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Photokina Report Part 2
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).
(Note: this is page two of a four page report)
Fujifilm almost defintely had the biggest "space" (can't really call it a stand, it occupied one hall) at the show.. Secondly was Agfa and Kodak who also had their own hall. Fujifilm's digital products took prominence with their full range of "lower end" models on a semicircular table: Finepix 2400Z, Finepix 1300, Finepix 40i and also the 4700Z. In a space of it's own was the 4900Z...
|Just a fraction of Fujifilm's huge stand||FujiFilm FinePix 1300|
|FujiFilm FinePix 4900Z||FujiFilm FinePix 4900Z|
Looks to me to be an interesting cameras, we have yet to see what improvements in image quality Fujifilm have managed to squeeze out of the 2.4 megapixel SuperCCD but the ergonomics, feature set and that big 6 x optical zoom lens certainly make the 4900Z tempting.
Most interesting product at HP's stand had to be the new C-912, an SLR 2 megapixel digital camera running the Digita OS and featuring Pentax lenses (also known as the Pentax EI-2000). We can also bring you news of two new HP "point and shoot" (low end) digital cameras not yet announced.. the Photosmart 315 and 215. Something we didn't previously know about the C-912 is that it will be bundled with an InfraRed remote control.
IBM had a small stand displaying the new 512 MB & 1 GB Microdrives. I had an opportunity to talk to the UK Microdrive Account Manager about the Microdrive, they've made some giant leaps when you consider the amount of capacity now available for digital photography. The Microdrive was a step from their 2.5" hard drive development work, they see a large future in Microdrive development and are actively encouraging (and have lots of working relationships with) Digital Camera manufacturers using Microdrives. Asked about reliability I got the typical response that they're very happy and other than the obvious "dropped" cases the Microdrive is performing well. On a similar note it's interesting that the new 1 GB and 512 MB Microdrives have small rubber cushions on the corners to help soak up the initial impact of a drop.
|IBM Stand||IBM 1GB Microdrive|
|IBM 1 GB Microdrive (rear)|
Along similar lines to Kodak's DCS Pro Back (although the Carnival has been around longer), the Carnival 3020 is a six megapixel (24 x 36 mm) medium format back primarily aimed at studio use has a flexible ISO of 50-200 and can be used for single or multiple shots (12, 48, 72 or 192 MB output). The Carnival has to be used tethered and has no control or LCD display on the camera back itself.
|Imacon||Imacon Carnival 3020 medium format back|
Finally got a hands on with Iomega's Fotoshow, a product which allows you to manage and show your digital images directly from CompactFlash or SmartMedia onto (or from) Zip 250 disks. The whole thing operates through a normal TV with a small remote control. Funky graphics and sound maket he software fun to use and the drive itself is small enough to take to a friends house to give them a show. The 250 MB capacity of a Zip disk will probably be enough for the casual snapper with a 2 megapixel or less digicam, but I'd like to have seen a "Giga-FotoShow" product using the Jaz drive.
Kodak have a huge presence here at Photokina, occupying the whole of hall 8 they have several massive sectioned off areas for their various business segments. On the professional side of course we have the new DCS Pro Back (a recent news story from this site). This allows you to shoot medium format (certain cameras) with a digital back completely untethered, storage and power are completely self contained. You can of course alternatively use the camera in the more traditional tethered scenario.
|Kodak's 4cm x 4cm 16 megapixel CCD||Kodak DCS Pro Back|
|Lots of Pro discussion in the DCS section|
Consumer wise there was the DC4800, DC5000, DC3400 and the new tiny DC3800... Kodak also had their (lets guess that it's a Sharp OEM) EZ-200 still camera / webcam.
|Kodak DC3800||Kodak DC3800 (rear)|
|Kodak EZ-200||Kodak DC4800|
|Kodak DC4800 (rear)||Kodak DC5000 (rugged)|
Kyocera, here showing their Contax & Yashica brands.. Of course we're most interested in the Contax N Digital announced just about a month ago... 6 million pixels in a quality Pro case these are the first pictures available of the camera taken through a glass case...
Here's what we know about it so far: Focus illuminator / white balance sensor top left front ; Roller style command wheel (front only) ; Portrait handgrip along base with additional shutter release & command wheel ; Matrix, Center-Weighted Average & Spot metering ; Battery compartment in base ; Multiple focus points accessable through "joystick" under thumb (top right rear) ; Custom settings ; One-touch white balance preset ; Manual controls (shutter speeds on right hand dial) ; Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Full Manual, Program, Program presets ; Multiple ISO's ; Continuous, Single and Manual focus modes ; Size: approx D1 size
|Contax N Digital SLR||Contax N Digital SLR|
|Yashica Finecam 3300|
(Note: this is page two of a four page report)
Site links: Contax N Digital announcement