July 21
X'S-Drive 2 XL VP2260

Cardmedia Europe has announced a new addition to its portable storage range with the 30GB X'S-Drive 2 XL VP2260, which is priced £140. The device has a new long life built-in rechargeable battery for up to two hours use and the LCD shows file transfer status, battery power level and capacity left on the hard drive. It has three card slots which can transfer data from Compactflash, IBM Microdrive, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, SD/MMC and xD-Picture Card media without adapters. A high speed transfer rate can copy data from a 1GB card in eight minutes. The X'S-Drive 2 XL VP2260 is available in 20GB to 80GB capacities.

Kodak to cut 10,000 more jobs

Kodak is to cut up to 10,000 more jobs, while the company makes the tough transition from film to digital, reports the Altus Times. The announcement coincided with reports of a second quarter loss and shares dropped by more than 2%. The new cuts are expected to affect around 7,000 manufacturing jobs, many in Kodak's home town. Eighteen months ago Kodak announced that it would cut around 15,000 jobs over the next three years. Despite the fact that Kodak will add around 8,000 employees, the workforce will eventually number under 50,000 compared to 86,000 people it employed in 1998.

July 20
All new dpreview.com merchandise
We're proud to announce that we have just refreshed and expanded our ever popular merchandise store. Our official store now has new caps, bags, shirts, mugs, a coaster, mousepad and even stickers! Show your support for dpreview, spread the word to your fellow digital photographers and make it easier to spot each other at the next photo meet, there's something for everyone in the Digital Photography Review Merchandise Store.
BenQ E510 and E520

Electronics manufacturer BenQ has added some credence to its cameras by attaching a Pentax Super Multi-Coated (SMC) lens to them. The first two cameras to benefit from the partnership with Pentax are the E510 and E520, both five megapixels. The SMC system, which was developed in 1971, is suppoed to effectively eliminate surface reflection and flares and deliver sharper and clearer images. Both cameras feature BenQ's proprietary Senseye Technology which is supposed to greatly enhance color performance while significantly reducing image noise.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30, preview and samples
Panasonic has today revealed the new eight megapixel 12x optical zoom DMC-FZ30. The FZ30 follows on from the remarkably popular FZ20, it continues that camera's standard of providing SLR-like features and body design with a big zoom and image stabilization. Primary changes are more megapixels, a mechanically linked zoom ring, a higher resolution flip-down and twist LCD monitor, RAW capture, longer exposures, improved control layout and faster operation (especially startup). This new camera won't be that much of a surprise to many of our readers, thanks to several leaks in the last week. We have a preview and gallery of sample images from a pre-production camera online now.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1
Panasonic has today announced the world's first wide angle compact camera with a 16:9 ratio CCD. The fully manual Lumix DMC-LX1 offers a 8.6 megapixel 1 /1.65" CCD and is the first camera in the LUMIX 16:9 wide LX series. The aspect ratio is easily selectable between 3:2 and the conventional 4:3 by using a slider switch located on the lens barrel. As with all Panasonic cameras, the LX1 features two-mode MEGA OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) for its 4x optical Leica DC zoom lens. It also boasts a 28 - 112 mm focal length, Venus Engine II, five AF modes and a 16:9 wide VGA movie mode at 30 fps.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9
Panasonic has announced an addition to the FX range with the sleek and sexy Lumix DMC-FX9. Available in three colors, red, silver and black, the FX9 ups the pixel count to 6 million. It forfeits an optical viewfinder in favor of a 2.5-inch LCD with 180% more pixels than the FX8 at 207,000 and maintains that effective Optical Image Stabilization system, despite only having a 3x zoom. It also boasts the Venus Engine Plus LSI for high performance processing in speed and image quality and offers a 3 frames per second burst mode. The DMC-FX9 also adds two new scene modes to those found on the FX8, which are Starry Sky and Candle.
Panasonic announces three new SD cards

Panasonic has added three high capacity SD cards to its Pro High Speed, High Speed and miniSD ranges. First up is the flagship 2GB card introduced to the Pro High Speed range. It offers a data transfer rate of 20MB/s and will hit the shops in August with a price tag of €249.99 (US$299). The new addition to the High Speed range is the 1GB SD card available in August for €99.99 (US$119). And for mobile phones with built-in cameras there is a 512MB miniSD memory card, which can store music and images and will be priced €49.99 (US$59) when it hits the shops next month.

July 19
Pentax profits fall by 42%

Pentax has announced that its profits fell by 42% in the fiscal first quarter, compared to the previous year, reports the International Herald Tribune. Net income fell to ¥261m (US$2.32) from ¥448m (US$3.97m) the previous year. The loss is blamed on ever decreasing profit margins on compact digital cameras and the company says it plans to focus on the "more profitable single-lens reflex digital camera to offset price declines in compact types" as well as "raise the pace of new model introductions to three per year from two, starting this year," says Fumio Urano, Pentax president. Urano said that the company will also cut 300 jobs in the next two years.

Konica Minolta and Sony make D-SLR announcement
Konica Minolta and Sony have today announced an agreement to jointly develop digital SLR cameras. This agreement appears to mean that both Konica Minolta and Sony will develop D-SLR cameras with Konica Minolta lens mounts. It also covers technology sharing between the two, including Sony's CMOS sensors and Info-Lithium batteries and Konica Minolta's AF, metering and Anti-Shake system. The release doesn't state whether each company will be able to use any of these techologies in products other than DSLRs. I suppose this means Sony aren't going the Four Thirds route...
Olympus posts E-300 firmware v1.3

Olympus has today posted firmware version 1.3 for the FourThirds DSLR the E-300. The update provideds enhanced exposure metering stability, adds a button timer, two new underwater scene programmes and changes the start-up process for future lenses.

July 18
Adobe Bridge software update v1.02
Adobe has today posted a software update for its file browsing program in Photoshop CS2. Adobe Bridge version 1.02 update delivers overall improved stability and performance and is recommended for all Adobe Bridge customers. Adobe Bridge was based on the file browser introduced in Photoshop 7.0 and allows you to organize, browse, locate and view the assets you need with visual previews and scalable thumbnails.

Industry analysts InfoTrends/CAP Ventures has reported that unit sales of digital cameras in North America hit a high of 22.2 million in 2004, and the number is continuing to rise. Although the pace at which the market is growing has slowed to 16% from 27%, the market is expected to reach 26 million units this year. Household penetration is also set to rise above half for the first time, at 55%. One of the biggest growth sectors is DSLRs. InfoTrends/CAP Ventures expects the consumer DSLR market to grow 81% in 2005. Research also shows that the market has matured greatly since the introduction of digital cameras nearly 10 years ago, and that by the end of this decade nine out of 10 buyers will be previous owners.

HP restructure and job cuts
HP is expecting to announce a huge restructuring that could mean between 5,000 - 25,000 redundancies, reports the Wall Street Journal. HP's new Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd, who was appointed in late March, plans to make significant cost cuts at the technology company which he said "has a cost structure that is off benchmark in many areas". The restructure is likely to be announced at the end of the fiscal third quarter on July 29. The layoffs could bring around $100 million in headcount-related savings in the period.
Phase One ships three new digital backs
Phase One plans to introduce three new digital backs - two by the end of the year and one at the beginning of next year. The P45 is a full format digital back with a 39MP sensor, which produces files of 117 MB, while the 31MP P30 is designed for the fashion shooter who is looking to switch to digital photography. Finally there is the 18MP P21 digital back, which features 60fpm capture rate. These announcements coincide with the company's decision to offer complete openness into its 18-month product roadmap, which it hopes will offer a certain level of investment protection to its customers.

Canon USA has announced that customers with the Battery Grip BG-E2 used with the EOS 20D and 20Da, and a certain serial number range can return their grip/magazine for a free repair/replacement. This is due to a cases where even with fully charged batteries (exclusive battery pack or NiMH battery) or unused AA size batteries, only a few shots can be taken or 'bc' is displayed immediately.

July 15
Three new Konica Minolta DT lenses
In addition to the announcement of the Maxxum 5D Konica Minolta has also announced three new DT (designed for digital SLR) lenses; the AF DT 18 - 70 mm F3.5 - F5.6 (D), the AF DT 11 - 18 mm F4.5 - F5.6 (D) and the AF DT 18 - 200 mm F3.5 - F6.3 (D).
Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D
Konica Minolta has today announced the Dynax / Maxxum 5D digital SLR. This new digital SLR is Konica Minolta's answer to the Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 350D (Rebel XT), a more affordable digital SLR aimed more at the beginner market. It's both smaller and lighter than the Maxxum 7D and has fewer external controls (although those which are left are the most useful; WB, ISO, etc.). The 5D of course still features Konica Minolta's unique in-camera Anti-Shake system which stabilizes the sensor rather than a lens element.
Konica Minolta AF 35 mm F1.4G D lens
Konica Minolta has today announced the development of a new lens. The AF 35 mm F1.4G D is designed for the Dynax/Maxxum series of SLRs and features distance encoding which enables the more advanced ADI flash metering, it is also claimed to have a rounder aperture for an improved bokeh (defocused area) appearance. This lens is due to be launched in 'Spring 2006' (read PMA).
Konica Minolta DiMAGE X1
Konica Minolta has today announced the ultra-slim DiMAGE X1, an eight megapixel three times optical zoom ultra-compact digital camera with Anti-Shake and a large 2.5-inch LCD monitor. From a design point of view the X1 is much more rounded in appearance compared to its siblings, indeed it looks more like a rounded-off Sony DSC-T3. At the time of publication the X1 appears to be the ultra-compact that pack the most: eight megapixels, Anti Shake as well as an internal zoom lens.
July 14
Rollei dp8300

German manufacturer Rollei has announced its offering for the 8 megapixel market with the dp8300. The metal-bodied compact offers a 36 - 108 mm 3x zoom lens, large 2.5-inch LCD, 5cm macro function plus 640 x 480-pixel movie mode which is limited only by the size of the memory card. The Rollei dp8300 will be on sale at the end of the month for around €349 ($422).

July 13
Casio posts EX-Z750 firmware v1.0.1
Casio has today posted firmware version 1.0.1 for the 7.2 megapixel, 3x zoom Exilim Z750, announced at PMA. The new firmware allows you to zoom into portrait-oriented images in playback without changing to landscape orientation.
July 12

Sales of digital SLRs continue to rise and nearly doubled in the period 2003-2004, according to industry analyst NPD Techworld. PMA Sales of DSLRs rose from 277,796 in 2003 to 578,000 in 2004 and are on track to break records this year as 200,000 units had already been sold by April 2005. The 2005 PMA US Consumer Photo Buying report also reveals that 60% of DSLR owners are male, who are slightly older than compact digital camera users at around 48 years old, but younger than 35mm SLR users at 52

Kodak accelerates move into image sensor market

In further evidence of its commitment to digital, Eastman Kodak has announced plans to accelerate moves into the CMOS image sensor market after news of a manufacturing alliance with IBM. The recently available three and five megapixel CIS devices are intended for mass market products such as camera phones and digital cameras. The KODAK KAC-3100 and KAC-5000 Image Sensors incorporate Kodak PIXELUX technology, which is designed to improve image quality and performance, and offer more features than other CMOS-based image sensors on the market.

July 6
Extensis Portfolio Raw Filter 2 and update v7.0.6

Extensis has released a free update for Portfolio 7 that adds support for several digital SLRs and compact cameras. The Portfolio Raw Filter 2 update adds support for 14 new cameras including the Nikon D2x, D2H, Olympus E-300, Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II, Digital Rebel XT, Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D and the Pentax *ist DS. Additionally, update version 7.0.6 also provides compatibility updates for Adobe CS2 and Apple Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger).

July 5
Just posted! Sony DSC-H1 review
Just posted! The Cyber-shot DSC-H1 is Sony's attempt to win a share of one of the fastest growing digital camera market sectors, the 5 megapixel 'super zoom'. As well as a huge 12x optical zoom the H1 is a real treasure chest of photographic control, offering a wealth of automatic, semi automatic and manual exposure modes, a big 2.5" screen and VGA/30fps movies in space-efficient MPEG format. But is it enough to see off stiff competition from the likes of Canon and Panasonic? Read the review after the link to find out....
Canon launch beginner SLR site
Canon has today launched a new educational website called 'Enjoy! Digital SLR Cameras'. Split into five sections it contains a large range of tutorials covering everything from the familiarising yourself with the camera to selecting the right exposure, how to frame subjects more creatively and even printing. While the site is clearly aimed at users of Canon digital SLRs much of the material applies equally to all SLR users.
July 1
Olympus C-315 Zoom

Olympus has announced the successor to the TIPA-winning C-310, which was only announced at PMA in February. The Olympus C-315 Zoom boasts a higher resolution at 5.1 megapixel but a slightly shorter 2.8x zoom. Looks-wise the C-315 is practically the same; 1.8-inch LCD and basic controls. Like its predecessor it's aimed at the 'ambitious' beginners. It will be available at the end of July.

June 30

Amateur photographers in the UK are being invited to capture digital photographs of Britain's rural, urban and human landscapes to help to build a picture of Britain. The competition is being run in conjunction with a BBC4 series 'A Digital Picture of Britiain' presented by professional photographer Tom Ang. As well as the chance to win £500 worth of photographic equipment, winning entries may be featured in a Photographic Masterclass presented by Tom Ang on BBC interactive TV. They may also be exhibited at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Yorkshire in September 2005. You can catch A Digital Picture of Britain on Sunday 3 July at 10pm.

Olympus Zuiko Digital Fish Eye lens

Olympus has announced a new 8mm F 3.5 Zuiko Digital fisheye lens for its E-system digital SLRs offering a 180 degree angle of view. The lens has a special multi-layer coating designed to reduce susceptibility to ghosting and flaring and its ED element will help keep chromatic aberration to a minimum. It also offers 2 cm macro mode. The optional PPO-EO4 underwater lens port will allow you to take ultra-wideangle pictures 40 meters under the water's surface. It will be available in January 2006 at a price yet to be set.

June 29
Nikon Coolwalker firmware update v1.3
Nikon has updated the firmware for its portable image viewing and storage device the Coolwalker MSV-01. Version 1.3 for Windows and Mac users corrects a problem that occurred with images taken by the Nikon D2X, D2Hs (TIFF files) and the Coolpix 8800 and Coolpix 8400 (JPEG files); the images would not fill the whole screen in full-screen playback. Another problem that prevented the display of JPEGs taken with the D50 at an image size setting of 'S' has also been corrected. There was also a problem for Mac users - the Coolwalker was not correctly recognized by computers running Mac OS X.
June 27
Samsung Electronics is to develop a 5MP QSXGA CMOS image sensor (CIS) by the end of the year, according to the EE Times. The company says the image sensor measures light sensitivity 50% better than previous designs and is 30% smaller than other models with a similar resolution. The CIS will perform as well as a CCD, but will use less power and be more competitively priced. Samsung has already developed a 3.2 megapixel chip for use in camera phones, which will be launched early next year.
Nikon posts PictureProject software v1.5.2
Nikon has today posted an update for its image management, edit and design software program PictureProject. Version 1.5.2 corrects a problem that prevented proper display of layouts as well as several problems that occurred with CD and DVD burning. It also corrects a problem when NEF+JPEG Basic Images capture with the D50 were opened in PictureProject, which caused differences in brightness between the RAW image and the corresponding JPEG image.
June 24
Toshiba to challenge Lexar trade secrets verdict

Toshiba is set to consider a 'legal response' after the verdict from a Californian jury, which ordered the company to pay Lexar $465.4 m following theft of trade secrets and punitive damages, Reuters reports. The news was announced by the head of Toshiba, Tadashi Okamura, at the annual shareholders' meeting. Toshiba was found guilty in March of theft of trade secrets relating to NAND flash chips used in CompactFlash cards, Secure Digital and xD-Picture Cards. Okamura told Reuters, "We developed the NAND flash-related technology on our own. The ruling is totally unjust and we would like to consider a legal response."

June 23
Just posted! Adobe Photoshop CS2 Review
Just posted! Our 'In a Nutshell' review of Adobe Photoshop CS2. The latest version of the most popular digital imaging application features numerous improvements aimed squarely at the digital photographer, in our review we have focused primarily on these improvements and new features. This review was written by site contributor and author of the 123 of digital imaging, Vincent Bockaert.

Nikon has announced an software update to Nikon View. Version 6.2.6 adds support for RAW images captured by the D50 and the red-eye correction function can now be used on RAW and 16-bit TIFF images. Another problem that occurred was that RAW files could not be opened in Nikon Capture 2 if they were rotated in Nikon View 6.2.x.

Canon posts EOS-1D/s Mark II firmware updates
Canon has today posted two firmware updates for two of its digital SLRs. Firmware version 1.2.3 for the EOS-1D Mark II and version 1.1.3 for the EOS-1Ds Mark II fixes the previous firmware problem which meant that when the display button was pressed right after shooting images the camera would freeze and would result in an abnormal display.
June 22
Nikon Imaging established in China

Nikon has announced the opening of a new subsidiary in China called Nikon Imaging, which will initally employ 50 people to develop the imaging business in the country. The new enterprise, which opened June 20, endeavors to increase sales of digital cameras by directly importing and wholesaling imaging products such as digital cameras. The workforce is expected to rise to around 120 after a year and the company has a sales target of ¥10 billion for the first fiscal year and approximately ¥33 billion after three years.

June 21
Just posted! Canon PowerShot S2 IS review
Just posted! (A little later than we'd hoped - this one took a long time!) The PowerShot S2 IS is Canon's much-anticipated successor to the hugely popular S1 IS, bringing it in line with the rest of the increasingly competitive 5 megapixel big zoom market. The good news is that the S2 is no 'minor upgrade' - almost every aspect of the S1's specification and performance has been improved or refined, the body is entirely new and some of the most serious problems found on the original model have been addressed. But is it enough? Find out what we thought after the link...
June 20
Nikon posts Coolpix 8800 and Coolpix 8400 firmware updates
Nikon has today posted firmware version 1.7 for the 8 megapixel Coolpix 8800 and version 1.5 for the Coolpix 8400. The firmware addresses a number of issues; the shutter releases immediately when using the self-timer and remote control together and the self-timer can now be used with certain scene modes including fireworks, museum and sports. Both cameras can now use 6GB Microdrives. Problems caused by selecting Quick response for the Release speed option have also been rectified.
June 16
Kodak to end production of black & white paper
As a direct result of the popularity of digital and further evidence that Kodak is dedicating its future to the digital market, it will soon end its century-old tradition of producing black and white photographic paper, according to Associated Press. The demand for the paper, specially designed for black and white film and used by fine-art photographers, has declined by 25% annually. The decision to end black and white paper production will mean the closure of its plant in Brazil and takes the company closer to its target of cutting around 15,000 of its workforce 2007.
June 15
Microsoft has today made their RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer PowerToy available for download. This utility provides for viewing of Canon (CRW & CR2) RAW and Nikon (NEF) RAW files as well as TIFF images and other standard image formats (BMP, GIF, PNG, JPEG etc.). The utility is split into a Windows XP shell extension which provides preview / edit / print commands for RAW files as well as a RAW viewer application. It weighs in as a 47 MB download!
June 14
Fuji FinePix F10 Zoom underwater housing

Fuji has just announced an underwater housing for its '24-hour' camera, the six megapixel FinePix F10 Zoom that is waterproof up to a depth of 40 meters. The polycarbonate housing, which will be hard to lose with its bright orange coloring, offers full operational functionality underwater and the package includes a strap, spare o-ring and maintenance guide. The suggested retail price is around £149.

Nikon Capture v4.3

Nikon has announced an update to its RAW conversion and image management program. As well as adding support for the Nikon D50, Nikon Capture version 4.3 now adds color aberration control, red eye correction and improves processing for NEF files. The new color aberration tool automatically reduces the appearance of color fringing. The multi image window, which displays thumbnails and allows simultaneous editing of multiple images, is now easier to use; names of preferred folders can be changed to something the user finds easier to remember.

June 13
Microsoft announces beta version of graphics application Acrylic

Microsoft has issued a beta version of a new illustration, painting and graphics application program code named Acrylic. The news was first announced by CNET, which says the software is based on graphics application Expression, which Microsoft acquired with its purchase of Hong Kong-based company Creature House. Acrylic will only be available for Windows XP, despite Expression being available for Apple Macs before the purchase.

Fujifilm posts FinePix F10 Zoom firmware v1.02
Fujifilm has today posted firmware version 1.02 for the FinePix F10 Zoom. The new firmware corrects English displayed on the LCD and updates the compatibility of the PictBridge function with some printers. It has also rectified the error that would not allow some computers to start up when the F10 was connected and powered up.
June 10
Just posted! Casio Exilim, EX-Z750 review
Just posted! The Casio EX-Z750 models joins such as the Canon SD500 and Sony DSC-P200 in one of the most fiercely competitive sectors of the market and offers by far the largest feature set in its class. It has a plethora of 'Best Shot' scene modes (30 in total), full photographic control, MPEG-4 movies, in-camera special effects and basic image editing and long battery life. So is this the 7 megapixel, 3x zoom compact by which others will be judged or an over-specified novelty piece? Read our concise review after the link to find out..
Lexar offers replacement for 80x CF cards

Lexar has issued a customer advisory regarding its Professional 80x speed CompactFlash cards (512MB - 4GB) following the news that there was a problem, described as 'lost image condition', when used with certain Canon digital SLRs. Lexar is now proposing to replace the affected cards. Owners must fill out a Return Materials Authorization (RMA) form and once they have received an RMA number, they will be sent a replacement Lexar card with the firmware installed. It is not possible to install the firmware. Affected cameras include the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, 1D Mark II, 20D and Digital Rebel XT/350D/Kiss Digital N.

June 9
Casio Exilim EX-S500
Casio has added to its Exilim Card range with the super slim EX-S500. The 5 megapixel camera is 13.7mm at its thinnest point (excluding protrusions). Despite only having a 3x optical zoom, the S500 features Anti-Shake DSP and also has a 2.2-inch LCD. Movie capture is 640x480 at 30fps and there's also a Past Movie funtion, which enables recording five seconds before the shutter button is pressed. The stainless steel-bodied camera is available in meister gray, fiesta orange and nordic white in July (Europe) priced £299.99.
June 7
Zigview LCD that attaches to viewfinders

A new device is being marketed by UK distribution company Intro2020 that allows you to view the scene in the viewfinder on an LCD. The Zigview monitor attaches to your SLR's viewfinder where the image is captured by the CMOS sensor inside it and relayed in real time to the 1.9-inch TFT. The Zigview works with most digital and film SLRs and is supplied with an eyepiece adapter for common Nikon, Canon and Fuji cameras. Adapters for other cameras will cost £6.99. The Zigview monitor will retail for around £119.99.