Nikon onboard with Epson's PRINT Image Matching!|
(Monday, May 21, 2001 - 17:17 EDT)
Coolpix 995 to support Epson's technology that frees users from the limitations of sRGB...
Nikon has today simultaneously announced availability plans for its D1X digital camera, and an addition to its Coolpix 995 digital camera on its Japanese website. The first point on the page notes that the Nikon D1X professional digital SLR will reach the Japanese market on May 31st at a cost of ¥590,000 (US$4776) - interestingly significantly lower than the pricing announced for the USA last February. At that time, Nikon quoted a projected street price of $5500 for the D1X, some $700+ more than the price announced in Japan today... It is possible that fluctuations in exchange rates and/or different prices for different markets are the cause here, but regardless the difference is certainly interesting! Also announced is Japanese pricing for Nikon Capture 2, at ¥30,000 (US$243). (Note that our figures above are based on a quoted exchange rate of ¥123.53 = $1, the rate quoted as of May 18, 2001 by Dynamind's Currency Calculator)
Perhaps even more significant though was the second point in Nikon's announcement - that the Coolpix 995 digital camera will support Epson's PRINT Image Matching (PIM) technology! Epson announced the new technology at a packed press conference during the PMA 2001 show in Orlando last February, and at the time we felt that it was amongst the most significant announcements at the show. Dave had a chance to examine some samples after the press conference, and noted amongst his lengthy commentary on the technology: "the results were truly stunnning: Electric blues and greens in tropical seas were as bright and vibrant as they appear in nature, and brightly-colored fabrics that were rendered as duller hues by the conventional process practically leapt off the page."
When PRINT Image Matching was first announced, we were impressed by the long list of names that Epson had signed up for the technology (although given the results, it is hardly surprising) - along with Epson's own digital cameras, the company has the support of Casio, Konica, Kyocera (Contax/Yashica), Minolta, Olympus, Ricoh, Sony, and Toshiba... Of the big names in digital imaging, only Canon, Fuji, Kodak and Nikon were absent - and with Nikon signing on as well, the technology is well on its way to becoming a defacto standard. We'd expect to see a lot more products appearing with support for PIM, as the industry finally throws down the chains of sRGB - which can only be a good thing for digital imaging!