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Digital Photography News Archive!
June 2000

 

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Friday, June 30, 2000



Takagi announces $57 digicam!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 30, 2000 - 14:51 EDT)


The K-Tai Watch website in Japan (a sister site of the PC Watch website we often mention in this news page) has posted news of a new entry-level digital camera from Japanese company Takagi Industrial, who sell their products under the "Purpose" brand name. Takagi's new PDC-10 digicam couldn't get much cheaper, at a price tag of ¥5980 (US$57). The unit features a 100,000 pixel CCD with a choice of 352 x 288 or 176 x 144 pixel resolution. The internal non-removeable memory can hold 80 images in the lower resolution, or 20 in the higher resolution, and the photos are transferred to a Windows 98 PC by way of a USB port. The camera has dimensions of 65 x 90 x 27.5mm, and weighs 70 grams without the four AAA alkaline batteries it uses - and on which it is powered for up to 250 hours. There's no flash or LCD display, and the camera has a fixed focal length lens and optical viewfinder. It is to be sold bundled with an image editor and proprietary home-page builder which allows users to post their images to a free 3MB website that is included in the price of the camera.

PC Watch's news item contains a photo of the PDC-10 camera; it also notes that Macintosh OS drivers for Takagi's 350,000 pixel PDC-35, released last November but previously only Windows compatible, will be available next month. The camera will also be bundled with the new Mac drivers in stores soon.
Source: K-Tai Watch's Takagi Industries PDC-10 news item
Thanks to Kumio Yamada / digitalcamera.gr.jp for this item!

DCRP posts Mavica MVC-FD95 review!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 30, 2000 - 13:47 EDT)


Our friend Jeff over at the Digital Camera Resource Page has posted his review of Sony's Mavica MVC-FD95, a 2.1 megapixel unit with 10x (!) optical zoom, and a choice of floppy disk or Memory Stick storage (with optional Flashpath adapter). Here's what Jeff had to say about the 'FD95:
The Sony Mavica line is really one of the kind, and the MVC-FD95 stands out as the top of the line, at least until the CD1000 model ships. Though it's very large and bulky, it's designed extremely well and is very easy to use. The photo quality is generally good, though JPEG compression is obvious in some cases.

The real downer here is the floppy support - you can only store four photos for disc, and it's very slow reading and writing the disc. The optional FlashPath Memory Stick adapter will certainly take care of the capacity problem, but not the speed problem. And with the camera selling for $1000, shouldn't they just give you the FlashPath adapter in the box?"
Be sure to check out the full review for more details, as well as sample photos and close-ups of the camera itself...
Source: Digital Camera Resource Page Mavica MVC-FD95 review

Lexar ships its first Memory Sticks!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 30, 2000 - 13:35 EDT)


Lexar's 64MB Memory StickLexar Media Inc. has announced that it is now shipping Lexar-branded Memory Stick digital film to its retail and distribution channels in the US and Europe. Lexar Memory Stick storage products are available in 16, 32 and 64MB capacities with list prices starting at US$59. Lexar is the first Sony licensee to offer Memory Stick products.
"As Memory Stick media devices proliferate, we expect the demand for Memory Stick storage products to skyrocket," said Mark Viken, President of Sony Electronics' Personal Network Solutions Company. "Lexar's focus on the digital photography market helps to ensure that Memory Stick media will be available in the channels and retail outlets where photographers shop."

"With the Lexar Memory Stick, we now offer an entire line of digital film products that are designed meet the stringent needs of digital photographers,"
said Eric Stang, Chief Operating Officer, Lexar Media. "And in the interest in making the Memory Stick media an open standard that is widely accepted, Lexar is proud to be a viable and competitive alternate source."
Memory Stick media is an ultra-small, large-capacity storage device designed to link a host of different digital products by capturing and sharing digital content including images, music files or data. Lexar received a license to manufacture and market Memory Stick media from Sony Corporation (see our news item of January 10, 2000, "Lexar and Sony exchange technology, enhance MemoryStick!"). The two companies are jointly developing a high-speed Memory Stick using Lexar's controller technology with the goal of improving the read/write speed of the Memory Stick media to transfer 64MB of data in less than ten seconds. High-speed Memory Stick products will be backward compatible with current Memory Stick storage products and are slated for introduction in 2001.
Source: Lexar Media website

PrintRoom partners with eframes!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 30, 2000 - 13:15 EDT)


PrintRoom.com, a business unit of Lexar Media has announced a partnership with eframes.com to offer a selection of framed prints with its online photo-finishing services. eframes.com's technology allows users to preview their images in a selection of frames and send framed photographs to themselves or as gifts. The eframes.com service will be available on PrintRoom.com later this summer.
"Partnering with eframes.com gives our customers the flexibility and convenience of ordering high-quality frames to match their photographic-quality prints," said John Reimer, President and CEO, Lexar Media. "With a few mouse clicks, you can have a framed photograph wrapped in a gift box and delivered in a day. As a gift to loved ones or for oneself, it's an extremely convenient and thoughtful way to share an image."

"A well-framed photograph makes a very heartfelt statement,"
said Brian Dunham, CEO of eframes.com. "PrintRoom.com customers will soon have the ability to preview their digital image in over 100 quality wood, metal and desk-mount frames."
PrintRoom began providing online photo-finishing services to the rapidly expanding digital photography market in August 1999. PrintRoom is a service that allows customers to buy photographic prints of their digital images, which are processed in PrintRoom's own lab using silver-halide digital printing technology and photographic paper.

With PrintRoom, photographers can quickly upload their digital images, view them, enhance the images with an 'auto-correct' feature, and then select the images to be printed. Available print sizes vary from wallet, 4" x 6", 5" x 7" and 8" x 10".

PrintRoom offers free memberships, which entitle members to free unlimited online albums (public or password-protected), guest books, photo finishing discounts and more. With online photo albums, members can invite friends and family to view these albums anywhere in the world and purchase quality photos of their own.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

SnapFish tops PC Data rankings!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 30, 2000 - 13:09 EDT)


Snapfish.com Corp. today announced that PC Data Online has ranked the company the number one photography Web site for the week ending June 24, 2000.
"The fact that we have surpassed other photo sites in less than two months after launching the Snapfish service is a testament to the tremendous value we offer our customers," said Rajil Kapoor, co-founder, president and CEO of Snapfish. "Snapfish makes it easy for everyone -- regardless of whether they use a 35 mm or digital camera -- to enjoy the benefits of digital photography."
In addition to consumer demand, Snapfish attributes the increase in site traffic to its growing marketing and business development efforts. The company recently announced the Snapfish Summer Sweepstakes and co-branded alliances with Compaq and BellSouth.

PC Data Online publishes a weekly listing of the Internet's Top Web Sites based on its measurement of unique users of the site. The traffic is measured with a proprietary software tool that tracks visitors and buyers on each site.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

PhotoChannel appoints new VP of Finance!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 30, 2000 - 13:06 EDT)


PhotoChannel Capital Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PhotoChannel Networks Inc., an e- commerce company developing an online photo print service for both digital and conventional film photographers, yesterday announced the appointment of William Kosovitch as its Vice President, Finance.

As Vice-President, Finance of PhotoChannel Capital Inc., his responsibilities include the administration, distribution and reporting to investors with respect to the PhotoChannel.Com Limited Partnership - the previously announced offering of $7.5 - $25 million of units in the Limited Partnership. The Limited Partnership is established to fund the manufacturing and distribution of PhotoChannel USB Card Readers to be distributed with digital cameras sold at retail as well as to fund the advertising of the online photo print service available to digital camera photographers uploading pictures to PhotoChannel using this device. Prior to joining PhotoChannel, Mr. Kosovitch was Chief Financial Officer for American Softworks Company where he developed and arranged bank credit line facilities and implemented internal financial systems and controls. In this capacity he also structured, administered and established the distribution network for a series of Offerings in Canada of tax deductible Limited Partnership investments which successfully raised in excess of US$100 million to fund the video game development business of American Softworks Company. Mr. Kosovitch is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and resides in Stamford, Connecticut.
"Mr. Kosovitch's many years of experience in handling the financial operations for high-tech companies are a great asset to assist us in distributing, selling and administering PhotoChannel.Com Limited Partnership," said Geoffrey G. Briant, CEO of PhotoChannel. "Furthermore, his addition increases the Company's focus on our U.S. expansion efforts and overall company growth. He is a welcome addition to our senior management team in the U.S."

"The online photo print service industry is just beginning and PhotoChannel, with its high quality Fuji Frontier Digital Minilab systems, is poised to take advantage of this fast growing sector,"
said Mr. Kosovitch. "I'm thrilled to be in a position to help by organizing and leading the Limited Partnership sales team's efforts. This financing offers a great opportunity for investors to share in the growth of PhotoChannel through an innovative tax deductible investment opportunity."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

Zoran acquires PixelCam, megapixel CMOS sensors!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 30, 2000 - 13:02 EDT)


Zoran Corp. has announced its signing of an agreement to acquire PixelCam Inc., a privately-held manufacturer of megapixel CMOS image sensors and integrated lens/sensor modules.

Under terms of the agreement, Zoran will acquire PixelCam for $21 million in Zoran Stock, with up to an additional $21 million in Zoran stock to be paid provided that certain performance targets are met as set out in the agreement. The transaction is expected to close on or before June 30, will be structured as a merger of PixelCam as a wholly owned subsidiary of Zoran, and will be accounted for as a purchase.

According to industry analysts, the one-megapixel-and-above mainstream digital camera market is projected to grow to over 8 million units this year, up from over 5 million in 1999 and expanding to over 25 million by 2003. Today, the vast majority of these cameras are using CCD sensors. Zoran believes that the quality, the price, and power of the PixelCam CMOS sensors will accelerate the transition from CCD to CMOS imagers.
"This acquisition enables Zoran to leap forward in digital camera technology," said Dr. Levy Gerzberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zoran Corp. "With PixelCam, Zoran intends to offer a digital camera solution for the mainstream market that combines the high-quality, low-power advantage, and flexibility of a CMOS sensor with the sophisticated processing power of our COACH (Camera On A CHip) product."

"For PixelCam, this acquisition means our products can leverage the broad international distribution infrastructure already built and operating for Zoran,"
said Kevin Brehmer, PixelCam's Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our PixelCam team can continue to focus on our superior scalable CMOS sensor architecture for providing higher quality images for digital cameras under normal lighting conditions."
In addition to consumer cameras, the COACH plus the PixelCam product offerings are suitable for multiple imaging applications including live Internet connectivity, surveillance, factory automation, security, and bar code scanning. The product offerings include reference designs, and the software and firmware needed to bring new camera designs to market.

PixelCam developed a scaleable chip architecture that focused on 'Imaging Front Ends'. The first PixelCam CMOS sensor products are claimed to deliver CCD image quality with 1.3 megapixel resolution at one-quarter the power dissipation and twice the integration level of CCD sensors, hence offering digital camera manufacturers a longer camera battery life and a reduced 'time to next shot.'
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

ArcSoft announces VideoImpression!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 30, 2000 - 12:57 EDT)


ArcSoft Inc. has announced the release of VideoImpression, a new multi-platform video-editing program for novice users. Available in both MAC and PC platforms, VideoImpression has a suggested retail price of $49.99.
"VideoImpression provides a consumer-friendly alternative to complex and intimidating video editing programs," said Joe Bollentini, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ArcSoft. "VideoImpression's intuitive, straight-forward user interface allows for flexible editing and playback, as well as a variety of output options."
VideoImpression is a simple-to-use video-editing program for creating desktop presentations for home, business, and the Internet. The program offers the ability to capture and work with multiple resources such as video, stills and graphics without the complexity of a high-end video editor.

Users can create mini movies complete with transition effects, text effects, animation and audio, as well as slide-shows and other types of presentations. Users drag-and-drop images, video, audio files and transition effects from VideoImpression's Album Manager straight into a storyboard, for a visual map of their presentation. Brightness and contrast can be applied to individual images. Titles, headings and text can then be added to complete the sequence. The Text Tool provides a variety of font type, color and size options.

Dozens of transitions and special effects are grouped into categories of Dissolve, Wipe, Fancy and Special effects. Some of the effects within each category include zoom in, drop down, static, rotate, fade, curtain up, curtain down, dissolve, wipe right, wipe down, sweep and more.

With VideoImpression, users can acquire images directly from any digital camera, scanner, capture device or TWAIN-compliant device. VideoImpression also works with video cameras, capture devices and images stored on the computer's hard drive, floppy disks, CD-ROMs or other removable media. The VideoImpression Album Manager allows easy organization of video clips and image files into video, still image and audio albums. Files may be sorted by name, type, date, and size.

Saving creations is simple - the variety of file formats supported include: VideoImpression File (.vif) and VideoImpression mini-player (.exe), as well as MPEG (.mpg), Video (.avi), Animated GIF (.gif) and Quick Time Movie (.mov). Video clips, screen captures, and still images can be saved for viewing in slideshow-type presentations in AVI, MPEG, and EXE formats.

Videos can be saved as self-playing emails (EXE files-PC only) that can be sent from the desktop to friends, family and co-workers. Users can also create animated interlaced GIF files for easy posting on Web pages or to send with emails.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

PixArts allies with Kodak as "preferred supplier"!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 30, 2000 - 12:52 EDT)


Eastman Kodak Co., through its Kodak Professional division, has been named preferred supplier of digital photographic imaging products by PixArts, the new digital photography retail franchise business launched last month by Mail Boxes Etc. founder Anthony 'Tony' DeSio.

Kodak Professional will help PixArts deliver digital imaging products and services through its retail franchise model to expand picture taking, making and sharing. PixArts and Kodak will meet consumers' desire to use and display their pictures, and bring the creative benefits of digital imaging to a broader audience.

PixArts Digital Imaging Centers, introduced at the International Franchise Expo in Orlando, offer large-format portrait-type prints and digital photographic keepsakes out of retail shopping centers under a franchise model. PixArts also offers its products and services - framed photos on canvas media, digital 'art' from snapshots and digitized restorations of old photos - online and via the Home Shopping Network.

Under the preferred supplier agreement, Kodak provides PixArts with Kodak Professional large-format piezo and table-top thermal printers, a variety of photographic papers and other imaging media, and related materials. Follow-on discussions are under way to explore the addition of products - such as Kodak Professional digital cameras - to be made available to franchisees.
"Kodak Professional has been aggressively pursuing opportunities to expand our business while making digital imaging broadly available in the marketplace," said Patrick T. Siewert, Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company, and President, Kodak Professional. "Through this supplier agreement, we're working with a proven leader in business franchising with a very attractive go-to-market model. PixArts' expansion plans mean we are in an excellent position to further extend our brand and our business."

"PixArts is a unique business model that employs digital imaging technology to bring the portrait studio, frame shop, sign store and art gallery all under one roof,"
DeSio said. "This new franchise provides customers with instant service - similar to Mail Boxes Etc. - for a wide range of photographic products based on digital and traditional imaging solutions. Kodak is delivering those quality photographic solutions for us, and lending its expertise in growing the marketplace for pictures in creative new ways."
Under the agreement, franchisees receive preferred pricing and related benefits when purchasing Kodak equipment, materials and supplies. The PixArts fulfillment center is fully equipped with Kodak Professional photo-quality printers, and it prints all of its customers' images on Kodak paper and media.

PixArts is leveraging the Kodak brand as part of its franchise sales initiatives. After one month, franchisees numbered about two dozen. DiSeo's plan anticipates growth of 100 franchises per year for the next three to five years. PixArts retail outlets will typically be located in high-volume strip shopping centers.
"Kodak is committed to making digital photography both easy and accessible," Siewert said. "Now, Kodak and PixArts will empower customers to create their own works of art through the magic of digital imaging. This is another innovative way Kodak is helping to introduce the benefits of digital imaging in the marketplace and all the new uses that exist for photographic images."

"As more and better technology for digital images becomes available, we want to be able to guarantee our customers the best options and quality we can,"
DeSio said. "By choosing Kodak as a key participant in our franchises, we are guaranteeing our customers the highest quality prints. We recognize that when people think of pictures and imaging, they think of Kodak."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

PhotoIsland.com launches new features!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 30, 2000 - 12:47 EDT)


ArcSoft Inc. has announced a number of exciting new upgrades for its consumer photo-sharing site, PhotoIsland.com. Leveraging ArcSoft's experience in providing desktop image editing and enhancement tools, PhotoIsland.com now offers consumers a set of easy-to-use online photo editing and special effect tools for greater entertainment and personal enjoyment.
"PhotoIsland.com's new Photo Workshop offers users unprecedented, online interactivity with their photos. Instead of simply viewing their photos, users can warp, twist or morph them for hours of fun. Based on our Web traffic analysis, it makes PhotoIsland.com incredibly sticky -- as much as three times ordinary photo-sharing sites," said Jeff Mandell, president, Internet Services Division at Arcsoft.
PhotoIsland's new Photo Workshop features image editing tools such as iPhotoFantasy, iPhotoWarp, iPhotoFrame, iPhotoMorph, iPhotoEffects and iPhotoMontage.

iPhotoFantasy enables users to create fantasy photos with their face on the body of a pro athlete, rock star or body builder. iPhotoWarp allows users to twist, turn, squish and squeeze their face into any wacky shape they like. iPhotoMorph takes any two photos and morphs them together. A video output feature enables users to watch as their cat transforms into their dog. iPhotoFrame offers users a wide selection of frames, borders and artistic edge effects for their photos. iPhotoEffects features 20 different special effect tools ranging from Emboss to Pixelate to Sketch. Finally, iPhotoMontage takes micro images and creates a composite of any photo. Users can zoom in and see the micro images in greater detail. An online PhotoMontage poster printing service lets users order posters of their unique creations.

Users' fantasy, enhanced, morphed or warped photos can be placed on 'photo-gifts' such as T-shirts and coffee mugs and ordered online. Starting July 1, consumers will be able to order prints (in 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10s) online.

ArcSoft has also enhanced the navigation and user interface of PhotoIsland.com. An improved online slideshow now allows members to control the pace of the show and to display their photos in two different sizes. In addition to over 110 background templates for custom album backgrounds, members can now use their own photo or graphic image as well.

The eCards feature now offer more categories and more cards per category. To streamline image uploading, PhotoIsland's Image Uploader now supports album-direct uploading, enabling members to place their photos directly into new or existing albums.

With the new and improved invitation controls, members can now assign a unique guest password for each album or group of albums. Photo-sharing sites offering only a single password for all guests make it difficult for users to share since they grant everyone equal access to all albums.

By utilizing unique guest passwords, PhotoIsland.com solves this problem. By managing their guests' access, members can limit their children to just family photos and co-workers to company pictures and grant spousal access to all photo albums, for example.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Wednesday, June 28, 2000



Updated: Casio USA announces QV-2300UX, QV-2800UX!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 17:11 EDT)


Casio USA has now announced the two new digital cameras we first told you about last Thursday, the QV-2300UX and QV-2800UX. The US press release reveals some new details about the camera, so here again are the specifications, with additions in bold text. Note in particular that the US QV-2300UX bundle includes an IBM Microdrive!

Casio QV-2800UX Front View - click for a bigger picture!
Click for a bigger picture!


Casio QV-2800UX Digital Camera
  • Effective rating of 2.02 megapixels. 1/2.7 inch 2.11 megapixel square pixel primary color CCD gives 1600 x 1200 or 800 x 600 pixel images. Fine, standard or economy compression. JPEG file format, EXIF version 2.1. File sizes as follows:
    • 1600 x 1200 Fine, 850KB
    • 1600 x 1200 Normal, 600KB
    • 1600 x 1200 Economy, 350KB
    • 800 x 600 Fine, 200KB
    • 800 x 600 Normal, 150KB
    • 800 x 600 Economy, 120KB
    • 320 x 240 Movie, 300KB/second
  • 6 - 48mm F3.2 - 3.5 8x optical zoom lens equivalent to 40 - 320mm on a 35mm camera. 9 group, 11 element design. Macro focusing down to 1 centimeter. 4x digital zoom. Tele and wide conversion lenses available. Accepts 43mm filters.
  • Rotary lens design allows lens to be rotated up/down a total of 270 degrees as compared to the rest of the camera chassis. At 180 degrees, LCD and lens can be pointed at subject at the same time...
  • 1.8 inch HAST (Hyper Amorphous Silicon TFT) LCD display, 555 x 220 pixels (122,100 pixels total)
  • Built-in four mode flash (high intensity/off/auto/red eye reduction). External flash connection terminal. Range of 0.5 to 2.5 meters.
  • USB connectivity (special mini-connector). Included "Photo Loader" software automatically detects camera connection and loads images to computer. Mobile phone connectivity with optional mobile phone connection cable. Compatible with IDO/DDI CdmaOneTM C309H or NTT DoCoMo D502i standards. NTSC and PAL video connectivity.
  • CompactFlash Type-I and -II storage. MicroDrive compatible, including new 1GB MicroDrive. Can capture up to 1000 images in highest quality 1600 x 1200 mode with a 1GB MicroDrive.
  • Camera features Program AE (full auto) mode, Shutter and Aperture priority AE modes and Manual mode. Manual control of white balance, flash intensity, focus, exposure compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV steps, picture quality and metering type (multi-pattern, center-weighted or spot metering).
  • Shutter speeds 1/2000 second to 60 seconds. Bulb mode allows shutter speeds as low as 60 seconds, with proprietary noise reduction. Combination electronic and mechanical shutter.
  • Apertures of F3.2, 4.8 or 8. Manual aperture control possible.
  • Contrast-detection type TTL auto focusing. Manual focus possible. Macro mode and infinity mode with focus locking. Focuses 40cm to infinity at wide angle, 1m to infinity at telephoto in normal mode. Focuses 1cm to 50cm in Macro mode. Optical zoom fixed to 1x to 1.6x in Macro mode.
  • Auto, four preset manual or fully manual white balance.
  • Movie capability. Past movie mode records events that occurred before the shutter button was pressed. Movies stored in AVI format, conforming to OpenDML MotionJPEG. Movies recorded at 320 x 240 pixels, up to 16 seconds per movie.
  • Panorama mode shows edge of previous picture alongside current LCD viewfinder image to assist with taking multiple photos for a panorama.
  • Self timer from 2 to 10 seconds.
  • Built-in HTML web page assembly allows photos to be viewed in a web browser. Can also create an HTML "computer image catalog".
  • 1 second shot-shot time.
  • 28 preset picture modes, such as "blue sky", "fireworks", "buildings", "beach", "sky", "twilight", "flowing water". Preset modes control aperture, shutter speed / bulb, focus and white balance, for example "fireworks" mode sets focus to infinity and white balance to "outdoor/sunny". Operated by selecting a pre-recorded image similar to the photo you want to take.
  • Ability to customise the three buttons under the LCD display to control features of your choice.
  • Delete button allows image to be deleted as soon as it is previewed. Also can delete single images, folders or all images in memory, with image protection.
  • Icon based graphical menu system.
  • User setups can be saved. Three slots for saving setups. Saves picture functions and power saving functions.
  • Compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) and DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)
  • Built-in quartz digital clock; records date and time, calender valid until 2049.
  • Bundled with PhotoLoader software for transferring images to computer, Panorama Editor for creating panoramas, USB driver, Internet Explorer with Outlook Express for reading web pages and sending photos as email attachments, QuickTime for viewing movies, and Acrobat Reader. Also includes strap, lens cap, cap holder, USB cable, wired remote controller, Lithium battery for remote control, 8MB CompactFlash card, AC adapter, video cable, alkaline batteries (LR6 x 4) and soft case.
  • Powered by 4 AA NiMH, Alkaline or Lithium Ion batteries, or 2 CR-V3P 3V lithium ion batteries. Capable of 1,560 photos/380 minutes on two CR-3VP batteries, 1200 photos/300 minutes on 4 AA Lithium Ion batteries, 720 photos/180 minutes on 4 AA NiMH batteries, or 480 photos/170 minutes on 4 AA Alkaline batteries. Charger is an optional extra.
  • Dimensions of 80.5 x 121 x 66mm (4.80" x 3.19" x 2.62")excluding projections. Weighs 295 grams (10.33 oz.)without batteries and accessories.
  • Ships in the USA in September at a price of US$699.99. Ships in Japan in September, at a price of ¥78,000. 15,000 units per month to be manufactured.


Casio QV-2300UX Front View - click for a bigger picture!
Click for a bigger picture!



Casio QV-2300UX Digital Camera
  • Effective rating of 2.02 megapixels. 1/2.7 inch 2.11 megapixel square pixel primary color CCD gives 1600 x 1200 or 800 x 600 pixel images. Fine, standard or economy compression. JPEG file format, EXIF version 2.1. File sizes as follows:
    • 1600 x 1200 Fine, 850KB
    • 1600 x 1200 Normal, 600KB
    • 1600 x 1200 Economy, 350KB
    • 800 x 600 Fine, 200KB
    • 800 x 600 Normal, 150KB
    • 800 x 600 Economy, 120KB
    • 320 x 240 Movie, 300KB/second
  • 6.2 - 18.6mm F2.8 - 4.5 3x optical zoom lens equivalent to 41 - 123mm on a 35mm camera. 7 group, 9 element design. Macro focusing down to 1 centimeter. 4x digital zoom. 43mm filter thread with optional adapter
  • Rotary lens design allows lens to be rotated up/down a total of 270 degrees as compared to the rest of the camera chassis. At 180 degrees, LCD and lens can be pointed at subject at the same time...
  • 1.8 inch HAST (Hyper Amorphous Silicon TFT) LCD display, 555 x 220 pixels (122,100 pixels total)
  • Built-in four mode flash (high intensity/off/auto/red eye reduction). Range of 0.5 to 2.0 meters.
  • USB connectivity (special mini-connector). Included "Photo Loader" software automatically detects camera connection and loads images to computer. Mobile phone connectivity with optional mobile phone connection cable. Compatible with IDO/DDI CdmaOneTM C309H or NTT DoCoMo D502i standards. NTSC and PAL video connectivity.
  • CompactFlash Type-I and -II storage. MicroDrive compatible, including new 1GB MicroDrive. Can capture up to 1000 images in highest quality 1600 x 1200 mode with a 1GB MicroDrive.
  • Camera features Program AE (full auto) mode, Shutter and Aperture priority AE modes and Manual mode. Manual control of white balance, flash intensity, focus, exposure compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV steps, picture quality and metering type (multi-pattern, center-weighted or spot metering).
  • Shutter speeds 1/2000 second to 60 seconds. Bulb mode allows shutter speeds as low as 60 seconds, with proprietary noise reduction. Combination electronic and mechanical shutter.
  • Apertures of F2.8 or 5.6. Manual aperture control possible.
  • Contrast-detection type TTL auto focusing. Manual focus possible. Macro mode and infinity mode with focus locking. Focuses 10cm to infinity at wide angle, 50cm to infinity at telephoto in normal mode. Focuses 1cm to 50cm in Macro mode. Optical zoom fixed at 1x in Macro mode.
  • Auto, four preset manual or fully manual white balance.
  • Movie capability. Past movie mode records events that occurred before the shutter button was pressed. Movies stored in AVI format, conforming to OpenDML MotionJPEG. Movies recorded at 320 x 240 pixels, up to 16 seconds per movie.
  • Panorama mode shows edge of previous picture alongside current LCD viewfinder image to assist with taking multiple photos for a panorama.
  • Self timer from 2 to 10 seconds.
  • Built-in HTML web page assembly allows photos to be viewed in a web browser. Can also create an HTML "computer image catalog".
  • 1 second shot-shot time.
  • 28 preset picture modes, such as "blue sky", "fireworks", "buildings", "beach", "sky", "twilight", "flowing water". Preset modes control aperture, shutter speed / bulb, focus and white balance, for example "fireworks" mode sets focus to infinity and white balance to "outdoor/sunny". Operated by selecting a pre-recorded image similar to the photo you want to take.
  • Ability to customise the three buttons under the LCD display to control features of your choice.
  • Delete button allows image to be deleted as soon as it is previewed. Also can delete single images, folders or all images in memory, with image protection
  • Icon based graphical menu system.
  • User setups can be saved. Three slots for saving setups. Saves picture functions and power saving functions.
  • Compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) and DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)
  • Built-in quartz digital clock; records date and time, calender valid until 2049.
  • Bundled with PhotoLoader software for transferring images to computer, Panorama Editor for creating panoramas, USB driver, Internet Explorer with Outlook Express for reading web pages and sending photos as email attachments, QuickTime for viewing movies, and Acrobat Reader. Also includes strap, lens cap, cap holder, USB cable, 340MB IBM Microdrive, AC adapter, video cable, alkaline batteries (LR6 x 4) and soft case.
  • Powered by 4 AA NiMH, Alkaline or Lithium Ion batteries, or 2 CR-V3P 3V lithium ion batteries. Capable of 1,560 photos/380 minutes on two CR-3VP batteries, 1200 photos/300 minutes on 4 AA Lithium Ion batteries, 720 photos/180 minutes on 4 AA NiMH batteries, or 480 photos/170 minutes on 4 AA Alkaline batteries. AC adapter and charger are optional extras.
  • Dimensions of 67 x 118 x 54mm (4.68" x 2.66" x 2.14") excluding projections. Weighs 245 grams (8.58 oz.) without batteries and accessories.
  • Ships in the USA in July at a price of US$799.99. Ships in Japan on July 19, at a price of ¥65,000. 30,000 units per month to be manufactured.

Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

DPReview posts Sony DSC-S70 review!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 16:17 EDT)


Our friend Phil over at the Digital Photography Review website has posted an in-depth review of Sony's DSC-S70, a 3.34 megapixel unit with 3x optical zoom. Here's what Phil had to say:
"If you don't need all the bells and whistles that Nikon and Olympus offer and you're not looking for burst shooting speed then the DSC-S70 is a good choice (and you'll save about $100). Indeed Sony appear to have now taken the resolution crown with the highest resolution of any 3 megapixel camera (at the time of writing this review).

Sony are on a good development path, all they need to do now is look at what Nikon and Olympus are offering as far as more manual 'photographic' controls and their cameras will appeal to an even wider audience."
Be sure to check out the full review for lots more detail on this interesting camera, as well as sample pictures and shots of the camera itself. There's also a nice comparison chart showing the features of the DSC-S70 alongside Olympus' C-3030Z and Nikon's Coolpix 990.

For a second opinion, check out our own review of the DSC-S70. There's also a review from our friends at Steve's Digicams here, and a preview from the folks at GadgetSquad here...
Source: Digital Photography Review's Sony DSC-S70 review

Nikon Coolpix 990 receives "Best Digicam" award!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 15:50 EDT)


Nikon's Coolpix 990 digital camera has won the PC World "2000 World Class Award" for Best Digital Camera, according to a Nikon press release. Awards were announced in the July 2000 issue of PC World and winners will be honored at an awards ceremony to be held tonight from 5-8 p.m. at the Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.
"It's a great honor to have Nikon's Coolpix 990 awarded Best Digital Camera by such a well-respected publication," stated Bill Giordano, National Marketing Manager, Consumer Digital Products at Nikon. "This award is a testimony to Nikon's commitment to introducing exciting new products that set the standard for image quality."
Nikon's Coolpix 950, a 2.11 megapixel, 3X Zoom-Nikkor lens digital camera took home the PC World "World Class Award" for Best Digital Camera in 1999.

Nikon's new Coolpix 990 is a 3.34 megapixel, 3X Zoom-Nikkor lens digital camera with high resolution and features that help get crisp, clear images with the push of a button. The Coolpix 990 offers 4,896-step Multi-Area Autofocus with manual control; a choice of fully automatic, shutter priority, aperture priority, and manual exposure control; a new USB interface for quick downloading of images; a built-in macro lens that allows focusing as close as 0.8 inches from the subject; 1.5 frames per second full-resolution image capture; 30 fps QVGA and 15fps movies for 40 seconds in Motion JPEG mode; and a stepless 4X digital zoom.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

FotoWire releases Macintosh client!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 15:43 EDT)


A press release from FotoWire Inc. today announces the release of a FotoWire software client designed for Apple's Power Mac and iMac computers. Similar in function and features to the Windows' edition of the FotoWire client, the Macintosh edition allows users to upload digital images from their computer directly to one of FotoWire's online photofinishing member labs via the Internet.

The FotoWire client/server network provides for multiple image uploads, automatic resynchronization if connections fail, and image cropping functions that the company claims simple HTTP-based systems lack.

FotoWire's network provides access to more than 75 photofinishing labs in 20 countries in North America, Europe and soon the Far East. Users can select from wholesale production labs in the United States including volume leaders EZ Prints.Com, Mystic Color Labs and Signature Color, now a division of ClubPhoto, as well as minilabs such as MotoFoto of Dallas TX, PhotoTime of Palo Alto CA, and Ion Photo & Design of Madison GA. Each lab sets it own prices and online products; prices are generally competitive with traditional film-based photofinishing. Some labs offer free or discounted shipping for FotoWire customers.
"FotoWire has been called the 'Great Equalizer' by providing a level-playing field for both consumers and labs," said Patrick Serex, CEO of FotoWire Inc. "We enable consumer choice in the online photofinishing marketplace while empowering existing labs to migrate easily into the New World of digital photography -- along with their traditional film customers."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Zing licenses PictureIQ for its photo-sharing site!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 15:37 EDT)


Zing Inc. has announced the deployment of the PictureIQ Internet Service on its site, providing people with a way to enhance and personalize their photos. With PictureIQ's set of one-click image editing and creativity tools, users can apply special effects, without the use of PC-based software.
"At Zing, we're committed to providing the very best technology and services to meet the needs of the leading Internet photo community," said Mark Platshon, president and CEO of Zing, Inc. "The PictureIQ Internet Service is a great addition to Zing's services because it delivers on one of the key promises of digital photography -- to give people the freedom to easily transform their photos from the pictures they take to the pictures they want."
The PictureIQ Internet Service provides Zing customers with a way to personalize and enhance their digital photos prior to sharing them with friends, ordering prints, or saving them in their personal ZingAlbums. As the newest addition to Zing.com's list of photo services, the PictureIQ toolbar gives users access to features such as one-touch photo fixing, cropping and rotation of photos, and fun special effects. The toolbar is available through any standard Web browser.
"We are pleased to team with Zing to provide PictureIQ's leading technology to their more than 1 million members," said Bill McCoy, president and CEO of PictureIQ Corporation. "By providing users with the easiest way to instantly get better results and expand the creative possibilities of their photos, PictureIQ is providing Zing with increased firepower to grow its industry-leading popularity."
The use of the PictureIQ toolbar is free, and gives people the chance to try different effects and enhancements without altering the original photo. Every change to the photo can be undone with a click of the mouse. You can access the PictureIQ toolbar at www.zing.com by clicking on any thumbnail from one of your photo albums and selecting the "Edit Picture" option.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Calluna to ship 650MB, 1.3GB PC Card hard disks!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 15:22 EDT)


Calluna has introduced its new 650MB Type II PC Card moveIT drive at PC EXPO 2000 in New York. At more than double the capacity of the existing 260MB version, the new version utilizes the latest GMR (Giant Magneto Resistive) magnetic recording technology in a single platter, single head design. It can run from a 5.0V or 3.3V supply and can be installed instantly without the need for extra power adapters, cables or boxes. It offers plug-and-play operation in the millions of PCMCIA Type II PC Card sockets used in a variety of mobile PCs, digital hand-held devices, digital cameras and industrial and consumer equipment.
"Our field proven 260MB moveIT drive has already demonstrated how easy it is to back-up and move data around using PC Card storage," said David Ruxton, Director of Product Marketing for Calluna. "Its 1.8 inch hard disk drive technology makes it the most cost effective option in this format and our new 650MB version hits the removable storage capacity sweet spot for the mobile PC user. You can also store all of the data or music recorded on a standard CD and then 'move it' between devices with PC Card sockets where CD players are not installed."
In addition to its PCMCIA compatibility, the moveIT drive will operate under the 68 pin true IDE interface standard. This enables it to be used as primary mass storage in computer systems (for example the C: drive in a mobile PC) or embedded applications where 2.5 inch or 3.5 inch hard drives are too large or consume too much power.

The 650MB moveIT drive has a suggested retail price of $399 and is being evaluated now by a number of OEMs. Production will start in August 2000 and it is scheduled to be available from authorized distributors and in retail channels by Q4 2000. A single platter, two-head version offering a storage capacity of 1.3GB will also be launched in Q4 2000.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

Red Hen announces support for Kodak DC290 GPS mapping!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 15:15 EDT)


Red Hen Systems Inc. has announced at PC Expo the release of its new MediaMapper software. MediaMapper is a mapping program that integrates digital still pictures, video, and audio with GPS information into an interactive map.

The new software package incorporates the multimedia mapping features of Red Hen's VMS Player software, enhanced to support the Kodak DC290 digital camera.
"We developed the support for the Kodak DC290 to give our customers more flexibility and media alternatives when creating their interactive maps," said Ken Burgess, Red Hen Systems' vice president of research and development. "The Kodak DC290 is a megapixel camera that offers more than twice the normal resolution of video cameras."
MediaMapper is designed to enable new users to make the transition from traditional mapping to multimedia mapping smoothly. MediaMapper users can essentially sit back and relax as the map is created. Multimedia capture from video is also automated, and map generation from Kodak DC290 images is a hands-off procedure. After the map is created, a mouse-click reveals the multimedia files linked to mapped locations, including images, audio, video clips, or any other files. Media maps, as MediaMapper's interactive maps are called, can be exported as HTML files for Web sites or CD distribution. This enables businesses, government agencies, or anyone who shares mapped information to provide maps and linked multimedia files to millions of people. Media maps can also be shared with users of other popular GIS programs.

Key features of MediaMapper include:
  • Support for GPS-enabled Kodak DC290 digital camera (Garmin receiver or VMS 200)
  • Support for Trimble-based VMS 200 GPS hardware
  • Support for laser rangefinders and Red Hen Systems' digital
    compass module
  • Professional system uses EZdiff differential post-processing
    software for mapping GPS locations with higher accuracy
  • Registration of raster images for use as background map layers
  • GPS metadata injection for captured AVI files

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

CNet launches Photo channel!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 15:10 EDT)


CNET Networks Inc. has launched a new web "channel" aimed at helping consumers make informed decisions when purchasing digital photography equipment. CNET's Digital Photography Center is, it claims, "a unique proposition, the first site of its kind to offer completely objective information and a variety of tools to help people understand how to get involved with digital photography." (Apparently CNet aren't familiar with Steve's Digicams, the Digital Photography Review, the Digital Camera Resource Page, and other friendly digital camera sites we don't have room to mention - ourselves included! -- Mike)

Photo.cnet.com features CNET product reviews and updated news from CNET News.com about the growing digital camera market, as well as:
  • Reviews of digital imagery products such as cameras, scanners, printers, webcams and photo editing software.
  • CNET's Editors Choice Awards in each category, "to take the guesswork out of deciding which products are winners, and why".
  • Tips on how to use your digital photography equipment to achieve better results.
  • Columns from digital photography expert Daniel Grotta.
  • Email updates on digital photography news.
The new channel is planned to help people and businesses make better buying decisions by offering them the relevant information they need. Currently, digital photo equipment occupies about 32 percent of the top 25 most popular technology purchases according to the "Popular Products" list on the top of CNET's front page. In addition, hundreds of photo-related software products are available on CNET's Download.com.
"In an exciting new market like this, with many kinds of products, it can be overwhelming for people to figure out what to buy," said Richard Marino, President of CNET Networks, Inc. "We've listened to our users, and come up with a unique solution that for the first time gives them all the information they need in one place to help them join the digital photography revolution."
The Digital Photo Center launches with various partners, among them online photofinisher Club Photo.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

ACD Systems releases ACDSee for Mac!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 15:02 EDT)


ACD Systems Int'l. Inc. today announced that, following several weeks of consumer beta testing, the Macintosh version of its digital imaging management software, ACDSee, is now available.

ACDSee for Mac offers users improved management of images, movies, and sound clip files. Now Mac users, including users in photography, graphic design, multimedia and other related fields, will be able to reduce time spent waiting for images, sounds and movie clips to appear, and diminish endless searching through collection archives. This version includes export features that allow users to save to 10 different file formats: giff, jpeg, tga, tiff, psp, photoshop, sgi, macpaint, quicktime, bmp.
"We have been very focused on our goal of bringing our award-winning image viewer/browser to all digital image users, regardless of the operating system they use," said Doug Vandekerhove, President and CEO of ACD Systems. "ACDSee for Mac is an important landmark in our growth strategy to increase our user base and expand the market penetration of ACD Systems' products across all platforms."
ACDSee for Mac supports over 40 popular image formats, and provides fast viewing and playing of multimedia files using QuickTime technology including MPEGs and MP3s. ACDSee for Mac follows in the tradition of ACDSee for Windows, already bundled with many products around the world, including those from Packard Bell NEC and Hewlett Packard. ACDSee currently has a market penetration of over 15 million users worldwide.

ACDSee for Mac is available for purchase from ACD Systems for $29.95. Registration of ACDSee for Mac includes tech support and future discounts offered on ACD products.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / Canadian Corporate News

Questra highlights involvement in PhotoAccess eCamera!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 14:51 EDT)


Questra Corp. announced today that it has been selected by PhotoAccess.com Corp. to develop and integrate application software for PhotoAccess' web-enabled eCamera reference design.

Questra Corporation considers itself "a leading provider of appliance to business and business to appliance to consumer solutions with expertise in integrating appliances and their services into business enterprise systems".
"We believe our Web-enabled eCamera is the next logical step in the evolution of the digital camera", said Gene Wang, chairman and CEO for PhotoAccess. "We are pleased to be partnering with Questra--known for their strong technical expertise, digital imaging know-how and rapid product development capabilities--to deliver on our vision for the next major revolution in digital cameras."

"The opportunity afforded to us by PhotoAccess.com is a true application of our e-Appliance Business philosophy--that of transforming appliances, in this case digital cameras, into Web-enabled devices that can be used to provide a service. This is what the Internet is all about: creating recurring revenue streams around a device. I am extremely pleased with how well both organizations worked together developing this innovative product from concept through realization"
, said Ken Peters, e-Appliances Practice Manager for Questra.

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

ArcSoft opens Hong Kong office!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 14:43 EDT)


Fremont, CA-based ArcSoft, Inc. has distributed a press release announcing three new corporate initiatives.

In response to demand in the Asian market and Arcsoft's close ties to Hong Kong, Arcsoft's new Hong Kong office will provide hands-on service for Asian consumers and business partners. Marketing and public relations efforts will be handled out of the office, including OEM services, licensing and retail sales. Other operations will also take place here, including customer service. Arcsoft already enjoys an international presence with offices in Japan, China, Ireland and Latin America. ArcSoft also plans to open a Taiwan office later this summer.
"We are dedicated to expanding our international presence," said Joseph Bollentini, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ArcSoft. "Our OEM and retail customers are enjoying great success and we want to support them with superior customer service."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Zing licenses technology to Sony, About, Uproar!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 14:39 EDT)


Zing Network Inc. has announced the launch of its Zing Network Services initiative, which makes the infrastructure behind Zing's photography services and community available and accessible to major camera and computer manufacturers and online commerce and community websites. Zing also announced that Sony Electronics Inc., About Inc., and Uproar Inc. have joined the Zing Network, adding to a list of partners that includes Casio, FortuneCity, Hewlett-Packard, eFrames.com, MP3.com, Nettaxi, and TheGlobe.

The Zing Network is claimed to be the most trafficked online photography community with over 1.6 million registered members and 2.6 million unique visitors per month. In a recent CNET evaluation, Zing was the top ranked photography community site. In addition, Fortune Magazine's June 26 issue named Zing as one of the 13 "Cool Companies" of the year.

Zing's network infrastructure services provide free, permanent photo storage, album and sharing services, greeting cards, content, community, high-quality home and mailorder photo printing, online photo framing, and personalized gift e-commerce to Network Partners. An open architecture allows Zing to provide a customized, cobranded "photocenter" which can be deeply integrated throughout partner website's activities, content and commerce. This architecture also brings the Zing Network community and all publicly listed member photographic content to all network partner sites, creating a vibrant community for partners immediately from launch. A "shared layer" allows partners and vendors to distribute features, content and commerce to other network partner sites and allows partners to opt in and bring these into their own photocenters.
"A complete and integrated set of online personal photography capabilities is an important consumer offering for many manufacturers and communities," said Mark Platshon, Zing president and chief executive officer. "The addition of photo services to their sites is a proven way to increase activity and retention of members. This also provides Zing Network Partners with new revenue streams from the sale of 35mm-quality print, enlargement and framing services and personalized gift merchandise."

"We are pleased to join with Zing to offer advertisers multiple ways to reach their audience and consumers an abundance of entertaining content to enjoy,"
said Jeff Strief, Executive Vice President of Uproar. "Both Uproar and Zing offer highly engaging and sticky content - games and photo services - which has the potential to increase member loyalty, page views and revenues."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Sony upgrades ImageStation with Vingage, Zing and Ofoto!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 14:24 EDT)


Sony Electronics Inc. yesterday distributed a press release announcing additions to its ImageStation photo-sharing Web site, and strategic relationships that add capabilities it believes were never before available in a single on-line digital photography Web site.

ImageStation users will now be able to add MPEG videos to their personal on-line picture albums through Sony's partnership with Vingage Corporation. Vingage is a company that links video transcoding technologies with database-driven video servers. In addition to unlimited still image storage, ImageStation members will be allowed to store up to 15 minutes of MPEG videos for free.

Sony also tapped Zing, a leadership force in on-line digital photography, to create the infrastructure for the new ImageStation site. ImageStation features now include the ability create individual picture albums, image sharing through a communities section, custom-made photo-personalised products ordering, electronic greeting cards, an e-zine with photographer profiles, hints and tips for better digital photographs, feature stories, and more.

Ofoto, Inc., a provider of on-line photographic print services, will supply print fulfillment services for Sony's ImageStation.
"By enhancing ImageStation services, we enhance the potential of every Internet-connected device, whether it's a personal computer, a personal digital assistant or any other net-enabled product," said Jay Sato, vice president of ImageStation for Sony Electronics.
Sony's ImageStation was first launched in 1998 as a means to help Sony digital camera owners get the most from the photos they take, and to provide the same brand to the service that it does to its hardware.

Sato said the new ImageStation capabilities are driven by the anticipated sales growth of cameras with high-resolution CCDs and MPEG features, digital camcorders that feature still image capabilities, and computers with built-in digital video cameras or with software applications that enable still-frame capture from video.
"Sony also recognizes that the definition of an Internet device is changing," said Sato. "People can now connect with the Internet on tiny, compact computers, with personal digital assistants and even tiny cell phones. Each one is a potential device for transferring, sharing and viewing digital images in the future.

ImageStation is an example of Sony's on-going strategy to combine hardware with services and software to create a comprehensive, easy and enjoyable consumer experience,"
he said.
ImageStation membership is free and, for a limited time, new members will be given 50 free prints through Ofoto's photographic print service. Consumers who purchase select Sony imaging products will also receive special offers that can be redeemed through ImageStation, including print and enlargement packages.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

Iomega announces FotoShow image center!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 14:08 EDT)


Iomega Corp. has announced the planned fall release of FotoShow, its new digital image center. Developed with digital photography enthusiasts in mind, the FotoShow image center, powered by PictureIQ software, will allow consumers to view photos on a television, making it possible to store, organize, edit and share photos with family and friends. The FotoShow image center is Iomega's first-branded product for the digital imaging arena.
"The digital camera market is experiencing incredible growth and this trend is expected to continue over the next several years, making storage and management of images a primary focus to a wide range of consumers," said Bruce Albertson, president and CEO, Iomega Corporation. "We are committed to creating user-friendly storage devices that meet the needs created by the technology explosion. We expect this product to be particularly important to the consumer who not only wants to safely store images taken with their digital camera equipment but who also wants the convenience of sharing those images away from the confines of their personal computer."
Digital photos saved onto digital camera memory cards can be inserted into the Compact Flash or Smart Media card slots on the FotoShow image center. With the press of a button, pictures can be transferred from a memory card to a Zip disk even when the device is not connected to a TV or PC. When connected to a PC, the FotoShow image center functions as a Zip 250MB USB drive, enabling consumers to transfer photos to the FotoShow image center from any source - including the hard drive, scanned pictures, pictures attached to personal e-mails, or those downloaded from the Internet - for later viewing on the television. When connected to the television, the FotoShow image center functions as a photo viewer, editor, organizer and storage device, thus creating a portable 'digital photo album'.

Built-in PictureIQ technology will give consumers digital photography capabilities including red-eye removal, one-touch instant photo fixing, cropping, image rotation and the ability to add creative touches such as artistic viewing templates.

The portability and ease of use of the FotoShow image center will, Iomega believes, make it an ideal appliance for sharing photos with family and friends anywhere a television is available. Iomega further notes that its Zip drive "creates a safe, practical environment for enjoying family memories anytime, anywhere".
"One of the most significant advantages of digital pictures is that you get to see them instantaneously," said Bill McCoy, president and CEO, PictureIQ Corporation. "The FotoShow image center, powered by PictureIQ, brings this benefit into the living room, giving consumers an extremely easy way to not only display their pictures on a TV, but to also organize, enhance and be creative with their pictures. Based on the consumer-friendly and cost-effective Iomega Zip drive, the FotoShow image center is a breakthrough product that makes digital photography much more accessible to mass market consumers."
Iomega also feels that the FotoShow image center has business applications, since multi-media presentations can be saved to Zip disks as a series of JPEG images and then viewed on television monitors, eliminating the need for laptop computers or expensive projectors to run programs.
"The FotoShow image center will have tremendous potential for the professional who regularly gives presentations and who wants the opportunity to showcase material without the need for computers or projectors," said Mark Lucas, executive vice president, global marketing and product management, Iomega Corporation. "With this product, the days of having to arrive 15 to 30 minutes before a meeting to set up a presentation, or the need to purchase expensive equipment, will be gone. Presenters will be able to literally `plug and play' their material on available television sets."
Iomega plans to use a generational product development plan in order to capitalize on advances in digital equipment at the consumer level.
"We recognize that in order to continue to be successful, we must develop products with an eye toward technological advances in the vertical markets that our product lines enhance," said Lucas. "Our plan is to introduce a line of products in this category over the next several years that will significantly enhance the digital photography experience."
The FotoShow image center will incorporate a Motorola PowerPC processor and include a Zip 250MB drive. It will also feature a remote control, Compact Flash and Smart Media slots, S-Video and composite video and audio outputs. Additionally, it will be AC powered with an optional DC auto adapter, and will feature a USB device port that will allow connection to a computer as a Zip drive.

Iomega's FotoShow image center is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2000. Pricing has not been disclosed.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

PhotoAccess unveils eCamera reference design!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 13:58 EDT)


PhotoAccess.com Corp. has announced its Web-enabled eCamera reference design. The eCamera design enables manufacturers to equip their digital cameras so that consumers can connect them directly to the Internet for uploading, e-mailing and processing (sharing, printing, storing) of digital photos without the intermediary use of a computer. At present, most consumers must connect a digital camera to a computer in order to upload digital photos to the Web. The eCamera gives consumers the choice of sending images directly to the PhotoAccess.com or partner Web site by connecting the eCamera to a standard phone line.

PhotoAccess' eCamera reference design implements its proprietary PhotoChip for high-speed digital image processing, and an in-camera modem and graphical user interface software for direct Internet connectivity. This approach enables consumers to take advantage of the Internet in what PhotoAccess feels was not before possible, by enabling them to connect from anywhere within the continental U.S. via a standard phone jack, without a computer. Once a picture is taken it can be e-mailed to any number of people and prints can be ordered and mailed to friends and family-all directly from the control of a digital camera.

Camera manufacturers can license the programmable eCamera and PhotoChip from PhotoAccess to embed into their own digital camera products, and customize the design as desired for a seamless interface. The eCamera reference design includes a programmable GUI, hardware drivers and VX Works operating system from WindRiver.

Consumer availability of the Web-enabled eCamera is anticipated before the end of 2000. PhotoAccess.com is seeking corporate partners with interest in the eCamera reference design and PhotoChip. To find out more, please direct all inquiries to eCamera@photoaccess.com.
"Having to connect your digital camera to a PC has been a major obstacle to mainstream adoption of digital photography," said Gene Wang, chairman and CEO of PhotoAccess. "The eCamera reference design provides consumers with the easiest way to e-mail photos and get film-quality prints from a digital camera."

Wang added, "Imagine capturing photographic memories with your eCamera while on vacation, sending your favorite digital images to family and friends and returning home to find photos waiting in your mail box-all without having to connect to a PC!"

"With the advent of the eCamera and PhotoChip, the next generation of digital cameras will offer superior performance with an untethered operation and much faster processing speeds,"
said Mammad Safai, vice president and general manager of eCamera Systems for PhotoAccess. "We are very pleased to make the eCamera and PhotoChip technologies available and to have the opportunity to contribute toward the next significant step in this rapidly growing market."
The proprietary eCamera reference design provides camera manufacturers with all the necessary tools to develop complete digital camera products. The reference design includes:
  • DCA 3000 eCamera development platform
  • Software development tool kit with programmable graphical user
    interface
  • Hardware driver tool kit with board support package
  • VX Works OS Kernal from WindRiver
  • Software modem driver

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Tuesday, June 27, 2000



NUWAVE details PicturePrepClub.com!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 15:27 EDT)


NUWAVE Technologies Inc. today announced the launch of NUWAVE's new web photo portal, PicturePrepClub.com.

In May, NUWAVE announced its planned entry into the web-based digital imaging market; yesterday, NUWAVE announced its agreement to exclusively use the Print@Kodak online fulfillment service to deliver KODAK prints to consumers' homes from PicturePrepClub.com.

Today, showcasing at PC EXPO in Kodak's Partner Pavilion (booth No. 710-AA) PicturePrepClub.com is open to service consumers' demand for online photo-sharing and photo-finishing with two types of membership - a free Membership (considered a $49 value by NUWAVE), featuring up to 100 free 4" x 6" prints in the first three months of membership, and five free photo galleries, or a $29.95 'PP2K Membership Upgrade' for $29.95 which adds NUWAVE PicturePrep 2000 video and photo enhancement software, plus entry into a competition offering cash and prizes to the ten most trafficked galleries each month, one free 4" x 6" Print for every $10 of prints ordered through your gallery, and unlimited galleries. The five starter galleries that come with a free membership are Family, Friends, Pets, Vacation, and Work and cannot be changed, but with the PP2K membership upgrade consumers will be allowed to create galleries of their own choice.

Later this summer, PicturePrepClub.com will open its club store where members will be able to purchase photography gift items as well as other NUWAVE imaging software.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

PhotoAccess joins Print@Kodak!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 15:12 EDT)


PhotoAccess.com Corp. today announced an agreement with the Eastman Kodak Company to offer Print@Kodak as a premium service for digital photofinishing to PhotoAccess.com customers. Kodak, will provide the Print@Kodak service to PhotoAccess by processing and delivering premium prints from digital photos uploaded to the PhotoAccess.com site. PhotoAccess will use its proprietary work order routing system, PhotoDispatcher to automatically dispatch its customers' orders for Kodak prints directly to Print@Kodak.

The new agreement with Kodak will benefit customers by enabling PhotoAccess to provide solutions based on a customer's needs, and provide a way to get premium quality prints from digital pictures.
"PhotoAccess recognizes the value that Kodak, the industry leader in photofinishing and a brand name that consumers trust and believe in, can add to our own products and services," said Gene Wang, chairman and CEO for PhotoAccess. "By offering a premium service option through Print@Kodak, PhotoAccess guarantees its customers the highest-quality prints and services."

"Kodak's goal is to provide consumers with an outstanding experience wherever they shop by offering the highest quality products and services,"
said Nancy Carr, vice president, Digital and Applied Imaging, Eastman Kodak Company. "This agreement underscores our strategy of being a provider of digital services to the Internet photography industry and making the Kodak brand as well known on-line as it is off-line. We are very pleased that PhotoAccess is one of our first customers."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

LightSurf, Kodak cooperate on Picture Center Online!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 13:28 EDT)


LightSurf Technologies Inc. and Eastman Kodak Company today announced the Kodak Picture Center Online, a collaborative effort of Kodak and LightSurf. The Kodak Picture Center Online is a consumer photography service that combines the benefits of established retail distribution with the ease and convenience of the Internet.

Kodak Picture Center Online premieres today on CVS.com, the Internet arm of American drug store chain CVS/pharmacy, which has more than 4,100 stores nationwide. Picture Center offers CVS consumers a total photography solution, offering both traditional prints and pictures uploaded to the Internet. Consumers who want to share and enhance their pictures online can have their film digitized and uploaded directly to the Picture Center at CVS.com by simply checking a box on their photofinishing envelope at participating CVS stores. When picking up traditional prints, consumers will also receive a confidential ID code to access their pictures online. Once online, they can then view, enhance, share and print their pictures. Fulfillment of digital photofinishing will be available through Kodak's new Print@Kodak Internet photofinishing service. They may also upload digital files from digital cameras and personal computers for free.
"Throughout this project, LightSurf has demonstrated the ability to develop simple and elegant interfaces that appeal to the mass-market," said Dennis Hamann, vice president, Consumer Digital Services, Eastman Kodak Company. "By combining the technology of LightSurf, Kodak and PictureVision, the Kodak Picture Center Online will make it easy for consumers to share and enjoy their pictures with friends and family anywhere, anytime."
LightSurf's patent-pending photo server infrastructure and PictureVision's PhotoNet system power the Kodak Picture Center Online. LightSurf's photo server infrastructure includes a scalable and flexible imaging server tightly coupled with the LightSurf e-commerce processing engine.
"We are very pleased with what we have created for Kodak and CVS," said Philippe Kahn, chairman and founder of LightSurf Technologies Inc. "Combining the technology and expertise of Kodak and LightSurf ensures that consumers will be experiencing the absolute best in photo-sharing and printing services."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Microtech announces new Microdrive bundles!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 13:19 EDT)


Microtech International Inc. today announced the availability of the IBM Microdrive Deluxe Kit and the IBM Microdrive Roadwarrior Kit. These new bundles combine the IBM Microdrive, the world's smallest hard disk drive, with Microtech's USB and PC Card connectivity solutions and special software. The IBM Microdrive bundles are available with the existing 340MB and recently announced 512MB and 1GB capacities.

The Deluxe Kit consists of the award winning USB CameraMate reader/writer for transferring data from the Microdrive to a USB equipped PC or Mac. The CameraMate is also equipped with a dedicated SmartMedia slot which can be used to copy data from any SmartMedia equipped digital camera or MP3 players to the higher capacity Microdrive. Also included in the package is a Type II PC Card adapter for using the Microdrive as a file transfer and back-up device with most notebooks. Software from Ixla, Voyager Communications and PowerQuest complete the package.

The Roadwarrior Kit is designed for flexibility and small size. It consists of the IBM Microdrive, and the Microtech ZiO!, a sub miniature USB adapter for all CompactFlash cards. A PC Card notebook adapter and software for Image manipulation and file back-up is also included in the package.
"By combining the high capacity of the IBM Microdrive with fast methods of data transfer and universal connectivity, we make it possible to download and carry hundreds of digital pictures or hours of CD quality MP3 music along with all of your personal contact information in a very secure way," said Al Conte, Director of Digital Imaging Products at Microtech. "In addition, sensitive documents and important data can be backed-up conveniently via a PC Card slot or USB connection and the Microdrive carried on your person in a shirt pocket or change purse," he added.
Microtech will be at PC Expo in booth No. 808.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Shutterfly, Sierra Imaging ally!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 13:12 EDT)


Conexant Systems Inc. subsidiary Sierra Imaging, developer of the Image Expert image management software series and Shutterfly today announced a new way for customers to transfer their digital pictures to the Shutterfly Web site.

Shutterfly will now offer a special edition of Sierra's Image Expert software customized for use by Shutterfly customers. The software will display thumbnails of user's images; they then simply click on the images they want uploaded to shutterfly.com. Multiple images can be selected before hitting the upload button for maximum efficiency.
"This agreement with Shutterfly is part of a broader initiative we are mounting to help online photo services expand their customer base," said Kevin Strong, senior vice president and general manager of Conexant's Personal Imaging Division. "The acquisition of Sierra Imaging closed earlier this month, which now gives us the opportunity to further extend our image-management software to the online arena. It also gives online services a new way to grow the digital imaging market by making it easier for people to get prints. If you can't find a digital image, you can't use it -- our software helps solve that problem."

"We are extremely pleased to be working with Conexant and Sierra Imaging to offer this new value-added feature on the Shutterfly site,"
said Jayne Spiegelman, chief executive officer of Shutterfly. "We want to make it easy for consumers to manage their digital images and then transfer them to Shutterfly, and this new alliance is a great leap forward in helping us meet that objective."
Shutterfly Smart Upload Software is free and will be available July 6 at shutterfly.com. Further information about a Sierra Imaging upgrade can be found at www.sierraimaging.com.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Shutterfly and Kodak ally on photofinishing!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 12:57 EDT)


Shutterfly today announced an agreement with Kodak to offer 35mm and APS film developing and scanning services to Shutterfly customers. Qualex, Eastman Kodak's wholly owned photofinishing subsidiary, will provide traditional film development and scanning services for Shutterfly customers. Once the film is developed, the digital pictures are transferred to the Shutterfly site, allowing users to do things with their photos they can only do digitally - Print exactly the pictures they want, enhance and personalize them, and then send them directly to friends and family.
"We spent the last few months listening to our customers requests, and understood that high quality film scanning was essential to them," said Jayne Spiegelman, CEO and co-founder of Shutterfly. "The combination of Shutterfly's digital enhancement and printing expertise, along with Kodak's 35mm-film developing expertise will result in the absolute best film scanning offering on the market."
With the addition of film scanning to shutterfly.com, film photographers have access to the benefits of digital photography. Many of the things you can do with your photos digitally cannot be accomplished in the traditional 35mm-film processing world. Those benefits as Shutterfly sees them include:
  • Printing only the pictures you want.
  • Sharing your photos online in private, secure, Shutterfly albums.
  • Enhancing your photos with Shutterfly's new effects and borders.
  • Sending 35mm-quality prints and enlargements to family and friends all around the world with a single click.
Shutterfly ensures that all color prints are enhanced for color and clarity using its proprietary VividPics technology, developed by a team of imaging scientists at Shutterfly, many of whom have digital imaging experience from companies such as Kodak, SGI and Hewlett-Packard. Qualex will be using VividPics technology exclusively for Shutterfly customers in order to ensure the highest quality digital images are created from the scanning process.
"Online photography companies represent a new channel and revenue stream for Kodak's photo processing and scanning services. We are thrilled to be working with Shutterfly's innovative digital imaging team," said Willy Shih, president, digital and applied imaging, and senior vice president, Eastman Kodak Company. "This relationship is a winning combination, and consumers are sure to benefit from Shutterfly's new film-scanning solution."
Shutterfly's new film-to-digital service works as follows:
  • Sign up as a Shutterfly customer at www.shutterfly.com and request film-mailer envelopes. Shutterfly will send you the mailers at no charge.
  • Return the mailer with 35mm film, APS film or a disposable camera enclosed, using the return address label furnished. After your film is developed, your pictures are scanned and sent to your Shutterfly account. Your negatives are mailed back to you.
  • Shutterfly will send you an e-mail notifying you when your photos are ready for viewing online.
  • Order prints and enlargements. No matter what kind of camera you shot your photos with (digital or film), Shutterfly offers the same prices.
  • Enhance and personalize your photos. Shutterfly claims to be the only service offering unique borders and effects, as well as custom messaging on the back of your prints.
  • Send prints to friends and family anywhere. It's easy to send photos to multiple people from one single Shutterfly page, and photos can be mailed to the people you care about, all over the world. With Shutterfly's introduction of international shipping as well as international ordering, friends and family have global access to the Shutterfly service.
The Shutterfly film developing and scanning service will be available starting July 7th, 2000, and for an introductory period will be free of charge. Prices for Shutterfly prints are 49 cents for a 4" x 6" print, 99 cents for a 5" x 7" print and $2.99 for an 8" x 10" print.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

PhotoWorks announces print scanning service!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 12:39 EDT)


PhotoWorks has announced its new scanning service that offers secure and private scanning of customers' existing photos. The service includes a special shipping pack to ensure customers' photos arrive safely at PhotoWorks and are returned promptly. Once the pictures are received at PhotoWorks, they are scanned directly into the customer's password-protected archive, at which point they are available for use with all of PhotoWorks' services including sharing, albuming, online reprints, photo albums and other merchandise.
"The online photography revolution has been great for consumers, but it has focused on people's most recent pictures taken from either traditional or digital cameras," said Gary Christophersen, PhotoWorks President and CEO. "Our customers tell us that they love the services we provide, such as sharing and reprints, but they would like to be able to take advantage of them with photos taken before our service was available. We believe that consumers should be able to use our services with all of their pictures -- whether taken yesterday or 20 years ago."
PhotoWorks also plans to offer customers an online-to-hardcopy photo album service that enables customers to create online photo albums for free and then have them professionally printed and bound as keepsakes or sent as gifts to friends or family. The photo album service is scheduled to be available in late July.
"The Internet has enabled people to do more with their photos now than ever before," said Christophersen. "Now, PhotoWorks lets you take advantage of all of the resources of online photo services like sharing and albuming, for all of your photos, new or old, whether taken with a digital or film-based camera."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Olympus recaps first Digital Photography School!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 12:32 EDT)


A press release from Olympus America Inc. announces that its School of Digital Photography, a full-day digital imaging seminar, was held in San Francisco on June 3rd.

The school covered a gamut of digital photography techniques, including digital basics; file formats; resolution; digital file workflow; file transfers; digital input; digital light box, digital darkroom; output (printing) and more. Robert DiNatale, a lecturer and photographer who has taught at Boston University School of Media, the Nikon School of Photography, and the Time Life School of Photography, was the instructor.

Olympus launched the School in response to what it perceived as a need for digital photography education.
"The digital camera market is growing so quickly that anyone interested in photography needs to learn the essentials of digital," said Kenny Suzuki, Director of Marketing, Olympus Digital & Imaging Systems Group. "Our School goes a long way towards ensuring that amateurs and professionals alike derive maximum benefit from their digital cameras."
The 40+ students who attended the San Francisco seminar (ranging in age from 25 to 70), had varying degrees of photographic skills and familiarity with digital equipment. Many students commented that the seminar helped them get a greater appreciation of digital camera capabilities and gain new insights into digital photography.
"There is a tremendous learning curve for consumers coming in contact with digital photography, and the need for education has never been greater," said Robert DiNatale, School's instructor. "I commend Olympus for recognizing that need and for acting upon it quickly."
Following its debut in San Francisco, the Olympus School of Digital Photography will travel to nine US cities over a period of twelve months. The next School is scheduled to take place in Chicago on September 16th, followed by New York on October 28th. In New York Olympus, in partnership with Pictorico Ink Jet Media, will also present the Digital Photography Exhibition 2000. The Exhibition features work of ten celebrated photographers exploring the creative possibilities of digital input and output in photojournalism, still life, fashion and nature photography. The photographs first went on display in San Francisco, following the June 3rd seminar.

The Olympus Digital Photography School schedule is as follows:
  • Chicago
    September 16, 2000
  • New York
    October 28, 2000
  • Atlanta
    November 18, 2000
  • Los Angeles
    January 20, 2001
  • Seattle
    February 17, 2001
  • Dallas
    March 3, 2001
  • Boston
    March 24, 2001
  • Denver
    April 14, 2001
  • Washington DC
    May 12, 2001

The cost of the School is $99 including lunch. To register, call 1-800-622-6372 ext. 6161. Qualified media are invited to attend the school at no charge.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

ArcSoft forms Internet Services Division!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 12:30 EDT)


ArcSoft yesterday announced the formation of its Internet Services Division to provide Internet imaging services to businesses worldwide. Arcsoft's ISD will provide outsourcing alternatives for corporations to manage, maintain and distribute their digital images. The division will also manage its growing consumer imaging portal business.

To support the growth of ISD and address international market demand for Internet imaging services, ArcSoft is expanding the number of employees at its U.S. headquarters in Fremont, CA, and its China-based engineering group; and adding additional offices throughout Europe and Asia. ArcSoft has also hired two industry veterans to head the new division. Jeff Mandell, formerly vice president of marketing for Ericsson Mobile Phones and a director of imaging products at Epson America, joins ArcSoft as president, Internet Services Division. Anna Jen, formerly director of photo-imaging products at Epson America, and a management consultant at Marketing Corporation of America, joins as vice president, marketing of the new division.
"The Internet has ushered in a new era in digital imaging. Large and small companies that do not have the in-house resources to meet their digital asset management needs are looking for experts in the field to offer solutions," said Mandell. "With ArcSoft's reputation as a trusted partner to the leading manufacturers of digital cameras, scanners and printers, and a pioneer in photo-sharing and archiving on the Internet, we have the technology and know-how to offer advanced and extremely reliable digital imaging solutions."
According to Jupiter Communications, by 2003, the majority of PCs around the world will be Internet-enabled. Approximately 50 percent of Internet subscribers are located in North America today. Faster Internet growth in Europe and Asia over the next three years will enable countries outside North America to account for 62 percent of the Internet users by 2003.
"With the expected growth of Internet-enabled computers and appliances, we will see increasing usage of photo-sharing and archiving as one of the most entertaining and often used applications among both consumers and businesses," said Mandell.
In response to this growth, ISD plans to pursue a three-pronged strategy to:
  • Become the leading Application Service Provider for Internet imaging.
  • Establish vertical image archiving & distribution solutions that enhance productivity and lower costs.
  • Expand interactive consumer imaging web portals via partnerships and co-marketing.
ArcSoft's new division plans to leverage the PhotoIsland Network System technology, first deployed and proven on PhotoIsland.com, to build turnkey, private-label photo sharing sites (including photo printing, online editing and special effects applications) and offer longer term archival solutions to major image content providers. This includes front-end design, web hosting, database/system maintenance, image and file back-up, e-commerce services and integration and customer support. ArcSoft also plans to license a portfolio of server-based applications, including its iPhoto Workshop Suite to individual sites.

The ISD offerings are based on the PhotoIsland Network System and incorporate ArcSoft's proprietary technology and network platform for managing, searching and transferring voluminous image data over the Internet.

ArcSoft's Internet imaging and archiving engine is designed to provide reliability, flexibility, scalability, security and high-speed. It leverages three ArcSoft technologies: ActiveWebPage, a Java-class programming library that accelerates development, modification and retrieval of image content for web sites (up to 100 times faster); DynamicLink, an image and multimedia storage solution that prevents private images from unauthorized access over the Internet and makes archiving more efficient; and iScope, a proprietary image zooming engine that manages the high-speed visual delivery of large size images, usually stored in a web server to a client browser through the Internet. This enables faster viewing and more efficiently facilitates e-commerce applications.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Jasc announces Quick View Plus 6.0!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 4:10 EDT)


Jasc Software Inc., the company behind the popular Paint Shop Pro image editor, today announced the release of Jasc Quick View Plus 6.0, the new version of its multi-format file viewer. Quick View Plus 6.0 offers users a way to view graphics, documents, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, zip files, and more, and includes support for over 200 Windows, DOS, Macintosh, and Internet file types - more than any other file viewer.
"Today, information of all kinds is exchanged at an incredibly fast rate, and Quick View Plus 6.0 offers an easy, affordable way to manage this mass of vastly different formats and sources," said Kris Tufto, CEO of Jasc Software. "With Quick View Plus, you don't waste valuable time with files and email attachments you can't open, and you don't have to buy expensive software just to view files. Quick View Plus instantly displays virtually any file, whether you have the associated program on your computer or not. The software also makes it easy to find the files you need fast, without having to launch program after program searching for a specific file. For today's home and office users, Quick View Plus is a sure-fire way to save time and frustration."
Quick View Plus 6.0 includes:
  • Support for Microsoft Project and Visio files
  • Navigation with an Explorer-like interface that allows you to visually review files
  • Quick Compress feature that lets you create your own zip files, making other compression programs unnecessary
  • Attachment auto-zip feature that lets you compress email attachments automatically if the file size is too large
  • Support for new formats such as Office 2000, WordPerfect Office 2000, Kodak FlashPix, CorelDRAW 6-8, AutoCAD DXF, Microsoft Outlook messages, and more
  • Integration with programs such as Internet Explorer 5, Netscape Navigator 4, Outlook 2000, Outlook Express 5, and Adobe Acrobat 4
Quick View Plus 6.0 is available immediately for Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT4, and Windows 2000. The MSRP for individual user copies of Quick View Plus 6.0 from Jasc Software is $59; upgrades for registered users of previous versions of Quick View Plus are also available from Jasc Software for $29. In addition, certain users are eligible for corporate site licenses and educational discounts. An evaluation copy of Quick View Plus 6.0 may be downloaded from Jasc Software's Web site.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

ez prints announces large format digital photofinishing!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 4:05 EDT)


ez prints today announced the launch of its new 'Brilliant Wow!' large format photo print product line.

'Brilliant Wow!' large format prints will, claim ez prints, "revolutionize the way precious memories are displayed and enjoyed".
"Brilliant Wow! will change the perception of digital photofinishing," said John Larish, consultant with Jonrel Consultants. "These photo prints are nothing short of amazing, and provide numerous applications for displaying photographic experiences to friends, family and business associates. ez prints is doing some magic here."

"Imagine sending grandma a life-size photo of her grandson's first taste of chocolate birthday cake, or ordering a photo with your child's image superimposed next to her favorite sports hero -- all with the click of a mouse,"
said Bob Miller, president and CEO of ez prints. "Digital imaging has held the promise of allowing users to do much more than simply replace 4x6 prints from film. ez prints is delivering on that promise. Brilliant Wow! exploits the power of digital and gives professionals and amateurs an easy and convenient way to create stunning life size photographs."

"I've been extremely surprised that this kind of quality can be delivered with such ease of use and reasonable prices,"
said Dan Norris, professional photographer and owner of Ancient Images Greeting Cards in Moab, Utah. "Brilliant Wow!'s sharpness and color saturation are equal to or better than prints from slides or negatives."


Brilliant Wow! photo prints are available in sizes of 16" x 20", 18" x 24" and 20" x 30", and can be ordered 'ready to display' with foam core mounting and/or lamination.

Brilliant Wow! is based on a 3000 DPI laser technology, delivering high quality from digital images, and ez prints feels represents the latest combination of technology and traditional photoprocessing. Brilliant Wow! supports all file types from leading digital cameras, scanners and image-oriented software, as well as CD-ROM and Zip Disk files. Brilliant Wow! products come with ez prints 24-hour processing guarantee and will cost $14.95 and up.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

eCircles licenses PictureIQ Internet Service!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 3:47 EDT)


eCircles.com and PictureIQ Corp. today announced that the former plans to integrate PictureIQ's Internet Service into its Web site. With the PictureIQ Internet Service, more than two million eCircles.com members will have direct access to a set of one-click picture enhancement and creativity tools, providing a convenient way to enhance their pictures without ever leaving their 'eCircle'.
"At eCircles.com, we are committed to providing our members with the best possible tools and services available on the Internet," said Prescott Lee, co-founder and CEO, eCircles.com. "After examining all the options, we've chosen PictureIQ not simply due to the fact that they have superior image editing and enhancement tools, but a robust scaleable solution to meet the performance needs of a highly trafficked Web site."
eCircles.com members keep in touch with family and friends through applications such as event planning, music and photo sharing, discussions and more. Over the past year, sharing photos and photo albums has emerged as one of the most popular activities on eCircles.com as members upload and share thousands of photos daily.

The PictureIQ Internet Service will provide eCircles.com members with a way to enhance and add creativity to their photos before sharing, printing or saving them into an album. PictureIQ features include one-touch photo fixing, red-eye removal, cropping, rotation, and special effects. These features are available through toolbar integrated directly into the eCircles.com Web site.
"eCircles.com has built its large and growing member base by enabling groups of people to leverage the best of what the Web has to offer to stay connected," said Bill McCoy, president and CEO, PictureIQ Corporation. "The PictureIQ Internet Service enhances the eCircles.com photo experience by giving members a quick and easy way to make their pictures the very best they can be. In addition, PictureIQ's creativity features will enable eCircles.com members to turn their pictures into personalized works of art, resulting in increased member satisfaction and a greater amount of print and reprint transactions."
PictureIQ features are expected to be available on eCircles.com in the fourth quarter of this year.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

CompUSA to sell SanDisk MultiMediaCards, accessories!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 3:40 EDT)


SanDisk Corp. announced today that CompUSA Inc. will sell its stamp-sized, flash memory MultiMediaCards and ImageMate card readers for the MultiMediaCard.

Ed Moro, SanDisk's director of North American retail sales, said, "Comp USA is committed to the Internet player market and offers consumers a wide choice of player devices and systems. SanDisk is the world's largest supplier of the MultiMediaCard."
Comp USA operates 218 superstores in 84 metropolitan areas, and will carry SanDisk 16 and 32 megabyte MultiMediaCards starting this month. It will also sell the SanDisk FlashPath floppy disk adapter for the MultiMediaCard which allows users to move music, data or images between a portable device and most computer systems with a 3.5" floppy disk drive.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Kodak announces Print@Kodak photofinishing service!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 3:38 EDT)


Eastman Kodak Co. today announced the launch of Print@Kodak, the company's new Internet photofinishing service. The service will provide print fulfillment for a variety of customers including photo-sharing sites and software manufacturers. The first Print@Kodak customers include ememories.com, MyFamily.com, NUWAVE Technologies, PhotoAccess.com, PhotoPoint.com, PicServe.com, Snapfish.com and Weave Innovations.

With these agreements and the availability of the service at kodak.com, Kodak will provide print fulfillment for the millions of photos stored and shared through Print@Kodak customer sites and applications, creating a new revenue stream for the company.
"Snapfish customers have high expectations for quality and service for both film-based and digital consumer photography, so Kodak is a perfect partner for Snapfish," said Rajil Kapoor, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Snapfish. "The Print@Kodak service provides our customers the quality and reliability that comes with the Kodak brand."
Reinforcing Kodak's strategy to deliver a complete set of high-quality digital services for the burgeoning Internet photography industry, these agreements give Kodak a stronghold in the U.S. market for online photofinishing, an industry expected to reach $1.4 billion in annual sales by 2003, according to InfoTrends Research Group.
"Kodak is poised to capitalize on this growth through the breadth, scope and scale of its photofinishing infrastructure, which has the capacity to print nearly 40 million pictures per day," said Kristy Holch, principal, InfoTrends Research Group.
Powered by the latest Kodak technologies and Kodak's photofinishing capabilities, Print@Kodak will provide prints from digital files along with customized e-commerce solutions designed to meet customers' needs.
"We're pleased to be adding Print@Kodak to PhotoPoint.com's digital print offerings," noted Ed Bernstein, CEO of PhotoPoint Corporation. "As the Internet's top-visited photo-sharing community, millions of members and visitors use our service to make prints of their favorite online photos. By including the Print@Kodak offering, we're providing additional value and giving consumers the chance to order high-quality prints from the most recognized and trusted brand in photography."
Kodak will provide Print@Kodak customers with either a comprehensive e-commerce solution, where Kodak will handle the entire transaction, or customize the e-commerce to the customer's specific needs. Regardless of the model, Kodak will generate revenue through printing pictures for its customers. Print@Kodak customers will set their own pricing, while paying Kodak an agreed-upon fee for fulfillment.
"PhotoAccess recognizes the value that Kodak, the industry leader in photofinishing and the brand that consumers trust and believe in, adds to our own products and services," said Gene Wang, Chairman and CEO for PhotoAccess. "By offering a premium service option through Print@Kodak, PhotoAccess guarantees its customers the highest-quality prints and services."
Print@Kodak also will offer Internet photofinishing directly to consumers at www.kodak.com. Consumers who elect to use the service through kodak.com will pay the following prices:
  • 4" x 6" prints - $0.49
  • 5" x 7" prints - $1.49
  • 8" x 10" prints - $4.49
In addition to a range of print sizes, the Print@Kodak service offers other photo-specialty items, such as photo mugs and other items.
"By making Print@Kodak widely available to the digital world--from software and hardware manufacturers to photo and retailer dot-coms--we can capitalize on the growing Internet photofinishing market and strengthen this new channel with Kodak's long association with pictures," said Willy Shih, president, Digital & Applied Imaging, and senior vice president, Eastman Kodak Company. "Print@Kodak can benefit a range of customers, not just those in the photo-sharing category."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

HP announces three new flatbed scanners!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 3:30 EDT)


Hewlett Packard Co. has today announced three additions to its flatbed scanner lineup, in the form of the HP ScanJet 3400C, 4300C and 5370C. The 3400C and 4300C models feature HP PrecisionScan LTX software which offers the ability to scan photos and automatically upload them to unspecified online photo sharing websites of your choice, at the touch of a button. The HP ScanJet 3400C is priced at US$129, whilst the US$149 ScanJet 4300C adds front-panel scan and email buttons, and an LCD control panel for copying allowing color copies to be made through your PC and printer, without the need to touch the PC. No further details on these two scanners such as their optical resolution, etc., is quoted in the press release.

The ScanJet 5370C, meanwhile, is aimed at SOHO (Small Office / Home Office) users, and offers 42-bit color depth, 1200-dpi optical resolution and a price tag of US$299.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

IR jumps ahead of the rest of world!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 1:30 EDT)


For those of you who're wondering why we suddenly seem to be running about 7 hours ahead of the rest of our time zone, don't get confused - we've not hatched some new plan to help get reviews to you sooner; for some reason the clock on our server has gone wrong. Mike's noted the error, and Dave is on the case to get things reset... :)

digitalkamera.de reviews Epson's PhotoPC 3000Z, 850Z!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 1:23 EDT)


Our friends over at the digitalkamera.de website have posted two new camera reviews over the weekend. First up is Epson's PhotoPC 850Z, a 2-megapixel camera with a 3x optical zoom lens:
"800 EUR for the Epson PhotoPC 850Z will buy you decent camera. With regard to practicability this Epson need not hide from other, more expensive cameras. Considering its good accessories and the extensive contents of the package, the Epson PhotoPC 850Z is considerably good value for money."
Also reviewed is the 3.3 megapixel PhotoPC 3000Z, which also features a 3x optical zoom:
"Epson has managed to produce a state-of-the-art digital camera that is still around 250 EUR cheaper than its rivals. When it comes to quality Epson's PhotoPC 3000Z is far from 'cheap' though: the camera's compactness, its uncompromising accessories and good practicability are appealing. The PhotoPC 3000Z is not safe from criticism (e. g. its incompatibility with CF II, the position of the flash and its operation, which is not seen as comfortable by all), but on the whole one can live with these little blemishes – especially considering that far more expensive digital cameras aren't 'perfect' either."


More sample pictures from the RDC-7!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 0:58 EDT)


We spotted this afternoon some new sample pictures from Ricoh's RDC-7 digital camera, now shipping in Japan, and apparently also in Germany. Digicam enthusiast Guenther Bindl has posted 5 photos shot with his new RDC-7, including the first "Pro" mode pictures we've seen... If you're not familiar with the RDC-7, it uses a pixel shifting technology similar to that in JVC's GC-QX3 camera to allow less color information to require interpolation. Guenther's pictures include three with flash, three in Pro mode, and one in Macro mode...
Thanks to Guenther Bindl for this item!

Monday, June 26, 2000



Ofoto to provide HP Cartogra photofinishing service!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 26, 2000 - 20:07 EDT)


Hewlett-Packard Co. and Ofoto, Inc. today announced that Ofoto will be the provider of photographic printing and products for HP's photo-sharing Web site, Cartogra.com.

HP Cartogra.com members will be able to purchase photographic prints of their images through Ofoto's digital-photo lab. Additionally, members will be able to purchase framed photographs through Ofoto's Frame Shop, an online photographic frame store.
"HP's goal is to provide HP Cartogra.com members with a rich, photo-sharing experience," said Dan Gilbert, general manager of HP's Digital Imaging Solutions. "We chose Ofoto to provide photo-finishing services, enabling our members to receive high-quality photographic prints. As digital imaging and online photo sharing continue to grow, we plan to further develop innovative technologies and strategic alliances to enrich the photo-sharing experiences of our members."
As an introductory offer, Ofoto will provide each member with 50 free 4" x 6" prints. Members also will be able to send in their 35mm, Advanced Photo System (APS) and single-use camera film for free photoprocessing and uploading to the HP Cartogra.com Web site.
"HP stands for quality printing worldwide, and Ofoto is pleased to be selected as the photographic printing service for HP Cartogra.com," said James Joaquin, president and chief executive officer for Ofoto, Inc. "Our commitment to quality is evident by our investment in online photography's most state-of-the-art digital-photo lab, making Ofoto the clear choice for photo-sharing sites that care about quality."
Ofoto's photographic printing service will be made available to HP Cartogra.com members in late summer.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

ACD, Tucows ally to sell ACDSee online!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 26, 2000 - 20:04 EDT)


ACD Systems Int'l. Inc. announced today that its award-winning ACDSee image management software will now be sold through Internet website Tucows.com.

For several years, Tucows has endorsed ACDSee with its "five cow rating" and offered users the opportunity to download free trial versions of the software. Now, ACD Systems will leverage Tucows' strong relationship with the software downloading community and Tucows' new "3-Step Checkout" e-commerce system to create a new ACDSee sales channel.
"For years Tucows has offered its users the opportunity to try the very best software on the Internet and we are now pleased to offer our users the chance to buy as well," said Elliot Noss, President and CEO, Tucows. "ACDSee's cutting-edge technology, worldwide reputation and availability in eight languages has made it the preferred solution for consumers and professionals in the digital imaging industry. We are thrilled to take this partnership to a new level."

"Our new partnership with Tucows will significantly expand the worldwide penetration and user base for ACDSee. It will create greater consumer access to trial and purchase our software,"
said Doug Vandekerkhove, President and CEO, ACD Systems. "This new partnership allows us to leverage the potential of the Web, including e-commerce opportunities for our products."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / Canadian Corporate News

UMAX to show "Internet-ready" scanners at ImageScape!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 26, 2000 - 20:00 EDT)


UMAX Technologies Inc. will preview what it describes as "the first consumer scanners to offer direct Web solutions" at the media-only event, ImageScape 2000 - "Imaging Beyond the PC," during the PC Expo trade show in New York this week. The UMAX AstraNet e3470 and e3420 are, UMAX notes, "the first truly complete, off-the-shelf Internet scanners for the consumer market". The scanners will apparently allow customers to upload images to the Internet at the push of a button.
The preview will take place at ImageScape 2000, InfoTrends' breakfast for media, Wednesday, 8AM to 12PM at the Manhattan Center Studios, 311 West 34th Street.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Altamira to show at PC Expo, Imagescape!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 26, 2000 - 19:56 EDT)


Altamira Group, a Burbank, Calif.-based software developer will be showcasing their Genuine Fractals resolution-on-demand software at the PC Expo in the Javits Center, New York City and on Wednesday, June 28 at Imagescape 2000 in the Manhattan Center Studios Grand Ballroom.

The software company will be demonstrating scaling technology that it claims allows photographic images to be rendered to virtually any output size from a single low- to medium-resolution digital asset.

Altamira notes that its software, Genuine Fractals 2.0 and PrintPro, allow users to take digital images and scale them while maintaining image quality, or to reduce an image file size creating a more manageable asset without compromising the quality of the end product. As a result, the user has the ability to create, edit, transport and store digital assets with increased efficiency and reduced costs.

Altamira will be conducting two thirty-minute demonstrations throughout the show days, June 26-29, in Nikon's Booth No. 4372. Additionally, Altamira will be showcasing their software at Minolta's Booth No. 1002 and Alchemedia's Booth No. 4562.

Altamira will continue its tour of the Big Apple as they arrive at Imagescape on Wednesday, July 28 from 8 am-12 pm at the Manhattan Center, located at 311 West 4th Street, minutes away from PC Expo. The event provides an forum for companies to introduce and explain themselves to media in the PC and digital imaging arena.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

FutureShop, PhotoLoft launch new photofinishing website!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 26, 2000 - 19:51 EDT)


Future Shop Ltd. today announced the launch of Future Photo, a national online and in-store digital imaging and photo-finishing service that it believes will fundamentally alter the way Canadian consumers and businesses process pictures.
"What Future Shop is unveiling today, in tandem with our technology partners at Noritsu of Japan, as well as Eastman Kodak and PhotoLoft in the U.S., is the most revolutionary improvement in consumer photo-finishing since Noritsu itself pioneered one-hour film processing two decades ago," said Kevin Layden, Future Shop's President and Chief Operating Officer. "We see enormous potential in the rapidly growing market for full-service, online and in-store digital photo-finishing, and as Canada's leading retailer and e-tailer of new technology products, Future Shop is ideally positioned to establish a leadership position in this burgeoning market."
The new Web site, which is being launched today through Future Shop's online store at www.futureshop.ca, and shortly through Future Shop's 84 Canadian superstores from coast-to-coast, is claimed by Future Shop to be North America's first full-service, online digital photo-finishing service. The new site will enable customers to upload, download, enhance, share and distribute images across Canada or around the world in digital form - whether they're using traditional 35 mm, APS film or digital cameras - at prices similar to most conventional photo-finishing outlets.

Customers are able to upload and store up to 50 MB of their digital photo images on Future Photo's Web site for free. They can then share those online images with family members or friends, who in turn can order photo prints for delivery to their doorstep, no matter where they live in Canada or the United States.
"According to a recent AOL/Roper poll of Internet users, photo-sharing on the Web is now the number-one online activity for consumers, ranking ahead of more highly-publicized activities such as stock trading, banking or downloading music," said Jack Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of PhotoLoft. "By linking PhotoLoft's unique online imaging platform with the 50 million-plus customers who visit Future Shop's retail outlets or online store every year, we expect to create a Canadian powerhouse in online digital photo-finishing. The North American market for online and in-store digital photo-imaging, photo-sharing and photo-finishing services is currently estimated at more than $400 million US, and is expected to exceed $5 billion US by 2003, based on analyst estimates. So the market opportunity is substantial."
Traditional 35 mm and APS film customers who have their photos printed at Future Shop are also able to upload and store their images in digital format on Future Photo's Web site for free. In addition, customers can use Future Photo's in-store preview and select terminals to scan and discard unwanted images before they're printed, or use the zoom, enlargement, photo cropping or custom-framing features to enhance their prints and eliminate flaws such as red eye or scratches. Future Shop has two digital labs operational at store locations in Vancouver, and will soon add a third lab in Toronto as part a national rollout campaign. Additional labs will be installed in cities across Canada in coming months.
"Our company shares Future Shop's optimistic outlook on the growth prospects for digital photo-finishing services," said Jerry Klos, Director of Outbound marketing of Retail Digital Lab Systems - Eastman Kodak. "The promise of better-quality pictures and exciting new print and digital products and services, which is being driven by the convergence of film and digital technology, is sure to improve consumer satisfaction and overall interest in photography."
As part of the preparations for today's Future Photo launch, Future Shop worked with Kodak and Noritsu - a designer and manufacturer of photo-finishing equipment - over the past year to field-test the prototype Noritsu/Kodak DLS2711 digital photo lab, which is now in commercial production.

"We believe Future Shop's bricks-and-clicks business model, which provides the convenience and familiarity of neighborhood shopping with the power and flexibility of digital technology and the Internet, made them the ideal partner for pilot-testing our new digital lab," said Mr. Akihiko Kuwabara, President of Noritsu America Corp. "We look forward to expanding our relationship as Future Shop rolls out more of our photo-finishing labs across the country."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / Canada NewsWire

Kodak, NUWAVE sign Print@Kodak agreement!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 26, 2000 - 19:43 EDT)


NUWAVE Technologies Inc. today announced an agreement with Kodak to offer the new Print@Kodak Internet photofinishing service, which will be fully integrated into NUWAVE's own photo portal, renamed PicturePrepClub.com. In May, NUWAVE announced its planned entry into the multibillion dollar web based digital imaging market.

The agreement with Kodak provides an array of Kodak photo printing services and photo-inspired retail gifts from the PicturePrepClub web site. The growing community of online photo enthusiasts will benefit from NUWAVE's image enhancement technology by enabling them to improve the clarity, texture, contrast, color balance and tone of their photos, with one touch of the "AutoPrep" button, available in PicturePrep 2000. This service will provide PicturePrepClub.com members with access to Print@Kodak representing a real added value for them and a new revenue stream for NUWAVE.
"We believe that the growing Internet printing and E-commerce market represents a growth opportunity for Kodak and view NUWAVE's PicturePrep Club as an innovative destination on the web that lets people do more with their pictures," said Nancy Carr, vice president, Digital and Applied Imaging, Eastman Kodak Company.
The PicturePrepClub.com web site will feature free public and private digital photo galleries via a network of subjects maintained by club members. PicturePrepClub.com free membership gives consumers unlimited access to five starter photo galleries for public or private photo exhibiting and full access to the Print@Kodak service. The PicturePrepClub store features NUWAVE PicturePrep 2000 photo & video enhancement software, contains a variety of photography merchandise, and will be open to the public later this summer.
"This agreement with Kodak marks the beginning of a new and exciting era for NUWAVE. Our innovative technology in digital and analog image enhancement is a perfect complement to Kodak's world-renowned photography expertise. In response to the quickly growing consumer demand for PC-based vibrant quality photo printing, PicturePrepClub.com provides the solution. Our service will allow the enormous online community using digital cameras to order Kodak quality prints from their computer without leaving home," said Jerry Zarin, Chairman and CEO of NUWAVE Technologies.

"We are fortunate to have this opportunity to work with Kodak, a worldwide leader and a brand that consumers associate with high-quality pictures, and look forward to offering this new service to our online customers," added Mr. Zarin.

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Agfa extends ePhoto CL30 Clik! package!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 26, 2000 - 19:36 EDT)


Agfa Corp.'s Consumer Digital Imaging Group today introduced a summer promotion for its ePhoto CL30 Clik! digital camera. For a limited time, each camera will come equipped with three 40MB Clik! discs, giving vacationers and professionals the ability to capture more than 1000 images - triple the picture-taking capacity of the original package.

Agfa's ePhoto CL30 Clik! digital camera uses a built-in Iomega Clik! drive with a removable disk to capture and store digital images. A single 40MB Clik! disk, which Agfa includes with every standard offer, can store between 60 and 360 images, depending on the resolution setting.

The added capacity benefits consumers as well as professional photographers who capture images for Websites, business reports, news coverage, or any business application that requires a high-volume of megapixel-quality photography.

The ePhoto CL30 Clik! is a 1 megapixel, 2X digital zoom, USB-compatible digital camera which uniquely features a built-in Iomega Clik! drive capable of storing up to 40MB of photos on each Clik! disk. The camera features an optical viewfinder and 1.8" color LCD screen.

The ePhoto CL30 Clik! camera's true one megapixel image resolution is interpolated to 1.5 megapixels with Agfa's proprietary PhotoGenie technology.

Included in the ePhoto CL30 Clik! standard package are: camera, cables (PC, Video), AC adapter, software, a 40 MB Clik! removable disk, one set of four AA-sized alkaline batteries and a soft protective case.

The ePhoto CL30 Clik! is currently available for the suggested price of $499. The offer for purchasing an ePhoto CL30 Clik! camera and receiving 2 extra 40MB Clik! disks will run through September 30, 2000 or while supplies last. It isn't clear from Agfa's press release if this is a mail-in offer, or whether the extra Clik! disks are included in the box.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Yahoo! creates localised photo sites!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 26, 2000 - 19:30 EDT)


Yahoo! Photos today announced the expansion of its services to 18 regional Yahoo! sites. Launched in March 2000, Yahoo! Inc.'s photo sharing and storage site, is now available in local language versions for consumers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Sweden, France, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Taiwan, Argentina and Mexico. In addition, a Spanish version of Yahoo! Photos also is available now on Yahoo! en espanol, Yahoo!'s Spanish-language Web guide.
"Digital photos and cameras are becoming increasingly popular worldwide and consumers are looking for better, easier, more efficient and fun ways to interact with them online," said Mark Hull, senior producer for Yahoo! Photos. "Through our global network, we are affording even more users the opportunity to capture, preserve and share their most precious memories online with friends and family, while using Yahoo! Photos in their preferred language."
Through this global expansion, Yahoo! Photos will be localized with links to regional content. Specific product features for Yahoo! Photos in the above countries include:
  • Create and Manage Albums; Yahoo! Photos allows people to create an array of photo albums with up to 25 megabytes of storage space. It's possible to view thumbnail-size shots of the entire album at once, or browse full-size photos individually.
  • Add Photos; Yahoo! Photos allows people to upload multiple photos at a time whether they use a digital camera, a scanner or film processed to a photo-CD or directly to the Internet. They can add photos stored elsewhere on the Web, photos sent from friends, or photos taken themselves. With Yahoo! Photos, consumers can preview, resize and rotate their photos prior to uploading them.
  • Share Memories; Album creators can invite friends and family to browse online photo albums. Creators can choose to share their photos with everybody, nobody or a select group of friends.
  • Send Photos; With the click of a mouse, people can send friends e-mail with links to favorite online photos.
  • Create Greetings; Simply click on the "send greeting" link from any photo to create an online greeting card, which can be personalized and sent via email to any recipient.

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Friday, June 23, 2000



Ion Photo announces its online photofinishing service!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 23, 2000 - 21:13 EDT)


We received an email in our mailbox this morning from Ion Photo, a Madison GA based photo lab which is now offering its own online photofinishing service. As Ion Photo's website puts it, they provide "professional photography, enlargements, custom printing, IPIX 360 degree images, high-resolution scans, photo manipulation and restoration, high quality photographic output, wide-format printing, graphic design, pre-press design and layout, corporate web design, and state-of-the-art E-Prints technology."

Ion Photo will ship prints worldwide, apparently, using either FedEx, UPS or USPS. Their charges for prints are as follows:

3.5x5 prints - .40
4x6 prints - .40
5x7 prints - $2
8x10 prints - $10
8x12 prints - $12

The prints are on Agfa Prestige paper, and are uploaded using a free software package provided on Ion Photo's site. You can get a free sample print without charge at the moment, by following the instructions on the site.
Source: Ion Photo

MallCat inks deal with PhotoLoft!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 23, 2000 - 19:00 EDT)


PhotoLoft.com today announced that MallCat.com has chosen its digital-imaging Internet solution to power the MallCat website. MallCat.com is a shopping web site catering to the teen market, ages 12-19.

Under terms of the agreement, MallCat.com and PhotoLoft will share the e-commerce transaction and advertising/promotion revenues generated from the site. PhotoLoft will provide web-based photosharing infrastructure technology that allows MallCat.com members to share photos electronically, purchase prints and photo-personalized gift items. MallCat.com members can also purchase a variety of products from affiliated vendors from the MallCat.com site including photo-personalized products licensed from and featuring South Park, Christina Aguilera, Dragonball Z and X-Men as well as bands such as Blink 182 and Five O'Clock Shadow.
"PhotoLoft, with its photosharing technology and e-commerce solution, was a natural partner for MallCat.com," said MallCat.com CEO Scott Spooner. "Our market is very photo-centric and providing our customers with state-of-the-art technology and a spectrum of interesting photo-personalized gifts is a key item in our continued success."

PhotoLoft Chief Executive Officer Jack Marshall commented, "We have focused our efforts on doing business with best-of-breed Internet destination sites like MallCat.com, as well as with the leading retail photofinishers and minilabs, and professional photographers with image assets. MallCat.com, with its incredible licensing agreements and market presence in one of the fastest growing retail market sectors in the world -- online teens -- is an excellent example of our business strategy at work. Our early success is a tribute to our technology and our team, and I see the company continuing to gain momentum as we move aggressively forward in our target markets."
MallCat.com is introducing on-line concert capabilities and will produce its first live, online concert, featuring Five O'Clock Shadow, this fall. MallCat.com members will be able to view the concert live online, participate in real-time recording-artist chats, and share photos - taken at the concerts that they attended - with friends and family via the PhotoLoft-powered MallCat.com site. PhotoLoft's e-commerce solution also will allow MallCat.com's members to order photo personalized memorabilia of the concert they attended or viewed.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

Thursday, June 22, 2000



Casio announces two new digicams!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 22, 2000 - 16:57 EDT)


Casio Japan has today announced two new digital cameras, according to our friend Kumio Yamada over at the digitalcamera.gr.jp website. The cameras both feature 2.11 megapixel CCDs and a rotary lens design.

Casio QV-2800UX Digital Camera
Casio QV-2800UX Front View - click for a bigger picture!
Click for a bigger picture!

Casio QV-2800UX Rear View - click for a bigger picture!The QV-2800UX features an 8x optical zoom lens, which is equivalent to a 40 - 320mm lens on a 35mm camera. It should ship at the end of September in Japan, with a price of ¥78,000 (US$747). 15,000 units are to be manufactured each month... The camera also adds a slightly more powerful flash, and an external flash connection which its sibling doesn't have. Specifications are as below:
  • Effective rating of 2.02 megapixels. 1/2.7 inch 2.11 megapixel CCD gives 1600 x 1200 or 800 x 600 pixel images. Fine, standard or economy compression. JPEG file format, EXIF version 2.1.
  • 6 - 48mm F3.2 - 3.5 8x optical zoom lens equivalent to 40 - 320mm on a 35mm camera. 9 group, 11 element design. Macro focusing down to 1 centimeter. 4x digital zoom. Tele and wide conversion lenses available. Accepts 43mm filters.
  • Rotary lens design allows lens to be rotated up/down a total of 270 degrees as compared to the rest of the camera chassis. At 180 degrees, LCD and lens can be pointed at subject at the same time...
  • 1.8 inch HAST (Hyper Amorphous Silicon TFT) LCD display, 555 x 220 pixels (122,100 pixels total)
  • Built-in four mode flash (on/off/auto/red eye reduction). External flash connection terminal. Range of 0.5 to 2.5 meters.
  • USB connectivity. Included "Photo Loader" software automatically detects camera connection and loads images to computer. Mobile phone connectivity with optional mobile phone connection cable. Compatible with IDO/DDI CdmaOneTM C309H or NTT DoCoMo D502i standards. NTSC and PAL video connectivity.
  • CompactFlash Type-II storage. MicroDrive compatible, including new 1GB MicroDrive. Can capture up to 1000 images in highest quality 1600 x 1200 mode with a 1GB MicroDrive.
  • Camera features Program AE (full auto) mode, Shutter and Aperture priority AE modes and Manual mode. Manual control of white balance, flash strength, focus, exposure compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV steps, picture quality and metering type (multi-pattern, center-weighted or spot metering).
  • Shutter speeds 1/2000 second to 60 seconds. Bulb mode allows shutter speeds as low as 60 seconds, with proprietary noise reduction. Combination electronic and mechanical shutter.
  • Apertures of F3.2, 4.8 or 8. Manual aperture control possible.
  • Contrast-detection type auto focusing. Manual focus possible. Macro mode and infinity mode with focus locking.
  • Auto, four preset manual or fully manual white balance.
  • Movie capability. Past movie mode records events that occurred before the shutter button was pressed. Movies stored in AVI format, conforming to OpenDML MotionJPEG. Movies recorded at 320 x 240 pixels, up to 16 seconds per movie.
  • Panorama mode shows edge of previous picture alongside current LCD viewfinder image to assist with taking multiple photos for a panorama.
  • Self timer from 2 to 10 seconds.
  • Built-in web page assembly allows photos to be viewed in a web browser.
  • 1 second shot-shot time.
  • 28 preset picture modes, such as "blue sky", "fireworks", "buildings". Preset modes control aperture, shutter speed / bulb, focus and white balance, for example "fireworks" mode sets focus to infinity and white balance to "outdoor/sunny".
  • Ability to customise the three buttons under the LCD display to control features of your choice.
  • Delete button allows image to be deleted as soon as it is previewed. Also can delete single images, folders or all images.
  • Icon based graphical menu system.
  • User setups can be saved. Three slots for saving setups. Saves picture functions and power saving functions.
  • Compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) and DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)
  • Built-in clock; records date and time, calender valid until 2049.
  • Bundled with PhotoLoader software for transferring images to computer, Panorama Editor for creating panoramas, USB driver, Internet Explorer with Outlook Express for reading web pages and sending photos as email attachments, QuickTime for viewing movies, and Acrobat Reader. Also includes strap, lens cap, video cable, alkaline batteries and soft case.
  • Powered by 4 AA NiMH, Alkaline or Lithium Ion batteries, or 2 CR-V3P 3V lithium ion batteries. Capable of 1,560 photos/380 minutes on two CR-3VP batteries, 1200 photos/300 minutes on 4 AA Lithium Ion batteries, 720 photos/180 minutes on 4 AA NiMH batteries, or 600 photos/180 minutes on 4 AA Alkaline batteries.
  • Dimensions of 80.5 x 121 x 66mm excluding projections. Weighs 295 grams without batteries.
  • Ships in Japan September 2000, at a price of ¥78,000 (US$747). 15,000 units per month to be manufactured.


Casio QV-2300UX Digital Camera
Casio QV-2300UX Front View - click for a bigger picture!
Click for a bigger picture!

Casio QV-2300UX Rear View - click for a bigger picture!The QV-2300UX features a 3x optical zoom lens, which is equivalent to a 41 - 123mm lens on a 35mm camera. It should ship on July 19 in Japan, with a price of ¥65,000 (US$623). 30,000 units are to be manufactured each month... The QV-2300UX also has a slightly weaker flash and removes the flash sync connector on its more expensive sibling. Specifications are as below:
  • Effective rating of 2.02 megapixels. 1/2.7 inch 2.11 megapixel CCD gives 1600 x 1200 or 800 x 600 pixel images. Fine, standard or economy compression. JPEG file format, EXIF version 2.1.
  • 6.2 - 18.6mm F2.8 - 4.5 3x optical zoom lens equivalent to 41 - 123mm on a 35mm camera. 7 group, 9 element design. Macro focusing down to 1 centimeter. 4x digital zoom.
  • Rotary lens design allows lens to be rotated up/down a total of 270 degrees as compared to the rest of the camera chassis. At 180 degrees, LCD and lens can be pointed at subject at the same time...
  • 1.8 inch HAST (Hyper Amorphous Silicon TFT) LCD display, 555 x 220 pixels (122,100 pixels total)
  • Built-in four mode flash (on/off/auto/red eye reduction). Range of 0.5 to 2.0 meters.
  • USB connectivity. Included "Photo Loader" software automatically detects camera connection and loads images to computer. Mobile phone connectivity with optional mobile phone connection cable. Compatible with IDO/DDI CdmaOneTM C309H or NTT DoCoMo D502i standards. NTSC and PAL video connectivity.
  • CompactFlash Type-II storage. MicroDrive compatible, including new 1GB MicroDrive. Can capture up to 1000 images in highest quality 1600 x 1200 mode with a 1GB MicroDrive.
  • Camera features Program AE (full auto) mode, Shutter and Aperture priority AE modes and Manual mode. Manual control of white balance, flash strength, focus, exposure compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV steps, picture quality and metering type (multi-pattern, center-weighted or spot metering).
  • Shutter speeds 1/2000 second to 60 seconds. Bulb mode allows shutter speeds as low as 60 seconds, with proprietary noise reduction. Combination electronic and mechanical shutter.
  • Apertures of F2.8 or 5.6. Manual aperture control possible.
  • Contrast-detection type auto focusing. Manual focus possible. Macro mode and infinity mode with focus locking.
  • Auto, four preset manual or fully manual white balance.
  • Movie capability. Past movie mode records events that occurred before the shutter button was pressed. Movies stored in AVI format, conforming to OpenDML MotionJPEG. Movies recorded at 320 x 240 pixels, up to 16 seconds per movie.
  • Panorama mode shows edge of previous picture alongside current LCD viewfinder image to assist with taking multiple photos for a panorama.
  • Self timer from 2 to 10 seconds.
  • Built-in web page assembly allows photos to be viewed in a web browser.
  • 1 second shot-shot time.
  • 28 preset picture modes, such as "blue sky", "fireworks", "buildings". Preset modes control aperture, shutter speed / bulb, focus and white balance, for example "fireworks" mode sets focus to infinity and white balance to "outdoor/sunny".
  • Ability to customise the three buttons under the LCD display to control features of your choice.
  • Delete button allows image to be deleted as soon as it is previewed. Also can delete single images, folders or all images.
  • Icon based graphical menu system.
  • User setups can be saved. Three slots for saving setups. Saves picture functions and power saving functions.
  • Compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) and DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)
  • Built-in clock; records date and time, calender valid until 2049.
  • Bundled with PhotoLoader software for transferring images to computer, Panorama Editor for creating panoramas, USB driver, Internet Explorer with Outlook Express for reading web pages and sending photos as email attachments, QuickTime for viewing movies, and Acrobat Reader. Also includes strap, lens cap, video cable, alkaline batteries and soft case.
  • Powered by 4 AA NiMH, Alkaline or Lithium Ion batteries, or 2 CR-V3P 3V lithium ion batteries. Capable of 1,560 photos/380 minutes on two CR-3VP batteries, 1200 photos/300 minutes on 4 AA Lithium Ion batteries, 720 photos/180 minutes on 4 AA NiMH batteries, or 600 photos/180 minutes on 4 AA Alkaline batteries.
  • Dimensions of 67 x 118 x 54mm excluding projections. Weighs 245 grams without batteries.
  • Ships in Japan Ujly 19, at a price of ¥65,000 (US$623). 30,000 units per month to be manufactured.

Source: Casio Japan QV-2300UX and QV-2800UX announcement

Trimble announces low-cost, low power GPS for digicams and more!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 22, 2000 - 15:39 EDT)


With the goal of providing the smallest and lowest power Global Positioning System receiver for mobile devices, Trimble unveiled today its new FirstGPS architecture. FirstGPS is specifically developed for power-sensitive mobile information devices such as laptops, PDAs, digital cameras, smart phones, pagers and automobile navigation systems. The architecture allows high-volume manufacturers of consumer products to add GPS location with minimal impact on the device's size or battery life.

Trimble's FirstGPS architecture is a proven technology already in use in Japan. Trimble's pre-production architecture was first implemented in Seiko Epson's Locatio, the world's first combination PDA, wireless phone, personal navigator and digital camera capable of accessing the Internet. Additional information in Japanese can be found at http://www.i-love-epson.co.jp/locatio/.
"Trimble's new architecture enables a broader range of high-volume mobile information platforms to add GPS functionality where size, power, flexibility and cost are key factors," said Dennis Workman, Trimble's vice president of Component Technologies. "We have a mission to make location technology a part of everyday life. These technology advances will make a greater number of consumer applications possible."
Trimble's FirstGPS architecture offers the lowest power consumption of any GPS receiver on the market today. Requiring only 1/3 the power of most receivers (30-50 milliwatts at 3.3 volts when updating positions every second), FirstGPS is ideal for power-sensitive applications. For devices that only need location-on-demand, several sleep and low-power modes allow for further power savings and longer battery life.

FirstGPS is also the only host-based architecture on the market today that allows integration of GPS with other real-time software tasks. Without burdening the other applications running on the mobile device, FirstGPS leverages the host microprocessor (CPU) and memory to calculate the GPS position, velocity and time solutions. This innovative architecture, which is microprocessor and real-time operating system (RTOS) independent, eliminates redundant CPUs and memory thereby reducing overall component count and product cost.

While FirstGPS is designed for autonomous operation, the architecture can also take advantage of server-based techniques for faster signal acquisition, higher position accuracy and enhanced sensitivity.

FirstGPS architecture is extremely compact. Its high level of integration and low component count enables a footprint as small as one square inch (25mm x 25mm). This small footprint facilitates the integration of GPS functionality into a variety of mobile devices without adversely affecting product form factor and size.

Trimble will offer 8 and 12 channel versions of the FirstGPS chipset. Samples for OEM evaluation will be available in the third quarter of 2000.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

Olympus announces P-400 dye sub printer!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 22, 2000 - 15:14 EDT)


Olympus America Inc. today unveiled the P-400 dye-sublimation printer, which features a paper size of up to 8.25" x 11.7", parallel port or USB connectivity, SmartMedia or PC Card slots which can also accept CompactFlash and MemoryStick media with the use of an adapter, and a print speed of 90 seconds per full-size print. Here's the full details:
  • Olympus P-400 A4 Dye Sublimation Printer
  • Continuous-tone dye-sublimation technology provides photo prints with accurate color reproduction
  • 7.7 Megapixel maximum resolution
  • 16.7 million colors (8 bit/color)
  • 8.25" x 11.7" print size / 8" x 10" photo size
  • 90-second printing speed
  • Clear laminate layer protects your prints
  • Printing via Parallel Port, USB, SmartMedia, PC card, CompactFlash, MemoryStick, or directly from a PC
  • Printing modes
    • Full size (8.25" x 11.7"; from 1 up to 16 images per page)
    • Card (2 or 4 postcards per page)
    • Photo-album (1- 6 images per page with background image)
    • Index (45 - 260 images per page)
  • Full-color, black & white and sepia filters
  • Trimming, frame, background and stamp functions
  • LCD Panel for checking and selecting images
  • Print selection of up to 50 copies at a time
  • 1 color cartridge supports 50 sheets of paper
  • Footprint: 30" high x 17" wide x 17" deep
  • Cost per print: $1.90
  • Suggested list price: $999
Click here for a larger picture of the Olympus P-400 A4 Dye Sublimation printer.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

Xirlink ships one millionth digicam!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 22, 2000 - 14:41 EDT)


Xirlink Inc. announced today their official shipment of one million digital cameras. Xirlink manufactures and markets a variety of digital still cameras designed for high volume OEM customers. In addition, it distributes an array of digital PC Cameras through distribution, retail and OEM channels. PC camera products include the entire IBM PC Camera product line as well as other private branded products. Xirlink latest addition to their product line includes miniature digital cameras designed for embedding into a variety of consumer wireless and handheld devices.
"Our dedication to providing customers with state-of-the-art digital imaging products and superior customer service is what has been the backbone to our success", said Patrick Lin, President and CEO of Xirlink, Inc. "I congratulate the entire Xirlink team on this achievement, and look forward to shipping our second million!"

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Rob Galbraith relaunches today!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 22, 2000 - 14:18 EDT)


Our friends over at the Rob Galbraith Online website will be launching their new look today at 7PM EST, according to an email we received from Rob this afternoon... The new site will feature a faster-loading design, digital product news, new digital photojournalism forums, searcheable Rob's DigiNews Archives and more... Be sure to pop past and see the new site later today!

PC Photo Review reports on PhotoPlus Expo West 2000!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 22, 2000 - 14:04 EDT)


Our friends over at the PC Photo Review website have posted a report on the PhotoPlus Expo, held June 15 - 17 in Los Angeles. On show were cameras including Fuji's FinePix 40i and S1 Pro, as well as Canon's PowerShot S100 and EOS D30...

Also from PC Photo Review currently is a photo competition for Father's Day - there's still three days to get your photos in, so hurry! You can submit either a photo of your father or child with a narrative saying why your dad is so special, or why it's so special to be a dad... Prizes include a $500 shopping spree at EPC-Online, a selection of 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 prints from Ofoto, as well as books and software.

Ricoh Japan tells more about RDC-7!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 22, 2000 - 1:09 EDT)


We spotted this evening that further details of the upcoming RDC-7 digital camera have been posted by Ricoh Japan on their website. For a change, everything is in English, so we don't need to translate it for you (yippee!) - there's 4 pages of info, some of which we hadn't noticed elsewhere previously (such as that the camera actually has two shutter buttons, for ease of use in different orientations)... Click on the link below for Ricoh's site!
Source: Ricoh Japan RDC-7 page

Wednesday, June 21, 2000



Yet more reviews - this time from Jeff!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 21, 2000 - 17:23 EDT)


Our friend Jeff over at the Digital Camera Resource Page emailed to let us know he's posted two new reviews in the last 24 hours... First up, there's Canon's PowerShot S100 Digital ELPH (or, depending on where in the world you are, the Digital IXUS or IXY Digital):
"The Canon PowerShot S100 Digital ELPH really is in a class by itself -- there are no cameras even close to it in size. The PowerShot S20 and Fuji FinePix 4700 are the closest competitors, but they're "much" larger (and more expensive) than the ELPH. If you can find one, go to your local reseller to try it out before you buy! You can't really go wrong with this tiny wonder - just ask all its fans at my office!"
Second is Fuji's FinePix 1400 Zoom:
"On the whole, the FinePix 1400 Zoom is a great camera for the price. If you’re in the market for a digital camera and you don’t need 2+ megapixel images, you ought to seriously look at it. I might have been skeptical of this low-end camera when I began this review, but now, at the end of the review process, I’m a believer."


Tuesday, June 20, 2000



Wow - yet another review!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 15:27 EDT)


Dave left this one for us as he headed out on vacation, now it's ready for your reading pleasure! A lot of folks (ourselves included) called Canon's earlier compact digicams "Digital ELPHs", referring to the wildly successful line of compact film-based cameras sold by Canon under that name. The resemblance was there but not exact, and Canon themselves held the ELPH name in reserve. Now, there's a 2.1 megapixel digicam that Canon has finally felt worthy of the coveted ELPH name. Actually smaller in frontal area than a standard playing card(!), the new digicam is housed in an exceptionally rugged all-metal body. The result is a camera that will likely just live in your pocket, it's so compact and rugged. (Do take it out before putting the pants through the wash though!) We put the Digital ELPH through its paces, and found that its image quality was just a notch off the high standard set by Canon's own PowerShot S10 model. It's clearly a 2 megapixel digicam though, offering resolution and image quality superior to the range of 1.3 megapixel models, in a form factor that is literally the smallest in its class. Check out our review for the full details!

Even more reviews!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 14:00 EDT)


Our friends over at Steve's Digicams have been just as busy as we have, it seems... New and updated reviews from Steve include:Hop on over to Steve's Digicams and check all this new work out!

Sigma planning $1400 SLR digicam?
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 13:51 EDT)


Our friends over at the digitalkamera.de website in Germany note in a news item published yesterday that French magazine Chausseur d'Images is predicting lens manufacturer Sigma's entry into the digital camera marketplace. If Chausseur d'Images (we think that translates roughly as "Image Hunter") sounds familiar, that's because they were the first to break news on the web in French of Nikon's Coolpix 990 digital camera, back on January 26th... We wait with interest to see if they're right again - apparently the print version of their magazine predicts that Sigma will show a EUR1500 (US$1436) single lens reflex camera at the Photokina show from September 20 - 25, which will feature a 3.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and interchangeable lenses with a focal length multiplier of 1.65. On digitalkamera.de's contacting Sigma, the company denied any knowledge of this.

Lots of new reviews and sample photos!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 13:31 EDT)


Regular readers of the What's New page will already have caught this - Mike's slightly late posting it due to an email problem, however! Clearing the pipes as he heads out on a long overdue vacation, Dave has blessed and posted the latest fruits of our labors: A couple of new full reviews, sample pictures pages on a couple of other cameras, and a thumbnail index of scads of sample pictures we shot with the Sony MVC-CD1000 we broke the news on earlier in the week!

Full review of Olympus C-3000 Zoom posted! This has actually been on the site for a week or so, we just hadn't gotten around to formally introducing it to our readers on the News and What's New pages! Every once in a while, a product comes along that really blows the market open price-wise. We think the Olympus C-3000 will do that for the 3 megapixel camera market. Olympus took the (excellent) C-3030 Zoom (which we previously reviewed), decreased the size of its buffer memory, dropped Photoshop LE from the software bundle, and packed it with an 8MB card instead of a 16MB one. Oh, and they chopped fully $200 off the list price in the process! The result is a very full-featured 3 megapixel digicam with excellent image quality, that's just a bit slower than it's big brother the C-3030. And the price...! - At a list of $799, the C-3000 arguably represents one of the best bargains in the entire digicam marketplace! Read the review for all the details!

Full review of Olympus D-460 Zoom posted! Must be "Olympus Day" on the Imaging Resource! We've also just completed our review of the Olympus D-460 Zoom, a very worthy upgrade to their earlier D-450 Zoom. In virtually every parameter, the D-460 provides noticeable enhancements over the (already very good) D-450: Colors are more pure and more accurately saturated, and the lens appears sharper as well. We did note that low-light capability is slightly diminished, but overall, it's a great upgrade. Simpler menus & controls, too! A great point & shoot camera in the important "mid-market" resolution range of 1.3 megapixels. Read the review for all the details!

Picture analysis & samples posted for Sony MVC-FD95! Sony's significantly upgraded their Mavica line for 2000, with the FD95 currently at the high end of it. (At least, until the MVC-CD1000 hits the streets!) Sporting a 2.1 megapixel sensor and a host of improvements over earlier Mavicas (including great low-light performance), the MVC-FD95 takes the Mavica line into multi-megapixel territory. We'll have our full review up shortly after Dave returns, but until then at least have a full set of test images posted on our sample pictures page for the FD95, along with our usual detailed analysis. Check it out! (It's in the Comparometer(tm) too!)

Picture analysis & samples posted for Canon S100 Digital ELPH! Yup! That's a standard-sized playing card peeking out from behind the new Canon "Digital ELPH" digicam! This nifty unit has packs more "wow" factor per cubic inch than any digicam we've seen to date. It's incredibly small, with an exceptionally rugged all-metal body. We'll have a full review posted sometime next week, but for now do at least have a full set of test images available on the S100's sample pictures page and in the Comparometer(tm)!


Whoooee!! LOTS of Sony CD1000 Photos! Our First Look review of last week broke the news to the world of the new CD-R based Sony Mavica. (See our First Look review for details of this amazing new camera.) We'll have our usual absurdly detailed, "more than you probably wanted to know" full review posted sometime shortly after Dave'd return, but in the meantime are making available the full set of test images we shot with the camera, via a thumbnail-index page. This page takes quite a while to load, due to the nearly 140 thumbnails on it, but if you're looking for more sample images from the CD1000, it'll be worth the wait! (Hey, more good news: The CD1000 *finally* includes EXIF header info for exposure parameters!)

IBM announces 512MB and 1GB Microdrives!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 13:16 EDT)


IBM's new 1GB Microdrive - click for a bigger picture!
Click for a bigger picture!

IBM is tripling the capacity - but not the size - of the world's smallest hard disk drive, paving the way for a new generation of "go-anywhere" pervasive-computing devices and applications, a press release today announces.

Packing one gigabyte of data storage capacity on to a disk the size of an American quarter, IBM's newest Microdrive can hold up to 1,000 high-resolution photographs, a thousand 200-page novels or nearly 18 hours of high-quality digital audio music.

The 1 GB Microdrive brings high-capacity, high-performance data storage to a wide variety of handheld electronic products - including digital cameras, handheld PCs, personal digital assistants, portable Internet music players and video cameras. It can also serve as a data-exchange accessory to notebook computers, desktop computers and printers. Future applications may include wearable computers, electronic books, global positioning system receivers, smart phones and electronic wallets.
"Using the new Microdrive, a company's entire multimedia product catalog - as well as a suite of powerful e-business applications - can be carried around in a shirt pocket," said Michael Kuptz, director, IBM Microdrive Products. "Such vast capacity in such a compact size will dramatically change the way information technology and consumer electronics devices are designed and used, helping accelerate the worldwide adoption of pervasive computing."
Underscoring the dramatic pace of development in the storage industry, IBM introduced the world's first gigabyte-capacity disk drive, the 3380, in 1980. It was the size of a refrigerator, weighed 550 pounds (about 250 kg) and cost $40,000. The Microdrive announced today is smaller than a matchbook, weighs less than an ounce and will be available for less than $500.

Limited quantities of the 1 GB Microdrive will begin shipping in July to original equipment manufacturers and distributors. Retail shipment is scheduled for September. Customers that have designed or plan to design devices compatible with the new Microdrive include Acer, Casio Computer Co., Ltd., the IBM Personal Systems Group, Eastman Kodak Company, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Hewlett-Packard, i2Go, Minolta Co., Ltd., Nikon Corporation, Psion, RICOH Co., Ltd., and Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.

The IBM 340 MB, 512 MB and 1 GB Microdrives:
  • Use high-performance, time-proven hard-disk-drive technology to store information.
  • Have a much lower cost-per-megabyte and hold more content than alternate small-format storage technologies.
  • Fit into the industry-standard CF+ Type II slot that has become popular in many handheld devices. They can also be paired with a PC Card (PCMCIA) adapter for use with notebook computers, or with a variety of USB readers that can plug into most desktop PCs.
  • Provide affordable retail pricing -- Prices to be offered to consumers who purchase from IBM's Shop IBM Website by this Fall for the 512 MB Microdrives are $399 and 1GB Microdrives are $499.
Technical advances over the first-generation Microdrive:
  • Sustained data rate is improved, so the drive draws less power from the host device, thus extending battery life.
  • Improved non-operating shock rating by 50 percent (from 1,000 G to 1,500 G). This is a measure of how rugged the drive is when turned off or not in use.

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

InfoTrends looks at scanner use (and non-use)! ;)
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 12:49 EDT)


In a survey of home Internet users, InfoTrends Research Group Inc. found that scanner penetration is growing, especially among households with Internet access. Over one-third of Internet households have a scanner, while 53% of Internet households without a scanner indicated that they would definitely or probably purchase one within the next twelve months. Photo sharing through email or printing scanned images has become a key scanner application.
"Scanner users are becoming increasingly photo-centric, and many are searching for ways to share their images with friends and family," said Janet Kauffman, research analyst at InfoTrends Research Group. "The explosion of commercial online photo sharing communities over the past year has helped consumers realize the variety of applications for which scanners are suited. Scanners have become an easy and inexpensive bridge from printed photos and documents to the digital realm."
Scanner users tend to purchase many other products to use with the scanner, with the most popular being the printer. 88% of users indicated that they purchased a printer to use with their scanner, either at the time of the scanner purchase, or at a separate date. Other products that are commonly purchased for use with the scanner are PC systems, additional RAM, separate image edit software, and additional storage. This provides vendors with an ideal opportunity to capture some after-market revenue through partnerships and revenue-sharing plans.

The new report "2000 Mass Market Scanner End User Survey," available immediately, contains tabulations and analysis of over 400 scanner users' applications, usage, and preferred features. In addition, the "2000 Mass Market Scanner Non-User Survey," contains tabulations and analysis of over 775 Internet users' knowledge of scanners, anticipated scanner usage and applications, and propensity for purchase. The reports, which include responses to over 50 questions, along with cross tabulations containing data specific to various user types and demographic groups, are designed to help scanner executives in their product and service decisions.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Digimarc announces Intel MediaBridge deal!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 12:34 EDT)


Digimarc Corp. announced today it has signed an agreement with Intel to include reader software for Digimarc MediaBridge with Intel PC cameras starting in the fall.

Digimarc MediaBridge debuted in the July issue of Wired Magazine. Advertisements in Wired Magazine featuring a Digimarc symbol in the lower page corner are Internet-enabled, meaning they contain an imperceptible code which, when held up to a digital PC camera, launches a browser and instantly connects consumers to a dedicated URL.
"The Digimarc MediaBridge system is an innovative and useful application for PC cameras," said Don Whiteside, General Manager of Intel's Connected Product Division. "The technology provides an easy way for people to access the information they want on the Internet. Adding dynamic capabilities like this to our PC camera line coincides perfectly with our objective to always enhance the customer experience. We are pleased that our cameras will play a significant role in launching this technology."
Digimarc MediaBridge enables magazines and other printed materials to become a direct bridge to relevant destinations on the Internet. Digimarc embeds an inconspicuous digital code into the printed page that, when held up to a digital camera, tells the software the exact Internet destination to access.
"Digimarc MediaBridge represents a new paradigm in access to the World Wide Web," said Digimarc CEO Bruce Davis."Three million new pages are added to the Web daily, and URLs have grown to be hundreds of characters long in some cases. Soon it will not be feasible to simply type in a Web address. Consumers will increasingly turn to digital PC cameras to directly access the information they need."
Through the use of digital cameras and scanners linked to PCs, consumers can use any Digimarc-enabled printed material to connect directly to the Internet without the use of a keyboard or search engine.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

PhotoAccess announces high-speed PhotoChip processor!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 12:27 EDT)


PhotoAccess.com Corp. has announced the availability of its PhotoChip, which it describes as "the world's fastest digital image processing chip for use in digital cameras".

The PhotoChip, PhotoAccess's first generation digital imaging processor, features an "instant-on" environment and throughput rates of up to 24 megapixels per second - significantly faster than any other application specific integrated circuit or DSP available (digital cameras today typically process images at 3 to 4 megapixels per second). With significantly increased processing speed, the PhotoChip can deliver color data at rates up to 36 bits per second, providing superior color images. Moreover, the proprietary PhotoChip eliminates the typical lag time encountered with digital cameras when previewing images on an LCD panel immediately after a photo is taken. The PhotoChip can enable digital cameras to capture a rapid succession of digital images with minimal lag time.

The PhotoChip is being coupled with an advanced system design for an Internet-enabled eCamera being developed by PhotoAccess.com. The proprietary eCamera will allow digital photo consumers to connect directly to the Internet to upload, e-mail and process digital images without having to connect to a PC or Mac computer. Availability of the eCamera is anticipated before the end of 2000. PhotoAccess.com is seeking corporate partners with interest in the PhotoChip or eCamera system design. To find out more, please direct all inquiries to PhotoChip@photoaccess.com.
"Digital cameras need to become more user friendly by mimicking the ready-to-go nature of traditional film cameras. Similarly, they should provide photo consumers with a very simple and quick way to get photographic prints and share them without having to use a PC," said Mammad Safai, vice president and general manager of eCamera Systems at PhotoAccess.com."The PhotoChip's superior performance, high-quality and flexible architecture makes it an ideal candidate for digital camera manufacturers that want to put digital cameras out onto the market quickly. With our PhotoChip reference design, digital camera designers can provide a family of cameras by simply changing sensor boards and firmware."
The scaleable and programmable PhotoChip is designed to perform signal processing in pipelined silicon, allowing each stage of image processing to occur simultaneously, and thereby attaining unprecedented processing speed. Additional features of the PhotoChip include:
  • Support for multiple storage media and display types
  • Capable of operating 8, 10 or 12 bit data
  • Self-contained sequencer to drive any CMOS or charge coupling device (CCD) sensors as large as 9 million pixels
  • No need for separate chip/timing generator to drive sensors
  • Capable of mapping any CCD to LCD just by reprogramming the PhotoChip
  • Incorporates Photo Response Non-uniformity Correction (PRNU) as well as Gamma, Linearity and Color Matrix corrections
  • Capable of raw data, .bmp, and .jpg outputs

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

ArcSoft launches NewsDX beta photo service!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 12:12 EDT)


NewsDX.com has announced the beta launch of its Internet-based professional news photo service at the Nexpo 2000 trade show. Using ArcSoft's PhotoIsland Network, NewsDX.com enables news organizations, photographers and agencies to archive, manage and distribute their media assets via the Internet. Additionally, NewsDX.com offers a secure and open online marketplace for the purchase and sales of breaking national and international news photos. Via NewsDX.com's network of freelance photojournalists and local news organizations, media outlets will be able to purchase and download photos from around the world.
"NewsDX.com will revolutionize the way newspapers manage their digital assets, while enabling them to have much greater access to photos taken from hotspots around the world," said Jeff Mandell, president, Internet Services Division, ArcSoft, Inc.
NewsDX.com provides publications with the first Internet based service for archiving, managing and backing up their photos. Offering a 24x7 network, NewsDX.com is an affordable archiving alternative to expensive in-house systems requiring complex and support-intensive servers and high capacity storage systems. A free photo batch uploading software, compliant with IPTC editing and file uploading standards, is available for both Macintosh and Windows computers. To archive photos, a publication simply uploads the images to its password-protected company archive via the offline batch uploading software, FTP file transfer or the browser based uploading feature. Publications can also designate different user access levels for key personnel. Depending on the access level granted, users can upload, archive, catalog, and sell the archived photos in the NewsDX.com open marketplace.
"Until now, a powerful yet affordable archiving system for the newspaper industry did not exist. NewsDX.com delivers what the industry needs and helps put news organizations in control of their digital photo assets," said Alan Fischer, President of PSI, a leading distributor of film, chemistry, supplies and photographic equipment to the newspaper and publishing industry.
With its official launch later this fall, NewsDX.com will enable news organizations and publishing houses to gain access to a broad variety of news photos.
"Many compelling photos by known photographers never get published due to limited channels to media markets," said Bradley Wilson, executive director of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). "NewsDX.com creates an online market for media outlets and press photographers to buy and sell countless images that until now have had no avenue to the news photo pipeline. The increased access to press photos will enable media outlets to exercise greater latitude to choose the best news photo to complement the corresponding story."
To assure quality and authenticity, NewsDX.com's professional photo editors will review all photos submitted for sale. A search engine enables buyers to locate photos categorized by topic, keyword or event. Low-resolution thumbnail images can be viewed at any time and buyers can purchase the rights to use the high-resolution images on an as-needed basis. Since there is no monthly subscription fee to browse and search NewsDX.com's open marketplace, buyers pay only for the photos they need.

Sellers of photos are free to set their own price according to market conditions and exclusivity of their news photos. Unlike alternative distribution channels, ownership and distribution of the photos continue to be retained and controlled by the photographer and/or news organization.

NewsDX.com will also create additional revenue streams for both photographers and publications through the aftermarket sales of the printed photos. For example, the NewsDX.com Online Photo Print Service enables newspapers to sell reprints of their news photos to the general public. Photo reprint size options range from 4" x 6" up to 8" x 10". Fulfillment of the online prints is completely managed and tracked by NewsDX.com.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

PrintLife.com brings PhotoBook photo albums to Japan!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 10:12 EDT)


A press release from Israeli company PrintLife.com in Japan tells of an interesting new service the company will shortly be launching which will provide a new way to view your photos. PrintLife's PhotoBook is literally a bound paper book, of which only one copy is custom made for you, containing your digital images in the layout you choose. You firstly create your album in the PhotoBook Maker program, and it is then saved in what PrintLife calls "AML" - Album Markup Language. The book is then uploaded to PrintLife, and within three days a single copy of the book is made, bound and delivered to you.

There's no suggestion of any pricing as yet (at least that we could find) - but it does seem possible that PhotoBook could make it to the USA, since not only does PrintLife.com have an Israeli office, but also one in the US, in Stoneham MA...
Source: PrintLife.com
Thanks to digitalcamera.gr.jp / Kumio Yamada for this item!

Monday, June 19, 2000



PC Watch posts Olympus C-990 Zoom samples!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 19, 2000 - 18:07 EDT)


Our friends over at the PC Watch website in Japan have posted sample photos from Olympus' recently announced C-990 Zoom digital camera, as well as a comparison of the camera alongside Canon's tiny PowerShot S100. The sample photos include 4 outdoor shots, two indoor shots, one shot with automatic gain improvement to ISO200, wide and telephoto comparisons with the PowerShot S100 (IXY Digital) and Sony DSC-S50, and finally outdoor "people" shots both without and with fill flash.
Source: PC Watch Olympus C-990 Zoom Samples
Thanks to digitalcamera.gr.jp / Kumio Yamada for this item!

PC Watch posts Ricoh RDC-7 sample photos!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 19, 2000 - 9:21 EDT)


Ricoh RDC-7 digital camera - click for a bigger picture!
Click image for a bigger picture!

Our friend Kumio Yamada has posted the first sample photos we've seen from Ricoh's 3.34 megapixel, 3x optical zoom RDC-7 digital camera. The RDC-7, which we first told you about back on February 24th, features an interesting design which features a tilt-and-swivel LCD display in a form factor similar to Nikon's Coolpix 9XX cameras - but Ricoh's camera is thinner even than Canon's diminutive PowerShot S100!

Here's a rough summary of what PC Watch had to say about the RDC-7... The article starts off with three photos of the camera itself, and notes that the camera features a 3.34 megapixel 1/1.8 inch CCD, three times optical zoom, and a chassis only 26.6mm thick. Casio and Ricoh, the article notes, were the first companies to really popularize digital cameras in Japan, with Ricoh's DC-1 and Casio's QV-10 both hitting the market in April of 1995. The DC-1 was an extremely popular camera and the more capable of the two, featuring a 3x optical zoom lens, 410,000 pixel CCD, sound and video capability, removeable external LCD display and removeable flash memory (AIMS cards). The DC-1 was followed by the DC-1S, DC-2L and DC-3, all keeping the horizontal form factor, and the RDC-7 follows in this tradition. Three more photos at this point show black and silver versions of the RDC-7, as well as a comparison with the DC-1 both with and without its external LCD display. The black version of the RDC-7 should hit the market shortly after the silver one; Yamada notes that the RDC-7 felt more "plasticky" than the DC-1 had done, but still felt very high quality as compared with other 3 megapixel models.

At this point, two more photos show the black version of the RDC-7 closer up. This is followed by two outdoor sample photos. Yamada points out that thanks to the horizontal form factor, there is more available "depth" in the camera body for the lens, allowing for the possibility of better picture quality. It also allows for efficient placement of the LCD display and memory card, allowing the camera to be made a lot thinner. This has definitely been achieved, with the RDC-7 at 26.6 millimeters thick being much thinner than Nikon's 38-mm thick Coolpix 990 and even slightly thinner than the 26.9mm thick Canon PowerShot S100! In the other two dimensions, the RDC-7 is 135.4 x 74mm, both somewhat smaller than the 149 x 79mm of Nikon's Coolpix 990. The camera still isn't really small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, but it is definitely very portable...

Two more outdoor photos are shown at this point. Yamada notes that the camera takes a little while to get used to holding, but notes that it seems to have "manners" once you know how to hold it. Until you're used to it though, the placement of the mode dial, zoom control and shutter button in particular can feel very crowded and peculiar. The control layout comes from Ricoh's DC-2L camera, with frequently used buttons such as for flash, picture quality etc. being placed on the top of the camera, and somewhat lesser used buttons such as for macro, white balance and exposure compensation being placed underneath the LCD, with the rationale that if you're using these, you'll probably be using the LCD display too. Whilst this might sound complex, Yamada says he can see the rationale for it in using it. The mode dial and buttons however are not perfect - apparently there is not enough of a "click" feeling when using them.

At this point in the article, there are two indoor sample photos. The camera, Yamada notes, starts up in about three seconds, and there's a shot-shot interval in 2048 x 1536 pixel mode of about two seconds between shots. The autofocus is noted to be quite slow compared to rival cameras, however. The LCD display not only flips up and down, but also can be turned left and right, which is a very useful ability that would allow you to see the screen with the camera in quite awkward positions. The refresh rate for the LCD is quite fast. The brightness of the LCD display can be switched through one of four stages with a special button, allowing for fair visibility in daytime, but unfortunately compared to the low-temperature polysilicon LCD displays used by other companies, the picture quality or as Yamada calls it the "clearness" is not great. This is very unfortunate as the LCD display goes a long way to governing your impression of a digital camera.

The next two photos are closeups of a boy's face, useful for judging flesh tones. At this stage, Yamada goes on to discuss the camera's macro capabilities, noting that this is traditionally a Ricoh forte - and the RDC-7 doesn't disappoint. At full optical zoom, the camera can focus down to only 24 centimeters without even needing to be switched to macro mode, which already gives fairly good closeups, almost enough to fill the picture with a business card. The macro mode is even more powerful.

Photos at this point show closeup shots at wide angle and telephoto in normal mode, and also the macro mode. Switching to or from macro mode takes about two seconds, and because of the very short 1 centimeter focusing distance, the flash is of no real use and is disabled automatically. The autofocus becomes even slower in macro mode, but is very accurate, and the camera can fill the photo with for example one key on a computer keyboard. There is also a special Pro mode, which works similarly to JVC's GC-QX1 camera by shifting where light falls on the CCD slightly and taking multiple photos. This approach allows for less color information in the photo to be interpolated as compared to a normal photo, but requires the camera and subject to remain absolutely still whilst the photos are taken, and requires more than ten seconds to process the photos afterwards. Because of these factors, the usefulness of the Pro mode is limited to certain situations, and the final effect is quite moderate. Unlike JVC, Ricoh does not provide a 3 megapixel final image in this mode however, instead providing a 6 megapixel file.

Two more macro shots are shown at this point. Yamada then briefly discusses picture quality, noting that the camera shows good sharpness and detail. The auto sensitivity feature is useful as well, boosting sensitivity as needed and helping particularly in darker photos where the flash isn't really required to avoid camera shake. White balance needs some work though, showing similar peculiarities to other Ricoh models which particularly affect skin tones.

A 1.44MB MotionJPEG AVI video clip is the final sample, requiring Apple's QuickTime player to view. Yamada summarises by noting that the camera has very individual styling, and can take some time to get used to - but this is worth the effort as once you're familiarised the design is very worthwhile. Whether you'll like it though is really going to be a matter of taste, and Yamada recommends trying the camera yourself in person for a while before you buy it.
Source: PC Watch Ricoh RDC-7 first look review
Thanks to digitalcamera.gr.jp / Kumio Yamada for this item!

Friday, June 16, 2000



SnapFish offers free digicams, vacations in sweepstakes!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 16, 2000 - 11:45 EDT)


Snapfish.com Corp. yesterday announced the Snapfish Summer Sweepstakes. Individuals can register for the sweepstakes online at http://www.snapfish.com/sweeps/. In addition, Snapfish will launch a sweepstakes promotional campaign in 15 major metropolitan areas nationwide on Sunday, June 18, 2000.
"Now that the Snapfish service is launched, we're kicking off a comprehensive marketing campaign to get the word out to families who can use our service to capture and share fun summer memories," said Melissa Barritt Felder, Snapfish vice president of consumer marketing. "In addition to free processing, free prints and free online sharing, now we're offering a chance to win some fantastic prizes."
The Snapfish Summer Sweepstakes prizes include the following:
  • Grand Prize - Snapfish will award one trip to Orlando, Florida for four people, including airfare, five days and four nights of hotel accommodations, theme park passes, rental car and spending money.
  • Monthly Prizes - Snapfish will choose one winner per month for three months to win two plane tickets to any destination within the continental United States.
  • Weekly Prizes - Every week through September, one entrant will win their choice of a digital or film camera, (Canon Powershot Digital Camera Deluxe Kit, or a Canon EOS Rebel 2000 Date Deluxe Camera Kit and film) each valued at more than $700.
The sweepstakes will run until September 29, 2000. Winners will be selected at random. Snapfish describes itself as the only photo service that offers developing, printing, digitizing, and online storing and sharing of users' photographs, all for free. Customers simply mail their film in a pre-addressed, postage-paid mailer and Snapfish develops the pictures, prints them on Kodak paper and digitizes them for free. Customers are however charged $1.69 per roll of film for the shipping and handling of prints (limit 24 rolls per year per customer). An additional $3.99 will be charged if members do not view their images online within 30 days. The images are then made available in a password-protected online "shoebox," where customers can create albums, share photos online with friends, and order reprints and enlargements. Snapfish also offers digital camera users a solution for uploading, sharing and printing their images.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

MaxPages licenses PhotoLoft technology!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 16, 2000 - 11:32 EDT)


PhotoLoft Inc. announced on Tuesday that Max Pages, a provider of free websites, had selected its digital-imaging solution as the photosharing backbone of its home page builder web site.

Utilizing PhotoLoft's proprietary "hosting" technology, which allows customer-companies to offer their consumers photosharing options including print fulfillment and e-commerce, Max Pages customers will have an integrated photosharing solution for their personal home pages.

The Max Pages private label agreement will generate income for PhotoLoft through a licensing fee, as well as a share of revenue generated by that site's advertising/promotion and consumer e-commerce transactions from photo prints, reprints, photo-personalized cards, gift items and others.

The Max Pages agreement and previously announced agreements with home page builder sites Express Page and Bravenet, notes PhotoLoft, positions it as a leader in the home page builder segment of the online photosharing marketplace. In total, over eight percent of Internet users building home pages are utilizing the PhotoLoft solution for their online photosharing needs.
"Our strong presence in the home page builder arena is an excellent example of the success of our business strategy in this segment of the overall online marketplace," said PhotoLoft Chief Executive Officer Jack Marshall. "We are delighted to be working with Max Pages, which serves to solidify our position as the premier provider of turnkey web-based digital-imaging infrastructure solutions. I am confident PhotoLoft will continue to make strong progress in the online photosharing market, while we are also making excellent inroads in the traditional photofinishing market including minilabs, and other processors of conventional film, and the professional photography arena. To my knowledge, no other company today offers such a complete solution with an integrated e-commerce capability and open platform architecture."

"We are very excited about integrating PhotoLoft's imaging technology with Max Pages' Free Web Site Design Tools,"
said Max Pages Chief Executive Officer Bill MacLeod. "PhotoLoft is the industry leader in large scale image management. Max Pages provides the best web site design tools. By teaming with PhotoLoft, we expect to double the size of our community in six months."
Other customer companies utilizing PhotoLoft's digital-imaging Internet infrastructure technology include Canon U.S.A., XOOM.com/NBCi, Jasc, Casio, Jackson Digital Imaging Corporation and Epson. Other joint ventures with companies in the photofinishing, professional photography and online photosharing markets are in process. The company recently announced new funding, a new chairman, and a change of name from PhotoLoft.com to PhotoLoft Inc. (although interestingly the press release continues to use the old name...)
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

PhotoWorks licenses Pixami's Bandwidth Independent Processing!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 16, 2000 - 11:12 EDT)


A press release distributed yesterday tells of an agreement between PhotoWorks Inc. and Pixami Inc. to integrate Pixami's online enhancement products into the PhotoWorks.com site.

The new functionality, developed by Pixami, includes the ability to enhance photos online and apply special effects, plus a variety of templates, photo album pages and print layouts.
"We are very pleased to be able to provide Pixami's products to PhotoWorks.com," said Tom Moore, President of Pixami. "Pixami was founded to provide advanced functionality to photo sites to help them attract users, increase site stickiness, and generate additional revenue. PhotoWorks.com is the perfect partner to showcase our technology. It is a great relationship all around."
Pixami's products are built on their so-called "Bandwidth Independent Processing" (BIP) technology. The claimed advantage of this technology is consistently fast image processing performance, unaffected by image size or connection speed. This is accomplished by a design that eliminates the need to pass high-resolution images over the Internet. BIP technology is the basis for the products that Pixami will provide to PhotoWorks.com.

Pixami's enhancement products are designed to allow its partners to be able to add their own HTML user interface and identity, providing for a seamless integration into the site.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Mike back in Tennessee, body clock lost over Pacific!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 16, 2000 - 11:06 EDT)


After a total of some 30 hours of flying, sitting in airports, and queueing in Immigrations, Mike's finally back from his whirlwind vacation in Hong Kong, and recommencing the News from today (thanks for standing in, Dave!) It seems that, much the same as Hong Kong, nothing stands still with the news when I'm away and there's been plenty of it - doubtless which will take me a little while to sort through whilst trying to ensure nothing gets missed...

This was my first major vacation since purchasing my digital camera 9 months ago, and I have to say that whilst I was already a digital convert, I'm even more convinced now than I ever was... In a four night vacation, I took a whopping 1800+ photos - they'll take a while to sort through, but the work will be more than worthwhile! With film, I'd have been counting every shutter click and wincing...

Now, back to the news - and hopefully, wherever my body clock is (somewhere over the Pacific, I do believe) it'll be caught back up with me soon... In the meantime, excuse me if I fall asleep on the keyboard every now and then! :)

Thursday, June 15, 2000



Olympus Japan announces C-2100 UltraZoom
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 16:44 EDT)


Olympus Japan has announced the Camedia C-2100 UltraZoom with a 2.1 megapixel imager and a 10x zoom lens.

Some specs:

  • 2.1 megapixel, 1600x1200
  • 16MB SDRAM buffer
  • 1.2 secs shot to shot, 3fps burst
  • QuickTime movie 15fps
  • TTL connector cord
  • 10 Optical, image-stabilized zoom, 38-380 mm equivalent, 7-70mm actual
  • 2 aspherical glass elements. f/2.8 to f/3.8, 7-bladed aperture
  • Manual focus, 240 steps
  • Digital ESP metering, spot metering with 8 area selection
  • 1.8" wide view high res LCD SLR design, but electronic viewfinder
  • Manual, Shutter, Aperture, programmed, special program mode - portrait, sports, landscape, night scene
  • +/- 2EV comp in 1/3 steps; Aperture & shutter in 1/3 steps
  • White balance IESP
  • ISO 100, 200, 400, auto



Front View. Click on the image to see a larger view.


Back View. Click on the image to see a larger view.


The camera will be available in Japan in August with the U.S. following later.

In related news, Olympus Japan also announced the Camedia C-990 Zoom. The 990 appears to be a 2.1 megapixel version of the D-460 Zoom.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available!
Source: Olympus Japan

Steve posts Mavica CD-1000 First Look!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 0:07 EDT)


For those of you looking for more pictures and another perspective (as well as an expanded view of the operating controls), Steve Sanders has posted his First Look at the Sony Mavica MVC-CD1000, and it looks like he was as impressed as we were! In our own discussion page on the MVC-CD1000, the general consensus seems to be that this is a huge step forward for the Mavica line, although some express concern over the ruggedness of a CD-R in a portable device, while another persistent question seems to be why not CD-RW? (The reason is that CD-RW has much poorer compatibility with older CD-ROM drives, and Sony wants the disks to be as universal as possible.) We hope to have a more complete set of comparison images shot with the CD-1000 posted on our own site within the next few days, in the meantime, check Steve's site for a wider variety of shots.
Source: Steve's Digicams First Look at Sony MVC-CD1000

Wednesday, June 14, 2000



A-Digital-Eye Posts JVC GC-QX3U Review
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 14, 2000 - 16:58 EDT)


David Kamanski, an honorary IR news correspondent and frequent contributor, has posted a review of the JVC GC-QX3U over at A-Digital-Eye.
Source: A-Digital-Eye JVC GC-QX3U Review

PCPhotoREVIEW's Father's Day Photo Contest
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 14, 2000 - 16:43 EDT)


PCPhotoREVIEW is sponsoring a Father's Day Photo Contest until June 25th.

From the site:

"Upload your favorite photo of your father or father-figure along with a short narrative about what makes your dad so special.

Or, if you're a father, upload your favorite photo of your child(ren) along with a short narrative about what makes it so special to be a dad.

Our visitors will view and rate the best submissions."

Visit the site to submit your photo!
Source: PCPhotoREVIEW

VeriPic Digital Photo Authentication System Shipped
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 14, 2000 - 14:58 EDT)


Kwan Software Engineering, Inc. announced that it has shipped its VeriPic(TM) Digital Photo Authentication system. The software is used to verify the authenticity of digital photographs for court evidence use and has been tested at a number of police departments this year.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

FlashPoint Acquires Opholio
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 14, 2000 - 14:57 EDT)


FlashPoint Technology, Inc., creator of Digita, an operating system for digital cameras, announced the acquisition of Internet photosharing provider Opholio.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

DPReview posts Kodak DCS620x review!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 14, 2000 - 14:40 EDT)


Our friends over at the Digital Photography Review Web site have posted their extensive and complete review of Kodak's latest Professional Digital Camera, the DCS620x. Here's what Phil had to say on the DCS620x:

"The DCS620x hits the spot Kodak was aiming for. They listened to their users and produced the goods, now the most sensitive Professional digital camera on the market. It will almost definitely be seen around the edges of sports arenas and stadiums worldwide."
Source: Digital Photography Review's Kodak DCS620x review

Tuesday, June 13, 2000



Now it can be told! Sony CD-R Mavica CD1000!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 15:44 EDT)


Now it can be told! We're finally able to tell you what we know about the new CD-R equipped Mavica MVC-CD1000 from Sony. We've had a prototype unit for a couple of days now, and have had the chance to put it through its paces a bit. Very impressive! The image quality is very equivalent to the (excellent) results produced by the MVC-FD95 2 megapixel camera, but without the JPEG artifacts. The new CD1000 makes roughly 800K files, vs the 300K or so of the FD95, and can even record uncompressed TIFF files. (And a lot of them too, given the 156 megabyte capacity of the 77mm CD-R drive it incorporates.) 2.1 megapixels, no JPEG hassles, virtually unlimited storage at low cost ($4/CD), and a 10X zoom lens. What more could a Mavica Maven want? While the camera won't be in stores until sometime in August (at a list price of $1299), we felt this was such a significant announcement that we've gone quite a bit beyond our normal "First Look" treatment of it. This is more than just another new camera announcement, but really opens up new territory in the digicam marketplace. Read our full First Look article to see why we consider this to possibly be the most significant digicam announcement of the last 12 months!

PS: Steve's Digicams has also posted some CD-1000 info on the camera on his site, and promises to have some "First Look" material of his own up shortly.
Source: Imaging Resource in-depth "First Look" at Sony MVC-CD1000

Steve's Digicams Posts Minolta Dimage RD 3000 First Look
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 15:42 EDT)


Our friend Steve over at Steve's Digicams has posted a first look at the Minolta Dimage RD 3000.

Steve notes:

"This is a prosumer digicam that uses two 1.5-megapixel CCD imagers to create a finished 2.7-megapixel image. It's not for everyone as it has a $4000 price tag but if you need a camera with pro features it's worth checking out."
Source: Steve's Digicams Minolta Dimage RD 3000 First Look

DCRP Review of Fuji FinePix 4700
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 15:39 EDT)


Our friend Jeff Keller over at the Digital Camera Resource Page has posted a review of the Fuji FinePix 4700.

Jeff notes that it is a "fun to use little camera, the first to use the new SuperCCD technology."
Source: DCRP Review of Fuji FinePix 4700

d-store.com Announcements
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 15:38 EDT)


d-store is celebrating June with some incredible Father's Day and Summer Solstice Specials! They've lowered their digital photography accessory pricing and are giving away free gifts. Visit the site to find out more!
Source: d-store.com
Thanks to Pete @ d-store for this item!

Steve's Digicams Posts Sony UP-DP10 Personal Photo Lab Review
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 15:37 EDT)


Our friend Steve over at Steve's Digicams has posted a review of the Sony UP-DP10 Personal Photo Lab.

Steve notes:

"This is a really nice dye sub printer that cranks out prints that easily rival their wet-processed counterparts. This is the first 4x6" dye sub printer I have used that produces borderless prints -- and in your choice of finish; glossy, matte or textured."
Source: Steve's Digicams Sony UP-DP10 Personal Photo Lab Review

Intel, Ofoto Collaborate On Photo Printing for GatherRound.com
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 15:35 EDT)


Ofoto, Inc., the Internet photo company, and Intel Corporation today announced that Ofoto will be the provider of photographic printing services for GatherRound.com(SM).

GatherRound.com is Intel's photo-sharing Web site that helps consumers use the Internet to share pictures and personal stories with family and friends.

The agreement will provide GatherRound.com members with the ability to purchase high-quality photographic prints of their images stored on the GatherRound.com Web site through Ofoto's digital photo lab. Members will be able to print their images in the most popular photographic print sizes: 4 x 6, 5 x 7 and 8 x 10.

"Ofoto has created a service for consumers to be able to get their photos with the click of a button," said James Joaquin, president and CEO, Ofoto, Inc. "By integrating Ofoto within GatherRound.com, people can instantly get high-quality photographic prints from their images on GatherRound.com from Ofoto's state-of-the-art digital photo lab."

To encourage GatherRound.com members to start printing their photos, Ofoto will provide each member with 50 free 4 x 6 prints. As an added incentive, GatherRound.com is sponsoring a digital camera a day sweepstakes from June 12 to July 12, 2000.

"With Ofoto as the print processor for GatherRound.com, we are providing our members with high quality prints, which will make the sharing of the photos they love an even more enjoyable experience," said Lorie Wigle, general manager, Internet Imaging Service, Intel Corporation. "Intel strives to provide the latest innovations for online photography and photo album sharing, and our relationship with Ofoto is our latest effort in making this a reality."

Source: Ofoto, Inc.
Thanks to Jeremy Pepper @ Ofoto for this item!

PC Watch Posts Sample Images from Beta Kodak DC4800
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 15:32 EDT)


Japanese language site, PC Watch, recently posted sample images from a Beta Kodak DC4800.
Source: PC Watch

Sony DSC-S70 Preview
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 15:30 EDT)


The folks over at GadgetSquad.com have posted a short preview of Sony's DSC-S70 camera which includes a small gallery of 36 images.
Source: GadgetSquad.com
Thanks to Alan @ GadgetSquad.com for this item!

CD-R Mavica? Almost here!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 12:07 EDT)


Some of you know we posted a pointer to a "leak" of a Sony press release on a new Mavica model yesterday. We were under NDA, someone else broke theirs, and we pointed to it. Sony (very politely) asked us if we'd mind holding our coverage until the official embargo time, which we were told was noon, Eastern time today (in about another hour). Steve over at Steve's Digicams apparently was told a slightly earlier timeframe, so he's posted a news blurb on it. We have quite a bit to say on this camera, but will be respecting the official time frame we were given by Sony. (So please stop emailing!) Stop back shortly after noon, EDT for full info plus *sample pictures*! (They're really great, a big step up for the Mavica line!) Stay tuned...

Monday, June 12, 2000



Full review of Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 35mm scanner posted!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 12, 2000 - 3:03 EDT)


Full review of Minolta Dimage Scan Elite posted! A busy day of postings to be sure! - We've just completed our review of Minolta's latest slide scanner, the Dimage Scan Elite. This unit sports the same 2820dpi maximum resolution of their previous top of the line 35mm film scanner, but now includes the (amazing) Digital ICE technology, licensed from Applied Science Fiction (cool name, that). Digital ICE uses an infrared-derived "defect channel" to map-out image defects such as film scratches and dust specks automatically, rendering perfect images from dusty film, and good scans from even badly scratched emulsions. Previously only available on Nikon film scanners, the addition of Digital ICE to Minolta's lineup will be welcome news for fans of their products. Besides the new Digital ICE capability, Minolta has made significant improvements in their scanning software, which was already one of our favorites. Read the review for all the details!
Source: Imaging Resource review of Minolta Dimage Scan Elite film scanner

Full review of Fuji FinePix 1400 Zoom posted!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 12, 2000 - 2:58 EDT)


Full review of Fuji FinePix 1400 posted! This is another one that's been in the queue far too long: Fuji has developed one of the nicest entry-level digicams we've seen in a while. The key? (IOHO) A true 3x zoom autofocus lens on a camera selling for under $400 list. This wouldn't be particularly compelling, if the camera didn't take good pictures though. But it does! Also not to be underestimated is the exceptionally appealing shape of the new camera: We're told that this is the first camera developed by Fuji specifically in response to studies of preferences of US consumers. We think that focus shows, if the responses of people we showed the camera to was any indication. Nice pictures, low price, and a 3x optical zoom with autofocus, decent exposure control, and great looks - We think this one's going to be a real winner. Read the review for all the details!
Source: Imaging Resource full review of Fuji FinePix 1400 Zoom

Full review of Sony DSC-F505V posted!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 12, 2000 - 2:52 EDT)


Although we had the distinction of posting some of the very first images from this camera on the 'web, we've taken an unconscionably long time in getting the full review to you. As it happens, it's actually been posted for over a week, just waiting final review. It now has finally been deemed fit for public consumption! Check it out, a very impressive camera!
Source: Imaging Resource DSC-F505V full review

Friday, June 9, 2000



Q-Research and Ferrania Collaborate to Offer Customers Deal on Consumer Imaging Software
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 9, 2000 - 13:32 EDT)


PhotoGenetics is our favorite image-adjustment program, as it lets you create "genotypes" to correct for consistent color biases or other image problems in your digicam automatically.

Q-Research, makers of PhotoGenetics, today announced an agreement with Ferrania Imaging Technologies to offer consumers, through Ferrania's retail distribution partners, a substantial discount on its consumer imaging software. Consumers who purchase specially marked Imation-branded or store-branded film, or single-use cameras, will receive a special in-pack coupon directing them to a Web site where they may download PhotoGenetics LE for only $7.50 (regularly $19.95).

IR readers can get a full version of PhotoGenetics for only $24.95 by following the link at the bottom of our PhotoGenetics review.
Thanks to Julianne Pagel at Q-Research for this item!

Computex Taipei 2000 Trade Show Report
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 9, 2000 - 12:49 EDT)


The excellent Japanese electronics web zine Impress PC Watch has posted a report from the Computex Taipei 2000 trade show, under way from June 5-June 9. The themes noted by the author were rather interesting: Rather than the multi-megapixel digicams that draw the bulk of the interest in this country, local vendors at the Taipei show appear to be focusing on *low* cost as the key to getting into the digicam industry. There's also a strong focus on "dual mode" digicams, with many units equipped to either act as "computer eyes" tethered to a PC, or as a free-ranging digicam. Multimedia (movies, although generally silent ones) and MP3 player capability are also seen as key to getting a toehold in the market.

When we say *low* cost, we mean low cost: Most of the units exhibited had VGA resolution (640x480), but selling prices of way below $100. - $75 or so seems to be the order of the day(!) Herewith is a brief translation of what we saw on the page: Visit the report page to see the pictures of the various products: You'll be able to tell which is which, as the product and company names are generally transliterated to English on the page itself.

First up are two models by Toptronic Industrial, marketed under the SKINA brand. Both use 1/4 inch VGA resolution CCD sensors. The PDV-300 model has 2MB of built-in flash memory, plus a SmartMedia slot, but no LCD display. It offers both VGA capture, and CIF (352x288 pixel) video capture at 20 frames per second, but no sound recording capability. The projected selling price of this unit is $75 US. The PDV-301 camera has the same basic specs, but is smaller (literally about business card size), and has no provision for SmartMedia. It's supposed to sell for about $70. (For $5, why not get the one with SmartMedia capability?)

Next in line is the S-Cam F2 from Minton Optic Industry. (Unfortunate name, that: Don't know that I'd want to be the salesman pushing the "scamcam!" ;) This unit uses a 350Kpixel CMOS sensor, interpolating to 1024x768 pixels. It looks like this one also has 2MB of onboard flash, and no mention is made of removable memory. It can apparently record up to 40 seconds of action, 20 seconds is also mentioned in the article. (Our translation broke down a bit here.) Again, no LCD. Projected selling price is $65 when it ships in July.

Next is the TinyCam DV300U from TNC Industrial. This appears to be one of the "dual mode" (tethered/standalone) units, with a 300K pixel CMOS sensor and VGA resolution. Also 2MB built-in flash memory, up to 20 images can be recorded in VGA mode.

Pretec exhibited a range of models, including their dual-mode DC-520 (does Kodak know about this? - We can see the eBay ads now "DC-520 for $130!" ;) Another CMOS sensor, but this camera adds both USB and video output connections. Again, 2MB of internal memory seems to be the rule of the day. Price was reported as being $129, which sounds high compared to the other cameras on display. (They do have translucent, colored cases available, so maybe style counts for something.)

A short step up in price, Pretec showed their DC-530 model, with some interesting features. While still only offering VGA resolution (from a CMOS sensor) and 2MB of internal memory, this unit also provides MP3 playback capability, and accepts Type II CompactFlash memory cards(!) With a projected selling price of only $199, this could be a real winner, as it's only about the price of typical MP3 players alone, but offers both pictures (albeit probably not terribly good ones) and potentially huge storage capacity. One of the biggest limitations (IMHO) of the MP3 players currently on the market is that you can only pack along an hour or so of audio. - You could fit quite a few hours of MP3 music on a Microdrive plugged into this baby! - The author commented on the competition between this unit and Fuji's FinePix 40i, which also combines camera and MP3 functions. The Fuji product is a bit more expensive, and limited to 64 MB of RAM, but probably offers better picture quality (a safe bet, we'd say). Thus, the Pretec product appears most suited to people mainly interested in music, with pictures "on the side" as it were, while the Fuji unit has a primary focus of pictures, with music as a secondary capability. Interesting products though, we bet we'll see a lot more of these from various manufacturers!

Pretec (busy folks there) also showed a 2.3 megapixel product, the DC-2000. This camera will have 1 1/1.75 inch CCD, and produce pictures 1,792 x 1,200 in size. Also on board will be a 3x optical zoom lens, and a 1.8 inch LCD. No price was mentioned, but we'll bet it's going to be cheap. An important note though: This was apparently a *mock up* of the product, not a "prototype" as has been reported elsewhere. Thus, don't hold your breath for this unit to appear this summerÍ

Other items included a portable scanner in the now-ubiquitous translucent colors, from Avigramm. 300-600 dpi and battery-powered, weighing in at only 510 grams (~ a pound). USB interface to Windows 98 and Mac OS 8.6 or better. Price to be 16,000 yen in Japan (~$150 US), unknown whether it'll come to the US. (The author commented on the oddity of a scanner being translucent, and the ambient light not affecting the scan.)

Another translucent scanner was the PrimeFilm 1800I from Pacific Image Electronics (PIE). We've seen this at US trade shows and believe it is currently being sold in the US. Price was stated as $229, the unit has an optical resolution of 1800 dpi, and handles both slides and negatives. (Pretty amazingly cheap for a film scanner!)

Last up is a dye sub photo printer from a company called Akica that takes CF cards and prints directly from them with no computer connection. Price was given as $400. (We think they'll have a bit harder time with this one in the US, as there are already some excellent dye-sub printers on sale here from Fuji and Olympus among others that sport these features and more, albeit at higher selling prices at present.)

Phew! Long news post, lots of translation. What seems clear from this is two things: 1) We're going to be deluged with *very* cheap VGA-level digicams in the near future. - The JamCam was only the beginning! 2) Expect to see *lots* of MP3/digicam combos starting to show up as well. - We think this is going to be a huge category with the teen set!

Source: Impress PC Watch

Thursday, June 8, 2000



DataPlay Micro-Optical Discs
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 8, 2000 - 15:00 EDT)


We've previously mentioned Dataplay's micro-optical storage discs. If the technology comes to digital cameras, we'd be elated since the storage costs are so low and the density is so high. Reader Graham G. Elliott pointed us to an informative article that discusses the pricing and availability of the technology in relation to MP3 storage.


Thanks to Graham G. Elliott for this item!

New Tetra Underwater Housing for Olympus Digicams from Light & Motion
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 8, 2000 - 14:47 EDT)


Light & Motions' Tetra underwater housing will allow the Olympus C-2020, C-3000 and C-3030 family of digicams to capture images of the mysteries of the deep.

Light & Motions' Tetra underwater housing

Thanks to Steve's Digicams for the heads-up about this exciting new underwater housing!

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available!
Source: Steve's Digicams

Wednesday, June 7, 2000



LuraTech Offers Free Compression Software
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 7, 2000 - 23:28 EDT)


LuraTech(R), Inc. has released free software called LuraWave SmartCompress Lite. LuraWave is based upon wavelet compression technology similar to the emerging JPEG2000 image standard. The software gives users the ability to use LuraTech's wavelet technology to compress digital images at extremely high rates in the LuraWave format (file extension .LWF).

LuraWave SmartCompress Lite is free for non-commercial use and may be upgraded to a Professional version with added password protection and area of interest compression features for $19. LuraWave SmartCompress Lite is the only free software application to offer a scalable, lossless to lossy image format. In contrast to previous releases, LuraWave SmartCompress Lite and Professional have no restrictions on importable file sizes.
Source: LuraWave SmartCompress Lite Freeware

Steve's Digicams Posts Sony DSC-S70 First Look
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 7, 2000 - 22:39 EDT)


Our friend Steve over at Steve's Digicams has posted a first look at the Sony DSC-S70.

Steve notes:

"This camera is going to give the Nikon and Olympus 3-megapixel cameras a run for their money. The Carl Zeiss lens and 12-bit A/D processing yields sharp and colorful images and the camera is easy and fun to use."
Source: Steve's Digicams Sony DSC-S70 First Look

PC World names Nikon Coolpix 990 best Digital Camera for 2000
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 7, 2000 - 22:20 EDT)


PC World named Nikon's Coolpix 990 the best digital camera in its Best Products of 2000 tome in the July 2000 issue. See our review of the camera for detailed information.
Source: PC World

June edition of Megapixel.net's digital imaging Web magazine
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 7, 2000 - 21:59 EDT)


Megapixel.net has released the June edition of their digital imaging Web magazine. The edition has reviews of Fuji's FinePix 4700, Toshiba's PDR-M70, Sony's MVC-FD95 and others. Several interesting articles about digital imaging make this edition a good read.
Source: Megapixel.net

HP announces new entry-level inkjet
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, June 7, 2000 - 21:41 EDT)


Hewlett-Packard has introduced a new easy-to-use inkjet printer targeted toward families and first-time printer buyers. The HP DeskJet 648C, which started shipping yesterday, has a price tag of $119 (US).

The printer has both USB and parallel ports and prints at up to 6 pages per minute (ppm) for black text and up to 3 ppm for color.

It also has a dual print cartridge so that printing in either black & white or color can occur, all without swapping cartridges.

The printer comes with ColorSmart technology, which automatically selects the optimal color or grayscale tone for smoother skin tones and sharper images as well as more vivid color palettes.
Source: Yahoo! BusinessWire

Tuesday, June 6, 2000



Kodak announces new DC5000 Zoom, DC4800 Zoom!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, June 6, 2000 - 20:37 EDT)


Modified 06/05/00 13:25EST - Exclusive photos added!

Kodak's new DC4800 Zoom digital camera, front view with flash and zoom extended - click for a bigger picture!

Kodak's new DC5000 Zoom digital camera, front view - click for a bigger picture!
Click images above for a bigger picture!


Eastman Kodak Co. has today announced two new digital cameras on its website, somewhat ahead of the schedule we'd originally been told to expect! (Ah well, can't win them all...) Both should look familiar to Imaging Resource readers, since we already showed you them both last month in our article "New 3 megapixel and 2 megapixel digicams!" of May 29.

Here's the full specs for the new DC5000 Zoom, the rugged all-weather 2.1 megapixel unit:

Kodak's new DC5000 Zoom digital camera, rear view - click for a bigger picture!

Kodak's new DC5000 Zoom digital camera, top view - click for a bigger picture!

Kodak's new DC5000 Zoom digital camera, rear quarter view - click for a bigger picture!
Click images above for a bigger picture!


  • CCD Resolution: 2.1 megapixel
  • Image Resolution: 2.0 megapixel (High 1760 x 1168, Standard 896 x 592)
  • Image Quality Settings: Best, Better, Good
  • Image Storage: COMPACTFLASH Card
  • Viewfinder: Real-image optical viewfinder
  • LCD: 1.8" for preview and review
  • Lens: Auto focus 2X optical zoom and threads for optional lenses
  • Digital Zoom: 3x digital zoom
  • Lens Focal Length: f6.5-f13 (30-60 mm in 35 mm equivalent)
  • Focus Distance: Regular (.5M-infinity); Macro (1/4-1/2 meter)
  • Exposure: Auto, or manual override (+/-2 EV in 0.5-EV increments)
  • Shutter Speed: 1/2 sec. - 1/755 sec.
  • Aperture Range: Wide: f3.0 – f7.6; Tele: f3.8 – f9.6
  • ISO Equivalent: 100
  • Self-timer: 10 seconds
  • Tripod Mount: Standard
  • Flash: Strobe flash (auto, fill, red-eye, off) to 9.8 feet (3.0 meters)
  • File Format: JPEG/EXIF
  • Video Out: NTSC/PAL (user-selectable)
  • Special Effects: Three B/W modes, sepia mode, borders, video, NTSC/PAL
  • Interface: USB, serial, CompactFlash card
  • Power: 4 AA batteries (included) with AC adapter/charger (optional) or rechargeable batteries (optional)
  • Dimensions: WxDxH (mm) 140 x 89 x 83
  • Certifications: FCC, CE, Ctick, IEC 529 Class 4
  • Weight: Without batteries 1.0 lbs (459 grams)
  • Warranty: One year
  • Bundled with COMPACTFLASH Card (size unspecified), 4 KODAK Alkaline batteries, USB Cable, Serial cable for Windows, Macintosh serial adapters, Video cable, Quick start setup guide, user’s guide, and registration card, Lens cover, Lens filter, Neck strap, Software CD
  • Available in late June; price unspecified
An Adobe Acrobat brochure for the camera is available here, an online "demo" of the camera is available here, and a sample image gallery here..

Second up is the DC4800 Zoom, a 3.3 megapixel camera with 3.1 megapixel image size, 3x optical zoom lens, and a slew of manual controls:

Kodak's new DC4800 Zoom digital camera, front view with flash and zoom retracted - click for a bigger picture!

Kodak's new DC4800 Zoom digital camera, rear view - click for a bigger picture!
Click images above for a bigger picture!


  • CCD Resolution: 3.3 megapixels
  • Image Resolution: 3.1 (2160 x 1440), 2.2 (1800 x 1200), 1.6 (1536 x 1024), .8 (1080 x 720) MP
  • Image Quality Modes: 3.1 MP (uncompressed), 3.1 MP, 3.1 MP (highly compressed), 2.2 MP, 1.6 MP, 0.8 MP, Custom resolution (either of 2M, 1M, or 0.5M, highly compressed)
  • Image Storage: COMPACTFLASH Card
  • Viewfinder: 1.8" LCD, Optical real image viewfinder with AF frame; Field of View: 90%; Diopter Adjustment: -1 +/-2 diopter
  • Finder Eyepiece: Exit pupil: 5 mm diameter; Eye point: 12 mm (from top of eyepiece frame); Semi-Field-Angle: 10.5 degree (diagonal)
  • Lens: 3X optical zoom capability,; 28-84 mm f2.8-4.5 (35 mm film equiv.); 2X digital zoom, power zoom with two driving speeds; mechanical shutter and apertures; 43 mm lens with adapter (optional)
  • Digital Zoom: 2x digital zoom
  • Auto Focusing: TTL Video-AF, single AF only (no continuous AF); Spot AF only, 0.5 m-Infinity (standard distance mode); 0.2 m-0.5 m (near distance mode); less than 1.5 sec. to focus lock
  • Focus Distance: Regular: close and infinity; Macro: close and infinity
  • Exposure: Auto, or manual override (+/-2 EV in 0.5-EV increments);
    automatic white balance and exposure lock
  • Exposure Control: Full Range: (16s @ f2.8 to 1/1000s @ f8); AE Range: (1/8s @ f2.8 to 1/1000s @ f8); Program AE; Manual Aperture Priority AE (f2.8, f5.6, f8); Manual Shutter (1/2s-1/1000s); Long time exposure mode (0.7 - 16 sec.); Exposure Compensation: +/-2EV with 1/2 EV step, @AE mode only
  • White Balance: Auto, Daylight (5500k), Tungsten (semi auto), FL (semi auto), Manual (one push hold and selectable color temperature, 2500-10,000 Kelvin)
  • Shutter Speed: 16s – 1/1000s
  • Aperture Range: Wide: f2.8, f5.6, f8
  • Tele (where applicable): f2.8, f5.6, f8
  • ISO Equivalent: 100, 200, and 400 (selectable)
  • Self Timer: 10 seconds
  • Tripod Mount: Standard
  • Flash: Strobe flash (auto, fill, red-eye, off) to 10 feet (3.2 meters wide, 2 meters at tele)
  • File Format: TIFF/JPEG/EXIF
  • Video Out: NTSC/PAL (user-selectable)
  • Special Effects: Three B/W modes, sepia mode, neutral mode,
    saturated mode, burst, video, NTSC/PAL
  • Interface: USB, PC card
  • Power: Lithium-ion rechargeable with AC adapter/charger included for in-camera charging
  • Dimensions: WxDxH (mm) 120x65x69
  • Weight: Without batteries (ounces): 11.45; Without batteries (grams): 320
  • Warranty: One year
  • Burst capture: Max # of pictures (at different resolutions) - 4 pictures at highest, 16 at lowest
  • Click to Click: Maximum 5 pictures with 2.0 sec interval (target: 5 pictures)
  • Burst Frame Rate: Between 2 and 5 fps
  • Preview Frame Rate: 15-30 fps
  • Bundled with Neck strap, Lens cover, COMPACTFLASH card (size unspecified), Lithium-ion battery and AC adapter for in-camera charging, USB cable for use with WINDOWS and MACINTOSH systems, Video out cable for viewing pictures on TV, KODAK software CD, Quick start setup guide, user’s guide, and registration card
  • Available in August 2000; price unspecified
An online "demo" of the camera is available here, and a sample image gallery here.

Monday, June 5, 2000



Using Zip or Jaz as your digital negatives? Read this!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, June 5, 2000 - 15:33 EDT)


An email from an IR reader prompted both Dave and Mike into a little research today... Our anonymous reader spotted a reader email on another website, but can't remember which... Here's what the email had to say:
"Two days ago I had a call from a frantic client (a printer) about a Jaz disk that had 3 years worth of critical files on it that wouldn't mount. I tried to mount his disk , only to get a response that I would have to format it first. After 2 unsuccessful attempts, I got an error message about my cartridge having reached its end of life!

"End of life?" I say to myself, what the [explicit] is end of life? As I looked through the Iomega help files I found an interesting tidbit: 'Disk Life indicates when a disk should be retired or replaced. The Disk Life Remaining, and Format Life Remaining, indicators found on the Disk Information window provide critical information needed to decide when to reinitialize or retire a Zip or Jaz disk. Iomega recommends that you periodically check Disk Life remaining, and Format Life Remaining, on all Zip and Jaz disks.'

My disk is now not regonized by any utility! They won't even recognize that it is in the drive. However, when I check it with the iomega tools, it shows that very same disk as having 0% Life Remaining. And when I check his disk it also shows as having 0% Life Remaining.

The next day, as I traveled around town, I was telling my clients, and checking their disks. Many had disks that had less that 50 per cent Life Remaining, and nobody knew of this feature! Everybody would be seriously damaged if their disks suddenly unexpectedly stopped working."


A morning of researching this mail turned up a few interesting web sites that may be of assistance to readers who're using Zip or Jaz disks to store their "digital negatives" - remember, with digital, once you lose your original files, there's no shoebox full of negatives to fall back on!

It seems there are two separate issues at hand - which is playing its role here, we can't really say. Iomega has, according to one web site, acknowledged that its Zip and Jaz drives can sometimes suffer from a problem often called "Click Death", wherein the drive fails to access data on a disk, repeatedly trying to access the data at the same time as making a clicking noise which, we understand, is very much different from any other noise you'll hear the drive make in use. The drive may then continue to work, or it may fail altogether, quite possibly destroying the disk in the process...

The man behind the site, Steve Gibson, has developed a program by the name of "Trouble in Paradise", for determining whether your drive may be prone to click death. It's only 52k, runs under Windows 95/98/NT, and works with Zip 100, Zip 250, Jaz 1Gb or Jaz 2Gb drives. According to the site, Iomega's General Manager of the Zip Aftermarket Business, David Hellier, publicly stated on a Ziff-Davis TV program that Iomega would replace drives suffering from click death, regardless of whether the drive was still under warranty or not...

The second problem seems to revolve around an attribute of magnetic media in general. Over time, magnetic disk drives such as hard disks or Iomega's Zip and Jaz drives generally encounter bad sectors, small parts of the diskette that have failed and no longer can hold data. According to another website we read, manufacturers reserve a small part of the drive as a "pool" to replace these bad sectors with, hence ensuring that the end user doesn't become aware of these small problems. When you format a Zip or Jaz disk, some of this "pool" is reserved to replace current bad sectors on the disk, and to allow for any more that might fail. The remainder appears in the disk information as the "disk life remaining". As the area reserved for current bad sectors grows, you'll see the "format life remaining" go down, until you get to a point where you're required to format the disk to allow more of the "pool" to be used for current and imminent bad sectors.

Eventually, as you probably guessed, this pool runs out. This is when the "disk life remaining" will reach zero, and when you may suddenly find yourself unable to access files on your disk! The more the disk is used, the quicker this is likely to happen - but don't expect a disk stored away on a shelf to last forever either, because postings we've read in newsgroups have indicated disk failures in these circumstances too.

As we understand it from Usenet postings we've read, Iomega will in many circumstances replace these failed disks - but what they can't replace is the data that was stored on them. Some companies specialise in trying to retrieve this data, but we imagine this would be costly and can't work miracles... If your pictures are valuable to you, we recommend keeping multiple backups of them, and preferably keeping the backups separate from each other so that if one is damaged, the other should still be fine. We'd also recommend users of Zip and Jaz drives (we really don't know offhand if Clik! drives would be affected, but assume that they may) keep a regular track of the "format life remaining" and "disk life remaining" figures on their disks, and replace them well in advance of the disks failing... We'd also suggest downloading Steve Gibson's "Trouble in Paradise" program and checking your drive for problems every so often...

Thanks to Phil for contacting us with this important issue!

Friday, June 2, 2000



Kopin announces Samsung CyberDisplay order!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 2, 2000 - 15:16 EDT)


Kopin Corporation has announced that it has begun shipping its CyberDisplay 320 in volume to Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Kopin's third large camcorder design win in the last 12 months. Samsung, the fourth-largest camcorder manufacturer worldwide, is incorporating the CyberDisplay into the following six new camcorder models that the company is introducing this week in the United States and Europe: Analog NTSC models SCM51 and SCM529; Analog PAL models VP-M50 and VP-L500; and Digital models DVC VP-M55 and SCM55.

Today's announcement marks the latest in a series of camcorder-related orders for the CyberDisplay. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., the world's largest consumer electronics company and Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. (JVC) both began incorporating the CyberDisplay into their camcorders in the last 12 months.
"Samsung, Matsushita and JVC represent a combined 60 percent of the global market for camcorders, solidifying Kopin's position in this burgeoning segment," said Dr. John C.C. Fan, Kopin's president and chief executive officer. "These orders demonstrate that we have proven our ability to manufacture and deliver the CyberDisplay in volume, to the exacting standards of some of the world's leading consumer electronics companies."
By combining high resolution and low power consumption, Kopin's CyberDisplay has made it possible for companies like Samsung, Matsushita and JVC to replace the traditional cathode ray tube. In addition to camcorders and digital cameras, Kopin sees the CyberDisplay as an efficient display choice for next-generation wireless handsets and other video-enabled devices.
In-Yong Choi, Samsung's general manager of Camcorder Purchasing, Personal Digital Media Business Team said, "I can say that it was an excellent choice for Samsung to select the Kopin CyberDisplay, which improves productivity of our viewfinder assembly factory and enables a more compact design. The lower power consumption of the display is the additional benefit for our camcorder application. This year we will continue to increase the volume of Kopin's displays for the production of our existing models. In 2001, we plan to integrate them into our new 8mm camcorder models and also in a significant portion of new digital camcorder models. We expect that Samsung and Kopin can establish a strategic alliance for further development of camcorder technology."

Il-joong Jeon, Samsung's general manager of Camcorder R & D, Personal Media Business Team said, "The Kopin CyberDisplay has increased our production efficiency by decreasing the number of components used in our manufacturing process. We hope to extend further cooperative relationships with Kopin in order to keep up the Kopin CyberDisplay technology for our consumer product applications."
Kopin's CyberDisplay is a 0.24-inch diagonal transmissive active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) that displays information at a pixel resolution of 320 x 240. At 1,700 lines per inch, it is the world's densest AMLCD. Along with displaying standard text and graphics, the CyberDisplay operates at video speeds and consumes less than 20mW of power, including the backlight. Motorola, Inc. is supplying an ASIC, which is the interface electronics between the CyberDisplay and the Samsung camcorder.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

HP offers refunds on Jornada Pocket PCs!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 2, 2000 - 14:25 EDT)


A news item from CNet News today mentions a discovery that may be of interest to anyone using HP's Jornada Pocket PCs, with their 65,000 color displays, as a way of viewing their digital images in the field to confirm whether they got the shot. Hewlett Packard has admitted, after some careful investigation, what some users felt - that the Jornada 540 series (as well as older siblings the Jornada 420 and 430) actually only uses 4,096 colors on screen. The reason is simple; whilst the software and the majority of the Jornada's hardware can handle 16-bit color, the Jornada's graphics controller is only capable of 12-bit color, thanks to an oversight when the unit was being designed. Hewlett Packard is taking a very fair stance, offering full refunds to any Jornada user who is unsatisfied with the quality of their device... Jornada users can return the products either directly to HP or to the retailer where the product was purchased.
Source: Yahoo! News / CNet News.com

Image Software, Pixami get new Presidents!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, June 2, 2000 - 14:12 EDT)


Image Software, a developer of digital imaging software products for digital camera and scanner manufacturers, today announced that John James has accepted the role of president.

Tom Moore, Image Software's departing president who made today's announcement, said, "Mr. James is highly suited to the role of guiding Image Software as we move forward in the rapidly expanding digital imaging marketplace. Mr. James comes to Image Software with over twenty years experience as a senior executive with high technology companies including, Xerox PARC, i-O Display Systems and Ingram Micro, as well as providing technology commercialization and market penetration strategies on a consulting basis to both military agencies and civilian companies working in the areas of communications, microchip development, simulation, virtual reality and display technologies. Mr. James has broad experience in technology product development and marketing as well as in the management of high growth companies. We are very pleased that he has joined the Image Software team."
Today's announcement resulted from a project initiated by Moore, over two years ago, resulting in the development of a new company called Pixami. In December 1999, Image Software spun out Pixami to provide advanced digital imaging technology tools and infrastructure to online photo sharing and photo-finishing sites. Tom Moore assumes the role as president and CEO of Pixami as James assumes his new role at Image Software. Both Moore and James are committed to having the companies continue to work together to advance digital imaging technology.

Founded in 1987, Image Software has developed products for many of manufacturers of digital cameras, scanners and other imaging products. Image Software customers include Agfa, Apple Computer, Canon, Caere, Casio, Connectix, FlashPoint Technologies, Hewlett Packard, Kodak, Konica, The Learning Company, Mitsubishi, Olympus, Panasonic, Phillips, PictureWorks, Sanyo, Silicon Film, Softkey, Sony and others. To date, Image Software has delivered to the market over 100 digital imaging products and is currently responsible for developing the software shipping with some of the most popular digital cameras and scanners on the market today.

James said, "At Image Software we have the structure to develop a broad range of applications to fit a variety of project requirements and customer needs, from the development of custom applications designed around a set of features defined by our partners, to private branding of generic imaging applications with customized user interfaces, to the development of utilities, drivers or 'mini-apps,' designed to meet specific imaging or visualization requirements."

James went on to say, "We understand that in today's world, short product life cycles, modest budgets and development resources combined with competitive pressures and slim margins make technology product development and manufacturing extremely challenging. At Image Software, we are dedicated to providing our partners with cost effective yet state-of-the-art software applications to meet their project and customer needs with a minimum expenditure of internal resources, both human and capital. Image Software is both flexible and experienced in developing projects that fit into today's environment of rapidly advancing technology and changing business models. We have a significant technical capability, multiple platform experience and an extensive and well tested code base that will allow us to meet our partners' needs, budgets and timelines. I am very proud to have the opportunity to work with this remarkable team."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Thursday, June 1, 2000



Fuji announces new SuperCCD MP3 digicam!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 1, 2000 - 17:15 EDT)


Fuji FinePix 40i

Fuji Japan has today announced a new digital camera / MP3 player combo, according to the PC Watch website. This is the third such device we've heard of, following on from Samsung's CyberMax 35 MP3 and Polaroid's planned MP3 camera. Unlike Samsung's $289.99 device, however, which is aimed clearly at the entry level user with 640 x 480 resolution, Fuji's new unit features a 2.4 megapixel CCD and remote control.

Fuji FinePix 40i


Here's the full specs:
  • Fuji FinePix 40i
  • 2.4 megapixel SuperCCD gives images up to 2400 x 1800 pixels
  • Fixed focal length lens equivalent to 36mm on a 35mm camera. Built-in automatic lens cover. Focuses to 50cm in Auto mode, or 6cm in Macro mode.
  • SmartMedia storage. Uses SmartMedia ID media for copy-protected MP3 audio
  • USB connectivity (MP3 files must be recorded to the device through the USB connection
  • Headphone cable-type remote control with play/stop, cue forward/backward and volume up/down buttons and LCD info display
  • Automatic or manual exposure and white balance
  • Video capability with sound, up to 80 seconds in 320 x 240 pixel resolution, 10 frames per second. AVI format file with MotionJPEG codec.
  • Uses two NiMH or NiCad AA batteries. Battery life of 150 minutes for MP3 audio only.
  • Aluminum/Magnesium alloy body in silver, blue or pale pink
  • Dimensions of 85.5 x 28.5 x 71.0 millimeters
  • Weighs 210 grams including batteries and media
PC Watch has already posted 11 sample photos from the camera, as well as an article discussing the camera.

Reviewer Kumio Yamada points out that the MP3 camera hybrids can be quite a good idea, considering that if you're already carrying an MP3 player or camera with you, by having a hybrid you can have both with you without anything extra to carry. If you bring your hybrid unit to listen to songs, it will be there when you stumble upon that great photo too!

The unit is styled more like a MiniDisc player than a digital camera, with a very square shape, but a very compact size. The weight is 210 grams with batteries and flash card, or 155 grams without them. The camera is still a little bulky for a shirt pocket, but is fine for a trouser pocket and the lens cover means you needn't worry about lens damage from carrying it in such a manner.

The camera uses the same 2.4 megapixel CCD as the Fuji FinePix 4700 Zoom, but with a fixed focus lens. As well as the standard resolution of 2400 x 1600 pixels, you can also record at 1280 x 960 or 640 x 480 pixels. The camera features a 3.75x digital zoom in 640 x 480 mode, or a 1.875x digital zoom in 1280 x 960 mode instead of an optical zoom lens, and the digital zoom is controlled by a lever on the camera back much the same as most optical zooms are controlled.

The camera features video capability first introduced in the FinePix 4700 Zoom, and the 1.875x digital zoom can be used when recording video. The camera starts up in 1.5 seconds, and has about a 1 second interval between shots. The controls are comfortable and easy to use... Unfortunately, the D-TFD type 1.8 inch LCD display is difficult to see outdoors...

The picture quality, Yamada notes, is excellent. He actually felt that, maybe because the lens was fixed rather than a zoom, it yielded a higher resolution than the FinePix 4700 Zoom did! The macro was very impressive, close enough to make a SmartMedia card almost fill the photo.

At this point, Yamada offers 11 photos - first a series of 6 outdoor photos (of which the first three demonstrate full resolution, 1280 x 960 pixels, and 1280 x 960 pixels with full digital zoom). The next series is three macro photos, and finally a macro flash photo and a portrait with flash.

Next, Yamada looks at the MP3 capabilities of the unit. Recording from CD to the player is quick, only a few minutes per CD, and MP3 files are generated using RealJukebox Plus on a Windows machine. Recording the files to the camera is equally quick over the USB connection. MP3 files must be recorded onto SmartMedia ID cards, but you can record photos either onto the same cards or onto normal SmartMedia cards.

Unfortunately, you can only use the bundled headphones as the remote control is required, meaning you cannot attach speakers to the unit. Nor can you use the internal speaker, apparently because sound quality would not be good enough. Sound quality was overall good. Either 96kbps or 128kbps audio files can be played, and 96kbps is not really good enough quality for practical use.

If you are trying to take pictures and there is not sufficient room on the camera, MP3 audio will be automatically deleted to make room for it. It seems that Yamada is saying that there is no way to delete pictures in-camera, only the MP3 audio. Battery life is sufficient for MP3 audio, although it might be a bit short for camera use.

The remote control can be used not only for MP3 audio, but also for taking or showing pictures and even controlling the digital zoom! Overall, the camera is quite practical and serves it's purpose well. MP3 and camera are a good combination, and for those of us who always have to have our music with us, now we can always take our camera along too...

Thanks to IR reader Jon J. Both for catching our omission above - the price and release date! The camera retails for ¥88,000 (US$816) and shipped June 1st in Japan. We originally had this in the article, but a computer glitch ate it first time round, and on retyping the article from scratch we forgot to include it. Thanks, Jon!
Thanks to PC Watch / Kumio Yamada for this item!

D# Digital Press posts Finepix 1400Z, 1700Z samples!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 1, 2000 - 16:04 EDT)


Japanese website d# Digital Press has updated its sample image gallery with two new additions, Fuji's FinePix 1400Z and FinePix 1700Z (also sold by Leica as the Digilux Zoom). There's 24 photos from the 1700Z, and 18 from the 1400Z - and all are accompanied by text detailing the settings used - in English! ;) The small amount of Japanese text is a summary of the reviewer's thoughts on the pictures, and isn't necessary to understand them...

PhotoLoft summarises strategy!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 1, 2000 - 14:22 EDT)


PhotoLoft.com Inc. today distributed a press release offering additional details of its business strategy and model.

PhotoLoft Chief Executive Officer Jack Marshall reported before the Imaging Technology Analysts Group in New York last week that the company is moving forward to meet the escalating demand for web-based enabling technology in the traditional retail photofinishing, professional photographic and online photosharing industries. The NYC-based ITAG is comprised of imaging technology equity analysts from investment banks including Solomon Smith Barney, Goldman Sachs, CS First Boston, Prudential Securities, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Paine Webber and others.

PhotoLoft uses proprietary "hosting" technology that allows its customer-companies to offer end users web-based photo sharing, print fulfillment and e-commerce. PhotoLoft's customers include Canon U.S.A., XOOM.com/NBCi, Jasc, Bravenet and Maxpages; other joint ventures are still to be agreed.
"The traditional photofinishing and professional photographic industries have strong pent-up demand for a click-and-mortar solution and I believe PhotoLoft is the only company today that can provide a comprehensive suite of infrastructure technologies," Marshall explained to the assembled group. "Their customers are demanding the ease of an Internet solution whereby photofinishers can digitize, upload and display high quality images on the web, so that their customers can select and order photo prints and photo personalized merchandise. Minilab and retail photofinishers, in-store and in-school portrait photographers, wedding and event photographers all have businesses rooted in conventional film and fulfillment. To compete and grow, they need a turnkey web-based solution with the integrated e-commerce capability and open platform architecture that PhotoLoft provides and which is positioned to become the industry standard.

Add to those two markets the rapidly growing Internet-based photosharing communities and the migration from conventional film to digital cameras, and PhotoLoft is addressing a combined market -- directly or through its customer joint ventures -- estimated at $419 million in 2000 and growing to $5.6 billion in 2003, based upon leading industry analyst projections,"
Marshall added.
PhotoLoft generates income via four streams. First, revenues are derived from set up and customization fees. Second, PhotoLoft charges monthly hosting and service fees, which provide a recurring monthly revenue base. Third, advertising and promotion revenues generated on customer sites are shared. And finally, PhotoLoft shares in transaction revenues generated on its customer-companies' web sites.

Detailing the company's products, Marshall illustrated how the company's technology is used in each of the three primary markets:
  • Retail Photofinishers - PhotoLoft's DealerLoft product provides backbone technology needed by the minilabs and retailers to provide photo-finishing by uploading images and allowing customers to choose, click and order prints.
    Orders are fulfilled at either a central lab or are routed back to the originating lab for fulfillment. The DealerLoft solution offers retail photofinishers various levels of branding and control of their environment. The online portion of this market segment is estimated to be $4 billion in gross revenues by 2003.
  • Professional Photographers with Image Assets - PhotoLoft offers a number of products to meet this demand, depending upon the specific needs of the photographer. By 2003, revenues generated in the market segment are projected to total $1.3 billion.
  • Online Destination sites - Web sites choosing to include photo-sharing as a product for their members can utilize PhotoLoft's unique co-brand or private label products to provide members with photo-sharing and e-commerce capabilities. This technology can be integrated into the "host" web site in a variety of ways. It is expected that this market segment will grow to $284 million in gross revenues by 2003.
"PhotoLoft offers a complete spectrum of products within each of these market segments, providing the right solution for each partners' needs," Marshall elaborated. "We're signing up customers rapidly, giving them the capability to meet their consumer demand for online digital imaging technology. I expect to begin reporting solid progress on this strategy in the weeks ahead."
PhotoLoft earlier this week announced it had raised $7.5 million in equity capital from a group of institutional investors led by Los Angeles-based Intellect Capital Group (ICG).
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

InfoTrends sees Internet spurring digital imaging!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, June 1, 2000 - 14:07 EDT)


InfoTrends Research Group, Inc. has announced the results of a survey which finds that the use of digital imaging products and services is quickly becoming pervasive within the Internet-connected population. Over one-third of Internet households have a scanner, while more than 10% have a digital camera. Film digitization services such as Kodak PictureCD, floppy disk services, and services that post digitized images to a Web site are also taking hold, allowing even those consumers without a digital image capture device to enjoy the benefits of digital imaging.
"The viral nature of online photo sharing will continue to expose more consumers to digital imaging and Web-based photo exchange," said Lia Schubert, research analyst at InfoTrends Research Group. "The study indicates that once consumers learn about these services, they express interest in trying them for themselves. This effect is driving rapid adoption of new digital photo services."
Interest in digital photo services is especially high in households with children. Online photo sharing is already a popular activity. More than half of home Internet users say that they have opened a digital photo that they received by email, and over 30% claim to have visited a commercial photo community site to view other people's digital photo albums.

The study also revealed some barriers to adoption. Users are price-sensitive regarding digital photo services, indicating that widespread usage depends on meeting the right price points. Although most users indicate high interest in trying photo services, it is not yet clear if they will actually follow through.

InfoTrends' report "Internet Household End User Study," available immediately, contains detailed tabulations and analysis of nearly 1,200 home Internet users' digital imaging-related activity and interests, with a particular focus on film digitization services and commercial photo-sharing Web sites. The report, which includes responses to over 50 questions, along with cross tabulations containing data specific to various demographic groups, is designed to help digital imaging executives in their product and service decisions.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

 



 

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!