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March 2001 news and reviews

March 28
Canon demos Micro Bubble Jet camera

CeBIT 2001: More instant prints! Canon have today shown their prototype digital camera with a built in bubble jet printer, this little unit (far smaller than simiilar attempts by Fujifilm and Polaroid) features a 1.3 megapixel CCD has a 2 x optical zoom lens and can store directly to CompactFlash as well as producing credit card sized prints.

Canon PowerShot A10 & A20 samples

Thanks to Wim Pollet for spotting that Canon BeBit have posted sample images from their new "entry level" A10 (1.3 megapixel) and A20 (2.1 megapixel) digital cameras. We've not noted this previously and these two cameras are interesting as they mark the trend in "bringing digital cameras to the masses".

Ofoto services in Windows XP

If you didn't already know, Microsoft released beta 2 of their new OS, Windows XP, yesterday. Windows XP has several enhancements to make it more "Multimedia friendly", including picture folders views, automatic thumbnailing and even automatic recognition of digital cameras and media along with automatic transfer of images from them. Ofoto have put out a press release that their photosharing / photofinishing services are now available through Wnidows XP... UPDATE: Microsoft answer.

Double Density 1.3 GB CD-RW from Sony

Although not strictly digital photography news it may well be important to the many people who archive images to CD-R and also bearing in mind Sony's recent releases of the CD200 and CD300 digital cameras which both write directly to CD-R/RW. The new DDCD format agreed by Sony and Philips was announced last July, this new drive is the first which can read/write at the new double density level.

March 27
Kodak's view on CCD vs CMOS

Kodak have posted their monthly tech briefing, this time its a very interesting story about the battle between CMOS and CCD. "Which sensor will define the future of digital imaging? Is it the charge-coupled device, or CCD, which delivers the highest image resolution but at a significant drain on a camera's resources? Or will it be the complementary metal oxide semiconductor, or CMOS, a simpler, cheaper and more energy-efficient sensor in common use today? Kodak's scientists lay out their view of which sensor will win in which market."

New Pentax ultra-compact digital camera

Thanks to Yamada Kumio for allowing us to use his image of a new ultra-compact digital camera from Pentax, this little unit features a 3 megapixel sensor and 3x optical zoom and it said to be about the size of Canon's Digital IXUS (S100 ELPH). Yamada caught sight of a prototype of this camera at the PhotoExpo 2001 show in Japan.

PCMCIA release CardBay spec

PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association), the international standards body and trade association for the modular peripherals industry, have released the specification for the next generation of PC card slot technology, it is based on the USB 2.0 interface and forms part of the PC Card Standard Release 8.0.

March 22
Fujifilm Finepix 6900Z (updated)

CeBIT 2001: Fujifilm today announce the 6900Z, using the same body design as the 4900Z the 6900Z now uses the same 3.3 megapixel SuperCCD sensor (which produces a 6 megapixel image, 2,832 x 2,128 pixels) found in the 6800Z. Dressed now in a new all black body the camera features the same 6 x zoom lens found on the 4900Z. UPDATE: New product image and complete specifications.

Kodak Pro DCS 760 - more info / pictures

CeBIT 2001: We can now bring you captures of the DCS 760's new onboard software (which is based on that found on the DCS Pro Back), the DCS Photo Desk and the all new DCS Camera Manager software.

LightSurf demos wireless digital photography
CeBIT 2001: LightSurf have today demonstrated their wireless photography solution for GPRS devices and networks. General Packet Radio Service is a new wireless data protocol being introduced in existing GSM countries (Europe / SE Asia) which allows for data transmission at 115.2 Kbp/s.
Kodak Pro DCS 760

CeBIT 2001: Kodak Professional have today announced the Kodak DCS 760, based on the Nikon F5 body this professional SLR features a 6 million pixel CCD (3032 x 2008), has a 1.3x focal length multiplier, can shoot 1.5 fps for up to 24 frames and has variable ISO 80 to 400. The DCS 760 looks to be serious competition to Nikon's recently announced D1X, prices are yet to be announced.
UPDATED: Exclusive details you won't find anywhere else.

CeBIT 2001 gets under way

CeBIT 2001: This years CeBIT proves to be bigger than ever, running from today until 28th March the show is open from 9 AM to 6 PM (CET) with over 8,000 exhibitors occupying some 26 halls and 13 other pavillion areas (over 400,000 sqm of space). Although I won't be attending in person we do have a "man on the ground" at CeBIT and will of course be bringing you any major news as it arrives.

March 21
Just posted! Canon Digital IXUS 300 review

We've just posted our review of Canon's Digital IXUS 300 (it's European name, also known as the Powershot S300, Digital ELPH), this ultra-compact digital camera features a stylish stainless steel case, a three times optical zoom lens and a 2.1 megapixel sensor. It has go anywhere features which ensure you'll always have it by your side and the looks to impress even the most staid technophobe, but does it deliver the goods at the end of the day?


FlashPoint have today announced an updated version of their Digita "open" digital camera operating system, DigitaX expands hardware support and opens up the operating system to network connectivity (a hint towards where digital cameras are going.. think.. wireless). Digita licensees include Eastman Kodak, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Konica, Minolta and Sharp.

Yamada posts first C-700UZ samples

Yamada Kumio has posted the first Olympus C-700UZ samples on the PC Watch site, using is normal range of subjects he's got samples ranging from outdoor shots at the airport (full zoom range), macro, landscape, and indoor shots. Bearing in mind this will still be a pre-production camera the image quality isn't all that I'd hoped, chromatic aberrations abound! UPDATE: Plenty more samples in a private gallery.

March 20
Kodak Palmpix for Palm m500 / m505

Kodak have today announced an updated Palmpix digital camera add-on for the recently announced Palm m500 and m505 handheld PDA's. The new Palmpix is capable of SVGA (800 x 600) full colour images from its CMOS sensor, has a fixed 54 mm (35 mm equiv.) lens, can store images on SD (MMC) storage cards inserted into the Palm and has three focus modes; macro, portrait and landscape. Retail price will be US$129.95.

March 19
Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

Today Olympus have announced the C-700 UZ, heralded as the smallest 10x optical zoom digital camera (not difficult). The camera features a 2 megapixel sensor and a lens which delivers a 38 - 380 mm equiv. zoom (F2.8 - F3.5). Expected street price is $700. Sorry for the late delivery of this news, unfortunately we've been let down by Olympus who have not provided us with any information on this camera.

Sony ICX406AQ 4 megapixel CCD

Thanks to some detective work from one of our readers (Ivo Schenk) we have now confirmed that Sony does indeed have a 1/1.8" 4 megapixel CCD, it is product name ICX406AQ and has an effective output resolution of 2,312 x 1,720 pixels (3.9 megapixels). So, could this be the illusive sensor used in the rumoured "DSC-S85"? Only time will tell, however this sensor would offer manufacturers of existing 3 megapixel digital cameras an immediate path to 4 megapixels without having to change the cameras (or lens systems) significantly.

March 18
Steve's Digicams Canon S300 first look
Steve over at Steves-Digicams has posted his first look at the Canon Powershot S300 Digital ELPH. Here's what he says about it (so far): "This is truly a "pocket size" camera that weighs a scant 8.5 ounces.......The S300 is only slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes!"
March 15
Unity Digital Firewire CF Reader review

We've just posted our review of Unity Digital's Firewire (IEEE 1394) CF reader/writer. This unassuming desktop card reader is capable of some amazing transfer rates (how does 4-5 times faster than USB sound?). Unity Digital also have a Firewire SmartMedia reader/writer available.

Flash Contest!

Peter iNova, author of the "Digital Secrets" eBook is running a digital photography contest, as we've come to expect from Peter, it has a twist, "The image has to be made with a digital camera and somehow a flash unit will have to contribute to the shot. It can be in the picture, or outside the frame as a light source, fill, bounce, slave--why the permutations are endless!"

Three reviews for the price of one!

We've just posted our review of three products from Hoodman USA. Hoodman specialise in products which provide shade from the sun or protection of LCD screens. We've reviewed their LCD Viewscreen Hood, Hoodcap for the Nikon D1 and e-clipse E-2000 laptop computer hood. All in all we're pleased with what we found, all these products do what they're supposed to at a very reasonable price.

PhotoLoft move to subs based service
PhotoLoft, one of the many online photo services companies, have announced that they are to move to a subscription based service. They say that this is because they wish to offer an "enhanced feature set", or may it be they are feeling the pinch from the astronomical bandwidth costs associated with this market sector. Could this be the beginning of the end, for free online photo sharing ?
March 12
Digital camera market to double again in 2001
Digital camera penetration doubled in 2000 to reach 25% of U.S. Internet households, and consumer purchase plans indicate that it will double again in 2001, according to a new survey of over 1,000 US Internet households by InfoTrends Research Group, Inc.
Imaging Resource reviews HP PhotoSmart 215
David at The Imaging Resource has just posted his review of the HP PhotoSmart 215, here's what he concluded: "Compact, portable, lightweight, and very user-friendly, the HP PhotoSmart 215 definitely accomplishes Hewlett-Packard's goal of creating a low-cost, simple-to-operate digicam... the PhotoSmart 215 certainly deserves consideration."
Kyocera US confirm Finecam S3

Today Kyocera US announced the Finecam S3, a camera we've covered previously. Dubbed as the "world's smallest 3.34 megapixel digital camera with a 2x zoom". The S3 weighs just 200 g (7 oz) and is actually slightly smaller than Canon's Digital IXUS (ELPH). Fitted out with an all metal case, a 1.5" LCD and several manual features it certainly looks competitive.

March 11
Steve's Digicams C-3040z first look
Steve over at Steves-Digicams has posted a first look at the Olympus C-3040 Zoom. Here's what he says about it (so far): "It's everything the C-3030 is plus the new, fast F1.8 lens and many other improvements to an already excellent camera."
Steve's Digicams reviews Sony DSC-S75
Steve over at Steves-Digicams has posted a full review of the Sony DSC-S75. Here's what he concluded "Sony has greatly improved last year's S70 camera with many exterior changes...The S75 is designed with the photographer in mind... If you're in the market for a high resolution digicam this one is going to be very difficult to pass by."
March 10
digitalkamera.de posts review of Canon G1
digitalkamera.de have the Canon PowerShot G1 in their review lab, here's what they say about it "The Canon PowerShot G1 left us with mixed feelings... we welcome the extremely useful colour LCD screen with its ability to turn and swivel... lithium-ion battery; and the very quick response times.. On the negative side the camera lacks up-to-date exposure metering and autofocus controls."
Imaging Resource reviews Sony MVC-CD200
David at The Imaging Resource has just posted his review of the Sony MVC-CD200, here's what he says about it. "This model is a 2 megapixel camera, virtually identical in operation to the 3 megapixel CD300... we think this will be a very popular digicam"
March 9
Olympus SmartMedia compatibility chart

Thanks to Olympus America for forwarding their official SmartMedia compatibility chart, this chart confirms what digital cameras (and printers, accessories) are compatible with SmartMedia cards ranging from 2 MB up to the recently announced 128 MB. This is for all the people who emailed me asking if their Olympus digital camera was compatible.. We now have the answer.

Olympus BRIO D-100

This is the US designation for the C-1, Olympus America will be naming the new C-1 the "Brio D-100", it's essentially the same camera but wearing a different livery (black) more in line with the "Stylus Epic" range of 35 mm film cameras.

Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1 update available

After several embarassing leaks Adobe have finally made the 6.0.1 update available on their support download page. I'm sure many of you use Photoshop 6.0 (well, we do here anyway) so an update will be of interest. There are several fixes and updates in this patch which is available for English language Windows and Mac versions.

Olympus µ[mju:] digital

Olympus Europe have confirmed what we guessed earlier, that the C-1 will be called the digital µ[mju:] C-1 in Europe (and probably SE Asia). The press release we've picked up is dated 22 March 2001 (CeBit time) but is currently visible on Olympus Europe's website.

Updated: Sony DSC-S75 review

Here's the first review of a production DSC-S75. Sony have now provided us with a final production camera and we have completed updating our previous review with the results of tests from it. Most interesting changes are: vastly improved shot-to-shot times, repositioned power switch, slightly better colour and resolution.

March 7
Just posted! Sony MVC-CD200 review

Complementing our recent review of the MVC-CD300 we've now posted a full in-depth review of its "little brother" (but no less capable) 2.1 megapixel CD200. Just like the CD300, the CD200 writes to 8cm CD-R/RW. Obviously very similar cameras there are some subtle differences, most notably the use of a Sony 3x zoom lens (rather than the "Carl Zeiss" used on the CD300) and the lack of burst / bracketing modes.

Yamada posts Casio QV-3500EX samples

Digital Camera "Guru" Yamada Kumio has posted samples from Casio's updated QV-3000EX, the QV-3500EX. His normal range of samples cover everything from indoor available light to flash, outdoor scenes and macros. All in all the QV-3500EX seems to do everything its older brother did, remember this new model supports Epson Print Image Matching.

March 6
Olympus C-1

Today Olympus Japan announced the C-1, this compact, entry-level digital camera features a 1.3 megapixel CCD and a fixed 35 mm (equiv.) lens. Looks suspiciously similar to the Epic/Mju product line, doesn't it? The most recent similar product from Olympus was the D-360L (C-860L). Note also that (probably just for the Japanese market) it's available with It enters the market at a very low 38,000 YEN ($320). UPDATE: Samples online.

March 5
Kodak D4800 for $479

This time it's no mistake, the drop in price and rebate accidentally slipped onto Amazon's page is for real, however it was only supposed to appear today. State Street Direct, our affiliate retailer are now offering the Kodak DC4800 (3 megapixel, 3 x optical zoom) for $479.95 (after $100 Kodak mail-in rebate). That has to make the DC4800 the current 3 megapixel bargain! UPDATE: Get one for $249 if you've got a DC290!

March 2
Kodak sues over patent infringement

Well, at least allegedly... Kodak are suing Agfa, Sanyo and Seiko Epson over infringement of patents it owns for image compression and digital storage, removable software-enhanced storage devices, and inventions in an apparatus for minimizing "red-eye''. The company said it is seeking an unspecified amount in compensatory damages. UPDATE: 2/March/2001: Agfa rejects!

Just posted! Sony MVC-CD300 review

Sony's commitment to 8cm CD-R/RW as a storage medium for digital cameras is clear in their two most recent announcements, the CD Mavica CD300 and CD Mavica CD200. These two cameras mark an important step for Sony's Mavica range of digital cameras, we first review the 3 megapixel, 3 x zoom CD300. (CD200 review coming soon).

March 1
Ofoto $10,000 Best Smile Contest

Ofoto, lightened the mood of the press releases which flowed our way today by announcing a new competition for the best smile in a photo printed through their service, all you have to do is check the "contest opt-in box" when you purchase a 5 x 7" print.. Second prize is a Canon S100 ELPH.

Megapixel.Net March edition

The monthly bilingual webzine Megapixel.Net have released their March edition (in French and English), this month they've reviewed the Olympus E-100RS, Kodak DC3400, Kodak DC3800 and the Minolta Dimâge 2330. They also have a look at the HP PhotoSmart 1218 Inkjet Printer.

Sony announce new CD Mavica's!

Sony, expanding its line of CD Mavica's which started last year with the CD1000 has today announced the 3x zoom 2.1 megapixel CD200 and the 3x zoom 3.3 megapixel CD300 (based on the DSC-S75). These two cameras now become the first digital cameras with the ability to write to 8cm CD-RW as well as CD-R. The CD200 will have a list price of $800 and the CD300 a list price of $1,000.

Imaging Resource reviews

David over at Imaging Resource has just posted his reviews of the Olympus C-2040 Zoom and the Sony MVC-CD300, here's what he concluded for the Olympus, "With the C-2040 Zoom, Olympus has taken a very good digicam (the C-2020) and made it even better... Its compact size and SLR-style design will endear it to more traditional film-based photographers" and the Sony "With the addition of CD-RW... the CD300 eliminates some of the digicam community's perceived limitations to the CD Recordable technology."

Epson CP-920Z with Print Image Matching

During PMA 2001 Epson announced their new "Print Image Matching" innovation, a system which records "missing colour information" in the EXIF header of JPEG images, this information is understood by compatible printers to produce more accurate and vibrant colours which (in theory) should match the colours in the scene. At the time they announced collaboration with several digital camera manufacturers. Today Epson have announced their updated CP-900 (PhotoPC 3000Z), the CP-920Z with Print Image Matching.


If you're reading this message you're now using our new more powerful servers hosted on the East Coast (Washington) of the US. It's been a long process transferring several GB of website and database from the West coast to East coast (especially as I'm based in London) but it does seem to have gone relatively well. It may take a few days for the DNS changes to propogate throughout the net, during that time you may see an IP address in your address bar instead of "www.dpreview.com", that should eventually go away.