News archive for December 2001
Minolta US has today posted A1v121u English firmware for the DiMAGE 7 digital camera. This new firmware has been available on the Minolta Japan server for a few days and is now available on the Minolta US server. This version is for US DiMAGE 7's only. The installation documents say "Firmware version A1v121u was developed for general improvement in exposure performance (particularly for flash photography)." It's also worth noting that Minolta has also posted a new version of the DiMAGE Image Viewer Utility (required for proper colour space mapping).
Minolta yesterday announced that it will halt production and development of APS cameras in favour of attacking the ever expanding digital camera market. This comes as no surprise to dpreview as we have observed the dramatic shift in market share (and production) between 35 mm, APS and digital over the last two years. "Investors welcomed the news, sending shares in Minolta up 8.39 percent to 155 yen on Wednesday morning. The Nikkei average dipped 0.1 percent."
Nikon US has today posted firmware 1.6, this firmware solves the 'lens cap left on' problem which affected more than a few of our forums posters not long after they'd received their new cameras. Noted changes are "The Coolpix 5000 will continue to function, even if it is turned on with the lens cap still in place, no matter what focal point the lens was set to when the camera was last turned off."
As noted by some of our forums members the Epson PhotoCenter is based on Photopoint's technology and servers. When Photopoint disappeared last week the Epson PhotoCenter (photo.epson.com) was still visible. However, this morning (UK time) the Epson PhotoCenter is closed with a message that reads "As you may know, Epson has been using a third-party vendor to power the site. (Phil: Photopoint) Now, in order to serve you even better and continue delivering the features you value, Epson will be bringing the site in-house"
Nikon Europe has posted an update to Nikon Capture to bring it up to v2.0.2. Nikon Capture is the application used by D1 / D1x / D1H users to manipulate, edit and convert their RAW and JPEG files. This new version brings Windows XP compatibility, bug fixes for users with dual processor machines and various fixes and changes which are platform dependent. Note you will need a prior version of Nikon Capture 2 installed to run this update. Available for Windows and Macintosh. NikonTech USA has not yet posted an update.
Fujifilm, updating their 'Big Job' ruggedized digital cameras has today announced the DS-270HD. The 'Big Job' line is aimed specifically at the construction industry with rubber coatings and waterproof seals. The new DS-270HD has a 28 mm (equiv.) F2.8 fixed focal length lens and a 2.4 megapixel SuperCCD sensor which outputs a 4.3 megapixel image. The DS-270HD also features a flash hotshoe and a movie clip mode.
Photopoint, the photo sharing and printing site has been down for well over 24 hours. The last time this happened (back in July) the company was in trouble and shortly afterwards was sold back to its original owner Pantellic Software Inc. Neither the Photopoint or Pantellic websites (or other servers) can be contacted. It's a mystery at the moment, lets hope it's a technical problem for the sake of Photopoint's users. UPDATE: The plot thickens...
Nikon has today announced that there is a small operational problem with the Coolpix 5000. "...under certain limited circumstances, when turning on your camera with the lens cap on, it is possible for the camera to get a system error and be rendered inoperable.... A firmware upgrade to correct this issue, which can be downloaded and installed easily on your camera, will be available by December 21. Please check back here for a direct link to the firmware download and instructions on how to install it."
Nikon has today posted Nikon View Coolpix 4.3.1 now with full support for Windows XP (as well as previous Windows versions). Version 4.3.1 can be used with the D1, D1x, D1H, Coolpix 5000, 995, 885, 775, 990 and 880. It also now only supports USB or IEEE1394 interfaces. Nikon View Coolpix 4.3.1 is available for Windows and Macintosh (although not yet OS X). This new version also supports uploading to NikonNet (photo sharing).
Nikon Japan has posted the second part in a series of nine articles would make ideal reading material for digital camera beginners and novices alike. The first article covers the fundementals of what to look for in a digital camera (maybe a little Nikon bias ;), how to read specifications, box contents, getting up and running and transferring images. The second article covers more manual features, off center focusing, metering, depth of field, flash and white balance. All in all excellent stuff for those just starting out...
It turns out that Nikon has also previously posted similar warnings about using Windows XP to rotate images and format CF cards. The exact same cautions apply, that if you use Windows Explorer to rotate images you will destroy the important EXIF data held in the JPEG image header, it turns out that even a simple 'properties' view of a file can destroy the EXIF data. Secondly if you use Explorer to format CF cards the default filesystem is FAT32 which digital cameras won't understand.
Canon BeBit (Japan) has just posted a set of warnings about the use of built-in Windows XP imaging features and potential problems associated with CF cards. The first part of the warning is about using XP's built-in image rotation feature, Canon note that doing so will destroy that all important EXIF information. The second part of the warning is about formatting CF cards, when formatting a drive under XP it sets the default filesystem to FAT32. Of course digital cameras only use and understand the FAT filesystem so you must remember to change the filesystem to 'FAT' before formatting you CF cards under Windows XP.
Just posted! Probably our biggest review to date, I've just posted our full in-depth review of a production Canon EOS-1D. This landmark digital SLR is the first professional D-SLR to be produced solely by Canon from the ground up. It's solid magnesium body and environmental seals hint at its destination in life, to be a sports and current affairs photo journalists dream. Capturing an amazing eight 4.5 megapixel frames every second is no mean feat, and to my eye Canon have pulled it off. But that doesn't mean the 1D got full marks under the Askey scrutiny.
Olympus US has today announced the 3D Scantop. While this may be a new product in the US, we saw it demonstrated by Olympus Europe at Photokina at the end of last year. 3D Scantop is designed to enable 'e-businesses' get 3D representations of their products onto the web. The 3D Scantop system consists of a digital camera, stand, motor driven turntable (with background), lights and software. More interestingly the Scanware system produces a volume / wireframe model and textures separately to produce a true 3D model rather than a set of frames. 3D Scantop is priced at US$4995.
Dave Etchells over at Imaging-Resource has now updated his Canon EOS-1D review with results from a full production camera. "Commercial photographers looking for high-resolution images for double-truck catalog or fashion spreads may want more, but they're more likely to buy a high-resolution studio camera anyway. Bottom line, I think Canon's going to be able to sell every EOS-1D they can produce. All in all, a great showing from Canon in the pro digital SLR market!" We will be posting our full in-depth review of a production EOS-1D this week.
Several items of Nikon Coolpix 5000 news to report. Firstly Imaging-Resource, Steves-Digicams and DCResource have all posted sample images from a production Coolpix 5000. Secondly our affiliate State Street Direct has confirmed that they will be receiving their first batch of Coolpix 5000's next Tuesday or Wednesday, good news if you've pre-ordered, if not you can do so and show your support for this site!
Creative Technology (Creative Labs in the US) has today announced the PC-CAM 600. This digital camera has 0.75 megapixel sensor (which is interpolated to 1.3 megapixels) a fixed focal length lens, 16 MB of internal RAM, a flash and can be used as both a digital still, webcam and video clip recorder (including audio). All this for just US$149.99.
Four megapixel discounts! Olympus has today knocked a huge US$100 off its D-40Z (C-40Z) and C-4040Z digital cameras. This brings both of these cameras down into 3 megapixel prosumer territory. Best of all our official retail affiliate State Street Direct have also immediately cut their prices, for example the D-40Z is now $649 (including a $50 rebate).
David Stone from Photographic Solutions has just emailed me to let me know that they have developed a new sensor swab called 'Swab-N' designed specifically for cleaning the Nikon D-SLRs the D1 / D1H and D1x. All D-SLRs suffer from an accumulation of dust and dirt on their sensor (although some cope better than others) and sometimes using a blower just isn't enough, that's where Photosol's specially designed Swabs and Eclipse cleaner come into their own.
I'm glad to report that we appear to be even more popular than ever. Last month showed one of our largest increases in page views. In November we served 36.7 million pages to 2.5 million visitors. This was no doubt thanks to our rather large mention in The Wall Street Journal and the improvements made to the overall performance and response of the site. Many thanks to all our visitors, keep coming back and keep recommending us! Advertisers take note, if you're not advertising on dpreview then you're missing the largest digital photography community on the Internet. UPDATE: 1,000,000 messages now in the forums!
Nikon Japan (Nikon Imaging) has today announced that the Nikon Coolpix 5000 'sale schedule date' is Thursday, December 13th (In Japan). The announcement goes on to confirm that several accessories should also be available on the same day: Wide angle converter WC-E68, Battery pack MB-E5000, Lens hood HN-E5000, Adapter rings UR-E5, E6 & E7, LCD Hood HL-E5000 and Soft case CS-E5000.
What's an album organizer, photo sharer, photo screen saver, photo finishing interface and basic image editor all in one? Ofoto's new and impressive OfotoNow 3.0 (Windows). In its third iteration OfotoNow has matured, has a clean and easy to understand interface and best of all works well. It can certainly give much of Windows XP's built-in digital photo functionality a run for its money, of course though you're tied to Ofoto for sharing and prints...
The NikonTech USA website that Nikon has announced its software updates to make NikonScan, NikonCapture, NikonView fully compatible with Windows XP. According to the NikonTech website these updates will now be available on December 20th. Several products won't be supported on a Serial interface under Windows XP.