News archive for July 2001
Kyocera's tiny Finecam S3 is the smallest 3 megapixel digital camera on the market. It features a 2x optical zoom lens, a good range of manual controls and photographic features. It's supplied with an Lithium-Ion battery and charger / AC adapter, 16 MB MMC card, soft case and MMC card reader. The S3's tiny size and light make it one of the most portable digital cameras out there, so how does it stack up to our tests? UPDATED: Samples gallery now online.
The Japanese site 'Digital Buyer' which is part of the ASCII 24 hardware network has just published a comparison of ten compact digital cameras with either 2 or 3 megapixel CCDs. The comparison includes: Canon Digital IXUS v (IXY 200 / ELPH S110), Canon Digital IXUS 300 (IXY 300 / ELPH S300), Pentax Optio 330, Konica Digital Revio KD-300Z, Konica Digital Revio KD-200Z, Sony DSC-P1, Fujifilm Finepix 50i, Casio QV-2400UX, Sanyo DSC-MZ1 and the Olympus C-1 Zoom (BRIO D-150).
Polaroid redefine 'low cost'. The PhotoMAX FUN! 620 can take up to 15 VGA (640 x 480) images, store them in its 1 MB internal RAM and transfer them by USB. At just $69.99 you're not going to expect much on the image quality side of things but it may be a good way to get your kids into digital photography...
My good friends over at the hardware site 'Hardware One' have just posted a user review of Canon's EOS-D30. The article is based on Wymun's experience working with the camera for several months, he covers he personal experience with the camera and several different lenses. He came straight from Olympus's C-3030Z to the EOS-D30 and appears more than happy with the upgrade. "In short, Im simply a hardware enthusiast who enjoys taking digital pictures, akin to several of my other HW1 colleagues."
Internet Pictures Corporation (iPIX) has today announced that it's "immersive imaging kits" (for creating 360 degree interactive 'bubble panoramas') are now available for the Nikon Coolpix 995. Available as a full kit including the Coolpix 995, Rotator arm, Tripod, Software, 48 MB CF card, Case and documentation. "The iPIX Professional Camera Kit featuring the Coolpix 995 camera is priced at $2,099. The iPIX Starter Kit for the Coolpix 995 camera is available separately for $495."
According to an article on 'The Register' dated 20th July, Agfa has told its resellers in Europe, "...not to expect any more digital cameras." The story also says that Agfa has decided to pull out of the low end scanner market due to current market downturn. The company does intend to continue making high-end scanners. This is hardly surprising when you consider the lack of any interesting digital camera products from Agfa in almost two years.
PC Magazine has given the photo sharing site Shutterfly a 'PC Magazine Editor's Choice Award' for online photo services. This is the second consecutive year that Shutterfly has won this award. "Winning this highly regarded Editor's Choice award from PC Magazine two years in a row proves we consistently deliver the best quality and service in the industry," said Andy Wood, Shutterfly CEO.
Sharp recently announced its new range of flat-panel TV's. The Aquos range, available initially in 13, 15 and 20 inch sizes have a secondary function - as a digital picture frame. The Aquos feature a PCMCIA PC card slot and can display images stored on various formats of storage card (with the appropriate PC card adapter) straight from a digital camera.
Leica and Matsushita (known by the Panasonic brand) have announced that they will be jointly developing digital cameras. The products will be marketed under both the Leica and Panasonic brands. This interesting announcement almost definitely puts a lid on the relationship Leica had with Fujifilm, the last product from which was the Leica Digilux 4.3 which was essentially a re-badged, re-cased Fujifilm 4700Z.
Olympus Professional Marketing Japan has today announced a new 'Construction Site' kit for using a digital camera on a construction site. This kit is (individually) made up of two software packages 'Construction Photograph Control software' and also a new dust proof and waterproof case for the 2 megapixel C-200 Zoom (aka Brio D-510 Zoom) digital camera. The case is made of plastic and rubber and weighs 483 g (1.1 lb) without the camera. This may be a Japan domestic market only product.
RiTDATA (a subsidiary of RiTEK Taiwan) has today announced 1.1 and 1.6 GB "CompactStor" Compact Flash Type II storage drives. These devices (similar to the Microdrive) use a tiny mechanical hard drive for their storage. There are plans to expand the range up to a 6 GB capacity card (phew!). No pricing is yet available.
dpreview.com has today received compensation from a Hong Kong publishing company for violation of copyright. The company published large portions of our Canon EOS-D30 review (including our sample images and test results) in a magazine last year. An observant reader noticed the similarity between our review and the article published in the magazine and contacted us. We'd like to pass on our thanks to him and our legal team for successfully bringing this matter to a close.
You asked for it and now we've got it, dpreview.com sweat shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, caps, hats and even a dpreview bag! T-shirts are high quality Hanes brand and we can even ship internationally! Caps, Hats and bags are currently on special offer. Every purchase contributes to the upkeep of this site.
The guys over at Letsgodigital.nl have taken a look at Minolta's E201, this 2.3 megapixel fixed focal length (38mm equiv.) digital camera enters Minolta's new range of digital cameras at the lower end. "The new first starter camera from Minolta can produce photo realistic prints. It is very easy to use, there are no hidden redundant functions and everybody who has used a analogue camera before can immediate start to work with the E201. The Dimage E201 is available at this moment in the Netherlands and will be priced at EURO 449,-"
And finally we get to the bottom of the reasons for PhotoPoint's outage over the weekend. Pantellic Software Inc., the original creator of PhotoPoint.Com have bought the site back from Sherwood Partners, Inc., the Assignee for PhotoPoint Corp (USA) - whose offices in San Francisco are now closed. ...PhotoPoint Corp. (USA) acquired the PhotoPoint.com web site in 1999. Since that time, Pantellic has performed the development and hosting of PhotoPoint.com, while PhotoPoint Corp was responsible for business development, sales and marketing. These functions will now be handled exclusively by Pantellic, who will be retaining the services of some of the former PhotoPoint Corp employees and maintaining many of its partners...
Kodak today published their second quarter sales & earnings report. This shows profits are down from $513 million second quarter last year to $325 million second quarter this year. "The (second) quarter's results are consistent with the economic slowdown, and we have yet to see signs of economic recovery,'' Kodak Chairman and Chief Executive Daniel Carp said. "We will continue to manage Kodak in recognition of this reality.''
Good news for all Photopoint users is that they are now back online! Still no official news available on their website but they're definitely back in business. We will of course endeavour to find out why they were down. Over the last 48 hours I've been sent all sorts of rumours about the company and have bitten my tongue not to publish them. Lets hope we can get some official explanation out of Photopoint soon. Inquiring minds want to know.
We've just posted our full in-depth review of Kodak Profesional's DCS 760. This six megapixel, Nikon F5 based digital SLR offers amazing image quality, superb build and features and it weighs in at an all new low price of US$8,000 (amazing considering the price of the DCS 660 just last year). Of course its biggest competition is Nikon's new D1x.. And so for those who've been begging for it we've also included a four page head to head between the DCS 760 and D1x.
Nikon today announce the new D1X and D1H digital SLR's. These two progressions from the successful D1 are an attempt to satisfy two sides of the professional market, first, the D1X aimed squarely at the commercial market, sporting a new 5.4 megapixel CCD but limited to 3 fps, second, the D1H featuring the same 2.74 megapixel CCD found in the original D1 but now with boosted buffer space and faster ASIC the D1H can shoot up to 40 frames at 5 fps.
TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) have just announced the results for 'Best Photo Products in Europe' from the European Photo & Imaging Awards 2001-2002. Best Digital Prosumer camera went to the Minolta Dimage 7, Best Digital Consumer camera went to the Canon Digital IXUS v, Best Digital SLR went to the Nikon D1x, Best Professional Studio product went to the Kodak Pro Back, Best Imaging Software went to Adobe Photoshop Elements.
Nikon Japan has today announced that the D1H, the updated high-speed, large buffered version of the D1 will retail at 470,000 YEN (excluding taxes) and will go on sale (in Japan) on 25th July 2001. The D1H was first announced back in February as a high speed, lower resolution (2.74 mp) alternative to the D1x, the D1H can shoot 5 frames per second for up to 40 frames. This newly announced price appears to be considerably lower than the originally mentioned price (US$ 4,500) as it works out at approximately US$ 3,800 (excluding taxes). UPDATE: Nikon EU set price at 9,999 DM (£3199.99). (We await pricing from Nikon US).
abound! The photo sharing / photo finishing site Photopoint has been down
since some time yesterday. When I visited the site early yesterday I got
a very strange 'PhotoPoint.Com is currently offline' message, sometime
afterwards the site came back online but today it's down completely. Lets
hope this isn't yet another photo sharing site who are dropping into the
.com black hole. Anyone with further information
please contact me!
UPDATE: Unconfirmed reports are that they're having technical problems and hope to be back up soon... Lets hope so.
Today I received an email from fellow webmaster Yvan Boeres of digitalkamera.de. The website, published primarily in German also regularly publishes articles translated into English. They are currently facing hard times since the withdrawal of the sponsor of their English pages and so are now facing closure of this section of their site. This message is my way of supporting them in the hope that a sponsor can be found for the small amount required to keep the English pages going.
Here's an interesting snippet of news courtesy of our friend Yamada Kumio. Sigma will soon introduce a new AF 15-30mm F3.5-4.5 EX DG lens, this lens is of most interest to those users of digital SLR's because it will offer them zoom lens with a decent wide angle bottom and usable 'normal' telephoto. For example, this lens on a Canon EOS-D30 would provide an equiv. range of 24-48mm, on a Nikon D1x it provide an equiv. range of 22.5-45mm. The lens comes with the hood attached and access at the back of the lens for filters.
Canon has today released version 3.7.1 (3.7.0 for Mac) of their TWAIN drivers, these are compatible with the S10, S20, S100, S110, S300, EOS-D30, G1, Pro 90 IS, A10 and A20. No details are yet available as to the improvements / fixes included in the update. Drivers are available for Windows 95/98/98 SE/Me/2000 and Mac OS 8.1+.
Just because I thought it wasn't big enough! (Sarcasm) I've now updated our Nikon D1x review to include a brief exploration of Nikon View 4 including image transfer via Firewire as well as updating the section on Nikon Capture 2 and remote camera control and capture (ideal for a studio situation) via Firewire. A few people also asked about Firewire transfer performance and so we've now tested that as well (turns out to be approximately 1.6 MB/sec).
A year and two months since they announced the 2 GB MK2001MPL PCMCIA Type II HD Toshiba has today announced an all new 5 GB unit. The PAMHD005 offers huge capacity to professional digital photographers using the Kodak DCS series of digital SLR's (which have two PCMCIA Type II slots). With one of these units you could store an amazing 585 RAW shots from the new 6 megapixel Kodak DCS 760 (and you could, indeed have TWO).
Just posted! The first full, in-depth review of a production Minolta DiMAGE 7. The D7 hit the headlines this year at PMA, I got to write a hands-on first look back on 23rd May. Now I've finished a complete review of this interesting, 5 megapixel, 7x optical zoom digital camera. The specifications (RAW mode, decent electronic viewfinder, mechanically linked zoom, external flash support, Microdrive support) are certainly impressive, and we've already had a quick look at an early pre-production camera, but how will it bear up in our detailed tests? Two full samples galleries online!
Anyone who has been following Polaroid's fortunes over the last six months won't be surprised by the events of the last week or so. There's been plenty of talk of bankruptcy, sales and mergers. They've simply not moved quickly enough to embrace digital photography or digital photo finishing. "Pending the announcement, Polaroid shares were suspended near the end of trading Wednesday after falling 30 percent to $1.92 on the New York Stock Exchange (news - web sites) amid reports it was considering filing for bankruptcy."
David and Michael over at the Imaging Resource have posted full reviews of the Kyocera Finecam S3, and the Fuji FinePix 2300, here's what they concluded, firstly the Kyocera "the Finecam S3 packs a lot of power into its small size... Kudos to Kyocera, the S3 is a huge step forward in capability, style, and features from anything that's gone before. Good job, guys!" the Fuji "a great option for novice photographers who want point-and-shoot simplicity in a digital camera... perfect for teens and families on the go"
Yamada Kumio has today posted a side-by-side image quality comparison between some of the top 2 megapixel compact digital cameras: Canon PowerShot A20, Canon Digital IXUS v (S110 ELPH), Sanyo DSC-MZ1, Sony DSC-P50, Fujifilm Finepix 50i. He has several shots of this cute Japanese boy with different white balance and flash modes, as well as landscape and full-zoom examples in daylight.
Yamada Kumio, Japanese digital camera journalist, has posted several sample images from Pentax's new pocket sized Optio 330 on the PC Watch website. Note, the camera he used for these samples is a Beta (pre-production) unit. The Optio is the smallest 3 megapixel, 3x optical zoom digital camera. It weighs in at just 205 g (7.2 oz; no batts). Priced at 95,000 YEN (approx US$800).
In my recent article about the new photo technologies in Windows XP I wrote that I was concerned that Microsoft would hold the reins to who gets to appear on its list of photofinishing sites and what software automatically 'pops-up' when the digital camera is connected. ZDNet have an article on Kodak's take on this and how they're not too happy with Microsoft, "We were being frozen out," says Mr. Gerskovich, a 44-year-old Kodak vice president. "Consumers were effectively being denied a choice of which photo software they could use. More important, they should be able to send photos to any Internet printing service they choose--without paying a tax to Microsoft."
Back in February Rob published a report titled "Selecting a CF card for a photojournalist's digital SLR camera". Today he's updated / re-written this report specifically with Nikon's D1x in mind. These new generation high megapixel digital SLR's create BIG files, require more storage and higher transfer rates. "Selecting a Compactflash card for the Nikon D1x" covers a range of CF cards from the OEM through to the Lexar Pro series, IBM Microdrive and SanDisk devices. There are plenty of performance tests and as we'd expect form Rob a good deal of detail on how this affects day to day shooting.
Pentax US has today announced the Optio 330, their ultra-compact 3x optical zoom, 3 megapixel digital camera. We first heard about this camera back in March when there were the first sightings of it in Japan. Pentax Japan then officially announced it on 29 May, and almost exactly a month later so now have Pentax US. The Optio 330 uses Compact Flash storage and weighs in at just 205 g (7.2 oz; no batts). No official pricing has been announced by Pentax US, in Japan it's priced at 95,000 YEN (approx US$800).
Fujifilm was recently presented with the 2001 Walter Kosonocky Award for outstanding achievement in image sensor technology at the IEEE Workshop on CCDs and Advanced Image Sensors in Crystal Bay, Nevada. They won the award in recognition of a white paper "A Progressive Scan CCD Image Sensor for DSC Applications" which was developed as part of the R&D for the SuperCCD sensor. The award was authored by Tetsuo Yamada, Katsumi Ikeda, Yong-Gwan Kim, Hideki Wakoh, Tetsuo Toma, Tomohiro Sakamoto, Kazuaki Ogawa, Eiichi Okamoto, Kazuyuki Masukane, Kazuya Oda and Masafumi Inuiya, and was published in IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, in IEEE, vol 35.
Our good friend (and contributor) Peter iNova has just posted his own personal user review of Nikon's new Coolpix 995. Written in a way only Peter could he's attacked the camera from a day-to-day usage point of view. He also controversially (at least to me ;) counters some of the complaints other reviewers have made. Peter certainly likes the 995... "...there is virtually no difference in the sharpness of the 995's lens"
We've just posted our full review of Nikon's six megapixel digital SLR, the D1x. This is a mammoth review for a mammoth camera, by far our largest review yet. The D1x is the first of two new digital SLR's from Nikon based on the original D1. The review is based on a full production D1x with the latest v1.01 firmware. When Nikon announced it the D1x broke the mould by introducing a CCD with twice the horizontal resolution than vertical. The camera then downsamples horizontally and upsamples vertically to produce the final image. This obviously stirred up debate and discussion, so how does the final output measure up?
The monthly bilingual webzine Megapixel.Net have released their July edition (in French and English), this month they've reviewed the Canon S110 Elph/Ixus, Kodak DX3500, Canon PowerShot A20 and the Sony MVC-FD87. They also have a look at the relationship between megapixels and the final printed image size.