Go to:
Previous Item
Current News
Next Item

Epson's PRINT Image Matching logo. Courtesy of Epson America Inc. Click here to visit the PRINT Image Matching website! Epson updates PRINT Image Matching!
(Friday, June 21, 2002 - 15:23 EDT)

TIFF support and two extra parameters extend Epson's print-matching technology...

Epson America Inc. has unveiled an update to its PRINT Image Matching standard, now dubbed PRINT Image Matching II (P.I.M. II). The new standard adds two extra parameters, "noise reduction" and "custom scene", as well as the ability to work with TIFF (RGB) images. The original standard was announced about 16 months ago at the PMA 2001 trade show, and hardware products incorporating P.I.M. have been shipping for about a year.

On the software side, though, it is only in the last few months that companies other than Epson have begun to support the original P.I.M. standard, and Epson remains the only company to offer P.I.M.-capable printers. We wouldn't hold your breath for that to change; there's a 'chicken and the egg' situation here in that Epson likely wants to use its technology as a unique selling point for its printers, but if it expects PRINT Image Matching II to become a de-facto standard, it has to bring other printer manufacturers on-board.

Several P.I.M. II-compliant cameras have already been announced - the Casio EXILIM EX-S1 and EX-M1, Minolta DiMAGE 7i and DiMAGE F100, and the Pentax Optio 330RS and Optio 430RS. Existing P.I.M.-compliant printers will be upgradeable to P.I.M. II through a free update to the EPSON Film Factory program to be released next month. Also on the way this summer will be a free P.I.M. II plugin for Adobe Photoshop 6.0, 7.0, and Elements. No note has been made of upgrades for existing digital camera models to the P.I.M. II standard at this time; it may well be possible for some digital camera models, but is likely a decision the individual manufacturers would have to make.

Another element that bears note is that users who purchased digital cameras compatible with the original P.I.M. standard are likely to be disappointed by the sudden release of a new version, which will inevitably add confusion as to exactly what the technology means. Users considering purchasing a camera on the weight of its use of PRINT Image Matching II may now find themselves contemplating whether their purchases will suddenly be bested by the release of a P.I.M. III? Obviously you cannot expect technology not to evolve, and the technology *is* backwards-compatible - but if you're using a mixture of P.I.M. and P.I.M. II, you'll not get the benefits of the latter.

The way digital cameras are capturing and storing images hasn't changed significantly in the past 18 months. This may leave users asking themselves why Epson didn't include these capabilities in the initial release? Certainly, the additions would have strengthened the initial release of the technology, and removed the need for a second release. The answer may lie in the recent release of JEITA's Exif 2.2 standard, which bears strong similarities to P.I.M.; perhaps Epson felt that the industry-standard was too close to its own proprietary standard, and that it must extend P.I.M. to further differentiate between the two?

Epson's press release doesn't note if there will be a new logo for PRINT Image Matching II. We're of two minds as to whether we'd like to see one or not; a new logo would help differentiate between P.I.M. and P.I.M. II products to help users choose a system that fits together, but as we already mentioned it will bring with it further confusion as another logo, and another acronym are added to the world of digital photography - a world that must sometimes seem very confusing to the non-computer literate.

Original Source Press Release:

Epson Announces PRINT Image Matching II -- Expanding the Possibilities for Creating Perfect Prints Automatically

P.I.M. Technology Now Offers the Industry's Broadest Coverage of Digital Camera Brands and Models for Easy and Automatic Print Matching and Optimization

LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 20, 2002-- Epson America, Inc. today announced PRINT Image Matching II (P.I.M. II), an expansion of the industry-leading digital photo print matching technology. With P.I.M. II, PRINT Image Matching is now compatible with the widest range of digital cameras, software and printers in the industry.

About PRINT Image Matching II

P.I.M. II automatically optimizes digital photos from P.I.M. II-equipped digital cameras. P.I.M. II expands on the original P.I.M. technology by adding and improving adjustment parameters. Now, with fourteen image control parameters (two more than the original P.I.M. technology) including "noise reduction" control and "custom scene" settings, P.I.M. II provides the most complete solution available today for automatic print optimization. P.I.M. II can also now be implemented with TIFF (RGB type) images in addition to the more common JPEG capture file formats.

Products that incorporate the new P.I.M. II technology are also completely backward compatible, enabling customers to seamlessly continue using devices that utilize original P.I.M. technology if they choose to. The Epson Stylus® Photo line of printers will support the original P.I.M., P.I.M. II as well as Exif Print technology, a new standard for digital cameras published recently by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA).

"With the announcement of PRINT Image Matching II, Epson continues to push the envelope in delivering effective and easy solutions for attaining the best possible prints from digital cameras," said Keith Kratzberg, director, photo imaging, Epson. "P.I.M. II furthers Epson's quest to deliver the perfect photo printing solutions for professionals and amateurs alike."

PRINT Image Matching Support and Availability

The first P.I.M.-compatible products began shipping in summer 2001, and there are now over 38 P.I.M.-enabled products from 16 manufacturers of digital cameras, photo printers and software. P.I.M. partners include ArcSoft, Asahi Optical Co. Ltd. (Pentax Corporation), Casio Computer Co. Ltd., JVC (Victor Company of Japan Ltd.), Konica Corporation, Kyocera Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic), MGI, Minolta Co. Ltd., NewSoft, Nikon Corporation, Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., Ricoh Company Ltd., Sanity Software, Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd., Sony Corporation, Toshiba Corporation and Ulead Systems Inc.

Seiko Epson has worked closely with digital camera manufacturers to implement P.I.M. and to give customers the benefits of printing beautiful photos easily from photo optimized inkjet printers. Currently, there are over 30 digital camera models worldwide that support the original P.I.M. and several P.I.M. II cameras were recently announced. P.I.M. II-enabled cameras announced to date include the Casio EXILIM EX-S1 and EX-M1; the Minolta DiMAGE 7i and DiMAGE F100; and the Pentax Optio 330RS and Optio 430RS. Additional P.I.M. II camera announcements are expected to be made throughout the year.

The P.I.M. II plug-in for Adobe Photoshop 6.0, 7.0, and Elements will be released in summer 2002 and can be downloaded from the P.I.M. Web site free of charge. All of the current EPSON Stylus Photo printers -- the Stylus Photo 785EPX, 820, 890, 1280 and 2200 (as well as the 780 model) -- are P.I.M. compatible. In July, customers of these products can receive a P.I.M. II upgrade by downloading a free software patch that will upgrade EPSON Film Factory (Version 2.1 or later) to support P.I.M. II. This simple download is all the customer needs to upgrade to P.I.M. II -- a new printer driver is not needed. A complete and current list of P.I.M.-compatible products is available at www.printimagematching.com.

About Epson

Epson offers an extensive array of award-winning image capture and image output products for the consumer, photography, business and graphic arts markets. The company is also a leading supplier of value-added point-of-sale (POS) solutions for the retail market. Founded in 1975, Epson America Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, a global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality technology products that meet customer demands for increased functionality, compactness, systems integration and energy efficiency. Epson America Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif. More information about Epson and its products is available by calling 1-800-GO-EPSON or visiting the company's Web site at www.epson.com.

Note: Epson and Epson Stylus are registered trademarks of Seiko Epson Corporation and PRINT Image Matching is a trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation. Third party brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

Go to:
Previous Item
Current News
Next Item

Powered by Coranto