Dave Etchells over at Imaging-Resource has just posted his full reivew of the Nikon D70 digital SLR, "I'll save you the suspense though, and say right up front that I *really* liked this camera. Nikon really got just about everything right, offering a lot more features and capability than the Digital Rebel, at only a slight premium in price. And the lens that ships as part of the kit is a bargain too, at an incremental cost of $300 for a very nice piece of optics."
Sony Japan today announced the all new DSC-T11 ultra-compact digital camera. Clearly based around the DSC-T1 the DSC-T11 appears to be even slimmer still and does away with the T1's sliding front cover to give the camera a completely flat front profile. The DSC-T11 also gets a larger, more prominent chromed neck strap attachment bar which runs down its left side. The DSC-T11 has a five megapixel CCD and three times folded optical zoom lens. Also announced today were the DSC-W1, DSC-P100 and DSC-P73 (which were all announced at PMA), new however is the DSC-P43 which appears to be based on the DSC-P73. It's unclear at this stage if the DSC-T11 or DSC-P43 will make it to the European and US markets.
Kingston Technology has today announced the availability of a 1 GB CF Elite Pro card featuring the latest in high-density flash components. Kingston.s newest 1 GB CompactFlash Elite Pro provides a low price per megabyte solution of reliable, high-speed media. The Elite Pro provides a write speed of up to 5.2 MB per second and a read speed of up to 6.1 MB per second. Kingstons 1 GB Type I CompactFlash Elite Pro card has a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $349.00
Canon Japan has today announced a new black bodied version of the 'Kiss Digital' as it is known in Japan (EOS 300D / Digital Rebel). At this stage it's unclear whether Canon will make the new black body available in Europe (as the EOS 300D) or North America (as the Digital Rebel). Remember also that the Japanese market get the USM version of the EF-S 18-55 mm lens which is powered by a normal DC motor in the rest of the world. Personally I think the camera looks much better in black, the color Canon should have chosen right from the start.
Software: Roxio began shipping its new PhotoSuite 7 Platinum software today. Building on its predecessor, the latest release of adds multimedia slide show capabilities, professional level editing tools, and advanced Video CD authoring. PhotoSuite 7 Platinum offers tremendous value by including all the tools needed to capture, edit, create, organize, share, and preserve digital photos on CD or DVD in one package. PhotoSuite 7 Platinum will be available shortly in North American for a suggested retail price of $49.95 (US) or $59.95 (CND), and for download today.
Canon BeBit has today posted firmware Version 1.0.3 for the EOS-1Ds. This firmware update offers following improvements and additions; when formatting a media card with a capacity of greater than 2GB the camera may not recognise the full capacity. As usual please read carefully the firmware installation information before installing the firmware update!
Fujifilm's has today announced an underwater housing for their FinePix F420 Zoom. The housing is made from hard-wearing, transparent polycarbonate, offering sub-aqua shooting at depths of up to 40 metres and its dedicated design retains full camera functionality. With an attractive ergonomic design, and bright orange detail, it's highly visible when under water.
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of a full production Nikon D70. The D70 is Nikon's first sub-$1000 digital SLR and now offers digital SLR buyers a new option other than Canon's EOS 300D (Digital Rebel). The D70 features a new six megapixel 'DX' size CCD sensor, Nikkor lens mount, quality black body and a wide range of manual features and controls. See how the D70 performed in our tests and how it compared to the EOS 300D (Digital Rebel).
ColorVision and Pantone have today announced ColorPlus, the newest addition to the PANTONE(R) COLORVISION(R) product line. ColorPlus is an affordable monitor calibration tool for consumers and photo hobbyists that calibrates a monitor to produce stunning photos in a few easy steps. ColorPlus by PANTONE COLORVISION comes bundled with Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition and is available immediately in the U.S. for an estimated street price of $99.
There has today been an escalation of the patent war between Kodak and Sony, in what looks like a tit for tat response, Sony has filed a suit against Kodak alleging that they infringed 10 of Sony's patents related to digital cameras. "It's a very important technology resource for Sony and we feel that if any company is in infringement of them, we will take action," said Sony spokesman Gerald Cavanagh in Tokyo. Sony's latest suit involves patents related to electronic shutters for CCD's. Sony said its action was not a counter-suit and involved different patents than the suit filed by Kodak.
Peter iNova, author of the 'Sony Advanced Cyber Shot' eBook has recently released version 2.0, the new eBook adds detail for Sony's new V1 and F828 digital cameras. "I'm excited about the interactivity," said author Peter iNova, "Now direct image-to-image comparisons are just a mouse rollover or click away. And wait till you see what can be done with the Sony 828's RAW mode using NightShot!". Also included are custom iNovaFX Photoshop Actions created exclusively to the needs of the V1 and 828 cameras. eBook price is $49.95US.
Nikon Europe has today posted firmware Version 1.8 for the Coolpix 5000. This firmware update offers following improvements and additions, when the camera is turned on and off after selecting ON in the Fixed Aperture from Zoom Options in SET-UP 1 menu. When the camera is used in Manual exposure mode, the incorrect aperture information is displayed. This has now been corrected. As usual please read carefully the firmware installation information before installing the firmware update!
Sony has posted firmware Version 2.0 for the DSC-F828 and DSC-T1. This firmware update resolves the same issues for both cameras, they are, a picture deleting issue using quick review function and pictures getting damaged when transferred from a PC to a camera via USB. For the T1 this update also adds PictBridge support. As usual please read carefully the firmware installation information before installing the firmware updates!
Software: The GIMP developers are proud to release version 2.0 of the GIMP, the leading freely distributable program for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. This release is a major event, marking the end of a three year development cycle by a group of volunteers and enthusiasts who have made this the most professional release of the GIMP ever. It is the first stable release that is officially supported not only on Unix-based operating systems, but also on Microsoft Windows and Macintosh OS X.
Software: Fookes Software has released Easy Imager 2.0, a powerful Windows application that makes it easy to display, manage, and batch-process images in all popular formats, and produce photo albums to suit every browser. New features in version 2.0 include integrated support for the innovative Zoomify image format, easy creation of full screen slide-shows and slide-show screensavers with professional transition effects, the ability to view image histograms, and support for stereoscopic 3D JPEG images and wireless bitmap images. Easy Imager 2.0 runs under Windows and costs $34.95, a free trial version is available.
Software: Photodex has today announced the release of the newest version of its slide show presentation product ProShow Gold. With version 2.0, ProShow Gold continues to be the only slide show presentation product that combines all output formats into a single application. This Create once, Play anywhere approach provides the user unmatched flexibility. ProShow Gold 2.0 is priced at $69.95 and standard edition for $29.95, both for electronic delivery. Both versions provide a fully functional 15-day trial.
Software: Jasc has today announced the release of the public beta version of Jasc Paint Shop Photo Album 5. It has a completely redesigned interface that follows the digital camera user's workflows, with more options to view and organize photos, users can choose to view by file tree, favorite folders, calendar view, or keywords. Photo Album gives users the ability to switch quickly and easily between views. The public beta of Paint Shop Photo Album 5 is available for download on the Jasc Web site.
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.