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October 1999 news and reviews

October 29
I noticed over on the Nikontech webpage that there will be another firmware update "during the last week of November" for the ever popular Coolpix 950, this time the firmware will be revision 1.2, no details on the contents of the update yet, suffice to say as soon as it's available you'll find all the info right here.
October 28
Fuji US announce rugged DS-260 HD
We reported about the DS-260 back in January when it was first announced in Japan. Looks like Fuji are going all-out to bring new cameras to the market (US market) as often as possible, so here's the DS-260... Fujifilm's DS-260 HD: The Digital Camera for the Weekend Warrior: A rugged, outdoor-friendly megapixel model that protects its inner workings with a dust-proof, impact- and water-resistant outer shell. This tough exterior makes the DS-260 HD an ideal choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want to capture their images electronically.
Latest Review: Fuji MX-2900

Just finished our latest review: the Fuji MX-2900. An interesting camera with some strengths and some weaknesses: "The MX-2900 is a fair attempt to capture the imagination of owners who are looking for a 2+ megapixel digital camera with manual features and a traditional look and feel. And for most it would produce good results."

October 26
Imaging Resource post Nikon Coolpix 800 review
The guys over at the excellent Imaging Resource have posted a full review of the Nikon Coolpix 800 (a camera I'm reviewing right now.. nice). Here's what Dave had to say in his conclusion "The Coolpix 800 is a great camera for those wanting many of the features of the 950 model, at a lower price point. We miss the rugged all-metal body of the 950 but understand that costs have to be cut somewhere. "
October 25
D# Sharp post D1 samples gallery
The Japanese Magazine D# have just posted a large gallery of image samples from the Nikon D1. I've said it once, and I'll say it again.. you've gotta love that D1, check out the last image, a low-light shot.
October 22
Kodak start shipping DC290
Kodak today announced that they are now shipping the DC290. Unfortunately they've still not got off the "3.2 megapixel" claim and use it in the title to the press release... oh dear, how misleading. For those in the know, the DC290 is a 2.1 megapixel version of the DC265, it features an interpolation (read "blow-up") mode which expands the image to 2240 x 1500 resolution, don't be mislead, this isn't the TRUE resolution of the camera.
Comparison number 13 now includes samples from: Olympus C-920Z, Sony DSC-F505, Nikon Coolpix 800, Olympus C2000Z & C2020Z, Canon Powershot S10, Olympus C2500L, Kodak DC290Zoom and BEST OF ALL the Nikon D1 (use this as the benchmark!)
October 21
More on the Fuji "Super CCD"
Fuji Japan have just posted their press release on the new "Super CCD" which includes a picture of the CCD and a couple of descriptive diagrams. Looks interesting, lets hope we can see some products soon.
October 20
Here's some very interesting news from FujiFilm: "Fujifilm Announces Digital Imaging Breakthrough: New, Honeycomb-Shaped Super CCD Image Sensor Technology Significantly Improves the Color, Clarity and Sharpness of Digital Pictures"
DC Resource post review of Canon S10
Jeff over at DC Resource has just posted a review of Canon's ever-so-interesting 2.11 megapixel pocket wonder the S10. And, he likes it "The Canon PowerShot S10 is a fantastic camera. It's very small and light, and really stands out in a crowd, and the photo quality is very good. You can easily use it with one hand, and it's fast processing speeds let you record and view photos quickly. And the built-in USB support helps you get the photos onto your PC just as quickly. "
Still Samples from Sony DCR-PC100 DV camera
As the line between Digital Still Cameras and Digital Video Cameras gently converges Sony release the first DV camera (DCR-PC100) offering acceptable (just) still image capture quality onto their proprietary Memory Stick. The Japanese Magazine Mobile Central post a short article on the PC100 along with the first still capture samples to be found on the net.
Toshiba Japan announce PDR-M40
Toshiba Japan announce the PDR-M40, a 2.1 megapixel 40mm fixed lens digicam. Up against the Nikon Coolpix 700 and Olympus C-21 this compact digicam is priced at 75,000 YEN (US$675).
October 19
Olympus Japan announce C2020Z & C920Z
Olympus Japan announce two updated cameras, the C2020Z and C920Z (Equv. of US D450Z), updated on the C2020Z is the addition of Motion JPEG mini-movie capture, slightly faster image capture, manual mode and a much closer manual focus setting.
October 18
PC Watch post a samples gallery from the Casio QV2000UX
The Japanese webzine PC Watch have posted a samples gallery from the interesting Casio QV2000UX, this 2.1 megapixel 3x zoom digicam is up against some big players in the higher price band, slide over to PC Watch and check out the image quality for yourself.
SST announce 64MB & 96MB CompactFlash Cards
SST Expand their line of CompactFlash cards with new 64MB and 96MB capacity cards. Here's what they say: "SST today announced the addition of 64 MByte and 96 MByte CompactFlash cards to its successful, high-performance CompactFlash card family. SST developed the 64 MByte and 96 MByte cards to meet the market demand for increased storage capacity in applications such as digital cameras, MP3 audio players and personal digital assistants."
October 15
PC Watch post Canon S10 sample images
Once again the excellent Japanese website PC Watch has turned up the goods with a set of sample shots from the Canon S10, this is one interesting looking camera with a great image quality, some sensible options / functionality and all that in a neat, small yet sturdy package.. I'm looking forward to reviewing this camera.
Agfa cuts price of ePhoto CL50 to $549
No doubt in the face of stiff competition, Agfa have decided to drop the price of this 1.3 megapixel 3x zoom digicam (looking a little aged now).
October 14
Thanks to reader Andy Williams for pointing me at this story. According to the Korean website "ComTimes" Samsung have introduced a 1GB flash memory chip.
PC Watch post PDR-M5 samples
The excellent Japanese "PC Watch" site have posted some sample shots from Toshiba's "whale" the PDR-M5.
Here's some jolly news for Digicam owners (assuming more manufacturers actually implement USB)...480 Mbs Announcement Coincides With Specification Draft Release to Industry.
Nikon's 950 Stocking Filler: The "Coolpack"
Nikon have just launched the Coolpack accessories set & bag for the Coolpix 950, it includes: A set of four 28mm filters -- a UV, Circular Polarizer, Neutral Density 4 and a Neutral Density 8 -- all in a handy wallet that attaches to the camera strap; four rechargeable Energizer� AA NiMH batteries that can be recharged up to 1,000 times; and a battery charger with a five hour quick charge and LED indicator. The Coolpack comes in a ruggedly handsome beige canvas carrying case with a fully adjustable interior, lots of pockets, and places for assorted gear.
Steve Sanders posts Canon S10 User Review
Unfortunately Canon haven't been able to supply me with an S10 yet (are you reading this guys?) and he's posted a review of this very interesting "pocket sized power pack", here's what Steve says: "All things considered this is one great camera. It's everything the A50 is plus twice the resolution and even faster image processing. I'm no real fan of small cameras but the S10 is a very durable camera that performs better than other cameras three times its size. And at a price of $699 I see it flying off the dealer's shelfs and landing in a lot of stockings this Christmas. "
October 11
Ricoh Announce RDC-5300
Ricoh today announced (officially.. this news has been knocking around for a few weeks) the 2.3 megapixel, 3x zoom, RDC-5300. Interesting features include USB, bracketing (multiple shots at -0.5EV, normal and +0.5EV). And only $699.
October 9
PC Watch's resident pro photographer Yamada reports from the Japan Electronics Show 1999. Sony are showing off their next generation 3.2 megapixel CCD, and the guts of their upcoming DC-PC100 DV / digicam. Philips have a 6 megapixel CCD and Sanyo have a BIG 2/3" 2 megapixel CCD and a 0.8" organic EL LCD display for use in viewfinders. Matsushita (Panasonic) showed some odd looking digicams using their new SD flash storage cards (yes another new storage standard). Sony also showed a chunky MiniDisc digicam. Going back to storage Sanyo showed the 730MB iD magneto-optical disk.
October 8
Asami Azuma's C2500L gallery
Asami Azuma (the photographer who took the previous C2500L / F505 images) posts a gallery of Olympus C-2500L images on the Japanese Digital Olympus website.
October 7
A personal congratulations go to Steve Sanders of Steves-Digicams for reaching the astonishing milestone of 2,000,000 visitors. Steve works very hard and always has the latest reviews, here's to your next 2 million Steve!! (Note: I'm just hoping we can hit 2,000,000 before Y2K).
Fuji PR21
Fuji Japan publish information about their new unique PR21 digital camera, it's a 2.3 megapixel digicam based around the MX2700 , the big deal with this little digicam is that it has a built-in printer which can print up to 62 x 46 mm (2.4" x 1.8"). And the damage? A pricey US$890.
October 4
Canon Announce Price and Availability of S10
Canon have announced in a press release that the S10 will be shipping to US dealers around October 15 to make the S10 available for the holiday season. The best news? The estimated street price of $699.
Three-Dimensional Optical Storage Technology
Ok, you can keep your CF cards, your MemorySticks and your SmartMedia... I want one of these in my digital camera... (just one, that's all you'd need...)
InfoTrends Research Group publish this interesting article on the digicam market: "The transition from film-based photography to digital photography is underway worldwide. Though the complete transition is still many years away, it is happening in all market segments, including youth, consumer, and business. InfoTrends Research Group, Inc.'s "1999 Low End Digital Camera Forecast Worldwide Summary" shows that worldwide digital camera sales will top 3.6 million units in 1999, growing at an annual rate of 36% through 2003. "A combination of forces are driving this growth, including increasing penetration of PCs, Internet connectivity, mass market awareness and digital photo retail and online services," says Michelle Lampmann, market research analyst at InfoTrends Research Group. "
Why you shouldn't trust PC magazine reviews
Why you shouldn't always trust PC Magazine reviews...
October 3
Sony To License Memory Stick to 6 Firms
Sony today announced that they will be licensing their MemoryStick technology to six other companies: Fujitsu, Aiwa, Sanyo, Sharp, Pioneer and Kenwood. This in an attempt not to repeat the Betamax debacle.
Sorry folks, but this has been a no-news week, hopefully next week will be more interesting. To note, Toshiba are shipping the PDR-M5 (which I reported on some time ago). I've also added the PDR-M5 to the database along with the HP C200 & C500.
October 1
Both DC Resource and Imaging-Resource have posted reviews of the Fuji MX-1700, on top of that Imaging-Resource have posted a review of the MX-2900 (a camera I'm reviewing at the moment). Steves Digicams posts an MX-1200 first look.