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May 2006 news and reviews

May 31
HP R967 and lots more imaging products
HP has today made an announcement that they are to reveal a new range of imaging products including four digital cameras and six printers . The announcement includes some detail about a new camera, the R967 which features a ten megapixel CCD sensor and a three inch LCD monitor. It joins the new R827 which both feature high sensitivity modes which can be enabled to avoid camera shake.
May 30
Fujifilm FinePix Z3 Zoom
Fujifilm has today announced the FinePix Z3 Zoom camera sporting 5.1 million pixels, ISO up to 1600 and a 36-108mm lens. A marginal update to the Z2, the Z3 adds Intelligent-Flash mode and a higher resolution 2.5-inch screen. The Z3 will be available in silver, metallic blue and light pink. Must be why it's marketed at us ladies...after all, we can't use anything but a pink camera now, can we?
May 29
Windows Media Photo out to beat JPEG?
Microsoft has announced a new still image format called Windows Media Photo (with a WDP file extension). According to their white paper this new format offers compression ratios close to JPEG-2000 but with the computational requirements of JPEG (smaller files with the same image quality). The use of new algorithms are also claimed to reduce the visibility of 'objectionable spatial artifacts' (those mosquito JPEG artifacts). Windows Media Photo supports a wide range of image formats including both fixed and floating point numerical representations (think wide dynamic range), various color spaces, metadata (including EXIF) and even transparency. This new format will be supported in Windows Vista when it arrives and will be made available for Windows XP, there has been no word yet of support for the format in any hardware devices.
May 25
Canon may halt development of film cameras
What a difference a word can make, in this case it's the word "considers". An earlier Reuters UK news article stated "Canon to halt film camera development", shortly afterwards Reuters were forced to correct this and replace the word 'to' with 'considers', hence "Canon considers halt to film camera development". With this subtle change (and some edits in the article itself) the news is, well, nothing definite. A Canon spokesman has essentially stated that they are currently trying to decide if there is a need to keep developing compact and SLR film cameras because of the shrinking market.
May 22
Pentax K100D and K110D
Today sees the announcement of two new 6.1 million pixel DSLRs from Pentax, the K100D and the K110D. Both cameras offer high precision 11-point wide frame AF, ISO sensitivity up to 3200, a large 2.5-inch screen and a top shutter speed of 1/4000 sec as well as being compatible with existing Pentax lenses. The K100D is also Pentax's first DSLR to feature a CCD-shift Shake Reduction system.
Ricoh Caplio R40
Ricoh has announced a 6 megapixel compact digicam with a 28-160mm lens packed into a slim 26mm thick black finish body. The Caplio R40 is a more affordable version of the Caplio R4 camera (announced in February) and sports a 5.7x zoom, 2.5-inch LCD and a skew correction function.
May 20
Breeze Systems DSLR Remote Pro v1.2
Breeze Systems has announced DSLR Remote Pro v1.2, which adds support for the Canon EOS 30D. This software enables control of Canon DSLR camera settings and the ability to view large high res images in seconds on a Windows PC or laptop using USB or Firewire cables.
May 19
Just posted! Canon PowerShot S3 IS review

Just posted! Our concise review of the latest incarnation of Canon's popular big zoom PowerShot, the S3 IS. Like the S2 IS before it (and for that matter the original S1 IS), the S3 IS has been one of the most popular cameras on dpreview (measured by clicks) since the day it was announced, and one of the most requested reviews. Unlike the S2, the PowerShot S3 IS is a relatively minor upgrade to it's predecessor, upping the resolution to 6MP and adding a couple of features. So is it enough to keep up in 2006?. Find out what we thought after the link...

May 16
Adobe CS2 and Camera Raw updates
Adobe has announced updates to its Camera Raw plug-in and Photoshop CS2. Camera Raw 3.4 adds support for the Canon EOS 30D, Olympus EVOLT 330 and Pentax *ist DL2 amongst others. The Photoshop 9.0.1 update fixes a number of problems present in version 9.0.
Luminous Landscape with big megapixels
The Luminous Landscape has published an article titled 'Measuring Megabytes' which compares a range of high end digital SLRs, medium format backs and 4x5 medium format film drum scanned. The medium format backs range from 22 to 39 megapixels, digital SLRs are represented by the 16.6 megapixel Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II, 12.7 megapixel Canon EOS 5D and the 11 megapixel Canon EOS 1Ds. If you want the ultimate resolution and money is no object there will be plenty of interest here.
May 8
Just posted! Pentax Optio A10 review
Just posted! Our concise review of the Pentax Optio A10, the new 'flagship' in Pentax's long-running Optio range. The 8MP, 3x zoom A10 may look unremarkable, but it does have a couple of tricks up its sleeve, including a CCD-shift image stabilization system, in-camera effects and frames, and the ability to record movies in the highly efficient (and widely used) MPEG-4 DivX format. Find out what we thought after the link...
2 new Sony PictureStation photo printers
Sony has launched today two new ultra-compact PictureStation dye-sub photo printers, the DPP-FP55 and the DPP-FP35. Designed to be portable and totally PC-free, the DPP-FP55 features SD and MS slots and a built-in 2-inch display so photo cropping, color adjustment and removing red-eye are all possible without hooking up to a computer. The FP35 is a direct connect PictBridge-compatible model that allows pictures to printed directly from a Cyber-Shot or other PictBridge compliant camera or using a USB cable, from a pc.
Ricoh Caplio 500G wide
Today Ricoh announced the Caplio 500G wide, an 8-megapixel camera housed in a durable water resistant (to a depth of 1m), dust and shock resistant body (withstanding drops of up to 1m) and capable of working in temperatures of -10°C. The 500G wide sports a 28-85mm equivalent lens, 3x optical zoom, camera-shake blur reduction and a 2.5-inch screen. This tough little cookie also features an optical viewfinder, up to ISO 1600 and has an optional wide angle conversion lens.
May 4
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z5
Casio has announced a 5 megapixel camera, the Exilim Zoom EX-Z5, offering a 3x zoom, 2.5-inch screen and Anti Shake DSP packaged in a neat matt-brushed black body. The EX-Z5 will be available in the US and continental Europe only, from the end of May.
May 2
ACDSee updates
ACD Systems has announced updates to its two flagship products, ACDSee 8 Photo Manager and ACDSee Pro Photo Manager. ACDSee 8.1 Photo Manager includes more than 50 feature improvements, increasing performance and productivity and RAW support, and the Pro Photo Manager update offers improved speed and performance in RAW processing. Free upgrades are available now.