Probably one of the most eagerly expected digital cameras of 2000. At last we've got a production Coolpix 990 in house, it's got version 1.0 firmware and is fresh off the production line (Ser no. 5000070). Here's a quick first-look article and some sample images which I'm sure you're all dying to see.
Dave Etchells has just posted a review of Fuji's FinePix 4700z he says "It's neither as good nor as bad as it's been made out to be: We'd place its resolution as plainly better than the current crop of 2.1 megapixel cameras, but equally plainly not as high as the 3.3 megapixel units now hitting the market. "
Interesting news release from FlashPoint, the developers of the Digita operating system for digital cameras. Although the release doesn't make it clear which cameras and indeed which mobile phones their new "Digita Post" system is compatible with, it is an interesting step forward for truely portable, connected digital imaging devices.
The monthly Canadian digital camera websize megapixel.net have published their April edition (available in both English and Francais), this month they review the Canon Powershot S20, HP C500, Sony DCR-PC100 and interesting Minolta RD-3000 (a camera which uses two 1.5 megapixel CCD's to produce a 2.7 megapixel image). They also have articles on digital vs. film, HP P1000/P1100 Ink Jet printer and inexpensive digital cameras.
Thanks to all those people who took my story about the Canon CCD seriously. It's a completely fictitious if mildly convincing article. April Fool! A couple of interesting discussions errupted on the news forums after this posting. The concept for the CCD was all mine, although I'm sure it's beyond practical manufacture. (Manufacturers who think it's viable... email me ;)
OK, this time the guys are really gonna blow us all away because they've posted a comparison of the latest and hottest digicams, not only that but they've used the PIMA / ISO 12233 standard digital camera resolution test chart... an excellent way to directly compare the resolution of digicams. My best picks were the Sony S70, Nikon Coolpix 990, Olympus C-3030Z and Canon PowerShot S20.
This news leaked to me last night, I've just verified it with another industry source. Canon, in association with an undisclosed partner are developing a totally new class of CCD which will revolutionize digital cameras. Their so called multi-layer CCD uses the properties of a specially developed glass membrane which spreads the light equally to each layer.
Mike Rubin (AKA "Nikon Mike"), Coolpix product manager at Nikon will be making an appearance on DPReview's Nikon Talk forum next Tuesday 4th April. From now until 3rd April you'll be able to direct questions to Mike by prefixing your message subject with "NIKON - " and posting on Nikon Talk. On 4th April Mike will try to answer as many of those questions as possible.
This story popped up on Reuters earlier, and reports that Kodak are aiming at digital cameras that are easy-to-use and can deliver 4x6 and 5x7 prints (2.1+ megapixel surely). To my eyes it's about time Kodak did something and came out with some new product. We've seen nothing new from them for over six months and even their top of the range consumer digicam the DC290 was just a spruced up version of the old DC260...
Sharp and Sony have jointly developed a new MO (Magneto-Optical) storage disk which is just 50.8mm in diameter (2"), 0.5mm thick and has a storage capacity of 1GB using a red laser (655nm wave length) and 2GB or more using a blue laser (405nm wave length). Up to 4GB could be stored on larger disks. It'd be interesting to see Sony implement this small disk in a digital camera...
Spotted this new product announcement on BusinessWire. Viking Components, one of the world's largest and fastest-growing manufacturers of component technology, Tuesday announced its new IntelliFlash(TM) USB flash memory reader/writer for high-speed, image and data transfer between a flash memory card and a PC. The reader supports SmartMedia cards (up to 64MB), CompactFlash and PCMCIA ATA Type I & II. Ships April 2000.
An interesting new photo sharing website / software combination has recently shown up. FotoAlbum is an electronic image browser and organiser, it links directly to FotoTime's other product FotoTime.Com which allows you to share your images directly on the web. What struck me about FotoAlbum is just how easy it is to use and share images.
The Impress PC Watch webzine has posted an image comparison test of the leading (and upcoming) 3+ megpixel digital cameras: Olympus C-3030Z, Nikon Coolpix 990, FujiFilm FinePix 4700Z, Sony DSC-S70, Canon PowerShot S20, Epson CP-900Z, Casio QV-3000EX and a Beta Casio QV-3. So here are yet more samples for prospective buyers to analyze.
By Popular Demand we've created a new discussion forum especially for talk about Casio digital cameras. I've received several requests over the course of the last month to setup such a forum and so the decision was made. Casio have long established themselves in the digital camera market, recently generating more interested with the introduction of the QV-3000EX.
Those lucky guys over at Imaging-Resource have posted a review of the Nikon Coolpix 990, this must be a pre-release model as my contacts at Nikon claim there aren't any production cameras around yet.. "The Coolpix 990 is an exceptional follow-on to the already excellent Coolpix 950. The list of added features, options, and capabilities is too long to include in a brief conclusion, but suffice to say they're both extensive and eminently useful. Virtually every aspect of the camera's performance has been enhanced or extended, and the result is a true 3 megapixel powerhouse."
The Japanese webzine D# Sharp post a big digital camera comparison page with Wide & Tele shots from: Fuji FinePix 4700Z, Casio QV-3000EX, Canon PowerShot S20, Epson CP-900Z (beta), Olympus C-3030Z (beta), Sony DSC-S70 (beta), Nikon Coolpix 990 (beta), Nikon D1, Olympus C-2500L, Olympus C-2020Z, Nikon Coolpix 950, Canon PowerShot S10, Leica Digilux Zoom and Olympus C-960Z.
Kodak publicy market their own CCDs to other manufacturers. "Eastman Kodak Company today announced it is now selling its award-winning Kodak Blue Plus Color charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensors to manufacturers of digital cameras and other imaging devices. The decision to sell these devices as individual components underscores the company's commitment to grow the overall picture business and create a broader presence for Kodak imaging technologies in that industry."
SmartDisk today announced something we'd been aware of since the release of specifications for the upcoming Mavica FD-95. Emerging Mavicas will support MemoryStick storage through a SmartDisk FlashPath floppy disk adapter enabling larger storage capacity but maintaining the convenience of a floppy drive. (Note: this won't work on older Mavicas)
Steve Sanders posts a review of Casio's QV-3000EX, he says "The QV-3000EX proves that Casio is not just satisfied to be a minor player in the digital camera business. Their QV-2000UX became the first digicam to be bundled with an IBM Microdrive and now they've done it again with the QV-3000EX Plus. The big news is the price -- $999 for the camera and the Microdrive or $799 for the camera with a 16MB CF card. "
REPOST: Received an interesting news release (early) from an anonymous poster which describes a little better how the SuperCCD technology differs from standard CCD's. "The number of sensors in conventional half-inch CCDs has increased dramatically in recent years, but it is generally believed the apex has been reached at around three million sensors. "
Ofoto, one of our sponsors is now giving away one Nikon Coolpix 800 a day, here's the press release "Ofoto, Inc. (www.ofoto.com), the Internet photo company, will be giving away a digital camera-a-day to Ofoto members throughout the month of March. Every day of the sweepstakes, one winner will receive a Nikon Coolpix 800 digital camera, an approximate retail value of $599. The sweepstakes is available to anyone who signs up for the Ofoto service in March, as well as current members who click on the sweepstakes entry button at sign in."
The excellent Impress PC Watch magazine summarise the digital photography offerings at CeBIT 2000, these include the cut down Olympus C-3000Z, Casio had the QV-3000EX/Ir a model which supports IrDA data transfer and a Bluetooth prototype based on the QV-3000EX which would allow transfer of images wirelessly over short distances. Fuji also cooperated with Nokia to demonstrate an S1 Pro with a Nokia Bluetooth wireless CF card.
Jeff over at DCResource has finished his Canon PowerShot S20 review, here's what he says "One of my favorite cameras of 1999 was the Canon PowerShot S10. Why? Well, it was light, easy to use, fast, and took great photos too! When the S20 was announced, I was excited -- it took everything that made the S10 so great, and added a 3.3 megapixel CCD!"
Sony Recalls NP-F550 and NP-F570 InfoLithium batteries bought after March 1999 due to evidence of a very small percentage (3 out of 415,000) overheating and smoking during recharge, these batteries are used on a variety of devices including the Sony Mavicas and D700 / D770. If you've bought either of these InfoLithium batteries since March 1999 should check the dedicated Sony website or call a toll free number (U.S.) to check their battery.
We're proud to announce the full availability of the Discussion Forums search engine. You can now access the largest online digicam knowledge base here on DPReview. Searching the Discussion Forums gives you access to over 50,000 messages posted since February 1999, got a question about the Kodak DC290? Just search the discussion forums first and you're bound to find some answers...
Philips advocate CMOS for tiny lower resolution imaging devices, although this news may not have immediate imact on digital still cameras any progress in this area will impact later. "With our new SeeMOS technology, you will one day be able to make a video camera no thicker than a pencil and about a centimeter long," said Theo Claasen, chief technology officer at Philips Semiconductors (Eindhoven, Netherlands). Claasen said the picture quality of the CMOS sensor "is excellent" at 640 by 480 pixels.
Steve posts a review of Canon's Champagne S20, he says "Like the PowerShot S10, the S20 is a super-compact, all-metal bodied camera that is ready to easily take on life's little bumps and knocks. For a palm-sized camera the 3-megapixel images are simply gigantic and guarantee photo-quality prints to 8x10" and beyond. Canon has got another mini-sized winner here. "
Ok, so it's not BlueTooth or WAP and it's really just a press release by FlashPoint, but for me it's an indication of where all digital devices will be in a year or two. The ability to connect seamlessly to the internet and share data (pictures, video whatever) wired and wireless.
Ricoh popped out two new digital cameras to coincide with CeBit. The RDC-7 sports a slimline almost "Agfa look", a 3.34 megapixel CCD and 3x optical zoom lens, it's being marketed as the thinking professionals digital camera (just right for the execs briefcase). The RDC-6000 being a more typical compact digicam look with a 2.14 megapixel CCD and no optical zoom.
Good news (Sony hopes) for the MemoryStick is that 19 more companies have licensed its flash storage technology... Interesting are the numbers of motor manufacturers (memory keyfob anyone?) Sony Corp said on Thursday it added 19 companies including General Motors Corp to a list of firms it has licensed to develop gadgets using Sony's Memory Stick as a data storage device.
Casio take on Canon at their own game with the similarly sized and styled XV-3. This aluminium bodied 3.34 megapixel digicam looses out slightly to Canon's S20 by havnig no optical zoom, the lens is fixed at 41mm (34mm equiv.) with a 12 stage up to 3.2x digital zoom (but we all hate digital zoom). Oh and it's also available in a very attractive pale (cyan?) blue case.
The guys over at Imaging-Resource have just posted their Casio QV-3000EX review, a camera which promises to be the first 3+ megapixel digicam to be available for sale. Not only that but Casio seem to have an incredible offer of $999 including a 340MB MicroDrive... amazing. Here's what Imaging-Resource had to say: "Overall, we were very pleased with the QV-3000EX. It offers the best image quality we've seen yet from Casio, with a strong feature set at a very attractive price. (Particularly given the inclusion of the 340 megabyte IBM MicroDrive!)"