June 27
Microtech announce new Microdrive Bundles

Microtech today announce new "Deluxe Kit" and "RoadWarrior Kit" both come with USB reader/writers and PC Card Type II adapters for connection directly to a notebook. The new bundles include the 340MB and new 512MB and 1GB Microdrives.

Microtech unveil ZiO!
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Microtech today announced their miniture ZiO! line of USB media readers, there will be three different ZiO! models capable of reading/writing CF Type I/II, SmartMedia and MultiMedia/SD. With no cables or batteries the ZiO! simply plugs straight into a USB socket for access to particular media cards. Fully compatible with Windows 98, 2000 and Mac OS 8.5 and above.

Shutterfly Partners with Kodak

Seems to be partnerships-between-photofinishing-companies day today, Shutterfly today announced that they have come to an agreement with Kodak to offer 35mm and APS film developing and scanning services to Shutterfly customers, once developed images appear in the users area on the Shutterfly site. The Shutterfly film developing and scanning service will be available starting July 7th, 2000, and for an introductory period will be free of charge.

Sony chooses Ofoto for ImageStation.Com

Ofoto today announced that they will be providing photo finishing facilities for Sony's new photo sharing website www.imagestation.com. ImageStation users will now be able to purchase prints at 4x6, 5x7 or 8x10 printed on Kodak Professional paper.

Red Hen Systems GPS Mapping for DC290

Today Red Hen Systems Inc. announced MediaMapper which "...is an innovative mapping program that easily integrates digital still pictures, video, and audio with GPS information into an interactive map.", put simply it will automatically map and locate images taken witha Kodak DC290 with connected Garmin receiver or Red Hen's own VMS 200.

Sony DSC-S70 review!
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Just posted! We've put the finishing touches to our Sony DSC-S70 review, "Sony surprised quite a few people with their announcement of the S70, not least I'm sure some of their competitors. Although most manufacturers claim to know what their competitors are doing some of Sony's recent moves must certainly have sent ripples through certain offices in Japan."

June 26
Kodak announce Print@Kodak

Today Kodak announced their own Internet photofinishing service, Print@Kodak. Along the same lines as many other photo finishing services Kodak are hoping that their reputation and name will go a long way to winning customers. Print@Kodak is available direct from Kodak at www.kodak.com and through several photo sharing sites.

Hitachi 448MB CF Type II

Almost a month since we covered Hitachi Japan's announcement of a 448MB CF Type II and 1GB PCMCIA ATA Type II card, Hitachi USA have today made these products official. Here's the complete press release. The 448MB CF Type II is priced at $895 per 1000 (to distributors obviously) that's a price of $1.99/MB compared to IBM's 1GB CF Type II Microdrive at $499 is just $0.50/MB.

June 24
By popular demand: Ricoh Talk

Several people asked for it, and with the advent of new cameras and more interest in Ricoh we've now created a "Ricoh Talk" forum. So get in there and get discussing the RDC-5000, RDC-5300, RDC-6000, RDC-7 and RDC-200G.

Minolta Dimage 2300

Minolta sneak a new model in without anyone noticing... Well, nearly. In a press release published yesterday Minolta announced their budget priced Dimage 2300, this 2.3 megapixel (2.1 megapixels effective) fixed lens (38mm, 35mm equiv.) will go in sale in Japan on 7th July for 49800 YEN (~US$480).

June 22
Impress publishes 13 S1 Pro samples

Impress Digital Camera Magazine is a printed bi-monthly Japanese digital camera publication which covers all the latest digital cameras with some of the most in-depth reviews you're ever likely to find. In association with this they always publish sample images for download. Their latest samples are from FujiFilm S1 Pro, Sony F505V & F55V, Kodak DC4800, Canon IXY Digital (S100 ELPH / IXUS), Ricoh RDC-7, JVC GC-X1, Sony FD-90 & FD-95.

Olympus announce 8x10 Dye Sub printer

Olympus today announced their P-400 A4 size (8.25" x 11.7") printer, with some interesting features including direct print from SmartMedia, PC Card, CompactFlash or Memory Stick as well as PC and Mac connectivity (USB, Parallel). Cost per A4 sheet (paper & ink) is said to be $1.90 and the printer takes 90 seconds to print a single page. List price $999.

Trimble unveils GPS for small mobile devices

This could turn into interesting news for digital camera owners, Trimble Navigation today announced FirstGPS, a chipset solution to enable small portable devices to "know where they are". Featured in Epson's Japanese "Locatio" product which is a PDA, phone, navigator, digital camera with built-in Internet access. FirstGPS has the lowest power consumption of any GPS receiver, requiring only 30-50 milliwatts at 3.3 volts. It's likely we'll see digital cameras of the future with built in GPS locators.

Two new cameras from Casio

Casio Japan announce the QV-2800UX & QV-2300UX. Both cameras feature the same 2.11 megapixel CCD (1600 x 1200 resolution), the QV-2300UX has a 3x optical zoom lens, the QV-2800UX has a big 8x optical zoom lens. Interestingly Casio have gone for the rotating lens option we first saw in the QV-7000UX and QV-8000UX.

Pricing and availability: QV-2300UX - 65,000 YEN (Est. US street $750) in July, QV-2800UX - 78,000 YEN (Est. US Street $850) in September. Full specifications inside.

June 21

Myself, I'm about 85% through a DSC-S70 review (should be up by the end of the week), in the mean time Steves-Digicams, DC Resource and Imaging-Resource have posted reviews or first looks of cameras ranging from Sony's MVC-CD1000, MVC-FD95, Canon's little S100 and the Epson PhotoPC 3000Z.

IBM makes 512MB and 1GB MicroDrive official

Just two hours after publishing the "sneak preview" news story below, IBM have release an official announcement of their 1 GB MicroDrive. Full release and specifications inside. "Packing one gigabyte (GB) of data storage capacity on to a disk the size of an American quarter, IBM's newest Microdrive can hold up to 1,000 high-resolution photographs, a thousand 200-page novels or nearly 18 hours of high-quality digital audio music."

UPDATED: Specifications

June 20
IBM ready 1GB MicroDrive
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Some sneak news here from NY Times, IBM are readying their next generation MicroDrive, weighing in at 1GB yet still the same small CF Type II package, increased shock resistance (now a claimed 1500G) it will be priced at US$ 499 ($0.48/MB) and said to go on sale in September. "The smaller size and accelerating density of magnetic storage systems are one of the remarkable stories of Silicon Valley. Disk storage is now increasing at a rate faster than the legendary Moore's Law improvement rate of the semiconductor industry. "

June 19

Here's an interesting announcement from a surprising source "PhotoAccess.com Corporation, a leading provider of digital imaging solutions for the Internet, today announced the availability of its PhotoChip(tm), the world's fastest digital image processing chip for use in digital cameras."... ..."features an "instant-on'' environment and throughput rates of up to 24 megapixels per second - significantly faster than any other application specific integrated circuit or DSP available"

June 16
Olympus C-2100 UltraZoom, 10x optics

Olympus Japan announce the a new digital camera based on the 2 megapixel C-2020Z with an Olympus ten times stabalised zoom lens (38mm - 380mm, F2.8 - F3.5) with optical stability. Expected retail price is 138,000 YEN ($1300) in Japan available in August. Olympus's answer to the FD-95 & MVC-CD1000 ?

UPDATE: Full specifications inside.

Essentials: 1.92 megapixels effective (1600 x 1200), 10x stabalised zoom lens (38mm - 380mm), TTL LCD Viewfinder, SmartMedia

PC Watch post Ricoh RDC-7 samples

Impress PC Watch, on the ball as always snapped some pictures with Ricoh's new RDC-7. As far as I'm aware these are the first available samples on the net. The RDC-7 is a 3 megapixel digicam which also features a cunning 6 megapixel interpolated mode (3072 x 2304).

June 14

Caught this interesting press release about an interesting photo authenication application which is designed to be used by Police and Courts to verify the authenticity of images taken with digital cameras, something which has always thwarted their use as court evidence in the past. The new technology digitally marks the image at the time of download to maintain their authenticity up to the point at which they are used as evidence in court.

Kodak Pro DSC620x Review!
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Just posted! Our latest review, the Kodak DCS 620x. An amazing professional digital SLR with the highest sensitivity of any digital camera currently available (ISO 400 - 6400). Here's what we had to say "This is incredibly important to working in medium / low "available light" situations where you still need high shutter speeds to capture "that moment" (think floodlit football, basketball, ice hockey, a dusk shoot-out in a war torn country)."

June 13
Sony officially announce MVC-CD1000

As we reported yesterday (thanks to a slip by TWICE.COM) Sony have today announced the MVC-CD1000, a 2.1 megapixel digital camera based on the FD-95, this camera is unique in so much as it writes images not to flash memory or floppy disks but directly to 3.5" 156MB CD-R discs. Sony, as ever breaking with convention (nothing wrong with that) but also interestingly coming to the market with yet another storage format (which incedently they'll profit from). Each CD-R is hoped to be priced around $4 which makes each (non erasable) image shot cost approximately $0.03. Camera price? $1300, shipping August.

The advantage? Cheap, large storage, can be read by standard CD-ROM drives, big 10x zoom lens. Disadvantages I see.. (a) Yet another storage standard, (b) Camera size, (c) Availability and pricing of mini CD-R's, (d) Non-rewritable nature (surely a 64MB buffer wouldn't have been out of the question) (e) Price

UPDATE: Imaging-Resource post first look, thanks to Imaging-Resource for pictures of the camera

Jeff Keller posts FujiFilm 4700 review

Jeff Keller over at DC Resource has just posted his review of FujiFilm's FinePix 4700, here's what he says "The FinePix 4700 is a good looking, small, and fun-to-use camera, as long as you're doing casual shooting. People who want to tweak aperture and shutter settings will have to look elsewhere. But most consumers don't care about those things, and the 4700 fits the bill very well. "

June 12

I received an email earlier today pointing me to TWICE.COM who were carrying an article on a new digital camera from Sony. This camera, based on the 2.1 megapixel FD-95 will write to mini sized CD-R's (156MB @ $4 a piece), at the time I copied the news release from TWICE.COM but didn't publish it until I'd verified it. Imaging-Resource are now running this news article and saying that they are under NDA until tomorrow about this product. Interestingly going back to TWICE.COM the article has been pulled.. curiouser and curiouser...

UPDATE: 10:00 GMT Imaging-Resource have pulled their coverage of the MVC-CD1000.. what a farce.

Imaging Resource post two new reviews

The busy guys over at Imaging Resource have put their finishing touches to a review of FujiFilm's FinePix 1400 (an entry level compact digicam) and Sony's new interesting F505V (the 2.6 megapixel upgrade to their successful F505) of which they say "The sharpness of the Carl Zeiss optics show in the final images, and we really like the "real camera" manual-focus option (although we'd really like to see some sort of optical viewfinder, even if only a "gunsight" on the top of the lens barrel). The full 5x optical zoom is a big plus that we wish more manufacturers would adopt. "

June 9
PC Watch post Kodak DC4800 (Beta) samples

Impress PC Watch post samples from a Beta Kodak DC4800, as always PC Watch get the jump on the latest digicams publishing these images just a couple of days after the official announcement of the camera. So, how do they look? Well, not bad actually.

June 8
PC Watch report from Computex
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Impress PC Watch report from the Computex Taipei 2000 exhibition, where low cost, OEM, CMOS and multimedia (MP3) digital cameras are seen by local manufacturers as the only way to break into the low end digital camera market.

June 7
Megapixel.Net June issue out now

The monthly bi-lingual digital camera webzine Megapixel.Net have just released their June edition, under the reviewers eye this month is Sony's FD-95, FujiFilm's 4700Z, Toshiba's M70 and the cut-back Olympus C-3000Z. There are also articles on images in newspapers, how people use their digital cameras and why CMOS cameras are much cheaper than traditional CCD units.

June 6
Kodak US announce DC4800 & DC5000

Hot on the heels of Kodak Japan, Kodak US have officially announced (and put up web pages) for the DC4800 and DC5000 digital cameras. The US webpages also carry PDF specification sheets, demos and a samples gallery for each camera.

Kodak DC4800: 3.1mp, ISO 100/200/400, 3x optical zoom (28-84mm), Lithium-Ion battery

Kodak DC5000: 2.1mp, ISO 100, 2x optical zoom (30-60mm), AA batteries, rugged design

Kodak DC4800, 3.1mp 3x zoom

Kodak Japan today announced the DC4800 and gave a sneak preview of the DC5000 digital cameras. The DC4800 is a 3.1 megapixel (2160 x 1440), 3x optical zoom (28mm - 84mm, 35mm equiv.), available in Japan June 23rd @ 99,800 YEN (~US$1000). The DC5000 is a rugged-ised DC280, exact specifications are as yet unknown.

June 3
Hitachi announce 448MB CF Type II

Just when you thought your Microdrive was big. Hitachi Japan announce three CF Type II cards of capacity 448MB, 320MB and 256MB and a 1GB PCMCIA ATA Type II, all of these new devices use 512 or 256 Mbit flash memory and are capable of up to 2MB/second. Prices not yet announced and I'm sure they won't yet be able to get down to the low $/MB of the Microdrive but for those people with reservations about mini-harddisks this will be encouraging news.

FujiFilm officially announce 40i

Received this overnight from my contact at FujiFilm, this is the official (English) announcement of the multitalented (Images & MP3's) FinePix 40i. "Fujifilm today announces the super compact, high resolution FinePix 40i digital camera, due for release in Japan next month and in the rest of the world in late August."

June 2
FujiFilm FinePix 40i, JPEG & MP3!

FujiFilm blur the multimedia line by bringing out a combined digital camera and MP3 player, this little camera looks more like a MiniDisc player but actually plays MP3's (uploaded by USB). It's equipped with FujiFilm's 2.4 megapixel SuperCCD outputting 2400 x 1600, 1280 x 960 or 640 x 480. Priced at 88,000 YEN (about US$880), available July 1st in Japan.

May 30
What Digital Camera - what no news?

It's not often that us online types get a chance to take a swipe at our printed brothers, but in an amusing twist it appears that the excellent UK publication "WHAT DIGITAL CAMERA" published my April Fools joke about Canon's new CCD in their May edition as a real rumour (Page 9)... Better still not only did they publish it but obviously didn't visit the site the next day to read the retraction. Excellent.

Fooled you What Digital Camera? I think so.

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I found an interesting summary of JPEG2000, advancements and current status over on EETimes, according to the author Junko Yoshida "The boom in Internet commerce, combined with the advent of higher-resolution digital cameras and ever beefier desktop computers, has led companies involved in a broad range of imaging technologies to anticipate a swift transition to JPEG2000-possibly within a couple of years, according to the experts. Backers expect JPEG2000 to become the accepted, universal file format for digital images, whether on the Web or from digital cameras, printers, faxes, remote sensors or wireless transmissions. "

May 29
Just Posted! Canon Digital IXUS / ELPH review

We've just posted our latest review.. Canon's tiny Digital IXUS (also known as PowerShot S100 Digital ELPH and Digital IXY). "Open your wallet, take out a credit card.. No, I'm not going to ask you to order one just yet, that credit card is the same size as the front of the Digital IXUS. Small? You bet. This is truly the smallest digicam I've ever reviewed and weighs in as the smallest 1.92 mp digital camera on the market."

May 27
Imaging-Resource posts Minolta RD-3000 review

Imaging-Resource post reivew of Minolta's chunky, 2.7 megapixel, CCD-stitching, APS lens (Vectis) digital SLR. Here's what Dave had to say "Given its bulk, feature set and price, the RD 3000 clearly isn't a camera intended for the casual picture-snapper. On the other hand, its options for interchangeable lenses, excellent tonal range, and understated color handling make it well suited for professional use, particularly for portraiture or other situations where smooth skin tones, good shadow detail and low image noise are important. Full manual exposure control, a very clean user interface (thanks to all those buttons), and dual flash connections lend versatility that we think many serious users will appreciate"

FotoTime release version 1.11
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FotoTime just released FotoAlbum version 1.11. FotoTime allows you to organizes and share your digital pictures. This new release has improved sorting capabilities, complete EXIF tag display, and an improved screen saver. FotoAlbum supports lossless JPEG rotation and the new Casio QV3000 uncompressed TIFF format. In addition, the FotoTime web site now provides unlimited storage.

May 26

As long as you don't mind ordering it, a downloadable update will be made available "some time in June".. No details are available of what they've fixed in 1.1.1, all the update page says is "Nikon Capture allows you to translate the "Raw" file format available from the D1 to provide the ultimate in picture quality by utilizing the power of your computers processor to use more complex equations during the conversion of raw files data to the more common TIFF and JPEG file format. "

Site slow... Now better
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We've been receiving reports over the last couple of days that the site has become slow and unusable. This news came as a bit of a shock as we've actually just cleaned up much of the backend database and procedures. Interestingly these complaints fell in line with the start of a new ad campaign with doubleclick which required javascript inserts.

UPDATE: Things are better, overwhelming response. Some words from our advertiser.

May 25
Canon announces 10x stablised digicam lens

In a surprise announcement Canon have revealed a 10x zoom lens (35 mm - 350 mm) for digital cameras with lens-shift optical image stabilisation. "The lens's outstanding image performance and high 10x zoom ratio are made possible through the introduction of a new mechanical structure, which makes possible the precision movement of the correcting lens group, and a new optical design compatible with high resolving capability."

Nikon announce 14mm lens aimed at D1

Nikon today announced the AF Nikkor 14mm f/2.8 ED lens which they're aiming at photojournalists using the Nikon D1. Because of the D1's focal length multiplier of 1.55x this lens works out at a nice wide 21.7 mm on the D1. There's also a gelatine filter holder at the rear of the lens.

May 23
Sony launch UP-DP10 home photo printer

Sony's new Digital Photo Printer (Dye Sub) can print 4" x 6" in a variety of finishes (Matte, Glossy, Textured). Each print takes 85 seconds. Print packs (including ink) priced at $14.95 for 25 prints. Resolution is 300dpi, producing 1162 x 1536 pixel prints. Priced at $389, available in June.

May 22
GadgetSquad post Sony DSC-S70 first-look

Thanks to Alan Dang from GadgetSquad for letting me know he's just posted a first-look of Sony's DSC-S70 3.34 mp digital camera. Alan says "We've been very impressed with the DSC-S70 so far, and we'll have our full in-depth review of the Sony DSC-S70 shortly. Until then, we've got a small gallery of images to whet your appetite. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words! "

May 21
Steve posts 3 user reviews
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Steve Sanders has posted reviews of Fuji's FinePix 4700Z, Toshiba's M70 and Sony's cult-like FD-95 of which he says "The FD-95 has got a GREAT zoom lens! And a super battery. But once again Sony has used way too much compression on the images to make them fit on 1.44MB floppies. They touted that this camera and all other year 2000 Mavicas could use the MemoryStick and the MSAC-FD2 floppy adapter for lots more storage but ... there is no option for less-compressed images!"

May 20
EE Times has an article on Canon's CMOS sensor

Thanks to Bill Geary for noting this article on EE Times about Canon's CMOS Sensor, it's got a few more technical details than we covered in our preview. "Canon uses CMOS sensor to gain digicam edge"... Time will tell.

More S1 Pro samples, along with some D1

My good friends over at Impress PC Watch have just published another set of sample images from the FujiFilm S1 Pro Digital SLR. This time at different resolutions, compression settings and ISO's. And to please some people there are even comparison shots with Nikon's D1 taken of the same scene on the same day.

May 18
Canon EOS-D30 Digital SLR
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Tokyo, 13:00. As part of a worldwide announcement of new digital camera products Canon today revealed the details of the EOS-D30 Digital SLR. We first saw a glimpse of this camera back at PMA. Today Canon make the official announcement, reveal specifications, expected price and release dates. We've got that and a WHOLE lot more.

PREVIEW: I've had an exclusive hands-on with Canon's first "home grown" digital SLR priced to be affordable and probably a camera which marks a defining moment for digital photography.

Vital statistics: 3.11mp effective (2,160 x 1,440), Canon APS sized CMOS sensor, EF lens mount, 1.6x focal length multiplier, 12-bit RAW mode, 3+ fps up to 8 images, CF Type I / II, Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (and optional battery pack), September 2000, Europe: 3000€ (US$3,500).

Another interesting article from EE Times: "We are converting some DRAM production lines [over] to flash memories," a Samsung executive said. "But it's still hard to meet the demands for NAND," the flash memory used mainly in MP3 players and digital cameras. Samsung said it expects sales in the flash memory sector to grow as high as $700 million this year.