October 25
Sony Photo Vault
Sony has announced the Photo Vault, a portable CD burner for photographers on the move. Users can burn images onto an 8cm disc in approximately nine minutes as well as view shots as a slideshow on a TV using the video out connection. The Mini CD-R Station accepts images from Memory Stick (using the built-in slot), USB devices and digital cameras with their own storage media. It takes four AA batteries, which can burn up to 10 8cm discs and is available now for around £199 ($300).
October 22
Just posted! Fuji FinePix E550 review
Just posted! Our review of Fujifilm's FinePix E550 Zoom, which is very similar in spec to the FinePix F810 Zoom but housed in a completely different body. The FinePix E550 is the flagship model in Fuji's new E series, which is characterised by wideangle lenses and large LCD screens. Take a look our concise review to see how it compares.
Epson announces R-D1 availability
Epson has announced that the world's first digital rangefinder camera, the R-D1 is to begin shipping in the US on November 1 and is expected to cost around $2,999. The Epson R-D1, which is the first digital camera to use L- and M-mount lenses, conveys the classic feel of a rangefinder and offers 6.1 megapixelsm and an APS C-sized sensor.
Fujifilm S3 Pro, $2499 in the US
As reported on several other websites Fujifilm US has set the 'minimum advertised price' of its new S3 Pro digital SLR at $2499. That's some $1000 more than the Canon EOS 20D and $1500 more than Nikon's D70. Clearly Fujifilm see the S3 Pro fitting in between those models and the high-end professional targetted units like the EOS-1D Mark II or D2H/D2X. No other region has yet announced pricing.
October 20
Samsung announces 5 MP camera phone
Samsung has today unveiled the world's first 5MP camera phone with a CCD, the SCH-S250. A spokesman for the company said "the picture quality is good enough to compare with five megapixel digital cameras", but we'll reserve judgement on that one. It has a 92MB internal memory as well as an MP3 player. Samsung, the world's third largest handset maker, said the camera module was jointly developed with Japanese company Asahi Pentax.
October 18
Canon posts PowerShot S70 firmware
Canon has today posted firmware version for the PowerShot S70. The firmware prevents E51 errors from occurring when making specific print settings. If you have a black dot on the inside of the battery cover it is not necessary to download the firmware, as the camera already has it. Look out for our review of the PowerShot S70 coming soon.
October 15
Corel Corporation acquires Jasc Software
Corel Corporation has expanded its software portfolio with the acquisition of Jasc Software, which produces the Paint Shop family of image editing and digital photography programs. Corel will continue to sell Paint Shop Pro, Paint Shop Pro Studio and Paint Shop Photo Album as standalone products. The company says it will 'continue to support new R&D iniatives for the Jasc products, ensuring that they will continue to flourish'. Corel itself was acquired by a San Francisco-based company in August last year and is going from strength to strength having shown profits for four consecutive quarters.
October 14
No Sony DSC-T3 for the US
We've received an official note from Sony US that the slimline succesor to the DSC-T1, the T3 will not be destined for the US. This came as a slight surprise as it was officially announced by Sony US at the end of August. Sony stated the reason behind this decision was that the DSC-T1 was selling well and would have "a longer life than anticipated".
Bibble Labs announce Bibble 4.0
It's been a while since we had an announcement from Bibble Labs but I'm glad to see that the independent RAW conversion software is back and apparently stronger than ever. Bibble 4.0 has been re-written from the ground up and features better workflow and RAW conversion features including wider camera support, new work queues, automated renaming, web galleries and ICC profiling. Overall performance and more importantly RAW conversion speed is also said tobe improved. Bibble 4.0 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
October 13
Just posted! Fuji FinePix F810 Zoom review
Just posted! Our review of Fujifilm's FinePix F810 Zoom, which uses the same 4th Generation Super CCD sensor as the S7000 zoom to produce 12 megapixel files from 6.3 million effective pixels. With a 4x (32.5 - 130mm equiv.) zoom and full photographic control in a slim, stylish, all-metal body it certainly looks good on paper, but will the output live up to Fujifilm's claims for its Super CCD technology? See how it shaped up in our concise review.
Olympus i:robe Easy Imaging System
Olympus has today announced a portable 'digital photography lab' incorporating a digital camera, home printer, hard disk drive and, in the future, a DVD burner. The i:robe Easy Imaging System components dock together and the 4 megapixel IR-500 camera and P-S100 printer are PictBridge-compatible. The IR-500 also boasts swing-out 2.5-inch LCD screen, 17 scene modes, and camera shake protection in movie mode. The 40GB S-HD-100 hard disk drive can hold up to 40,000 images. The Easy Imaging System will be out next year, with prices to be confirmed later this year.
Olympus m:robe
Olympus has today released more information surrounding its new concept camera, image viewer and music player, the 'm:robe'. Planned for release early next year, the m:robe MR-500i has a 20GB capacity, an integrated 1.2 megapixel digital camera and touch-screen control. It can store up to 5,000 songs and 20,000 images. A 'Remix Play' mode allows you to combine images, sounds and special effects to view on the LCD or on a television screen. Olympus has also announced the m:robe MR-100, a 5GB digital music player without a digital camera.
October 12
Epson P-2000 Multimedia Storage Viewer
Post Photokina: Epson has launched the P-2000 Multimedia Storage Viewer which can store your images (it has a 40GB capacity), create slideshows and connect to a photo printer. The device has a large 3.8-inch Photo Fine LCD, which Epson says ‘ensures a sharp lifelike preview of recorded images unsurpassed by any other manufacturer’ and offers a resolution of 212 ppi. It can also playback movies, MP3 files and supports CompactFlash and SD memory cards.
Canon posts EOS-1D Mark II firmware 1.0.3
Canon has today posted firmware version 1.0.3 for the EOS-1D Mark II digital SLR. The firmware adds new functions for communicating with Speedlite 580EX, reduces noise when shooting bulb exposures and fixes sensor cleaning operation.
Nikon D70 eBook
Peter iNova, with Uwe Steinmueller, has announced the availability of his latest eBook uncovering secrets and workarounds for the Nikon D70. Its 14 chapters cover RAW image conversion, operation, a self-guided digital photography course as well as advanced problem solving. Over 140 new Actions have also been made to the exclusive requirement of D70 images for colorimetry, noise control, printing setup and barrel distortion elimination. UPDATE: Special discount for dpreview readers.
October 7
Canon posts EOS 20D firmware 1.0.5
Following several incidents of 'dead cameras' Canon pulled its 1.0.4 firmware update for the EOS 20D shortly after it was published. Today Canon has posted version 1.0.5 which includes all of 1.0.4's updates and should (hopefully) not cause any further update problems. On the update page there are no less than two 'apologies' to customers who may have had their cameras killed by the previous update. It's also worth noting the specific recommended procedure of update.
October 6
Kodak job losses and restructuring
Following Kodak's announcement in January to halt production of film cameras it is cutting jobs at manufacturing sites in France, the UK and Australia resulting in the loss of nearly 1500 jobs. Around 600 people are expected to lose their jobs in both the UK and Australia. The decline of film will see the closure of a facility in Harrow, UK that sensitizes film for the graphics industry, a plant in Nottingham, UK, which primarily produces consumer film, and a factory in Melbourne, Australia. Job losses in France will amount to around 270 following the closure of a site in Chalon, France which produces films and photographic paper. It also plans to restructure its sites in both countries which will reduce the company's square footage by one third.
October 4
ACDSee 7
ACD Systems has announced the latest version of its image management software, ACDSee 7. New features include a Device Synchronization function that automates the downloading process of images and media, a Context Sensitive Toolbar, as well as support for RAW files. Advanced search capabilities allow users to view their entire collection in one window using the new Image Well. It is available now priced $49.99.
Canon posts EOS 20D firmware 1.0.4
Canon has today posted firmware version 1.0.4 for the EOS 20D digital SLR. This firmware fixes the problem of the shutter release not working when a lens is removed or a lens is attached when the camera is in auto power off mode, and improves the reliability when using some CF cards. This update applies to camera with firmware version 1.0.2. The firmware can be loaded via a CompactFlash card. Note: Canon has now pulled this update from the site with a brief note saying the Firmware update service is not available temporarily.
Sharp develops 2MP sensor for camera phones

Sharp has developed a two megapixel sensor with a 2x optical zoom to be used in camera phones. The first model will be the high end LZ0P3738 phone, which is launching this month. However, Sharp is still some way behind Samsung which launched a 3MP 3x zoom camera phone in July.

Photokina 2004 - 270 images, 3000 words
Photokina 2004 is now over and we can look back on one of the busiest and most successful weeks of the year for us. Just like PMA earlier in the year we posted live stand reports from the show floor, in the first three days of the show we posted 270 images and 3,000 words describing the 21 stands (and 108 products) which make up our Photokina 2004 show report. During the Photokina week we had 3.2 million visitors to the site who read 17.6 million pages (not including the forums).
October 1
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D gallery
As promised we have today been out shooting with our pre-production Maxxum 7D and have put together a samples gallery of twenty one images including daylight low ISO and indoor high ISO shots. So far the results are impressive, especially low noise at high sensitivities and the very capable Anti-Shake system which allowed us to shoot as slow as 1/2 or 1/4 sec without a tripod (slower speeds do also seem possible but we can't be 100% confident without proper testing). Otherwise the images have good tonal balance, color response and a conservative approach to image sharpening (perhaps considered soft in appearance).
September 30
Epson L500V
Epson's has announced its latest entry level camera in the shape of the five million pixel L500V. Controls are basic but the model sports a large 2.5-inch LCD screen, doing away with an optical viewfinder altogether. It has a 32MB internal memory and can take SD/MMC cards.
September 29
Mamiya ZD and digital back
Mamiya has announced the first medium format digital SLR, the 22 megapixel Mamiya ZD and a digital back of the same name. The ZD has a large 36 x 48mm sensor, is compatible with 645AF lenses and has a 1.8-inch LCD. It stores 12-bit colour images on to either CompactFlash or SD cards. The Mamiya ZD Back realizes full interactive communications through the MSCE (Mamiya Serial Communication for External) to bring out the best of all the advanced functions of these cameras.
Following the launch of Kodak's first camera to use xD-Picture Card, the LS755, the company has now launched its own range xD-Picture Cards. Lexar will distribute and market the cards from the beginning of the next quarter. Lexar and Kodak formed a long-term relationship in May in a bid to gain a larger share of the market for removable digital media.
September 28
Contax i4R
Contax has today announced the four megapixel i4R.The rather unconventionally designed camera has a sliding lens that also incorporates the flash. The fixed lens camera has a 1.5-inch LCD and can capture 640 x 480-pixel movies. It will be available in November priced £299 (approx $447) and will come with a high capacity SD card, approximately 256MB. This will be updated when we receive more information.
Contax U4R
Contax has today announced a lookalike of the SL300R T*; the four megapixel Contax U4R. The swivel lens camera has a curvier body and boasts a Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar 3x zoom lens and a 2-inch LCD. It will be available in October priced £399 (approx $595) and we're told that will include a 'fairly large' SD card of around 256MB. This will be updated when we receive more information.
Exclusive Maxxum 7D samples
We have just been handed a pre-production Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D digital SLR. On our way back from the show I've snapped a few samples for your viewing pleasure. Most of these shots were taken with a deliberately slow shutter speed to test Konica Minolta's Anti-Shake CCD stabilization system. And the results do look surprisingly good. We hope to bring you a more extensive gallery later in the week.
SanDisk Digital Photo TV Player
SanDisk has today announced a device that allows you display still images and movies on a television. SanDisk Photo Album (SPA) can take eight types of storage media as well as portable flash drives. One of the key features is that the SPA stores images in a format optimal for television viewing. The SPA comes with a remote control and will retail for around $49.99 (approx. €46).
SanDisk launches three card readers
SanDisk has announced three new card readers; the ImageMate 12-in-1, ImageMate 5-in-1 and the ImageMate CompactFlash. Each new reader has a one-touch transfer button and software for simplifying common tasks such as renaming and emailing files. All devices come bundled with image cataloguing program Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 Starter Edition.
SanDisk Extreme III
SanDisk has today announced its new range of memory cards which double the performance speeds of its predecessor. Aimed at professionals, the new Extreme III range includes CompactFlash, SD and Memory Stick PRO media with the first two boasting read/write speeds of 20MB/sec, while the latter has 18MB/sec. SanDisk says its cards will work in extreme temperatures ranging from -13F (-25C) to 185F (85C). Integrated RescuePRO software allows photographers to recover accidentally deleted images or data. They will begin shipping in October.
SanDisk Ultra II

SanDisk has quadrupled the capacity of its high speed Ultra II line of memory cards with an 8GB CompactFlash card. Also at the top end of the Ultra II range is a 4GB Memory Stick Pro and 2GB SD card. Each boasts a minimum write speed of 9MB/sec and read speed of 10MB per second.

SanDisk Shoot and Store range
SanDisk has announced the availability of its budget-priced Shoot & Store line of flash memory cards in Europe. The cards, including CompactFlash, SD, Memory Stick PRO and xD-Picture Cards, will be sold according to the number of images that can be stored as well as their capacities. The new range is aimed at new digital converts who want the convenience of leaving their flash cards with developers as well as those who don’t have the time or ability to download images to a computer. Prices are expected to range from around €10 for 32MB to approximately €15 for 64MB, both excluding VAT.
Panasonic Pro High Speed Series
Panasonic has today announced a new Pro High Speed Series 1GB and 512MB SD Memory cards this fall which use Panasonic's new LSI architecture and proprietary high speed technology to achieve data transfer rates of 20MB/sec. They will be availlable in October. Panasonic will also simultaneously launch a Cardbus compatible PC Card Adaptor as a host device to enable high-speed data transfer.
September 27
Extensis has announced an update to its Pro Photo Raw Image Filter for Portfolio 7. Using the Filter Portfolio 7 can extract EXIF metadata and IPTC from Raw files, create thumbnails and generate high resolution JPEG previews for displaying images in catalogues. Registered owners of Extensis’ digital asset management (DAM) solution will be eligible for a free upgrade.
Olympus m:robe
Olympus has today announced that it wil launch a combined digital camera, image viewer and music player called the m:robe early next year. Information is very sketchy at the moment with no technical spec available or images but Olympus says it has an 'eye-catching, minimalist design'. It is due to be released early next and the price is yet to be confirmed. The only other company to release a similar product is Fuji with the FinePix 40i in June 2000.
Ulead PhotoImpact 10
Ulead Systems has today announced PhotoImpact 10. Aimed at beginners, the update has a welcome screen which allows users quick access to tasks such as scanning, getting photos from a digital camera, browsing images or making simple edits. Some new high end features include an enhanced Lasso tool and Object Extraction Wizard for complicated cut-outs, a Touch up tool, live Histogram Panel display and enhanced High Dynamic Range (HDR) Engine. Other new features include a Basic Mode simplifies the interface and displays large, easy-to-recognise icons, revamped menu system, dockable and groupable panels, and a moe 'robust' Browse Manager.
Olympus E-300 Digital SLR (EVOLT)
Olympus today announced the second ever Four Thirds System digital SLR, the new E-300 (to be know in North America as the 'Olympus EVOLT E-300'). This digital SLR features an eight megapixel 4/3 size CCD, it has unique TTL Optical Porro Finder (mirrors instead of glass prisms) viewfinder which uses a sideways swinging mirror system. Although Olympus hasn't yet announced pricing we can derive from the specifications and design that this camera will be aimed at point lower than the E-1, in the consumer D-SLR market.
Three new Olympus 4/3 lenses
In conjunction with the announcement of the E-300 Olympus has also today announced three new Four Thirds System zoom lenses; ED 7 - 14 mm F4.0 (2x), E 14 - 45 mm F3.5 - F5.6 (3.2x) and E 40 - 150 mm F3.5 - F4.5 (3.8x). On the E-1 or E-300 these lenses will produce an equivelant field of view of 14 - 28 mm, 28 - 90 mm and 80 - 300 mm respectively. In addition Olympus has also improved the as yet to be released ED 150 mm F2.0 by fitting a faster AF drive unit.
Olympus FL-36 Flash
Three new lenses, a new digital SLR and to round things off a new more compact, more affordable flash unit, the FL-36. This flash is designed to work exclusively with the Olympus E series (Four Thirds System) digital SLR's and provides 1/8 step illumination control with both TTL and FP-TTL automatic flash metering. The FL-36 has a range of 12 - 36 m (depending on focal length) and has a field of view coverage of 8 mm (16 mm equiv.). The FL-36 will be priced at $249 in the US.
Olympus D-590 Zoom / C-470 Zoom
Olympus has today announced the 4 megapixel D-590 Zoom for the entry level market. The camera has no optical viewfinder (like the AZ-2) and a 1.8-inch ‘sunshine’ LCD, 8 scene modes, movie with sound and is PictBridge-compatible. Aside from the new curvy designs we've been seeing from Olympus, it has chosen to position an on/off slider switch on the front of the camera.
Olympus AZ-2 Zoom
The sleek AZ-1 has had an upgrade in the shape of the 4 megapixel AZ-2 which is just over 2cm (less than an inch) wide and includes a 2.8x zoom lens. The rear of the camera is dominated by a large 2.5" 'sunshine' LCD said to allow better viewing in bright light and it has a minimalist design with very few controls and notably no optical viewfinder. It also boasts 13 scene modes and is PictBridge compatible. It will be priced £299 ($399) when it is launched.
Adobe announces new format for raw files
Adobe Systems has today announced a new unified public format for raw digital camera files and a free software tool, Adobe DNG Converter, for translating raw photo formats into the new .DNG format, which is compliant with the Digital Negative Specification. There is no standard format for raw files, which vary between manufacturers and cameras. Digital Negative Specification will introduce a single format that can store information from a diverse range of cameras. An updated Adobe RAW File Converter adds support for DNG as well as several other cameras.
Three major manufacturers have announced an agreement to develop a set of storage standards to preserve digital photos on CDs, DVDs and other media. Konica Minolta, Fuji Photo Film and Eastman Kodak have formed the Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS) Group which aims to enable digital file compatibility with future playback devices. PASS wants to ensure that digital images can be retrieved from any digital device or storage medium in future
Lexar announces four new card readers
Lexar has today announced two new CompactFlash card readers, built with similar material to a digital camera, a Multi-Card Reader and single slot Card Reader. The two new Professional CompactFlash readers can be easily stacked and daisy-chained together for concurrent download of images. They offer read and write speeds in excess of 10MB per second, are available in USB 2.0 and FireWire format, and they support Lexar’s new ActiveMemory System. The four-slot Multi-Card Reader accepts Reduced-Size MultiMedia Cards (RS-MMC), Mini SD and Memory Stick Duo among numerous other media cards. The Lexar one-slot Card Reader replaces the Lexar JumpDrive Trio, and offers compatibility with Memory Stick, MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital and xD-Picture Cards.
Lexar announces ActiveMemory
Lexar has today announced a new technology designed to optimize digital photography workflow and enhance productivity in the studio. ActiveMemory System will allow photographers to store the owners name and image preferences on the card as well as append images with copyright information. The new technology is already supported by Professional CompactFlash cards and new Lexar Professional FireWire ad USB 2.0 card readers. Of course, to use these cards you will need to an ActiveMemory-enabled camera, which has yet to be announced.
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II samples gallery
Yesterday we managed to get our hands on a pre-production Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, after a short run around Cologne we've mangaged to put together a sixteen image samples gallery from this sixteen megapixel digital SLR. Two things are immediately obvious, firstly that noise levels are impressively low at high sensitivities and secondly that less sharpening appears to be required that the EOS-1D Mark II. Oh, and there are a lot of pixels in a EOS-1Ds Mark II image!
1GB xD-Picture Card announced

Fuji and Olympus have announced a 1GB xD-Picture Card. The M1GB will be available at the beginning of next year. The new card uses high density MLC (Multi Level Cell) memory technology to make it possible to pack 1GB into an ultra-compact card.The new technology will allow for xD-Picture Cards up to a capacity potential of 8GB. The ultra-compact card was first launched two years ago and up until now has only been used in Fuji and Olympus cameras. Kodak has just announced that its latest camera, the LS755, uses xD-Picture Card storage media.

September 26
dpreview at Photokina
Pre-Photokina 2004: It's Sunday and dpreview are already here in Cologne, Germany for the Photokina 'World of Imaging' Trade Show. During the show we will be bringing you our usual live show report as well as live breaking news and . Tomorrow is 'Press Day', a day which gives us press people the opportunity to meet with the exhibitors before the show begins on Tuesday. Tomorrow will be a big day with big samples and more new announcements.
September 24
Casio 2.2" VGA LCD monitor
Casio has announced the highest resolution LCD display to date, a 2.2" HAST TFT LCD monitor with full VGA (640 x 480) resolution. The majority of LCD monitors used in digital cameras today have QVGA (320 x 240) resolution (230,000 total pixels), this new screen would deliver over 900,000 pixels which would produce a far more detailed reproduction of images, very useful for immediate record review or playback verification. Casio claim that this new screen has the same power consumption as the older models.