News archive for August 2000
Browsing over the Olympus Talk forum I noticed some interest in a partially translation of the E-10 Q & A from the Olympus Japan website. Taking this a bit further (and making it accessible to more people) I've spent about 2 hours or so translating, sifting and sorting that Q & A page to bring it to you in English (all 130+ questions & answers). There's also an intersesting comparison to the C-2500L. So if you're really interested in the E-10, you need to see this.
UPDATE: Now complete.
Adobe, Agfa, Canon, Kodak, Fujifilm, HP, Microsoft, PhotoChannel Networks, PhotoWorks, PictureIQ, Polarid and Workstation.Com. Some big names in there and in total there are around 80 companies involved in DIG. DIG35 Metadata Specification is a method for recording information about a digital image, exposure, ownership, copyright, location etc. (taking EXIF headers to a whole new level). DIG35 has just been completed and is now available for downloaded.
Over the last two days there have been a few press releases covering the products included with the Nikon Coolpix 880 (at least the package sold in the US). First off there's Altamira's GenuineFractals 2.0 LE perfect for resizing your Coolpix 880 images for BIG prints. Secondly Lexar announce the 8MB CF card bundled with the 880 will be an 8 x USB-enabled CF.
Actually, these lenses were announced (in the US) a week or so ago but we didn't cover them, as lenses are a new subject area for us we thought it'd be useful to highlight these new lenses from Canon: EF 28-90mm f/4.0-5.6 USM, EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM, and EF 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 USM. We've got the full press release and converted focal lengths when used on an EOS-D30.
As Digital SLR's become more prominent in the digital photography market
place it looks as though we will also have to keep an eye on SLR accessories.
Lenses in particular are so important to a Digital SLR, and especially
ones with smaller focal lengths. Today Nikon have announced:
AF Zoom-Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF Lens
AF Zoom-Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D I Lens
AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G Lens
AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Lens
Nikon N65 35mm camera
We've seen hints / heard of this for quite a few weeks, and it's clear that Kodak Pro representative offices in different countries are handling this in different ways, but today Kodak US announced clear price cuts for their 560 & 660 DCS cameras in addition to previous price drops in the DCS range. They note "This new pricing is possible due to ongoing manufacturing efficiencies", but we know that competition is the real reason... The heat is on for Kodak and they're getting sweaty.
Jeff Keller over at DC Resource has just posted a review of Kodak's 3 megapixel DC4800. This all new camera from Kodak goes up against the Nikon Coolpix 990 and Olympus C-3030Z.. So what did Jeff think of it ? "I can't say that I've been a huge fan of Kodak cameras in the past, but boy how times have changed. The DC4800 is an exceptional camera, with a full suite of features, great photo quality, and a nice bundle, all at the attractive price of $799. I'd put this camera right at the top of the 3 Megapixel class, along with the Olympus C-3000 series and the Nikon Coolpix 990."
Today Nikon will announce the Coolpix 880, what appears a logical upgrade to the Coolpix 800 announced about the same time last year. And at first appearance it certainly looks that way. But this is no cut-down 990, rather it uses the same engine and flexibility and adds a whole range of user friendly features which makes the 880 a seriously good digital camera. Best of all we have a full in-depth review for you (even before the press releases get out!)
Our good friends Dave and Mike over at Imaging Resource have had a busy few days recently, first off is their "almost full review" of a pre-production Canon D30. Then comes a review of Fujifilm's S1 Pro, a comparison of the S1 Pro, D30 and Nikon's D1 and finally a full review of Toshiba's PDR M70.. Just when I thought I was working hard ;)
Wow, I was so busy working I missed the fact that we've now steamed through 10,000,000 unique visitors since we started the site in January 1999. Just a personal note from me to all the people who've supported us over the last 20 months, manufacturers, sponsors and most importantly you, our visitors. Keep coming back, we've got so much to come over the next few months... Digital Photography is just coming of age.
If you live in a European country (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland etc. etc.) and you'd like the chance to win a Canon BJC-50 (there are a total of six being given away) then spend a few minutes completing this joint digital camera survey produced in association with digitalkamera.de, GFK marketing services and Canon. The survey itself pretty straight forward and will go to help manufacturers produce better cameras for you in the future! (Plus you might win a printer... can't be bad)
It's been a confusing couple of days, according to what we've seen on the Japanese sites and read on the Olympus Japan website no mention has been made of the LCD on the E-10 being usable as a viewfinder. However, today Olympus Europe posted their information on the E-10 and E-100RS. Of the E-10's viewfinder they say "By tilting the LCD monitor down 20 or up 90 degrees, a greater viewing angle can be achieved. This is particularly useful when shooting from difficult positions where the SLR viewfinder would be too impractical."
Having had some more time with a newer EOS-D30 we've updated our (now very detailed) preview article and posted our first gallery of sample images (26) - including some samples shot in RAW mode. Important points in this update: Improved / more detailed menu captures, Software module (including TWAIN drivers and RAW acquisition module), Image quality analysis and Conclusion.
We heard a little time back that Kodak would be selling their professionally developed, large size CCD's to other manufacturers. This article over on EE Times confirms this with a tighter definition of the range of CCD's available including a new 16.6 megapixel device which is now sampling to manufacturers. They also include some CMOS sensors in their available range. "We won't have the cheapest parts out in the market," said McNiffe. "We're not targeting the Barbie-cam market, but we will have the best parts available."
And $200 rebate off the following lenses: Tamron's SP AF14mm F/2.8 Aspherical (IF) Rectilinear, SP AF20-40mm F2.7-3.5 Aspherical (IF) or SP AF28-105mm F/2.8 LD Aspherical (IF) lenses. There will be a $100 rebate for the purchase of the SP AF90mm F/2.8 1:1 macro lens. We'd actually heard of several people receiving their pre-ordered S1 Pro's before this announcement but this kind of puts an official slant on proceedings.
Olympus will announce the 4 megapixel Camedia E-10 Digital SLR, with a big 2/3" CCD (designed by Olympus), a 4x optical zoom (35 - 140 mm) F2.0 - F2.4, manual focus ring, RAW mode shooting (Photoshop plugin included), optical TTL viewfinder, histogram mode, flip-out and rotate LCD. Expected price 198,000 YEN (~$1,826) expected to be on sale in mid October in Japan. This scoop straight from our friend Yamada Kumio over at digitalcamera.gr.jp. Olympus's upgraded C-2500L.
UPDATED: Impress PC Watch now have an article on the E-10.
Jeff over at DCResource has just posted his review of Olympus's D-490Z. Here's what he had to say "I can say with confidence that Olympus has another hit on their hands. They've taken the already popular D-400 series and added a much needed 2.1 Megapixel CCD, plus some nice features usually not found on midrange cameras, like an uncompressed TIFF mode. My main gripe is the lack of USB support, which can be resolved by purchasing a card reader. If you're looking for a great $500 digital camera, look no more - the D-490Z is a great choice."
A study from InfoTrends shows that the Japan Low End Digital market (less than 200,000 YEN; $1,800) is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 46% through 2005.. Unit sales will grow from over 2.6 million to 17.7 million in 2005. Revenues from digital camera sales will grow at a compound annual rate of 24% to reach 450 billion yen (~US$4.1 billion) in 2005.
Steve Sanders over at Steves-Digicams has just posted a first look at Fujifilm's S1 Pro Digital SLR. So far he seems fairly happy with the camera and notes "...had a fun day shooting sample photos and getting used to this camera. The image quality is excellent, there's no fear of "interpolated" resolution not living up to the claims -- it does!"
This from Rob Galbraith's site: "USA Today staffer Bert Hanashiro, a veteran digital photojournalist and daily DCS 520 shooter, spent some quality time earlier this week with a pre-production Canon EOS D30 at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Hanashiro cautions that this is a preliminary look at the camera, but that he liked what he saw overall" and "To me, however, the reason I loved the camera is that it is VERY responsive and displayed no obvious shutter lag. It's hard to say for sure not having shot football or basketball with the D30, but I felt very sure that when I pressed the shutter release, the image I saw was what was captured."
Not that I'm ignoring you or anything Steve ;-) Here are two (now complete) reviews from Steve Sanders. First off he reviews the Ricoh RDC-7 "The RDC-7 is flat and wide like the old 126 Instamatic film cameras. The case is made out of highly durable metal and the build quality is excellent.", and notes an exposure problem fixed with a firmware update. Next comes Kodak's DC4800 "This is the best camera I have seen from Kodak to date.... ...I'm happy to report that the DC4800 lets you have your cake and eat it too, literally."
Just to prove my point about the "best market" for the Fujifilm Finepix 40i it's come in as the top selling digital camera at Yodobashi Camera in Japan. Thanks to digitalcamera.gr.jp for publishing these sales figures which are a total of all sales from all Yodobashi Camera shops in Japan from August 7 - August 13.
We've just posted a full review of Fujifilm's upcoming FinePix 40i multifunction digital camera, not only can it take pictures (fixed lens - no optical zoom) but it can also playback MP3 audio (cool). Add to that it's size, weight and gadget / cool factor and it's bound to turn a few heads.. And empty a few wallets.
If you've been reading dpreview over the last few months you can't help but to have heard of Olympus's C-2100UZ, a 2 megapixel digital camera with a 10x optical stablised lens. Today Olympus US made the camera official bundling it with 4 NiMH batteries and a charger and an 8MB SmartMedia card, priced at US$999. One note of interested to the techie-shutterbugs will be Olympus's use of a CMY CFA (colour filter array) over the CCD... Very Canon.
WIA (Windows Image Acquisition) is an API developed by Microsoft and first implemented in Windows Me. It allows seemless communication between image acquisition applications and digital imaging devices (such as digital still cameras, scanners and DV camcorders). Similar to TWAIN but without the hassle of particular drivers, best of all there's a TWAIN DSM which enables any WIA device to appear as a TWAIN device to TWAIN compatible software. WIA as it will ship in Windows ME already supports over 100 devices.
Thanks to TJ for spotting these samples now up on Fujifilms "finepix.com" website. There are four samples available on the site at around 1,500 KB each. So if you're interested in Fujifilm's new "prosumer" SLR-look-alike, 6 x optical zoom, 2.4 megapixel SuperCCD digital camera I recommend you download some of the first sample images... Remember, this one supports a lower ISO of 125.
John Cowley over at Lonestardigital.com has just put up a simple but effective technique for correcting the magenta / cyan casts on Nikon D1 images. There have been many programs created for fixing this common complaint with Nikon's Digital SLR, but this (at least for Photoshop users) seems to be the most straightforward yet effective. My understanding is the problem revolves around the fact that the D1's images are in the NTSC colourspace.
UPDATE: Thanks to Timo Autiokrai for noting that Photoshop Profile-to-Profile seems to work quite well to. The battle hots up... Mike Chaney gets involved!!
Jeff Keller over at DCResource just posted a review of Casio's QV-2300UX Plus, a 2.11 megapixel (1.92 effective) 3 x optical zoom digital camera with a rotating lens portion and IBM Microdrive (340MB) bundled with the camera (so that should be your storage worries sorted then). Jeff said "There are two ways to look at the QV-2300UX Plus: As a $800 camera, and as a $400 camera with a $400 memory card. I tend to choose the latter option, though the camera is really packed with features for a $400 camera. The downside here is that the body quality is sub-par, and the lack of the optical viewfinder would immediately remove it from my list if I was in the market."
Thanks to forums poster Paul Van Dragt for spotting that Kodak have just released new firmware (3.2.3) for the DCS330. The new firmware includes better storage card compatibility, external GPS support, multiple custom white balances and better IEEE 1394 support. The DCS330 is an interesting camera, 3 megapixels, supports Nikon F-mount, priced similarly to the S1 Pro & EOS-D30 with quality Kodak software and support behind it, downside... 1.9 x focal length multiplier.
Last week we introduced two new forums, since then we've been working on new features and functionality for the discussion forums. First of which (implemented today) is recording your last visit date on a per forum basis. In the past there was always a possibility of missing messages posted on other forums if you didn't visit them all in one session, now last visit is recorded invidually for each forum.
We're proud to bring you a world exclusive. The first full review of FujiFilm's S1 Pro digital SLR. The first affordable digital SLR to market certainly grabbed the headlines when it was announced, since then there's been no end of talk about digital SLR's. With high resolution output, quality processing algorithms and Nikon lens compatibility the S1 Pro certainly looks like an interesting package (especially considering its $3,500 street price). But how does it measure up?
We'll try to tell you.. In our 16 page, 10,000 word review with over 150 images in the review body and 50 photographs (including originals) in the associated samples galleries.
I think it's world EOS-D30 day today... This time it's the turn of Rio Enzo Fuzuki over at DCEX (Digital Camera Express) has posted samples from the Canon EOS-D30 (Beta) and FujiFilm S1 Pro side by side. More impressive shots from the EOS-D30 and some nice ones from the S1 Pro too... Looks like the digital SLR market is about to explode...
Professional Photographer Yamada Kumio has just posted a page (in Japanese) giving a brief report of his experience with a beta EOS-D30 along with several sample images and some head-to-head samples comparing the Canon EOS-D30 with Nikon's D1 (the results may interest you). DPR has exclusive permission from Yamada to bring you this article translated in its entirety.
Since announcing the EOS-D30 back on 17th May our Canon Talk forum has been buzzing with anticipation of Canon's first all Canon digital SLR (3.1 Megapixel CMOS Sensor). Today we can bring you just five sample shots from the Canon EOS-D30. Although these samples weren't shot by myself they are exclusive to Digital Photography Review (shot in Japan) and available for download. Keep your eyes peeled for more samples today...
Keeping the flow of new reviews going, here's a full in-depth review of Epson's impressive PhotoPC 3000Z. Epson, not known for their photography background have produce the goods, a quality digital camera with some innovative features and good range of manual control. "Good image quality only let down by slightly pale colours puts Epson up there as a serious digital camera manufacturer... "
After several requests from Mac users we have just introduced a dedicated discussion forum just for Mac users, called "Mac Tools" it's an area where Mac owning digital photography enthusiasts can discuss digital imaging software, hardware, drivers etc. Not to leave PC users behind we've renamed our Software forum "PC Tools" designed to serve the same purpose as Mac Tools but for PC / Windows users.
Mike Chaney (a regular poster on our forums) has just released QImage Pro 8.54. This multi-talented image viewer / editor / print application has a unique colour profiling feature, designed to correct colours directly out of the digital camera. Their are plugins currently available for the Nikon D1, Coolpix 950 and Coolpix 990, Canon's S100 Digital ELPH/IXUS and the Olympus D-600L.
Dave's been busy over on Imaging-Resource, he's just posted reviews of Sony's MVC-CD1000 (the FD-95 which writes to CDR - we have one in house) and the Kodak DC4800 (3.1 megapixels, 3x zoom) which has some interesting abilities including multiple image "looks" and some excellent low light performance...
Jeff over at DC Resource has just posted a review of Ricoh's unusual "flat pack" RDC-7, a 3 megapixel digicam which features a pixel shifting mode for generating 7 megapixel images (although it takes over a minute a shot). Jeff wasn't that impressed "The Ricoh RDC-7 finds itself in the most competitive field in digital photography right now - 3 Megapixel cameras. It is indeed loaded with many of the useful features for both enthusiasts as well as consumers, but these features just aren't implemented well. I honestly feel that your $900 could be much better spent on another camera."
Mike Chaney (a regular contributor on our forums) yesterday released QImage Pro 8.54. This multitalented image printing / viewer / editor application has a unique colour profiling feature, designed to correct colours directly out of the digital camera. Their are plugins currently available for the Nikon D1, Coolpix 950 and Coolpix 990, Canon's S100 Digital ELPH/IXUS and the Olympus D-600L. We decided to take a closer look at the results of using it for colour correction...
Professional Photographer Kazuhisa Nishikawa puts his expert hands on FujiFilm's S1 Pro in what is a fairly typical gallery, this time his model is Ayu Okakura. Taken with a variety of lenses (Ai AF Nikkor 50mm 1.4D, Ai AF Nikkor 35mm F2D, AF Nikkor ED80-200mm F2.8D) the shots were taken at ISO 320 with Daylight White Balance. Note: original images are not available, all images have been reduced to "web size" (513 x 770).
Thanks to William Chang an IT reporter from Hong Kong who managed to get his hands on an engineering sample Olympus C-2100UZ (the one with the 10x optically stabilised zoom lens). Whilst this sneak preview is only made up of shots of the camera (not a report as such) we do also have four sample images shot with the camera.
Less than $500 for a 2.1 megapixel, 3x zoom compact digital camera with QuickTime movie support and an 8MB SmartMedia Card... Not bad. Based on the popular D-460 Zoom, the D-490 also supports variable ISO (100, 200, 400) and the distinctive Olympus Clam Sheel design. (This camera is known as the 990Z in Europe & Asia).
Last week we published a sneak view of this cameras skeleton, today FujiFilm have made the 4900Z the newest edition to their 4000 series of digital cameras (you can look upon it as a replacement for the now tiring 2900Z). This time featuring a 6x optical zoom lens (yep, lenses are becoming more important) with the same SuperCCD sensor seen in the 4700Z but interesting to note a newly offered sensitivty of ISO 125, perhaps for improved image quality and lowered noise.
Vitals: FujiFilm 4900 Zoom, 2.4 megapixel Super CCD (up to 2400 x 1800 image size), 6 x optical zoom lens (35 - 210 mm as 35 mm equiv.), ISO 125/ 200/ 400/ 800, LCD TTL viewfinder, 1/4s (3s in manual) - 1/2000s shutter speeds, F2.8 - F11 apertures, horizontal and vertical shutter release buttons, SmartMedia, expected September 2000, <US$1000.
UPDATED: Sample Images From 4900Z Now Online