News archive for March 2001
CeBIT 2001: More instant prints! Canon have today shown their prototype digital camera with a built in bubble jet printer, this little unit (far smaller than simiilar attempts by Fujifilm and Polaroid) features a 1.3 megapixel CCD has a 2 x optical zoom lens and can store directly to CompactFlash as well as producing credit card sized prints.
Thanks to Wim Pollet for spotting that Canon BeBit have posted sample images from their new "entry level" A10 (1.3 megapixel) and A20 (2.1 megapixel) digital cameras. We've not noted this previously and these two cameras are interesting as they mark the trend in "bringing digital cameras to the masses".
If you didn't already know, Microsoft released beta 2 of their new OS, Windows XP, yesterday. Windows XP has several enhancements to make it more "Multimedia friendly", including picture folders views, automatic thumbnailing and even automatic recognition of digital cameras and media along with automatic transfer of images from them. Ofoto have put out a press release that their photosharing / photofinishing services are now available through Wnidows XP... UPDATE: Microsoft answer.
Although not strictly digital photography news it may well be important to the many people who archive images to CD-R and also bearing in mind Sony's recent releases of the CD200 and CD300 digital cameras which both write directly to CD-R/RW. The new DDCD format agreed by Sony and Philips was announced last July, this new drive is the first which can read/write at the new double density level.
Kodak have posted their monthly tech briefing, this time its a very interesting story about the battle between CMOS and CCD. "Which sensor will define the future of digital imaging? Is it the charge-coupled device, or CCD, which delivers the highest image resolution but at a significant drain on a camera's resources? Or will it be the complementary metal oxide semiconductor, or CMOS, a simpler, cheaper and more energy-efficient sensor in common use today? Kodak's scientists lay out their view of which sensor will win in which market."
Thanks to Yamada Kumio for allowing us to use his image of a new ultra-compact digital camera from Pentax, this little unit features a 3 megapixel sensor and 3x optical zoom and it said to be about the size of Canon's Digital IXUS (S100 ELPH). Yamada caught sight of a prototype of this camera at the PhotoExpo 2001 show in Japan.
PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association), the international standards body and trade association for the modular peripherals industry, have released the specification for the next generation of PC card slot technology, it is based on the USB 2.0 interface and forms part of the PC Card Standard Release 8.0.
CeBIT 2001: Fujifilm today announce the 6900Z, using the same body design as the 4900Z the 6900Z now uses the same 3.3 megapixel SuperCCD sensor (which produces a 6 megapixel image, 2,832 x 2,128 pixels) found in the 6800Z. Dressed now in a new all black body the camera features the same 6 x zoom lens found on the 4900Z. UPDATE: New product image and complete specifications.
2001: Kodak Professional have today announced the Kodak DCS 760, based
on the Nikon F5 body this professional SLR features a 6 million pixel
CCD (3032 x 2008), has a 1.3x focal length multiplier, can shoot 1.5 fps
for up to 24 frames and has variable ISO 80 to 400. The DCS 760 looks
to be serious competition to Nikon's recently announced D1X, prices are
yet to be announced.
UPDATED: Exclusive details you won't find anywhere else.
CeBIT 2001: This years CeBIT proves to be bigger than ever, running from today until 28th March the show is open from 9 AM to 6 PM (CET) with over 8,000 exhibitors occupying some 26 halls and 13 other pavillion areas (over 400,000 sqm of space). Although I won't be attending in person we do have a "man on the ground" at CeBIT and will of course be bringing you any major news as it arrives.
We've just posted our review of Canon's Digital IXUS 300 (it's European name, also known as the Powershot S300, Digital ELPH), this ultra-compact digital camera features a stylish stainless steel case, a three times optical zoom lens and a 2.1 megapixel sensor. It has go anywhere features which ensure you'll always have it by your side and the looks to impress even the most staid technophobe, but does it deliver the goods at the end of the day?
FlashPoint have today announced an updated version of their Digita "open" digital camera operating system, DigitaX expands hardware support and opens up the operating system to network connectivity (a hint towards where digital cameras are going.. think.. wireless). Digita licensees include Eastman Kodak, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Konica, Minolta and Sharp.
Yamada Kumio has posted the first Olympus C-700UZ samples on the PC Watch site, using is normal range of subjects he's got samples ranging from outdoor shots at the airport (full zoom range), macro, landscape, and indoor shots. Bearing in mind this will still be a pre-production camera the image quality isn't all that I'd hoped, chromatic aberrations abound! UPDATE: Plenty more samples in a private gallery.
Kodak have today announced an updated Palmpix digital camera add-on for the recently announced Palm m500 and m505 handheld PDA's. The new Palmpix is capable of SVGA (800 x 600) full colour images from its CMOS sensor, has a fixed 54 mm (35 mm equiv.) lens, can store images on SD (MMC) storage cards inserted into the Palm and has three focus modes; macro, portrait and landscape. Retail price will be US$129.95.
Today Olympus have announced the C-700 UZ, heralded as the smallest 10x optical zoom digital camera (not difficult). The camera features a 2 megapixel sensor and a lens which delivers a 38 - 380 mm equiv. zoom (F2.8 - F3.5). Expected street price is $700. Sorry for the late delivery of this news, unfortunately we've been let down by Olympus who have not provided us with any information on this camera.
Thanks to some detective work from one of our readers (Ivo Schenk) we have now confirmed that Sony does indeed have a 1/1.8" 4 megapixel CCD, it is product name ICX406AQ and has an effective output resolution of 2,312 x 1,720 pixels (3.9 megapixels). So, could this be the illusive sensor used in the rumoured "DSC-S85"? Only time will tell, however this sensor would offer manufacturers of existing 3 megapixel digital cameras an immediate path to 4 megapixels without having to change the cameras (or lens systems) significantly.
Peter iNova, author of the "Digital Secrets" eBook is running a digital photography contest, as we've come to expect from Peter, it has a twist, "The image has to be made with a digital camera and somehow a flash unit will have to contribute to the shot. It can be in the picture, or outside the frame as a light source, fill, bounce, slave--why the permutations are endless!"
We've just posted our review of three products from Hoodman USA. Hoodman specialise in products which provide shade from the sun or protection of LCD screens. We've reviewed their LCD Viewscreen Hood, Hoodcap for the Nikon D1 and e-clipse E-2000 laptop computer hood. All in all we're pleased with what we found, all these products do what they're supposed to at a very reasonable price.
Today Kyocera US announced the Finecam S3, a camera we've covered previously. Dubbed as the "world's smallest 3.34 megapixel digital camera with a 2x zoom". The S3 weighs just 200 g (7 oz) and is actually slightly smaller than Canon's Digital IXUS (ELPH). Fitted out with an all metal case, a 1.5" LCD and several manual features it certainly looks competitive.
Thanks to Olympus America for forwarding their official SmartMedia compatibility chart, this chart confirms what digital cameras (and printers, accessories) are compatible with SmartMedia cards ranging from 2 MB up to the recently announced 128 MB. This is for all the people who emailed me asking if their Olympus digital camera was compatible.. We now have the answer.
After several embarassing leaks Adobe have finally made the 6.0.1 update available on their support download page. I'm sure many of you use Photoshop 6.0 (well, we do here anyway) so an update will be of interest. There are several fixes and updates in this patch which is available for English language Windows and Mac versions.
Here's the first review of a production DSC-S75. Sony have now provided us with a final production camera and we have completed updating our previous review with the results of tests from it. Most interesting changes are: vastly improved shot-to-shot times, repositioned power switch, slightly better colour and resolution.
Complementing our recent review of the MVC-CD300 we've now posted a full in-depth review of its "little brother" (but no less capable) 2.1 megapixel CD200. Just like the CD300, the CD200 writes to 8cm CD-R/RW. Obviously very similar cameras there are some subtle differences, most notably the use of a Sony 3x zoom lens (rather than the "Carl Zeiss" used on the CD300) and the lack of burst / bracketing modes.
Digital Camera "Guru" Yamada Kumio has posted samples from Casio's updated QV-3000EX, the QV-3500EX. His normal range of samples cover everything from indoor available light to flash, outdoor scenes and macros. All in all the QV-3500EX seems to do everything its older brother did, remember this new model supports Epson Print Image Matching.
Today Olympus Japan announced the C-1, this compact, entry-level digital camera features a 1.3 megapixel CCD and a fixed 35 mm (equiv.) lens. Looks suspiciously similar to the Epic/Mju product line, doesn't it? The most recent similar product from Olympus was the D-360L (C-860L). Note also that (probably just for the Japanese market) it's available with It enters the market at a very low 38,000 YEN ($320). UPDATE: Samples online.
This time it's no mistake, the drop in price and rebate accidentally slipped onto Amazon's page is for real, however it was only supposed to appear today. State Street Direct, our affiliate retailer are now offering the Kodak DC4800 (3 megapixel, 3 x optical zoom) for $479.95 (after $100 Kodak mail-in rebate). That has to make the DC4800 the current 3 megapixel bargain! UPDATE: Get one for $249 if you've got a DC290!
at least allegedly... Kodak are suing Agfa, Sanyo and Seiko Epson over
infringement of patents it owns for image compression and digital storage,
removable software-enhanced storage devices, and inventions in an apparatus
for minimizing "red-eye''. The company said it is seeking an unspecified
amount in compensatory damages. UPDATE: 2/March/2001:
Sony's commitment to 8cm CD-R/RW as a storage medium for digital cameras is clear in their two most recent announcements, the CD Mavica CD300 and CD Mavica CD200. These two cameras mark an important step for Sony's Mavica range of digital cameras, we first review the 3 megapixel, 3 x zoom CD300. (CD200 review coming soon).
Sony, expanding its line of CD Mavica's which started last year with the CD1000 has today announced the 3x zoom 2.1 megapixel CD200 and the 3x zoom 3.3 megapixel CD300 (based on the DSC-S75). These two cameras now become the first digital cameras with the ability to write to 8cm CD-RW as well as CD-R. The CD200 will have a list price of $800 and the CD300 a list price of $1,000.
David over at Imaging Resource has just posted his reviews of the Olympus C-2040 Zoom and the Sony MVC-CD300, here's what he concluded for the Olympus, "With the C-2040 Zoom, Olympus has taken a very good digicam (the C-2020) and made it even better... Its compact size and SLR-style design will endear it to more traditional film-based photographers" and the Sony "With the addition of CD-RW... the CD300 eliminates some of the digicam community's perceived limitations to the CD Recordable technology."
During PMA 2001 Epson announced their new "Print Image Matching" innovation, a system which records "missing colour information" in the EXIF header of JPEG images, this information is understood by compatible printers to produce more accurate and vibrant colours which (in theory) should match the colours in the scene. At the time they announced collaboration with several digital camera manufacturers. Today Epson have announced their updated CP-900 (PhotoPC 3000Z), the CP-920Z with Print Image Matching.
If you're reading this message you're now using our new more powerful servers hosted on the East Coast (Washington) of the US. It's been a long process transferring several GB of website and database from the West coast to East coast (especially as I'm based in London) but it does seem to have gone relatively well. It may take a few days for the DNS changes to propogate throughout the net, during that time you may see an IP address in your address bar instead of "www.dpreview.com", that should eventually go away.