PMA 2001 show report: Section one of four.
In this section we'll cover the following manufacturers:
Canon had their latest additions on show as well as other recently announced digital cameras. At PMA they officially launched the Digital IXUS 300 (known as the S300 ELPH Digital in the US), the PowerShot A10 and A20 and the new direct connect printer the CP-10. Of course the new PowerShot Pro 90 IS and EOS-D30 were also prominent (the D30 being demo'd in a set-up studio environment).
The one Canon product everyone was expecting was conspicuous by its absence, to clarify, there was no sign of a Professional Digital SLR from Canon.
The only new product at Casio's stand was the QV-3500EX, which was a bit of a surprise because we'd previously read "a new 5 megapixel digital camera" in their PMA stand description, no sign of any such product though.
|Casio Stand||Casio QV-3500EX|
External links: Casio USA
Ceiva, a new name to me at least, were demonstrating their interesting internet connected Ceiva II picture frame, this device features a high quality 6 x 4.5 in (640 x 480) screen with interchangeable frames. The device itself has 8 MB of internal storage and a built-in modem which enables it to connect and download (cache) images from the ceiva.com website, all you need to do is host your images on the site and you can easily distrubite new photos to grandma without her even having to know how the device works. The Ceiva II can also be controlled via an Infrared remote control, display directly from storage card and display other "channel information" such as weather, stock reports etc.
|Ceova I picture frame||Ceiva II picture frame|
|Ceiva II picture frame (remote also shown)||Ceiva II picture frame (note you can also directly connect storage cards)|
External links: Ceiva.Com
ColorVision had several very interesting colour profiling products, one for profiling our printer and scanner which involves printing a standard test chart (with your printer driver set to full defaults) then scanning it back in on your scanner (again, with default settings). The software will then generate a colour profile based on these results. However, of more interest to digital photographers was their PhotoCal Monitor Spyder product which can be used to generate (relatively quickly) ICC colour profiles for monitors (Mac or Windows 98/2000).
It simply connects to your computer by USB then attaches to the monitor screen by three suction cups, run the profiling software and it will allow you to select the gamma and colour temperature of your screen, it will then run through a variety of tests which will help you to adjust your monitor to the optimum settings, shortly after this it will generate a custom ICC profile which will guarantee excellent results.. I was impressed with the demo and hope to be reviewing the Spyder real soon.
|ColorVision Monitor Spyder||ColorVision Monitor Spyder|
External links: Color Vision
Concord Camera came to the show with a range of entry level "affordable" digital cameras with a variety of features, all of these cameras appear to be OEM badged units and all are of relatively low resolution. That said, the trend of PMA 2001 appears to be attracting more people into digital photography through cheaper digital cameras and so Concord is not alone in trying this.
|Concord Stand||Eye-Q Go!, fixed lens, 0.8 megapixel (VGA)|
|Eye-Q 3X, 3x zoom lens, 1.2 megapixel||Eye-Q IR, fixed lens, 0.8 megapixel, IrDA transfers|
|Eye-Q 1M, fixed lens, 1 megapixel|
External links: Concord Camera
Contax (a part of they Kyocera group) had the same mock-up (non working model) of the N Digital we saw last year at Photokina. This time however we were allowed to take it out of its glass case and get some close-up and hands-on shots.
So far we know it has a full frame 6 megapixel sensor (the same Philips unit it would appear used in Pentax's new digital SLR), that it will accept Zeiss lenses (used on Contax film SLR's); Focus illuminator / white balance sensor top left front ; Roller style command wheel (front only) ; Portrait handgrip along base with additional shutter release & command wheel ; Matrix, Center-Weighted Average & Spot metering ; Battery compartment in base ; Five selectable focus points accessable through "joystick" under thumb (top right rear) ; Custom settings ; One-touch white balance preset ; Manual controls (shutter speeds on right hand dial) ; Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Full Manual, Program, Program presets ; Multiple ISO's ; Continuous, Single and Manual focus modes.
|N Digital||N Digital|
|N Digital||N Digital|
|N Digital||N Digital|
Site links: Contax N Digital
External links: Contax Cameras
Delkin had their full range of digital media on display, well, all but their recently announced 128 MB SmartMedia, which I gather from retailers is already in the shops. Having said that we do know that there are compatibility problems between 128 MB SmartMedia and certain (mostly older) SmartMedia digital cameras. Other products of interest where the 320, 384 and 448 MB Compact Flash cards.
|Type II CF cards||Type I Flash Memory card|
External links: Delkin
The big buzz at Epson was their new Print Image Matching technology which was unveiled at a glitzy launch party held at Disney Pleasure Island. This technology is designed to alleviate the loss of gamut which occurs for devices which output into the sRGB colour space Essentially Print Image Matching allows a compatible input device (digital camera) to store certain specific colour data in the EXIF header of the JPEG image, this is the interpreted directly by compatible output devices (printers) to reproduce the cameras full gamut range without truncation.
Several big name digital camera manufacturers have put their names behind
this technology and have announced that they will be implementing PIM
in their upcoming (or recently announced) digital cameras. They are: Casio
Computer Co. Ltd., Konica Corp., Kyocera Corp., Minolta Co. Ltd., Olympus
Optical Co. Ltd., Ricoh Co. Ltd., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp.
|Epson Stand||Print Image Matching compatible devices|
|Back of Epson Printer (roll fed)|
External links: Epson
Foveon had to mock studios where they were demonstrating their Foveon II 12 megapixel CMOS (it uses three 4 megapixel CMOS sensors) studio camera, hooked up to a notebook you get a live preview image on left side of the screen and the last image you shot on the right, transfer speed is almost instant thanks to the use if IEEE 1394 (FireWire) between the camera and the controlling computer. And the results were mighty impressive with lots of literally HUGE prints all around the stand showing off the amazing amount of detail the Foveon camera can capture.
|Foveon Stand||Foveon II|
|Capture software in action|
External Links: Foveon
Fujifilm were showing the new 6800Z, with its slinky F.A. Porsche designed case and all new 3.3 megapixel SuperCCD there was certainly an amount of interest in it. The Fujifilm stand itself was (as per usual) HUGE with a large amount taken up with their "core business" of high-end scanning, printing, film, paper and development. They were of course also demonstrating the S1 Pro. Note (from Peter iNova): The Fuji S-1 was also shown with a prototype bluetooth transmitter. Not to quick in image transfer but a promise of handy to come.
|Fujifilm Stand||Fujifilm "Aladdin" Digital Photo Center|
|Finepix 6800Z||Finepix 6800Z|
|Finepix 6800Z||S1 Pro on show|