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March 2000 news and reviews

March 30
Nikon, happy with the sucess of Altamira's Genuine Fractals with their Coolscan 2000 (LS2000) and Coolscan III (LS30) have decided to bundle the product with their upcoming Coolpix 990 digital camera. The press release states:
March 28
Just posted: Fuji FinePix 4700z review
Fuji's FinePix 4700 caused quite a stir when it was announced, not least of which because of the 4.3 megapixel label. Since then we've cut through the marketing hyperbole to the 2.4 megapixel truth of it. In our review we've gone into quite some detail to test the camera, see inside for more...
March 27
Mike Rubin comes to DPReview
Mike Rubin (AKA "Nikon Mike"), Coolpix product manager at Nikon will be making an appearance on DPReview's Nikon Talk forum next Tuesday 4th April. From now until 3rd April you'll be able to direct questions to Mike by prefixing your message subject with "NIKON - " and posting on Nikon Talk. On 4th April Mike will try to answer as many of those questions as possible.
March 23
Kodak pushes harder on low-cost digital cameras
This story popped up on Reuters earlier, and reports that Kodak are aiming at digital cameras that are easy-to-use and can deliver 4x6 and 5x7 prints (2.1+ megapixel surely). To my eyes it's about time Kodak did something and came out with some new product. We've seen nothing new from them for over six months and even their top of the range consumer digicam the DC290 was just a spruced up version of the old DC260...
Sharp and Sony announce new 1GB storage disk
Sharp and Sony have jointly developed a new MO (Magneto-Optical) storage disk which is just 50.8mm in diameter (2"), 0.5mm thick and has a storage capacity of 1GB using a red laser (655nm wave length) and 2GB or more using a blue laser (405nm wave length). Up to 4GB could be stored on larger disks. It'd be interesting to see Sony implement this small disk in a digital camera...
Nikon AG demonstrate D1 in extreme conditions
Just received an exclusive release about Nikon's involvement with the Swatch / Red Bull Extreme Snowboarding event, the photography going on there (using Nikon D1's) and more importantly what's involved in getting those images back and onto a website.
March 22
FlashPath support for Windows 2000
SmartDisk, the makers of FlashPath Floppy Disk adapter for SmartMedia and MemoryStick have recently published beta drivers of "FlashPath for SmartMedia Windows 2000" which allows owners of FlashPath adapters to use them in Windows 2000.
March 21
Kodak release DC290 firmware 1.0.4
Kodak today released new firmware 1.0.4 and software installer 1.3 for the DC290, updates including support for Simplified Chinese user interface, improved battery life when taking timelapse pictures and "fixes to other minor bugs".
Viking announce IntelliFlash USB Flash Memory Reader
Spotted this new product announcement on BusinessWire. Viking Components, one of the world's largest and fastest-growing manufacturers of component technology, Tuesday announced its new IntelliFlash(TM) USB flash memory reader/writer for high-speed, image and data transfer between a flash memory card and a PC. The reader supports SmartMedia cards (up to 64MB), CompactFlash and PCMCIA ATA Type I & II. Ships April 2000.
March 17
FotoTime FotoAlbum mini-review
An interesting new photo sharing website / software combination has recently shown up. FotoAlbum is an electronic image browser and organiser, it links directly to FotoTime's other product FotoTime.Com which allows you to share your images directly on the web. What struck me about FotoAlbum is just how easy it is to use and share images.
PC Watch posts 3 megapixel comparison
The Impress PC Watch webzine has posted an image comparison test of the leading (and upcoming) 3+ megpixel digital cameras: Olympus C-3030Z, Nikon Coolpix 990, FujiFilm FinePix 4700Z, Sony DSC-S70, Canon PowerShot S20, Epson CP-900Z, Casio QV-3000EX and a Beta Casio QV-3. So here are yet more samples for prospective buyers to analyze.
March 16
By Popular Demand: Casio Talk
By Popular Demand we've created a new discussion forum especially for talk about Casio digital cameras. I've received several requests over the course of the last month to setup such a forum and so the decision was made. Casio have long established themselves in the digital camera market, recently generating more interested with the introduction of the QV-3000EX.
March 15
State Street Direct have Canon S20 in stock
Had a News Alert from Ron at State Street Direct to say that they now have Canon PowerShot S20's in stock, you can order direct through this site. Better hurry though, they'll be in short supply.
March 14
Imaging-Resource post their Nikon Coolpix 990 review
Those lucky guys over at Imaging-Resource have posted a review of the Nikon Coolpix 990, this must be a pre-release model as my contacts at Nikon claim there aren't any production cameras around yet.. "The Coolpix 990 is an exceptional follow-on to the already excellent Coolpix 950. The list of added features, options, and capabilities is too long to include in a brief conclusion, but suffice to say they're both extensive and eminently useful. Virtually every aspect of the camera's performance has been enhanced or extended, and the result is a true 3 megapixel powerhouse."
March 13
D# Sharp webzine post big comparison
The Japanese webzine D# Sharp post a big digital camera comparison page with Wide & Tele shots from: Fuji FinePix 4700Z, Casio QV-3000EX, Canon PowerShot S20, Epson CP-900Z (beta), Olympus C-3030Z (beta), Sony DSC-S70 (beta), Nikon Coolpix 990 (beta), Nikon D1, Olympus C-2500L, Olympus C-2020Z, Nikon Coolpix 950, Canon PowerShot S10, Leica Digilux Zoom and Olympus C-960Z.
March 9
Kodak Begins Marketing "Blue Plus" CCD Sensors
Kodak publicy market their own CCDs to other manufacturers. "Eastman Kodak Company today announced it is now selling its award-winning Kodak Blue Plus Color charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensors to manufacturers of digital cameras and other imaging devices. The decision to sell these devices as individual components underscores the company's commitment to grow the overall picture business and create a broader presence for Kodak imaging technologies in that industry."
Sony Japan confirm their Cybershot range
Sony have updated their cybershot webpage today to confirm their current range of Cybershot digital cameras, this puts to rest some rumours and worries that the F505K is now obsolete.
SmartDisk announces FlashPath for Mavica
SmartDisk today announced something we'd been aware of since the release of specifications for the upcoming Mavica FD-95. Emerging Mavicas will support MemoryStick storage through a SmartDisk FlashPath floppy disk adapter enabling larger storage capacity but maintaining the convenience of a floppy drive. (Note: this won't work on older Mavicas)
March 8
FlashPoint Awarded Five Patents
Received this press release today which outlines FlashPoint's five new patents on Digital Imaging Operating System technology, they apparently already hold 17 patents, 80 more pending in the US and 42 in other countries... quite a grip.
March 7
Steve posts Casio QV-3000EX review
Steve Sanders posts a review of Casio's QV-3000EX, he says "The QV-3000EX proves that Casio is not just satisfied to be a minor player in the digital camera business. Their QV-2000UX became the first digicam to be bundled with an IBM Microdrive and now they've done it again with the QV-3000EX Plus. The big news is the price -- $999 for the camera and the Microdrive or $799 for the camera with a 16MB CF card. "
Fuji SuperCCD's a pixel is a pixel?
REPOST: Received an interesting news release (early) from an anonymous poster which describes a little better how the SuperCCD technology differs from standard CCD's. "The number of sensors in conventional half-inch CCDs has increased dramatically in recent years, but it is generally believed the apex has been reached at around three million sensors. "
March 6
Ofoto give away one Nikon Coolpix 800 a day
Ofoto, one of our sponsors is now giving away one Nikon Coolpix 800 a day, here's the press release "Ofoto, Inc. (www.ofoto.com), the Internet photo company, will be giving away a digital camera-a-day to Ofoto members throughout the month of March. Every day of the sweepstakes, one winner will receive a Nikon Coolpix 800 digital camera, an approximate retail value of $599. The sweepstakes is available to anyone who signs up for the Ofoto service in March, as well as current members who click on the sweepstakes entry button at sign in."
PC Watch summarise CeBIT 2000
The excellent Impress PC Watch magazine summarise the digital photography offerings at CeBIT 2000, these include the cut down Olympus C-3000Z, Casio had the QV-3000EX/Ir a model which supports IrDA data transfer and a Bluetooth prototype based on the QV-3000EX which would allow transfer of images wirelessly over short distances. Fuji also cooperated with Nokia to demonstrate an S1 Pro with a Nokia Bluetooth wireless CF card.
DCResource post their Canon S20 review
Jeff over at DCResource has finished his Canon PowerShot S20 review, here's what he says "One of my favorite cameras of 1999 was the Canon PowerShot S10. Why? Well, it was light, easy to use, fast, and took great photos too! When the S20 was announced, I was excited -- it took everything that made the S10 so great, and added a 3.3 megapixel CCD!"
March 5
Fumika Suzuki gallery (Nikon D1)
Japanese photographer Kazuhisa Nishikawa has put a D1 through its paces shooting model Fumika Suzuki, this gallery which appears on the Ascii website shows what a Pro digicam can do in the hands of a Pro photographer.
March 3
Sony Recalls NP-F550 and NP-F570 InfoLithium batteries bought after March 1999 due to evidence of a very small percentage (3 out of 415,000) overheating and smoking during recharge, these batteries are used on a variety of devices including the Sony Mavicas and D700 / D770. If you've bought either of these InfoLithium batteries since March 1999 should check the dedicated Sony website or call a toll free number (U.S.) to check their battery.
Megapixel.Net post their March edition
The excellent bi-lingual monthly Canadian digital camera magazine have posted their March edition, they have reviews of: Fuji 260HD, Epson PhotoPC 650, Olympus C-2020Z and a pre-production Nikon Coolpix 990 as well as articles covering Digital vs. Film and Macro photography.
We're proud to announce the full availability of the Discussion Forums search engine. You can now access the largest online digicam knowledge base here on DPReview. Searching the Discussion Forums gives you access to over 50,000 messages posted since February 1999, got a question about the Kodak DC290? Just search the discussion forums first and you're bound to find some answers...
March 2
I've been busy coding a forums full text search feature, it's ready for testing now (which means it's not linked or apparent from the main forums pages) but brave beta testers are more than welcome to test it out before it goes fully public.