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Digital Photography News Archive!
November 2000

 

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Thursday, November 30, 2000



Qimage Pro 10.2 released!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 19:03 EST)


QImage Pro 9.1 logoOur good friend Mike Chaney has been in touch today to let us know of a new version of his popular image viewing/printing/editing application, Qimage Pro. Whilst we were away in Las Vegas for Comdex, Mike released a major update, v10.0, which we hadn't gotten around to mentioning on the News page. A few updates later and we're now at Qimage Pro 10.2! Following is a list of new features between the last time we mentioned Qimage Pro and the last version, v10.13, including one suggested by the Imaging Resource's very own Dave Etchells :)
  • Posters: Don't be limited by the size of your paper! Print a dozen images on one page, or cover an entire wall with a single photo. Qimage can not only arrange multiple prints on one page, but also allows printing a single image across multiple pages. You can even print wallets, 5x7's, 8x10's and posters in the same print session if you like. There are no limits! Simply enter the size of your poster and you'll get a confirmation message stating that your print will cover multiple pages. Want to fill 9 full 8.5 x 11 pages in a poster? No problem, just enter 3* in both the horizontal and vertical print bounds and you'll get a 3 x 3 poster! New print interpolation options allow you to set the print interpolation threshold for posters and single page images separately so that you can still interpolate your posters without stretching the RAM in your PC too far!
  • Dark frame subtraction: As part of the Qimage Pro batch filter, you can now subtract dark frames from your long exposure shots. And that's not all! Point the filter to a folder that contains ALL your dark frames (one for each shutter speed above 1 second for example) and Qimage Pro will automatically select the correct dark frame to subtract from your originals based on the EXIF info! That means that you need only take a single shot for each long shutter speed on your camera (there are normally less than ten) and store them in a folder. Then, when you take long exposure pics with your camera, simply batch up all your images and it won't matter what shutter speed you used: Qimage Pro's dark frame filter will pick the right one to subtract those hot pixels in every image! The filter even checks the camera model number so you can use this method with multiple cameras. And... we didn't stop there. Not only can Qimage Pro subtract a dark frame in the traditional way, it can also use the dark frame as a hot pixel mask which uses the dark frame to identify hot pixels, interpolating them in the original rather than subtracting them. The results of the hot pixel interpolation based on the dark frame can be stunning (see images below). Thanks to Dave Etchells of Imaging Resource for pointing out this problem and suggesting this new method of dark frame correction!
  • New print engine: Qimage Pro v10.0 has an all new print engine that prints more efficiently and has higher compatibility with a wide range of printers. No more fussing with options to try to figure out what print combinations your print driver needs. As a result, the "Print Prescaling" option has been removed.
  • New 32 bit code: All code has been recompiled and retested under the latest version of our 32 bit compiler. With the new compiler and new print engine, we anticipate less problems with memory and more room for you to perform those memory intensive filtering and printing operations.
  • More information about your prints: No need to wonder what resolution your prints will be. Just look at the queue. In addition to identifying print DPI, you can also get an indication of how much memory will be passed to your print driver. The new information goes hand-in-hand with poster printing because Qimage Pro won't stop you from trying to print a 30 inch by 20 inch poster at 300 dpi (if you have your poster resolution set that high). In this case, you will be able to see that Qimage Pro will be passing 162 MB to the print driver. Note that the value listed is the MINIMUM amount of RAM required to print the job. Although the value is always correct for the amount of data being passed to the print driver, the amount of RAM needed to do the job may be TWICE the amount indicated if you have associative filters attached to the images, a printer profile is installed, etc.
  • v10.02 maintains maximum print quality while minimizing print spool size. New print routines analyze selected print quality, original image size, desired print size, and other factors to make intelligent decisions regarding how to spool the output. This means that you'll get the same incredible print quality that you've come to expect of Qimage Pro, while drastically reducing the resource burden on your print driver by spooling less data than ever before.
  • Qimage Pro now utilizes swap files to create more manageable print jobs that require much less RAM.
  • Improved print quality eliminates "jagged edges" in prints.
And here's what is new in the latest version, Qimage Pro 10.2:
  • Multiple input device profile tags: Use the new color management profile tools to ensure accurate color from all your input devices. You can "connect" your own custom ICC profiles for specific cameras or purchase one of the available profiles from the Qimage Pro Plugin Center (see next bullet). This new system allows you to specify the color space used by all your cameras and/or scanners separately.
  • ICC profiles versus Qimage Pro color plugins: We are phasing out the older Qimage Pro color plugins which were Qimage Pro specific, and phasing in standard ICC profiles. The new profiles, which can be used in Qimage Pro, PhotoShop, PhotoPaint or any ICC application, offer greater portability, higher accuracy, and less noise than the older plugins. In contrast to color plugins that were used in the batch filter to convert data to the sRGB color space, these new ICC profiles are used in the "Color Management" section of Qimage Pro under "Options". We are working on creating new ICC profiles for all the cameras that currently have color plugins available. If you check the Qimage Pro Plugin Center, you will see an "ICC Profile" link under your camera model on the list if one is available. If the ICC profile for your camera is not available yet, just check back in a few days. As with the previous color plugins, all ICC profiles will be $12.99 per camera model. What if you bought one of the previous QP color plugins and want to "upgrade" to the new ICC profile for the same camera model? We'll give you the new ICC profile for free! Just follow the directions on the "ICC Profile" link for your camera model at the Qimage Pro Plugin Center. PLEASE do not send us email or inquiries about getting any ICC profiles unless the link shows that the profile for your camera is ready. If you send us email requesting an ICC profile before that profile is available, you will not get a response.
  • Profile to profile conversions: You can perform profile to profile conversions on image(s) in Qimage Pro v10.2. On the filter application/conversion dialog (accessed after applying a batch filter or after selecting "Convert images" from right clicking in the queue).
  • Working spaces now provided: Adobe RGB, Apple RGB, NTSC, sRGB and Color Match working spaces are now included and are stored in your Qimage folder.
  • We fixed a bug in v10.1x versions that caused problems when printing images very close to the maximum size of the page (8x10 on some printers).
Qimage Pro is a superb program, and one we use often at the Imaging Resource... We highly recommend that if you've not already tried it, you visit the Qimage Pro website and download the trial version for a look at what it can do!
Source: Qimage Pro website

Radeonic posts FinePix 4900 review, photo tutorial!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 16:36 EST)


Fuji's FinePix 4900Z digital camera, front left quarter view. Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource, all rights reserved.English website Radeonic has posted a combination of a review of Fuji's FinePix 4900Z digital camera, and a tutorial on photography on its website. The review/tutorial is serialised, and the first three parts have been posted thus far, as follows:

Y-Media ships 3.17 megapixel CMOS samples!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 15:25 EST)


Y Media Corp.'s logoY Media Corporation has announced that its 3.17 Megapixel C3D CMOS image sensor development systems and evaluation samples are now shipping to target customers. Along with this announcement, Y Media has also introduced a product distribution partner, and a Japanese language website.

Y Media's 3.17 Megapixel CMOS sensor, which we first told you about on September 7th, is billed as "the only solution available to all consumer electronic OEMs that offers a low-power CMOS sensor with a high pixel count, proprietary low-noise technology and a popular 1/2" optical format".
"We are delivering the much anticipated promise of CMOS-based image sensor technology, today," stated Ian Olsen, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Y Media. "We'll enable OEMs to go from discrete still cameras to hybrid motion video cameras and ultra-portable image capture devices. The result will be products that can simultaneously offer long battery life, superior image quality, and compact size."
Y Media's YM-3170A CMOS image sensor. Courtesy of Y Media Corp.Since most current digital cameras use CCD technology, Y Media feels that engineers will need assistance to get the full capabilities out of CMOS sensors. The YM-3170A-DEV-01 Development System is aimed at allowing OEM design teams to use the YM-3170A image chip's full functionality. The system ensures that features unique to C3D image technology, such as sub-sampling, fully programmable windowing and individual color gain control, can be evaluated and implemented into designs, the company notes. Y Media is now delivering development systems and evaluation samples targeted to consumer electronics manufacturers. Y Media's YM-3170A-DEV-01 Development System is available now at the system price of $9,500.00 per unit. Pricing for the YM-3170A sensor is claimed to be "competitive with equivalent high-resolution and performance consumer image sensor solutions".

SQ Corporation, headquartered in Osaka, Japan, is simultaneously announced as Y Media's "premier stocking distribution representative for Japan regional component delivery". SQ is responsible for pan-pacific import and export operations for consumer electronics brands such as Panasonic, and since 1977 has been the exporter of electronic components, secondary materials, and molding for Matsushita Electric Industry's overseas factories in south east Asia.
"The growth of SQ's business is a reflection of their commitment to customer satisfaction, and distinguished by their many years of service with MEI," stated Norio Tsuruta, Y Media's Japan Regional Director. "Led by the Japanese market, demand for image sensors in mobile phones, PCs and digital cameras continues to increase. SQ's logistic ability and on-time delivery will be a tremendous asset to Y Media's customers."

"To truly address the needs of our Japanese customers online, a Japanese language website will be launched on December 1st,"
continued Y Media's CEO Ian Olsen. "Initially the site will focus on design and engineering information. However, to facilitate high volume production, our next-generation website will permit customers to view and suppliers to populate a central database providing real-time access to detailed product status. The ability to control and manage today's demanding component supply chain offers a significant competitive advantage to Y Media's customers."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

CreoScitex forms US organisation, Leaf America!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 14:53 EST)


CreoScitex's logoCreoScitex, a division of Creo Products Inc., via its Leaf Products group, and Mamiya America Corporation, has jointly announced the formation of Leaf America. Leaf America is established to provide digital photography solutions to the professional imaging industry. The new organization will focus on increasing Leaf product market share by providing complete digital solutions for all medium and large format cameras, the press release notes.

CreoScitex brand Leaf's logoStarting operations January 1, 2001, Leaf America will distribute all CreoScitex/Leaf digital camera products throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The Leaf solutions, Leaf Volare, Leaf Cantare and Leaf Cantare XY, as well as the recently announced Leaf C- Most digital camera back, will be marketed by Leaf America.

Adina Shorr, Corporate Vice President of CreoScitex stated: "We are very excited at the prospects of this alliance with Mamiya America Corporation. Mamiya's in-depth understanding of the photographers' needs, as well as the company's expertise in delivering solutions to the imaging market will help us address the demanding professional photographer market."

Jan Lederman, President of Mamiya America Corporation, noted: "We have decided to venture into the digital world with CreoScitex/Leaf as their products are perfectly suited to our long-term goal of providing the imaging world with the best available tools."
Leaf America's offices will be located at 8 Westchester Plaza, Elmsford NY.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / Canada NewsWire

Tethered video cam shipments to see 72% CAGR!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 13:55 EST)


IDC's logoBy the time 2000 ends, says International Data Corp (IDC), "the worldwide PC camera market will have demonstrated explosive growth; however, work remains in driving this market forward". According to a new IDC report, worldwide PC camera shipments will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 72%, from 11 million in 2000 to 44 million in 2004.
"The prediction that 1999 would be the springboard year for PC cameras to penetrate the consumer market was right on target," said Chris Chute, research analyst for IDC's Digital Cameras and Scanners program. "Now, the critical factors fueling the digital camera market's growth include bundling with PC vendors and developing a growing infrastructure."
According to IDC's report, the United States will once again capture the majority of the worldwide PC camera market share in 2000. Western Europe will have the highest annual growth, with 2000 shipments increasing more than 300% from those in 1999. Despite the tremendous PC camera market growth, the report finds that the number of competing vendors has remained constant. IDC says Logitech, Intel, and Xirlink will continue to occupy the top three spots.

IDC says that while the market has grown rapidly in 2000, PC cameras still face limitations. Slow frame rates and average image quality caused by slow Internet connections and limitations on image sensor quality currently plague the technology; however, vendors are working exceptionally hard to improve the user's experience.
"As bandwidth increases and USB2 adoption corrects the videostreaming issues, the PC camera market will continue to grow at an impressive rate," Chute said.
Information like the above can be found in IDC's report 'Worldwide PC Camera Market Forecast and Analysis, 1999_2004' (IDC #B23240). This report provides a high-level view of the worldwide PC camera market. Shipment and revenue forecasts are provided through 2004 by region, market leaders are discussed, and market trends are analyzed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2000



Buy a Fuji FinePix 40i, get Yamaha speakers free!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 14:44 EST)


Fuji's Finepix 40i digital camera/MP3 player combo, front view with headphones/remote control. Courtesy of Fuji - click for a bigger picture!

Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Inc. today announced a special holiday rebate that gives buyers of its Fujifilm FinePix 40i digital camera a $50 rebate on the purchase of Yamaha’s YST-MS201 multimedia speaker system, which retails at a suggested list price of $50.

Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Inc.'s logoThe FinePix 40i is the first high-resolution digital camera with MP3 audio capabilities, in addition to digital video. As a camera, the FinePix 40i features Fujifilm’s Super CCD sensor technology which the company feels offers "increased resolution, a more favorable signal-to-noise ratio and a wider dynamic range, all elements that contribute to crisp, clear and colorful digital images".

As an MP3 audio player, the FinePix 40i plays back near CD-quality music. All MP3 controls operate via a tethered remote into which the user can plug in the FinePix 40i’s provided ear buds, his or her own headphones or multimedia speakers like the Yamaha YST-MS201. In addition, the remote can be used to capture and then view images on the FinePix 40i’s LCD panel. Priced at $699, the FinePix 40i is available in traditional silver or 'cosmic blue'.

Designed to take advantage of multimedia software, the YST-MS201 speaker system features 30 watts of total output power and Yamaha’s Active Servo Technology for deep, powerful bass. The system includes two slant-baffle satellite speakers and a wood subwoofer, and is available in Platinum White and Calypso Black at a suggested list price of $50.00.

The rebate offer runs from December 1 through December 23, 2000, at both traditional and World Wide Web retailers, such as Best Buy, CompUSA, Fry's, Gateway Country and Egghead.com. In order to be eligible for the rebate, consumers must purchase the FinePix 40i and YST-MS201 system during the stated offer period. Purchasers must then send a photocopy of the original sales receipt(s), UPC codes for both products, completed United States Fujifilm product registration card and rebate coupon - which can be picked up at participating retailers or at www.fujifilm.com - to the following address: Fujifilm/Yamaha Rebate Offer, Department #26601, P.O. Box 52900, Phoenix, AZ 85072. Eligible consumers will receive the $50 rebate by mail.

State Street helps Santa save money this Christmas! ;)
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 11:48 EST)


We received an email this morning from IR advertiser State Street Direct with news of a one day sale running from now through 3:00 PM November 30th. State Street has two offers as part of the deal - a savings of up to 10% off all in-stock digital cameras, and free overnight delivery on all Canon Digital Camcorders. For the 10% discount off in-stock digital cameras, note that there is a limit of $50 discount per order, and if you want to order multiple cameras, you can get a discount on each camera if it is ordered separately...

Canon Camcorders with free shipping:Digital Camera 10% discounts:
  • Nikon Coolpix 950 - Thanks to its pivoting LCD/Lens design and great macro lens the Nikon Coolpix 950 is great for all types of photography. Its high resolution image sensor allows for photographic quality prints at sizes up to 8x10 in. size. Its threaded lens also accepts add-on lenses, which help to extend the cameras capabilities.
  • Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource.  All rights reserved.Nikon Coolpix 880 - The new Coolpix 880 takes almost all the features from the larger Coolpix 990 and then adds some of it's own. New to this model is an 11-scene selector making it a breeze to capture perfect shots in tricky situations. The smaller body design of the Coolpix 880 makes it easier to travel with while it's 3.34 megapixel image sensor guarantees incredible photo quality images at sizes up to 11x14 in. in size.
  • Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource.  All rights reserved.Nikon Coolpix 990 - Exclusive features such as Best Shot Selector, 4096 step auto focus, 256-segment matrix metering, pivoting lens/viewfinder, and fast internal buffer has made the Coolpix 990 one of the all-time best selling digital cameras. Its threaded lens also accepts add-on lenses which help to extend the cameras capabilities.
  • Canon Powershot S20 - The Powershot S20 offers high-resolution digital photography that fits into your pocket. It's 3x optical zoom lens and bright color LCD display make this model a joy to use.
  • Canon Powershot S100 Digital Elph - The Powershot S100 offers high-resolution digital photography in an even smaller package than the Powershot S20. It's 2x optical zoom lens and panorama stitch assist mode make the S100 a great choice for a digital camera you can take anywhere.
  • Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource.  All rights reserved.Canon Powershot G1 - The new G1 from Canon has quickly become one of our most popular models. With it's wide range of aperture control, fast lens, manual controls, high-resolution 3.34 megapixel CCD and Hot Shoe for adding a more powerful external flash the Powershot G1 will give you professional quality images with maximum control.
  • Olympus D360L - You don't have to break the bank to get high resolution digital photographs. The D360L from Olympus is the perfect digital camera for taking pictures that will allow you to stay in touch with relatives and friends around the country or around the world. 1.3 Megapixels allow for photo quality output at sizes up to 5x7 in.
  • Olympus D460 Zoom - The D460 Zoom features the same benefits as the D360L (above) but also adds a 3x optical zoom lens. The addition of the 3x zoom makes this a great all-around family camera. Zoom in on the action when you can't get yourself closer to it.
  • Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource.  All rights reserved.Olympus D490 Zoom - The D-series (D360/D460/D490) all have a familiar 35mm-like point & shoot body design with sliding lens cover. The D490 zoom adds a higher resolution 2.1 megapixel image sensor allowing you to crop out part of the image later while still maintaining enough pixels for a good size print. This model also allows for larger photo quality prints (up to 8x10 in.) which have become popular among photo enthusiasts.
  • Olympus C-3000 Zoom - The C-3000 zoom is a perfect blend of convenience and control. The internal memory buffer allows for rapid shot-to-shot picture taking, the 1.8-inch LCD is bright enough to see - even in direct sunlight, fully automatic mode allows for fast and convenient photography while Aperture & Shutter priority modes allow you more control over depth-of-field and action photography.
  • Olympus C-3030 Zoom - The C-3030 is similar to the C-3000 above but features a larger internal memory buffer for even faster operation, it includes 16MB memory (vs. 8MB) and comes standard with photo editing software. Otherwise the two models are virtually identical to each other.
  • Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource.  All rights reserved.Olympus C-2100 Ultra Zoom - For the first time you can have the power of a 10x zoom lens in a high-resolution (2.1 megapixel) digital camera. Olympus has even given this camera an image-stabilizer to help prevent camera shake at long telephoto settings. Comfortable 35-mm SLR like design and TTL viewfinder also help to elevate the C-2100 Ultra Zoom from the rest of the pack.
  • Olympus C-211 Zoom / Printer - Incredible! Olympus has combined a 2.1 Megapixel digital camera with a built-in printer by Polaroid. Full featured camera features 3x optical zoom, 3 ISO settings, automatic focus & white balance. Images can be transferred to your computer or printed right in the camera on standard Polaroid film.
  • Fuji MX-1300 - Fuji has beat the competition with it's low price and high resolution image sensor. Great pictures don't have to cost a fortune and the Fuji MX-1300 proves it!
  • Fuji MX-2400 - Similar in design to the Fuji MX-1400 the new MX-2400 features a 2.1 megapixel image sensor and 3x optical zoom lens. It's high speed USB port allows for fast uploading to your PC.
  • Fuji MX-4700 Zoom - The best traveling camera. It fit's into your shirt pocket yet features a high resolution Super CCD with 4.3 megapixel output and a 3x optical zoom lens. The backlit menu system allows for easy navigation.
  • Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource.  All rights reserved.MX-4900 zoom - Fuji breaks the price/performance barrier with this new SLR style digital camera featuring both a TTL color viewfinder and color LCD display. The large 6x optical zoom lens allows for extreme close-ups and the Super CCD image sensor with 4.3 megapixel output resolution allows for large print sizes.
Christmas is most definitely just around the corner now, and we're sure there's going to be a lot of digital cameras under the tree or in stockings this year... We wouldn't be surprised if demand outstrips supply on the most popular models before Santa arrives though, so if you're considering a digital camera for yourself or a loved one, now's the time to buy it whilst it is still available - and at a discount, no less! Please do click through on our links if you're interested in any of these popular cameras - you'll get straight to the right page with a discounted price, and you'll help support the site at the same time... :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2000



PC Photo Review announces new contests!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 14:29 EST)


PCPhotoReview's logoOur friends over at the PC Photo Review website have two new contests for readers running currently... First, the Thanksgiving Photo Contest is seeking photos of "the situations that capture the spirit of Thanksgiving best" - and they needn't be from Thanksgiving 2000, either. The contest runs through December 14th, and prizes include a copy of CompuPic Pro for the winner, and 1 year subscriptions to PCPhoto magazine for two runners up...

The Photo Caption Contest, meanwhile, makes another appearance with a fairly bizarre photo and numerous entries already in. Submit your own caption, or vote for your favorite amongst those already entered...

Chicony announces TC-800 digital camera!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 14:11 EST)


Chicony's TC800 digital camera in closeup. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!

If you read our report on the ImageScape press event which took place alongside Comdex Fall 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada, you'll already be familiar with Chicony's TC-800 digital camera (shown above)... The Taiwanese manufacturer has now officially announced the camera, which is expected to retail soon at a price of $200. Here's the full specs:
  • Chicony TC-800 digital camera
  • 1/3" 800,000 pixel progressive scan CCD image sensor with resolution of 1034 x 779 pixels, gives final image of 1024 x 768 pixels in either fine or normal compression JPEG
  • Fixed focal length 7.1mm lens with fixed aperture of F4.0. Focus is 70cm to infinity or fixed at 30cm in macro mode.
  • Optical viewfinder and LCD info display (flash status, pictures taken/remaining, battery status, picture quality, macro/normal mode, self-timer)
  • Built-in three-mode flash (auto, off, on) with working range of 0.5 to 3 meters, and cycle time of 6-8 seconds
  • CompactFlash storage (2 - 64MB)
  • Type A USB and RS-232 connectivity
  • Shutter speeds 1/2 to 1/5000 second
  • Auto exposure
  • Auto white balance
  • Shot-shot time less than 5 seconds
  • 10 second self-timer
  • Power from 2 AA alkaline batteries or 3V DC input from optional AC adapter. Power consumption is 600mA in use with flash off, 1A in use with flash on, 3mA in standby mode
  • Dimensions of 101 x 68 x 38mm, weighs 180 grams


Lots afoot at Digital Outback!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 13:54 EST)


We've had a few emails from our friend Uwe Steinmuller over at the Digital Outback Photo website recently, but with the rush of work around PhotoPlus Expo East and Comdex, haven't had much of a chance to report it all! Here's a recap of the highlights:
  • Nikon VR Lens Experience Report: A nice look at Nikon's stunning AF-VR Nikkor 80-400mm 1:4.5-5.6D ED zoom lens, which we got a chance to see for ourselves at Comdex. 15 sample photos shot with the lens on a Nikon D1, along with a series of crops showing what you can expect to shoot handheld with the Vibration Reduction enabled.
  • Canon IS Lens Experience Report: A look at Canon's 100~400mm IS Zoom Lens. 7 sample photos along with a series of crops similar to that in the Nikon VR lens report, showing the effect of Canon's Image Stabilisation at different shutter speeds...
  • Nik Sharpener Pro review: A look at Nik Multimedia's Nik Sharpener Pro, a $329 program which specialises in one thing - sharpening your images optimally depending on how they were taken, and how they'll be viewed...
  • Nik Color Efex Pro:Nik Multimedia's Color Efex Pro is looked at here - the program offers Photoshop filters that (as much as possible) simulate the effects of a polarizing filter, midnight filter and sunshine filter...
  • Kodak DCS660 review: Uwe has finalised the review of Kodak's DCS660, noting "The DCS 660 is a great camera and I could just scratch the surface of its quality. In some way I did not want to get addicted to that high resolution and spoil my pleasure with the D1. For now the DCS 660 is clearly a reference for today's digital SLRs."
  • Canon EOS D30 review: The Digital Outback review of Canon's EOS D30 is also now concluded. The camera's 'film-like' colors, low noise, good resolution, great battery life and ergonomics were praised, but there were also a few words on the performance with high-contrast scenes, slow power up and RAW conversion software which Uwe felt could be improved.
  • NEF/CRW Conversion Contest 01:Uwe came up with an interesting idea here designed to teach readers about the CCD-RAW formats found in high-end digital cameras, and just how useful they can be. Photos were provided shot with the Nikon D1 and Canon EOS D30 in RAW format (.NEF for the D1, .CRW for the D30) and readers were encouraged to acquire the RAW files as they liked and improve them to their liking. Uwe has posted the results, 13 images that really do vary wildly and show just how much latitude there can be from a CCD-RAW image.
  • "Nature and Wildlife" newsgroup: Uwe has teamed up with Rob Galbraith, the man behind the excellent Rob Galbraith Online website aimed at Pro Photographers using digital. Uwe is now hosting a forum on Rob's site for discussion of nature and wildlife photography.
Quite a list, we think you'll agree - and somehow, Uwe has still found time to present photos of the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and to compile a gallery of some of the many stunning photos you'll find dotted throughout the Digital Outback site!

KepMad releases ImageBuddy v1.0.4
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 13:00 EST)


KepMad Systems' ImageBuddy. Courtesy of KepMad Systems.

We received an email from Jeff Thoman of KepMad Systems yesterday, with news that he's released a new version of ImageBuddy, the Macintosh image-viewing/printing application. ImageBuddy v1.0.4 improves memory management and corrects issues with certain TIFF and JPEG file types, and is described as "a major reliability improvement".

ImageBuddy logoImageBuddy is available from the KepMad website and costs $15 to register... The program is for Macintosh only, and there are currently no plans for a Windows version.

Snapfish allies with Ceiva, PhotoAlley, CardStore and Photoframes!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 12:06 EST)


Snapfish.com Corp.'s logoSnapfish.com Corp. has announced in a press release its new 'Snapfish Store'. The store offers a variety of photo merchandise including frames, custom holiday cards and cameras. The company has partnered with Ceiva Logic, PhotoAlley.com, CardStore.com and Photoframes.com to offer Snapfish customers new ways to turn their favorite photos into unique gifts.
"The Snapfish Store allows customers to instantly create meaningful, personal gifts with the ease and convenience of online shopping – just in time for the busy holiday season," said Raj Kapoor, co-founder and CEO of Snapfish. "These new partnerships add a menu of new offerings to the Snapfish service, and open up new revenue streams to support our award-winning business model."
The Snapfish Store will offer the following new products:
  • Frames -- Through a partnership with Photoframes.com, Snapfish users can purchase framed reprints and enlargements of their favorite photographs. Users can preview their photo inside the frame online. Photoframes.com offers hundreds of styles of frames from woods to metals. Frames are priced from $6.00 to $60.00.
  • Digital Picture Frames -- Snapfish has partnered with Ceiva Logic to sell its premier product, Ceiva, an Internet-connected digital picture frame. Ceiva displays an array of digital images downloaded from the Ceiva Network, which provides additional content and services to its members via the Internet. With the click of a button, customers can send their favorite Snapfish photos to any Ceiva picture frame across the country.
  • PhotoAlley's logoCameras and Equipment -- Through a partnership with PhotoAlley.com, Snapfish offers all kinds of cameras, photo accessories and film.
  • Custom Greeting Cards -- A new partnership with CardStore.com enables Snapfish customers to create customized holiday cards featuring their own photos. Simply select the Snapfish image to print on the front, enter a personalized message for each card and CardStore.com will mail them to friends and family. Or, customers can order a box of pre-stamped cards with their favorite photos and mail them out from home.
In addition to holiday gifts, Snapfish helps families stay connected through photographs. For each roll of film customers mail in, Snapfish offers developing, scanning, negatives and a full set of quality prints on Kodak paper, all for free (shipping/handling excluded).

PhotoPoint announces custom framing, e-cards!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 11:53 EST)


PhotoPoint Corp.'s logoPhotoPoint Corp. today announced that it has launched framed prints and custom-made photo e-cards, called 'PicCheers', on its consumer photo-sharing Web site, PhotoPoint.com. The new offerings, says the press release, are the latest in a series of recent introductions by PhotoPoint.
"The holidays are the ideal time to take photos as families and friends get together to celebrate," said Steve Carley, president of PhotoPoint.com. "We feel these new offerings present a new, easy and creative way for our members to share their photos with their loved ones."
Developed in conjunction with Wolf Camera, the new framing feature allows PhotoPoint members to preview how their photos might look in a variety of frame styles, and then have the photos printed, framed and shipped directly to their door or to another address as a holiday gift. And, for a limited time, users can get a free 8 X 10 framed print if they buy before December 31, 2000 (shipping/tax not included, frame cost up to $20 refunded by mail-in rebate).

Users can preview their photos in 20 frame styles and in three different sizes. Prices range from $8 to $50 and take two to five business days via Priority Mail.

PhotoPoint¹s new PicCheers feature allows members and visitors to create and e-mail personalized greeting cards using their own photos or one of PhotoPoint's stock photos or a selection of pre-made cards in various categories. Users can personalize their card and send it to friends and family members all over the world and they can submit their card to PhotoPoint¹s PicCheer Gallery where other users can use it as a pre-made card.

To celebrate the holidays, PhotoPoint will host a PicCheer Holiday Contest, from December 5 to January 15. In the contest, users can submit a holiday-themed PicCheer into one of the following four categories ­ Holiday Kids, Holiday Decorations, Holiday Moments and Holiday Parties. One grand-prize winner will win $500 from PhotoPoint. In addition, a winner from each category will be selected, winning creative design software. To be automatically entered into the contest, users need to copy PhotoPoint when sending their PicCheer.

Monday, November 27, 2000



DPReview posts Nikon D1 review
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, November 27, 2000 - 12:52 EST)


Nikon's D1 digital camera, front right quarter view. Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource, all rights reserved.Our good friend Phil Askey over at the Digital Photography Review has just posted his full review of Nikon's D1 digital camera... Here's the verdict:
"The D1 is everything the professional photographer could need and a whole lot more, build quality is second to none, image quality is excellent with a few funnies which, as long as you know, you can work around.

Cast your mind back to when the D1 was first released. Consider the market back then, as a professional the only digital's you would be considering would be the 2 megapixel, $12,000+ Kodak DCS series, Nikon hit the headlines with a 2.7 megapixel, all one brand, $5,000 professional SLR which offered features, build quality and a smaller size not previously seen in the pro market. An amazing feat."
For the full story, hop on over to the DPReview Nikon D1 review!
Source: Digital Photography Review Nikon D1 review

Sunday, November 26, 2000



Final Comdex report posted!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 21:38 EST)


Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource, all rights reserved.Somewhat later than we'd planned (Mike's finally just about kicked his cold, but his wife's already coming down with the next one - oh no!) we've now posted our full report on the Comdex show itself. There's numerous new digital cameras, prototypes and concepts for you to see from companies such as HP, Kodak, Ricoh, Samsung, Sanyo, Sony, Toshiba and more. Head on over to the Comdex report, and you can find out the full story, including who's behind the interesting-looking SLR-style digital camera pictured on the right! :)

The Comdex Fall 2000 report!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 21:27 EST)


Canon Inc.

Canon's digital offerings at Comdex included the popular EOS D30 digital SLR, PowerShot G1 and PowerShot S100 Digital ELPH cameras... The company also had a number of scanners and digital camcorders on display, although unfortunately Mike didn't get a chance to see these in any detail.

Readers may be interested to know that all of the photos in this report are taken with the PowerShot G1, mostly at ISO 200 in Program mode, and occasionally with flash. Photos are taken at 1024 x 768 in high compression since they're later resized to 640 x 480 for web display.

Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Canon's digicams on display
 

Casio Computer Co. Ltd.

Casio's digital presence at Comdex consisted of the company's QV-3EXplus, QV-2300UXplus, QV-2800UXplus and QV-3000EXplus digital cameras. Interestingly, the company also had a case showing a wide range of 'digital camera accessories' including not just the usual rechargeable batteries and flash cards, but external flashes, tripods, cases, accessory lenses and more from third-party companies.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
The 'Digital Camera Accessories' display
Casio's digicams on show

Hewlett-Packard Co.

As well sa an array of printers/scanners, HP had an extremely compact display showing its range of PhotoSmart digital cameras, including the HP215, HP315, HP618 and HP912 (the last two of which are manufactured in cooperation with Pentax).
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
HP's PhotoSmart digicams
 

Iomega Corp.

Iomega showed their FotoShow digital imaging set-top box, which our friends over at Steve's Digicams recently reviewed.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Iomega's FotoShow set-top
 

Eastman Kodak Co.

Kodak's large booth showed off a range of digital cameras, both consumer and professional... A particularly interesting display showed the image sensors used in the DCS560 and DCS620 cameras alongside a wafer on which the sensors are produced, and the camera body/circuit boards used to make the final digital camera. The DCS Pro Back was also shown alongside its CCD sensor (terribly overexposed in our picture, but just visible - sorry!) Kodak also had a 'Solutions Pavilion' on their booth, highlighting third-party products allied with Kodak, such as image-editing software and the like.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pro digicams display
DCS560 wafer and mounted sensor
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
DCS560 - EOS 1N body and PCBs
DCS620 wafer and mounted sensor
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
DCS620 - Nikon F5 body and PCBs
DCS Pro Back and mounted sensor
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Consumer digicams display
 

MemoryStick Pavilion / Sony Corp.

Consumer electronics giant Sony Corp. had a 'pavilion' entirely separate from their booth, highlighting the company's MemoryStick media and related products, both from Sony itself and MemoryStick licensees. Most of the products were related to MemoryStick in terms of audio, but several prototypes and mockups on the pavilion were interested in the digital imaging sense...

Yes, we agree that Sony's new AIBO robot lion cub is only very vaguely digital imaging related, but it does have a digital camera in its nose and hey - it's just too cool to not show you! :)

Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
MemoryStick Camera Module
GPS stick, Jog stick and Digital Still Camera
stick in handheld display units
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Cell-phone alongside MemoryStick Camera Module
Fingerprint Recognition Module display
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
FingerPrint Recognition Module assembly
Sony's AIBO ERS-210 Robot Lion Cub
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
AIBO's digicam watches a proud Sony rep
 

Olympus America Inc.

Olympus' sizeable Comdex booth showed essentially the same digital cameras and photo printers shown at PhotoPlus Expo East in New York.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' photo printers on display
Olympus' latest digicams and printers hands-on

Ricoh Corp.

Ricoh's PC Peripherals Business Unit concentrated on the recently announced RDC-i700, an interesting digital camera which also takes on some of the functionality of a handheld PC, with a large LCD touch screen display, Internet and fax capabilities, and the ability to email or FTP images directly from the camera.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Ricoh's RDC-i700 digital camera in use
Ricoh's RDC-i700 digital camera display
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
RDC-i700 close-up (taken at Digital Focus)
RDC-i700 in-hand (taken at Digital Focus)

Samsung Co. Ltd.

Samsung showed three new digital cameras at Comdex... The SDC-80 features a 1/3" 850,000 pixel CCD image sensor, 1.8" LCD display, detacheable flash, and SmartMedia storage (4MB bundled). We'd speculate that the SDC-80 looks to be a replacement for Samsung's Digimax 800K, adding an LCD display and a more eye-catching design.

Also shown was the SDC-130Z, which looks to be a redesign of the Digimax 130Z which we saw at PMA last February. The SDC-130Z retains the Digimax 130Z's 1/2.7" 1.3 megapixel CCD image sensor, 1.8" TFT LCD display, and 3x optical zoom lens, but again has a more eye-catching design and interestingly replaces the CompactFlash storage of the previous design with a SmartMedia slot.

Finally, the SDC-200Z seems to have a similar feature set to the Digimax 210SE we saw last February, with a 1.8" TFT LCD display, 3x optical zoom lens and 2.11 megapixel CCD sensor, but again with CompactFlash storage swapped for SmartMedia, and a chassis redesign.

Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Samsung's digital camera display
Nexca SDC-200Z digital camera
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Nexca SDC-130Z digital camera
Nexca SDC-80 digital cameras
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Nexca SDC-80 close-up with flash detached
 

Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd.

Sanyo, hot on the heels of showing its IDC-1000Z iD-shot digital camera which is unique in its use of 730MB iD PHOTO disks for storage at the Digital Focus press event, showed numerous concept mockups of future iD PHOTO products.

Three iD-shot camera concepts were shown, as well as two iD PHOTO picture viewers, one of which can also accept CompactFlash and SmartMedia cards via add-on card readers. The company also showed the IDC-1000Z to the US public for the first time...

Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Sanyo's huge rotating IDC-1000Z model
IDC-DP5000 Still & Motion camera mockup
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Unnamed iD PHOTO mockup digital camera
Unnamed digital SLR-style mockup
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
IDC-DP5000 camera mockup again
Unnamed iD PHOTO picture viewer mockup
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Another unnamed iD PHOTO picture viewer mockup
IDC-1000Z iD-shot digital camera

Sony Corp.

Whilst the majority of digital imaging interest from Sony Corp. was to be found on its MemoryStick pavilion and not in its main booth, we did spot a couple of items worth noting there too. First up, we again saw the Memory Stick Media Applications board that first appeared at a Japanese exhibition recently, noting future concept products based on the MemoryStick format. We also saw Sony's amazingly tiny working prototype digital still camera, which is billed as "the world's smallest digicam with an LCD display", and uses Memory Stick Duo cards for storage. Finally, we noted a display showing 128MB and 256MB MemorySticks - no word on when 256MB sticks will hit the market though.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Mockups of future Memory Stick concepts
The world's smallest working digicam with LCD display
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
64MB, 128MB and 256MB MemorySticks
 

Toshiba Corp.

Toshiba joined rivals Sony and Sanyo in showing numerous concept products at Comdex. The Japanese consumer electronics heavyweight showed numerous concepts based on the SD memory cards it designed in cooperation with SanDisk and Matsushita.

The company showed two SD digital camera concepts, as well as SD GPS, scanner and Bluetooth cards, and a timeline predicting 1GB SD cards by 2002!

Also shown were the PDR-M4, PDR-M5, PDR-M60 and PDR-M70 digital cameras.

Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Toshiba's Digital Cameras display
Future product concepts display
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
FPS, Camera, Scanner and Bluetooth SD card mockups
Toshiba CMOS camera SD card concept
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Toshiba scanner SD card concept
SD card capacity - projected timeline
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Concept for an SD digicam with Bluetooth connectivity
 


Friday, November 24, 2000



UPDATED: Great prices on Lexar 8X USB CompactFlash!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, November 24, 2000 - 19:56 EST)


We just posted this over on the Deals page but felt that it was worthy of a mention here too, because it expires tomorrow (Saturday, 24 Nov)... IR reader Scott Warnkey wrote in to point out that Lexar's 8X JumpShot USB-enabled CompactFlash cards are available for only $48 for a 48MB card or $64 for a 64MB card currently. Hop on over to Deals for the full story. ;) Thanks, Scott!

Note: No sooner had we posted an addendum to the item above after an email from a reader suggested that this deal may not be valid, than we received another email confirming that this deal (whilst it may sound too good to be true) really does exist! We can confirm from IR reader Daniel Switkin, who visited his local CompUSA store, that they did have rebate coupons on hand to allow you to get 48MB or 64MB Lexar CompactFlash cards for $48 or $64 respectively... West Coast readers may still have time to get to their store, but will likely find it has already sold out. We'd still recommend visiting even if just to get the rebate coupon and then buy the card from CompUSA's website instead though...

Wednesday, November 22, 2000



Steve's Digicams concludes E-10 review!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 22, 2000 - 14:12 EST)


Olympus's E-10 SLR digital camera, front left quarter view. Courtesy of Olympus - click for a bigger picture!Our friends over at Steve's Digicams have now completed their review of Olympus' Camedia E-10 digital camera, adding a lengthy conclusion... Here's a sampling of Steve's thoughts:
"If you need a fully featured, high resolution digital SLR but you're not ready to spend $5,000 or more ... the Olympus E-10 SLR with its 4-megapixel imager, excellent optics and professional camera features should fill the bill nicely. I hope to have the FL-40 flash shortly and will update the review and conclusions after we've had a chance to evaluate them together. From the sample pictures I have seen and the reports that I have read from other users, the combination of the E-10 and the FL-40 flash is nothing short of amazing."

Source: Steve's Digicams Olympus Camedia E-10 review

Dave's on a well-earned vacation!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 22, 2000 - 14:05 EST)


Just back from the hectic PhotoPlus Expo East and Comdex Fall 2000 shows, Dave is now taking a well-earned rest for the Thanksgiving holiday through Monday, November 27th. In the meantime, he'll likely be unable to access his email, and he'll likely have a mountain awaiting his reply when he gets back. If you need to get in touch urgently, email Mike instead at mtomkins@imaging-resource.com. If your email is not urgent, Dave will get to it on his return... :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2000



MacWorld honors Olympus, Nikon, Canon!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 21, 2000 - 17:06 EST)


Following on from our previous news item (it must be the time of year for "awards" issues), we note that MacWorld magazine has also announced its own annual awards. The winners haven't been selected yet, but finalists are as follows:
  • Consumer Digital Cameras - Olympus Camedia C-211, Nikon Coolpix 990 and Canon Powershot S100 Digital Elph
  • Digital Camcorders - Canon ZR10, Canon Optura Pi and Sony DCR-VX2000
  • Graphics Software - Adobe Illustrator 9, Adobe Photoshop 6 and Macromedia Fireworks 3
  • Printers - HP DeskJet 932c, Olympus P400 and Epson Stylus Photo 1270
  • Professional Digital Cameras - Olympus Camedia E-10, Nikon D1 and Canon EOS D30
The winners are to be announced on the eve of the MacWorld Expo San Francisco, Monday January 8th, 2001.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / Business Wire

Olympus, Fuji, Epson win awards!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 21, 2000 - 16:59 EST)


A press release from Home Office Computing magazine announces the winners of its annual '100 Best Products' list. On the list are three digital cameras, the Olympus D-490 Zoom (Gold), Fujifilm FinePix 4700 (Silver) and Epson PhotoPC 3000Z (Bronze).

Also interesting are the winning printers and scanners... Lexmark's Z52 was the winner in the Desktop Printer category, followed by Epson's Stylus Color 980 and HP's DeskJet 990Cse, whilst Canon's CanoScan N1220U was followed by UMAX's Astra 6450 and Visioneer's OneTouch 1800 in the scanner category.

Finally, in the image editing software category, Micrografx's Picture Publisher 8 took the Gold prize, followed by Adobe Photoshop 5.5 with the Silver and Corel Photo-Paint Digital Camera Edition 9 with the Bronze.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

Agilent, Sound Vision ally to create imaging platform!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 21, 2000 - 16:35 EST)


Sound Vision's logoHP spinoff Agilent Technologies Inc. and Sound Vision, Inc. have announced that they have entered into a joint development agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will create a combined imaging platform using Sound Vision's imaging software and Agilent's image processing chips. The new platform, say the two companies, will "enable manufacturers of digital consumer and professional equipment to bring to market quickly, a broad array of new digital imaging products - ranging from consumer devices such as cameras, cell phones and PDAs, to professional solutions for the security, medical and real estate industries".
"We are pleased to be working with Sound Vision to create the next generation in digital imaging solutions," said Jason Hartlove, business unit manager of Agilent's Imaging Electronics Division. "The combination of Sound Vision's leadership in digital imaging software solutions and Agilent's image processing chip technology is a powerful one, which will enable manufacturers to deliver a whole new class of digital imaging applications."

"We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Agilent -- a leading visionary in the digital imaging market,"
said John Morey, chief executive officer of Sound Vision. "By leveraging our respective unique strengths, we intend to exceed the expectations of our current and prospective OEM partners in their quest to bring to market high-volume products for the digital imaging industry more quickly and cost-effectively."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / Business Wire

Closeout prices on Kodak Pro digicams!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 21, 2000 - 11:21 EST)


An email in our Inbox this morning from Kodak highlighted a number of closeout prices on Kodak Professional digital cameras. Here's what Kodak had to say:

As part of a year-end clearance of discontinued items, Kodak Professional is offering drastic bargain pricing on selected award-winning digital cameras and accessories. For a limited time, customers can enjoy these price reductions when they shop online at Kodak's online store.

The discounted models include the Kodak Professional DCS 460, DCS 460 IR, DCS 465, NC 2000e and EOS DCS 1 digital cameras.
"Technology often changes faster than the market can absorb it. This means many digital camera users keep their systems even after new systems are introduced," said G. Michael DeWoody, U.S. Marketing Manager, Digital Cameras, Kodak Professional. "Users of our earlier digital cameras - and film shooters who have been waiting to 'go digital' - can now purchase brand new merchandise at very favorable prices to enhance or start their digital camera systems."
The cameras being offered by Kodak and their pricing is as follows:
  • DCS460IR - 6 megapixel IR/monochrome, N90 based, $2500
  • DCS460c - 6 megapixel color, N90 based, $2500
  • EOS-DCS 1c - 6 megapixel color, EOS-1n based, $2500
  • EOS-DCS 1m - 6 megapixel monochrome, EOS-1n based, $2500
  • NC 2000e Color - 1.3 megapixel color, N90 based, $1000
  • NC 2000e Mono - 1.3 megapixel monochrome, N90 based, $1000
All of the above cameras are available here whilst stocks last.

Monday, November 20, 2000



Personal picture maker, Oly C-2100, Fuji 2400 reviews!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, November 20, 2000 - 17:33 EST)


Whilst we were at Comdex, our friends on other sites posted a number of reviews as follows:

Kodak's Personal Picture Maker. Courtesy of Eastman Kodak Co. - click for a bigger picture!Kodak Personal Picture Maker 200 photo printer (Steve's Digicams):
"My conclusion on the previous Kodak PPM100 printer was to pass it by due to poor image quality and lack of USB support, the new PPM200 has addressed both issues. It now has a USB port and the print quality, even when set to "Good" is on par with the Epson and HP photo printers.

Speedwise it is slower than many printers, an 8x10 print takes a good twenty minutes at the 600x600 dpi setting. But it is loaded with features; it's a photo printer, a card reader, it works standalone or with a computer. The color LCD makes it real easy to operate in standalone mode, I only wish they had added a video out connector so it could be hooked up to a TV set. And let's not forget that it can also be connected to an Iomega USB ZIP drive for image transfer or printing.

All in all the PPM200 is a very capable printer, Kodak and Lexmark have a winner here this time."

Fuji's FinePix 2400 Zoom digital camera. Courtesy of Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Inc. - click for a bigger picture!Fuji FinePix 2400 (Digital Camera Resource Page):
"The Fuji FinePix 2400 is a decent midrange point-and-shoot camera for those who want a 2 Megapixel camera. The body style is familiar to almost everyone, so users won't have much trouble getting up and running. The camera is missing many of the bells and whistles of more expensive cameras, but most people won't miss them."

Olympus C-2100 Ultra ZOOM digital camera, front quarter view.  Courtesy of Olympus America Inc. - click for a bigger picture!Olympus C-2100 Ultra Zoom (Digital Camera Resource Page):
"It's hard to compare the C-2100 Ultra Zoom, since there aren't too many cameras out there with a zoom like this. As a 2.1 Megapixel camera, it's a great one -- it's basically the C-2020Z with a large zoom lens. It's also got all the necessary manual features (with the exception of white balance), movies with sound, and a great bundle. If you want to break out of the 3X optical zoom mode, the C-2100 is a great way to do it!"


Friday, November 17, 2000



ImageScape report posted!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, November 17, 2000 - 20:14 EST)


Infotrends' ImageScape 2000 logoMike's now back home in Tennessee, and has just posted a report of the ImageScape press event which runs alongside Comdex Fall... There's a couple of interesting new digital cameras, wireless imaging solutions and more in the report, which is posted a little later than planned thanks to problems with the modem on Mike's laptop. Check it out!

Next up - the Comdex report itself... Stay tuned, we'll have exclusive photos of everything we saw, including a number of concept and prototype cameras from some big names that we found really interesting!

ImageScape @ Comdex Fall 2000 report!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, November 17, 2000 - 20:05 EST)


The buzz word for this year's ImageScape, said Sony Electronics' Personal Network Solutions president Mark Viken in his keynote speech, was 'convergence' - the blurring of boundaries between what we currently perceive as three separate (if closely related) product groups, digital cameras, digital camcorders and mobile information appliances. Digital cameras are getting high resolution video capabilities, digital camcorders are improving their still image quality, and mobile information appliances (read: handheld computers, PDAs, notebook computers and even watches) are getting digital imaging capabilities, be they still, video, or in some cases both...

FlashPoint's Photivity wireless imaging solution. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!Active Photo's wireless imaging solution. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!

Perhaps an even more commonly used buzzword amongst those circulating around the room examining the latest offerings from numerous manufacturers was wireless, however. Flashpoint had their Photivity wireless imaging solution on display at their booth, whilst rivals Active Photo had their own solution which is apparently already in use by, amongst others, an insurance company for automatically transferring images from out in the field to a central location (both solutions shown above). We heard numerous comments on wireless imaging from attendees, exhibitors and ImageScape's panelists, with opinions basically belonging to one of two camps - either that the time for wireless is now, and that it has finally become feasible, or that the bandwidth necessary for wireless to be useable just isn't available, and that it is a case of manufacturers pushing technologies onto customers that they don't really need...

We'd have to take a middle ground on the issue ourselves - we can certainly see a place for wireless imaging in certain market segments such as insurance and the like, where speed with which photos can be examined and claims decided is most definitely important, but simultaneously we'd have to agree that with wireless technology limited at speeds of 14.4Kbps (the current maximum in mobile phone technology, we were told) wireless is not yet ready for the high-resolution images many of today's digital cameras produce.

Flashpoint's Photivity is based on the company's Digita operating system. A Digita-based camera connected to a mobile phone (Flashpoint were using Kodak's DC290 in their demonstration) allows for transfer of images, text or sound clips either to a web server which can be run by a third party, with APIs available to allow existing servers to be modified for use with the system. A Digita rep advised that image transfer times were in the order of 5 minutes per image... Active Photo's solution was based on a somewhat different model, where the company controlled the process end-to-end, providing not only the in-camera software but also the photo hosting as well. Again, images can be annotated with text and sound clips, and transferred to the host - no mention was made of emailing images from the camera however. Active Photo's system is currently in use, and they noted that they can customise the in-camera software to suit a customer's needs - for example to collect specific information along with each image. Pricing depends on image volume, and the company also expects as the price of cellular phones come down that they will make their service available to the public as well...

Photela's TV Slideshow set top box. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!The next interesting device we spotted at ImageScape doesn't yet have a company to back it... Photela's TV Slideshow is a TV set top box for displaying images, with a difference. The device, which features an infrared remote control for selecting and rotating images or starting an automatic slideshow of all images, is not targetted at digital camera owners! Instead, Photela told us that they envision friends and relatives of digital camera owners, who are uninterested in the complications of digital photography, purchasing the set-top boxes at locations such as WalMart and K-Mart for the comparitively low price of $100. Images are loaded from a floppy disk, either directly from the camera if they are from a floppy-disk based camera such as Sony's Mavicas, or via Photela's PC program which optimizes the images for TV display (resizing them to 640 x 480 and compressing them at a variety of levels that allow from about 10-40 images per 1.44MB disk). Photela made a point of comparing the image quality of their device on a TV screen to that from the average digital camera's video output, noting that their set-top provides extremely clean images with no flickering or noticeable loss of quality... Images are preloaded into the unit's memory whilst the previous image is being viewed, so that there is minimal delay when switching from image to image. They are currently looking for a company to produce the TV Slideshow devices, and expect that they could be ready to manufacture them almost immediately.

The hardware from Arius 3D used in Raindrop Geomagic's 3D imaging solution. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!A 3D computer model of Pokemon character 'Pikachu' alongside plaster and resin models created from computer models, all using solutions from Raindrop and its partners. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!

Another interesting display at ImageScape (shown above) was a cooperation between Raindrop Geomagic, Arius 3D, Z-Corp, Viewpoint (formerly known as Metastream Corp.) and NVidia. Arius 3D provide the hardware to capture a three dimensional "map" of the object along with texture information, which is then processed with Raindrop's Geomagic Studio 3.0 to create a 3D wireframe model and texture maps to overlay on the wireframe. Z-Corp provide the hardware to create a 3D model of the object out of either plaster or cellulose powder, which can then be infiltrated with wax or plastic resins to create a stronger model, and then "painted" with textures. Viewpoint provides the software for streaming the 3D models over the Internet, and NVidia the 3D graphics processing... We stopped by the booth and saw a computer model and a plaster model of a Pokemon character, which seemed very detailed indeed... Raindrop also took a photo of Mike which they promised to convert into a 3D model and email back, so hopefully once we receive it we can post it here as a demonstration. ;) When asked whether their process worked in a similar manner to the Metaflash 3D capture solution which we've talked about on the News page before, booth staff said that the process was similar, but had a much higher resolution 3D model... We were told that Raindrop's solution captured detail right down within a millimeter, to the point that it had been used by a cosmetics company to model facial wrinkles, and that competing solutions didn't look as detailed when the textures were removed. Unfortunately we weren't able to see this demonstrated at the booth, but images on Raindrop's website do show a high level of detail in the 3D mapping.

Sanyo's IDC-1000Z iDshot digital camera, shown with iD PHOTO disk bay open. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!We did also see some new digital cameras at ImageScape... Perhaps the most interesting was from Sanyo, in the form of the IDC-1000Z 'iDshot' camera, which is the first camera using iD PHOTO disks to reach the market. The iDshot, which can store 730MB of images on each disk, did need a little explaining initially as the control layout was unlike any camera Mike had tried before, but once the Sanyo rep quickly explained it, it did make sense and was very simple to use... A dial on the top right of the camera is used to change modes (Record, Play, PC Connect, etc.), whilst the four-way rocker on the back of the camera is used for panning around images in playback, zooming in record mode, and selecting/changing items in the menus. In record mode, you can change aperture/shutter (dependent on the camera mode) by specifying which setting you want to change by pressing either of the buttons above the jog dial on the left side of the camera, and then spinning the jog dial to alter the setting. The camera seemed fairly fast in use, as born out by the specifications ofat least 7.5 frames per second in all resolutions, or 30 frames per second video, although many potential buyers may consider the 1.5 megapixel resolution and price tag of around $1500 to be show-stoppers... One thing we'd note is that the camera is smaller than the photos we've seen make it look, perhaps because we're conditioned to think of disk-based cameras as being fairly large, and the iD PHOTO disks are actually quite a bit smaller than their 3.5" magnetic brethren. ;)

Two other cameras we hadn't seen before were aimed at the lower end of the market were shown by Chicony and Ezonics. Chicony's TC800 digital camera has a megapixel image sensor and a design that features an optical viewfinder, built-in flash and LCD info display, but no LCD for reviewing images. The company had non-functional mockups of the camera on display, and plans to ship the camera at a price of $200. Further details were unavailable at the show... Ezonics, meanwhile, showed a camera which is apparently already shipping, but which we hadn't previously seen, the EZ Dual Cam. Similarly to the Chicony camera, the Dual Cam features an optical viewfinder, built-in flash and LCD info display, and no LCD for reviewing images, but the Ezonics design has a swiveling top portion on which the optical viewfinder, lens and flash are mounted, allowing them to be pointed independently of the camera body. The camera can also function as a webcam, and our guess is that this is the reason behind the swivel, which wouldn't be very functional in use as a still camera, but would allow for the lens to be pointed at the user for videoconferencing...

Chicony's TC800 digital camera in several colors. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!Chicony's TC800 digital camera in closeup. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!

Ezonics EZ Dual Cam digital camera (front view). Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!Ezonics EZ Dual Cam digital camera (rear view). Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!


Thursday, November 16, 2000



Photobot(tm) is in Public Beta!!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 23:13 EST)


Ever wonder where to find that interesting article you saw a few months back on the D30? Looking for a directory to *all* the camera reviews on the Web? Is your bookmark list over-full and under-organized? We have what you're looking for! Photobot, now in public beta!

Our new "Photobot" search engine is a hierarchical directory that YOU can contribute to and help grow. Our goal is for it to be the most comprehensive, authoritative directory to imaging information on the Web. It works a lot like Yahoo(tm) and other "portal" directories, in that entries are arranged in categories and subcategories. You can search on keywords, or just burrow down the categories to find what you want. What's more, this is a resource that everyone can contribute to: Get all your favorite sites listed by submitting them for inclusion. Navigate to the location where you think the site should be linked, click on the SUBMIT A LINK heading at the top of the page, and fill out the form. Entries go into a queue where we check them regularly and approve those that seem appropriate. Pretty much everything and anything in imaging is fair game (as long as it's rated PG or better). Have sample pages from a digicam? Navigate down to that digicam's category and submit your album or pages. See a cool FAQ on some obscure technical topic? Navigate to the "Gadget Hacker" category and post a link. (A category we're particularly hoping to see filled-in, given the wealth of delightfully obscure technical details that are scattered all over the Web.) We've populated a little over a thousand links ourselves (yup, there are over a thousand links already in there), but the real power will come as all of you post your own favorites! Check it out, tell your friends!


Source: The Photobot imaging search engine/portal!

Wednesday, November 15, 2000



Printroom announces 'Shoot and Share' - $500 sweepstakes prize too!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 15:31 EST)


New IR advertiser Printroom.com is no stranger to those in the digicam community looking for high quality, real photo prints from their digital files. Now, Printroom is pleased to announce they've made online (and offline) life easier for the digital photographer, with a new piece of software. "Shoot & Share" helps you organize, crop, rotate, edit and trim your digital photos on your local computer, assemble them into albums, and then upload them automatically to the Printroom.com site with a single mouse click. - No more messing around in your browser finding the files you want and uploading them one at a time. By special arrangement with Printroom, Imaging Resource readers can register and download a free copy of the new Shoot & Share software. Better yet, everyone who registers is automatically entered in a drawing to be held January 15, 2001, for a $500 (!) credit for prints from Printroom! (That's about 125 big beautiful 8x10 prints! - Have an empty wall or two anyplace?) Click here to register for the free drawing, and to get your own copy of Shoot & Share!

Full review posted for Canon EOS D30!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 13:16 EST)


Full review posted for Canon EOS D30!
Back at the end of August, we put up one of the first (as well as one of the most comprehensive) almost-full reviews of the Canon D30 on the web. At the time, we didn't publish many images from it, due to a problem with incompatibilities between the software we had from Canon and the firmware inside the camera. We've now had the chance to get our hands on a full-production D30 and really put it through its paces. In the process, we also ran a much more extensive than normal set of tests on the lenses we received with the unit, and came to some surprising conclusions about the relatively inexpensive 24-85mm zoom lens Canon seems to be promoting for use with the D30.

This new round of testing really cemented our first impression that the D30 is an exceptionally high-quality piece of picture-taking gear. The images are color-accurate, with both low noise and an unusually fine-grained noise pattern that gives its pictures what we described as a "buttery-smooth" character. (A little bit of a mixed metaphor there, but you get the idea.) The ability to use its RAW-formatted images with the standard software that ships with it is another great benefit: We found the color and contrast adjustments you can make with the ZoomBrowser software post-exposure covered a very useful range of variation. Overall, a true "category killer" product!
Source: Imaging Resource

Tuesday, November 14, 2000



Digital Focus Report posted!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 19:24 EST)


Mike has just posted the first of our live reports from Comdex Fall 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada over on our Comdex report page... The first posting looks at the Digital/Mobile Focus @ Comdex event, which runs the evening before Comdex opens, and offers a preview of what to expect at Comdex from numerous companies in the digital imaging and mobile computing fields... Hop on over to the Comdex report to find out what we saw! Our next update should be on the ImageScape 2000 press show, which Dave and Mike both attended this morning.

The Digital Focus @ Comdex Fall 2000 Report
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 19:15 EST)


Fujitsu's LifeBook notebook computer with digital camera attached. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!Digital Focus, an event held alongside the PC Expo, Fall Comdex and Fall PMA show each year, took place Sunday evening shortly after we arrived in Las Vegas. We attended, and whilst the majority of what we saw was beyond the scope of the Imaging Resource, or had already been shown previously at PhotoPlus Expo East in New York last week, we did see a number of new and interesting products which bear mentioning...

First off, we saw two interesting notebook computers from Fujitsu and Sony which featured digital cameras. Fujitsu's LifeBook (on the right) featured a digital camera which could be connected to the edge of the notebook' screen for recording video or low-resolution still images. More interesting, at least in Mike's personal opinion, was the Sony PictureBook C1VN, which was noteable both for the fact that the digital camera was built into the notebook's chassis as in previous PictureBooks, and also for its use of TransMeta's Crusoe processor.

Sony's PictureBook C1VN notebook computer. Spot the News Editor caught by the 'Motion Eye' on the C1VN's screen! Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!The PictureBook C1VN (seen here on the left) is quite unusual in having a screen with an aspect ratio of about 15:7 (1024 x 480 pixels) which allows the screen size to be maximised whilst keeping the overall dimensions of the notebook to an absolute minimum, as determined by the size of the keyboard. TransMeta's Crusoe chip gives the C1VN a claimed battery life of 5.5 hours in a notebook that weighs 2.2 pounds. We noticed that the C1VN "Motion Eye" digital camera is labelled as providing improved image quality, but couldn't get a clarification from Sony as to exactly what had been improved. Initially, we were told that the camera had been upgraded to a megapixel sensor, but further checking revealed that it uses a 350K pixel progressive scan CCD image sensor which we believe is the same as the previous model (interestingly, our research found that the Japanese PCG-CX1E features a 410,000 pixel image sensor).

Next up was an interesting prototype on display from Kodak. We first told you about the company's tie-up with Sanyo to develop organic electroluminescent displays back on February 5th, 1999, and were interested to see a prototype display attached to a portable DVD player at Digital Focus. The display apparently uses significantly less power than an LCD display thanks to its self-luminous pixels which do not need a backlight. It also offers a greatly improved viewing angle which we've tried to demonstrate in the two pictures below - in both pictures, what you see on the Organic EL display is what was currently playing (scenes from the film Terminator, we think) - even viewed from these extreme angles, the Organic EL display is clear and easy to see, whereas in one picture the standard LCD display built into the DVD player isn't even visible. Pretty impressive stuff!

Kodak's Organic EL display to the left of a Panasonic DVD player, both showing the same image.  Note that from near the same angle as each other, the Organic EL display is clearly visible, whilst the LCD display is almost black! Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!Another comparison of an LCD with Kodak's Organic EL display. Note that the OEL remains bright and shows true colors, where the LCD is barely visible. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!

The next item of interest was Nikon's mighty-impressive AF-VR Nikkor 80-400mm 1:4.5-5.6D ED zoom lens... Without a doubt the most incredible lens Mike has ever laid hands on, Nikon's new baby was shown attached to the Nikon D1, and in a brief test of the lens at the booth, I found it a joy to use. The power of the zoom was, compared to anything I've had the opportunity to use before, simply stunning. The VR (Vibration Reduction) system worked like a dream, making it easy to handhold the lens without fear of blurring shots, but perhaps most impressive was the price, which should be in the region of $1700. If you've already spent the money on a D1 and are looking for a good tele lens to match it, definitely check this one out. The two photos below show the lens fully extended on the D1, and a closeup of the zoom ring and markings on the lens...

Nikon's 80-400MM Vibration Reduction lens fully extended, mounted on a Nikon D1 digital camera. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!A closeup of the top of Nikon's 80-400MM VR lens. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!

Light & Motion's Tetra 3030 underwater housing. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!Finally, we noted that both Sony's DSC-P1 underwater housing and Light & Motion's Tetra 3030 underwater housing (see on the right) were on display at Digital Focus. We've shown you the DSC-P1 underwater housing in our review of the camera previously, but hadn't mentioned the Tetra 3030 before. With a depth rating of 300 feet and a cast aluminum build, the Tetra 3030 really feels the business! The housing has one other feature that Sony's version lacks - the ability to attach add-on lenses to the front of the housing. Why might you want to do this? Well, with a different density than air, water causes your lens to increase its effective focal length, meaning (in much the same way as with image sensor size variations) that wide-angle shots are more difficult to achieve. Screw in the optional multi-element wide-angle lens and you get that lost wide-angle capability back. Also available is an achromatic macro lens which allows for underwater macro photography with minimal chromatic abberation. Finally, we were also told that the Tetra 3030 also maintains near-neutral buoyancy (so you don't lose your camera to the depths should you drop it)!

Monday, November 13, 2000



Comdex opens, report on the way!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, November 13, 2000 - 18:04 EST)


The Comdex Fall 2000 logo outside the Las Vegas Convention Center... Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Still battling a cold, and having given up all hope of ever getting hold of a computer in the incredibly busy Comdex press tent, Mike is back at the hotel working up the first report live from Comdex for you whilst Dave patrols the show floor. We both attended the Digital Focus event last night, which will be the subject of our first report, and we saw some new products which we think you'll find interesting! Watch this space for more shortly...

Full review posted for Fuji FinePix 40i camera/MP3 player!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, November 13, 2000 - 9:40 EST)


Full review posted for Fuji FinePix 40i camera/MP3 player!
Well, it won a Popular Science award for cool technology, and the Fuji FinePix 40i definitely qualifies in the "Cool" category. It combines a 2.4 megapixel SuperCCD (4.3 megapixel file size) digicam with a MP3 player for sights and sound on the go. Unlike some other dual-purpose camera/MP3 units on the market, the 40i is clearly aimed at a more "mature" set (or kids with plenty of money), who want to take pictures with enough resolution and image quality to make good prints. The F40i clearly delivers on that score, snapping pictures with plenty of resolution to make prints as large as 8x10. We did have some minor quibbles with its user interface, found the battery life rather short, and feel that you'll definitely need to purchase a hefty 64 MB memory card along with it if you really intend to take pictures and listen to sound at the same time, but it absolutely has the cachet of technology-as-fashion-accessory so in demand these days. For the photo/music-loving gadget hound, it's the ultimate bring-along. Check it out!
Source: Imaging Resource

Sunday, November 12, 2000



Mike and Dave off to Comdex!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, November 12, 2000 - 7:49 EST)


Well, it seems like we're hardly back from PhotoPlus Expo East before we're on the move again - this time to Comdex Fall 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada... Mike and Dave will both be spending the best part of today in the air and hence out of contact. We'll both be checking email off and on throughout the next few days (Dave returns on Wednesday, Mike on Thursday) and will try to attend to anything urgent as quickly as possible. The remainder of the mail will be answered on our return, but remember that literally hundreds of emails tend to build up whilst we're away, so it could take a little while to get back to you...

Friday, November 10, 2000



Taiwan manufacturers ramp up digicam production, specifications!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, November 10, 2000 - 19:00 EST)


An interesting item on the AsiaBizTech website looks at efforts by Taiwanese digicam manufacturers to increase their market share. According to the item, Taiwan accounted for 418,000 of the digital cameras manufactured last year, and expects that to rise to some 500,000 this year. Taiwanese manufacturers are apparently looking to increase their sales and production facilities near their major market areas (presumably in the US, Japan and Europe), as well as considering investing in China. They are also expected to invest more in R&D to target a higher-end market...
Source: AsiaBizTech Taiwan Digicam Manufacturers news item

PhotoPlus Expo Round-Up - Part Two!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, November 10, 2000 - 0:45 EST)


The PhotoPlus Expo East logo - there was no fancy sign outside the show, but the spectacular Jacob Javits convention center architecture made up for it... Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!

Slightly late thanks to Mike catching a cold, we've just posted Part Two of our report on the PhotoPlus Expo East 2000 held November 2nd to 4th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York... Part Two highlights offerings from Agfa, Contax, Epson, Foveon, Hasselblad, Imacon, Leica, Lexar, Polaroid, Leaf and UMAX... This brings our coverage of the PhotoPlus Expo East 2000 to a close. Look out for our coverage of Comdex Fall 2000, coming next week - as busy as PhotoPlus was, we're expecting to see even more on display at Comdex! In the meantime, check out the PhotoPlus report!

PhotoPlus Expo Round-Up - Part Two!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, November 10, 2000 - 0:41 EST)


Following is Part 2 of our round-up of the PhotoPlus East Expo, highlighting offerings from Agfa, Contax, Epson, Foveon, Hasselblad, Imacon, Leica, Lexar, Polaroid, Leaf and UMAX... This brings our coverage of the PhotoPlus Expo East 2000 to a close. Look out for our coverage of Comdex Fall 2000, coming next week - as busy as PhotoPlus was, we're expecting to see even more on display at Comdex!

Agfa Corp.

Whilst Agfa did have two of their scanners and numerous pieces of photo lab equipment on display, we didn't see any of their digital cameras in their booth... The scanners shown were the DuoScan T2500 and T2000XL.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Agfa's DuoScan T2500 and T2000XL scanners
 

Kyocera Corp. / Contax

Kyocera (under their Contax brand name) did have a presence at PhotoPlus, but unfortunately their recently announced N Digital SLR was not on display. The company's digital offering consisted of a display showing a Contax camera with MegaVision's S3Pro and Phase One's LightPhase digital camera backs instead... The N Digital was mentioned briefly on a poster describing Contax's N1 35mm SLR, the camera on which it is based.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
MegaVision's S3Pro and Phase One's LightPhase
 

Epson America Inc.

Epson's booth certainly wasn't one of the largest at the show, but they did manage to pack quite a bit into a small space! On show were the Stylus Photo 2000P, Stylus Photo 1270, Stylus Photo 875DC and Stylus Photo 875DCS printers, along with the PhotoPC 3000Z and PhotoPC 650 digital cameras, and a selection of Epson printer media.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Stylus Photo 2000P printer
Stylus Photo 1270 printer
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
PhotoPC 3000Z and 650 packaging
Stylus Photo 875DCS printer
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
PhotoPC 3000Z and 650 digital cameras
 

Foveon Inc.

Foveon had a fairly large booth with plenty to keep visitors interested... On display was the Foveon II digital studio camera, which was being demonstrated by a photographer taking numerous photos of a model at the front of the booth. Side displays showed the 4 megapixel CMOS sensors the camera uses, as well as the color-splitting prism at the center of its design, and posters describing the advantages to this approach, which gives full-measured color for every pixel. Also on display was Foveon's 16 megapixel CMOS sensor... Both the 4 and 16 megapixel CMOS sensors were shown mounted, and as a full wafer of sensors - must have been a pretty expensive display!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Foveon II digital studio camera
Foveon II Mac interface detail
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Photographer prepares Foveon II shot
Foveon II front view
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Foveon II CMOS and color splitter
The color-splitting prism in action
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Foveon II prism with CMOS sensors mounted
Advantages of full-measured color
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
16 megapixel CMOS display
16 megapixel CMOS sensor and wafer

Victor Hasselblad AB

Hasselblad surprisingly didn't seem to have their newly announced DFinity digital camera on display anywhere on their booth. Their digital offerings instead consisted of a display showing Leaf's Cantare, MegaVision's S3Pro, Jenoptik's eyelike MF and Phase One's LightPhase digital camera backs.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Cantare, S3Pro, eyelike MF and LightPhase backs
 

Imacon Inc.

Imacon, best known for their high-end scanners, had a surprise for us at the show - a new digital camera back, the Carnival 3020. The 3020 features one-shot, multi-shot and micro-step modes in one unit, with FireWire connectivity... Also on show were the FlexTight Progression, Photo and Precision II scanners.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Carnival 3020 digital back
Canival 3020 specs
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
FelxTight Progression scanner
FlexTight Photo scanner
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
FlexTight Precision II scanner
 

Leica Camera Inc.

Leica's only digital offering at PhotoPlus East was their Digilux 4.3, a rebadge of Fuji's 2.4 megapixel FinePix 4700 Zoom (we note that the camera's "4.3" badge confused at least one website into describing the camera as a 4.3 megapixel unit, and would really rather see Leica label the camera with a non-interpolated resolution!)
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Leica's Digilux 4.3
 

Lexar Media Inc.

Lexar had both Olympus' E-10 and Nikon's D1 cameras on its booth, to demonstrate its flash memory products. The company also highlighted its PrintRoom.com and DigitalFilm.com websites, along with its flash-card readers.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' E-10 digital camera
Nikon's D1 digital camera
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
PrintRoom.com display
DigitalFilm.com display
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Flash memory cards and reader
Lexar's booth from another angle

Polaroid Corp.

Polaroid announced their new SprintScan 120 medium format film scanner, which we told you about on our first day at the show.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Agfa's DuoScan T2500 and T2000XL scanners
 

Sinar Bron Imaging / CreoScitex Leaf

Sinar Bron's booth had the CreoScitex Leaf C-Most 6.6 megapixel digital camera back on display. We have a photo of the booth, unfortunately Mike missed getting a picture of the back itself - sorry!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 

UMAX

Umax showed their scanner line at PhotoPlus Expo East, including the following models: PowerLook III, 3000, 2100XL and 1100, Astra 6450 and AstraNET e5470.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
PowerLook 2100XL scanner
PowerLook 3000 scanner
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
PowerLook 1100 scanner
Astra 6450 scanner
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
AstraNET e5470 scanner
PowerLook III scanner
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Consumer scanners display
Professional scanners display


Thursday, November 9, 2000



Fuji FinePix 40i receives award!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 9, 2000 - 13:59 EST)


Fuji's Finepix 40i digital camera/MP3 player combo, front view with headphones/remote control. Courtesy of Fuji - click for a bigger picture!

Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Inc. has announced that its FinePix 40i digital camera will receive a 2000 "Best of What's New" award from Popular Science magazine. Each year, Fuji notes, the editors of Popular Science review thousands of new science and technology products, naming only 100 items as the "Best of What's New".

This is the second consecutive "Best of What's New" award for a Fujifilm digital camera, as the MX-1700 ZOOM received the honor in 1999.

Billed as "the first high-resolution digital camera with MP3 audio capabilities", the FinePix 40i features Fujifilm's Super CCD image sensor along with a built-in MP3 audio feature which plays back near CD-quality music. All MP3 controls (play/stop, forward/back, volume) are operated via a tethered remote, which also can be used to capture and view pictures. In addition to the traditional silver color, the $699 Fujifilm FinePix 40i can also be found in 'cosmic blue'.

The "Best of What's New" Award winners will be the cover story of Popular Science's December 2000 issue as well as the subject of a special editorial section. Since the award's inception in 1988, the "Best of What's New" issue has been the Popular Science's best-seller each year. In addition, the "Best of What's New" awards will extend beyond the magazine pages to millions on the World Wide Web at Popular Science's website.

The award will be presented during a special Technology Expo and Luncheon at Tavern on the Green in New York City, Thursday, November 9th, beginning at 12pm.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / Business Wire

AP compares FotoShow, Digital Wallet!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 9, 2000 - 13:30 EST)


We spotted over on Yahoo! News today a news item from the Associated Press, comparing Iomega's FotoShow and Minds@Work's Digital Wallet. Whilst not particularly in-depth, the comparison is still rather interesting and worth reading, we felt...

DCRP reviews Panasonic iPalm PV-DC3000!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 9, 2000 - 13:01 EST)


Panasonic's PV-DC3000 digital camera, front view. Courtesy of Panasonic.Our friend Jeff over at the Digital Camera Resource Page has now posted his review of Panasonic's iPalm PV-DC3000 digital camera, the first we're aware of. Here's what Jeff had to say:
"While I hate to be negative in reviews, I feel that it's my duty to give you all an honest opinion, before you spend your hard-earned money. But that's why you're here, right? The Panasonic ipalm PV-DC3000 is a camera with an interesting design, and decent features, it's just not competitive in the fast paced world of 3 Megapixel cameras. Priced at $899, the DC3000 is in the same price range as such cameras as the Kodak DC4800, Canon PowerShot G1, Nikon Coolpix 880 and 990, and the Olympus C-3000Z and C-3030Z -- all of which are much better cameras for the money. I'm hoping that the next version of the camera will let the DC3000 catch up with these other cameras."

Source: DCRP's Panasonic PV-DC3000 review

Sony predicts rapid digicam growth!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 9, 2000 - 0:13 EST)


Sony Corp.'s logoA Reuters news item today on Yahoo! Finance reports on a statement from Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp., noting that the company expects digicam sales to continue their strong growth. Sony expects a 114% increase in digital camera shipments for 2000/01 from 1.4 million units last year to 3 million this year. No forecast was given for next year.

Sony currently manufactures its digital cameras at two subsidiaries in Aichi and Gifu prefectures in western Japan, and plans to add further production capabilities at an existing television manufacturing subsidiary in Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture to boost overall output.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / Reuters

Wednesday, November 8, 2000



Ricoh to show RDC-i700 at Comdex!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 8, 2000 - 23:04 EST)


Ricoh's RDC-i700 'digital imaging tool', rear left quarter view with LCD screen folded down in the

Ricoh PC Peripherals Business Unit has announced that its RDC-i700 digital camera will be on display at Fall COMDEX 2000. Designed as a tool for mobile professionals, Ricoh's new RDC-i700 Internet digital camera combines both a digital camera along with basic handheld PC functionality such as web browser and email into one device. The RDC-i700 is, says Ricoh, "the first of a new breed of cameras that enables businesses to dramatically enhance workflow. By simply inserting a PC Card modem, LAN adapter, or storage card into the integrated type I and II expansion slot, the RDC-i700 becomes a mobile communications, workstation and presentation device."
Source: Yahoo! Finance / Business Wire

Iomega to rebadge IBM's MicroDrive!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 8, 2000 - 17:48 EST)


Iomega's logoIomega Corp. and IBM Corp. have announced an agreement that calls for Iomega to market IBM's Microdrive miniaturized hard disk technology under the Iomega brand in North America.

Beginning in February 2001, Iomega will be the first company to brand IBM's 340MB Microdrive. Iomega will bundle the drive with a type II plus PC card adapter and Iomega Quik Sync 2 software to provide customers with a solution for removable storage in laptop computers, consumer handheld devices, and digital cameras. The 340MB Microdrive with type II plus PC card adapter is currently compatible with 62 laptop computer models from 15 manufacturers, including Dell, Compaq, Toshiba, IBM, and Apple. The drive is also compatible with most digital cameras or PDAs equipped to use Type-II plus compact flash.
"The combination of Iomega's brand and channel strength with IBM's Microdrive technology creates a strong market opportunity for both companies," said Doug Collier, vice president of product management and business development, Iomega Corp. "Laptops are the fastest growing segment in the computer market today, and Iomega's strong retail presence will enable us to reach this growing audience of mobile users with the benefits of the Iomega Microdrive. This agreement results in a product that will be especially attractive to our channel partners and enterprise accounts."

"This packaging provides cutting-edge technology to a new generation of customers, who demand convenient, reliable storage solutions for their 'go-anywhere' computing devices,"
said Bill Healy, vice president of IBM Storage Technology. "IBM is pleased to continue its partnership with Iomega, an industry leader in external storage products for personal computers."
Users of the Iomega Microdrive will benefit from Iomega's Quik Sync 2 software, which will provide users with automatic on-the-fly file backup to protect important data from virus attacks and system malfunctions. Users can also set Iomega Quik Sync 2 software to store multiple file revisions, allowing them to recover earlier versions of important files even if the current version has been changed or damaged.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

Sound Vision announces new FLC processor!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 8, 2000 - 17:20 EST)


Sound Vision's logoSound Vision Inc. has announced it is manufacturing Clarity 2.0 image processing chips programmed to interface with microdisplays made by Displaytech Inc, a manufacturer of ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) microdisplays. The feature set and programmability of Clarity 2.0, say Sound Vision, combined with the image quality of Displaytech's LightView(TM) QVGA display modules, "[provide] a compelling component set for leading OEMs producing digital imaging devices for cameras, cellular phones, PDAs and personal computers".
"Manufacturing Clarity processing chips programmed to perform with Displaytech's microdisplays allows us to expand our product line and gain further access to the fast-growing digital still camera market," said Jim Dunn, vice president of business development at Sound Vision. "Displaytech's LightView display modules offer an attractive alternative to traditional displays because of their superior image quality, lower cost and low power consumption."
Sound Vision's 'Clarity' is a fully programmable platform designed for digital imaging and audio devices. The chip translates images captured by the device's image sensor and formats them into data that can be viewed on a display. Together with the company's firmware library and consulting services, the Clarity platform enables digital camera marketers and OEMs to achieve rapid time to market with digital imaging products, including cameras, cellular phones, PDAs, security devices, medical devices, automobiles, robotic equipment and other home and business appliances.
"Digital still camera viewfinders are a significant target market for Displaytech's LightView QVGA display," said J.P. Valiulis, Displaytech's senior director of business development. "The digital still camera market is growing at an amazing rate, and the need for advanced display solutions is increasing along with it. Our customers are introducing a variety of innovative consumer products and they need interface electronics like those from Sound Vision to work alongside our displays."
Displaytech manufactures a line of microdisplays for personal viewing and projection applications based on proprietary FLC technology. Smaller than a postage stamp, Displaytech displays are targetted at applications such as viewfinders for digital still cameras and camcorders, as well as rear projection television and monitors, and front projection systems because of their image quality, low power consumption and small size. Head-mounted displays, PDAs, smart phones and "Dick Tracy"-style watches are also anticipated.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

Ulead announces Photo Explorer 7.0!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 8, 2000 - 15:51 EST)


Ulead Systems Inc. has announced Ulead Photo Explorer 7.0 Pro, a software program it describes as "the most complete media management tool for acquiring, organizing, converting and sharing image, video and other media files". New features in version 7.0 include extensive cross-media support and improved batch editing and sharing features. Photo Explorer 7.0 Pro will be available both online and in a new retail box version.
"With the explosion of digital cameras, digital video camcorders and MP3 music, today's computer users deal with a wide variety of digital media files," stated Danielle Liao, president of Ulead Systems, Inc. "Only Photo Explorer 7.0 Pro lets users acquire and capture both image and video files as well as batch edit images and share media files with a click of the mouse. It's the most flexible image and media browser available today."
Ulead Photo Explorer 7.0 Pro features a Digital Camera Wizard, a one-step process that transfers images directly from a digital camera, including popular Kodak camera models. In addition, Photo Explorer lets users capture video from DV camcorders that use 1394 FireWire connections as well as USB-enabled PC cameras and motion cameras. Users can trim their video clips, convert them to other video formats (like MPEG or ASF), and share their videos by email or post them on the Web. Capturing single frame snapshots from a live video source is, says the press release, easy to do with Photo Explorer. Finally, Photo Explorer incorporates complete support for Exif metadata embedded in images taken by digital cameras. Exif data consists of detailed picture information, such as exposure, aperture and date taken, and is important to high-end digital photography users.

Ulead Photo Explorer 7.0 Pro delivers common image enhancement tools, such as brightness & contrast, hue & saturation, blur & sharpen, as well as red-eye removal. Additionally, users are able to change one photo and then batch apply the same enhancements to a series of images. This feature is perfect for correcting multiple images taken under similar conditions. Users can also add text to images and customize the font, size, style and color used.

Version 7.0 takes advantage of thumbnail data to improve visual browsing speed of images, while the preview window lets users preview images, video, and audio as well as slide show content. Users can add keywords and text descriptions to images making it easier to search and find the right files. Search results are displayed as visual previews of the actual images and files can be sorted freely by dragging and dropping thumbnails into place.

New printing features allow users to display multiple images per page and print them as wallet-sized or a mix of different-sized prints. Users can also create electronic slide shows that now include a mix of audio, video and image files. Specifically, MP3 music and audio can be embedded with each photo of the slide show. Slide shows can be packaged as ready-to-email executable files or converted to Web pages and screensavers. One-click uploading lets users share photos on Ulead's photo sharing Web site iMira.com, which offers online printing services through a new partnership with AGFAnet.

Photo Explorer 7.0 Pro is available through both retail and online stores. The retail version is available for $29.95, while the ESD (electronic software download) version is available for $24.95. Registered users of previous versions of Photo Explorer, WebRazor Pro or PhotoImpact are eligible to upgrade online for only $9.95. The retail version also includes Ulead COOL 360, Ulead's panorama software (a $39.95 value).
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

Sony announces DVP-SV55 dye sub printer!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 8, 2000 - 14:48 EST)


Sony's DPP-SV55 dye sublimation printer. Courtesy of Sony.Sony has announced in a press release the launch of its new DPP-SV55 Digital Photo Printer, which will be available next month for about $350.
"No PC is required for this new snapshot photo printer to make pictures at home using a variety of media from digital cameras," said Greg Young, director of digital camera/printer marketing for Sony Electronics' Personal Network Solutions Company. "Consumers can view and select photos, and select how many pictures to print, right in their living rooms."
Combining Sony's dye-sublimation technology with higher resolution, the DPP-SV55 printer creates continuous tone pictures with color richness that the company claims "rivals traditional photo prints". Using layers of color dye, the printer creates up to 16.7 million colors. Sony's "Super Coat 2" laminate is then applied in either matte or glossy finish during the printing process, protecting photos from color-shift and fading. Pictures produced with the DPP-SV55 have similar picture permanence to traditional film-based photo processing, the company says.

The DPP-SV55 printer takes 90 seconds to print a standard 4" x 6" print. The printer uses two sizes of media, a standard borderless 4" x 6" print and a 3 1/2" x 4" novelty print size. Both media types support one, two, four or nine mini-print frames on a single sheet of paper. Three optional sticker print packs are also available with adhesive backing which make a full-size 4" x 6" sticker, 3 1/2" x 4" sticker or nine die-cut mini stickers.

Sony's new printer allows digital photo processing with or without the use of a PC. An on-screen display helps consumers navigate and view their images on a television monitor to select photos for printing, crop and rotate images, and display a slideshow. The Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) function automatically prints photos that have been marked for print in-camera by supporting cameras.

For added use and function, the printer can be connected to both PC and Mac computers by using the built-in USB connection. The Memory Stick media slot facilitates the transfer of images from Sony Cyber-shot digital cameras and other Memory Stick media-supported devices. The DPP-SV55 printer also comes with a slot for Type II PC cards, so photos stored on SmartMedia and CompactFlash may be processed using a PC card adapter.

The printer's USB input/output allows the unit to be read as an external drive so that images and information may be transferred and downloaded through a USB-enabled PC if desired.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

Tuesday, November 7, 2000



Sprint, FlashPoint ally in wireless digital!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 7, 2000 - 14:19 EST)


Sprint's logoFollowing hot on the heels of the announcement that Canon and Ericsson are to cooperate on wireless digital imaging technologies, Sprint PCS and FlashPoint Technology have announced a partnership that will enable Sprint PCS enterprise customers to wirelessly send images to the Internet via the Sprint PCS nationwide network.

FlashPoint's Photivity end-to-end digital imaging platform will provide a way for business customers to send images from the point of capture to the Internet, using a digital camera connected to a Sprint PCS Internet-ready Phone.

FlashPoint describes Photivity as "a powerful, flexible platform that provides the underlying technology for the future of digital imaging". It allows partners and developers to create customized business and consumer applications designed to meet their end customers' needs. Integrating this platform with the Sprint PCS network makes it possible for business customers to transmit images, along with embedded information about the image, from remote locations to colleagues and corporate enterprises anywhere in the world. Images can be sent directly from a digital camera to a Sprint PCS hosted Web account where the photos can be stored, viewed and manipulated. It also allows customers to send e-mail directly from the camera, for example so that colleagues and clients can be invited to view, make comments, evaluate and approve images on the hosted site.
"Sprint PCS continues to strengthen its leadership position by launching cutting-edge, data-enabled wireless applications aimed at helping our enterprise customers be more productive, reduce costs and provide better customer service," said Jay Highley, vice president, business marketing. "Using FlashPoint's Photivity platform, we will be able to offer an innovative and relevant wireless imaging solution to business customers across a broad range of industries. Being able to send pictures to the Web from remote locations in real-time via the Sprint PCS all-digital nationwide network will be a valuable productivity tool that translates into a competitive advantage for businesses with a highly mobile workforce."

"Sprint PCS is an ideal partner for FlashPoint's Photivity platform,"
said FlashPoint President Stephen Saylor. "As the leader in mobile wireless data services, Sprint PCS is able to use our platform to offer a powerful wireless imaging solution to their business customers. The Photivity platform was created as the underlying technology and industry standard for the future of imaging.
Flashpoint Technology Inc.'s logoSprint PCS will be engaged in customer trials throughout the rest of the year with commercial availability expected in early 2001.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / Business Wire

UMAX announces AstraCam 1800 digital camera!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 7, 2000 - 13:55 EST)


UMAX's AstraCam 1800 digital camera, front view. Courtesy of UMAX Technologies Inc. - click for a bigger picture!UMAX Technologies Inc. has now officially announced its AstraCam 1800 digital camera, which we had the opportunity to see at the PhotoPlus Expo East in New York. The camera, which features a 1.3 megapixel CCD image sensor (rather than the CMOS sensor generally found in such entry-level cameras), captures images that UMAX says can be reproduced with photo quality on prints up to 5" x 7". The camera's also features SmartMedia storage, a power management system for extended battery life, and USB / NTSC video-out connectivity. Bundled software includes Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition (full version), a step-by-step program for creating calendars, greeting cards and brochures; NewSoft Mr. Photo desktop management system; UMAX VistaShuttle (PC only) for creating electronic greeting cards; and UMAX PhotoStudio TWAIN camera interface.
"Even our own engineers were initially skeptical that this kind of quality could be made available at this unprecedented price point," said Michael Weizer, product marketing manager at UMAX Technologies. "The AstraCam 1800 is a high-quality digital camera, combining detail-rich image capture with point-and-click ease-of-use. When teamed with a quality color printer, it can generate photo-realistic prints."
The AstraCam 1800 offers an optical resolution of 1280 x 960 dpi, with software interpolation to 1600 x 1200 dpi. Output is in JPEG format. Here's the full specs:
  • UMAX AstraCam 1800 digital camera
  • 1.3 megapixel CCD image sensor yields JPEG images at a resolution of 1280 x 960 (two compression levels), 640 x 480 (?) or 1600 x 1200 pixels with software interpolation
  • Fixed focus, fixed focal length lens equivalent to 43.8mm on a 35mm camera. Focus range is 20" to infinity.
  • Optical viewfinder and rear-mounted LCD info display (no LCD display for reviewing images)
  • USB connectivity
  • SmartMedia storage (4MB SmartMedia card bundled). Supports cards up to 32MB.
  • Built-in 3-mode flash (on/off/auto)
  • Apertures of F3.0 or F8.0 (automatically selected)
  • Shutter speeds of 1/15 to 1/2000 second (automatically selected)
  • ISO rating of 125
  • Automatic white balance
  • Features patented "After-Shot Recovery" technology which allows for one-click white balance after taking a photo "without loss of image quality"
  • Dimensions of 4.25" x 3.25" x 1.3", weighs 5.5 ounces without batteries
  • Power from 2 AA alkaline batteries, power management gives up to ~800 photos without flash on one set of batteries
  • Available immediately at a suggested price of $199
  • Compatible with Windows 98, 2000, ME or Mac OS 8.6 or above
In talking to UMAX, they noted that the exclusion of an LCD display from the camera's design was because of the power-consumption and cost benefits that could be gained. The camera is targetted at people currently using film, who want to switch to digital to avoid the costs of the film but do not want the added complexity and expense of an LCD screen for reviewing images...
Source: Yahoo! Finance / Internet Wire

Canon, Ericsson cooperate on wireless digital!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 7, 2000 - 13:26 EST)


A news item from press agency Reuters notes an interesting agreement between Swedish telecomms manufacturer Ericsson and Japanese camera manufacturer Canon Inc. Apparently, the two have agreed to join forces to develop digital imaging applications for GSM, GPRS and future third-generation mobile phones. Ericsson, which predicted devices based on the fruit of the alliance would appear next year, noted:
"The technology will enable simple, fast and reliable transfer of images from digital cameras to wireless devices as well as to other consumers or the Internet. By combining a digital camera and a cellular phone, users will be able to easily manage and send images along with voice or text based messages."
The signing of the agreement was announced last Friday.
Source: Yahoo! News / Reuters

Digitalkamera.de reviews the C-2100 UltraZoom!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 7, 2000 - 13:00 EST)


Olympus' C-2100 UltraZoom digital camera, front left quarter view.  Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource.  All rights reserved.

The German digitalkamera.de website has now posted its review of Olympus' C-2100 UltraZoom digital camera. Here's what they had to say:
"The Olympus Camedia C-2100 Ultra Zoom is a camera that makes photography a whole lot of fun. Say goodbye to the thought of always having to lug a tripod around with you – thanks to the stabilizer. The picture quality (despite having a resolution of "only" 2.1 Megapixels), and particularly the range of functions supported, leave little to be desired on this camera though."

Source: digitalkamera.de Olympus Camedia C-2100 UltraZoom review

Digital Eye reviews Oly C-2100, nik Sharpener!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 7, 2000 - 12:43 EST)


The good folks over at the Digital Eye website have obviously been hard at work of late, with the following new additions to the site:
  • Full review of nik Sharpener and nik Sharpener Pro:
    "Depending on the camera you have and the volume of work you do, nik Sharpener Pro is clearly a very useful product for many who need consistent results, color protection, batch processing and other Pro features."
  • Full review of the Olympus C-2100 UltraZoom digital camera:
    "We once again find ourselves very satisfied with the wonderful features that Olympus has offered in yet another one of their many fine digital cameras. With great image results from a unique and outstanding 10X image stabilized lens, unless you must have a larger resolution data file to work with for larger prints or need a smaller travel type portable camera to fit in a pocket, we really do highly recommend the Olympus C-2100UZ as one of the most flexible and enjoyable cameras currently available."
  • Fuji FinePix 4900 Disneyland photo gallery


Steve posts Olympus E-10 first look!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 7, 2000 - 11:49 EST)


Olympus' Camedia E-10 digital camera, front left quarter view. Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource.  All rights reserved.

Our good friends over at Steve's Digicams posted their first look at Olympus' Camedia E-10 digital camera whilst Mike was in New York. No conclusions drawn yet, but there is a lot of information about this incredible camera, along with numerous sample pictures, so be sure to check it out! You can also find a preview of the E-10 posted back in September on the Hong Kong-based photography.com.hk website, and another opinion in our own full review of the camera.
Source: Steve's Digicams' Olympus Camedia E-10 first look review

More from the PhotoPlus Expo!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 7, 2000 - 2:36 EST)


We just posted the first of two parts in our PhotoPlus Expo East 2000 round-up, over on the event page. In the report, you'll find a summary of what was on display from the likes of Fuji, Kodak, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Phase One. Part Two will follow shortly, and should round out the remainder of what we saw at the show, which was an interesting preview to Comdex and saw the US public debuts of several digital cameras as well as a couple of new product announcements... Check it out!
Source: PhotoPlus Expo East 2000 Event page

PhotoPlus Expo Round-Up - Part One!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, November 7, 2000 - 2:32 EST)


Following is Part 1 of our round-up of the PhotoPlus East Expo, highlighting offerings from Fuji, Kodak, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Phase One... Apologies for the poor quality on a few of the pictures - Mike just changed digital cameras and is occasionally forgetting that the new camera handles a little differently to the old one... :) We'll have another update shortly to complete our PhotoPlus coverage, so stay tuned!

Fuji Photo Film U.S.A.

Fuji showed numerous digital cameras in their booth, which was absolutely packed every time we visited it (hence we actually only have two photos, as it was well-near impossible to get close enough to the cameras themselves to get a picture... :)

Cameras on display included the Fuji FinePix S1 Pro, FinePix 1400 Zoom, FinePix 2400 Zoom, FinePix 4700 Zoom and FinePix 4900 Zoom

Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
The queue to see Fuji's cameras
 

Eastman Kodak Co.

Kodak's extremely large booth featured a wide range of products and services, including 5 professional digital cameras, the recently announced DCS ProBack and RFS 3600 scanner, and "Portraits and More" software...
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Kodak's Pro camera line-up
The DCS ProBack in action
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
DCS ProBack rear right quarter view
DCS ProBack rear left quarter view
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
DCS ProBack in action again
DCS ProBack display
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Kodak "Portraits and More" software
Kodak RFS 3600 scanner
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Kodak RFS 3600 scanner display
 

Minolta Corp.

Minolta showed their Dimâge Scan Multi II, Dimâge Scan Dual II and Dimâge Scan Elite scanners, as well as the Dimâge RD 3000 , Dimâge 2300 and Dimâge 2330 cameras at PhotoPlus Expo East...
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Dimâge Scan Multi II scanner
Dimâge Scan Dual II scanner
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Dimâge Scan Elite scanner
Dimâge RD 3000 digital camera
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Dimâge 2300 digital camera
Dimâge 2330 digital camera

Nikon Inc.

Nikon were showing their D1 SLR, as well as the Coolpix 880 and 990 digital cameras, Coolscan film scanners and Nikon Net website at the show.

A highlight, which Mike sadly didn't have time to see, was a 65 foot tall photo taken with the Coolpix 990, shown at nearby Times Square.

Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
A gallery of various images taken with Nikon digital cameras
Coolpix 880 display
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon D1 display
Coolscan film scanner display
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Nikon Net website display
 

Olympus America Inc.

Olympus showed us a wide range of digital products at the show, as you can see in the photos below. Highlights included the E-10, E-100RS, C-211 Zoom, C-2100 UltraZoom and D-490Z digital cameras, and the P-200 and P-400 printers...
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus product demonstration area
Camedia P-200 printer display
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Camedia P-400 printer display
Olympus' huge digital line-up

Asahi Optical Co. Ltd. (Pentax)

Pentax didn't have their EI-2000 digital camera at PhotoPlus, nor did we see the unnamed digital SLR that was shown at Photokina, but the company did have its EI-200 digital camera available for a hands-on demo...
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Pentax EI-200 digital camera
 

Phase One Inc.

One of the largest booths we saw was that of Phase One, who showed an array of high-end digital products... On display were the PowerPhase FX, LightPhase, QuickTime VR solution and LightPhase stitching adapter.
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Phase One's PowerPhase FX
LightPhase digital back
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
QuickTime VR solution
QuickTime VR solution closer up
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
QuickTime VR solution again
QuickTime VR solution display
 
Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins.  All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 
LightPhase stitching adapter
 


Monday, November 6, 2000



Mike back and digging out of the mountain!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, November 6, 2000 - 13:19 EST)


Mike's now back from the PhotoPlus Expo East in New York, and digging his way out of the emails. Unfortunately, things didn't quite go to plan, and hence the news posts were rather sparse, but look out for a posting shortly summarising the show with numerous photos from the show floor... Also, there's quite a bit of non-PhotoPlus news on the way later today, including a new digital camera which we saw at PhotoPlus!

Thursday, November 2, 2000



UPDATED: Nikon creates "World's Largest Single Image Taken With a Digital Camera"!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 2, 2000 - 17:37 EST)


A description and photo of Nikon's T-Rex image, from Nikon's booth at PhotoPlus Expo East in New York. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!Coinciding with the ongoing PhotoPlus Expo East, camera manufacturer Nikon has today unveiled what it is calling the "World's Largest Single Image Taken With a Digital Camera". The photo, taken with Nikon's Coolpix 990, is of a 3-foot tall studio model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic Park, and has been scaled up using Altamira's Genuine Fractals to a whopping 65 feet by 43 feet! It was printed on 5 panels of vinyl mesh together weighing 350 pounds, and took seven installers eight hours to hang. Mike is planning to try and make a side-trip past the display later today if possible - look out for exclusive photos here soon!

Updated 11/06/00 15:35PM EST: Mike never got a chance to see Nikon's T-Rex image in person, but did swing past the Nikon booth at PhotoPlus, where the image above was taken. It shows a poster detailing the steps in creating the image, alongside a photo of the final result...
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

Kodak announces new version of PalmPix!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 2, 2000 - 17:31 EST)


Eastman Kodak Co. has today announced a new version of its PalmPix camera designed for Palm Inc.'s m100 handheld computer. The new PalmPix features the same 640 x 480 resolution, fixed focus lens and automatic white balance as the previous version, and is just slightly heavier at 1.6 ounces as compared to the previous version's 1.5 ounces.

The new version will ship alongside the previous version, which is compatible with the Palm III, IIIc, IIIe, IIIx, IIIxe, VII, VIIx, Palm V and Palm Vx handhelds, as well as the IBM Workpad C-3 and TRGpro. It is scheduled for availability online in mid-December from Kodak's website, and in early 2001 at retail, for a price of $99.95.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

UPDATED: Polaroid announces new medium format film scanner!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 2, 2000 - 14:22 EST)


Polaroid's SprintScan 120 scanner, front left quarter view. Copyright (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!Polaroid has today announced a new medium format film scanner at PhotoPlus Expo East. The SprintScan 120 Digital Medium Format Film Scanner accepts 35mm and 120 film strips (negative or positive), 35mm slides and negatives, and medium format transparencies or negatives up to 6 x 9cm in size. It features an optical resolution of 4000 x 4000 dpi, a single-pass RGB 10k element CCD, and a scan time of less than 100 seconds per 6 x 6cm scan at 4000 dpi. Here's the full specs:
  • SprintScan 120 Digital Medium Format Film Scanner
  • Accepts positive/negative 35mm and 120 film strips, 35mm slides and negatives, and medium format transparencies or negatives up to 6 x 9 cm. Automatic advancement of 6-image 35mm film strips and four-image 35mm slides
  • Single pass RGB CCD sensor, 10k elements
  • Optical resolution of 4000 x 4000 dpi
  • 14 bit A/D per channel, density range 0 - 3.6 O.D (3.9 O.D with multi-scanning)
  • Less than 100 seconds for 6 x 6 cm scan @ 4000 dpi
  • Automatic uniformity CCD calibration
  • Automatic focusing
  • Cold cathode light source
  • SCSI-2 and IEEE1394 (FireWire) interface
  • Power requirements 20W @ 155VAC, 60Hz
  • Operating voltage 120-240VAC 50-60Hz
  • Operating temperature 50 - 104 degrees fahrenheit (10 - 40 degrees centigrade)
  • Operating humidity 20 - 80% non-condensing
  • Dimensions of 27.2 x 14 x 48.8 cm
  • Weighs 6.4 kg
  • Ships with PolaColor Insight Pro
  • Will be available in the US in January 2001 at a price of $3995
We have photos of the scanner from the show floor, which will follow once we find a way to post them from the press room...

Updated 11/06/00 15:23PM EST: Exclusive photo of the new scanner added...

DCRP posts Canon EOS D30 review!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 2, 2000 - 12:35 EST)


Canon's EOS D30 SLR digital camera, front left quarter view with lens attached.  Copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource, all rights reserved.Our friend Jeff over at the Digital Camera Resource Page has just posted his review of Canon's EOS D30 digital SLR - here's what he had to say:
"How Does it Compare?

I don't feel that I can answer the above question, since this is the first Pro SLR digital camera I've used. Is the D30 a great camera? Yes, absolutely -- it continually amazed me every time I used it. If you've got a collection of Canon lenses and want to go digital in a big way, the D30 is for you. Even if you don't, and can afford the D30, it's definitely something to consider. Most of our readers will just daydream about the D30, but if it's in your price range, you should definitely check it out!"
Be sure to read the full review here, featuring the usual information on camera operation and design, along with numerous sample photos...
Source: DCRP's Canon EOS D30 review

UPDATED: Mike and Dave at PhotoPlus Expo East!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 2, 2000 - 12:11 EST)


Ever busy, Mike and Dave are both away from the office attending the PhotoPlus Expo East being held in the Jacob Javits convention center in New York today. Mike has already arrived and will be filing reports from the show floor over the next couple of days, and Dave is also due to arrive shortly. In the meantime, the usual news items from over the wires are likely to be delayed somewhat, and both of us may take a little while to get to emails, but you can look forward to our exclusive coverage which should see some of the first US showings of the most recently announced cameras, over on the Imaging Resource PhotoPlus Expo East report page!

UPDATE: The news coverage commences with a new product announcement - a new medium-format film scanner billed as "the highest resolution medium format scanner on the market today". Check it out!

Rob Galbraith Surveys Microdrive Field Test Results
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 2, 2000 - 0:43 EST)


Photojournalist, web master, and camera thrasher par excellence Rob Galbraith has just posted some summary results from a month-long field trial of IBM's new 1 Gigabyte Microdrives. Overall, it sounds like the field test wasn't too encouraging, particularly in the rough-and-tumble world of photojournalism. Interesting to note though, was that success or lack thereof with the Microdrive in more or less normal usage (that is, when not being dashed to the ground by rampaging bulls, etc) seemed to be highly dependent on the type/brand of camera it was used with. Read Rob's excellent (as usual) article for all the details!
Source: Rob Galbraith's survey of 1 GB Microdrive field tests

Cool Prices on Coolpix! ($150/$75 off!)
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 2, 2000 - 0:34 EST)


Nikon has upped the ante in the retail channels for 2 megapixel cameras this holiday season, offering a $150rebate coupon for Coolpix 950 cameras. (A $75 rebate on the Coolpix 800 is also in effect.) This makes for a killer deal on an excellent 2 megapixel digicam: Find your best price, buy it, then send in the coupon to Nikon in New York, and you'll get a check back in 4-6 weeks. (We did a quick check with IR sponsor/advertiser State Street Direct Onine: Click on the pulldown menu in the nav bar at left, pull down to "Nikon 950", and you'll find that the net price after rebate from State Street for a spanking new 950 is only $599. For a camera of the 950's sterling character, that's a bargain indeed! The promotion is good from today through December 31!
Source: Nikon Coolpix rebate form

Olympus E-10 recall - NOT...
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, November 2, 2000 - 0:20 EST)


There's been a series of rumors circulating on the net about a purported "recall" of the new Olympus E-10 SLR. Apparently, some dealers have called customers who just purchased the E-10, asking them to check their serial numbers. (?!) This triggered rumors that there was a recall of E-10s underway. We checked with Olympus US today though, and discovered the truth of the situation was much less alarming than the rumors. (Often the case, no?) Here's the deal: Four prototype-level E-10s (roughly the same level as the one we had for first-look testing) got mixed in with the production units in Olympus' New York warehouse, and were shipped to dealers. As far as we know, none of these units got out to an end user, but until Olympus had definitely located all of them, dealers were making calls to insure that this hadn't happened. All the preproduction units have now been recovered. Thus, no recall, only a shipping goof affecting four units.

Fueling the rumors though, are comments from early users of the E-10 "not holding focus during zooming", or "having focusing problems." Here's what Olympus Digital Product Manager John Knaur said in an internal memo to Olympus staff members:

The rumors caused by this on the Internet have been extensive, and not related to any of the issues the E-10 pre-production cameras would have produced. Several of these are easily explained, and normal with any zoom lens. If a photographer was to focus with the camera in manual focus and zoom, especially from wide-angle to telephoto the lens may not hold sharp focus; this can be seen even on our OM series of zoom lenses. To accurately use the lens, the lens should first be focused at telephoto and zoomed back to wide to allow the increased depth of field to aid in keeping focus. If the lens is then re-zoomed to telephoto the focus may in fact not hold, again this is normal. The best results will be in using the autofocus or refocusing at the end of each zoom action.

(IR note: This is indeed common on modern zoom lenses, which properly speaking aren't true "zoom" lenses, but rather "variable focal length" designs, in which the focus varies as a function of zoom. On autofocus digicams, you don't tend to notice the focus shift because the camera compensates for it by refocusing. In manual focus mode though, the AF mechanism is disengaged, letting you see what the lens is actually doing.)

The E-10 also uses a newly developed Dual AF system, which is very accurate and faster in low light. As stated in our instructions in high contrast and bright light conditions this system may not function properly. Either manual focus can be used or the photographer can turn off the Dual AF and use on the contrast detection system. Switching to the extension (Accessory) lens setting on the camera easily does this. This will resolve those focus issues in areas of bright and high contrast.

(Another IR note: We encountered *no* focus problems with our test unit, but we also didn't test specifically under these conditions. We'll evaluate this situation when we have a production unit in our hands.)


Hopefully this clears the water a little on the E-10's shipping status: Olympus reports that shipments from the warehouse have resumed, now that the wayward prototype units have been recovered.

Wednesday, November 1, 2000



Megapixel November issue online!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 1, 2000 - 10:58 EST)


Megapixel.net's logoOur friends over at the bilingual Megapixel.net website have now posted their November issue... Reviews this month include the Sony DSC-S50, Olympus C-2100UZ, FujiFilm FinePix S1 Pro and Olympus C-211 Zoom digital cameras. There's also an announcement of the winner in the "Cover Photo of the Year" contest, a new showcase on macros and close-ups, part 2 of a series on digital cameras and their accessories, and a look at the advantages and disadvantages of different types of viewfinders available on digital cameras.
Source: Megapixel.net

Canon working on digital camera/bubblejet combo!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 1, 2000 - 10:47 EST)


Canon's Micro Bubble Jet camera concept. Courtesy of Canon Inc.

Our friends over at Steve's Digicams have spotted an interesting item on Canon Japan's "Canon Expo 2000" website. A page on the site shows a concept for a combination digital camera and inkjet printer which is capable of producing credit card-sized prints. The camera, which also has sound recording capabilities, accepts cartridges which contain both the paper and ink. Interestingly, a 2D barcode is printed along the edge of the print, containing the audio data of the attached sound clip, and scanning the barcode allows for the sound to be reproduced (presumably by the camera), for transfer to the PC. The camera features both USB connectivity, and CompactFlash storage. Interesting concept, particularly the method of reproducing the sounds...
Source: Canon Expo 2000 website

Ofoto announces OfotoNow for Mac!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 1, 2000 - 10:34 EST)


Ofoto's logoOnline photofinisher Ofoto Inc. has today announced the Macintosh version of OfotoNow, the company's image enhancement and upload software. OfotoNow provides photo enhancing and editing tools to help everyone get better looking photos and makes uploading digital pictures to Ofoto.com easier and faster.

The Macintosh version of OfotoNow allows members to visually select their favorite digital pictures from any source (digital camera, hard drive, floppy or CD), view the pictures one at a time, look at collections of pictures all at once or view them in a slideshow. OfotoNow also offers the ability to zoom-in, rotate, trim and remove "red eye" from photos. Once photos are selected and enhanced, OfotoNow enables its members to upload any number of photos into the Ofoto Albums of their choice, or create a new album, and then share with friends and family and order photographic prints.
"Macintosh users have always been at the forefront of digital imaging and digital photography," said James Joaquin, president and CEO of Ofoto, Inc. "With OfotoNow for Macintosh, they now have an imaging software tool as intuitive as the Macintosh itself."
Ofoto offers its new members 25 free prints, as well as the ability to get up to 100 more free prints through the Ofoto Tell-a-Friend program. Once photos have been uploaded to the site, either through film processing or a digital camera, Ofoto members can organize their photos in online albums and share them with their friends and family, as well as order the highest-quality photographic prints or a framed print from the largest online frame store. Members can also use photo enhancement tools online to add special effects to their photos, such as changing color photos to black and white.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / Business Wire

Shutterfly and Homestead ally!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 1, 2000 - 10:26 EST)


Shutterfly Inc.'s logoWeb host Homestead.com and online photofinisher Shutterfly have announced their new website, Homestead Photos, a full-service photo center enabling both digital and film camera owners to digitize, enhance and share their photos, and order prints via the Web. 'Homestead Photos Powered by Shutterfly', says the press release, "provides consumers with a richer way to communicate with friends, family, organizations and business associates". Homestead Photos is the first of several Homestead service centers that will give members access to more resources to create the building blocks for their Web sites.

With Homestead Photos, members access their own photos through personal photo albums, where they can use Shutterfly's features to personalize their images by cropping, enhancing, adding borders and including messages on their photos. Homestead members without a digital camera or photo scanner can now put their images online by mailing their film to Homestead Photos for free developing and digitizing by Shutterfly. Through the holiday season, members receive 25 free prints, and can order their photos directly from the Web. Soon members will be able to post photos to their Homestead Web sites directly from their Homestead Photos account. Homestead members' family and friends will be able to order Shutterfly's prints of images, directly from the member's personal site.
"Like many of our Homestead members -- I use my Homestead Web site to communicate long-distance with my family which includes viewing, sharing and ordering photos of my nephew," said Lynne Bartron, director of product management at Homestead.com. "We now offer our members the ability to post and customize their own photos so they can share them with friends and family anywhere in the world. This is just one of the many innovations we're developing to give Homestead members all of the tools they need to communicate and share over the Web."

"The photo center provides an excellent opportunity for Homestead's members to take advantage of Shutterfly's convenient services that allow users to get creative with their photos,"
said Hillary Mickell, director of marketing at Shutterfly. "We are glad to provide Homestead's members with the tools to share, enhance and personalize their pictures."
Through Homestead Photos Powered by Shutterfly, consumers can:
  • Enhance photos -- crop photos, convert them to black and white or sepia tone, and add borders and personal printed messages.
  • Share photos -- choose the photos that they want to share, and invite family and friends to view them online at a secure, personal Homestead Photos album.
  • Have prints mailed directly to their door -- order and mail prints to themselves or to family and friends around the world.
  • Process their film for free -- use Homestead postage-paid mailers and send their 35mm and APS film, as well as their single-use cameras to the attention of Homestead Photos at Shutterfly for free processing. Shutterfly will upload pictures to Homestead member accounts, and will notify them by email when the pictures are ready for viewing, enhancing, sharing and ordering.
The press release doesn't note whether the free film developing service is to continue indefinitely, or to be a "temporary promotion" as it is on Shutterfly's own site...
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

LaserSoft announces SilverFast Digital Camera edition!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 1, 2000 - 9:50 EST)


LaserSoft Imaging, developer of scan software SilverFast Ai, has announced that it is now offering digital camera users the features of SilverFast Ai. SilverFast DC, says the company, "enables fast and efficient optimization of image data from digital cameras with predictable colour". SilverFast features intelligent auto-adjust and LAB-Unsharp masking, which does not sharpen the colour noise of single channels, but instead only sharpens the image's edges. The program also offers real-time processing preview.

The press release summarises SilverFast DC's features as follows:
  • Real-Time Correction
  • Auto-adjust with artificial intelligence
  • Professional Unsharp Masking
  • Colour Cast Removal Slider
  • Selective Color Correction
  • Integrated ICC-based colour management
  • RGB, CMYK, LAB-TIFF, EPS, DCS and JPEG output formats
SilverFast DC's ScanPilot guides the novice user through the steps to correct images while the professional user has full densitometric control. In addition to these features SilverFast DC can show all images through the Picture Overview. SilverFast DC can also be upgraded to SilverFast DC Pro with SilverFast IT8 calibration and SilverFast Job Management. This would allow batch correction to process multiple images on the fly. SilverFast DC is available for Apple Macintosh OS, Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 and ME.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / Canada NewsWire

Full Review of Canon Powershot G1 posted!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, November 1, 2000 - 0:45 EST)


Today we're happy to publish our full review of the Canon PowerShot G1 digicam. This rounds out Canon's 3 megapixel offerings with a "mid-sized" model, and what a beauty! (Previous Canon 3 megapixel models we've reviewed include the very compact PowerShot S20 and the superb EOS D30 Pro SLR.) The G1 looks to us like a near-ideal "enthusiast's" camera for the holiday buying season, combining just about all the desiderata of high-end prosumer cameras with a set of very easy-to-use programmed scene modes for the casual snapper. Notable features include excellent image quality, external flash capability, CF Type II (Microdrive) compatibility, a full range of exposure controls, a very compact uncompressed RAW file format, compatibility with a range of auxiliary lenses (macro, wide angle and telephoto), and a nifty swiveling LCD screen. Overall, a very impressive package, and one that we're sure will find its way onto many wish lists. Line up early, we'd bet money this one will be a Christmas sellout! Read the review for all the details!
Source: IR Review of the Powershot G1

 



 

AOL Alert: Several readers connecting via AOL have complained of poor image quality when using the AOL web browser. This is caused by a setting called "compress images" in the browser that causes it to completely mangle images in the interest of faster transmission. You should turn this setting OFF before viewing any of the comparison images on this site.

  • FLASH: Thanks to reader Lynn Mannan, here's an explanation of how to make the correct settings adjustments (at least in AOL 4.0 for PCs):
    • I opened the "My AOL" preferences screen in the toolbar across the top. Then I clicked on WWW icon and selected the "web graphics" tab where I unchecked the "compressed graphics" choice and clicked on the Apply button at the bottom. Now the scanner test pictures are gorgeous. The pictures take a long time to load. But they are worth waiting for. Thank you, Lynn!