Kodak Professional have released a standalone application for browsing and converting their proprietary RAW files (which have a .TIF extension). Previously conversion of RAW files from the DCS series of cameras could only be carried out from a TWAIN module but this new standalone application provides many of the same features without requiring a photo package to "host" the TWAIN module. Photo Desk is a free download for Kodak DCS owners.
The printed Japanese "Digital Camera Magazine" published by Impress has now gone monthly, as ever they've updated their current issue page with sample images which correspond to reviews / articles in their magazine, always a good source of sample images from recent cameras. This month (magazine dated Jan 2001) they have samples from several new cameras including Olympus's C-3040/2040 Zoom and E-100RS.
But certainly a repair for some owners... Thanks to the investigative work of Rob Galbraith we seem to have an answer to why some owners have D1's with the high ISO banding problem and some don't. "...there is no so-called "silent upgrade" for the Nikon D1 that magically transforms its high ISO performance. But, some D1 cameras may require the replacement of a failing electronic part to rid images of a slight to noticeable diagonal pattern, especially in the green channel of images shot at ISO 1600 and above."
According to a report on AsiaBizTech shipments of digital cameras are expected to reach 12 million units worldwide in fiscal year 2000, double the volume from the previous year. Shipments could balloon to 20 million units in 2001. Sony, Olympus and Fujifilm own a combined 80% share of the global digital camera market.
Long time called vapourware SiliconFilm's (previously known as Imagek) eFilm appears to be finally making some real progress. The eFilm is a 35 mm digital film (1.3 megapixel) cartridge which will fit into certain 35mm film cameras. Now there's talk of real product ($699) next year, and they've today published sample images on their website.
Rejoice D1, D30, S1 pro and E-10 owners! We've been closely monitoring the amount of traffic on the dedicated brand forums and the amount of SLR discussion now warrants the creation of dedicated forums for the discussion of brand specific SLR cameras. Also considering what we expect to see next year, it's probably a good pre-emptive move. So, we've now created four new forums: Canon SLR Talk, Fuji SLR Talk, Nikon SLR Talk and Olympus SLR Talk. Obviously as we know more about the release status of other digital SLR's we'll make decisions about the creation of forums dedicated to them.
Thanks to reader JRG for pointing us towards this prototype / pre-production product. The Nixvue Digital Album is similar to the Digital Wallet product we've previously reviewed, however it's smaller, features a 10 GB hard disk and has the ability to work standalone (without a PC), via a remote control you can view images on a TV (Video / S-Video) and/or print directly (has a parallel port). This neat little product is certainly interesting and we'll try to bring you more information as it becomes available.
Pollet from Belgium digital has just let me know that he's updated his
comparison of digital photofinishing and print services. He's now compared
the following services: Shutterfly, Ofoto, Printroom, Fototime,
Photo Access, Digitaalfoto.NL, Dotphoto, Agfanet, Spector,
Fotofun, Fracken, Photo Alltechn and a Canon D300 printer. Using two sample
images from a Canon S10 as reference shots he's got some great side-by-side
examples, and the quality from the larger US photofinishers isn't as good
as we'd all expect.
(Bold type indicates new / updated tests).
As promised we've got another special deal only open to Digital Photography Review readers. This one is valid from today (13th December) until 19th December: "State Street Direct would like to extend a special pre-holiday discount to DPreview visitors. Save an additional 5% on all In-Stock Digital Cameras at State Street Direct."
This time of the year news is always a little light on the ground (understatement this year), however this item may be of interested to ACDSEE users (those who know a good image browser when they use one). "Under the terms of the agreement, Corbis and ACD Systems will use their multi-million user bases to sell each other's digital image products online. ACD's digital imaging software will be promoted on www.Corbis.com. In addition, Corbis will promote ACD software through its e-newsletter, circulated monthly to its 200,000 user base."
Jeff over at DC Resource has just posted his review of Sony's Mavica CD1000, here's what he concluded, "I want to say up front that I very much like the Sony Mavica MVC-CD1000 for its "camera features". It's got a great 10X optical zoom, nice manual controls, good photo quality, and it's easy to use. What I'm not sold on is the CD-R technology itself, as you've probably noticed throughout the review. While it's the cheapest storage out there per megabyte, you lose a lot of the "digital camera features" such as the ability to truly delete photos, as well as to reuse the storage media. "
Steve over at Steves-Digicams has beaten us to it (well a first look, I'll be posting a full review soon), thanks to a good bout of flu I've been out of action for the last four days. Here's what Steve says about the HP C912 (so far): "I've only had the C912 for a few days but it is a delight to use. It looks a lot like a conventional 35mm SLR and has a great feel to it thanks to a large rubberized grip. The zoom is controlled by a ring on the lens barrel and overall the camera produces excellent images"
We've just posted our full review of Kodak's DC4800, a camera which marks a departure for Kodak from the DC260/265/290 series and a move to a more stylish, traditional and insterestingly non-Digita based camera. The DC4800 finds itself in the very competitive 3 megapixel market alongside several other digital cameras at a similar price.
Time magazine has named the Nikon Coolpix 990 "Machine of the Year", they go on to say "This was the year that digital photography finally plunged into the mainstream and the Nikon Coolpix 990 led the way."... "Manufacturers (ALL) shipped an astonishing 5.1 million digital cameras throughout the U.S. last year, up from 3.1 million in 1999. "
As part of a new regular feature DPReview and State Street Direct (our official affiliate) will be bringing you special deals which will only be available from news articles here on DPReview. This week free 2-day shipping on any purchase over $250, plus $25 off special Olympus and Fujifilm packages. These offers are valid until 12th December 2000.
Must be Fuji Monday or something, both DC Resource and A-Digital-Eye have published their own reviews of Fujifilm's Finepix 4900Z, this camera has certainly gained a lot of interest from the webmasters but how did it perform for them? "The camera is also one of the fastest out there, with minimal processing times. The build quality is very good, and the camera includes an attractive bundle.", "Overall, the Fujifilm FinePix 4900 is an advanced camera with very good to excellent results in actual usage, especially in rendering colors"
Peter iNova's eBook "Mastering Nikon Compact Digital Cameras" has been a long time anticipated by a large number of Coolpix owners, having just received my copy I can honestly say that it was well worth the wait. Never has there been a more comprehensive, detailed and off-the-cuff book guaranteed to help you take better pictures immediately. Peter iNova is a photographic and literary genius! DPReview guaranteed as an excellent buy for anyone with a Nikon Coolpix digital camera.
Kodak have just posted a firmware update for the DC4800, improvements include: Improved Auto Focus (AF) in dim lighting situations, Alarms if not in AF range, Displaying Landscape / Closeup icon and Exposure Compensation icon on color LCD screen, PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) improvements (For future compatibility), Minor bug fixes. The update can be carried out either by placing the firmware file on the CF card or by using the supplied Firmware Upgrade Utility.
Michael Chaney, author of QImage Pro just sent me a note about the latest release of his image manipulation / printing application. "Qimage Pro v10.2 has some major improvements regarding color management that allow you to REALLY start managing color! This version works hand-in-hand with the new digicam ICC profiles that we are developing... ...it allows you to "tag" digital cameras to specific ICC profiles. We are currently working on developing ICC profiles for all the cameras that we currently have plugins for (the CP990 ICC profile is already available)."
The monthly bilingual webzine Megapixel.Net have just released their December edition (in French and English), this month they've reviewed the Olympus E-10, Fujifilm FinePix 4900 & 2400 and HP C-912. They also have the final part of their "Beginners Guide" article and some user contributed gallery images.
Fujifilm US have today announced a $50 rebate off Yamaha's YST-MS201 multimedia speaker system (retail price $50 - thus the rebate making them effectively free). The 40i was of course the first digital camera to offer both MP3 audio and digital photography capability, featuring the same imager as found on the 4700Z and 4900Z but with a fixed focal length lens, it's a small package with a lot of functionality. The offer runs from December 1 to December 23.
It's been some time since I first got my hands on a D1, and lots of things have conspired against me completing it. Here it is, to add to our expanding range of digital SLR reviews, Nikon's professional D1 SLR. 21 pages of full in-depth detail, timings, tests and image quality comparisons along with our views on several "D1 issues".
As a concequence of our upcoming D1 review and conversations we've had with Nikon Europe they have now posted a tech support item explaining the D1's out-of-camera colour and what can be done to bring the cameras colours closer to the intention. "An increasing awareness of Colour Management issues, possibly provoked by the changes in Photoshop version 5.0 has led to many customers asking about the colour space that the D-1 produces when images are processed in-camera."
As per our new report yesterday on Olympus Japan's announcement of the new C-3040Z and C-2040Z Olympus Europe have this morning confirmed these two cameras (although specifications aren't yet available) "Olympus proves it is not just resting on its laurels with the new 3.3 megapixel C-3040ZOOM. The successor to EISA�s "Digital Camera of the Year 2000� impresses with a redesigned and much brighter lens system, additional light metering options and a host of further new and improved functions."
Congrats to Steve for posting a full (final) review of Olympus's professional SLR the E-10. "If you need a fully featured, high resolution digital SLR but you're not ready to spend $5,000 or more ... the Olympus E-10 SLR with its 4-megapixel imager, excellent optics and professional camera features should fill the bill nicely." Hopefully Olympus UK can get an E-10 to me sometime soon.
News today came by email, Kodak Professional (US) are selling off their discontinued models, ever fancied a 6 megapixel professional SLR for $2500? Well, if you're lucky and they still have stock you could pick up the DCS 460c (first introduced in 1995 when it had a list price of $35,600) for a mere $2500. "Users of our earlier digital cameras - and film shooters who have been waiting to 'go digital' - can now purchase brand new merchandise at very favorable prices to enhance or start their digital camera systems."
The Japanese manufacturer Io-data Devices today announced their 2GB PCMCIA Type II Storage Card (hard drive type). The PCHDT-2Gt has the PCMCIA Type II format (54 x 85.6 x 5 mm) and is based around a 4200rpm 2GB Hard Drive. Priced at 59,800 YEN (~US$547) it offers an amazing $0.26/MB value for those who could use it (Kodak Pro's).
In a new addition to our future reviews we have now established a method for testing the dynamic range of a digital camera. DPReview in conjunction with Digital Domain Inc. (QImage Pro etc.) have developed a testing method and software application to analyse the results of test shots to establish the dynamic range of the sensor system of a digital camera. Inside this article you'll find a table comparing the dynamic range of the Canon EOS-D30, Nikon D1, Fujifilm S1 Pro, Nikon Coolpix 990 and Canon G1.
UPDATE: After our article on Dynamic Range yesterday we received several requests to perform the tests in RAW mode on cameras which support it. We'd deliberately stayed away from RAW mode because it throws up lots of variables, however we have now re-shot the test chart and re-calculated the results for the Nikon D1 and Canon EOS-D30 in RAW mode. (Burnt four hours of my day ;)
Yesterday we attended the (UK) launch of Fujifilm's FDi Technology, primarily this consists of a kiosk which can accept SmartMedia, CompactFlash, PCMCIA Type II or CD-ROM and a software package which allows for touch-screen selection, editing and purchase of prints from these images. Initial users of Fujifilm's FDi Technology here in the UK are Jessops (a large UK photography chain) where the service is called Fuji Kiosk and Boots (a large UK pharmacist / traditional developer) where the service is called Photo Makeover.
Imaging-Resource have updated their Canon EOS-D30 preview to a final review (of a production D30). "While not coming anywhere near the speed or incredible ruggedness of the EOS 1V film camera or its brethren, the D30 nonetheless shows solid engineering, and at nearly 3 frames per second is fast enough for most applications. When you toss in its excellent image quality, generous ISO speed capability, superb low-light shooting, excellent flash integration, and compatibility with the full range of Canon EF lenses, it'd be a bargain at twice the price. "
Thanks to an anonymous contact who sent us a datasheet on Sony's newest consumer grade CCD for digital still cameras. The ICX282 is the latest in a series of CCD sensors and is the direct progression from the ICX252 seen in many of this years 3 megapixel digital cameras. A leap in resolution and more interestingly the sensor's size has increased to 2/3" (11 mm diagonally), thus unit size (pixel size) is almost the same (3.4µm vs. 3.45µm).
Comdex / Fall 2000: Sony are showing three prototype MemoryStick "modules", this is the first time we've seen "application modules" for Sony's MemoryStick slot, there are three prototype modules on display: A GPS location module, A 100,000 pixel CMOS digital camera module and a fingerprint recognition module. These modules are designed to be interchangeable between compatible hardware with MemoryStick slots.
Proxim today announce an OEM Type II CF card capable of wireless LAN communication over the HomeRF (1/2 MBit/s) standard. This could be an interesting development for upcoming digital cameras, it would allow (for example) the use of such a device in a digital SLR in a studio environment, the photographer able to freely shoot untethered while images are stored directly back to his computer.
Jeff Keller over at DC Resource has just posted his review of Olympus's 2 megapixel 10x zoom digital camera, "It's hard to compare the C-2100 Ultra Zoom, since there aren't too many cameras out there with a zoom like this. As a 2.1 Megapixel camera, it's a great one -- it's basically the C-2020Z with a large zoom lens. It's also got all the necessary manual features (with the exception of white balance), movies with sound, and a great bundle. If you want to break out of the 3X optical zoom mode, the C-2100 is a great way to do it!"
Neil Turner, Contributing Editor has written a lengthy second look at the Canon EOS-D30. Neil had the D30 for three days, in which time he used it for pretty much all of his professional shooting. "Quite simply I have substituted the D30 for one of my DCS520s for the past few days, and it has been my main camera at all times. Obviously, I have no control over where the paper sends me so the D30 hasn't had it's assignments chosen to suit it at all. I have amassed three pages of handwritten notes and there are a million thoughts going through my brain, so here goes."
Uwe Steinmueller from outbackphoto.com is running a competition where you can try to do your best with a Nikon D1 NEF and a Canon EOS-D30 CRW. "The contest has two goals: Provide sample NEF and CRW files for all users to play with and get into the RAW experience Share with other users how to make the best out your raw files. As said raw files are diamonds in the rough. They have great potential but one has to work for it and know the tools (I am still learning myself)."
Iomega are to Market the IBM Microdrive under the Iomega Brand in 2001. The press release goes on to say that Iomega will bundle the 340MB Microdrive with a Type II PC Card adapter and the Iomega Quik Sync 2 software. Interestingly it looks as though Iomega won't be selling the 512MB or 1GB Microdrives.
Y Media certainly hope so, "This company was developed around building a technology that will obsolete CCDs; that's a lofty goal". We've reported on Y Media's 3.17 megapixel CMOS sensor previously, this time there's a new article in Electronic Buyers' News charting some of the companies history, its goals and the technology behind CCD and CMOS sensors.
Sprint PCS and FlashPoint have partnered to bring wireless digital image transfer via digital cameras using FlashPoint's Photivity digital imaging platform and Sprint PCS Internet-ready Phone's. "Wireless imaging has broad appeal with potential applications in several industries including real estate, insurance, construction, architectural, engineering, law enforcement and media."
Wim Pollet from Belgium digital has just completed his comparison of digital photofinishing and print services. He's compared the following services: Shutterfly, Ofoto, Printroom, Dotphoto, Agfanet, Spector, Fotofun, Fracken, Photo Alltechn and a Canon D300 printer. Using two sample images from a Canon S10 as reference shots he's got some great side-by-side examples and we hope a wake-up call for some of the US based photofinishing corps.
Contributing editor Neil Turner has added four new articles to the learn section of the site, the first covers using Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce flash diffusers with a Canon 550EX and various white balance settings, the next three are articles on composition: Keep it simple, Six feet up is bad and Use a Frame.
Rob Galbraith has published his appraisal of Canon's EOS-D30 from a photojournalists point of view, Rob introduces the article, "D30 image quality is top-notch and 550EX flash photography is a breeze. But the camera may not be the best choice for peak action sports. This article looks at some of the Canon EOS D30's main strengths and weaknesses, and includes 14 full-resolution photos."
Mike Chaney dropped me a note on the release of Qimage Pro v10. Qimage Pro is a image viewing / batch processing / printing application with a vast array of features which put even the most well established photo packages to shame. New to v10 are support for poster sized printing, multiple page prints which can be joined, Dark frame subtraction and interpolation, Qimage can carry out dark frame subtraction and interpolate neighbouring pixels to remove the dreaded "black dots" plus many performance enhancements and bug fixes.
PCPhotoREVIEW.com's CHOICE award represents just what its name implies: the digital photographer's choice. It recognizes the most trusted and valued products selected by the digital photographers who frequent PCPhotoREVIEW.com. Products winning the CHOICE Award have received the highest ratings and most favorable consumer reviews during a one-year period. Interested in seeing what consumers voted the best cameras? Get over to PCPhotoREVIEW.
Swedish Telecoms equipment maker Ericsson said it had signed an agreement with Canon Inc on the transfer of digital images from camera to mobile devices. "The technology will enable simple, fast and reliable transfer of images from digital cameras to wireless devices as well as to other consumers or the Internet,'' Ericsson said in a statement.
After a short delay we've now put up the new "Learn Digital Photography" articles archive and an all new, extended Digital Photography Glossary (with over 60 definitions). The Learn section of the site is a hierachical directory of articles relating to digital photography, photography and image manipulation techniques. The Glossary now covers almost every detail of digital photography and should prove invaluable material for beginner and expert digital photographers alike. We're also actively encouraging contributions to Learn to expand the number of available articles.