yamada Kumio reporting from the Photo Expo 2002 (Japan) has apparently been told that this launch date must be again postponed due to "final adjustment". I'm sure there are many people who were excited by this camera six megapixel full-frame digital SLR when it was announced almost two years ago.
CeBIT 2002: Olympus has announced the new CAMEDIA C-120 and C-220 Zoom budget priced digital cameras. Note that these are the European designations, we are awaiting confirmation of the US names. The C-120 is a 2 megapixel fixed lens digital camera, priced at just £169.99 (inc VAT). The C-220 Zoom is a 2 megapixel, 3x optical zoom digital camera priced at just £199.99. UPDATE: We think the US designations are: C-120 = D-380, C-220 Zoom = D-520 Zoom (this is unconfirmed).
00:00 25/Mar Tokyo: I've just finished uploading the last few images which make up one of the largest reviews ever published here. Our full review of a production Canon EOS-D60 is now available. The review is spread over 25 web pages and covers almost every aspect of camera control, performance and image quality. This includes a detailed comparison to its older sibling the EOS-D30 as well as the benchmark six megapixel Nikon D1x. UPDATED: Added low light AF test (timings & sizes section).
Dale Gass, President of Pantellic Software (owner of failed photo sharing site Photopoint) has certainly featured in the headlines in the last few months and just a few days ago he gave an interview to CNET. Since then Mr Gass has contacted us and to his credit volunteered to answer our questions. "As far as selling my car and mortgaging the house to let people get access to their photos goes, I think that's a bit of a naive expectation. I poured my heart, soul, and dreams into PhotoPoint for the past four years, and did everything possible to keep it alive until the bitter end"
The Impress Digital Camera Magazine, a monthly Japanese publication, always provides a web page of sample images in conjunction with its latest printed copy. This month Impress DCM has posted a whole bunch of full size samples from a beta Canon EOS-D60, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC40 / DMC-LC5, Leica Digilux 1, Sony DSC-P71 / P31, Sanyo DSC-MZ2, Kyocera Finecam S3x, Olympus C-2 Zoom, Nikon Coolpix 2500 and Canon PowerShot A40.
Dale Gass, President of Pantellic Software (who bought back and ran PhotoPoint at the time of its demise) has given an interview to CNET. To quote Mr Gass, "Again, I think people underestimate the cost of keeping a site like PhotoPoint running. We see a lot of comments along the lines of: "They could have kept it up a week to let us get our photos." Unfortunately, that extra week represents tens of thousands of dollars in lease, bandwidth, salary, and so on that couldn't have been paid. It's not just a matter of leaving the server on."
We've managed to get our hands on a Japanese pre-production Fujifilm FinePix F601 Zoom. This is the 3.1 megapixel SuperCCD III successor to the popular FinePix 6800Z. The camera is one of just a few which have vertically orientated bodies, as is always the case with Fujifilm the design and finish on this camera is excellent with a full metal body and large automatic lens cover. A quick overview of the updates and a samples gallery are available.
SMaL Camera Technologies as today announced that Fujifilm Axia (a subsidiary of Fujifilm) will release a camera based on SMaL's Ultra-Pocket digital camera design and technology. The Axia 'eyeplate' weighs in at just 35 g (1.2 oz) including its built in storage and battery, features a 0.3 megapixel CMOS sensor (640 x 480 or 320 x 240 image sizes) and a fixed focal length lens. This camera is obviously both a bit of fun and an exercise in miniaturization. And I find it interesting that a company like Fujifilm have chosen to release it under one of their brands.
PMA 2002: Leica has today announced it's all new four megapixel digital camera the 'Digilux 1'. This camera features a 3x F2.0 - F2.5 optical zoom lens (sound familiar?), four megapixel CCD sensor, die-cast magnesium body, 3.8 frames per second continuous shooting, 2.5" 205,000 pixel LCD and SD/MMC storage. The Digilux 1 is powered by a supplied Lithium-Ion rechargeable and a slot-on LCD hood.
CeBIT 2002: Casio has today announced 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-M1 simply adds MP3 audio playback capability. Both Exilim have a 1.3 megapixel CCD, fixed 37 mm equiv. lens, internal RAM and SD/MMC storage slot, 1.6" TFT LCD and can take still images and movie clips. The EX-S1 weighs in at just 86 g (3 oz) without its battery.
Just posted! Our concise review of Sony's budget priced DSC-P71. The P71 was announced just before PMA this year as the top-of-the-line of three new budget level cameras 'P' digital cameras; DSC-P31, DSC-P51 and DSC-P71. The P71 is a three megapixel, three times optical zoom digital camera with similar looks to the DSC-P5 (but a larger body). The P71 is priced at just $399 which will make it very attractive to those on a budget or first time buyers, so how does it stack up?
We've just posted our full review of a production Nikon Coolpix 2500 (as far as I know this is the first review of a production unit). The two megapixel, three times zoom Coolpix 2500 was announced at PMA 2002 this year as Nikon's unique foray into the trendy, compact, yet affordable end of the digital camera market. The 2500 is a completely new camera yet has echos of its older split bodied siblings, with an internal twist mechanism the 2500 manages to keep the lens protected while still offering the flexibility of a lens which can be positioned freely. All this for under US$400, but how did it perform in our tests?
CeBIT 2002: 0800 GMT: Minolta has today announced the ultra-compact four megapixel, 3x optical zoom DiMAGE F100 digital camera. This is the first consumer digital camera to feature "Subject Tracking autofocus", the camera has a wide AF area and once the AF is locked the camera will automatically track the subject within the bounds of the scene. Another new feature on the F100 is automatic subject program selection (scene mode) which analyses the scene and decides which pre-defined exposure program to use. To my eye this camera has strong echos of Sony's DSC-P5 / P9.
CeBIT 2002: 0800 GMT: Minolta has today announced the DiMAGE 7i as an update to its popular DiMAGE 7. The DiMAGE 7i keeps the same 7x optical zoom lens and 5 megapixel sensor. Major improvements are a re-styled hand grip, improved 'wide AF' with faster AF response and manual adjustment AFTER auto focus, LCD/viewfinder grid overlay, LCD/viewfinder live histogram, improved LCD viewfinder, maximum 1/4000 sec shutter speed, Ultra High Speed continuous mode (7 fps, 1280 x 960), two macro positions, wireless / remote slave control over Minolta flash units, improved saturation, contrast and exposure control and three new movies modes.
CeBIT 2002: 0600 GMT: Canon has today announced the DIGITAL IXUS 330 (EU name) / S330 DIGITAL ELPH (US name). The DIGITAL IXUS 330 has the same 3x optical zoom, 2 megapixel CCD as the previous Digital IXUS 300 (S300). Just like the newly announced IXUS v² the 330 has a revised stainless steel body design, selectable ISO, spot metering, playback histogram, an orientation sensor, improved navigation controls, better Direct Print (CP-100, CP-10 and BJ S820D) and EXIF Print (EXIF 2.2) support. In addition there's also a new waterproof casing (WP-DC500) which enables the IXUS 330 to be used at depths of up to 30 m (100 ft).
CeBIT 2002: 0600 GMT: Canon has today announced the DIGITAL IXUS v² (EU name) / S200 DIGITAL ELPH (US name). The DIGITAL IXUS v² has the same 2x optical zoom, 2 megapixel CCD as the previous Digital IXUS (S110 ELPH) but now has a revised stainless steel body design, an orientation sensor, improved navigation controls, selectable ISO, spot metering, better Direct Print (CP-100, CP-10 and BJ S820D) and EXIF Print (EXIF 2.2) support. In addition there's also a new waterproof casing (WP-DC600) which enables the IXUS v² to be used at depths of up to 30 m (100 ft).
In a message posted on Kyocera's Japanese website the company informs those buyers who were expecting to be able to purchase the camera today that the sale of this camera has been delayed by 13 days. The new official sale date for the N Digital (at least in Japan) is now March 25th 2002. For those who don't know the Contax N Digital is the first digital SLR with a full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor. The sensor is a six megapixel unit made by Philips. This camera was first announced in the summer of 2000, the camera is expected to go on sale for US$7,000.
Just a quick update to the article we ran last week about the price of the EOS-D60 in Canada and the UK. We can now confirm that Canon USA has announced its official pricing. State Stret Direct (our official affiliate) are now offering US$2,199 for the full EOS-D60 Kit (includes battery, charger and DC coupler) or US$1,999 for the EOS-D60 Body Only (no battery, charger or DC coupler). All previous orders will be adjusted to this new price. UPDATE: US$1,999 for the body only kit!
Chris Dodkin and Anthony Blake, regular posters on our Canon SLR Talk discussion forum are organising the 'Dpreview Canon SLR Forum - Digital Day Out'. "It's time to dust of that digicam, and go take some pictures. This is the first UK meeting of the DPREVIEW Canon SLR Forum, at Twycross Zoo, Nr. Tamworth. A great chance to meet forum members, share ideas and experiences, and get some great shots of the animals at the zoo. Just pop along to the Digital Day Out web pages for a full plan of the day, location map and routes, along with details of the proposed pub lunch at the historic Cock Inn, Sibson."
Pre-CeBIT 2002: Sony Japan has today announced the four megapixel sucessor to the ultra-compact DSC-P5, the new DSC-P9. In a joint press release covering the recently announced DSC-P31 and DSC-P71 Sony Japan has also let the DSC-P9 out of the bag. The new DSC-P9 has a 3x optical zoom lens, 4 megapixel sensor, expanded white balance settings, multi-point AF (although in automatic mode) and the new 320 x 240 unlimited recording time MPEG Movie HQX. We've had a DSC-P9 'in house' for a week or so now in preparation for a review, unfortunately at this time Sony are still tweaking image quality so we can't post samples.
Ian Burley over at DP-Now.Com has just posted an excellent and detailed review of Canon's S900 A4 Photo Printer. The S900 is the fastest A4 Photo Ink-Jet Printer available, but as Ian says "is there a price to be paid for all that speed?". "We do wonder if the extra speed of the S900 is the killer feature for buyers. The out-going S800 was already an impressively fast printer. Some other countries are getting an S820 model, which appears to be similar to an S900 operating at S800 speed."
State Street Direct Online, our official affiliate is now accepting pre-orders for the Canon EOS-D60, Nikon D100 and Sigma SD9. Placing a pre-order at this early stage will ensure you will be one of the first to own one of these new D-SLR's. Final prices for these cameras has not yet been set, when it does you will be notified and charged at the new price. Your order will help contribute to the upkeep of this site.
There's been a lot of debate on our discussion forums about the use of the "x 3" notation after the pixel count when describing Foveon's X3 sensors. After a meeting with Foveon at PMA they made clear that they feel that they conform to published JCIA (Japan Camera Industry Association) guidelines which say "For DSCs that use a plurality of image sensors, the number of image sensors and the number of effective pixels corresponding to each image sensor shall be noted." Obviously this standard was published before Foveon announced their new technology but the use of "x 3" does seems logical enough.
At the Focus On Imaging 2002 show last week in Birmingham Rollei had a mysterious camera in a glass case. It turns out that this camera is Rollei's latest foray into the digital realm. The d530 flex is a five megapixel with a non-removable three times optical zoom digital camera with a true TTL optical reflex type viewfinder (even has a micro-lens focusing screen). Curiously the camera only captures in RAW format. Storage is provided by a PCMCIA slot and playback on a 2.5" LCD monitor. This is a power hungry beast and requires no less than six AA batteries and is priced at £1,700 (inc VAT) - approx US$2,000 without taxes.
In Canada at least... Canon has appeared to raise the stakes in the big Nikon vs. Canon poker game. We've just received word from a reliable Canadian source that the list price for the Canon EOS-D60 within Canada will be $3,500 CDN (exc. Taxes). This works out at about US$2,200 which is clearly a lot lower than the $2,999 quoted in the original Canon USA press release. If accurate and if these prices can be reflected elsewhere in the world this will certainly put a lot of pressure on Nikon and their pricing of the D100 (which is rumoured to be 'well below US$3,000'). UPDATE: We now have a receipt from one of our Candadian readers who yesterday pre-ordered a D60 at $3,500 CDN. UPDATE (7/Mar/02): UK Price is set at £2200 inc VAT.
Matsushita Japan (known to us as Panasonic) has today announced that its ultra-compact DMC-F7 digital camera (2 megapixel, 2x optical zoom) which was announced with either silver or black body finishes will also be available in three additional colours. The new colours are gold (DMC-F7N), red (DMC-F7R) and blue (DMC-F7A). It's not clear at this stage if these new multi-coloured cameras are destined only for the domestic market (Japan).
PMA 2002: With Canon's announcement of the EOS-D60, Nikon's D100, Sigma's SD9 and the Fujifilm S2 Pro the market for digital SLR's has never been so open and so affordable. We're now faced with four very interesting digital SLR's from different manufacturers at either already announced or expected affordable prices. What could make it even more interesting is the fact that each D-SLR utilizes a slightly different type of sensor technology. This article provides a very quick features and specifications comparison to anyone considering one of these new D-SLR's. UPDATE: Canon USA has set the price of the EOS-D60.
Steve Sanders over at Steves-Digicams has just posted a first look review of Panasonic's four megapixel DMC-LC5. When announced this camera (along with the DMC-F7) marked a significant shift for Panasonic's digital line which was previously just the three megapixel 'iPalm' (which didn't do well). This new camera was designed in collaboration with Leica (indeed as far as we know Leica's Digilux 1 is simple a re-moulded DMC-LC5). Come in and see what Steve has to say. Comment: Questions about the origin of the lens.