April 2002 news and reviews
Just posted! Our exclusive review of Nixvue's Vista 5 - 30 GB portable storage and playback device. The Vista is the latest in line of portable storage devices from Nixvue. Last year we saw them enter the market (and win a DIMA award) with the Digital Album product, unique in that it provide TV playback of images. This year the Vista takes that concept one stage further and provides playback on the device itself, the Vista has a full colour 1.8" LCD Monitor which can be used to operate, browse, magnify and organize images transferred to the device via its built-in CF slot. More details in our review.
Yesterday Epson announced the Stylus Photo 2200 A3+ printer (known as the 2100 in Europe and PM-4000PX in Japan). This printer is a replacement for the 2000P, it now uses seven-colour pigment based UltraChrome inks which should deliver higher gamut and longer life prints. The Stylus Photo 2200 can print up to 44 x 13", resolution up to 2880 x 1440 dpi, has USB 2.0, Parallel and Firewire (IEEE 1394) ports. Of course the 2200 also supports Epson's proprietary Print Image Matching technology.
Canon USA has today commented on the 'G2 crack' problem which has affected some PowerShot G2 digital cameras. "Thank you for your patronage of Canon Digital Cameras. Canon has regrettably confirmed Internet reports of a "crack in the rear cover" in some samples of the Canon PowerShot G2 and G2 Black model cameras."
We have just received an updated specifications document for the D100 D-SLR from Nikon Europe. This new document adds and updates several important specifications. HOWEVER, this document does note that these specifications are as "expected to be..." Some of the more notable additions are continuous shooting (3 fps, max 6 JPEG's), the camera will output EXIF 2.2 (EXifPrint) compatible image files. UPDATE: Confirimed, Nikon Capture 3 will not be included with the camera (optional extra).
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Canon's DIGITAL IXUS 330 (known as the PowerShot S330 DIGITAL ELPH in the USA/Canada). Canon's metal bodied IXUS 330 is an evolution of last years IXUS 300. This year we get an updated design with better control ergonomics, highlighted AF points (as well as center AF), AF/AE/FE-lock, spot metering, selectable ISO, manual white balance, new photo effects, manual long shutter, 2 sec self-timer, EXIF 2.2 support as well as an orientation sensor. All these updates and additions make the IXUS 330 a very attractive proposition (especially with a street price of $400), so just how does it stack up in our tests?
Canon BeBit (Japan) has today posted EOS-1D firmare version 1.2.0. This new version of firmware is said to "This is the guide for reducing the noise that is confirmed with dark subject or background with ISO800, 1600, or 3200 high ISO speed shooting. Significant noise reduction is possible by updating the firmware and employing the shooting method recommended in this guide." If it works this is EXTREMELY good news for Canon's EOS-1D, I really loved this camera when I reviewed it but I simply couldn't get past the high ISO banding issue. Assuming this fix works Canon's EOS-1D will simply be the best digital SLR out there. (Note: I have no way of confirming this as I don't currently have an EOS-1D).
Well, thanks once more to all our visitors. Just a few hours ago we broke through the 7 million unique visitors barrier. And that's since January 1999! (a year and five months)... As part of the ongoing development of the site we've scrapped the old logo (which was looking a little amateur) with the all new "dp" logo... Hope you like it, we do.
Canon BeBit has today posted a firmware update for EOS-D30's with a serial number in the range xxx200001 to xxx899999. Firmware 126.96.36.199 is said to "Increases the reliability of USB communication when the EOS D30 and a personal computer (PC) are connected. The most noticeable improvement occurs during Interval Timer Shooting and Timer Shooting using Remote Capture." Additional Windows XP / Me users are "also encouraged to download the new D30 USB WIA Driver 4.2."
Well, we finally hit seven figures (unique visitors), what can I say, a big thank you to all those people who've helped out over the last six months. To the manufacturers who make the reviews possible, to the advertisers who help to support the infrastructure, to the other digicam websites who have shown their support by linking to my news and reviews and most of all to my visitors who make the whole thing a success.
And now for something completely different. There's a lot that goes on here at DPReview without informing any of our visitors. Web Piracy (the taking and republishing of material from this site) is one of those things. Over the last two-three months we've had to deal with at least four foreign websites who had copied content (text and graphics) from this site and republished it. This is the story of some success, and how you can help us.
From Peter iNova! Thanks to Peter for contributing no less than four new Image Technique articles to our "Learn Digital Photography" section, his new articles cover color correction (specifically white balance), special effects, long exposure noise reduction and producing animations using a still camera.
Canon BeBit has posted links to regional download pages for the latest ZoomBrowser EX release. Version 3.2.1 adds Windows XP support, EXIF 2.2 (ExifPrint) support, Increased processing speed, Improved user interface, Auto run and Improved image database reliability. As far as we are aware ZoomBrowser EX 3.2 is the only application which can currently support EXIF 2.2 input images through to the print process (although only supported Canon printers). This means that (in theory) if you have any of the new EXIF 2.2 cameras (S200, S330, A30, A40 etc.) and a supported Canon printer (phew!) they you should get better colour matching printing directly through ZoomBrowser.
Nikon has today released a major new version of its Nikon View software, and it's available for free download from the Nikon Tech USA website. Nikon View 5.0.1 has a whole new interface, improvements, fixes and features. Nikon View 5.0.1 consists of three main areas: Image Transfer, Nikon Browser (thumbnail browser) and Nikon View (image viewer). Nikon View 5.0.1 is available for both Windows and Mac Operating Systems (inc. OS X). UPDATE 19/Apr: Nikon View 5.0.1 for Mac is pulled. DO NOT INSTALL on OS X if you have already downloaded.
PictureFlow, authors of the YarcPlus (Windows only) Canon RAW conversion utility has today launched version 1.5 which adds EOS-D60 support and increases the performance of EOS-D30 RAW conversion by 20%. YarcPlus also provides a fast platform for browsing and selecting images for conversion. Other facilities include a proprietary Artifact Reduction Filter, batch conversion, JPEG extraction and even command line parameters for use in an automated setup. YarcPlus uses the Canon SDK to perform its RAW conversion. YarcPlus is priced at $35, evaluation downloads are available. (EOS-1D support coming later this week)
Canon BeBit has today posted firmware updates for the following cameras: PowerShot A10, PowerShot A20, PowerShot S30, PowerShot S40, PowerShot G2, DIGITAL IXUS v (S110), DIGITAL IXUS 300 (S300). Across all cameras the new firmware adds direct print support for Canon's new CP-100 photo printer, for the PowerShot G2, S30, S40 it also provides EXIF 2.2 (ExifPrint) JPEG support for these cameras. A summary of each firmware update can be found inside (there are various other small fixes included).
Just posted! Our review of Sony's pocket sized four megapixel DSC-P9. The P9 is a progression from the previous P1 and P5 models, it has a four megapixel sensor and three times optical zoom lens. The P9 faces stiff competition from the Minolta DiMAGE F100, Canon PowerShot S40, Pentax Optio 430 and Olympus D-40Z (C-40Z). All the cameras in this particular market segment ae around the $650-$700 mark, apart from the DSC-P9 which has an expected street price of $600. So just how did it fare in our tests?
The DiMAGE F100 was announced last month at CeBIT, this four megapixel, three times optical zoom ultra-compact is aimed squarely at the Canon PowerShot S40, Sony DSC-P9 and Pentax Optio 430. It takes its place in this new class of high-end, high resolution ultra-compacts. The F100 has a good set of credentials, a wide set of manual controls and other features. We have had a pre-production F100 for a week or so now and while we won't be reviewing the F100 until we can get a full production model I have prepared a fairly lengthy First Look along with a gallery of sample images.
Kodak (apparently three days ago) posted a flash "teaser" to a new digital camera they're about to announce. The LS-420 is an ultra-compact two megapixel digital camera with a two times optical zoom, 8 MB of internal RAM, SD/MMC storage and USB port (it looks as though it has a metal case - but this is unconfirmed). With echos back to the mc3 the LS-420 can record unlimited length movies (limited only by storage space). We'll bring you more information as we gather it.
Today we can confirm that the "expected street price" for the Nikon D100 is: USA - US$1,999, Canada - CAD$3,350, Europe - around 3000 (EUR), UK - below £2000 (UKP). This makes the price of the D100 just as competitive as we had expected it to be (compared to the EOS-D60). Indeed the D100 kit at US$1,999 includes everything you need to start shooting (except a lens). RAW conversion software is not thought to be included. UPDATED: 9/Apr/2002 08:00 GMT (from Nikon US official)
Rob Galbraith is running an article about two images from Canon's latest Digital SLR's used for double-page spreads in Sports Illustrated. The EOS-1D image taken by David Bergman was shot at ISO 200 in RAW mode, the EOS-D60 image taken by Mike Sturk at ISO 1000, Large Fine JPEG. Rob's article covers not just the images but also has some interesting insight into the workflow involved in getting the image from the field and onto the page.
Just a short note to say we will have a planned site downtime tomorrow (Thursday 11th April) between 06:30 and 07:30 EDT (11:30 and 12:30 BST). This is to install more RAM into our servers as well as carrying out other miscellaneous maintenance work. We don't expect the site to be down for more than an hour.
Site contributor Vincent Bockaert has put the finishing touches to his extensive "second opinion" review of the Nikon Coolpix 5000. His review is from a different perspective than mine, as a long time Nikon Coolpix owner Vincent takes a look at the 5000 in comparison to the 950, 990 and 995 Coolpix digital cameras. Vincent's article covers the add-on lenses, camera overview, batteries, image quality and the advantage to be gained over a two or three megapixel digital camera.
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of Minolta's four megapixel, four times optical zoom DiMAGE S404. At $500 the S404 is one of the cheapest four megapixels (apart from Kodak's DX4900 - only two times zoom). The S404 is an evolution on last years three megapixel S304, it features the same four times optical zoom lens and extensive set of manual controls, additionally you now have four megapixels of resolution, improved buffering, a shifted ISO sensitivity range and histogram playback. So how did the S404 stand up to our tests? Also: updated DiMAGE X production review now posted.
The Japanese site 'Miscall' (who used to be associated with Dreamarts) has once more claimed another Internet first by being the first site to publish samples from Fujifilm's new S602 Zoom (a beta camera). The S602 Zoom, announced just before PMA 2002 is an evolution on the 6900Z. The S602 is also one of three new cameras based on Fujifilm's updated SuperCCD III technology.
Canon (USA and Europe) have posted updated Windows drivers and software for the EOS-D30, EOS-D60 and EOS-1D. There are new TWAIN (Windows 98, Me, 2000) and WIA (Windows XP) drivers for the D30 & D60 (Ver 4.2) as well as the new RAW Image Converter 2.0 (as described in our recent EOS-D60 review). EOS-D30, G1 and G2 users will be pleased to hear that this latest release of RAW Image Converter fully supports their camera.
PhotoPoint, the photo sharing / finishing service which went out of business back in December last year has today activated the members CD ordering service. This new service will enable old PhotoPoint members to order CD-ROM's containing their images. This service requires your email address and account password and will cost $24.95 per CD (+$9.95 shipping). This service will be available only until April 30th 2002.
Just catching up with a weeks worth of reviews at the other digital camera sites. Imaging-Resource has reviewed Canon's PowerShot A30 and A40 as well as updating their Minolta DiMAGE X and Nikon Coolpix 2500 reviews. Steve Sander's went on a Canon review spree earlier in the week and reviewed the A30, A40, S330 and S900 printer. Jeff over at DCResource has also reviewed the PowerShot A40.
Catching up with reviews started before PMA I've just put the finishing touches to my review of Pentax's four megapixel Optio 430. The camera (and thus my review) is based heavily on the Optio 330. Indeed, the entire body design, control system and menus are identical to the 330. What we needed to test in this review was the resolution advantage of going from the 3 megapixel to the 4 megapixel model.
If you live in one of the following locations: Boston, San Francisco, Montreal, London, Paris, Munich or Stuttgart, Singapore, Sydney, Seoul, Shanghai or Hong Kong then you could become a part of helping to shape the future of Kodak digital cameras. Kodak are conducting a global design and usability study in the above locations. All they need from you is a quick email with answers to a few simple questions, if chosen you'll be called by Kodak to discuss digital camera design and usability. Do you part, help to shape the future of digital cameras.
Steve Sanders over at Steves-Digicams has just posted a first look of a pre-production Minolta DiMAGE F100 digital camera. The F100 is an ultra-compact, metal bodied, four megapixel, three times optical zoom digital camera which stores images on SD/MMC cards. This is prime competition for Canon's PowerShot S40. At this stage Steve has no conclusion about the F100 but has been allowed to post sample images from the camera.
Two weeks ago (12th March) Contax Japan put a message up on their corporate server to say they were sorry but that the launch date for the N Digital which had supposed to have been that day was pushed back until the 25th. Digital Camera guru Yamada Kumio reporting from the Photo Expo 2002 (Japan) has apparently been told that this launch date must be again postponed due to "final adjustment". I'm sure there are many people who were excited by this camera six megapixel full-frame digital SLR when it was announced almost two years ago.
CeBIT 2002: Olympus has announced the new CAMEDIA C-120 and C-220 Zoom budget priced digital cameras. Note that these are the European designations, we are awaiting confirmation of the US names. The C-120 is a 2 megapixel fixed lens digital camera, priced at just £169.99 (inc VAT). The C-220 Zoom is a 2 megapixel, 3x optical zoom digital camera priced at just £199.99. UPDATE: We think the US designations are: C-120 = D-380, C-220 Zoom = D-520 Zoom (this is unconfirmed).