News archive for February 2001
Olympus Japan today announced the introduction of the update C990ZS, the new model seems almost identical to the previous C990Z (known as the D490Z in the US) apart from a new brighter, higher resolution LCD and improved burst capabilities. The updated model should be available in Japan on 10th March.
State Street Direct will be receiving their first shipment of Olympus's C-3040Z (with the new ultra-fast F1.8 lens) early next week. If you order one through the special link in this news article you'll get FREE overnight delivery. The free delivery offer is valid until midnight Sunday, 4th March 2001.
Steve over at Steve's Digicams has just posted a first look at the Olympus's E-100RS, here's what he says, "This is one seriously fast camera - so fast in fact that it can capture up to five pictures before you press the shutter all the way down. I bet that got your attention huh? How about fifteen 1.5-megapixel images per second or 640 x 480 VGA resolution QuickTime movies with sound at 30fps!"
We're proud to slice through yet another milestone, early today we welcomed our 20,000,000'th unique visitor since January 1999. Every day we break records in page views and unique visitors and each month the discussion forums grow and the overall dpreview community expands. I'd like to thank all those who help me make this possible and to all of you who keep coming back.
Canon have posted new firmware for the Digital IXUS (S100 ELPH), PowerShot G1 and PowerShot Pro90 IS. This firmware addresses several issues with all of the above mentioned cameras. The firmware can be downloaded and user installed by simply placing the firmware update file on a compact flash card and turning on the camera (ensure you're using the AC adapter or a fully charged battery).
Ofoto has today announced several new online tools for its customers: "New features include online one-click cropping, higher quality preview images for newly uploaded images and enhanced online editing tools... ...After getting creative, customers can have the custom-printed cards boxed and sent back to them, or enjoy the convenience of having the cards addressed, stamped and mailed, all with the click of a mouse."
We've just posted our review of Sony's DSC-S75, this camera enters the market with a hint of Sony's new, more photographic approach to digital camera design. There are lots of nice touches and updates since the DSC-S70, although the lens, CCD and internal engine are essentially the same the DSC-S75 is much more of a "photographers camera", best of all it arrives in the market some $200 cheaper than most of the competition.
PMA 2001 show report: Section one of four. In this section we'll cover the following manufacturers: Canon, Casio, Ceiva, ColorVision, Concord, Delkin, Epson, Foveon and Fujifilm. Products of interest in this section: Canon A10 / A20 / S300, Ceiva II picture frame, Foveon II, Fujifilm 6800Z. UPDATED: Added Concord.
Today Nikon Europe have announced that they will be making the D1X available for a hands on look during the Apple Seminar series Roadshow titled "Going Digital in Professional Photography". The series of ten, one day seminars across Europe showcase the latest tools and techniques in digital imaging capture and workflow demonstrated with Nikon Professional Imaging Products such as the Firewire compatible Nikon D1 digital SLR cameras and Nikon Super Coolscan 4000ED 35mm scanner.
Fujifilm have announced a reduction in their list price for the S1 Pro from $3,999 to "just under" $3,000 including a bundled 1GB Microdrive (worth $499). "This is a tremendous cost break for photographers who want a high-quality professional digital SLR camera,'' said Jennifer Davalos, Marketing Manager, Commercial Markets Division, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. This limited time offer is good until April 15, 2001.
It's apparent that 128MB SmartMedia is now on the shelves of some stores and is making its way into the catalogues of more and more manufacturers thanks to the supply of OEM cards. Today Olympus announced a 128MB SmartMedia ID card and during PMA we missed a press release from Delkin which stated they are now shipping 128MB SmartMedia. The only thing missing from both of these press releases is a compatibility matrix.
Sony Japan today announced the DSC-P30 and DSC-P50 which we'd previously seen / announced at PMA 2001, they also announced an upgraded DSC-F55 named the DSC-F55DX, still fixed lens but now with a 3.34 megapixel CCD (but as with the F505V only using 2.58 megapixels of it) and some updated features. UPDATE: This will be a JAPAN ONLY model.
Michael Chaney, author of QImage Pro has just sent me a note that he's just release Qimage Pro v12.0, here's what he has today, "This major upgrade includes a brand new, totally redesigned user interface as well as a long list of new capabilities. The new interface is designed to make better use of space while providing single click access to the most commonly used program functions."
Here's a real bargain, a 3 megapixel, 3x optical zoom digital camera for just $499. We noted that Kodak had recently reduce the price of the DC4800 to $599 but we also heard rumours on the PMA show floor that they would reduce it further. Over at Amazon they're offering the DC4800 for $499 (after a $100 mail-in rebate). If this is genuine (not an Amazon mistake) the DC4800 would become the 3 megapixel bargain of the moment. UPDATE 19/Feb/2001: Don't buy until March 2nd. UPDATE 20/Feb/2001: Offer disappears from Amazon.Com.
PMA 2001: Kodak's new mc3 is Kodak's first foray into the world of a multi-function digital camera / video capture / MP3 player type device, The mc3 features a CMOS sensor and can capture video direct to storage card (at 20 or 10 fps, 320 x 240), VGA still images or play MP3 music to headphones (supplied) or the speaker on the back of the device.
Rob Galbraith has just published an excellent report titled "Selecting a Compactflash card for a photojournalist's digital SLR camera", it covers cards from all the major manufacturers tested individually with the Nikon D1, Canon EOS-D30 and Kodak Pro DCS's. Some interesting results here, especially the 1GB Microdrive combined with the EOS-D30 and the relative performance difference betweek the Kodak Pro DCS's and the D30 / D1. Rob has also examined the speed of several CF card readers.
Some 12+ hours of travel and we're finally back in the UK after a very enjoyable and productive visit to Orlando for the PMA 2001 show. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the people we met at the show for making us feel so welcome. I've spent a few hours going back through our show report, updating text and creating this index page. I've also now included a summary my thoughts on the trends we've seen this year.
PMA 2001 show report: Section four of four. In this section we'll cover the following manufacturers: Samsung, Sandisk, Sanyo, Silicon Film, SiPix, Sony and Toshiba. Products of interest in this section: Sanyo IDC-1000Z, Silicon Film's EFS-1, Sony's DCS-P30, P50 and S75 and Toshiba's PDR-M65. REAL SAMPLE from Silicon Film's EFS-1.
Pro photographer Rob Galbraith got an extended look at the Nikon D1X at PMA, here's what he has to say about it: "The D1X is now scheduled to ship in about 90 days at a price of about US$5500; the D1H, 30 days after that, for about US$4500... image sharpness and clarity is nothing short of spectacular..."
PMA 2001 show report: Section three of four. In this section we'll cover the following manufacturers: Minds at Work, Minolta, Nikon, NixVue, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax and PhaseOne. Products of interest in this section: Minolta Dimage 5 & 7, Nikon D1X & D1H, NixVue Digital Album, Pentax EI-3000 and Digital SLR.
Yesterday saw the announcement of no less than seven new digital cameras from Sony, three Mavica's and three Cybershot's. Sony update the S70 with the new S75, still the same 3.34 megapixel sensor but a far more "photographic" camera. The P30 and P50 come in as upgrades to the S30 and S50 and two of the new Mavicas now provide a direct MemoryStick slot allowing you to use either MemoryStick or floppy disk. Probably more impressive is the aggressive pricing of all of these new cameras.
This should appeal to those owners of digital cameras which take AA batteries, Rayovac have announced a new 1-hour charger which can charge AA, AAA or 9V rechargeable NiMH or NiCD batteries, best of all it retails at just US$30. In addition Rayovac have also announced new 1600mAh AA NiMH and 700mAh AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries.
PMA 2001: In a surprise press release this morning it appears that Kodak and Olympus will be joining forces, they've both announced a cross licensing agreement to work together to develop digital photography technology. We'll bring you more information on this alliance as soon as we know it. UPDATE 20:20 GMT: It appears this alliance has to do with Kodak's image science and sensor technology.
PMA 2001: While at the DigitalFocus 2001, the pre-PMA press / exhibitors "meet" yesterday I got to see Sony's latest MemoryStick, the MSA-128A, with a full 128 MB of storage it nicely rounds off the MemoryStick line and brings Sony's promise of larger MemorySticks into reality. It's interesting to note that the "young upstart" MemoryStick has already caught up with CompactFlash (type I - by majority) and SmartMedia (indeed, it looks as though Sony may well reach market with their 128 MB storage before SmartMedia).
PMA 2001: Canon today announced the new Digital IXUS 300, also known as the S300 Digital ELPH (in the US) and the IXY Digital 300 (in Japan). The new IXUS 300 now features a 3x optical zoom lens and the same 2.1 megapixel sensor seen in the first Digital IXUS (sorry, no 3 megapixel IXUS yet...). The Digital IXUS 300 is priced at US$599.
PMA 2001: Kodak today have demonstrated radio frequency transmission of digital images from it's newly announced mc3 digital camera to a computer system, "Today's demonstration of the prototype RF system involved transmitting VGA quality images captured by a Kodak mc3, to a laptop in seconds. Currently images from digital cameras are transmitted to computers and other devices via cables or memory card readers."
PMA 2001: Canon today announced two new curvey, easy to use and "affordable" digital cameras, the 1.3 megapixel A10 and the 2.1 megapixel A20. Both share the same body design (though slightly different colour), the same 3x zoom lens and the same features. There's even an optional waterproof case which will allow you to use either of these cameras down to a depth of 30 metres. The A10 and A20 are priced at US$399 and US$499 respectively.
PMA 2001: Canon today announced their CP-10 direct connect photo printer, this neat dye-sub printer can be directly connected to Canon's new range of digital cameras (announcements above) for instant prints at 300dpi of up to 86 x 54 mm (3.4 x 2.1 in.) in size. The CP-10 is priecd at US$299. This printer is also being bundled with the new Powershot A10 as the CPK-A10 Kit (at US$699).
PMA 2001: Today we got an exclusive hands-on with Pentax's new 6 megapixel digital SLR. At this stage they have an early working prototype which will power up and operate, the onboard software is still a bit rough but the body, controls and operation are already pretty much there. The camera is much smaller and thinner than any other digital SLR, ergonimically it's well designed and everything is where it should be. Pentax haven't named the camera yet.
PMA 2001: Minolta Japan has this morning published information about the new Dimage 5 and Dimage 7 digital SLR's and the S304 compact digital camera. The Dimage 5 and 7 are based on exactly the same body design, aimed squarely at Olympus's E-10 they both feature a 7 times zoom lens and either a 3.3 or 5.2 megapixel CCD. Both have an electronic TTL viewfinder (so not strictly through the lens) and both look like something out of Buck Rogers. The S304 is a 3.3 megapixel compact digital camera with a 4 times optical zoom lens.
We made it! We're here in Orlando for PMA 2001. It looks like it's going to be an interesting show, several new products have already been announced by Nikon, Fujifilm and Sony and we expect to see new products from several other manufacturers over the next two or three days. We hope to bring you daily reports from the show and a final summarised report which will be broken down by manufacturer.
PMA 2001: Lexar today announced that they will release a 512MB CF Type I card this Summer, this card, aimed at the professional market, will no doubt be seen as the "safe option" to a 512 MB Microdrive. Costing considerably more it does however offer higher speed, reliability and is more robust than the Microdrive. Please note pricing is not yet available.
Chasseurs d'Images, the French site at the center of an ongoing embargo storm have yet again blown the embargo on several new products to be announced at PMA on Sunday. We, although privy to this information are not allowed to publish it until our NDA runs out, Chasseurs d'Images it appears seem to either not be under NDA or misunderstand the implications. In any case they had (until it was pulled) pictures and specs on Minolta's new Dimage 7 Digital SLR and S304 compact digital camera. Plus Canon's CP-10 photo printer. UPDATE: 17:30 GMT, Dimage 5 & Dimage 7 info back on the site. 19:20 GMT, Now they've blown the embargo on Canon's new digital cameras.
Kyocera (also known as Yashica) today announced their tiny Finecam S3 digital camera, weighing at less than 200 g and just smaller than Canon's Digital IXUS (S100 ELPH) it becomes the smallest 3 megapixel digital camera available. The S3 has a metal case, 2 x optical zoom lens, SD card (MMC) storage, a 3 megapixel CCD and several manual controls. At this stage it's unclear under what name the S3 would be marketed outside of Japan.
David over at Imaging Resource has just posted his review of Canon's PowerShot Pro90IS, here's what he concluded, "Canon's earlier PowerShot Pro70 received wide acclaim for its excellent picture-taking capabilities... The Pro90IS is a very worthy upgrade... All in all, a very nice picture-taking package, entirely worthy to carry on the PowerShot "Pro" heritage!"
Yamada Kumio has published the first samples (on PC Watch) from Fujifilm's new 6800Z. With an all new 3.3 megapixel SuperCCD sensor the 6800Z produces 6 megapixel images. These samples appear to show good colour reproduction (as we've become acustomed with Fujifilm digital cameras) and the images look good sample down in size, not so fantastic viewed at 100%.... UPDATE 8/Feb: Even more!
Tech buzz of the day seems to be Sony's prototype OEL (Organic Electroluminescent) display, this 13" prototype screen has no backlight but rather relies on the self-luminescent properties of organic materials to create a bright sharp image. In a story from MSNBC Sony hinted that they may use such displays in digital cameras and that they've teamed up with Sanyo, Kodak, NEC and Samsung to produce OEL displays.
PMA 2001: Toshiba has today announced four new digital cameras, these are the PDR-M11 (1.3 megapixel), PDR-M21 (2.1 megapixel), PDR-M61 (2.3 megapixel) and PDR-M65 (3.3 megapixel). Noteably all the cameras are priced below $500 except the M65 which has an MSRP of $599 (but I'm sure we'll see it for $500 later). UPDATE: Thanks to Toshiba US we now have full specs for these cameras in our database.
Rob at robgalbraith.com has posted more information, for US owners only, of the Canon EOS D-30 "Auto Power Off" fix that we posted last month. Apparently anyone who purchased before February 5, 2001 should contact Canon USA for assistance. As in Japan, it's an in-house repair taking approximately 72 hours.
This from February's edition of Nikkei Electronics Asia: "The company is developing two types of ICs. The first will implement compression and decompression of image data under JPEG-2000, incorporating the wavelet conversion and entropy encoding circuits required. The more highly integrated second IC will single-chip the ARM7TDMI 32-bit reduced instruction set computer (RISC) microprocessor core from ARM Ltd of the UK, together with an interface and the first chip circuits".
Kodak Professional adds a range of high-resolution scanning camera backs to its portfolio by teaming up with Better Light Inc. who have for some time used Kodak CCD's in their digital camera backs. Kodak Pro can offer these high-resolution scanning camera backs to the wider International professional audience. Better Light's models range from output of 3,750 x 5,000 all the way to 12,000 x 15,990 pixels.
In addition to the D1X and D1H digital SLR's (above) Nikon today also announce four lenses; Nikkor AF 28-80mm G, Nikkor AF 70-300mm G Silver, Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/2.8D II and Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 P. A new speedlight flash, the SB-50DX and the FM3A manual-focus, auto exposure 35mm film SLR (batteries not required!).
Thanks to the Japanese digital camera page DCEX and Rob Galbraith we now have more information on the new D1X and D1H digital SLR's from Nikon. It appears that Nikon's Australian distributor, Maxwell has published information pages on these cameras which, it was my understanding is embargoed but now appears to have made it into the public domain. UPDATE (6:00 GMT): Steve's Digicams updates specs.
Fujifilm have released the specifications for the two newest models in their signature series of digital cameras, the FinePix 6800 Zoom and the FinePix 4800 Zoom. The FinePix 4800 Zoom has the 2.4 megapixel Super CCD found in the FinePix 4900 Zoom and the FinePix 6800 Zoom is built with a 3.3 megapixel Super CCD. Both have the same 36-108 mm zoom lens. UPDATE: Samples now online (thanks to PC Watch).
Fujifilm have released the specification for their new entry level model, the FinePix 2300. It has a 2.1 megapixel CCD and a 36mm fixed lens. It also gets below the $300 price point, at a suggested list of $279, when it hits stores in April.