Canon Germany has launched the first of (we hope) a range of virtual tours available on the PowerShot.de website. The new virtual tour is a Macromedia Flash development and can provide you with a tour of the camera, a 360 degree view, menu displays and technical specifications. Also included is a tour and information of the CP-10 direct-print card printer.
The Japanese digital camera website 'digitalcamera.gr.jp' run by Yamada Kumio has today broken the news of Contax's long awaited N Digital. This digital SLR is based on the N1 film SLR and is fitted with a full frame (36 x 24 mm) 6 megapixel (3040 x 2016) Philips CCD. The latest specifications now also include ISO sensitivity of 50 to 1600, 3 frames per second continuous shooting speed, N series lens mount, 2" 200,000 pixel LCD, Compact Flash Type I/II, JPEG / TIFF / RAW image format. Price (in Japan) is expected to be 800,000 YEN (US$ 6,550) and the camera is said to be available February 1st 2002. UPDATED: Official Contax Specifications.
In a Reuters news article this morning Sanyo has revealed that it will be starting production of digital cameras in China as early as next spring. Sanyo currently makes digital cameras in Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. Sanyo supplies its products to digital camera makers on an OEM basis and did not identify which firms products would be manufacturered in China.
In our regular catch-up with the other digital camera websites we note that new reviews are available of: Ricoh Caplio RR1, Fujifilm Finepix 2600, Kodak DX3500 / DX3600 / DX3700, Kodak DCS 760, Toshiba PDR-M71, Canon PowerShot S30 & S40, Canon EOS-1D, Olympus C-40Z / D-40Z, Olympus E-20, Pentax Optio 330 & 430, Nikon D1H, Fujifilm Finepix A101 & A201, Fujifilm Finepix 2600.
Mike Chaney, author of the image manipulation / RAW converison / print management application Qimage Pro has today announced his latest 'build'. Version four brings new printing options including 'Floating Text' - an ability to place text over prints or in blank areas and with shadows. Other features include a new gamma filter, support for Photoshop PSD format and the comparator lock. As always this latest build also fixes minor bugs found in earlier versions of Qimage Pro.
Lexar has today extended its new 16x professional Compact Flash card range to 640 MB. As of December 1st the full line up will be available in capacities of 192, 256, 320, 512 and 640MB. The new 640 MB card will have a suggested retail price of $900 ($1.41/MB). "Lexar Medias 640MB capacity cards enable photographers to store more images to a single card. Offered as the latest Professional Series product, the 16X speed 640MB cards are capable of a minimum sustained write speed of 2.4MB per second, reducing the time it takes for digital cameras to read and write high-resolution image files."
Kodak has today announced it is restructuring its business in an attempt to boost profits. Kodak will be creating three new groups: Photography (traditional and digital), Commercial Imaging (scanning, processing etc.) and Components (display and image sensor products). Kodak have not said if the new restructuring will involve further job cuts. "This is not about (job cuts),'' a Kodak spokesman said of the restructuring. "This is stepping aside from anything to do with job cuts. This is strictly about how Kodak does business. It is about making this organization simpler by eliminating layers of shared responsibility that now exist.''
Polaroid, yes the company that we all thought had already left the market, has today announce a new digital camera. But not only that, Polaroid make the bold statement that the PDC 1320 "Delivers 35mm Image Quality at an Affordable Price". I'm thinking that just a few digital imaging experts may argue that a 1.3 megapixel digital camera would struggle to do that. Indeed I can't remember a single digital camera manufacturer who has made that statement, let alone with a 1.3 megapixel $199 unit.
Nikon USA has today announce the availablility of online 'LiveManuals' tutorials for the Coolpix 775 and 995 digital cameras, with more such manuals to come. Each LiveManual is available from the cameras webpage on the Nikon USA website. "LiveManuals make learning to use a digital camera a hands-on experience -- it's like having an expert right there in your living room, walking you through everything you need to know about your camera. This is a great tool for consumers to learn about their new camera and for those who want to see a demonstration of a camera's features before they go out to make the purchase."
Comdex 2001: Epson has today announced new partners for its PRINT Image Matching system. This time around it's largely software developers and one digital camera manufacturer - JVC. "Epson is excited to be working with these companies to support new P.I.M.-enabled products, further strengthening our commitment to the customer to provide a simple and flexible way to get the best prints possible,'' said Lisa Graham, product manager, photo imaging, Epson.
Comdex 2001: Ricoh USA has today announced the 4 megapixel Caplio RR1. The Caplio (which is very similar in design to the RDC-5/7xx series) carries a unique 'flat' design with a fold-up LCD screen, 3x optical zoom lens and is supplied with a total of 72 MB of storage (8 MB internal, 64 MB flash). Reviews are available at Imaging-Resource and Steves Digicams.
Fujifilm Germany has announced an all new ultra-compact VGA digital camera with a CMOS sensor. The iX-1 measures just 30 x 51 x 124 mm (1.2 x 2.0 x 4.9 in) and weighs just 96 g (3.4 oz) without its two AAA batteries. It has a fixed focal length, fixed focus F3.0 lens (36 mm equiv), 8 MB of internal flash storage and USB connectivity. It can also capture video clips and be used as a webcam. Price is expected to € 89 (approx. $80).
Toshiba has today announced the 2 megapixel PDR-M25. This camera, a successor to the PDR-M61 should hit the shelves in the next week or so with a MSRP of $279. The PDR-M25 features a 2.2 megapixel CCD (creates a 1729 x 1200 image), 3x optical zoom lens (35 - 114 mm). The camera has a 1.5" LCD monitor and takes SmartMedia storage cards (an 8 MB card is supplied).
FlashPoint, creators of the (recently unused) Digita digital camera operating system has today announced a new program designed to secure licenses with digital imaging providers to use their technology. "FlashPoint has made significant investments in establishing one of the industry's most extensive intellectual property portfolios,'' said FlashPoint President Stephen Saylor. "This license program represents an important opportunity for FlashPoint to capitalize on these investments while ensuring broad market availability of our patented innovations.''
Jenoptik has announced that its 'eyelike' medium format back is ready for a new 11 megapixel chip from Philips. This new chip, expected Summer 2002 will have a resolution of 4008 x 2672 pixels. Currently the 'eyelike' medium format back uses the Philips 6 megapixel chip (3072 x 2048). It is driven by a PC through a fiber optic link or Firewire (optional kit). The 'eyelike' has adapters available for Hasselblad, Contax 645, Mamiya 645 AF, Mamiya RZ, Fuji GX 680, Bronica ETR, Rolleiflex 600x and more.
Panasonic Japan (Matsushita) has posted six full size sample images from the upcoming Lumix DMC-LC5 digital camera. The LMC-LC5 is a joint venture between Matsushita and Leica, it features a four megapixel sensor and 3x Leica optical zoom lens. First impressions are favourable, colour balance appears to be good. These images have EXIF headers which indicate a firmware version of 1.00.
SanDisk has, over the last two weeks filed two patent infringement claims against Micron, Memorex, Pretec, Ritek and PQI. Both (or all) of these claims are related to patents filed as "Flash EEPROM System". These appear to be similar to previous sucessful claims made against both Lexar and Viking. Steven S. Baik, senior intellectual property counsel said (in regards to the latest claim), "This action is a clear signal to these and other Taiwanese companies that SanDisk will vigorously assert its intellectual property rights against such companies."
SanDisk has today announced a new 1 GB Compact Flash card, what differentiates it is the fact that it uses flash memory for storage (rather than a moving disc - Microdrive) and that it will be of the Type I form factor. "The 1GB SanDisk CompactFlash card is expected to be available at retail in Q1 2002. The card is expected to sell for under $800. In October, the company introduced SanDisk Ultra(tm) CompactFlash cards, a new line of high-speed storage cards for the digital photography market."
Just caught a story on the Japanese site Impress PC Watch about a new camera from the 'low end' manufacturer 'Che-ez!' called 'SPYZ'. This camera is really, really tiny, it has a fixed lens, CMOS sensor and shoots at 640 x 480. Image quality isn't anything to write home about, but for such a small gadget it's bound to gather some interest from some users.
Over the last few weeks it's been clear that there is a problem with some of the initial shipment of DSC-F707's. This problem is related to the performance of white balance when used in with the flash. Named "Blue Flash Syndrome" (BFS) by the members of our Sony Talk forum, who started recording serial numbers of cameras which exhibited the problem. From this it became clear that this issue does not affect all cameras. We now have the official word from a Sony US spokesperson on what to do if your F707 is suffering from this problem.
PhotoPlus Expo: Nikon has today announced NikonPro, a website for Nikon Professionals and for those looking for Professional photographers. "NikonPro matches professional photographers to potential buyers and then manages the financial transactions, expanding business by allowing photographers to shoot and sell at the same time. Attendees can see a demonstration of NikonPro at Nikon Booth #1415 at PhotoPlus Expo at the Jacob Javits Center, November 1-3, in New York City."
As of Friday 2nd of November we will require all forums members who wish to post messages to register. We will no longer allow anonymous postings. Registration is a straightforward process which simply requires you to sign-up with a valid email address. Once registered your access to the forums and posting becomes transparent thanks to the 'remember my password' feature. This switch to full registration has been in the pipeline for some time, the increase in the amount of noise, flame and troll activity on the forums has caused us to introduce this requirement earlier than expected. Existing registered forums members will be unaffected.
Phew! I've just completed a big update to our Compact Flash "Digital Film Comparison". The updates fall into two categories. First we have now added results of eight more cards from six more manufacturers: Viking, Microtech, Pretec, Ridata, Dane-Elec and Crucial. Secondly all sixteen cards have now been tested on a Canon EOS-1D, this proved to be very interesting as the 1D managed to push almost all the cards into 2 MB/sec territory and showed what a difference the device driving the card can make. Also noteworthy is the Pretec card, one of the largest flash CF's weighing in at 640 MB.
Good news for those who are looking forward to Canon's EOS-1D. Both of our retail affiliates, State Street Direct and Imaging Spectrum Inc. are offering the Canon EOS-1D for pre-order at just $5500. That's a whopping $1000 less than the price originally quoted by Canon USA. It's also an opportunity to give back to dpreview, if you order form either of our affiliates you will be contributing to the upkeep of this site and production of future reviews. We can confirm that this is the new official price from Canon.
Professional Photographer and fellow webmaster Rob Galbraith has posted another update to his (team) coverage of this years Eco-Challenge. Shooting exclusively with Nikon D1x's, some 21,000 frames and 90 GB of images later and it's still not over, but you've got to visit Rob's page if only to be in awe of his (and other members of his team's) photography. Stunning.
We've just posted our full in-depth review of Olympus's five megapixel E-20. The E-20 is unique (along with the E-10) with its implementation of a prism which splits the image from the lens between the viewfinder and CCD. This allows the E-20 to produce a live view image on the LCD monitor as well as a TTL viewfinder. The E-20 enters a market with competition from Minolta and Sony, something the E-10 didn't face when first released. Just how well did the E-20 do against its peers?
ColorVision, the people who brought us the Monitor Spyder and PhotoCal / OptiCal colour profiling and calibration software has announced an all new LCD/CRT Spyder which can be used to calibrate both CRT Monitors and newer LCD Flat Panel displays. This will be good news for users who need calibrated colour from their LCD Flat Panels. We hope to bring you a full review of the new CRT/LCD Spyder as soon as it's available.
Fotki, the photo sharing site ("community") has introduced a premium member service which provides you with a wide range of additional features: co-branding (a unique option to have your domain name, look and feel to a group of galleries), unlimited photo storage, a 100 MB mail box and external photo linking (plus several upcoming features). All of this for just US$30 per year. Fotki will continue to support "basic members".
Fujifilm has updated to the combination MP3 player digital camera 'i' line with the announcement of the new 30i. Gone is the SuperCCD used in the 40i and 50i, replaced by a 2 megapixel CCD sensor with non-interpolated resolution of 1600 x 1200. The lens is also slower at F4.8 vs. the previous F2.8. These changes add up to cost savings which should place the 30i in the sub $500 bracket (UK price has been set at £350). The 30i also adds handphone connectivity for the Japanese market.
Just updated! We've just posted an update to our Canon EOS-1D D-SLR preview article. This update was produced with a newer EOS-1D running Firmware 1.0.1 (very nearly production). The update includes some new shots of the camera, accessories and box (!) as well as image quality samples, resolution, ISO noise and a samples gallery with 25 shots. This camera is still classified as pre-production and so I've decided not to write the full review yet. As soon as we receive a full production EOS-1D I'll start work on the full in-depth review. For now, dive in to the image samples...
Dazzle, an SCM Microsystems brand has today announced an amazing six in one card USB card reader. The dual-slot accepts Compact Flash Type I and II (including Microdrive), SmartMedia, SD / MultiMedia card and Sony Memory Stick. The two slots act as separate and concurrent drives. "The Dazzle 6 in 1 reader can be used as a removable disk drive, with USB true plug-and-play capability. For newer operating systems including Windows® Me and Windows® XP, the Dazzle 6 in 1 is mass storage compliant and requires no additional software drivers to be installed."
Peter iNova, author of the popular 'Mastering Nikon Compact Digital Cameras' eBook has just dropped me a line to let me know that the eBook has been updated and released as version 3.0, the new eBook adds detail for Nikon's new Coolpix 995 and 775 digital cameras. "The 995 is an evolutionary camera that has become the standard bearer for the Nikon 3 megapixel camera line," said author Peter iNova, "and while the little CP775 may be the 'least' Coolpix, it certainly delivers a lot in a small package."
Kingston Technology has today announced a 128 MB Secure Digital (SD/MMC) card. The new card has an MSRP of $199 ($1.55/MB). "The SD card also provides enhanced cryptographic security protection for copyrighted data. SD cards are used in the latest SD compatible digital devices such as PDAs, digital cameras, digital camcorders and MP3 players"
It's official. Pentax has cancelled its 6 megapixel digital SLR. A prototype of this long awaited full frame 6 megapixel digital SLR was seen (and handled) by us in the flesh at PMA 2001, although at the time it was particularly unstable. Pentax UK has today issued this statement, "The cost of manufacturing the prototype SLR 6-megapixel digital camera meant it was not a viable product for our target market. However, we have gained a great deal of knowledge and experience in the development of this prototype which will ensure technological innovation in future Pentax digital products."
Sony has today confirmed a PDA accessory which we've seen in prototype form before. The $150 PEGA-MSC1 Memory Stick Camera Module plugs into the Memory Stick slot of the CLIE T415, N760C and N610C and allows users of these Palm OS driven PDA's to capture low resolution (320 x 240, 160 x 120) snapshots which can then be viewed on the PDA or later on a PC.
JOBO Fototechnic, the distributor of the award-winning Nixvue Digital Album in the US and Canada, has a limited number of used/demo Digital Albums available for sale. Members of DPReview are being given advance notice of the availability of these models. These Digital Albums were returned from various media outlets, have the 800mA battery, come complete with everything a new Digital Album ships with, and include the standard one-year parts and labor warranty.
Professional Photographer and fellow webmaster Rob Galbraith is part of an all-digital seven man shooting team covering this years Eco-Challenge. This year the race is being held in the mountains of New Zealand's South Island. Rob shot the same event last year where he used Nikon's D1, this year it's up with the megapixels and an extreme conditions test for Nikon's D1x. Other kit along for the ride: a variety of lenses including an AF-S Nikkor 500mm (pictured), Lexar 12x Pro Compact Flash, DVD writers, Think Fire-n-Ice FW drives, Apple G4 Powerbook, Nikon Capture 2 as well as MacBibble! Catch Rob's first report on the challenge of shooting the Eco-Challenge!
Minolta is to shift its camera production from Japan and Malaysia to Shanghai in two years. The move is designed to boost profits for the camera maker who manufactured their first camera back in 1928. This follows the announcement made in September of 2,500 job cuts over three years. No jobs are scheduled go in Japan following the move but workers in Malaysia may not be so fortunate. "We will reduce the number of workers at our domestic camera division in Japan from 900 to 500, but all will be moved to other divisions," Maruyama said. "Although we have not reached any final decision, we cannot help but ask some workers at our Malaysian plant to leave," the spokesman said.
Casio has today announced the QV-2100, a fairly unremarkable 2 megapixel digital camera except for the fact that it takes SD/MMC storage cards. The camera doesn't come with MMC cards, instead it has 16 MB of built-in flash storage, the MMC slot is for additional storage. Casio has been a strong Compact Flash supporter in the past so this camera is fairly significant as it may indicate Casio's choice for its future compact digital cameras. Time will tell.
Scott Murray, author of Scott Professional dropped me a line to let me know that he's just released the first (beta) version of his Canon RAW (CRW) conversion and workflow application 'Scott Professional Photo Studio'. The interesting detail about Photo Studio is the interface, it's based around (and very similar to) Kodak's DCS Photo Desk, look and feel are almost identical. Photo Studio uses the Canon SDK to do the final image conversion, although Scott has written some custom decoders for quick preview of RAW images. Photo Studio is compatible with RAW files from the D30, Pro90 IS, G1 and G2.
It's time for a showdown! We have just posted an article titled 'Digital Film comparison', this article is actually constantly updated database of the performance of various digital film (flash cards). Our first installment covers eight large capacity Compact Flash cards including the IBM Microdrive, Lexar Pro 12x, SimpleTech and recently announced SanDisk Ultra card. Our tests include a sythentic performance test (using a Firewire card reader), the Canon EOS-D30 and Nikon Coolpix 995.
SanDisk has today announced a new line of high speed Compact Flash cards which will carry the name 'Ultra'. Available as 'label capacity' sizes of 128, 192, 256, 384 and 512 megabytes. The SanDisk press release states that these new cards "have a sustained write speed of up to 2.8 megabytes (MB) per second". We have today received a test sample 512 MB Ultra card and will be posting the results of our tests very soon.
Olympus has today announced the 'mid-priced' C-3020Z, a 3 megapixel, 3x optical zoom digital camera. This is essentially an 'improved' C-3000Z with the following new features: scene exposure modes, 'My Mode', storage class USB, AE lock, noise reduction, contrast and sharpness setting has more levels, one touch white balance, flash compensation, image rotation. Other noteworthy details - No video out, no remote control, no external flash, uses the slower F2.8 lens (compared to the F1.8 on the C-3040Z). All this at a street price of $499.
Polaroid Corp. has today filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection (according to Fox News). This has been on the cards for several days, it now seems to have finally happened. Polaroid's last recorded share value was 28 cents compared to a 10 year high of $60.31 back in July 1997. According to Reuters Polaroid owes almost $1 billion in total ($600 million to bond holders, $350 million to two groups of banks).
We've just posted our review of Pentax's pocket-sized 3 megapixel digital camera, the Optio 330. This small metal cased digital camera has a big 3x optical zoom and a wide range of manual controls. It's a camera which offers ultra-compact proportions and still enough controls to keep a shutterbug happy on a long trek. So, just how does it stack up in our review?
Casio has today announced the 'G.BROS GV-10' digital camera. Available in this highly attractive rubberized red / black case or a similar purple / silver the GV-10 has a 1.3 megapixel CCD sensor and a fixed focal length lens (35 mm equiv.). It is said to be waterproof and dustproof to JIS protection grade six, this essentially means it could be used in the rain, skiing or on the beach without any worries. Storage comes via a Compact Flash slot and the GV-10 takes four AA batteries. It's not clear at this stage if this is solely a domestic (Japan only) model or whether it will be available in the rest of the world.
We don't post much printer news, but this is significant, especially for digital photographers trying to match colour between what they see on their computer screen and what comes out of the printer. Epson recently released new ColorLife paper, the new "Custom 1440" ICC profiles for the Epson Stylus Photo 870 / 875DC / 1270 printers with the ColorLife Paper. Interstingly the release notes that "These ICC profiles were developed by EPSON America, Inc. using GretagMacbeth ProfileMaker 3.1 Professional software, along with a GretagMacbeth SpectroScan Spectrophotometer."
The online digital photography retailer Advandig has posted a sad message on their front page, "IMPORTANT NOTICE: Due to unfavorable business conditions, Advandig.com has suspended operations effective 10/8." This does, unfortunately seem to be the way of the Internet at the moment, there's a big shake up under way and only the strongest will survive. In other news it looks as though Polaroid are on the brink, trading in their shares has today been suspended.