Eastman Kodak has today reported revenues of $2.975 billion and net earnings of $150 million ($0.52 per share) for Q1 2001. Segment results were: "Other Imaging" (which includes digital cameras) up 1%, Consumer Imaging sales down 7%, Kodak Pro sales down 11%, Health Imaging up 15%. "These results are in line with the expectations we set last December and reaffirmed in January when we reported year-end 2000 results,'' said Daniel A. Carp. UPDATE: Kodak to cut at least 3,000 jobs, blames slow down in film sales and drop in prices of film media.
We've just posted an additional gallery of 18 images from a full production Sony DSC-S75. Because our initial gallery was half pre-production / half production we decided to add on another gallery of shots from the production camera. Thanks and introductions to Jim Tominey who contributed to the gallery. Samples include some flash and low-light shots.
Last week we ran a generic IBM Microdrive satisfaction poll, we had 933 responses and although the majority of the results were in favour of the Microdrive it's clear that not everyone is happy (it's also clear that the newer 1 GB Microdrive is better). Some 77% of 340 MB Microdrive owners and 83% of 1 GB Microdrive owners were happy, however that still leaves a good percentage of people who either had some problems or who thought their Microdrive was terrible.
Another superb deal from State Street Direct and DPReview.Com! This weekend at you can purchase Dane-Elec 64MB Memory cards for only $59.95 each (below normal dealer cost). Plus! when you spend at least $200 or more on any in-stock items you'll also receive FREE Shipping. This special is only available when clicking & purchasing directly from our link and is not redeemable on prior purchases. Offer ends Monday 9th (or while stocks last).
The observant among you will no doubt have noticed we've been making some subtle improvements to the forums software over the last few days, the main thrust of which has been integration into a cleaner and more powerful database backend. This new backend has allowed us to remove all limitations to browsing and searching for messages, you now have full access to all forums messages back to day one! We've also added the new HOT tag to threads which receive the most posts within 48 hours.
If you take digital photography seriously you need to be certain your monitor is properly calibrated and profiled. Color Vision's Monitor Spyder is a device which attaches to your monitor (by three suckers) and in conjunction with PhotoCal or OptiCal software walks you through its set up, calibration and profiling. The results are surprising and may well breathe new life into your monitor and your photographs. Best of all? The Monitor Spyder and PhotoCal sell at the amazing price of U$224.
A Digital Eye have posted their full review of the Sony DSC-S75, here's what they say about it, "With a solid camera feel to it, very easy menus to use, lots of camera control and manual exposure/focus settings, and a great battery life, the latest 3.34 megapixel offering by Sony is one which we feel has a lot to offer potential buyers, and one we can highly recommend."
Strydent Software is currently undertaking a survey of users of digital cameras and ink jet printers. Their aim is to develop custom printer drivers which deliver better output and colour matching, which will ultimately benefit you in producing better photos. Completing the survey entitles you to be entered into a prize draw for $200 worth of "digital darkroom" supplies (photo paper and ink). UPDATE 11/Apr: Due to a technical problem on our server some of the responses from yesterday have been lost.. If you filled the form in yesterday please complete and re-send it today.
Canon has today released version 3.6.1 of their TWAIN drivers, these are compatible with the S10, S20, S100, S300, EOS-D30, G1, Pro 90 IS, A10 and A20. These updated drivers have improved speed for RAW file conversion as well as a new standalone utility (RawConverter) for converting from .CRW (Canon RAW) to TIFF. Drivers are available for Windows 95/98/98 SE/Me/2000 and Mac OS 8.1+. UPDATE: 3.6.1 drivers pulled.
Off Topic: You may already have heard that there is a massive peer to peer (P2P) project underway involving thousands of computers around the world trying to find a drug cure for cancer. The project, a joint development between Intel, United Devices and Oxford University, simply requires you to install some software on your computer which uses the CPU power which would otherwise go to waste. After a few requests from readers we've set up a Digital Photography Review team which you can join!
Kodak Professional has today revealed their official price for their new 6 megapixel, Nikon F5 based professional digital SLR the DCS 760, it will have a suggested list price of $7,995. "Authorized dealers of Kodak Professional digital cameras are now taking orders for the DCS 760 camera - including several dealers at the 2001 Seybold conference and exhibit, which opens today in Boston. Customer availability of the camera is scheduled for May." Remember, our professional equipment affiliate Imaging Spectrum Inc. are taking orders at just $6,995.
Eric Hyman is the first developer to have cracked Canon's new compressed RAW format and Bibble 2.5 now offers Canon EOS-D30 owners a real opportunity for the improved flexibility, image quality and speed that it can offer in the RAW conversion process. Having had a few days to digest Bibble 2.5 we've put together a couple of samples comparing native JPEG, Bibble converted and Canon converted RAW files.
Mike Chaney, author of Qimage Pro has published version 1.3 of the 2001 edition. In this update he's completely rebuilt the NEF converter to provide the highest possible resolution from your Nikon D1 NEF RAW files without a hint of Moiré. "After weeks of designing and testing new interpolation algorithms, I've finally settled on a hybrid method that is capable of bringing you 1450+ lines of moiré-free resolution..."
Owners of Photopoint accounts are today receiving an e-mail letter addressed from Ed Bernstein, the CEO of Photopoint to inform them that Photopoint will be switching to a subscription based service. "...starting in mid-May, PhotoPoint.com will no longer be a free service". They will be charging an annual fee of $9.95 (existing members, limited time offer only) for storage of up to 1,000 images or $19.95 with 25 free prints bundled. It's a sad day for the photo sharing community but it's no surprise to those of us who have been following the fortunes of the market or who understand the economics of such a huge project.
DPreview's professional equipment affiliate Imaging Spectrum Incorporated are now taking orders for Kodak's new six megapixel, Nikon F5 based professional digital SLR. Although we've not had an official announcement of price yet from Kodak, Imaging Spectrum are taking orders at this unbelievably low price of $6,995. Expected to ship at the end of April / early May. Link inside...
David over at Imaging Resource has just posted his review of the Canon PowerShot S300, here's what he concluded, "The new S300 Digital ELPH really competes comfortably at the very top of the 2 megapixel camera world for sharpness and color fidelity, while trading off only the slightest increase in size. Overall, a really sweet little camera, now one of our personal favorites! Highly recommended."
Eric Hyman, author of Bibble has just announced version 2.5 of his image conversion / manipulation application. Previously seen as one of the best conversion tools for Nikon D1 RAW files Bibble now supports conversion of Canon RAW files (D30) at a claimed two to three times faster than the Canon software (I've yet to test this). (Don't email me about the grammar of the title... If you don't get it just ignore it).
Another dpreview.com exclusive review! We've just posted our review of Fujifilm's FinePix 6800Z, the successor to the 4700Z features a 3.3 megapixel SuperCCD generating a 6 megapixel image file. Stlyed by F.A. Porsche the 6800Z is certainly sleek and stylish, but does it live up to the promise of a super high resolution super compact digital?
The monthly bilingual webzine Megapixel.Net have just released their April edition (in French and English), this month they've reviewed the Canon Pro90IS, Sony Mavica FD-75, Sony Mavica FD-85, HP PhotoSmart C618. They also have an overview of all the major types of storage systems for digital cameras.
CeBIT 2001: More instant prints! Canon have today shown their prototype digital camera with a built in bubble jet printer, this little unit (far smaller than simiilar attempts by Fujifilm and Polaroid) features a 1.3 megapixel CCD has a 2 x optical zoom lens and can store directly to CompactFlash as well as producing credit card sized prints.
Thanks to Wim Pollet for spotting that Canon BeBit have posted sample images from their new "entry level" A10 (1.3 megapixel) and A20 (2.1 megapixel) digital cameras. We've not noted this previously and these two cameras are interesting as they mark the trend in "bringing digital cameras to the masses".
If you didn't already know, Microsoft released beta 2 of their new OS, Windows XP, yesterday. Windows XP has several enhancements to make it more "Multimedia friendly", including picture folders views, automatic thumbnailing and even automatic recognition of digital cameras and media along with automatic transfer of images from them. Ofoto have put out a press release that their photosharing / photofinishing services are now available through Wnidows XP... UPDATE: Microsoft answer.
Although not strictly digital photography news it may well be important to the many people who archive images to CD-R and also bearing in mind Sony's recent releases of the CD200 and CD300 digital cameras which both write directly to CD-R/RW. The new DDCD format agreed by Sony and Philips was announced last July, this new drive is the first which can read/write at the new double density level.
Kodak have posted their monthly tech briefing, this time its a very interesting story about the battle between CMOS and CCD. "Which sensor will define the future of digital imaging? Is it the charge-coupled device, or CCD, which delivers the highest image resolution but at a significant drain on a camera's resources? Or will it be the complementary metal oxide semiconductor, or CMOS, a simpler, cheaper and more energy-efficient sensor in common use today? Kodak's scientists lay out their view of which sensor will win in which market."
Thanks to Yamada Kumio for allowing us to use his image of a new ultra-compact digital camera from Pentax, this little unit features a 3 megapixel sensor and 3x optical zoom and it said to be about the size of Canon's Digital IXUS (S100 ELPH). Yamada caught sight of a prototype of this camera at the PhotoExpo 2001 show in Japan.
PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association), the international standards body and trade association for the modular peripherals industry, have released the specification for the next generation of PC card slot technology, it is based on the USB 2.0 interface and forms part of the PC Card Standard Release 8.0.
CeBIT 2001: Fujifilm today announce the 6900Z, using the same body design as the 4900Z the 6900Z now uses the same 3.3 megapixel SuperCCD sensor (which produces a 6 megapixel image, 2,832 x 2,128 pixels) found in the 6800Z. Dressed now in a new all black body the camera features the same 6 x zoom lens found on the 4900Z. UPDATE: New product image and complete specifications.
2001: Kodak Professional have today announced the Kodak DCS 760, based
on the Nikon F5 body this professional SLR features a 6 million pixel
CCD (3032 x 2008), has a 1.3x focal length multiplier, can shoot 1.5 fps
for up to 24 frames and has variable ISO 80 to 400. The DCS 760 looks
to be serious competition to Nikon's recently announced D1X, prices are
yet to be announced.
UPDATED: Exclusive details you won't find anywhere else.
CeBIT 2001: This years CeBIT proves to be bigger than ever, running from today until 28th March the show is open from 9 AM to 6 PM (CET) with over 8,000 exhibitors occupying some 26 halls and 13 other pavillion areas (over 400,000 sqm of space). Although I won't be attending in person we do have a "man on the ground" at CeBIT and will of course be bringing you any major news as it arrives.
We've just posted our review of Canon's Digital IXUS 300 (it's European name, also known as the Powershot S300, Digital ELPH), this ultra-compact digital camera features a stylish stainless steel case, a three times optical zoom lens and a 2.1 megapixel sensor. It has go anywhere features which ensure you'll always have it by your side and the looks to impress even the most staid technophobe, but does it deliver the goods at the end of the day?
FlashPoint have today announced an updated version of their Digita "open" digital camera operating system, DigitaX expands hardware support and opens up the operating system to network connectivity (a hint towards where digital cameras are going.. think.. wireless). Digita licensees include Eastman Kodak, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Konica, Minolta and Sharp.
Yamada Kumio has posted the first Olympus C-700UZ samples on the PC Watch site, using is normal range of subjects he's got samples ranging from outdoor shots at the airport (full zoom range), macro, landscape, and indoor shots. Bearing in mind this will still be a pre-production camera the image quality isn't all that I'd hoped, chromatic aberrations abound! UPDATE: Plenty more samples in a private gallery.
Kodak have today announced an updated Palmpix digital camera add-on for the recently announced Palm m500 and m505 handheld PDA's. The new Palmpix is capable of SVGA (800 x 600) full colour images from its CMOS sensor, has a fixed 54 mm (35 mm equiv.) lens, can store images on SD (MMC) storage cards inserted into the Palm and has three focus modes; macro, portrait and landscape. Retail price will be US$129.95.
Today Olympus have announced the C-700 UZ, heralded as the smallest 10x optical zoom digital camera (not difficult). The camera features a 2 megapixel sensor and a lens which delivers a 38 - 380 mm equiv. zoom (F2.8 - F3.5). Expected street price is $700. Sorry for the late delivery of this news, unfortunately we've been let down by Olympus who have not provided us with any information on this camera.
Thanks to some detective work from one of our readers (Ivo Schenk) we have now confirmed that Sony does indeed have a 1/1.8" 4 megapixel CCD, it is product name ICX406AQ and has an effective output resolution of 2,312 x 1,720 pixels (3.9 megapixels). So, could this be the illusive sensor used in the rumoured "DSC-S85"? Only time will tell, however this sensor would offer manufacturers of existing 3 megapixel digital cameras an immediate path to 4 megapixels without having to change the cameras (or lens systems) significantly.
Peter iNova, author of the "Digital Secrets" eBook is running a digital photography contest, as we've come to expect from Peter, it has a twist, "The image has to be made with a digital camera and somehow a flash unit will have to contribute to the shot. It can be in the picture, or outside the frame as a light source, fill, bounce, slave--why the permutations are endless!"
We've just posted our review of three products from Hoodman USA. Hoodman specialise in products which provide shade from the sun or protection of LCD screens. We've reviewed their LCD Viewscreen Hood, Hoodcap for the Nikon D1 and e-clipse E-2000 laptop computer hood. All in all we're pleased with what we found, all these products do what they're supposed to at a very reasonable price.
Today Kyocera US announced the Finecam S3, a camera we've covered previously. Dubbed as the "world's smallest 3.34 megapixel digital camera with a 2x zoom". The S3 weighs just 200 g (7 oz) and is actually slightly smaller than Canon's Digital IXUS (ELPH). Fitted out with an all metal case, a 1.5" LCD and several manual features it certainly looks competitive.