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Canon and Exif Print (Exif 2.2)

By dpreview staff on Feb 25, 2002 at 04:00 GMT

PMA 2002: JEITA announced the new Exif Print (Exif 2.2) standard earlier this month. Today Canon has posted a press release indicating their support for Exif Print and confirming the compatibility of their new digital cameras, software, drivers and printers with the Exif Print standard. Essentially Exif Print (Exif 2.2) standardizes much of the information which in the past different digital camera manufacturers stored in different ways. This new standard is designed to 'optimize' print output from digital camera images.

Press Release (Canon Europe):

Canon announces support for a new industry standard in digital photo printing

Amstelveen, 25 February 2002 - Canon today announced comprehensive support for the new Exif Print (Exif 2.2) standard for its digital camera and Bubble Jet printer product ranges. Exif Print, the latest development of Exif, is an open image file standard defined and controlled by the JEITA organisation. JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association) announced this new standard on 6th February 2002.

Exif (v2.1) has been the industry standard for image files generated from digital cameras for a number of years. The Exif file format allows data relevant to the conditions of shooting (such as white balance) to be stored with each shot. Exif Print adds new types of data, exposure mode for example, which are specifically important to the digital print process. By utilising this information at the print stage the quality of digital photos are significantly improved.

"Canon is committed to this important new standard, which further improves both the quality & consistency of printed digital photos.' Says Mr Komatsuzaki, Executive Vice President, Canon Consumer imaging. 'As photo printing is a key desire of consumers, Canon fully expects other key imaging product manufacturers to follow its lead in support of Exif Print."

The communication between digital camera and printer facilitated by Exif Print, allows higher quality results without the need for additional image manipulation by the user. As the quality of digital camera and printer devices has improved, high quality photo printing has become a reality for the consumer as well as the professional. Canon recognises that the ability to produce consistent high quality printed results has become a key area of focus for customers. Exif Print achieves this by allowing greater synergy between products, irrespective of the manufacturer, without requiring detailed technical knowledge from users.

All new Canon digital cameras and Bubble Jet printer products announced at the PMA show will support Exif Print (PowerShot A30, A40, A100, G2 (Black model) and EOS D60 digital cameras as well as the S820 Bubble Jet printer).

Many current products will also be supported; PowerShot S30, S40 and G2 will be Exif Print compatible via a firmware upgrade , available to users as a web download. A wide selection of current Bubble Jet printers (S200/300/520/750/ 820D/900/9000) will be supported as well as the older S800, S6300 and BJC-8200 Photo printer models.

Support for printers is provided via a new photo printing application from Canon, Easy-PhotoPrint , which will also be available as web download to existing customers. Easy-PhotoPrint allows users to quickly select and print photos, automatically scaling them for perfect printed results. Easy-PhotoPrint utilises Exif Print data in each individual shot stored in the file header.

How does Exif Print work?

Exif Print works simply by storing information important to the print process, such as camera settings (white balance, exposure time, etc) with the image file as each shot is taken. This information can then be used at the printing stage to ensure the printed result matches the original shot as closely as possible.
For example when shooting a nighttime cityscape the image will have large areas of darkness and shadows. Typically the digital print process may slightly alter the balance of dark areas from the original. With Exif Print the camera records that night scene mode was used within the image file and the printing application can correctly balance the output ensuring prints match the requirement of the photographer.

Benefits

The key benefit of Exif Print is that it individually tailors the printing of each image to match the photographer's intended result when the image was taken. This is similar to the way in which traditional silver halide photographs are developed at a professional level, with expertise being applied to the development process of each exposure in order to achieve the desired result of the photographer. This makes the Exif Print standard highly suited to both the professional and consumer user.

Compatibility

Of key importance is the fact that Exif Print is an open, device independent standard and can therefore be adopted by any manufacturer of digital imaging devices. Previous attempts to match printed output to original image have not been open, resulting in limited acceptance by manufactures' and limited device support.

Canon and Exif

As a key member of the JEITA organisation, Canon is ideally placed to take maximum advantage of the Exif Print standard. Canon is a world leader in digital imaging and is in a unique position as a manufacturer with core technology in both areas of digital camera and photo printers. This expertise will allow Canon to maximise the benefit of Exif Print to its customers.

Canon intends to broaden support for Exif Print across its imaging product ranges to include devices such as Digital video, Multi-functional products and others in the future.

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