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November 2001 news and reviews

November 28
iView MediaPro supports Canon RAW

And the news trickles in... Thanks to Michele Rossi for noting that iView MediaPro 1.3 for Macintosh now supports Canon RAW (CRW) files from the EOS-D30. iView MediaPro takes advantage of the 1440 x 960 pixel JPEG written into the CRW file to produce large thumbnails and the ability to preview the image up to 1440 x 960. It's also possible to view shooting and IPTC text information.

Konica DG-2 rugged digital camera

Konica (Japan) has today announced the DG-2 digital camera, aim squarely at the construction industry this rugged digital camera with its rubber case and oversized controls can be used almost anywhere. The DG-2 has a 2 megapixel CCD and a fixed focal length (38 mm) F2.8 lens. Additionally there's also a wide angle conversion lens. The DG-2 weighs in at 79,800 YEN (approx. $650) and should be available (in Japan) in March 2002.

November 27

Just a short note to the fifty or so people who've emailed me (and the dozen or so who have posted the same question on the forums) asking why I haven't done any updates in the last few days. Well, it's fairly simple. There has been no news. When there's nothing going on there's nothing to tell, and rather than post irrelevant 'filler' articles I'd rather keep our news accurate and to the point. There are often lulls in news like this at different times of the year.

November 20
Just posted! Casio QV-4000 review

Just posted! I've just put up our second review of the day. Another four megapixel digital camera, the Casio QV-4000 enters the market as direct competition to Canon's PowerShot G2 and Olympus's C-4040Z. The big difference? $200. The Casio brings us a fully featured four megapixel digital camera with a 3x Canon optical zoom lens, CF Type II support, full manual control and a vast number of features for just $700. But what about image quality?

Just posted! Olympus C-40Z / D-40Z review

Just posted! I've just posted our review of Olympus's ultra-compact four megapixel digital camera the C-40Z (Europe / Asia name) or D-40Z (US / Canada name). The C-40Z has a 2.8x optical zoom lens, 4 megapixel sensor, SmartMedia storage and takes two AA batteries for power. It's compact and designed to be 'taken anywhere', the sliding lens cover ensures that the camera and lens system is protected while powered off. See how the C-40Z compared in our tests.

November 19
Minolta DiMAGE PC flash adapter

Minolta has today announced a new accessory for the DiMAGE 5 / 7 digital cameras. The Minolta PC Flash Adapter PCT-100 enables the 5 or 7 to be attached directly professional studio and location flash systems. The small unit slots onto the DiMAGE 5 / 7 flash hotshoe, weighs in at just 30 g (1.1 oz) and the small internal CR2032 battery should last for 10,000+ releases.

November 16
Canon EOS-1D production samples

The Japanese website 'Miscall' (who used to be associated with Dreamarts) has today posted sample images from a production EOS-1D. The gallery (labelled 'Vol 12') covers a variety of subject matter and lenses as well as a good shot of an ISO resolution chart (the results of which are impressive). As far as we know these are the first samples from a production EOS-1D. EXIF headers show this camera has a body number of '000002089'. We are hoping to receive a production EOS-1D within the next few days.

Kyocera Inc. Confirm Contax N Digital

Kyocera Optics, Inc. (US) has today confirmed the Contax N Digital announcement we saw from Kyocera Japan yesterday. The US press release contains more information and more detailed specifications which now reveal that this six megapixel digital camera is capable of 3 frames per second for 5 images at JPEG 1/4, 8 images at JPEG 1/8, 13 images at JPEG 1/16 and 3 images in RAW or TIFF mode. The N Digital becomes the first digital SLR with a full frame six megapixel sensor. There's one thing the press release doesn't discuss - price, the Japanese press release said 800,000 YEN, my sources tell me that this camera is likely to cost more than that in Europe and the US.

Virtual Canon PowerShot S40 tour

Canon Germany has launched the first of (we hope) a range of virtual tours available on the PowerShot.de website. The new virtual tour is a Macromedia Flash development and can provide you with a tour of the camera, a 360 degree view, menu displays and technical specifications. Also included is a tour and information of the CP-10 direct-print card printer.

Contax N Digital

The Japanese digital camera website 'digitalcamera.gr.jp' run by Yamada Kumio has today broken the news of Contax's long awaited N Digital. This digital SLR is based on the N1 film SLR and is fitted with a full frame (36 x 24 mm) 6 megapixel (3040 x 2016) Philips CCD. The latest specifications now also include ISO sensitivity of 50 to 1600, 3 frames per second continuous shooting speed, N series lens mount, 2" 200,000 pixel LCD, Compact Flash Type I/II, JPEG / TIFF / RAW image format. Price (in Japan) is expected to be 800,000 YEN (US$ 6,550) and the camera is said to be available February 1st 2002. UPDATED: Official Contax Specifications.

This is just a note to ensure all our regular forums users are aware that I have 'quietly' (as quietly as possible) replaced major bottlenecks within our forums system with a new higher performance version. The new version required a complete re-write of read.asp (the main read page) as well as its supporting database interaction. The new version supports more browser, proxy and server based caching as well as dynamic thread lists via a separate javascript datafile. The new system works best with 4.0+ browsers (Netscape & IE).

Sanyo to produce digital cameras in China

In a Reuters news article this morning Sanyo has revealed that it will be starting production of digital cameras in China as early as next spring. Sanyo currently makes digital cameras in Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. Sanyo supplies its products to digital camera makers on an OEM basis and did not identify which firms products would be manufacturered in China.

November 15
Other Sites reviews

In our regular catch-up with the other digital camera websites we note that new reviews are available of: Ricoh Caplio RR1, Fujifilm Finepix 2600, Kodak DX3500 / DX3600 / DX3700, Kodak DCS 760, Toshiba PDR-M71, Canon PowerShot S30 & S40, Canon EOS-1D, Olympus C-40Z / D-40Z, Olympus E-20, Pentax Optio 330 & 430, Nikon D1H, Fujifilm Finepix A101 & A201, Fujifilm Finepix 2600.

November 14
Qimage Pro 2001 v4.0

Mike Chaney, author of the image manipulation / RAW converison / print management application Qimage Pro has today announced his latest 'build'. Version four brings new printing options including 'Floating Text' - an ability to place text over prints or in blank areas and with shadows. Other features include a new gamma filter, support for Photoshop PSD format and the comparator lock. As always this latest build also fixes minor bugs found in earlier versions of Qimage Pro.

Lexar extend 16x cards to 640 MB

Lexar has today extended its new 16x professional Compact Flash card range to 640 MB. As of December 1st the full line up will be available in capacities of 192, 256, 320, 512 and 640MB. The new 640 MB card will have a suggested retail price of $900 ($1.41/MB). "Lexar Media’s 640MB capacity cards enable photographers to store more images to a single card. Offered as the latest Professional Series product, the 16X speed 640MB cards are capable of a minimum sustained write speed of 2.4MB per second, reducing the time it takes for digital cameras to read and write high-resolution image files."

Kodak 'Restructures' Business Units

Kodak has today announced it is restructuring its business in an attempt to boost profits. Kodak will be creating three new groups: Photography (traditional and digital), Commercial Imaging (scanning, processing etc.) and Components (display and image sensor products). Kodak have not said if the new restructuring will involve further job cuts. "This is not about (job cuts),'' a Kodak spokesman said of the restructuring. "This is stepping aside from anything to do with job cuts. This is strictly about how Kodak does business. It is about making this organization simpler by eliminating layers of shared responsibility that now exist.''

November 12
Polaroid (!) announce PDC 1320

Polaroid, yes the company that we all thought had already left the market, has today announce a new digital camera. But not only that, Polaroid make the bold statement that the PDC 1320 "Delivers 35mm Image Quality at an Affordable Price". I'm thinking that just a few digital imaging experts may argue that a 1.3 megapixel digital camera would struggle to do that. Indeed I can't remember a single digital camera manufacturer who has made that statement, let alone with a 1.3 megapixel $199 unit.

Nikon introduce LiveManuals

Nikon USA has today announce the availablility of online 'LiveManuals' tutorials for the Coolpix 775 and 995 digital cameras, with more such manuals to come. Each LiveManual is available from the cameras webpage on the Nikon USA website. "LiveManuals make learning to use a digital camera a hands-on experience -- it's like having an expert right there in your living room, walking you through everything you need to know about your camera. This is a great tool for consumers to learn about their new camera and for those who want to see a demonstration of a camera's features before they go out to make the purchase."

Epson announce new PIM partners

Comdex 2001: Epson has today announced new partners for its PRINT Image Matching system. This time around it's largely software developers and one digital camera manufacturer - JVC. "Epson is excited to be working with these companies to support new P.I.M.-enabled products, further strengthening our commitment to the customer to provide a simple and flexible way to get the best prints possible,'' said Lisa Graham, product manager, photo imaging, Epson.

Ricoh announce 4mp Caplio RR1

Comdex 2001: Ricoh USA has today announced the 4 megapixel Caplio RR1. The Caplio (which is very similar in design to the RDC-5/7xx series) carries a unique 'flat' design with a fold-up LCD screen, 3x optical zoom lens and is supplied with a total of 72 MB of storage (8 MB internal, 64 MB flash). Reviews are available at Imaging-Resource and Steves Digicams.

November 9
Fujifilm ultra-compact iX-1

Fujifilm Germany has announced an all new ultra-compact VGA digital camera with a CMOS sensor. The iX-1 measures just 30 x 51 x 124 mm (1.2 x 2.0 x 4.9 in) and weighs just 96 g (3.4 oz) without its two AAA batteries. It has a fixed focal length, fixed focus F3.0 lens (36 mm equiv), 8 MB of internal flash storage and USB connectivity. It can also capture video clips and be used as a webcam. Price is expected to € 89 (approx. $80).

Toshiba announces $279 PDR-M25

Toshiba has today announced the 2 megapixel PDR-M25. This camera, a successor to the PDR-M61 should hit the shelves in the next week or so with a MSRP of $279. The PDR-M25 features a 2.2 megapixel CCD (creates a 1729 x 1200 image), 3x optical zoom lens (35 - 114 mm). The camera has a 1.5" LCD monitor and takes SmartMedia storage cards (an 8 MB card is supplied).

November 8
FlashPoint announces Patent Licensing Program

FlashPoint, creators of the (recently unused) Digita digital camera operating system has today announced a new program designed to secure licenses with digital imaging providers to use their technology. "FlashPoint has made significant investments in establishing one of the industry's most extensive intellectual property portfolios,'' said FlashPoint President Stephen Saylor. "This license program represents an important opportunity for FlashPoint to capitalize on these investments while ensuring broad market availability of our patented innovations.''

Jenoptik 11 megapixel MF back

Jenoptik has announced that its 'eyelike' medium format back is ready for a new 11 megapixel chip from Philips. This new chip, expected Summer 2002 will have a resolution of 4008 x 2672 pixels. Currently the 'eyelike' medium format back uses the Philips 6 megapixel chip (3072 x 2048). It is driven by a PC through a fiber optic link or Firewire (optional kit). The 'eyelike' has adapters available for Hasselblad, Contax 645, Mamiya 645 AF, Mamiya RZ, Fuji GX 680, Bronica ETR, Rolleiflex 600x and more.

November 7
Samples from Panasonic DMC-LC5

Panasonic Japan (Matsushita) has posted six full size sample images from the upcoming Lumix DMC-LC5 digital camera. The LMC-LC5 is a joint venture between Matsushita and Leica, it features a four megapixel sensor and 3x Leica optical zoom lens. First impressions are favourable, colour balance appears to be good. These images have EXIF headers which indicate a firmware version of 1.00.

November 5
SanDisk claim patent infringement

SanDisk has, over the last two weeks filed two patent infringement claims against Micron, Memorex, Pretec, Ritek and PQI. Both (or all) of these claims are related to patents filed as "Flash EEPROM System". These appear to be similar to previous sucessful claims made against both Lexar and Viking. Steven S. Baik, senior intellectual property counsel said (in regards to the latest claim), "This action is a clear signal to these and other Taiwanese companies that SanDisk will vigorously assert its intellectual property rights against such companies."


Please accept my apologies for current site performance, we had a fairly sizable mention in todays Wall Street Journal and are currently handling 80% more visitors than normal. I'm doing what I can to keep response times down to a minimum. Thanks.

SanDisk announce 1 GB CF Type I

SanDisk has today announced a new 1 GB Compact Flash card, what differentiates it is the fact that it uses flash memory for storage (rather than a moving disc - Microdrive) and that it will be of the Type I form factor. "The 1GB SanDisk CompactFlash card is expected to be available at retail in Q1 2002. The card is expected to sell for under $800. In October, the company introduced SanDisk Ultra(tm) CompactFlash cards, a new line of high-speed storage cards for the digital photography market."

November 2
Possibly the smallest digicam in the world?

Just caught a story on the Japanese site Impress PC Watch about a new camera from the 'low end' manufacturer 'Che-ez!' called 'SPYZ'. This camera is really, really tiny, it has a fixed lens, CMOS sensor and shoots at 640 x 480. Image quality isn't anything to write home about, but for such a small gadget it's bound to gather some interest from some users.

November 1
Sony DSC-F707 BFS problem - the fix

Over the last few weeks it's been clear that there is a problem with some of the initial shipment of DSC-F707's. This problem is related to the performance of white balance when used in with the flash. Named "Blue Flash Syndrome" (BFS) by the members of our Sony Talk forum, who started recording serial numbers of cameras which exhibited the problem. From this it became clear that this issue does not affect all cameras. We now have the official word from a Sony US spokesperson on what to do if your F707 is suffering from this problem.

Nikon announces NikonPro

PhotoPlus Expo: Nikon has today announced NikonPro, a website for Nikon Professionals and for those looking for Professional photographers. "NikonPro matches professional photographers to potential buyers and then manages the financial transactions, expanding business by allowing photographers to shoot and sell at the same time. Attendees can see a demonstration of NikonPro at Nikon Booth #1415 at PhotoPlus Expo at the Jacob Javits Center, November 1-3, in New York City."