In a major update to our already updated preview (phew!) I have just posted a gallery of 25 images from a pre-production Nikon D100 running firmware V0.32. The gallery was shot in a range of different circumstances with a variety of lenses. Also added to the preview are colour patch and colour chart test shots, resolution chart crops and some comparison to the Canon EOS-D60. At the moment the D100 is looking very good, image quality is excellent and it's shaping up to be more than a match for the EOS-D60.
Canon was yesterday granted US patent 6,388,709 (filed in 1996) which is titled "Image sensing apparatus with optical modulation elements having transmission characteristics controllable by pixel". This patent goes on to describe an image sensor which can control the colour of the filter in front of each pixel. From looking through the diagrams it appears the idea is to capture two images, each with a shifted RRGGBGG pattern and then combine these two images to produce a full colour image output. This design also allows the control of the amount of light to each pixel, extending dynamic range. - Our thanks to Wilfried Bittner for spotting this.
Nikon it would appear is going to announce a new digital camera on May 29th. That according to a new splash 'pop-up' on the Nikon Coolpix (USA) website. The clues are - Simply Cool, Digital from all Angles, Taking Digital to the Next Dimension. You can even sign up on the Nikon Coolpix page to be the first to hear of the new camera as it is announced.
Minolta Japan has today announced the MC-DG100 Marine Case for the Ultra-Slim DiMAGE X digital camera. We note that this product was on display at the Photo Expo 2002 show back in March but at that time there were no details available. The MC-DG100 allows the DiMAGE X to be used at depths of up to 30m and adds just 260 g (9.2 oz) to the weight of the DiMAGE X. The MC-DG100 has an expected Japan retail price of 25,000 YEN (US$195). We have no details at this time of when this product is expected to reach other shores.
Mike Chaney, author of the image manipulation / RAW converison / print management application Qimage Pro has today announced his latest version. Qimage Pro 2002 v2.0 introduces new features include a new WYSIWYG view of the printed page, cummulative filters, high quality full-screen preview algorithm, support for full size 3072 x 2040 Kodak PCD images and more.
The Japanese site 'Miscall' (who used to be associated with Dreamarts) has again managed to be the first website to publish samples from a new camera. This time it's a pre-production Olympus C-720UZ, the 8x optical zoom, 3 megapixel update to the C-700UZ. This new camera has certainly generated quite a bit of interest but as of yet it appears this camera may only be released in the US and Asia (not Europe).
Just catching up with reviews posted elsewhere on the web. In the mad rush after PMA lots of new cameras have been reviewed: Kodak DX3700 / DX3900 / DX4900, Canon PowerShot S200 / S330, Minolta DiMAGE X / S404 / F100, Sony DSC-P31 / DSC-P51 / DSC-P9, Kyocera Finecam S4, Fujifilm FinePix F601 / S602, Nikon Coolpix 2500, Panasonic DMC-LC5 / DMC-LC40, Casio GV-10.
Minolta Japan has announced that it will soon be making available a firmware upgrade for the DiMAGE 7. This new firmware incorporates several of features found in the new DiMAGE 7i such as improved AF speed, improved continuous shooting, Ultra High Speed (UHS) 1280 x 960 shooting mode, direct manual focus (manual focus after AF) and the real time histogram display (plus some others). Minolta Japan are offering this upgrade for 6,000 YEN (approx. $50), a new version of DiMAGE Viewer is also priced at 6,000 YEN (approx. $50) or a bundle of the two for 10,000 YEN (approx. $80). It's unclear at this stage whether this upgrade service will be available in other regions of the world.
Just posted! Our exclusive review of HP's four megapixel PhotoSmart 812. The 812 is an ultra compact easy-to-use digital camera with a three times optical zoom lens and four megapixel sensor. The 812 takes SD card storage and is powered by two AA batteries. Competition in this sector of the market is fierce and the 812 now faces some serious challengers. So just how well does it do in our tests?
Carl Zeiss (the company), who of course will have more than a passing interest in the N Digital, has today posted a news article titled "Contax N Digital Passes the First Practical Test with Flying Colors!". It's about an opportunity 30 Italian photographers and dealers had to get their hands on the N Digital at the end of last month, "It was the unanimous opinion of all participants that the Contax N Digital passed this test with flying colors despite adverse weather conditions in Rothenburg."
Polaroid has today announced that, "U.S. Bankruptcy Court has approved procedures for the proposed sale of its business to an investor group led by One Equity Partners -- the private equity arm of Bank One Corporation) - or to a bidder with a higher or better offer. The court has set Friday, June 28, 2002, for a final hearing on the sale." They go on to say, "This is an important milestone in our plan to emerge from Chapter 11. We remain committed to securing a strong buyer for the company to maximize value for our creditors and to create a new beginning for Polaroid as an ongoing business." UPDATE 9/May: And the chairman / CEO resigns.
Kyocera Japan has today announced that the Contax N Digital will finally go on sale on Sunday 19th May (we hope). Interestingly there have also been a number of specification changes announced. These are: a reduction in final image size from 6.13 to 6.04 megapixels, addition of colour saturation adjustment, reduction in sensitivity from ISO 50-1600 in the original specification to ISO 25-400 for the final camera, an reduction of battery life expectation from 500 to 300 images and an increase in weight of 10 g to 1 KG (2.2 lb).
00:00 GMT: Olympus has today announced the three megapixel budget priced C-300 Zoom (known as the D-550 Zoom in the US). The C-300Z is based around the previous C-200Z, the new camera has a 2.8x optical zoom lens and 3 megapixel CCD sensor. Key new features are the 'virtual mode dial', night scene noise reduction, pixel mapping, panorama mode (using Olympus card) and a 3:2 image format. This camera will have a UK retail price of £299, a 'kit' containing rechargable batteries and a charger will cost just £50 more.
Nikon Japan has today announced the local (Japanese) price for the D100 as 300,000 ¥ (approx. US$2,340) as well as several D100 accessories such as the MB-D100 battery-grip and the RAW file conversion software Nikon Capture 3. Another interesting fact in their press release is that the D100 is due for release (in Japan at least) on 22nd June 2002.
Another exclusive preview! In an update to the D100 preview I posted this morning I've now added a full preview of the software which will come with the D100 (Nikon View 5.1) as well as the optional Nikon Capture 3.0. There's also a nice surprise in Nikon View 5.1, it now comes with a new application called 'Nikon View Editor' which provides basic RAW image manipulation (exposure compensation, white balance selection).
I've just posted our updated Nikon D100 Preview. This update was produced using one of the most recent D100's with the latest pre-production firmware (v0.32). Gone is the four page article prepared in my hotel room at PMA, now replaced with an eight page detailed preview with clean, high resolution product shots and LCD monitor captures. This preview now includes specifications, body & design, operation, displays and menus (essentially this is 'half of a review'). Nikon's policy of not allowing publication of samples from pre-production cameras stands, this means that our next update will be the final review (sorry, no time scale yet).
Eric Hyman, author of the RAW converison application Bibble has today announced the release of a whole new version of Bibble, 2002 3.0. This new version has a completely re-designed user interface, higher speed, support for more cameras (although not yet the EOS-1D and EOS-D60). Bibble also now has "Kodak Color", to quote, "Through a partnership with Kodak, Bibble now uses Kodak Digital Science software for its internal color engine and profile generation, Thus bringing Kodak Color to All users of Bibble no matter what camera they shoot."
Michael Reichmann, who some of you will know for his comparison of the EOS-D30 to 35 mm film has today posted two new articles on the EOS-D60. His first article is a field test of the EOS-D60 (as a 'working photographer') it covers the ins and outs of the new camera from the point of view of a film and D30 photographer. Secondly he has also posted a comparison of the D30 and D60 versus 35 mm, 645 and 6x7 film scans.
Just posted! Our exclusive review of Nixvue's Vista 5 - 30 GB portable storage and playback device. The Vista is the latest in line of portable storage devices from Nixvue. Last year we saw them enter the market (and win a DIMA award) with the Digital Album product, unique in that it provide TV playback of images. This year the Vista takes that concept one stage further and provides playback on the device itself, the Vista has a full colour 1.8" LCD Monitor which can be used to operate, browse, magnify and organize images transferred to the device via its built-in CF slot. More details in our review.
Yesterday Epson announced the Stylus Photo 2200 A3+ printer (known as the 2100 in Europe and PM-4000PX in Japan). This printer is a replacement for the 2000P, it now uses seven-colour pigment based UltraChrome inks which should deliver higher gamut and longer life prints. The Stylus Photo 2200 can print up to 44 x 13", resolution up to 2880 x 1440 dpi, has USB 2.0, Parallel and Firewire (IEEE 1394) ports. Of course the 2200 also supports Epson's proprietary Print Image Matching technology.
Canon USA has today commented on the 'G2 crack' problem which has affected some PowerShot G2 digital cameras. "Thank you for your patronage of Canon Digital Cameras. Canon has regrettably confirmed Internet reports of a "crack in the rear cover" in some samples of the Canon PowerShot G2 and G2 Black model cameras."
We have just received an updated specifications document for the D100 D-SLR from Nikon Europe. This new document adds and updates several important specifications. HOWEVER, this document does note that these specifications are as "expected to be..." Some of the more notable additions are continuous shooting (3 fps, max 6 JPEG's), the camera will output EXIF 2.2 (EXifPrint) compatible image files. UPDATE: Confirimed, Nikon Capture 3 will not be included with the camera (optional extra).
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Canon's DIGITAL IXUS 330 (known as the PowerShot S330 DIGITAL ELPH in the USA/Canada). Canon's metal bodied IXUS 330 is an evolution of last years IXUS 300. This year we get an updated design with better control ergonomics, highlighted AF points (as well as center AF), AF/AE/FE-lock, spot metering, selectable ISO, manual white balance, new photo effects, manual long shutter, 2 sec self-timer, EXIF 2.2 support as well as an orientation sensor. All these updates and additions make the IXUS 330 a very attractive proposition (especially with a street price of $400), so just how does it stack up in our tests?
Canon BeBit (Japan) has today posted EOS-1D firmare version 1.2.0. This new version of firmware is said to "This is the guide for reducing the noise that is confirmed with dark subject or background with ISO800, 1600, or 3200 high ISO speed shooting. Significant noise reduction is possible by updating the firmware and employing the shooting method recommended in this guide." If it works this is EXTREMELY good news for Canon's EOS-1D, I really loved this camera when I reviewed it but I simply couldn't get past the high ISO banding issue. Assuming this fix works Canon's EOS-1D will simply be the best digital SLR out there. (Note: I have no way of confirming this as I don't currently have an EOS-1D).
Well, thanks once more to all our visitors. Just a few hours ago we broke through the 7 million unique visitors barrier. And that's since January 1999! (a year and five months)... As part of the ongoing development of the site we've scrapped the old logo (which was looking a little amateur) with the all new "dp" logo... Hope you like it, we do.
Canon BeBit has today posted a firmware update for EOS-D30's with a serial number in the range xxx200001 to xxx899999. Firmware 18.104.22.168 is said to "Increases the reliability of USB communication when the EOS D30 and a personal computer (PC) are connected. The most noticeable improvement occurs during Interval Timer Shooting and Timer Shooting using Remote Capture." Additional Windows XP / Me users are "also encouraged to download the new D30 USB WIA Driver 4.2."
Well, we finally hit seven figures (unique visitors), what can I say, a big thank you to all those people who've helped out over the last six months. To the manufacturers who make the reviews possible, to the advertisers who help to support the infrastructure, to the other digicam websites who have shown their support by linking to my news and reviews and most of all to my visitors who make the whole thing a success.
And now for something completely different. There's a lot that goes on here at DPReview without informing any of our visitors. Web Piracy (the taking and republishing of material from this site) is one of those things. Over the last two-three months we've had to deal with at least four foreign websites who had copied content (text and graphics) from this site and republished it. This is the story of some success, and how you can help us.
From Peter iNova! Thanks to Peter for contributing no less than four new Image Technique articles to our "Learn Digital Photography" section, his new articles cover color correction (specifically white balance), special effects, long exposure noise reduction and producing animations using a still camera.
Canon BeBit has posted links to regional download pages for the latest ZoomBrowser EX release. Version 3.2.1 adds Windows XP support, EXIF 2.2 (ExifPrint) support, Increased processing speed, Improved user interface, Auto run and Improved image database reliability. As far as we are aware ZoomBrowser EX 3.2 is the only application which can currently support EXIF 2.2 input images through to the print process (although only supported Canon printers). This means that (in theory) if you have any of the new EXIF 2.2 cameras (S200, S330, A30, A40 etc.) and a supported Canon printer (phew!) they you should get better colour matching printing directly through ZoomBrowser.
Nikon has today released a major new version of its Nikon View software, and it's available for free download from the Nikon Tech USA website. Nikon View 5.0.1 has a whole new interface, improvements, fixes and features. Nikon View 5.0.1 consists of three main areas: Image Transfer, Nikon Browser (thumbnail browser) and Nikon View (image viewer). Nikon View 5.0.1 is available for both Windows and Mac Operating Systems (inc. OS X). UPDATE 19/Apr: Nikon View 5.0.1 for Mac is pulled. DO NOT INSTALL on OS X if you have already downloaded.
PictureFlow, authors of the YarcPlus (Windows only) Canon RAW conversion utility has today launched version 1.5 which adds EOS-D60 support and increases the performance of EOS-D30 RAW conversion by 20%. YarcPlus also provides a fast platform for browsing and selecting images for conversion. Other facilities include a proprietary Artifact Reduction Filter, batch conversion, JPEG extraction and even command line parameters for use in an automated setup. YarcPlus uses the Canon SDK to perform its RAW conversion. YarcPlus is priced at $35, evaluation downloads are available. (EOS-1D support coming later this week)
Canon BeBit has today posted firmware updates for the following cameras: PowerShot A10, PowerShot A20, PowerShot S30, PowerShot S40, PowerShot G2, DIGITAL IXUS v (S110), DIGITAL IXUS 300 (S300). Across all cameras the new firmware adds direct print support for Canon's new CP-100 photo printer, for the PowerShot G2, S30, S40 it also provides EXIF 2.2 (ExifPrint) JPEG support for these cameras. A summary of each firmware update can be found inside (there are various other small fixes included).
Just posted! Our review of Sony's pocket sized four megapixel DSC-P9. The P9 is a progression from the previous P1 and P5 models, it has a four megapixel sensor and three times optical zoom lens. The P9 faces stiff competition from the Minolta DiMAGE F100, Canon PowerShot S40, Pentax Optio 430 and Olympus D-40Z (C-40Z). All the cameras in this particular market segment ae around the $650-$700 mark, apart from the DSC-P9 which has an expected street price of $600. So just how did it fare in our tests?