News archive for November 2000
Fujifilm US have today announced a $50 rebate off Yamaha's YST-MS201 multimedia speaker system (retail price $50 - thus the rebate making them effectively free). The 40i was of course the first digital camera to offer both MP3 audio and digital photography capability, featuring the same imager as found on the 4700Z and 4900Z but with a fixed focal length lens, it's a small package with a lot of functionality. The offer runs from December 1 to December 23.
It's been some time since I first got my hands on a D1, and lots of things have conspired against me completing it. Here it is, to add to our expanding range of digital SLR reviews, Nikon's professional D1 SLR. 21 pages of full in-depth detail, timings, tests and image quality comparisons along with our views on several "D1 issues".
As a concequence of our upcoming D1 review and conversations we've had with Nikon Europe they have now posted a tech support item explaining the D1's out-of-camera colour and what can be done to bring the cameras colours closer to the intention. "An increasing awareness of Colour Management issues, possibly provoked by the changes in Photoshop version 5.0 has led to many customers asking about the colour space that the D-1 produces when images are processed in-camera."
As per our new report yesterday on Olympus Japan's announcement of the new C-3040Z and C-2040Z Olympus Europe have this morning confirmed these two cameras (although specifications aren't yet available) "Olympus proves it is not just resting on its laurels with the new 3.3 megapixel C-3040ZOOM. The successor to EISA�s "Digital Camera of the Year 2000� impresses with a redesigned and much brighter lens system, additional light metering options and a host of further new and improved functions."
Congrats to Steve for posting a full (final) review of Olympus's professional SLR the E-10. "If you need a fully featured, high resolution digital SLR but you're not ready to spend $5,000 or more ... the Olympus E-10 SLR with its 4-megapixel imager, excellent optics and professional camera features should fill the bill nicely." Hopefully Olympus UK can get an E-10 to me sometime soon.
News today came by email, Kodak Professional (US) are selling off their discontinued models, ever fancied a 6 megapixel professional SLR for $2500? Well, if you're lucky and they still have stock you could pick up the DCS 460c (first introduced in 1995 when it had a list price of $35,600) for a mere $2500. "Users of our earlier digital cameras - and film shooters who have been waiting to 'go digital' - can now purchase brand new merchandise at very favorable prices to enhance or start their digital camera systems."
The Japanese manufacturer Io-data Devices today announced their 2GB PCMCIA Type II Storage Card (hard drive type). The PCHDT-2Gt has the PCMCIA Type II format (54 x 85.6 x 5 mm) and is based around a 4200rpm 2GB Hard Drive. Priced at 59,800 YEN (~US$547) it offers an amazing $0.26/MB value for those who could use it (Kodak Pro's).
In a new addition to our future reviews we have now established a method for testing the dynamic range of a digital camera. DPReview in conjunction with Digital Domain Inc. (QImage Pro etc.) have developed a testing method and software application to analyse the results of test shots to establish the dynamic range of the sensor system of a digital camera. Inside this article you'll find a table comparing the dynamic range of the Canon EOS-D30, Nikon D1, Fujifilm S1 Pro, Nikon Coolpix 990 and Canon G1.
UPDATE: After our article on Dynamic Range yesterday we received several requests to perform the tests in RAW mode on cameras which support it. We'd deliberately stayed away from RAW mode because it throws up lots of variables, however we have now re-shot the test chart and re-calculated the results for the Nikon D1 and Canon EOS-D30 in RAW mode. (Burnt four hours of my day ;)
Yesterday we attended the (UK) launch of Fujifilm's FDi Technology, primarily this consists of a kiosk which can accept SmartMedia, CompactFlash, PCMCIA Type II or CD-ROM and a software package which allows for touch-screen selection, editing and purchase of prints from these images. Initial users of Fujifilm's FDi Technology here in the UK are Jessops (a large UK photography chain) where the service is called Fuji Kiosk and Boots (a large UK pharmacist / traditional developer) where the service is called Photo Makeover.
Imaging-Resource have updated their Canon EOS-D30 preview to a final review (of a production D30). "While not coming anywhere near the speed or incredible ruggedness of the EOS 1V film camera or its brethren, the D30 nonetheless shows solid engineering, and at nearly 3 frames per second is fast enough for most applications. When you toss in its excellent image quality, generous ISO speed capability, superb low-light shooting, excellent flash integration, and compatibility with the full range of Canon EF lenses, it'd be a bargain at twice the price. "
Thanks to an anonymous contact who sent us a datasheet on Sony's newest consumer grade CCD for digital still cameras. The ICX282 is the latest in a series of CCD sensors and is the direct progression from the ICX252 seen in many of this years 3 megapixel digital cameras. A leap in resolution and more interestingly the sensor's size has increased to 2/3" (11 mm diagonally), thus unit size (pixel size) is almost the same (3.4µm vs. 3.45µm).
Comdex / Fall 2000: Sony are showing three prototype MemoryStick "modules", this is the first time we've seen "application modules" for Sony's MemoryStick slot, there are three prototype modules on display: A GPS location module, A 100,000 pixel CMOS digital camera module and a fingerprint recognition module. These modules are designed to be interchangeable between compatible hardware with MemoryStick slots.
Proxim today announce an OEM Type II CF card capable of wireless LAN communication over the HomeRF (1/2 MBit/s) standard. This could be an interesting development for upcoming digital cameras, it would allow (for example) the use of such a device in a digital SLR in a studio environment, the photographer able to freely shoot untethered while images are stored directly back to his computer.
Jeff Keller over at DC Resource has just posted his review of Olympus's 2 megapixel 10x zoom digital camera, "It's hard to compare the C-2100 Ultra Zoom, since there aren't too many cameras out there with a zoom like this. As a 2.1 Megapixel camera, it's a great one -- it's basically the C-2020Z with a large zoom lens. It's also got all the necessary manual features (with the exception of white balance), movies with sound, and a great bundle. If you want to break out of the 3X optical zoom mode, the C-2100 is a great way to do it!"
Neil Turner, Contributing Editor has written a lengthy second look at the Canon EOS-D30. Neil had the D30 for three days, in which time he used it for pretty much all of his professional shooting. "Quite simply I have substituted the D30 for one of my DCS520s for the past few days, and it has been my main camera at all times. Obviously, I have no control over where the paper sends me so the D30 hasn't had it's assignments chosen to suit it at all. I have amassed three pages of handwritten notes and there are a million thoughts going through my brain, so here goes."
Uwe Steinmueller from outbackphoto.com is running a competition where you can try to do your best with a Nikon D1 NEF and a Canon EOS-D30 CRW. "The contest has two goals: Provide sample NEF and CRW files for all users to play with and get into the RAW experience Share with other users how to make the best out your raw files. As said raw files are diamonds in the rough. They have great potential but one has to work for it and know the tools (I am still learning myself)."
Iomega are to Market the IBM Microdrive under the Iomega Brand in 2001. The press release goes on to say that Iomega will bundle the 340MB Microdrive with a Type II PC Card adapter and the Iomega Quik Sync 2 software. Interestingly it looks as though Iomega won't be selling the 512MB or 1GB Microdrives.
Y Media certainly hope so, "This company was developed around building a technology that will obsolete CCDs; that's a lofty goal". We've reported on Y Media's 3.17 megapixel CMOS sensor previously, this time there's a new article in Electronic Buyers' News charting some of the companies history, its goals and the technology behind CCD and CMOS sensors.
Sprint PCS and FlashPoint have partnered to bring wireless digital image transfer via digital cameras using FlashPoint's Photivity digital imaging platform and Sprint PCS Internet-ready Phone's. "Wireless imaging has broad appeal with potential applications in several industries including real estate, insurance, construction, architectural, engineering, law enforcement and media."
Wim Pollet from Belgium digital has just completed his comparison of digital photofinishing and print services. He's compared the following services: Shutterfly, Ofoto, Printroom, Dotphoto, Agfanet, Spector, Fotofun, Fracken, Photo Alltechn and a Canon D300 printer. Using two sample images from a Canon S10 as reference shots he's got some great side-by-side examples and we hope a wake-up call for some of the US based photofinishing corps.
Contributing editor Neil Turner has added four new articles to the learn section of the site, the first covers using Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce flash diffusers with a Canon 550EX and various white balance settings, the next three are articles on composition: Keep it simple, Six feet up is bad and Use a Frame.
Rob Galbraith has published his appraisal of Canon's EOS-D30 from a photojournalists point of view, Rob introduces the article, "D30 image quality is top-notch and 550EX flash photography is a breeze. But the camera may not be the best choice for peak action sports. This article looks at some of the Canon EOS D30's main strengths and weaknesses, and includes 14 full-resolution photos."
Mike Chaney dropped me a note on the release of Qimage Pro v10. Qimage Pro is a image viewing / batch processing / printing application with a vast array of features which put even the most well established photo packages to shame. New to v10 are support for poster sized printing, multiple page prints which can be joined, Dark frame subtraction and interpolation, Qimage can carry out dark frame subtraction and interpolate neighbouring pixels to remove the dreaded "black dots" plus many performance enhancements and bug fixes.
PCPhotoREVIEW.com's CHOICE award represents just what its name implies: the digital photographer's choice. It recognizes the most trusted and valued products selected by the digital photographers who frequent PCPhotoREVIEW.com. Products winning the CHOICE Award have received the highest ratings and most favorable consumer reviews during a one-year period. Interested in seeing what consumers voted the best cameras? Get over to PCPhotoREVIEW.
Swedish Telecoms equipment maker Ericsson said it had signed an agreement with Canon Inc on the transfer of digital images from camera to mobile devices. "The technology will enable simple, fast and reliable transfer of images from digital cameras to wireless devices as well as to other consumers or the Internet,'' Ericsson said in a statement.
After a short delay we've now put up the new "Learn Digital Photography" articles archive and an all new, extended Digital Photography Glossary (with over 60 definitions). The Learn section of the site is a hierachical directory of articles relating to digital photography, photography and image manipulation techniques. The Glossary now covers almost every detail of digital photography and should prove invaluable material for beginner and expert digital photographers alike. We're also actively encouraging contributions to Learn to expand the number of available articles.
Nikon really outdid themselves this time, they've printed a professionally taken Coolpix 990 image (of a Tyrannosaurus Rex from Universal Studio's Jurassic Park), interpolated it using Altamira Genuine Fractals, printed it at 64 x 43 feet and have hung it in New York's Time Square (1650 Broadway at 50th Street). Nikon believe this to be the "World's Largest Single Image Taken With a Digital Camera".
Those with an eye to the news and/or the professional digital photography market will know that Kodak Professional recently dropped their prices almost across the range. Today they've announced that they'll be extending the promotional prices on the 620, 620x and 620 base kit through tol December 31st, 2000.
Received a press release this morning from Torridon PLC (UK), they are developing a new low cost internet connectivity platform named Chameleon, one of the first products based on this platform will be of interest to digital photographers, the FlashMailer is a simple device which will accept flash memory cards direct from your digital camera and automatically upload them (ftp) to your favourite photosharing site (or by email) without the need for a computer.
Jeff over at DCResource has just posted his own Canon EOS-D30 user review. Here's what Jeff had to say about the D30 "I don't feel that I can answer the above question, since this is the first Pro SLR digital camera I've used. Is the D30 a great camera? Yes, absolutely -- it continually amazed me every time I used it. If you've got a collection of Canon lenses and want to go digital in a big way, the D30 is for you. Even if you don't, and can afford the D30, it's definitely something to consider. Most of our readers will just daydream about the D30, but if it's in your price range, you should definitely check it out!"
Rob Galbraith has published the results of a 30 day field trial of IBM's 1 GB Microdrive conducted amongst eleven North American photojournalists. Rob says, ", it's sometimes difficult to imagine that the Kodak DCS/Canon D2000 shooters were using the same card as some of the D1 shooters... ...either a mostly positive or mostly negative experience. Which way it went depended entirely on the camera used." Looks like the 1GB Microdrive may not be a good choice for PJ's.
Thanks to Ian Donen for noting their review of Olympus's C-2100UZ. They said "While it does have a few flaws, this is an extremely fun and feature-packed camera for the price. There are a host of features I've never before seen on a digital camera, and the big zoom combined with its ease of use makes this an exceptionally fun device to use."
And 1.2 million unique visitors/month. It's amazing to think that this time last year we'd just broken through 2 million page views a month, since then we've grown at an alarming rate. I really expected us to break through the 10 million page views/month in September, unfortunately problems with our hosting providers network and a bug in our database slowed things down a little and we dipped. October has more than made up for that, a stagering 1.2 million unique visitors and 11.8 million page views/month.
Our friends at the bilingual digital camera magazine, Megapixel.Net, have just published the November edition of their net magazine. In this edition they review The Sony DSC-S50, Olympus C-2100UZ, Fujifilm S1 Pro and Olympus C-211 Zoom. There are also new articles on macro & close-up, the second part of a beginners guide to digital photography and different types of viewfinder.
Dave over at Imaging-Resource has been busy with Canon's latest prosumer digital camera, the PowerShot G1. "...the Canon PowerShot G1 a great option for novice consumers who want a camera with room to grow, and the RAW data file format and RemoteCapture computer-control capabilities should also entice more advanced digicam consumers..."