Fujifilm today announced their FinePix Platform HA-770. This device (similar to Iomega's Fotoshow) allows for the transfer of images from SmartMedia or PC Card (with PC Card adpaters; CompactFlash and MemoryStick) onto Zip 100 or 250 MB disks. The device can be connected to a TV for slideshow playback / delete / protection (not as many editting options as the Fotoshow) and can also be used as an external drive to a computer (via USB). The HA-770 can also be directly connected to Fujifilm's NX-700/500/TX-70 printers for direct prints. On sale in Japan on November 5th at 49,800 YEN ($460).
Kodak have launched a new kit aimed at dentists. The kit contains a Kodak DC290 Zoom, Close-up Lens Kit, Ring Flash, PM100 printer, Paper and NiMH batteries & charger. "Digital photography has dentists excited, and for good reason," said Jack Retzlaff, digital product line manager, Kodak's dental business. "Today's cameras and inkjet printers promise a fast and easy way for dentists to produce professional patient images."
Another DPReview.Com first! We're proud to bring you the first ever review of a full production Canon EOS-D30 Digital SLR. Probably one of the most important reviews I've ever written, and further more it's of one of the (if not the) most important digital camera this year. Certainly one of the most anticipated digital cameras for a long time. So just how good is it? Come in and take a look...
UPDATED: Six new night shots (1- 15 sec exposures) added to galleries.
Both Imaging-Resource and Digital-Eye have posted Kodak DC3800 reviews, Dave E said "About the only thing we really felt was missing was an exposure-compensation adjustment. While many prospective users of the DC3800 could probably care less about exposure compensation, we feel it's a near-necessity on a digicam", and David K, "Overall, the DC3800 at $499 and with everything you need to easily get into digital photography, is a very practical choice which we certainly can highly recommend."
DPReview and State Street Direct (our approved affiliate) are proud to bring you yet another 64MB for $99.99 offer, to add to the offer of 64MB of SmartMedia for $99.99 which is running until Sunday we have a very limited time offer (until tomorrow!) of a Viking 64MB CompactFlash card for just $99.99 (no rebate required), this offer is open only to customers clicking through from this site.
So now you can buy 64MB of either SmartMedia or CompactFlash for just $99.99.
No really, I've not been ignoring the other sites, but I'm in the middle of several major reviews and site upgrades and have had little time to gather all of the weeks reviews / first-looks together. Anyhow, here they are. From Steve Sanders: two first looks, a review and "Ask Fujifilm". From Imaging-Resource: two reviews and "Ask Fujifilm. From DC Resource: Nikon Coolpix 880 review. Finally Mike Chaney's S1 vs. D1 article.
Thanks to Juergen Specht who attended Ceatec 2000 in Tokyo and caught a glimpse of some interesting digital camera technology, some of it real, some prototype / mock-up. Sony had no less than three prototype ultra compact digital cameras on display, one of which we've reported on before, the other two are new even to us. Also at the same show a 448MB CF card from Hitachi.
UPDATED: For owners of digital cameras that use SmartMedia our approved affiliate State Streeet Direct is offering DPreview customers the ability to purchase a two-pack of Viking 32MB Smartmedia Memory cards (64MB Total) for only $99.99 (No Rebate required). This is a limited time offer and will end on Sunday evening. Regular price for two 32MB Smartmedia memory cards is $170.00.
Offer now clarified! Open to anyone (you don't have to buy a camera to be eligible), offer extended until Sunday.
Rob Galbraith has had a look at the Hoodcap from Hoodman, a clear clip-on device which fits over the LCD of the D1 (just like the supplied protective cover), the difference with the Hoodcap is that it's transparent, this means that the LCD is protected and can still be viewed without removing it. "Since there is no protective cap for the Hoodcap, expect that its clear panel will accumulate scratches over time. At US$20 each, it may make sense for some to purchase two Hoodcaps per camera, keeping the spare in reserve until scratches overwhelm the primary one."
For owners of digital cameras that use SmartMedia our approved affiliate State Streeet Direct is offering DPreview customers the ability to purchase a two-pack of Viking 32MB Smartmedia Memory cards (64MB Total) for only $99.99 (No Rebate required). This is a limited time offer and will end on Friday evening. Regular price for two 32MB Smartmedia memory cards is $170.00.
Sounds too good to be true, but Kingston Technology (one of our sponsors) have a special $25 mail-in rebate on their 64MB CompactFlash cards, buy from one of their participating "e-tailers" (Buy.com, Egghead.com and 4sure.com) from now until December 31st 2000 and you'll get a $25 rebate off the price of a 64MB Kingston CF card!
We saw some sneak images of this camera at Photokina, today, Sanyo make it official. The IDC-1000Z uses 730MB iD discs (Magneto Optical), much along the same lines as Sony's CD1000 but with nearly 5 times the storage on each disc. The IDC-1000Z is a 1.5 megapixel digicam with a 3 times optical zoom lens and USB/IEEE1394 connectivity.
After the publication of an alternative way of performing a firmware update for the Coolpix 950/990 digital cameras, Nikon have issued an official "comment" on the Nikon-Euro website, to summarise "Cameras that have failed as a result of an attempted update by the direct method may be subject to chargeable service in the event of a consequential failure or malfunction."
Just had this interesting email from Arthur Bleich of dpcorner.com. "The first-ever digital photography workshop at sea will be held December 3-10, 2000 aboard Carnival Cruise Lines' Superliner Victory on a cruise through the Eastern Caribbean which will be followed day-by-day by millions worldwide on the web."
Another web exclusive! It never rains, it pours... Along with the E-10 Olympus loaned us a prototype E-100RS, an interesting camera to say the least, it's only fitted out with a 1.5 megapixel CCD, but has that huge 10 x stablised optical zoom first seen on the C-2100UZ along with the ability to shoot at some 15 frames per second (and even pre-capture frames). Read on...
Just posted! Our full, in-depth Canon PowerShot G1 review. Probably one of the most anticipated cameras for the prosumer market since Nikon announced the Coolpix 990. And that's it's competition, fair and square. In the review we've covered everything from operation to features and functionality, RAW format, image quality and a straight head-to-head with the 990. So who wins?
Absolute web exclusive! We've managed to get our hands on a pre-production Olympus E-10 (4 megapixel Digital SLR). Although it's not yet ready for a full review we've posted a short first look with some sample images. We hope to have a full review just as soon as Olympus can provide a production camera.
Our friend Rob Galbraith has posted all four parts of his Photokina 2000 report. It was good to meet Rob at Photokina, although there weren't that many new pro products there. "With few all-new products to chase down, I spent the bulk of my time on the show floor speaking to vendors, listening in on product demonstrations, and sleuthing out hitherto-unknown digital hardware and software. "
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and if it were possible to see into the future it would make rating todays digital cameras much easier. Unfortunately when we review a digital camera it can often strike us as "the best there is at the moment", this in turn means we give the camera a "recommended" or "highly recommended" conclusion. Well, not any more.
Thanks to Don Hergert for discovering it and Steve Sanders for publishing it, there's a new wa to upgrade the firmware of your Coolpix 950 / 990 by simply placing the firmware file into a special directory of a CompactFlash card, inserting it into the camera and turning the camera to Play. Why on earth Nikon didn't make this method publicly available is beyond me, it's much more straightforward (and less prone to mistakes). Note - you'll need a card reader to upgrade using this method.
Dave over at Imaging-Resource is churning them out, he's got a review of Kodak's rugged DC5000 which is based on the older DC280 "Images shot with the DC5000 should look fine printed on photo-quality output devices at sizes up to 8x10 inches. " and the Olympus/Polaroid C-211 Camera/Printer "Because it's fully digital, the C-211 Zoom allows you to shoot and select only the images you want to keep, and since the initial exposure is not made directly on the Polaroid film, as it is in traditional Polaroid models, you have the option of printing only the photographs you want."
Today Ofoto (one of our sponsors) expanded their award winning photo finishing service to the Worldwide audience. You can now order prints online at Ofoto which can be shipped to any one of 180 countries. Internaitonal shipping takes 3 - 12 days (depending on location) and costs just US$4.79 or US$19.99 for air express mail.
Lurking in our review queue for some time now, we've finally posted our review of Sony's innovative CD1000, the only digital camera to use mini CD-R's for storage. This was certainly an interesting camera to review, though it hardly set me on fire. "A few other reviewers have been as brave as to say that mini CD-R will be the future of storage in digital cameras. I'd have to place myself on the other side of that fence. Don't get me wrong, there's a place for it and I'm sure the CD1000 will sell well..."
Ok, so it's not necessarily digital photography related, but it does involve a well known name. "...the world's largest photography company warned it will fall short of third-quarter earnings projections due to an unexpected falloff in demand for photography products." "... The setback came while Kodak was trying to overcome higher costs for raw materials, rising investments in digital photography and the adverse effect of a strong U.S. dollar in Europe."
Toshiba, in a Japanese press release today announced 128MB SmartMedia will go on sale at the "end of September". The big "gotcha" of course is that because SmartMedia is really "Dumb" (it doesn't have a controller in the card like CF) almost none of todays SmartMedia digital cameras will be able to use the new 128MB cards.. No manufacturers have yet announced updates for their cameras to be able to use it.
Any manufacturers who'd like to confirm their cameras work with the upcoming 128MB SmartMedia please send me an email.
Finally back on UK soil I've taken stock and had an opportunity to update the report pages with some further manufacturers (Adobe, Digi-Frame, Iomega, Konica and Samsung). And refresh / update the text associated with each stand report. We've also included a brief diary and list of "key products" (IMHO) at the show.
At Photokina next week Pentax will announce a new 6 megapixel (3072 x 2048) Digital SLR, it will use Philip's 6 megapixel 35mm size CCD (12-bit progressive, 12 µm pixel pitch) and support Pentax KAF2 mount (645N & 67II lenses can be used). It will have dual storage slots supporting PCMCIA Type II and CF Type II simultaneously and write TIFF, JPEG and RAW. There'll be a two inch LCD and a IEEE1394 (FireWire) connector.
UPDATED: more specifications thanks to Yamada Kumio.
According to a new report published by Infotrends Digital Camera Sales now represent 13% of the Worldwide Camera Market this year. Four manufacturers: Olympus, Sony, Kodak and Fujifilm are worldwide market leaders with 60% unit market share. "While digital camera sales have not begun to erode film camera sales or film usage on a worldwide basis, steady market growth will inevitably begin to replace film camera adoption."
Steve Sanders has just posted a first look at a beta Fujifilm Finepix 4900Z. He says "I've just posted the first review on the Internet of Fujifilm's FinePix 4900 Zoom. This first look report includes all the usual detailed camera photos, 360-degree QTVR virtual tour, controls, menus and sample photos. The FinePix 4900 Zoom we reviewed is a pre-production unit but was still most impressive in both features and image quality."
Photokina 2000: The biggest photography fair in Europe (arguably in the World) is currently taking place at Koln Messe in Cologne, Germany (20-25th Sept). DPReview are here and bringing you reports of the key digital photography products currently on show. Broken into several parts this first report covers: Adobe, Agfa, Canon, Casio, Delkin and Foveon (& Hasselblad). Subsequent parts appear below (company names sorted alphabetically).
Photokina 2000: Second report, moving on to the next group of manufacturers: FujiFilm (Finepix 4900Z), HP (C-912 and two new digital cameras), IBM (1 GB Microdrive), Imacon (Carnival 3020 medium format back), Iomega (Fotoshow), Kodak (DCS Pro Back, EZ-200, DC4800) and Kyocera (Yashica Finecam 3300, Contax N Digital).
Somehow (!) Yamada Kumio managed to persuade Olympus to loan him an E-10 while at the Photokina show, he's posted four sample images for us all to criticise... I was told that all the E-10's at the show were still prototype and still had early firmware so I'd personally not read too much into any problems you see in these images.
We saw a prototype knocking around at Photokina (though I didn't manage to get a shot of it, Yamada dug it out), in any case Kodak have just announced the budget level DC3200... I find it interesting that Kodak had a few months break in releasing new cameras and have now loaded the market with no less than six models (EZ200, DC4800, DC5000, DC3400, DC3800 and now DC3200). Kodak are back, they're after the mass market and they mean business (another Sharp OEM camera?).
Steve Sanders has just posted a first look of the Pentax EI-200 (AKA. HP C-618), "The lightweight EI-200 looks and operates like a conventional 35mm camera except the two-inch color LCD monitor allows for instant review and/or deletion of stored images. Image data can be transmitted using a high-speed USB cable, CompactFlash (Type I or II) card, or IrDA-compliant wireless infrared link. Digita allows custom functions and easy transfer of photos to computer, directly to HP JetSend compatible printers, or to other Digita-compatible cameras."
The quarterly Japanese "digital camera magazine" published by Impress Group of Japan always make original images available on their website in association with articles printed in their magazine. Just released are a set of very interesting samples taken with the Nikon D1, Canon EOS-D30 and Fujifilm S1 Pro.... This material is like gold dust right now. There are also a couple of other D30 galleries and samples from the new Fujifilm FinePix 4900Z, Pentax EI-2000 (HP C-916), Yashica Finecam 3300, Kodak DC3800, Olympus C-2100UZ, Minolta Dimage 2330 and more...
Photokina 2000: Just as I was leaving the house this morning.. Fujifilm Japan announced the tiny FinePix 4500. Looking distinctively like the 40i with an identical body, lens and CCD this pocket sized fixed lens digicam enters the realm of Canon's Digital IXUS and the new Sony DSC-P1. Full specifications inside...
Photokina 2000: A few weeks ago Kodak announced a range of new sensors including a 4096 x 4096 16 megapixel beast. Well, now they've implemented it. Presenting the all new Kodak DCS Pro Back, a 16 megapixel medium-format camera back which can be used untethered (or tethered), dual PC Card slots, has a flip-out multi-angle LCD, Zoom and Pan image inspection (up to 1:1), FireWire (IEEE1394) connectivity and compatible with Hasselblad 555 ELD and Mamiya RZ film cameras. One additional big feature of the DCS Pro Back is Kodak's all new DCS Capture Studio 1.5 for acquisition and editting. No price yet announced.
Just a few days ago we posted a complete list of updates for the new Coolpix 990 1.1 firmware, now Nikon USA, Nikon Europe and Nikon Japan have all put up a download page for the firmware. Improvements include better autofocus, better continuous shooting, improved BSS, shorter review times and better white balance (certainly sounds like a recommended update).
As the pace of digital photography accelerates we recognised that it's becoming increasingly difficult to visualise digital camera product releases. As an answer to this problem we've produced a unique interface to our news articles / cameras database and named it the "Newest Digital Cameras Timeline". This graphical representation of new camera announcements with links to reviews and specifications gives an instant overview of the current status of the digital camera marketplace. We hope you'll find it useful.
UPDATED (twice): Now back to 1997 and with a megapixel value for each camera.
Pre-Photokina 2000: Colorado MicroDisplay have today introduced their new QVGA viewfinder LCD, designed to be used as a "TTL viewfinder" for digital cameras without the use of prisms and mirrors, the LCD operates in much the same way as the main LCD on the rear of the camera but with the advantage of a true TTL view at eye-cup viewfinder sizes. (Sony have already made use of such technology in some of their Mavica digital cameras)
Pre-Photokina 2000: Today Canon unveil their latest digital camera, the G1. Aimed squarely at the "prosumer" marketplace the G1 enters the arena as a direct competitor to the Coolpix 990, Sony F505V and Olympus C-3030Z. Canon have listened, the G1 supports CF Type II (for IBM Microdrive) has a flash hotshoe and (Pro 70 users will love this) and flip out and twist LCD screen for viewing at any angle, and there's RAW mode images too.. There's lots more goodies in store, so come on in for the full story. (We have exclusive images, menus and other details). UPDATE: Sample Images online.
Vitals: 3.14 megapixels effective (2048 x 1536), 3 x optical zoom lens (F2.0 - F2.5), flip-out and twist coated LCD screen, flash hot-shoe, Compact Flash Type II, ISO 50 - 400, JPEG / RAW image format, InfraRed remote control. Front-on just a little bigger than a S10/S20.
Over the last few weeks Kodak have been trickling out "Shop @ Kodak" online stores for different countries. Now open on websites for the US, UK, Italy, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands. In some regions you can't yet buy Kodak digital cameras through these sites (it looks as though the US site is now selling cameras direct) there are a good range of Kodak accessories available including CF cards, power adapters, lenses, card readers, paper, CD-R etc.
Thanks to William Chang from photography.com.hk for sending a note over that he has posted the first "hands-on article" of Olympus's Digital SLR the E10. He also has a couple of original sample images (the first full originals posted on the web as far as we're aware). So get over there and read his great preview and check out those samples...
I thought it would be timely to mention the use of Pro digital cameras at the Olympics. We can be sure that there'll be plenty of Kodak DCS's, Nikon D1's and Canon EOS-D30's (maybe even the odd S1 Pro or two) filling up storage cards and burning their way through rechargeable batteries over the next two and a bit weeks. Most of the major manufacturers will have support teams in Sydney and a few of them have setup Olympics information websites.
Someone just emailed me a link to a preliminary Nikon Coolpix 990 firmware 1.1 update. I feel it's my responsibility to warn you against trying to download / install this firmware even if you're told the link, Nikon have not yet officially announced it and it may still be open to update. It's obvious looking at the readme file that they haven't finished writing it. Patience. In the mean time we'll let you read what will be in this update. Nikon will make this update publicly available on 18th September.
Ofoto today announced integration of the PictureIQ service into their website enabling customers to enhance photos in-browser before sending them for printing or sharing them with friends. "...customers can perform one-touch instant photo fixing, cropping, rotation of pictures and apply special effects, such as changing color photos to black and white. PictureIQ technology ensures that enhancements made on screen translate straight through to the printing process, resulting in a true 'what you see is what you get' experience."