« April 2001  |  June 2001 »

May 2001 news and reviews

May 31
Canon post EOS-D30 v1.0.1.0 firmware

Canon Japan has just posted a firmware update for EOS-D30 digital SLR's with a serial number between xxx200001 and xxx599999. This firmware will already be loaded on EOS-D30's with a serial number greater than xxx600000 (at the factory). This update DOES NOT FIX the "Auto power-off problem" (that requires you take your camera back to a service rep.), this update fixes a situation in which a combination of button presses will cause the camera to hang.

May 30
Sanyo announces DSC-MZ1

Sanyo Japan has today announced the DSC-MZ1 digital camera which has a 2.1 megapixel CCD and a 2.8x optical zoom lens with an automatic cover. The MZ1 features a metallic case, optical viewfinder, 1.8" TFT LCD and supports CompactFlash Type I or II (including Microdrive). It weighs in at 280 g (10 oz) and is priced at 68,000 YEN (approx. US$550). It's not clear at this stage whether this is a domestic market (Japan) only model. UPDATED: Samples online.

Fujifilm announces FinePix 50i
Fujifilm Japan has announced the new FinePix 50i, it is the successor to last years MP3 playing 40i. It is now lighter at 190g and thinner at 23.5mm, has an all new iMac inspired transparent cradle, an extra 2 Megapixel picture setting (1600x1200), a completely revised remote for the MP3 player that displays the song title and finally what they call "party mode", this works by firing the shutter when it hears a noise.
May 29
Pentax Optio 330

Pentax has today named and officially announced the ultra-compact stainless steel cased 3 megapixel digital camera we've seen at a few industry exhibitions. The camera is called the Optio 330 it features a 3.34 megapixel (3.14 megapixel effective) CCD and an amazing 3x optical zoom lens. It weighs in at just 205 g (7.2 oz; no batts). Priced at 95,000 YEN (approx US$800) and expected to go on sale this July in Japan.

Iomega Peerless 10/20 GB drives (UPDATED)

Iomega has announced it is now shipping its new "Peerless" 10 and 20 GB hard drive system. The system consists of three components, the Interface Module (USB/Firewire), a docking station (they call it the 'Drive') and the disks themselves which come in 10 and 20 GB flavours. Initially aimed at the ability to take disks to and from different places (say home to work) but other Interface Modules are promised in the future (MP3, Car Audio, TV etc.).
UPDATED 29/May/2001: New Images

Konica announce KD-200Z and KD-300Z

Konica has today announced two new digital cameras, the Digital Revio KD-200Z and Digital Revio KD-300Z. The KD-200Z features a 2.1 megapixel CCD (1.92 mp effective) and a 3x optical zoom lens, the KD-300Z has a 3.34 megapixel CCD (3.14 mp effective) and 2x optical zoom lens. Both cameras have 1.5" LCD displays, optical viewfinders and use SD/MMC memory cards for storage.

May 28
Toshiba PDR-M81 (4 megapixel)

Toshiba has today revealed the first consumer digital camera based around the a 1/1.8" 4 megapixel CCD (likely to be made by Sharp). Labelled as 4.2 megapixels the camera outputs a 2400 x 1600 image (3:2 ratio) which works out at 3.84 megapixels. It has an (unusual) 2.8x optical zoom lens (made by Canon) supports Print Image Matching, weighs in at 240 g (no batts) with an expected retail price of 69,800 YEN (approx. US$600). UPDATE: Samples online.

May 25
Canon EOS-D30 offer!

Another excellent deal from State Street Direct and DPReview.Com! Purchase a Canon EOS-D30 this weekend from our affiliate State Street Direct and get a FREE Canon 28-105mm Autofocus zoom lens (45-168mm on the EOS-D30) or save $300 on the Canon 28-200mm Lens (45-320mm on the EOS-D30). For those on a smaller budget State Street Direct is offering special discounts and promotions on all Digital Camera models including the upcoming Nikon Coolpix 995.

Nikon post Coolpix 880 firmware 1.1

Nikon has today posted new firmware for the Coolpix 880 digital camera. It's good to see digital camera manufacturers who show ongoing support to their customers. Firmware 1.1 fixes problems with operation with the USB cable, corrects some spelling errors in the menus and eliminates a system error when batteries are changed. Available for US, European and Japanese Coolpix 880's.

May 23
Just posted! Minolta DiMAGE 5 / 7 preview

9 AM GMT 8 AM GMT: It's definetly Minolta day today, we've just posted our first-look / preview article on Minolta's DiMAGE 5 / DiMAGE 7. These two digital cameras have an SLR look and feel, come with a 7x optical zoom lens and feature a 5.24 megapixel (DiMAGE 7) and 3.3 megapixel (DiMAGE 5) CCD sensor. The DiMAGE 7 enters the market as the first consumer level 5 megapixel digital camera so no doubt there's going to be a fair amount of interest in this flexible, high resolution digital camera. Our preview includes a hands-on and sample images.

Minolta announce DiMAGE S304 / E201

We first heard of the DiMAGE S304 at PMA 2001, today Minolta have officially announced it and released full specifications. The S304 features a 3.34 megapixel CCD sensor, 4x optical zoom lens and a variety of manual features. Minolta have also announced a second 'entry level' digital camera, the DiMAGE E201 which features a 2.3 megapixel sensor and fixed focal length lens.

May 22
Yamada reports from Business Show 2001

Yamada Kumio has posted a report from the Business Show 2001 in Tokyo.. He reports that Epson are showcasing their Print Image Matching technology, Pentax's as yet unnamed ultra-compact digital camera, Kyocera's Finecam S3, the Contax N Digital, Nikon Coolpix 995, two new Casio's and a 1.1 GB Compact Flash Type II from Ritek of Taiwan (it's said a 1.6 and 2 GB version are in the wings).

May 21
Coolpix 995 supports Print Image Matching

Here's a little fact we didn't know previously, the Nikon Coolpix 995 will support the EPSON driven innovation of Print Image Matching. This detail has been recently added to the Japanese 'Nikon Image' website. Print Image Matching works by recording additional information about the camera and scene in the JPEG header which is used later by a PIM compatible printer (or application) to produce more accurate, reliable colour.

May 17
Rob Galbraith posts DCS 760 review

Rob Galbraith, respected professional photographer and webmaster has just published his review of Kodak's new DCS 760, the 6 megapixel Nikon F5 based digital SLR. And he was impressed, "The DCS 760 shows that Kodak is anything but done. If you can live with its overstuffed body and potential service hassles, the DCS 760 should reward you with crispy sharp images that print with really good colour, even when enlarged to poster size."

Can you see yourself in a PS2 game ?

Sony have announced a new middleware technology for their Platstation 2 console that allows users of Sony digital cameras to upload pictures for use in games. This will allow pictures of people to be mapped onto characters within games.

May 16
Steve's reviews catch-up

We've been so busy trawling through our reviews we missed the fact that Steve has posted two new user reviews over the last few days. They are the Olympus C-700UZ; "The bottom line: Excellent camera, excellent price, super-excellent zoom lens and the usual Olympus image quality that we have come to expect from their cameras." and Canon's PowerShot S110 (Digital IXUS v); "All in all I like the S110 and I am not really crazy about small cameras for the most part. This is a great camera to slip in your pocket (or purse) and take with you at all times."

Yamada posts Kodak mc3 samples

Yamada Kumio has posted a set of sample images from Kodak's "revolutionary" mc3 multimedia digital camera. There are images samples as well as three short movies. Plenty of blooming, moiré and chroma errors in over exposed parts of the image. Based on these samples it's fair to say that image quality is hardly what you'd call photographic, nor is it particularly good for even entry level digital cameras.

May 14
Just posted! Olympus C-700UZ review

We've just posted our full, in-depth review of Olympus's 2 megapixel, 10x optical zoom C-700UZ. This compact digital camera packs a huge array of features, photographic controls and that massive 10x zoom lens into a package only a little larger than the C-2040/3040Z. Amazingly enough you get all this for just US$700 (list / US$650 street). This camera has a lot of promise for the price but does it live up to its billing? UPDATED: 10:50 PM GMT

May 13
Imaging Resource reviews Powershot A20
David at The Imaging Resource has posted his review of the Canon PowerShot A20, here's what he says about it. "Overall, we were very pleased with the A20's performance and think it should do well in the competitive consumer market. Its compact size and substantial grip area make it an excellent compromise for consumers who like the features of the Canon's Digital ELPH series, but prefer a slightly larger camera size."
Steve's Digicams reviews Kodak DX3500
Steve over at Steves-Digicams has posted a full review of the Kodak DX3500. Here's what he concluded "This camera impressed me in a good way. It is inexpensive at $299 for a 2-megapixel camera, it takes very good pictures and it is extremely easy to use... There is no learning curve with this camera, just put the batteries in it, turn it on and start enjoying digital photography today!"
May 12
David at The Imaging Resource has posted his review of the Olympus 'Brio' D-100 , here's what he concluded. "The D-100's small size makes it easy to carry along on just about any outing... The D-100 handles most average shooting conditions well, making it a nice option for consumers who want to take good pictures without puzzling over details. A nice little camera with good photo quality at a budget price."
May 11
BLINC claims 17 stops of dynamic range

The BLINC digital camera, a prototype developed by the Sarnoff Corporation claims a massive 17 stops of dynamic range. This tiny digital camera uses a CMOS sensor which captures VGA images. "While Kodak and others were emphasizing image sharpness in their CMOS chips, Sarnoff's researchers were more concerned with its dynamic or exposure range". This particular digital camera isn't aimed at digital still acquisition or to produce images of that quality it is definetly noteworthy for the potential it may offer future digital still cameras.

Nikon D1X "Ver 1.00" samples online

The Japanese website 'Miscall' (who used to be associated with Dreamarts) posted a huge number of D1X samples about 3 weeks ago has just updated one of the galleries with new shots labelled 'D1X Ver 1.00'. We note that the previous samples were labelled 'D1X Ver 0.40'. At this stage it's not clear if Ver 1.00 refers to a final production camera but it'll certainly be further down the line.

May 10
Casio QV-2400UX / QV-2900UX

Casio Japan announces updated QV-2300UX and QV-2800UX. These two new 2 megapixel digital cameras offer a swivel lens, manual exposure features, support for the IBM Microdrive and a new "Best Shot" exposure mode. The QV-2400UX has a silver case and 3x optical zoom lens, the QV-2900UX has a black case and 8x optical zoom lens.

May 9
Canon Digital IXUS v / S110 Digital Elph

2 AM GMT: Canon has today announced the new Digital IXUS v (S110 Digital Elph). This camera is an update to the tiny Digital IXUS (S100 Digital Elph), the update includes movie clip support, direct printing, noise reduction and new image size options. ". A new adaptive digital signal processor and RGB CCD filter, delivers faithful and vibrant colour reproduction, while noise reduction is used for shutter speeds longer than 1/6th second, ensuring clear and detailed images".

Olympus add zoom to their pockets

Olympus has today announced two new entry level digital cameras. Firstly the C-1 Zoom (pronounced c-you zoom) has 3x optical zoom, 1.3 megapixels, to be known as the BRIO D-150 in the Americas. Secondly the C-200 Zoom which is a replacement for the D-490Z/C-990Z has 3x optical zoom, 2 megapixels, this will be known as the Camedia D-510 Zoom in the Americas. Both cameras should have a street price of around US$400. Phew! Makes you wonder why on earth they can't standardize the names worldwide once and for all...

MediaVault - armor for your storage

Here's an interesting new digital photography accessory from Microtech. This small metal case can carry your CompactFlash (Type I or II), SmartMedia, MemoryStick, MMC or PC Cards. Inside a rubber liner is moulded to protect your cards from the enivironment and accidental knocks. Best of all this cool little accessory is only US$15 after rebate! (Until 30/June/2001)

May 8
Just posted! Nikon Coolpix 995 review

We have just posted our full review of Nikon's new Coolpix 995. The 995 is the evolution to the extremely sucessful Coolpix 990, it has a new 4x optical zoom lens, pop-up flash unit, Compact Flash Type II support, ISO 800 and many other new features. This is probably my most exhaustive review to date, 25 pages, over 400 images and lots of hard labour! Get it while it's hot!

Minds@Work announce 3, 10 and 20 GB units

Minds@Work has today announced a "new generation" of Digital Wallet, now available in 3, 10 and 20 GB sizes (previous Digital Wallet was 6 GB). "As our Digital Wallet continues to play a significant role in the increasing demand for storage space, we are opening new markets by offering our customers the flexibility to choose a capacity that fits their specific storage needs". These new portable storage devices have an MSRP of US$349, US$449 and US$549 respectively.

May 7
Silicon Film's EFS-1 almost ships
Silicon Film Technologies is accepting orders for their EFS-1 Electronic Film System. The EFS-1 is designed to fit into the film compartment of select 35mm SLR cameras and allow the user to capture digital images with no modification to the camera. Deliveries are expected to start in 6 to 8 weeks.
Toshiba announce 512MB CompactFlash
Toshiba has today announced that it is to add the 512MB CompactFlash card to range. The new storage card will also be available to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers, who will have a larger selection of solutions to meet storage requirements. The cards are available now to OEM's only for $499.

Toshiba has today announced a new 512 MB CompactFlash card (OEM) based on four of its 1 Gb(it) NAND Flash chips. "Like Toshiba's 128MB SmartMedia, the 512MB CompactFlash was developed using Toshiba's 0.16 micron (µm) CMOS process technology, which has been in production since the fourth quarter of 2000". This card is said to have a sustainable write speed of 3.2 MB(ytes)/sec and a read speed of 5.4 MB(ytes)/sec.

May 5
Imaging Resource reviews Sony FD87
David at The Imaging Resource has just posted his review of the Sony FD87, here's what he says about it. "It's the perfect digicam for consumers who want to take great pictures without worrying about complicated exposure decisions, and who want to take advantage of low-cost floppy disk storage and the resulting ultra-simple process of copying the images to their computer."
Steve's Digicams reviews PowerShot A10
Steve over at Steves-Digicams has posted a full review of the Canon PowerShot A10. Here's what he concluded "Canon's new PowerShot A10 is an excellent choice for those desiring an easy to use and compact size one-megapixel camera.... The bottom line is that this is an excellent camera for those that just want to take good pictures without fussing with any controls. Turn it on, frame the shot, press the button -- you're done"
QImage Pro 2001 v1.5

Mike Chaney, author of QImage Pro has just let us know he's posted an update. Version 1.5 deals with the problems brought about by the interaction of blue and red pixels with fine detail, "... image detail that is close to true red or true blue is only captured at about 1/4 of the total image resolution. A modification to the already super-accurate Qimage Pro interpolation compensates for this tradeoff in CCD design, removing those jaggies from red/blue image detail without reducing sharpness or detail in other areas."

May 3
Adobe post Pentium 4 updates

Adobe has now posted the Pentium 4 optimized plug-in updates we reported back in April. The download includes updates for the mmxcore plug-in which contains the new CPU optimizations as well as new versions of lightingeffects and shear plug-ins. This update replaces plug-ins from the Photoshop 6.0.1 update.

Lexar and Olympus in OEM agreement

Lexar Media and Olympus has announced today that both companies have entered into an OEM and technology licensing agreement. They are going to work together to develop the next generation digital film, that will be branded Lexar but will ship with all Olympus cameras shipped in Japan.

May 2
Ofodak, Kodafoto, Fodako ?

Kodak has today announced it is acquiring Ofoto. Kodak, obviously realising that a large chunk of their future is reliant on consumer digital imaging has today signed a "definitive agreement" to buy the online photofinishing giant Ofoto. "The acquisition enhances our leadership in the growing market for online photo services. By combining Kodak's and Ofoto's technology, marketing and distribution assets, we will be able to deliver the most comprehensive, easy-to-use online photography services to customers and consumers,'' said Shih. "This will accelerate Kodak's growth and drive more rapid adoption of online photography.'' UPDATE: Shutterfly Comment.

If it sounds too good to be true

...It probably is. We just had this tale of caution from regular dpreview reader Terence Song about his problems with trying to purchase a Canon EOS D30 from an auction on EBay. "Don't be fooled by the prices and friendliness of this person. No matter how good the deal seems and how sincere the seller seems, don't be trapped!!!!" Please be careful out there !!!

IBM Microdrive Is Out of This World

IBM has sent us a press release about the use of their 1GB microdrive on two shuttle missions to the International Space Station. The pictures were taken using the Kodak Professional DCS 660 and are available on the NASA gallery site for the missions STS98 and STS102, do a search for "digital".

Megapixel.Net May edition

The monthly bilingual webzine Megapixel.Net have released their May edition (in French and English), this month they've reviewed the Casio QV-3EX, Casio QV-2800UX, Olympus C-2040Z and the Fujifilm Finepix 6800Z. They also have a look at the Olympus P400 Printer.

May 1
Windows XP photo/printing - have your say

Rick Turner, a developer for Microsoft and long time reader (and apparently until recently lurker) has posted a question on our PC Tools forum in response to the article I wrote about Windows XP's photo and printing features. He's looking for feedback from YOU about what you think of these enhancements and what you'd like to see from these new technologies.

Nikon Coolpix 990 for $649!

State Street Direct, our official affiliate have a batch of "factory remanufacturered" Coolpix 990's from Nikon, these cameras are recertified to "same-as-new" specifications and include a 90 day warranty. At the amazing price of $649.00 you're making a saving of $250 off the manufacturers list price for a new camera. You must click on the link inside this news article to get this special price.

Olympus confirm 4/3" CCD concept camera

Olympus US has today confirmed that Olympus Optical Co. Ltd. (Japan) are indeed working on a "concept camera", that is be based around a 4/3" CCD, though they haven't confirmed the supplier (though it's plainly the Kodak KAF-C5100E). "Olympus plans to position the 4/3" CCD as a new industry standard, and expects this new image sensor to encourage competition and to expand the market for digital SLR cameras."

Olympus to intro 5.1 mp SLR next year?

Some time back we reported that Olympus and Kodak would be working on joint ventures in the future and that Olympus would be using Kodak sensors. Today Kodak gave a seminar and revealed some details, it appears that Olympus will announce a new digital SLR at PMA next year (Feb 2002) which will be fitted out with a Kodak 4/3" 5.1 mp CCD (KAF-C5100E). More interestingly it appears that this camera (or cameras) will have a lens mount and a selection of up to 5 lenses (though the standard "kit" will include a body and lens). Kodak also make mention that this camera may also support Bluetooth (or via a kit) wireless transfer techology. Thanks to my good friend Yamada Kumio for handing me this piece of news.