Pre-Photokina 2002: Sony US has today announced the new two megapixel DSC-U20 to complement the already announced 1.3 megapixel DSC-U10. "We're challenging the notion that photography is exclusive to special occasions - weddings, graduations, birthdays," said Steve Haber, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging Product Division. "Between these special occasions, life happens. We've made this camera so small and so cool that it can become an everyday accessory, making sure you don't miss a thing."
Pre-Photokina 2002: In preparation for Photokina 2002, the largest trade fair of its kind. We have posted the beginnings of our full Photokina 2002 show report. The report format repeats that used for the PMA 2002 show report (which was well received, thanks for all your emails). The report currently contains an index of of products announced before the show, this index will be regularly updated as new products are announced over the next few days. We are expecting several very exciting announcements which will appear both on the show report page and here on the front page of the site. The show starts on Wednesday, although we expect the majority of announcements to be made the day before.
Pre-Photokina 2002: Foveon and Sigma have today revealed the list price and shipping date for the SD-9 digital SLR, the first digital camera to use Foveon's ground-breaking X3 sensor. The SD-9 (body only) will have a list price of $1800 in the US and £1299.99 inc VAT in the UK and should be available in late October. Taking into account the difference street price will make this places the SD-9 in an extremely competitive position compared to the Nikon D100 and Canon EOS-D60. Inside: Press Releases from Foveon and Sigma UK as well as links to our exclusive information on the SD-9 and X3 sensor.
Pre-Photokina 2002, 2200 GMT: Minolta has today announced the DiMAGE Xi, a three megapixel update to the ultra-compact DiMAGE X. "The new Minolta DiMAGE Xi is approximately ¾ of an inch thick and shares the same revolutionary folded 3x optical zoom lens as the DiMAGE X. Making a camera this thin would be impossible with conventional zoom lens technology. ". Phil: Personally I'm a little concerned that a lens system which couldn't deliver particularly sharp 2 megapixel images will be even weaker with a 3 megapixel sensor, it will be an interesting camera to review.
Pre-Photokina 2002: Well, the ongoing saga continues. Silicon Film (also previously known as Imagek) has been in and out of our headlines for at least three years now with their digital film cartridges for 35 mm film cameras. A year after Irvine Sensors a 51% shareholder in Silicon Film suspended operations at the company we discover there may be a new product in the pipeline. Th EFS10-SF features a 10 megapixel sensor has a color LCD monitor and a Compact Flash slot.
Pre-Photokina 2002, 0600 GMT: Canon has today announced the PowerShot G3. This new digital camera appears go slightly further than the typical 'product refresh' we've seen recently. The G3 now has a 'proper' hand grip with a rubber finger edge, a new body design, command wheel and an all new 4x F2.0 - F3.0 optical zoom lens with a bayonet fitting optional thread adapter. It maintains all of the G2's functionality but adds some of the new features also introduced to the S45 (DIGIC processor, FlexiZone AF/AE, Custom exposure mode, etc.) Expected street price: US: $799, EU: €999. UPDATE: Other sites post previews from pre-production G3's. Canon BeBit post sample images.
Pre-Photokina 2002, 0600 GMT: Nikon has today announced the new three megapixel Coolpix 3500. The 3500 is based on the uniquely designed 2500 but now has a grey coloured body and increases imager resolution to three megapixels. "The COOLPIX 3500 boasts a sophisticated grey color and unique inner-swivel lens design that lets users shoot from nearly any angle. With the lens retracted snugly into the body, the camera's slim shape makes it easy to carry anywhere, and all essential controls are placed in comfortable reach."
Pre-Photokina 2002: Toshiba has today announced the two megapixel PDR-2300 and the three megapixel PDR-3320. "The PDR-3320 ideally meets the needs of today's tech-savvy buyer with an unprecedented value proposition and a feature-rich, easy-to-use design," said Doug Freck, Vice President and General Manager, Toshiba Imaging Systems.
Pre-Photokina 2002, 0:00 EST: Sony has today announced the DSC-F717, an update to the popular DSC-F707. The DSC-F717 utilizes the same body design, five megapixel sensor and excellent five times optical zoom lens. New features include zoom via the lens ring, hot shoe, record and play histogram, ISO 800, Full Auto exposure, USB 2.0 and more. Thanks to leaks in the far east this camera is no surprise to many on the Sony Talk Forum. We have a detailed preview of the new DSC-F717, the only thing we can't bring you at this pre-production stage are image samples. A full review will follow soon.
Pre-Photokina 2002: Hewlett Packard Europe has today announced the new Photosmart 850 digital camera. The 850 has a four megapixel sensor and big eight times optical zoom lens. It features a large 2" LCD monitor and a sharp Electronic Viewfinder. The camera is powered by four AA batteries and stores images to SD / MMC storage card. The 850 is the first four megapixel digital camera to feature a large zoom range, as such it's bound to generate a lot of interest. We have a detailed preview of a pre-production 850, no image samples yet but still plenty of information.
Pre-Photokina 2002: Sony Europe and Japan have announced the ultra-compact fixed lens DSC-F77 and DSC-FX77. The DSC-F77 is a four megapixel ultra compact with a similar design to the 'classic' DSC-F55, that is a fixed focal length lens on a rotating cylinder. The DSC-FX77 is identical to the DSC-F77 with the addition of Bluetooth communications allowing the camera to beam images directly to other Bluetooth devices using the Bluetooth Basic Imaging Profile (BIP). At this time there are no plans to bring the DSC-F77 or DSC-FX77 to the US market.
Pre-Photokina 2002: Olympus has today announced the C-730 Ultra Zoom. Based on the C-720 Ultra Zoom (announced just four months ago) the 730 features a three megapixel CCD sensor, a 10x optical zoom lens (back to its roots), flash terminal and a unique storage 'dual slot' which can take either the new xD-Picture Card or SmartMedia. The camera also features a new higher resolution 180,000 pixel EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) and histogram mode.
Pre-Photokina 2002, 0600 GMT: Today sees the announcement of the PowerShot G3, S45 and IXUS v3 (S230 ELPH). All three cameras are based on Canon's internally developed all-in-one digital camera processor, the DIGIC chip. The DIGIC chip is a dedicated image processor designed to be very fast, produce improved image quality, faster AF, faster JPEG compression, better battery life and faster continuous shooting. Also introduced today are iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis Photographic Space Technology), Intelligent evaluative metering (tied to orientation sensor), Flexizone AF/AE and 9-point AiAF.
Pre-Photokina 2002, 0600 GMT: Canon has today announced the three megapixel two times optical zoom Digital IXUS v³ (EU name) / S230 Digital ELPH (US name). The Digital IXUS v³ is based around the IXUS v² body design and lens but now features a three megapixel sensor, new image processing and 9-point AiAF. Also new is the ability to record video clips of up to 3 minutes in length, although this requires a high speed Compact Flash card. And just in time Canon are also introducing such a High Speed card. Expected street price: US: $399, EU: €599.
Pre-Photokina 2002: Pentax has today announced the new three megapixel Optio 330 GS. The camera appears to be based on the Optio 230 design with the same body design (although with a champagne colour finish), control layout, lens system and fold out LCD monitor. The Optio 330 GS now has a three megapixel 1/2.7" CCD sensor combined with the three times optical zoom lens. The LCD monitor can fold out of the body up to 180 degrees.
Pre-Photokina 2002: Casio has today announced the QV-5700 five megapixel digital camera. This camera is clearly based on the QV-4000 with the same body design and three times optical zoom lens. One major improvement over the previous model is the ability to select ISO sensitivity between ISO 50 and 800. As I predicted when Olympus announced the C-5050Z it's increasingly easy for manufacturers to simply drop the latest CCD into an existing design, with the same lens, I'm keen to test the image quality of these new five megapixel digital cameras.
This is an advanced warning that the dpreview.com web servers will be shut down this Saturday 14th September at 9 AM BST (4 AM EST) for a maximum of six hours. This is to enable the switch over from our current servers (which have done us proud for the last 12 months) to a new set of servers which should be able to cope with our ever increasing traffic over the next 12 months. After the switch over we will also need to re-build the forums full text index, as there are 2.5 million messages in the forums this can take up to 24 hours during which time the forums search feature will be unavailable. Thank you for your understanding.
We were lucky enough to have a very early Japanese pre-production unit in house for a couple of weeks. Although we can't publish any images from the camera I do have a few additional images of the camera including the new combined xD / SmartMedia slot which promises support for what are now 'legacy' SmartMedia cards and the new xD Picture Card.
As everyone else seems to be posting samples from production Sony DSC-F717's I thought I may as well join in. Inside you'll find a small (10 image) gallery from a production DSC-F717. So far the camera seems to be performing almost identically to the DSC-F707, unfortunately it looks as though Sony still haven't addressed the F707's tendancy to over saturated reds, as is clear from some of my samples.
0700 EST: It's been a rush (just three hours with the camera so far) but I've managed to put together a first look at the DiMAGE 7Hi. Also included in this article is comparison of features and specifications with the DiMAGE 7i. While it's very welcome to see a manufacturer developing their model line it's a little surprising to see the 7Hi just six months after the 7i and especially considering that the improvements could probably have been included in the original model. A surprising number of the improvements made were mentioned as cons in my 7i review. UPDATED: Added small samples gallery.
0700 EST: Seybold SF 2002: Minolta has today announced the DiMAGE 7Hi. This camera is base on the DiMAGE 7i with a black body design and has new features and improvements including a built-in PC Sync terminal, selectable color space (with embedded profile), extra-fine JPEG mode, more white balance modes and a full rubber hand grip.
Kodak has today announced a recall of all Kodak DC5000 digital cameras with a serial number from 01800001 through 11700825. The Kodak Statement reads, "Kodak has received 12 reports, including six in the U.S., of consumers who experienced an electrical shock while changing batteries, or installing or removing the memory card or USB cable. There have been no reports of serious injury."
Just a quick note to the tens of foreign websites who regularly copy our content without permission. We are now actively seeking you out. Since publishing my Sony DSC-F717 and HP 850 articles images (including studio shots), specifications and even editorial content as appeared on Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Taiwanese and numerous other so called 'serious' hardware websites. These sites are nothing better than leaches attaching themselves to successful sites such as ourselves (some even carry advertising from digital camera manufacturers!). In the last hour we have added no less than eight new sites all of which have been contacted and their details added to our database of known offenders. This database will be shared with other sites and in some cases legal action may follow.
Sinar has today announced the development of a digital back (for medium format cameras) with an amazing 1-shot resolution of 22 million pixels. Even more interesting is that the sensor used by the camera is the Kodak KAF-22000CE CCD sensor which has a pixel area of 4080 x 5440 and measures 38.8 x 50.0 mm (1.5 x 2.0 in). This is a huge sensor with a huge pixel count and according to Sinar "This makes this sensor suitable for applications as a digital replacement of film in modern 645 medium format camera systems, without the need for significant changes in focal lengths."
Sony US has today confimed the DSC-F717, set the RRP at $1,000 and expects the camera to be in stores in October. PR: "The Cyber-shot DSC-F717 camera offers the best of both worlds: the superb technology people expect from Sony and the pure fun of a product that allows for unlimited creativity." said Steve Haber, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging Product Division. "And, with an expected selling price of $1,000, we know this model bridges the traditionally wide gap between mass market cameras and semi-professional models."
Minolta Corp. has today announced a limited recall for the DiMAGE 7i digital camera. This recall affects a limited number of cameras with serial numbers in the range 95217273 - 95219999 and 96201000 - 96226022. The problem is not thought to be serious and is related to a potentially faulty main switch. Send in your camera and Minolta will replace the faulty part and return your camera free of charge. Note that this does not apply to DiMAGE 7 cameras.
Nikon has today announced the new four megapixel Coopix 4300. This new digital camera is based on the popular Coolpix 885 but has been upgraded with a four megapixel sensor. A quick glance down the features and specifications and this camera appears to be operationally identical to the 885. Just like the Coolpix 885 the 4300 will appear in both black and silver bodies (silver for the US market this time around).
Nikon has today announced the new four megapixel Coopix 4300. This new digital camera is based on the popular Coolpix 885 but has been upgraded with a four megapixel sensor. A quick glance down the features and specifications and this camera appears to be operationally identical to the 885. Just like the Coolpix 885 the 4300 will appear in both black (North America) and silver (rest of the wolrd) bodies.
Casio has today announced a new two megapixel version of its ultra small, ultra thin 'Exilim' digital camera / MP3 player. There are two models both of which have the same digital camera functionality, the EX-M2 adds MP3 audio playback and voice recording capability. Both of the new Exilim models have a larger 2 megapixel CCD, fixed 36 mm equiv. lens, internal RAM and SD/MMC storage slot, 1.6" TFT LCD and can take still images and movie clips. The EX-S2 weighs in at just 88 g (3.1 oz) without its battery. UPDATE: Our friend and colleague Yamada Kumio has already posted some samples from the EX-S2. Kai Thon of digit.no has also previewed the EX-M2.
Total Digital Photography is a new magazine from the makers of Photography Monthly, Professional Photographer and Which Camera. The magazine is written by an established editorial team based here in London. Total Digital Photography's style is fresh and modern with a wide range of articles from news to reviews as well as lots of detail technique tutorials. To complement the magazine there's also a new website which contains image downloads, a kit guide and various other features. Congratulations and best wishes to the entire totaldp team from everyone at dpreview.com! (Magazine will be on the shelves in the UK tomorrow and in the US a few days later).
We've just received news from an anonymous source that Casio will be announcing a new QV-5700 digital camera. At this time we have no images, specifications or images for this new camera but it would be fair to assume the camera is based on the new 1/1.8" 5 megapixel CCD sensor. The trend we predicted when Olympus announced the C-5050Z seems to be coming true, lots of manufacturers using the 1/1.8" 5 megapixel sensor. UPDATE: Confirmed as 5 megapixel, CF Type I/II support, price in Europe - €1050.
Thanks to an anonymous contributor who noted that Sony's own memorystick.org website has a road map showing images of new Memory Stick (Magic Gate) in capacities of 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB and 4GB. According to this road map capacities up to 1 GB this year with 2 and 4 GB coming in 2004 and 2005. Also interesting is that the half-sized Duo should also be available in 256 MB, 512 MB and 1 GB capacities.
State Street Direct Online, our online retail affiliate has opened their new Sony Store. The Sony Digital Imaging Center includes products from Sony's digital camera and camcorder lines. As an opening promotion State Street Direct are offering free overnight shipping on all Sony Digital Cameras and Camcorders. All those users who have been waiting to order their Sony products through dpreview can now do so. All orders help to support this site.
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Nikon's Coolpix 5700. The 5700 builds and improves on the Coolpix 5000, a new big eight times optical zoom lens, a smaller but brighter flip-out and twist LCD and an excellent EVF (Electronic View Finder - the same we first saw on the Fujifilm FinePix S602 Zoom). See how the Coolpix 5700 performed in our tests...
We've just received a pre-production DSC-U10 from Sony, while we can't yet publish sample images from this ultra-tiny digital camera I have prepared a short preview article. The U10 is the smallest Sony digital camera to date, it has a 1.3 megapixel CCD sensor, a fixed focal length lens and writes to normal MemoryStick. Power comes from two AAA batteries and the U10 also features a power saving 1.0" daylight LCD (reflective).
Kyocera Germany has today announced the five megapixel Finecam S5. This camera will be introduced at Photokina (25th September). The camera is an ultra-compact which is clearly based on the S4 design. This camera appears to be another new five megapixel based on the new five megapixel 1/1.8" CCD. Also mentioned in this news release is a new digital Contax TVS which is described as a "5 Megapixel for the semiprofessional use", sounds interesting.
Moshe Alima, webmaster the Hebrew website digital-camera.co.il yesterday published a press release from Olympus of a new camera called the C-5050 Zoom. According to his information this new camera will have a five megapixel sensor, a bright F1.8 - F2.6 three times optical zoom lens, a flash hot shoe and a tiltiing LCD display. According to Moshe's information the new camera will support xD-Picture Card, SmartMedia and Compact Flash (Type I/II). The press release is dated 19th August so we're likely to find out much more tomorrow.
Iomega has started to ship the new 750 MB Zip Drive and Disk. The new drive is USB 2.0 (and 1.x) compatible with a maximum transfer rate of 7.5 MB/sec (USB 2.0), a Firewire native drive is due later this year. Iomega claim that the 7.5 MB/sec speed is equivilent to a 50x50x50 CD-RW drive, the advantage of course is that Zip disks act just like mini hard disks and don't need to be re-formatted to be re-written (unlike CD-RW). The new USB 2.0 750 MB Zip Drive should retail for $179.95, the 750 MB disk will be priced at $12.49 (in an 8 pack) which works out at 1.6 cents/MB.
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of a production Nikon Coolpix 4500. The Coolpix 4500 is the latest in a line of split-bodied Coolpix digital cameras which first started back in 1998 with the Coolpix 900. The 4500 has a smaller and cleaner body design which utilizes all of the best bits of the split-bodied design but removes some of the design mistakes made along the way. The 4500 has a four megapixel CCD sensor and four times optical zoom lens. See how the Coolpix 4500 performed in our tests...
Taiwanese manufacturer Apacer Technology in conjunction with SST of Sunnyvale, California have announced a CompactFlash card designed specifically to improve write performance. The new card is claimed to have a write speed of up to 4 MB/sec, it achieves this by multi-tasking the write process to four commands at a time. The card will be priced higher than normal cards and we have yet to see if its performance lives up to its billing. Remember that Compact Flash write performance is heavily dependent on the throughput of the digital camera's CPU and CF interface, this new card would probably only be useful for high-end D-SLR users.
09:00 EST: Kodak has today announced two new digital cameras, the $350 three megapixel DX4330 and the $180 two megapixel CX4200. The DX4330 features a 3x optical zoom lens, a special new 1.8" indoor/outdoor LCD for improved viewing in direct sunlight (Sony have tried similar screens before) and continuous video recording (limited only by the size of the SD/MMC storage card). The CX4200 has a 2x optical zoom lens, stores its images to SD/MMC card, has 16 MB of built-in storage and a 1.6" LCD monitor (not the new indoor/outdoor type).
Seasoned professional photographer and author Thom Hogan has today announced that his 265 page eBook on the Nikon D100 is shipping. "byThom Press today announced that it had begun shipping Thom Hogan's Complete Guide to the Nikon D100. The 265-page eBook is completely searchable, cross-referenced, indexed, and bookmarked, making it easy to hunt down specific information about the camera."
HP has recently released new firmware for the PhotoSmart 812. We certainly wouldn't normally update a review based on new firmware but this was at least partially instigated by our review findings and does have a significant effect on image quality. The new firmware improves image quality, especially sharpness and detail.
Delayed, but better late than never, I've just posted a complete update to our Sony DSC-P71 review. The original review (based on a pre-production camera) found problems with the P71's metering system and white balance when using the flash. I'm glad to report that these problems have now been solved and that the P71 performs very well for its price.
Just posted! Our full review of Fujifilm's FinePix S2 Pro digital SLR. The S2 Pro is the much awaited successor to the acclaimed if slightly understated S1 Pro. The S2 Pro is based around Nikon's F80 (N80) film SLR body and so looks very much like Nikon's D100. The S2 Pro utilizes Fujifilm's latest generation of SuperCCD sensor, with an effective resolution of 6.2 megapixels. So just how well does this camera perform in our tests? You'll have to read the review...
We don't normally cover camcorders here but this one does seem fairly significant for its still image resolution. The new Sony Network Handycam IP220K (DCR-IP220K) is the first camcorder (that we know of) which has a 2.1 megapixel CCD and can capture 1600 x 1200 still images (although we will reserve judgement on image quality until we see some samples). The IP220K records video the MicroMV, still images onto Memory Stick, has a 10x optical zoom lens, a 180,000 pixel EVF,a 2.5" LCD and is equipped with Bluetooth. More specifications inside.
Fujifilm has today announced five new digital cameras, all of these cameras use the recently announced xD Picture Card storage. Just to add more confusion to matters three of the cameras will have different names in the US than in Europe or Japan (nice move). US names: FinePix A200 (AKA. A202), FinePix 2650 (AKA. A204), FinePix A203, FinePix A303, FinePix 3800 (AKA. S304). As if consumers weren't confused enough by the announcement of so many new models...
Minolta USA has now made the Minolta DiMAGE 7 upgrade kit available for purchase directly from their online shop. The upgrade kit brings a large number of the new features available on the new DiMAGE 7i to the older DiMAGE 7. The most interesting improvements are those made to AF speed, drive speed, live view histogram and the addition of Direct Manual Focus. You can choose between the $49.95 upgrade which simply includes the firmware or $79.95 upgrade which includes the firmware and new DiMAGE Viewer software.
TOKYO 16:00: Fujifilm has today announced the new xD Picture Card flash storage media. The xD Picture Card was developed in conjunction with Olympus as the replacement for the aging SmartMedia format. The card will be produced by Toshiba. As mentioned in the Olympus news article below both companies will continue to support the SmartMedia format and will continue to produce SmartMedia cards into the future. The xD format is designed to address the need for smaller sized cameras and higher capacity storage. Note: Fujifilm's press release includes an extensive Q&A section.