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Digital Photography News Archive!
May 2000

 

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Wednesday, May 31, 2000



SanDisk MultiMediaCard bundled with Thomson digital camcorders!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, May 31, 2000 - 17:17 EDT)


SanDisk Corp. announced today that it will supply THOMSON Multimedia with flash memory MultiMediaCards for the new line of THOMSON digital camcorders. The removable stamp-size card will be used to capture and store still digital images, which can later be transferred to a PC or printer.

Each digital camcorder will be sold with a 16MB SanDisk MultiMediaCard to be used primarily for editing and archiving digital images. The camcorder also serves as a digital still camera, as users will be able to capture still pictures by pausing the moving feed.
"By incorporating the SanDisk MultiMediaCard into its digital camcorders, THOMSON Multimedia is demonstrating the versatility of the card," said David Guidry, SanDisk product manager. "The SanDisk MultiMediaCard is evolving into a universal solution for video, imaging and sound mediums."Gregory Bourdet, manager CCR & New Product, THOMSON multimedia Europe, said, "The SanDisk MultiMediaCard allows the camcorders to function as both a video camera and a digital still camera. By incorporating the MultiMediaCard, the user can easily transfer digital images onto his or her desktop computer. They can also make an archive of the footage on the card to be kept and viewed for the life of the card."
The three new camcorders - THOMSON's VMD9, VMD10 and VMD20 - are currently available at retail outlets in Europe. The camcorders range in price from 1,980 to 2,437 Euros. Each camcorder kit includes a 16MB SanDisk MultiMediaCard, SanDisk ImageMate card reader, miniDV tape, and editing software and hardware.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

PhotoLoft changes name, adds capital, new chairman!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, May 31, 2000 - 15:28 EDT)


PhotoLoft.com today announced the raising of $7.5 million in equity capital from a group of institutional investors led by Los Angeles-based Intellect Capital Group; the Company expanded the offering from its initial $6 million target. Under the terms of the private placement transaction, PhotoLoft is issuing investors shares of common stock at $1.25 and one warrant per common share to purchase one half of one share of common stock at $1.65; pricing was based upon the May 16 closing price of $1.75.

The first $1.27 million in financing proceeds have been set aside to redeem a previously sold issue of approximately $1.1 million face value of resettable-rate convertible preferred stock. PhotoLoft also will use the financing proceeds to add to its senior management team and corporate infrastructure, and for working capital purposes.

ICG Chairman and CEO Terren S. Peizer has been named Chairman of the PhotoLoft Board of Directors. In that role, he will lead PhotoLoft in its management and board of director augmentation; strategic planning; corporate finance; mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances; and corporate communications. PhotoLoft Chief Executive Officer Jack Marshall will remain a member of the board.

The Company also announced that it intends to change its name from PhotoLoft.com to PhotoLoft, Inc. to better reflect its core business focus of providing web-based digital-imaging enabling technology to the photofinishing and online photosharing industries. The Company recently filed a Form 10SB, which was approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, an important step in its ongoing process of moving from the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board to being listed on a national exchange. PhotoLoft is beginning a program to strengthen its corporate and marketing communications and investor relations to effectively communicate the Company's business and strategic plan to the marketplace.
Marshall commented, "PhotoLoft technology is gaining a highly favorable reception in an Internet market experiencing extremely high demand for turnkey digital-imaging and photosharing solutions with integrated e-commerce functionality. This strong capitalization enables PhotoLoft to move forward with its business strategy of establishing joint ventures and strategic alliances with the major players in these markets through targeted marketing programs.

PhotoLoft is well positioned to pursue its objective of becoming the dominant provider of web-based digital-imaging infrastructure technology not only to Internet companies but to traditional film and photography markets. Thousands of photofinishing minilabs across North America and worldwide need to meet the demand from their conventional film customers for a digitized-and-uploaded web-based alternative. This click-and-mortar market also extends to the conventional wedding/event photography and school and in-store portrait businesses that want to digitize and upload images on to the Internet both for customer and e-commerce transaction convenience.

"We are off to a running start, and I expect to begin reporting favorable results from this strategy in the near future. I would also like to welcome Terren as the new board chairman. He possesses extensive business and financial acumen and I am delighted he will be taking such an active role in PhotoLoft."

"As a company well positioned to capitalize on what promises to be one of the largest applications of the Internet, PhotoLoft has as much or more potential than any emerging growth technology company I have ever worked with before,"
Peizer said. "I am excited to be actively assisting the company to rapidly realize that potential."
Terren S. Peizer is Chairman and CEO of Intellect Capital Group, a Los Angeles-based firm that provides investment and intellectual capital to developmental and emerging growth stage technology companies and takes an active role to assist them to realize their full potential. ICG portfolio companies include the supercomputer, e-commerce, medical technology, biotech, Internet telephony, backbone and content and other industries. Peizer serves as Chairman of Cray Inc., the world's largest independent supercomputer company. He is an accomplished investment banking executive whose background includes Goldman Sachs, First Boston, and Drexel, Lambert, Burnham.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

DCResource reviews Toshiba's PDR-M70!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, May 31, 2000 - 15:21 EDT)


Our good friends over at the Digital Camera Resource Page have posted their review of Toshiba's 3.37 megapixel PDR-M70 digital camera today. Here's what Jeff had to say in summing up the review:
"The PDR-M70 really keeps up with the competitors, and in some areas (especially the non-photo areas like movies and audio), it's ahead of them. This is a very crowded arena right now, with the likes of the Casio QV-3000EX, Canon PowerShot S20, Nikon Coolpix 990, Olympus C-3030Z, and Sony DSC-S70 as direct competitors. At $799, the PDR-M70 is one of the cheapest cameras of the bunch, and one of the best values. Though I do recommend that you personally try out the M70 and its competitors yourself, I can't think of any good reason not to recommend this camera!"
Check the full review complete with sample photos out by clicking on the link below...
Source: DCRP's Toshiba PDR-M70 Review

Tuesday, May 30, 2000



IDC reports on scanner market growth!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 14:09 EDT)


Driven by the Internet and increased demand for digital imaging, the worldwide scanner market has taken off with unit shipments climbing to 24.3 million in 2000, a new report from International Data Corp. notes... That figure is expected to balloon to 47.7 million by 2004. Declining price points, which dipped below $192 ($U.S.) worldwide in 1999, are making scanners accessible to a wide range of users. Scanners are moving beyond the corporate desktop and being implemented for a wide range of consumer applications.

Flatbed scanners continued to dominate the market, accounting for 97% of worldwide shipments in 1999. Flatbeds experienced a very healthy 1999 with 38% shipment growth over 1998.
"Simplified applications, falling prices, and the wild spread of email use has kept the flatbed scanner on top," said Ron Glaz, manager of IDC's scanners program. "Additionally, the introduction of USB interfaces has averted another obstacle by addressing the need for speed."
Overall, worldwide flatbed shipments will remain strong, reaching 23.6 million this year. The fastest-growing segment of the scanner market is a new breed of handhelds. These devices, known as pen scanners or digital highlighters, have evolved from a tethered peripheral connected to a PC to a standalone information appliance. Pen scanners are independent, text-capturing devices that can grab specific text on a page quickly and easily, giving the user instant gratification. Overall, the worldwide handheld scanner market will grow 616% from 1999 to 2000 on shipments of 269,000 units.

Key Findings (Worldwide)
  • The value of scanner shipments grew 27% year over year to reach $4 billion in 1999.
  • Average sales prices for 35mm scanners will drop to $721 by 2004.
  • High-speed scanners are forecast to have a double-digit growth rate, with a 1999-2004 compound annual growth rate of 28.5%.
  • The value of shipments for batch processing scanners reached $128 million in 1999.
IDC's report Worldwide Scanner Market Forecast and Analysis (IDC #B22198) provides a high-level view of worldwide scanners and addresses seven technologies: flatbed, sheetfed, handheld, 35mm, high speed, batch flatbed, and network scanners. It contains 1997 through 1999 actual unit shipments and values of shipments in street dollars as well as the 2000-2004 forecast for the United States, Western Europe, Asia/Pacific, and the rest of world region.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

Photobit receives third CMOS sensor patent!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 13:14 EDT)


Photobit Corp. has announced the recent issuance of a third broad patent for sensor technology. U.S. Patent No. 5,990,506, titled "Active-Pixel Sensors with Substantially Planarized Color Filtering Elements," covers the basic light-filtering process by which CMOS image sensors capture color.

This new patent, along with two other U.S. patents (No. 5,471,515 for 'active-pixel' circuitry, which made high-performance CMOS imaging possible by placing an amplifier in each pixel, and No. 5,841,126 for `camera system-on-a-chip' architecture, which addresses the combining of a pixel array and control circuitry on one piece of silicon, bring Photobit's intellectual-property portfolio to 13 patents, with more than 70 additional patents pending.
"We're pleased that this third fundamental patent has issued," said Dr. Sabrina Kemeny, president and CEO of Photobit. "Customers feel secure doing business with companies that have a strong patent position."

"Since we filed for these major patents, our engineering teams have reached several milestones using the technology,"
Kemeny continued. "For instance, we've produced the world's fastest megapixel CMOS image sensor, used in machine vision, and the world's lowest-power image sensor, which will enable video watches, among other devices."
Kemeny, along with Photobit chairman and chief scientist Dr. Eric Fossum, is listed as co-inventor on the new patent, which was issued November 23, 1999, and is licensed to Photobit by the California Institute of Technology.

Fossum led the team that invented CMOS active-pixel sensor technology at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the early 1990s.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

iPIX prepares for China market!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 13:03 EDT)


Internet Pictures Corporation announced today its intention to establish its Internet Pictures Corporation Beijing Representative Office (iPIX China), marking the company's entry into the Chinese market. The division will be managed by Nicole Bernard, formerly a Greater Asia Region Manager for the Health Imaging Division of Eastman Kodak.

According to International Data Corporation, China's estimated 10 million Internet subscribers will grow to over 33 million by 2004 marking one of the fastest growth rates in the history of the Internet. iPIX China plans to form strategic alliances with Chinese partners to bring Internet picture capture, processing, hosting, and distribution to the rapidly-growing Internet and wireless markets in China.
"China continues to astound the world with its pace of development in the Internet industry," said Don Strickland, Executive Vice President of iPIX. "This industry, like the mobile telephone industry in China, will witness dramatic 'technology leaps'. As the industry grows, businesses will demand Internet picture solutions for their Web sites and Internet connected devices to drive e-commerce and traffic. iPIX, in cooperation with its local partners, will provide world-class capture, processing, hosting and distribution of Internet pictures throughout China."
Through alliances with Internet picture capture service providers, iPIX will make still and 360-degree images available to businesses in China to incorporate rich imaging into their e-commerce, wireless, and Web site initiatives. Potential strategic partners include Web site portals, Web designers, real estate developers and agents, travel and tourism companies, hotels, and entertainment companies.

iPIX intends to work with the technology leaders bringing wireless Internet picture solutions to China and explore opportunities to incorporate picture capture, hosting and distribution into China's mobile solutions.
Bernard stated, "iPIX will integrate cutting edge Internet picture services into wireless applications capitalizing on China's explosive growth in Internet and wireless technologies."
Bernard will oversee the growth of iPIX China. Responsibilities include sales, operations, and customer care for iPIX China. Prior to iPIX, Bernard was at Eastman Kodak, where she held several management roles for the Health Imaging Division. During that time, Bernard led the launch of three specialty imaging product lines for Health Imaging in China. Bernard managed and grew Kodak's China operations during a period of hyper-growth, similar to what is seen in the Internet today. In addition, she successfully led the launch of Kodak China's first comprehensive Customer Resource Center, a technical support and information call center accessible to customers nationwide via a toll-free 800 number. Bernard brings nearly 6 years of world-class business and technology experience, 5 of which are in the Greater China / Asia Regions. She holds a BA in Religious Studies and Classical Philosophy and a Minor in Chinese Language from the University of Rochester, and a MS in International Public Policy Analysis with a specialty in US Relations with China also from the University of Rochester.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

MGI appoints new Chief Financial Officer!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 12:55 EDT)


MGI Software Corp. announced today the appointment of Rodney S. Davis as the Company's new Chief Financial Officer. Davis, who was formerly Vice President Corporate Development at Maxxcom Inc., a marketing and interactive media services holding company with a revenue run rate of $300 million, will lead MGI's corporate financial and development matters. The appointment is effective June 15, 2000.
"We are delighted to have Rodney join our senior management team," said Anthony DeCristofaro, MGI's president and CEO. "He's a well-rounded professional. His proven track record in financial planning and execution along with his successful experience in strategic and business planning are a great asset to our team as we evolve MGI to the next growth stage and launch in the U.S. capital markets."
Prior to joining MGI, Rodney Davis was responsible for financial management and corporate development programs including organic growth, new investment initiatives and acquisitions at Toronto-based Maxxcom. Davis also led the acquisition program for Cybersight, the company's strategic interactive consulting division. Prior to joining Maxxcom, Davis was Vice President and Corporate Controller at Southam Inc., a Canadian media company with annual revenues of $1.3 billion which Hollinger International purchased in January 1999. Davis' five year tenure with Southam also included positions as Director of Finance for the Newspaper Group and New Media, and Project Manager, Strategy and Analysis.

Davis received his CICA, ICAO accreditation in 1990 and worked with KPMG-Peat Marwick Thorne from 1989 to 1995 as a Senior Audit Consultant and Manager in Corporate Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions. He is active in the Metropolitan Toronto cultural community currently serving on the Arts Toronto Board, and also served as interim CEO of the Caribbean Cultural Committee-Caribana and as Board member of the Ontario Science Centre, Canadian Stage Company, and Canadian Artists' Network:Black Artists in Action.
"MGI is establishing a premier position in imaging infrastructure solutions to support commerce and communications on the Internet," said Davis. "This is an exciting and substantial growth opportunity and I am pleased to be part of a technology Company that is fundamentally changing users' experience of the Web."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / Canada NewsWire

Monday, May 29, 2000



New 3 megapixel and 2 megapixel digicams!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 29, 2000 - 19:04 EDT)


The folks over at the PhotoChannel.com website have posted several interesting photos of some upcoming digital cameras on their site recently, we noted today...

Up first is an article entitled "Exclusive Sneakpeek: Digicam + Cell Phone", which shows a familiar looking digital camera attached to a cellphone. Why do we say familiar looking? The model number of the new unit, the C-21T might ring a bell - this camera is a variant on the Olympus C-21 digital camera we told you about on June 27 last year. The C-21T, like its older sibling, features a 2.1 megapixel CCD, a small 105.5 x 35.5 x 62.3mm form factor, and SmartMedia storage. Where the C-21T differs is in that ability to link to a cellular phone - the one in the picture being a Japanese DoCoMo phone. Pictures can then be transmitted essentially anywhere, straight out of the camera. There's been no official word from Olympus as to whether this model will make it to the US, but we'd agree with PhotoChannel that it is more likely than not such a device would be successful here...

Next up from PhotoChannel is an article entitled "Sneakpeek: Unidentified Multi-Megapixel Digicam" - although a quick look at the pictures should give you an idea of what we're looking at here - where have we seen the words "2.0 Megapixel" wrapped around a lens in such a stylish manner before? ;) PhotoChannel's second anonymous camera appears, with its identical configuration, to be nothing less than an industrial-duty version of the Kodak's DC280! (2 megapixel, similar styling, plus a lens that says "Kodak Ektanar") And we have to say, this camera looks the business in PhotoChannel's pictures... With a 2 megapixel CCD and 2x optical zoom lens, the DC280 is definitely a great candidate to be made into a high-impact industrial model, and should do well against Ricoh's 1.08 megapixel RDC-100G and Fuji's 1.5 megapixel DS-260HD "Big Job", the only other digicams with industrial environmental specs that spring to our minds.

The final new camera is in PhotoChannel's third tasty tidbit - an article entitled "Sneakpeek: New 3-Mp Digicam For Summer". This third and final Sneakpeek shows an unidentified 3 megapixel camera with a very angular design, and a penchant for putting everything on its own switch, knob or button rather than buried in a menu. The camera features what appears to be an exposure compensation dial on its top, as well as "2.8, 5.8, 8 and P" markings on the mode dial that suggest Program mode, as well as separate modes for Aperture priority setups. The lens looks to be a 3x zoom (could be 2x, it is a touch difficult to read thanks to some aggressive compression by PhotoChannel!).

The camera also features video out, DC power supply, data connectivity, built-in flash, diopter correction on the optical viewfinder, and what looks like it could be a flash sync connector. Somewhat baffling is a 3.1 megapixel rating on the front of the camera - the only 3 megapixel cameras we've come across have used 3.34 or 3.37 megapixel CCDs with effective ratings of about 3.2 megapixels - is this a new CCD, or is the anonymous manufacturer just using a little less of it?

For that matter - is the manufacturer anonymous? PhotoChannel says they've obscured all manufacturer names - but looking at the lens (200% zoom, add a bit of contrast) we can again read the words "Kodak Ektanar" (Ektanar is a Kodak trademark which has been used on lenses since 1957). Could this be Kodak's entry to the 3 megapixel marketplace, or is another manufacturer licensing Kodak's Ektanar lenses for their cameras? We can't be sure, but either way this camera looks interesting...
Thanks to PhotoChannel.com for this item!

Canon PowerShot S100 hits Japanese retail!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 29, 2000 - 17:44 EDT)


Canon's new PowerShot S100, known has the IXY Digital in Japan, hit the Japanese market on Friday with expectations that it would likely sell out by the end of the day, or certainly by the end of the weekend despite a large initial supply, thanks to preorders and great interest in the camera.

The PC Watch website reports that the credit-card sized camera hit retail in the Shinjuku district at a price of ¥59,800 (US$554) in all three of the main discount electronics shops, significantly lower than the recommended retail price of ¥74,800 (US$693).

Our Japanese friends have, in time with the launch, released a gallery of sample images from the camera. The gallery consists of:
  • Two outdoor photos
  • Three "people" photos (outdoor flash off, outdoor flash on, indoor)
  • Three macro photos
  • Nine standardised zoom/compression photos (Large Superfine Wide and Tele, Large Fine Wide and Tele, Small Fine Wide and Tele)
  • Three indoor macro photos

Source: Kumio Yamada / PC Watch

PhotoChannel summarises quarter to March 31!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 29, 2000 - 17:28 EDT)


PhotoChannel Networks Inc. has announced its results for the quarter ending March 31, 2000. In this period, PhotoChannel entered into two financing agreements in January 2000 and March 2000 for CDN$2.3 million and CDN$15 million, respectively, the capital being needed to complete and launch its online photo print service as well as for recruitment to the Company's management team.

PhotoChannel's list of company highlights during the quarter include:
  • Arrival of our first Fuji Frontier Series 370 Digital Minilab for online photo finishing. The Fuji Frontier Series 370 Digital Minilab will be used to process online photo print service for digital cameras using Fuji Crystal Archive silver-halide photographic paper.
  • "My Photosite" and "My Albums" features added to the PhotoChannel site in January 2000. Users can create as many photo albums as desired from the photos that are uploaded to "My Photos". The albums can be customized to include personal text as well as various choices of fonts and background colors. Users can share their albums with friends and families on their personal photosite or just send their albums directly by email. If privacy is required, albums can be password protected.
  • "My Shows" feature added to the PhotoChannel site in February 2000. This feature allows users to select pictures uploaded and stored in "My Photos" and broadcast them as multimedia slide shows. Alternatively, this feature also enables PhotoChannel users to save pictures as slide shows and list these shows on "My Photosite" for viewing by family, friends and colleagues.
  • The "My Shows" feature was upgraded to offer a 400 x 400 pixel slide show format.
  • PhotoChannel site was named Finalist for the Digital Imaging Site or Service Award at the Third Annual Excellence in Imaging Awards co-sponsored by Digital Focus and Popular Science Magazine at PMA 2000.
    Chris O'Malley, Editor of Digital Focus, said "PhotoChannel brings home the importance and impact of photography in a way that both entertains and enlightens its growing audience. It's clearly one of the finest examples of photo web sites we've seen to date."

  • PhotoChannel entered into an agreement with Choices Entertainment Corporation of Seattle, WA, for a private placement of $2.3 million subordinated convertible redeemable debentures. These debentures do not bear interest and matured on April 30, 2000. Subsequently during April 2000, the full $2.3 million was received by PhotoChannel and the debentures were all converted to common shares at a price of $0.50 per share.
  • PhotoChannel signed a letter of intent with Taurus Capital Markets Ltd. to raise $10 to $15 million on a best-efforts basis through Special Warrants at $1.00 per warrant and closed this financing on May 1, 2000. Each Special Warrant unit allows the holder to acquire securities of PhotoChannel consisting of one common share priced at $1.00 plus one-half of a common share purchase warrant. One full common share purchase warrant will entitle the holder to purchase one common share at a price of $1.30 per share for a duration of one year from the date of issuance of the Final Prospectus.
Revenue for the quarter was $37,610 versus $57,205 the same quarter last year. Year to date revenue for the six months ended March 31, 2000 was $66,682 versus $97,254 for the six months ended March 31, 1999. 100% of the revenue generated continued to be from the sale of Slides & Sound Plus via orders downloaded from the web site. Revenue reduced about 35% from 1999 because of several one time bulk purchase orders of Slide & Sound Plus in 1999 but not in the year 2000. A lower US exchange rate also accounted for the reduction in revenue since the majority of revenue was generated in the US.

With the next generation of the PhotoChannel.com site nearing completion, future revenue is expected to be earned online from online photo print services, online photography equipment and accessories sales, online digital photography software sales and advertising sales.

The Company recorded a quarterly loss of $953,257 or $0.06 per share compared to a loss of $408,708 or $0.05 per share in the same quarter last year. Year to date loss for the six months ended March 31, 2000 was $1,537,890 ($0.10 per share) versus 1999 YTD loss of $777,220 ($0.09 per share). The loss per share was impacted by an increase of 7,802,607 in the weighted average number of shares outstanding during the year 2000 versus the previous year. Net loss increased almost 100% from the previous year mainly because of increased expenditure in research & development, sales & marketing and administration expenses for the PhotoChannel site.

In the first six months ended March 31, 2000, PhotoChannel Networks Inc. continued to invest in the development of the PhotoChannel site with R&D increasing to $487,120 from $124,447 for the first six months in the previous year. The increase encompassed, among other things, higher payroll costs, additional consulting expenses, additional site peripheral expenses and amortization of software licensing costs.

Sales and marketing expenses also increased $56,459 to $114,658 representing a 97% increase from the comparable six months last year. Additional investor relations staff and corporate promotional costs accounted for the increase.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

Sunday, May 28, 2000



DPReview posts Canon PowerShot S100 review!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, May 28, 2000 - 23:00 EDT)


Our friends over at the Digital Photography Review website have today posted their review of Canon's recently-announced PowerShot S100 (also known as the IXY Digital in Japan, or the Digital IXUS in Europe)... This camera is truly tiny, and features in its compact size a 1.92 megapixel effective rating (2.11 megapixel total)and a 2x optical zoom lens!

Here's what Phil had to say on the PowerShot S100:
"Nobody could fault Canon for producing the smallest, lightest digital camera yet, and they certainly couldn't fault them for building it with a large degree of precision and an eye to robustness. They've aimed this camera squarely at everyday photographs and it's small enough to be taken out wherever you go... Don't take the camera with you and you won't get that shot."

Source: Digital Photography Review's Canon PowerShot S100 review

Saturday, May 27, 2000



PC Photo Review adds new categories!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 19:05 EDT)


Our friends over at the PCPhotoREVIEW website have added two new categories to their reviews database. You can now submit reviews of tethered digital cameras (webcams) or digital camcorders - and reviews in either category will count towards PCPhotoREVIEW's Review Contest, which is offering an Olympus C-3030 Zoom, Canon PowerShot S10 and Kodak DC215 camera as prizes... If you own a webcam or digital camcorder, shoot over to the PCPhotoREVIEW, and get your entry in to win one of those cameras!

Special Note from Dave:Alex over at PCPhotoREVIEW has been doing a great job of assembling user reviews for a *wide* variety of digital imaging products. Besides the two categories listed above, you can now find reviews for the following categories of products: Digital Cameras, Photo Printers, Scanners, Web Services, Imaging Software, Analog Cameras, and Computer Products. Submitting a review in any of these categories enters you in the quarterly prize drawing, where you can win the products Mike mentioned above. Other than the prizes though, PCPhotoREVIEW is a great service to the community, and a way you can "give back" a little bit in exchange for the help others have given you in making your purchase decisions. Go ahead and submit a review: You don't have to be a professional writer, that's the whole point(!) These are all about real experiences by real people. If you fit that category, why not head on over and share your experiences with others?

GadgetSquad updates S70 preview!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 18:59 EDT)


Our friends over at the GadgetSquad website have updated their Sony DSC-S70 preview after feedback from readers... They've now got three closeup shots taken with the S70, as well as a 5MB 320 x 240 video clip. Thanks for the email, Alan!
Source: Gadget Squad Sony DSC-S70 macro and video samples

digitalkamera.de posts pic of Canon 10x stabilising lens!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 15:03 EDT)


Our friends over at the excellent digitalkamera.de website have posted a photo of the new Canon 10x zoom lens with optical image stabilisation which we first told you about back on Monday... The lens, designed specifically for use in digital cameras, is as digitalkamera.de points out, very tidy looking with no significant protrusions that you might expect to find on it... There's no new details as to when we can expect to see the lens in Canon (or competitor) cameras or at what pricing, but the lens certainly looks to be a significant development...
Source: digitalkamera.de Canon 10x zoom lens article

Pixid Inc, acquired by PolyVision Corp.!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 14:45 EDT)


A press release announces the acquisition of Pixid Inc., the company behind the excellent WhiteBoard Photo program which we reviewed back in March... (Actually, the press release is somewhat confused, referring to Polyvision acquiring "the worldwide, exclusive rights to Pixid Software, a unique product for the whiteboard market" - Pixid is the company, not the software, but since WhiteBoard Photo is currently Pixid's only product, we're guessing that acquiring the software or the company is basically the same thing. ;)

WhiteBoard Photo will take a photo of a blackboard or whiteboard, clean it up, correct any distortion, and turn it into a beautifully rendered digital version ready for printing, emailing, or anything else you can think of to do with it.
"We purchased the worldwide rights to this product because of inherent market appeal, its synergy with our strategy, its unique technology and access to the talented professionals who developed it. This is an important first step in establishing our presence in the Internet and E-Business products arena and it is a natural extension to our global position as the largest provider of visual display products to the education and office markets," stated Michael H. Dunn, President and CEO of PolyVision Corporation.
As part of the agreement, the principals of Pixid will be joining PolyVision as key contributors in its newly formed Business Products Division.
"We are delighted to join the PolyVision family of companies. PolyVision's commanding leadership in the whiteboard manufacturing industry is a natural complement to our flagship product, Whiteboard Photo," said Peter Hildebrandt, President of Pixid. "Together we will be able to provide the broadest range of solutions for capturing notes in meeting rooms and classrooms."
PolyVision Corp. is headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, and manufactures/installs whiteboards, advertising boards, and the suchlike, as well as being a supplier of the "Ceramicsteel" sheeting used to make whiteboards...
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Friday, May 26, 2000



Forbes reports on online photo market!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, May 26, 2000 - 16:56 EDT)


A news item today from Forbes.com looks at the online photo-sharing market, previewing a report from Future Image due out on Monday... According to Future Image, San Francisco-based Zing.com is "clear leader [in online photo sharing sites] with aggressive management, oodles of funding and a broad membership base" - Zing was first to 1 million customers, and today has nearly 2.4 million, twice as many as the closest competitor. The site has $14 million in venture capital, and another $40 million on the way...

Surprisingly, online giant Yahoo! looks to have stumbled into what is described as a slow takeoff, despite a partnership with online photofinisher Shutterfly, and a potential user-base of some 120 million in Yahoo's portal... For online photofinishers, meanwhile, Ofoto is seen as the winner, with 1.5 million users as compared to Shutterfly's 760,000...

Finally, Future Image notes that things are looking much rosier for the folks doing the behind-the-scenes work - for example Hewlett Packard, who're providing back-end services to other sites (and are just beginning to push their own Cartogra site) - and for firms like PictureIQ and SmashCast who provide their services to the online photofinishing sites without having to worry about marketing themselves to the end user...
Source: Yahoo! Finance / Forbes.com

Widecom forms PosterNetwork; digital image posters for $10!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, May 26, 2000 - 16:44 EDT)


Widecom Group Inc. has announced in a press release that it has established a new, wholly-owned subsidiary, PosterNetwork.com, and that PosterNetwork is raising $3 million in a private placement to support PosterNetwork's rapid development.

PosterNetwork has acquired Widecom's proprietary wide-format printing technology and related patents in exchange for 12 million shares of PosterNetwork. Widecom intends to distribute all its PosterNetwork shares to its shareholders as soon as practicable after the offering on the basis of approximately 4 shares of PosterNetwork for each 1 share of Widecom.

The Company also announced that Mark Braunstein, as Chief Executive Officer, President and a Director and Jack O'Leary, as Chairman of the Board, have joined PosterNetwork.
Mark Braunstein, CEO, stated, "The printer technology that we have acquired from Widecom enables us to print an excellent quality, high-gloss poster in 12 seconds from a digital file for an estimated total direct cost including labor and materials of $1.02; an unprecedented cost/performance combination in the industry."

Mr. Braunstein added, "The team that I am bringing in will, over the next few months, build a world class Web site that will enable users to upload pictures and turn them into a poster for a cost to the user of $10 per poster. Our business model is based on revenue sharing arrangements with strategic online partners and affiliate programs with digital camera manufacturers, etc. With our low cost we have the ability to provide our affiliate partners and internet sites such as photo sharing sites, greeting cards and gift sites, children's sites, pet sites, etc., businesses which have a tremendous need to increase revenues with products that have a high gross margin, with exactly what they are looking for and still provide the customer with an affordable $10 product."

"In addition to the consumer market,"
Braunstein further stated, "the existing business advertising market for large format digital output, which currently stands at $11 billion, is a prime market opportunity. This will be facilitated through our comprehensive industry specific template-driven online poster/sign making application. Small businesses, who could previously not afford $100 posters/signs for a one-time sale event, will now be able to log onto our site and create a simple poster by scanning in their picture and using simple online templates and typing in a few words and order a poster for a mere $10."

"Opportunities such as PosterNetwork are rare and I am delighted to be a part of this exciting new endeavor"
, Braunstein concluded.

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Full review of Minolta RD 3000 SLR posted!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, May 26, 2000 - 16:23 EDT)


We've completed our review of Minolta's RD 3000 Pro SLR digicam. A very interesting unit, definitely a handful! We found that the RD 3000 produced beautiful tonal gradations, with exceptional shadow detail and low noise. Low light image quality was also the best of any camera we've tested to date. Image color is less saturated than most consumer-level digicams, which we suspect will lead many to judge its pictures unfavorably. On the other hand, the large contingent of pro photographers generally disgusted with the current vogue of over-saturated, pumped-up color will find a lot to like. We ourselves particularly liked the skin tones captured by the RD 3000, as most consumer digicams (and some professional ones too) tend to over-saturate or produce odd tonal balance in Caucasian flesh tones. Given its great tonal gradation, and the nice skin tones, we could see a lot of RD 3000's finding use in digital portrait studios. Read the review for all the details!
Source: Imaging Resource review of Minolta RD 3000

Full image analysis for Sony DSC-F505V!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, May 26, 2000 - 16:18 EDT)


Full image analysis of Sony DSC-F505V posted! (Review should be along shortly, probably early next week.) We keep dribbling bits and pieces of our F505V review out, given the unusual level of reader interest in this camera. We should have the full review posted next week - Most visible camera characteristics are identical to the original F505 though, so read that review in the interim. Today though, we have the full pictures page for the F505V posted, giving our analysis of all the shots we took, and more details about them than were contained in the thumbnails page we posted earlier. Check it out, a very impressive camera!
Source: Imaging Resource Pictures Page for Sony F505V

Thursday, May 25, 2000



Steve's Digicams posts Epson Stylus Photo 1270 review!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 23:55 EDT)


Our friends over at Steve's Digicams have this evening posted a review of Epson's Stylus Photo 1270 inkjet printer. The Stylus Photo 1270 uses Epson's new lightfast inks and papers, and has a 13-inch wide carriage feed, with support for roll paper and edge-to-edge printing... Here's what Steve had to say on this interesting printer, the big brother of Epson's Stylus Photo 870 and 875DC printers:
"Do I really need any conclusions? Let the whole review serve as my conclusion text. If you want the best inkjet printer for photo-quality images plus all your other daily printing needs -- the new Epsons are the way to go. The only decision is which one to get ... do you need to print larger than 8x10-inches or do you want a printer that's also a card reader? They all feature the same unbelievable print quality and speed."
Head on over to Steve's for the full story!

Source: Steve's Digicams Epson Stylus Photo 1270 review

LoneStar, Modern Imaging post DCS 620x samples!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 23:34 EDT)


We spotted (thanks to the good folks at Steve's Digicams) some interesting sample photos from Kodak's new DCS 620x pro digicam on a couple of sites this evening. John Cowley, over at LoneStarDigital.com, has posted two shots taken at ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 on his main page... John's DCS 620x page, meanwhile, links to the folks at Modern Imaging who've posted a user review of the DCS 620x, including sample photos at ISO 1000 and ISO 1600, as well as a comparison with and without noise filtering, and a screen-grab of the new host software... Check it out!
Thanks to Steve's Digicams for this item!

PhotoWorks surpasses 100 million photos hosted!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 12:56 EDT)


PhotoWorks Inc. announced today it surpassed 100 million photo images stored by consumers in its online photo-sharing site, making it the largest collection of consumer photos on the Internet. PhotoWorks offers a variety of online photo services for traditional and digital camera users including processing, sharing, digital uploading, reprints, scanning of film and archiving of photos. PhotoWorks has scanned and posted as many as one million customer photos a week to its online archive.
"PhotoWorks' services are more popular than ever," said Gary Christophersen, PhotoWorks president and CEO. "Customers prefer PhotoWorks as their online image processing company for their traditional and digital images. Last week they e-mailed out more than 70,000 personal photos to friends and family. Our expanded services to digital camera users and dedication to providing consumers with more ways to share and use their photos online have helped continue our leadership in this category."
PhotoWorks began offering photos via the Internet in 1995, and in April 1999 began offering its PhotoWorks online service that provides free customer lifetime archiving as part of its film developing process. While in the last 12 months numerous start-up companies have emerged in the expanding online photo services segment, PhotoWorks states that it "continues to be a leader by offering reliability, convenience, free services for first time customers, affordable print and reprint fees and partnerships with companies like Amazon.com Auctions, AT&T WorldNet and RealNetworks".
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

MGI software bundled with Epson PhotoPC 3000Z!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 12:52 EDT)


MGI Software Corp. today announced that Seiko Epson Corp. will ship its PhotoSuite III SE and Photovista 1.3 with the new Epson PhotoPC 3000Z digital cameras in Europe and Asia. The Epson PhotoPC 3000Z captures 3.3 megapixel still photos, as well as including 16Mb of Flash memory, a 3x optical zoom, and USB high-speed transfer. The addition of MGI PhotoSuite III will provide photo editing, publishing, and sharing capabilities, while Photovista will allow users to create 360 degrees panoramas from their photos. The camera will cost US$999, and will be available in May. No other terms were disclosed.
"We have provided consumers with exactly what they've been asking for all along," said Koichi Kubota, General Manager, Branded Products Marketing and Sales, Seiko Epson Corp. "This is a digital camera that not only captures pictures at a higher quality than film-based cameras, but includes user friendly software that allows them to quickly and easily create projects, as well as touch-up, perfect, and share their photos online and offline. I think it's fantastic that we are able to bundle this amazing camera with the latest award-winning PhotoSuite product from MGI Software."

"The 3.3 megapixel camera is a major milestone and will propel the digital photography market further,"
said Anthony DeCristofaro, president and CEO, MGI Software. "Now that digital technology has surpassed the traditional 35mm technology, more and more people will go digital and MGI is in a strong position to reap the rewards. We will continue to work aggressively to ensure MGI's PhotoSuite line of products remains the package of choice for both OEMs and consumers."
MGI PhotoSuite III Platinum Edition is the latest version in MGI's line of photo software for home and business users. PhotoSuite III allows users of any experience level to get, edit, enhance, organize, present, share, and print photographs. Web integration connects them to a host of online imaging activities. Users can share photos, creations and slide shows through email, utilize online photo-finishing services, and automatically upload and share photos at a password protected web page for free using the GatherRound.com service.

MGI Photovista creates immersive Web panoramas. From sky to floor and through 360 degrees left and right, Photovista panoramas give Web visitors a picture that they can pan and zoom. The software requires no special hardware or training.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

Wednesday, May 24, 2000



PictureIQ signs up Evite.com website!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 12:16 EDT)


PictureIQ Corp. and Evite, Inc. today announced that Evite has integrated the PictureIQ Internet Service into it's online activity center. PictureIQ features give Evite.com visitors the ability to enhance and add creative effects to their digital pictures before adding them to their online invitations.

Evite.com includes a wide range of resources to help people plan and organize more than 140 different types of activities from start to finish. Consumers who want to plan an activity or get-together can visit Evite.com to find event ideas and listings, send Evite Invites, search local and online resources for goods and services, and set up reminders for important dates.
"At Evite, our goal is to provide people with the best tools and services available on the Internet in order to create a fast and easy experience online, to help them spend more quality time offline," said Josh Silverman, CEO of Evite, Inc. "We've integrated the PictureIQ Internet Service to give our users access to the best and easiest online image editing and creativity tools on the market."
After uploading a digital picture to Evite.com, the PictureIQ Internet Service provides a way to enhance and add creativity to the selected photo right at the Evite.com site. No software downloads or plug-ins are necessary. By clicking on an "Add Special Effects" button, Evite.com users have access to PictureIQ features such as one-touch photo fixing, rotation, cropping and special effects. Once optimized, the photo can be added to an invitation for quick emailing and posted on a private, personalized group Web page specific to the user's event.
"Evite.com has become a leader in the activity planning category by responding to and anticipating consumer needs," said Bill McCoy, President and CEO of PictureIQ Corporation. "User-supplied pictures make an online invitation much more interesting and eye catching, but sometimes consumers are held back from adding their own pictures because they need to be rotated, cropped, or were taken in poor lighting conditions. PictureIQ technology removes this barrier by giving consumers an easy way to fix these problems - from right within the Evite.com Web page."
Evite joins a list of companies that have chosen to use the PictureIQ Internet Service including Corbis, eframes.com, Jside.com, Ofoto and Zing.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

HP Cartogra to get SmashCast moviemaking!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 11:37 EDT)


SmashCast Inc. today announced plans to offer Web Movie-making capabilities on the Hewlett-Packard photo sharing Web site, Cartogra.com. Beginning in July, HP Cartogra.com photo sharing members will be able to produce and broadcast Web Movies using personal digital images and other licensed content.
"We're pleased to offer our HP Cartogra.com photo sharing members the ability to incorporate music and text with digital images, which we believe adds enormous value to the photo-sharing experience," said Dan Gilbert, general manager of HP's Digital Imaging Solutions. "These capabilities not only benefit our members, but any of our partners who utilize HP Cartogra photo sharing solutions for uploading and posting images to their Web sites.
Using the SmashCast online production studio, HP Cartogra.com photo sharing members will be able to add music, text, animation and other licensed content to digital images to produce and broadcast Web Movies. Members will be able to upload photos directly from their desktop, transfer photos from online albums, or select images from HP Cartogra photo sharing solutions' gallery of public photos. Each Web Movie will be hosted at a private URL, enabling users to invite family, friends or business associates back to HP Cartogra.com photo sharing to view it as often as they wish.
"Working with an industry leader like HP demonstrates the wide acceptance and excitement that the SmashCast technology is generating," said Dan Hobin, founder and CEO, SmashCast. "As a company we are committed to empowering our business partners with cutting-edge tools that provide compelling interactive experiences for their customers."
A private-label SmashCast application will be designed uniquely for HP Cartogra.com photo sharing...
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

Rocky, Bullwinkle and HP offer digital imaging prize!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 8:03 EDT)


Hewlett-Packard Company helps a squirrel and a moose save the day with products that figure prominently in the plot of the upcoming movie "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" from Universal Pictures and Tribeca Productions, an HP press release declares.

In one scene, Bullwinkle J. Moose, created for the film by Industrial Light and Magic, is "squeezed" into an HP PhotoSmart scanner, then appears on the HP Pavilion PC monitor and travels through the World Wide Web via e-mail in order to stop world domination.

As part of a co-marketing alliance with Universal Pictures, Inc., HP products, including an HP Pavilion PC, an HP PhotoSmart scanner and a color HP DeskJet printer, are an integral part of the arsenal that helps Rocky and Bullwinkle save the world from those villainous spies from Pottsylvania -- Boris Badenov (Jason Alexander), Natasha Fatale (Rene Russo), and their Fearless Leader (Robert De Niro) -- who have cracked the code and traveled from the two-dimensional animated world into the "real world."

In connection with the movie, HP also launched "HP Adventure," a 10-week, national online sweepstakes, at http://www.hp.com/hpadventure/. Through a series of six games on the site, featuring Boris, Natasha, the Fearless Leader, Rocky the flying squirrel and Bullwinkle, players get a closer look at the HP products featured in the movie. Players will be challenged to complete the mystery sentence and can register to win prizes, including a trip for four to Universal Studios Orlando, Fla. and an HP digital imaging system (HP Pavilion home PC, monitor, HP PhotoSmart printer, HP PhotoSmart digital camera, HP ink and HP papers). The site also features the QuickTime version of the movie trailer.

In addition, HP and Universal Pictures will host private movie screenings for children's charities to encourage children to learn about technology.
"We are thrilled to be a part of 'The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle' movie," said Amanda Tani, consumer relations manager for HP's North American Consumer Business Organization. "It's a great opportunity for HP to be a part of bringing a classic cartoon into the Digital Age of movie-making. We also hope that we can influence young minds to pursue an education in technology by showing them how technology can be used in a fun and entertaining manner."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Outpost.com, Wolf Camera ally!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 7:57 EDT)


Outpost.com has announced a major product expansion with it's launch of "Cameras by Wolf Camera" at the Outpost.com website. Wolf Camera is one of the nation's largest photography stores with over 700 retail locations in more than 30 states.

Through the expansion of its e-Business Services initiative, Outpost.com developed and will operate the new Wolf Camera online store. "Cameras By Wolf Camera at Outpost.com" will provide access to hundreds of photographic, video, and digital imaging products and services to over 700,000 existing customers and 4 million monthly visitors to the Website. Customers to the new store also receive Outpost.com's free delivery overnight policy and its 24x7 customer service. In addition, the partners will work closely together to bring Outpost's computer, electronics and other products to Wolf Camera customers.

Outpost.com customers now have access to film processing services via Wolf Camera including printing and developing of 35mm and 24mm APS films, photo reprints and enlargements and other photographic services. In addition, through Wolf Camera, Outpost.com customers will also be able to receive digitized images in a variety of formats, floppy disc, Picture CD, or direct upload to the Internet - with their film developing orders.
"We view the expansion of our Internet presence through our partnership with Outpost .com as a significant competitive advantage," said Chuck Wolf, president and Chief Executive Officer of Wolf Camera. "The partnership with Outpost.com offers us great presentation, as well as outstanding sales, marketing and fulfillment services. Most importantly, today's launch represents a win-win situation for both Wolf Camera and Outpost.com customers."

"'Cameras by Wolf Camera' represents the successful implementation of our business strategy of offering e-commerce services to traditional brick and mortar retailers,"
said Bob Bowman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Outposts.com. "Our ability to provide 'start to finish' e-commerce solutions in a variety of high-end verticals is a growing and increasingly important part of our business model."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

SanDisk summarises StoryBox!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 7:51 EDT)


SanDisk Corp. today announced a new consumer application for its CompactFlash memory card - digital picture frames. The first internet-connected picture frame to utilize the CompactFlash card, the StoryBox Smart Picture Frame, has been introduced by Weave Innovations.

The removable CompactFlash card, invented by SanDisk, will store images that can either be viewed one at a time or as a slide show, changing as often as the viewer dictates. The StoryBox Smart Picture Frame has the capability, due to an embedded controller, for the owner to remove the CompactFlash card from their digital camera, insert it into the frame and retrieve, transfer, print or share the images without the assistance of a personal computer.

StoryBox frames connect to the StoryBox Network through a normal telephone line. By using the frame and storing images on a CF card, users are able to send their pictures via the StoryBox Network to other StoryBox Smart Picture Frames as well as e-mail and photo sharing websites. Once connected, the StoryBox Network updates consumers' StoryBox Smart Picture Frames with personalized content from E!Online, MSNBC.com, SportsLine.com, Traffic Station and The Weather Channel.
Craig Rotbert, a SanDisk product manager, said, "The StoryBox Smart Picture Frame is an exciting product and gives the CompactFlash standard another unique product win. More than 260 other products have already been introduced with CompactFlash card slots including digital cameras, handheld computers, MP3 Internet players, printers, vehicle navigation systems, pay phones and medical monitors. We expect that over time, these digital picture frames will become very popular and will accelerate the sale of SanDisk CompactFlash cards."

"The CompactFlash design provides the StoryBox Smart Picture Frame with two key competitive advantages,"
said Mark Hoffman, senior director of marketing and customer service, Weave Innovations, Inc. "By incorporating CompactFlash in the StoryBox design, digital camera owners can take their CompactFlash cards right out of the camera and put it into the StoryBox to instantly view and share pictures with friends and family. Also because of the design decision, our product is the only internet enabled picture frame that can send and print digital pictures without the aid of a PC."
Kodak branded StoryBox Smart Picture Frames will be available at retail this summer with a suggested retail price of $299.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Kodak licenses QuickTime - for digicam 'device'?
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 7:45 EDT)


Eastman Kodak Company has announced that it has licensed Apple's QuickTime for future Kodak digital cameras currently in development, according to an Apple press release. The licensing agreement allows Kodak to build and sell digital cameras that let users quickly and easily create video clips in the QuickTime format.
"The ability to use multimedia files in the Macintosh or Windows operating environments was an important consideration," said Willy Shih, senior vice president, Eastman Kodak Company, and president, Digital & Applied Imaging. "QuickTime is established, broadly used and, most important, easy to use. These are key characteristics when you want to make technology broadly useful and fun for consumers."

"QuickTime is the highest-quality and easiest to use software for sharing video, audio and digital images with friends and family over the Internet,"
said Philip Schiller, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "More than 50 million copies of the QuickTime 4 player have been distributed to Mac and Windows users worldwide and now we're seeing QuickTime extend beyond the desktop and into mainstream consumer devices, with Kodak taking the lead."
QuickTime supports full motion video and audio capture, editing, and playback. In addition, it works in both the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

An intriguing article from MacCentral notes that a MacWeek interview with Kodak and Apple elicited the following comment from Kodak's Joe Runde: "I would characterize it more as a 'device' than a 'camera'. QuickTime is a key part of it and it's going to be a cool product." Interesting indeed!
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

Conexant sampling 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensor!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 7:38 EDT)


Conexant Systems Inc. has introduced what it terms "the industry's first 'front-end' CMOS megapixel image sensor", according to a press release. In combination with new acquisition Sierra Imaging's 'back-end' digital image processors and image management software, the new CMOS image sensor will offer digital camera manufacturers the industry's first complete imaging solution for entry-level 1.3-megapixel digital still cameras and dual-mode PC cameras, COnexant notes.
"Our new megapixel sensor, along with our turnkey camera reference platform, enables digital camera OEMs to quickly bring to market $150 megapixel digital still cameras that consume less power, offer higher integration and reduce system costs," said Prasan Pai, division director of marketing for CMOS products in Conexant's Personal Imaging Division.
Conexant's CX20450 image sensor uses the company's high-volume, mixed-signal CMOS process that increases sensor sensitivity and reduces noise. The CX20450 is the first 1.3-megapixel sensor that supports 27 frames-per-second (fps) video operation -- compared with competitive products which Conexant states only support video frame rates of 9 fps. The sensor uses a 5.6-micron pixel, which allows for the use of industry standard near half-inch optical format lenses.

The sensor also features an integrated 10-bit analog-to-digital converter, all timing circuitry and operates from a single 3.3-volt power source, as well as progressive scan output, standard color filters and microlenses that are preferred for digital still cameras.

The CX20450 CMOS image sensor is sampling now, and is available for $42.50 in OEM quantities of 1,000.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Conexant acquires Sierra Imaging!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 7:21 EDT)


Conexant Systems Inc. has announced that it has agreed to acquire Sierra Imaging Inc., of Scotts Valley, Calif.

Founded in 1994, Sierra develops software and silicon digital image-processing solutions for the digital still camera market. Through the acquisition, Conexant intends to offer a combination of Sierra's "back-end" digital image processors and image management software, together with Conexant's "front-end" complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors to offer digital camera manufacturers what it calls "the industry's first complete camera solution".

The Sierra team will join Conexant's Personal Imaging Division, which provides semiconductor solutions for image capture, processing, communications and output. Sierra will continue to operate in Scotts Valley to provide best-in-class digital camera solutions that can be leveraged into other emerging imaging markets.

Sierra's imaging products include digital image-processing chips, real-time digital signal processor (DSP) and reduced instruction set computer (RISC)-based firmware for camera image processing and control and Web-enabled image management software.

The company's third-generation digital image processing chip, Raptor II, is faster than general-purpose DSPs by a factor of 10, features an "instant-on" operating environment and throughput rates of up to 3.3 megapixels per second.

The scaleable and programmable device incorporates high processing speed and flexibility, supports multiple storage media and display types, and works with CMOS and charge coupling device (CCD) sensors as large as 16 million pixels.

Sierra also recently introduced Image Expert 2000(TM) image management software which provides core imaging functionality that people use on a daily basis such as e-mailing, printing, sharing, building Web pages and uploading images to on-line print and sharing services.
"The acquisition of Sierra Imaging will allow us to aggressively penetrate multiple markets with total OEM customer solutions," said Kevin Strong, senior vice president and general manager of Conexant's Personal Imaging Division."Sierra possesses an outstanding team, an industry-leading portfolio of products and technologies and a new base of top-tier digital camera customers for Conexant. Last year we enhanced our multifunction peripheral systems capability with the acquisition of DeviceGuys. This latest transaction rounds out our camera systems competency and uniquely positions Conexant to become the leader in both of our core imaging markets."

"We look forward to joining with Conexant to offer 'best-in-class' digital imaging solutions,"
said Wendell Balc, Sierra Imaging president and chief executive officer. "We are particularly excited about taking advantage of Conexant's imaging expertise, complementary communications solutions, manufacturing strengths and global sales force.

This will complement Sierra's relationships with the world's leading digital camera companies such as Agfa, Eastman Kodak, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Polaroid and Toshiba Corp."
Conexant will issue approximately 1.25 million shares to acquire all the shares and options of Sierra Imaging. The all-stock transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is scheduled to close within approximately 30 days, subject to customary closing conditions.

The transaction will utilize the purchase method of accounting and is expected to be accretive by Conexant's fiscal third quarter of 2001. The Sierra product portfolio is expected to generate an annualized revenue run-rate of more than $50 million in fiscal Q4 of 2001.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Tuesday, May 23, 2000



BellSouth, SnapFish to offer co-branded service!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, May 23, 2000 - 9:07 EDT)


Snapfish.com Corp. today announced a strategic partnership with BellSouth. Together the companies will develop a co-branded online service to offer BellSouth customers Snapfish.com's free photo processing, printing and online sharing in conjunction with existing BellSouth Internet Services offerings.

BellSouth, which holds an equity stake in Snapfish.com, will offer its customers free access to the Snapfish.com photo services when the co-branded site launches this summer. Following closely on the heels of BellSouth's launch of its national portal, BellSouth-MyWay (bellsouth.myway.com), this agreement represents a major emphasis on providing value-added Internet offerings to BellSouth's current and future customers.

Snapfish.com is 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.com develops the pictures, prints them on Kodak paper and digitizes them for free. The images are then made available in a password-protected online "shoebox," where customers can create albums, share them online with friends, and order reprints and enlargements. Snapfish.com also offers digital camera users a secure solution for uploading, sharing and printing their images.
"BellSouth continues to make great strides to penetrate the Internet space by continually enhancing our customers' online experience and the power of e-Interaction," said Alice McCall, vice president, BellSouth Consumer Strategy and Marketing. "BellSouth customers will have access to the free Snapfish.com service to print, store and share their memories with family and friends."

"BellSouth is a perfect partner for Snapfish.com's complete photo service,"
Suneet Wadhwa, Snapfish.com co-founder and vice president, business development said. "Both companies provide convenient, cost-effective solutions for millions of families who use the Internet to keep in touch, share their memories and run efficient households."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

Sony ships UP-DP10 photo lab!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, May 23, 2000 - 9:00 EDT)


Sony UP-DP10 Home Photo Lab


A press release from Sony Corp. today notes that it is now shipping its UP-DP10 home photo lab. The UP-DP10 is a 4" x 6" dye-sub printer which gives borderless laminated matte, glossy or textured prints and features either USB (Mac/PC) or Parallel connectivity. The UP-DP10 takes 85 seconds per print, and costs $389. A 25-pack of paper for the unit costs $14.95...
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

Polaroid preparing digicam/MP3 player combo!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, May 23, 2000 - 8:28 EDT)


Advanced Technology Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Score One, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of printed circuit boards, announced today that it has received initial orders to manufacture the PCBs for Polaroid's new 2-in-1 multifunction digital camera/MP3 players. The initial order exceeds US$1 million, and the company anticipates it will commence delivery by the end of June 2000.
"We believe this order, from a proven leader in the electronics and information technology sectors, demonstrates that our products are gaining added recognition in the new niche markets of the electronics industry," said C.W. (Roy) Ho, Chairman and President of Score One. He said that with the recent World Trade Organization recognition of China and the country's imminent "Most Favored Nation" status in the United States, the company expects an influx of accounts with other U.S. companies. He added that Advanced Technology anticipates manufacturing PCBs for other of Polaroid's products once the initial order is filled. "By capitalizing on strengthening trade relations, our experienced management team and tight quality control practices, we intend to expand the business to paramount levels in the new IT era," Ho added.

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Lexar's PrintRoom, CompUSA ally!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, May 23, 2000 - 8:10 EDT)


Lexar Media today announced that it will extend its in-store product partnership with computer retailer CompUSA to include on-line photo-finishing services. PrintRoom.com, a subsidiary of Lexar Media, has been selected by CompUSA to provide digital photo print services for CompUSA customers. The deal gives CompUSA customers who purchase from Lexar's full line of USB enabled CompactFlash digital film products immediate access to a range of online photographic services and promotions tailored to CompUSA shoppers.

A customized software solution will be developed to allow users of all CompUSA digital imaging products including digital cameras, scanners, photo printers and digital film to view, edit, enhance, upload and print their images.

Lexar's digital film sold at CompUSA will include an image viewer software program that allows end users to view their images and send them to PrintRoom.com to share with friends and family and obtain high-quality prints. Images sent to PrintRoom.com are processed in the Company's own lab using the latest silver-halide digital printing technology and photographic paper, giving CompUSA's customers greater flexibility in printing options.
"This is an exciting opportunity to work with CompUSA to provide a wide range of digital photography products from Lexar Media as well as the convenient, high-quality prints that PrintRoom.com offers," said Jack Peterson, Vice President of Consumer Products at Lexar Media. "CompUSA's position as a leading digital imaging retailer and their incorporation of our high performance digital film cards into CompUSA's product line is an acknowledgement to the strength of our products and the exploding growth of the digital camera and online photo-finishing market."
Additionally, CompUSA will demonstrate Lexar's digital photography-focused website on its in-store digital camera information stations which will provide educational as well as tutorial content for in-store customers and associates.
"We are excited about our ongoing partnership with Lexar Media," said John Lostroscio, Vice President and General Manager of Merchandising for CompUSA. "The combination of CompUSA's retail expertise, customer service and broad product selection along with Lexar's brand of fast, high-quality digital film offers tremendous added value to our digital camera customers."
With PrintRoom.com, photographers can upload their digital images, view them, enhance them with an "auto-correct" feature, then select the images to be printed. Available print sizes vary from wallet, 4" x 6", 5" x 7" and 8" x 10".

PrintRoom.com also 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 prints of their own.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

Monday, May 22, 2000



Epson announces Stylus Photo 2000P printer!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 22, 2000 - 13:02 EDT)


A press release from Epson America Inc. today announces its new Stylus Photo 2000P inkjet printer. The 2000P uses Epson's Archival Inks and Papers to produce lightfast prints that Epson claims last "about four times longer than the most lightfast color photographic paper". The printer has a resolution of 1440 x 720 dots per inch (dpi) using Epson's Advanced Micro Piezo technology, Variable Sized MicroDroplet Technology and Acuphoto Halftoning. The printer can accomodate paper up to 13" x 44", as well as marginless cut-sheet or roll paper with 4", 8.3" or 13" width.

The printer is bundled with a roll paper holder and a pack of Epson media... An Epson printer driver offers automatic image resizing, watermark previewing, poster printing and photo enhance options to create sepia tones and autocorrect images.

The printer features USB, parallel or Ethernet (optional) connectivity, and is compatible with Mac, PC and the Epson Stylus RIP due to ship this fall. Epson's Intellidge ink cartridge, which features a memory chip that tracks ink usage (and also prevents refilling of ink cartridges) is used.

The printer features a black and silver chassis, and will be available in mid-June for $899. It is designed for use with Epson's archival inks and Premium Semigloss Photo Paper, Premium Luster Photo Paper, Archival Matte Paper or Watercolor Paper. Epson also intends to release a cotton canvas and cotton rag fine art media later this year...

Note from Dave: Depending on the color gamut they've achieved, this could be truly incredible news: Epson's claiming lifetimes of 200 years under normal fluorescent lighting, before fading. The key here is pigment-based inks (with solid pigment particles, rather than liquid dyes). Pigmented inkjet inks have been around for a while, but they have by and large had much smaller color gamuts (range of reproducible colors) than the dye-based inks generally used. Epson claims that they've now achieved a color gamut very close to that of their dye-based inks, only using pigments instead. If this proves to be the case, inkjet prints could actually become the *preferred* medium for high-quality art prints, rather than photographic emulsions. - The new Epson ink/media combinations have projected lifetimes as much as four times the longest-lived photographic prints. Truly incredible! (But of course, the proof is in the print so to speak, and we'll have to see just how wide a color gamut they really do reproduce...)

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

LexMark announces Z52 inkjet business edition!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 22, 2000 - 12:50 EDT)


Lexmark International, Inc. today introduced a new business edition of the Lexmark Z52 Color Jetprinter with a three-year warranty for $199. The Z52 Color Jetprinter, announced earlier this month, is the world's first inkjet printer to deliver 2,400 x 1,200 dots per inch (dpi) resolution in both black and color on all paper types. In addition to delivering the industry's highest print resolution, it offers speeds up to 15 pages per minute and ease of use for all types of businesses.
"Over the last few weeks, customer feedback on the new Z52 has been outstanding," said Paul Curlander, Lexmark's chairman and CEO. "Our business customers have told us that the affordability, print quality and reliability of the Z52 are ideal for their needs. The Z52 Business Edition sets a new benchmark for personal business printing."
With an estimated street price of $199, the Lexmark Z52 Color Jetprinter Business Edition costs up to 50 percent less than an entry-level laser printer. The low acquisition cost and three-year warranty period provides a significant value to businesses with personal printing needs for black and white and color printing. The Lexmark warranty exceeds the typical one year standard warranty period on inkjet printers in the Z52's class by two years. According to Curlander, the extended warranty reflects the reliability of the Z52 Color Jetprinter, a printer supporting a 2,000 page per month duty cycle.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

500,000th Digita camera ships!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 22, 2000 - 12:42 EDT)


FlashPoint Technology Inc., creator of Digita, the operating system used in some digital cameras, announced that more than 500,000 Digita-enabled digital cameras and printers are now in use by businesses, professionals and digital imaging enthusiasts worldwide. FlashPoint attributes the growth to the Digita OS's power and flexibility, which allows third party programmers to easily develop new applications and scripts that drive a new market for in-camera software solutions.

Manufacturers that now use Digita include Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, Minolta and Pentax. Analysts expect intelligent, software-enabled cameras to ignite sales of digital cameras over the next several years. Worldwide shipments will top 12 million units by 2001, and as many as 20 million units will ship in 2002.

The enthusiasm grows as creative software applications and scripting solutions arrive from a rapidly growing, independent developer community. Solutions now available include file management, integrated databasing, web posting, slideshow and GPS-enhanced incident reporting programs, as well as applications that turn a camera into an electronic distance-measuring device or even a video game station.
"By crossing the half-million mark, FlashPoint is rapidly building momentum for next-generation intelligent imaging products that help photographers do more," said Stephen Saylor, executive vice president and general manager at FlashPoint. "Global industry leaders who license Digita add power, flexibility and extended functionality to their newest digital cameras and printers."

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Fuji hits Times Square with new ads!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 22, 2000 - 12:39 EDT)


Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Inc. announced today that it will feature two thirty-second creative spots on the NASDAQ screen located at 4 Times Square in the heart of New York City's Times Square. The Fujifilm spots, which will appear 85 times per day, are scheduled to run in three flights beginning May 22 through the end of the year.

The first ad, "Pictures," highlights fun, everyday images along with icons of Fujifilm's camera and film lines, including the FinePix 4700 ZOOM and FinePix 1400 ZOOM digital cameras; 24mm Nexia Advanced Photo System and 35mm Superia film; QuickSnap one-time-use camera; Nexia 320ix Z 24mm Advanced Photo System and the Zoom Date 70 35mm cameras.

The second spot, "Blimp," features the widely-recognized Fujifilm blimp high on the top of the screen, trailing everyday pictures behind it while icons of Fujifilm's broad range of products spin on and off the screen below.
"We are excited to be back in Times Square - the Crossroads of the World - where thousands of people visit every day," said Joan Rutherford, Vice President of Advertising and Marketing Communications, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Inc. "Our ads encourage people to take everyday pictures by showcasing the range of Fujifilm products all under the umbrella `Get the Picture' theme in a highly visual manner."
The eight-story cylindrical NASDAQ sign, which wraps 90 feet around the recently completed Conde Nast Building on the corner of 43rd Street and Broadway, is approximately the size of three basketball courts, displays more than 16.7 million distinct colors and can be divided into eight simultaneously operated screens. The NASDAQ sign is the largest, most colorful and technologically-advanced display among the myriad of signs in Times Square.

The Fujifilm "Get The Picture" ads were produced by Publicis, New York. Creative credits include, President, Chief Creative Officer, Tony DeGregorio, and Associate Creative Director, Jim Basirico, both of Publicis.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Canon designs 10x optical zoom with stabilisation for digicams!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 22, 2000 - 12:36 EDT)


Canon U.S.A., Inc. announced today the development of the industry's first ever digital camera-use 10x zoom lens equipped with lens-shift optical image-stabilizing technology. The company will use the lens unit in future Canon-brand digital camera models and intends to market it to other manufacturers.

Generally speaking, zoom lenses offering higher zoom ratios are more susceptible to image blur caused by camera shake, increasing the expectation of zoom lenses equipped with image stabilization capability. Canon began research and development in the area of image stabilizing technology early on, developing an optical image stabilizing system for video camcorders employing a Vari-angle Prism in 1992, and using the shift method in 1998. Both are featured in Canon-brand video camcorders. Furthermore, in 1995 the company developed a shift-method optical image stabilizing system for SLR cameras, which was incorporated into interchangeable lenses for Canon's lineup of EOS model AF SLR cameras.

The new shift-method optical Image Stabilizer equipped 10x zoom lens adapts technology previously employed in video camcorders and SLR cameras for use in digital cameras. The lens's image performance and 10x zoom ratio are made possible through the introduction of a new mechanical structure, which makes possible the precision movement of the correcting lens group, and a new optical design compatible with high resolving capability.

Many of the video camcorders now available utilize an electronic means of image stabilization, which results in degradation of image resolution and changes in angle of view. Furthermore, such systems do not correct for image shake when capturing still images.

By contrast, Canon's newly developed shift-method Image Stabilizer lens, which corrects for image shake optically, results in no image resolution degradation or variations in angle of view, and delivers effective image-stabilizing performance during exposure for each and every still image that is captured.

Compared with image stabilizing technology using a Vari-angle prism, the Canon optical lens-shift Image Stabilizer realizes a compact size and a reduced number of components, which makes possible cost savings and contributes to products that are compact and lightweight.

The company intends to actively market this lens unit as a key device to other digital camera manufacturers.
Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Sony DSC-F505V images online!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 22, 2000 - 9:46 EDT)


While we're still a few days away from our full review of Sony's new DSC-F505V digicam, incessant email pummeling by readers has led us to post sample images both to the Comparometer(tm) as well as to a thumbnail index page, showing ALL the test shots we've taken so far (with the exception of the uncompressed TIFFs). (See Ulysses, all those emails *did* have an effect!) As we reported in our First Look review of the F505, although it only has 2.66 million effective pixels available, it actually holds up very well in comparisons with the current crop of 3 megapixel cameras. Now you can check this out for yourself via the Comparometer(tm). The thumbnail index page has links to samples of most of the image we shot. Be warned though, that the thumbnail page takes a loong time to load, due to the 145 image thumbnails that it contains: Even at *very* low JPEG quality for the thumbnails, it still takes a long time to come up. People interested in low light performance of the F505V and who are also familiar with our naming convention will also find a range of interesting low-light samples reference on the thumbnail page as well. Stay tuned: We hope to have the full review of the F505V posted by the end of this week!
Source: Thumbnail index page to F505V test shots

Nikon Coolpix 990 low-light samples posted!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 22, 2000 - 8:51 EDT)


Alert reader Bjoern Roy pointed out in an email last week that we hadn't yet posted the low-light test images shot with the Coolpix 990. Whoops! (Thanks Bjoern.) - We'd initially shot the low light tests with a prototype unit, and the results showed a *lot* of noise, so there was no point in posting them. We subsquently forgot that one missing detail, and never updated the pictures page for the 990, despite the fact that we had gone ahead and reshot all the low-light images. We've now posted links to all the low light tests, shot under light levels ranging from 8 footcandles down to 1/16 footcandle, and ISO ratings of 100, 200, and 400. Pretty impressive! - Check the 990 picture index page itself for links to the test images, and stay tuned for Dave's written analysis of the resulting images shortly.
Source: Imaging Resource picture-index page for Nikon Coolpix 990

Gadget Squad posts Sony S70 preview!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 22, 2000 - 8:31 EDT)


We received an email this morning from Alan Dang, pointing us to his web site "Gadget Squad", one which we'd not come across before. Alan sent news of a new digital camera preview he's just completed, for Sony's DSC-S70... There's no conclusion thus far, but plenty of info about the camera as well as a picture gallery with sample photos from it. Check it out!
Source: Gadget Squad Sony DSC-S70 preview

Full Review of Olympus C-3030 Zoom Posted!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 22, 2000 - 7:34 EDT)


We're gradually catching up on our own review backlog, the latest fruit of our labors is a full review of the new Olympus C-3030 Zoom digicam. This is a high-end 3 megapixel model, extending the design of the very popular C-2020 Zoom into the 3 megapixel arena. Along the way, Olympus has also added sound to the movies (hooray), allowed TIFF recording at any supported image size, and tweaked several user-interface parameters. The new camera is also very fast, thanks to a huge 32 megabyte internal buffer memory. The net result is a very strong offering at the 3 megapixel level, clearly continuing to challenge Nikon at the high end of that market. If you liked the 2020, you should love the 3030. (We use a 2020 for all the product shots on this site, have to admit to being sorely tempted by the new 3030!) The 3030 review still needs a couple of finishing touches from Dave, including the Test Results summary (all the relevant info is on the Picture Index page though), and an analysis of the low-light test shots. These should be done & posted pretty quickly however. Read the review for full details! (Stay tuned later today for more sample images from other cameras, too.)
Source: Imaging Resource review of Olympus C-3030 Zoom

Steve climbs the review mountain!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, May 22, 2000 - 7:02 EDT)


Our friend Steve over at the excellent Steve's Digicams website has been busy recently, to put it mildly. After recovering from a computer catastrophe that took out a lot of his work, Steve has not only recompleted his Fuji FinePix 4700 Zoom and Toshiba PDR-M70 reviews, but followed them up with the Sony Mavica FD-95 First Look, Canon PowerShot S100 First Look and the Olympus C-3000 Zoom User Review.

Steve summarised the three user reviews as follows:

Toshiba PDR-M70
"I see the PDR-M70 as a well-armed soldier in the three megapixel camera battle. It has plenty of features, lots of speed and better than average image quality. Size and weight considered it is the kind of camera you can take along on all-day outings without fatigue. In automatic mode it is very easy to operate and qualifies as a "no brainer" point-n-shoot that anyone should be able to use. For those who feel like playing with knobs and dials, there's plenty of manual camera features to stimulate your creative side. I think this camera will sell well against the current offerings from Canon, Fuji, Olympus and Nikon."
Fuji FinePix 4700 Zoom
"The bottom line is that this camera is small and rugged and capable of taking incredibly detailed pictures. Is it a 4.3 megapixel camera, no -- but it does create images equal to that of the current 2.x to 3.x megapixel cameras. You won't be dissatisfied by its image quality when printed on photo printers like the new Epson Stylus 870 or 1270. The printed results are nothing short of spectacular when you consider that they came from a camera that is only slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes. Battery life is not terrific but you can always carry another pair of batteries with you just as you do with any other digicam. The zoom lens is sharp with only moderate barrel distortion and does respectable closeups down to about eight inches. Autofocus is quick and accurate in all but the poorest of lighting conditions and there's a manual focus option to fall back on if needed. For those looking for "king" of the pocket cameras -- the Fuji FinePix 4700 Zoom is the one."
Olympus C-3000 Zoom
"The C-3000 Zoom is a C-3030 Zoom without the large (and expensive) 32MB DRAM buffer. Unless you want or need the 3.5fps burst mode of the C-3030 Zoom, the C-3000 Zoom has all the rest of the features for several hundred dollars less. Outside, the only difference is the body is dark gray where the C-3030 Zoom is black. Inside is the same 3.34 megapixel imager and robust processing firmware."


Friday, May 19, 2000



Numerous Nikon D1 and Fuji FinePix S1 Pro samples!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, May 19, 2000 - 19:00 EDT)


Japanese websites PC Watch and Digital Camera Express have posted numerous sample photos from the Nikon D1 and Fuji FinePix S1 Pro digital cameras between them over the last few days... Here's a summary:

PC Watch Fuji FinePix S1 Pro and Nikon D1 comparison
  • 9 ISO 400 images from the S1 Pro, shot in normal, basic and fine mode at 1440 x 960, 2304 x 1536 and 3040 x 2016 pixels.
  • S1 Pro ISO comparison, ISO 320, 400, 800 and 1600.
  • Nikon D1 comparison images, Basic, Normal and Fine.
  • All S1 Pro images taken with a beta camera and auto white balance


PC Watch Fuji FinePix S1 Pro sample images
  • Three outdoor pictures
  • 6 indoor pictures
  • All pictures taken with a beta camera, auto white balance, at a resolution of 3040 x 2016 pixels


DCEX.Net FinePix S1 Pro first impression
  • Teddy Bear: 1/99 sec, F8, ISO1600, +0.7EV compensation, no flash. Hurried photo...
  • Lady with Blue Shirt: 1/108 sec, F2.8, ISO320, flash on. Slightly overexposed...
  • Wedding Dress 1: 1/108 sec, F8.0, ISO320, Aperture Priority AE, Flash On, +0.7EV compensation.
  • Still Life: 1/108 sec, F8.0, ISO320, Aperture Priority AE, Flash On.
  • Wedding Dress 2: 1/256 sec, F2.8, ISO320, Aperture Priority AE, +0.7EV, Tungsten white balance.
  • Wedding Dress 3: 1/197 sec, F2.8, ISO320, Aperture Priority AE, +0.7EV compensation

    SmartMedia gets colorful!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Friday, May 19, 2000 - 17:11 EDT)


    Bitstream's colorful SmartMediaAn unusual image on the excellent digitalcamera.gr.jp website caught our eye, and prompted us into a little translating today... It turns out that a Japanese manufacturer by the name of Bitstream has come up with a variation on the SmartMedia theme - SmartMedia cards customisable with your own pictures, logos and artwork! The Bitstream SmartMedia cards are made of clear polycarbonate plastic, and can be made in quantities as low as 100 pieces. They're going on sale in Japan this month, and have only one small catch - they can only be made in capacities up to 32MB - presumably the chips used for the 64MB cards won't fit in the packaging...

    Whilst this might sound like a thoroughly bizarre idea initially, it strikes us that it might be rather nice to have a selection of differently colored/patterned cards - it'd certainly help when you reached in your pocket trying to remember which card you'd already filled, and which was empty... Or perhaps cards customised with your own name and address, to try and ensure that if you lose one they come back to you? ;)
    Source: Bitstream SmartMedia web page
    Thanks to digitalcamera.gr.jp / Kumio Yamada for this item!

    Thursday, May 18, 2000



    News from PC Photo Review!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 18, 2000 - 16:56 EDT)


    An email from our friend Alexander Ismail at PCPhotoREVIEW.com notes that the site now includes a Sample Photo Gallery of photos taken by
    various digital cameras. Each photo lists resolution and compression level to showcase the quality of the camera. The gallery is at: http://www.pcphotoreview.com/gallery/cameras/

    Until 5/28/00, PCPhotoREVIEW.com is running a contest for photo submissions to the Sample Photo Gallery. The main prize is a $500 gift certificate. To enter, visit http://www.pcphotoreview.com/contests/samplephoto.htm

    Kodak and PC Connection cooperate!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 18, 2000 - 16:00 EDT)


    PC Connection Inc. and Kodak Professional today announced that PC Connection will serve as the first computer direct marketer of a wide range of Kodak's high-end, digital imaging products. The products are available immediately from PC Connection and are aimed at customers who require high-quality imaging products for corporate and professional applications.

    As part of the agreement, PC Connection will carry Kodak Professional photo printers, thermal printers, film scanners, large format printers, and high-end digital SLR cameras. PC Connection is marketing the new products on-line and in print promotions. PC Connection's web site features a Kodak showcase located at http://www.pcconnection.com/kodak, with complete product information on the entire range of Kodak Professional products that the company carries. In addition, many of the these products were featured in a special section of PC Connection's latest catalog, which was distributed to more than 3.5 million businesses and individuals earlier this month.
    "We are very pleased to be authorized as the first computer direct marketer carrying Kodak Professional's latest top-of-the-line digital imaging products," said Jerry McDougal, PC Connection's Vice President of Product Management. "Today's marketplace offers greater opportunities to effectively use and distribute high-quality photos, images and marketing materials. Kodak Professional's suite of products is aimed at serving this growing and technologically savvy customer base."

    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    DPReview gets hands-on with the new Canons!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 18, 2000 - 15:10 EDT)


    We received an email overnight from Phil Askey, editor of the excellent Digital Photography Review website, pointing out something we completely missed in our rush to get news posted ASAP of Canon's two new cameras yesterday. Believe it or not, Phil's managed to get hands-on with not one but both new cameras already! Hop on over to the Digital Photography Review for a look at what Phil thought of the new cameras - there's no conclusions or sample photos yet but certainly plenty to fire up your interest... Congratulations are due to Phil for the scoop (us, jealous? Never! :)

    Imacon bundles Altamira software!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 18, 2000 - 15:05 EDT)


    Altamira Group has established a formal bundling and marketing agreement with Fremont, Calif.-based Imacon, maker of drum scanners targeted at the professional graphic arts and photography markets.

    Imacon will be including a full version of Altamira Group's Genuine Fractals 2.0 software with its line of FlexTight scanners. In addition to receiving Genuine Fractals 2.0 with their Imacon FlexTight scanner, Imacon customers have the option to upgrade to Genuine Fractals PrintPro for a special price of $139. Genuine Fractals PrintPro is Altamira's plug-in with enhanced CMYK and CIE-Lab capability for professional graphics users.
    "With Altamira Genuine Fractals, our users will be able to further expand Imacon's capacity and create very large and high quality output that they previously could not. The value-add versus cost advantage is tremendous," stated Andy Chang, President of Imacon.
    Genuine Fractals 2.0 is consists of scaling software which allows graphic artists, photographers and other digital image users to work in small- to medium-sized original files and create higher resolution output. Users can increase the size of an image beyond capture resolution without significantly degrading the image quality.
    "With Imacon's complete range of high-quality, high-value drum scanners and Altamira's award-winning graphics software, imaging professionals will benefit from greater convenience, improved quality, and increased affordability in their imaging solutions," said Dennis Aubrey, CEO of Altamira Group.

    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Altamira showing at Digital Photo 2000 Expo!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 18, 2000 - 14:57 EDT)


    Altamira Group is showcasing its Genuine Fractals resolution-on-demand software at the May 17-20 Digital Photo 2000 Expo and Conference at the Rosemont Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., according to a press release today. It will be demonstrating scaling technology that allows photographic images to be rendered to virtually any output size from a single low- to medium-resolution digital file.

    Altamira Group will be leading a number of industry panels and discussions. Dennis Aubrey, CEO of Altamira Group, will be speaking about the future of image compression technology. Charles Mauzy, Altamira Group's vice president of business development, will be hosting a panel discussion titled "Matching Analog, a Digital Challenge for News Photography." Director of business development, Bob Goldstein, will be discussing "digital photography workflow for the Internet" and artist-in-residence Vincent Versace will be participating in a panel about "digital capture and large format output."
    "In a world where more and more is demanded of digital imagery, users require technology that adds control and flexibility to their assets," said Aubrey. "In the past, Compression has been the primary reason for image encoding. In the future, encoding will enable an entirely new range of operations that will extend the agility of images in network, device and desktop environments."

    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Wednesday, May 17, 2000



    Canon announces tiny 2.02 megapixel digicam!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Wednesday, May 17, 2000 - 12:11 EDT)


    As well as the impressive-looking new EOS D30 SLR digital camera announced by Canon today, the company has also announced another new camera which, depending on your location, will go by two different names... The tiny 2.02 megapixel, 2x optical zoom camera will go by the name "Canon PowerShot S100 DIGITAL ELPH" in the USA, Canada and Taiwan, or by the name "DIGITAL IXUS" in Europe and everywhere else save for Japan. (Canon's BeBit website doesn't mention what the camera will be called in Japan)... For the sake of simplicity, we'll stick with calling the camera the PowerShot S100.

    What looks to be the S100's most striking feature is what Canon terms its "ultra high density packaging"... Simply put, this thing is tiny, with dimensions of 87mm by 57mm x 26.9mm excluding protrusions. Canon notes that the S100 is virtually the same size as its ELPH/IXUS APS film cameras. To get this size, Canon completely redesigned the interior of the camera, and optimized its lens design to make the entire lens fit inside a 20mm circle when retracted. A white light-emitting diode was used for the backlight to the liquid crystal display unit, giving a display that varies between a minimum of 3.8mm and a maximum of 4.9mm in thickness... The battery was changed to a compact NB-1L Lithium Ion type, and even the flash was changed - a smaller light guide flash again helped keep size down.

    Here's the full specifications of the new camera:

    Canon PowerShot S100 DIGITAL ELPH digital camera


    Canon PowerShot S100 DIGITAL ELPH
    • 2.02 megapixels effective. Uses a 1/2.7 inch 2.11 megapixel CCD to give final image sizes of 1600 x 1200 or 640 x 480 pixels. Compression of Super-Fine or Fine at 1600 x 1200, Fine only at 640 x 480.
    • 2x optical zoom lens, F2.8 - F4.0, 5.4 - 10.8mm (equivalent to 35 - 70mm on a 35mm camera). 2x or 4x digital zoom. Focuses 57cm to infinity, or 10cm (wide angle) / 27cm (telephoto) to 57cm in Macro mode. Infinity focus can be locked.
    • Optical viewfinder (82% field of view, horizontal and vertical) and 1.5" low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT LCD display (100% field of view).
    • Type-I CompactFlash storage (8MB card bundled)
    • Built-in flash with Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye Reduction and Slow-Synchro modes. Flash range is 27cm to 3m (wide angle) / 2m (telephoto).
    • ISO rating of 100
    • Center-weighted metering
    • TTL 3 point AiAF auto focusing
    • TTL Program AE auto exposure. +/- 2.0EV exposure compensation in 1/3EV steps.
    • TTL Auto/Manual white balance (daylight, cloudy, tungsten and fluorescent presets)
    • Combination mechanical and electronic shutter. Shutter speeds of 1 to 1/1500 second. 1 second shutter speed is for slow-synchro mode and manual mode with flash set to "Off".
    • Capable of 2 images per second, unspecified number of images, with LCD display off in manual or black and white mode. Normally 1.7 seconds per photo.
    • Black and White, Panorama Stitch Assist modes
    • Single or Multi (9) image replay modes. Slideshow mode. 2.5x playback zoom.
    • Single or all image delete. Images can be protected and rotated in-camera.
    • Complies with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) and DPOF (Digital Print Order Format).
    • 10 second self-timer
    • Powers down after 3 minutes in shooting mode or 5 minutes in play mode if camera is not used. Auto-power off can be disabled, in which case camera will turn off LCD display if not used for 3 minutes.
    • USB (mac/PC compatible) and Video Out connectivity
    • Power from NB-1L battery pack or CA-PS300 Compact Power Adapter (with DR-300 DC Coupler). NB-1L battery and CB-2L charger bundled; AC adapter kit optional. 50 minutes of playback, 85 shots with LCD display, or 270 shots without LCD display (1 in 4 shots with flash) per charge.
    • Operating environment: Temperature 0 - 40 degrees C (32 - 104 degrees F), Humidity 10 - 90 %
    • Dimensions of 87.0 x 57.0 x 26.9 mm (3.4 x 2.2 x 1.1 in.) excluding protrusions, weighs approximately 190 g (6.7 oz.) excluding batteries and CF card.
    • Bundled with Canon Digital Camera USB TWAIN Driver, ZoomBrowser EX, PhotoStitch and Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition for PC, Canon Digital Camera Plug-In module, ImageBrowser, PhotoStitch and Adobe PhotoDeluxe for Mac.
    • Optional AC adapter, all-weather case (dust and water proof to 3 meters) and soft case.
    • Pricing and availability not disclosed
    Canon's BeBit website (linked below) has posted 7 sample photos from the camera...
    Source: Canon BeBit website

    Canon announces EOS D30 SLR digital camera!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Wednesday, May 17, 2000 - 10:43 EDT)


    Canon has today announced specifications of its EOS D30 SLR digital camera, which we were the first website to bring you news of back at the PMA Show in February. This much-anticipated camera, which provoked a response in our news forum the likes of which no other news item has ever seen, features not a CCD, but a 15.1 x 22.7mm 3.25 megapixel CMOS sensor, we can now reveal...

    Without any further ado, here's the full specifications provided by Canon:

    Canon EOS D30 SLR Digital Camera


    Canon EOS D30 Single Lens Reflex Digital Camera
    • Eye-level single lens reflex design; viewfinder shows what the lens "sees". Viewfinder is a full-frame reflex type, with 95% coverage both horizontal and vertical, 0.88X magnification and 20mm eyepoint. Diopter adjustment of -3 to +1 dpt.
    • Accepts Canon EF mount (full electronic type) lenses. Focal length multiplier of 1.6x as compared to a 35mm camera.
    • Effective pixel count of 3.11 megapixel (2160 x 1440 pixels). 3.25 megapixel (2226 x 1460 pixel) CMOS sensor, with 2:3 aspect ratio and dimensions of 15.1 x 22.7mm. 12 bits per channel for 36-bit RGB color. Single shot type (records full RGB color photo in one shot).
    • ISO range of 100-1600, adjustable in 1 EV increments.
    • Built-in 1.8-inch low temperature TFT type LCD display. Approximately 114,000 pixels.
    • Focusing: One-shot AF, AI Servo AF with focus prediction, AI Focus AF, and manual focus. Wide-area AF with 3 selectable focusing points. Working range of EV 2-18 (ISO 100, standard chart)
    • Metering: TTL maximum aperture metering with a 35-zone silicon photocell. 35-zone Evaluative metering linked to all focusing points, Centerweighted average metering, or 9.5% central-area partical metering. Metering range of EV 2-20 (at normal temperatures, EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, ISO100).
    • Shutter: 1/4000 sec. to 30 sec. plus Bulb, maximum X-sync at 1/200 sec
    • Operates in "shooting priority mode" - camera does not need to be set in "play" mode to view pictures - pictures can be viewed in between shots, and even if camera is showing a picture or in a menu, pressing the shutter button halfway prepares camera to take a photo immediately.
    • Built-in 32MB buffer memory. Up to approximately 3 frames per second for up to approximately 8 frames, when camera is set for Large/Fine recording an image captured at 1/250 second or faster. Increases to approximately 17 frames in Large/Normal mode.
    • 7-mode white balance including auto and custom
    • Type-I or Type-II CompactFlash storage, single slot. Compatible with "up to 48MB" cards as per PCMCIA-ATA standards.
    • Files saved as JPEG or Canon RAW. Available resolution/compression settings are: Large/Fine (2160 X 1440), Large/Normal (2160 X 1440), Small/Fine (1440 X 960), Small/Normal (1440 X 960) or Lossless compression (2160 X 1440)
    • Complies with DCF (Design Rule for Camera Format) file system. Complies with DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) for in-camera selection of images to be printed and their quantities.
    • Built-in E-TTL type retractable-type flash with red-eye reduction. Guide Number is 12/39 at ISO 100, m/ft, flash angle covers the field of an 18mm lens. Accessory shoe for EX-series Speedlites; PC socket also built-in on left side of camera body. Supports E-TTL, FEL and FP flash (high-speed synchro, not for internal flash) metering with built-in flash and EX-series Speedlites. Flash exposure compensation of +/- 2 stops in 1/2 stop increments. Flash exposure lock function. 1st and 2nd curtain sync function.
    • Connectivity: USB (Comes with USB TWAIN driver for PC and Adobe Photoshop plug-in for Mac OS), NTSC/PAL (switcheable), N3 remote control socket, PC terminal for studio flash, dedicated accessory shoe for EX series Speedlites.
    • Power from rechargeable BP-511 lithium ion battery, two batteries can be used together with optional Battery Grip BG-ED3. AC power via DC Coupler DR-400 and Compact Power Adapter CA-PS400. Takes up to 540 shots on one charge, when used at 20 degrees centigrade / 68 degrees fahrenheit with 50% flash photography, LCD usage unspecified. Battery recharges in 90 minutes. One CR-2025 battery used as backup battery (saves camera settings).
    • Bundled with EOS D30 camera main unit, Neckstrap, 16MB CF card, Battery Pack BP-511, Compact Power Adapter CA-PS400, AC power cord for CA-PS400, DC Coupler DR-400, Video Cable VC-100, Interface Cable IFC-200PCU, Canon Solutions software disk, Adobe Photoshop LE, Camera user's guide, Software quick start guide
    • Dimensions of 149.5 x 106.5 x 75.0mm (W x H x D). Weighs 750 grams without battery or CompactFlash card. Described by Canon as the world's smallest and lightest Digital SLR camera as of May 2000. Chassis constructed of stainless steel alloy, body of engineering plastic.
    So - why did Canon choose to use a CMOS image sensor, rather than a CCD? Well, according to Canon's provided information, the CCDs used in most digital cameras are "costly and consume high levels of energy", and "increasing the size of these imaging elements to include more pixels would require much larger power supplies as well as make them even more expensive". The CMOS sensor, in turn, had problems such as with the precision of internal transistors that led to variable image precision" Canon notes that its engineers resolved these problems, however, and hence felt that CMOS offered significant cost and power-consumption benefits over traditional CCDs.

    Canon's BeBit site does not disclose pricing or availability for the EOS D30, noting only that "selling date varies by market", however as we were preparing to publish this article, we checked quickly on other sites and noted that Phil Askey's Digital Photography Review is quoting a price of US$2,700 (EURO 3,000) with September availability. Canon also announced another new camera today - look back here shortly as we're currently in the process of writing an article describing it! Thanks to IR reader David Kamanski for an early-morning email alerting us to the new cameras...
    Source: Canon BeBit EOS D30 page

    Tuesday, May 16, 2000



    Japanese digicam sales soar!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 16, 2000 - 17:37 EDT)


    A news item from press agency Reuters today reports on digital camera market growth in Japan. The item, based on figures provided by the Japan Electronic Industry Development Association, notes that worldwide shipments for the last year climbed to 5.82 million, an 82% increase. The value of these shipments rose 72% to ¥255.88 billion (US$2.34 billion).

    Digital camera exports rose 107% to 4.13 million units, with a value of ¥177.73 billion (US$1.63 billion), an 83% value increase over the previous year. A 56% unit increase in cameras sold in the Japanese domestic market gave rise to 51% value gain of ¥78.15 billion (US$715 million), for the 1.68 million units sold.

    Rising sales were attributed to an increase in personal computers sold for Internet access, and the arrival of new 2 and 3 megapixel cameras. The figures were gathered from a survey of 20 Japanese digital camera manufacturers.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / Reuters

    SmartDisk and Verbatim sign agreement down under!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 16, 2000 - 14:45 EDT)


    SmartDisk Corp. today announced that it has formed a new distribution relationship with Verbatim Australia. Under the agreement, Verbatim will distribute SmartDisk's FlashPath floppy disk adapter for SmartMedia flash memory cards at authorized resellers throughout Australia and New Zealand.

    FlashPath permits the transfer of data, images and audio to and from flash memory cards via a PC's 3.5-inch floppy disk drive. In addition to FlashPath for SmartMedia, versions of FlashPath for SanDisk's MultiMediaCard and Sony's Memory Stick have also been released. More than 1.5 million FlashPaths have been sold to date.
    "We're pleased that the FlashPath floppy disk adapter for SmartMedia is now being sold to customers in New Zealand and Australia," said Yoshiaki Uchida, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Japanese Operations for SmartDisk. "Verbatim's distribution channels and well-regarded reputation will help put FlashPath in the hands of digital appliance users in those two growing markets."

    "We believe that users of SmartMedia digital appliances will find the FlashPath floppy disk adapter design to be a simple interface among PCs and other digital applications such as digital cameras,"
    said Callum Hingston, Hardware Product Manager, Verbatim Australia. "FlashPath is an exciting addition to the product line we offer, and we anticipate that it is the first of many SmartDisk products Verbatim will distribute."

    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Monday, May 15, 2000



    FlashPoint prepares for Japanese developer kitchen!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 15, 2000 - 23:41 EDT)


    Following its US Developer Kitchen event in San Jose in April, FlashPoint Technology Inc. has announced it will host the first Digita Developer Technical Seminar in Japan. Scheduled for May 16-17, 2000, in Tokyo, the event will give software developers hands-on experience with the Digita Application Software Development Kit (SDK). According to FlashPoint, the term "kitchen" refers to the informal technical nature and hands-on approach used for the seminars.

    FlashPoint has completed the localization of the Digita Application SDK into Japanese and is now bringing these tools to developers in Japan, along with technical support for developer programs from out of its Japan office. The tools are currently in beta and scheduled to be released soon. The Standard Version will carry a SRP of $399 and the Professional Version will be priced at $2,995.

    At the Technical Seminar in Japan, the FlashPoint SDK team will provide sample code demonstrations, SDK updates and information about FlashPoint's current initiatives, as well as the results of the April US Developers Kitchen. Attendees will learn about Digita application development processes, along with tips and tricks from FlashPoint's SDK development team. Engineers from more than 30 well-known Japanese companies have registered to attend.

    The Japan Developer Technical Seminar will highlight new techniques and solutions that will draw upon a new class of imaging products powered by the Digita OS. Demonstrations will be given of a variety of applications that are being developed by third party independent software vendors.
    "This Technical Seminar will introduce our developer program to the Japanese developer community," said Catherine Edwards, vice president of marketing at FlashPoint. "Japanese script developers have provided some of the most advanced Digita scripts to date. Based on this history, we know that Japanese developers will be able to create high caliber in-camera applications, as well."
    Topics to be covered at the Technical Seminar introductory session include Digita architecture, subsystems, and an overview of future directions. Specific workshops will be held on the application framework, the use of the system debugging tools and network connectivity. The workshop will emphasize live coding practice and example sessions designed to help developers maximize their use of the Digita OS. For more information, developers should contact jdevevent@flashpoint.com.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Mail Boxes Etc. founder looks to Digital Imaging!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 15, 2000 - 23:33 EDT)


    Tony DeSio, creator of Mail Boxes Etc., introduced his newest franchise idea, PixArts, at the International Franchise Exposition 2000 show held last week in Orlando, FL.
    "PixArts is a new business model that harnesses digital imaging technology to consolidate the portrait studio, frame shop, sign store and art gallery markets under one roof," said DeSio. "This new franchise provides consumers with instant service, similar to Mail Boxes Etc., for all of their photography needs in the digital and traditional areas."
    The number of PixArts franchises currently under contract now totals seven, with future plans calling for several hundred additional franchises to be opened within the next three to five years. The retail outlets will typically be located in high-volume strip shopping centers.

    PixArts offers an entry consumers who might be unfamiliar with the broad capabilities of digital photography. In addition, print photographs can be scanned, enhanced, enlarged and framed. Customers can have their prints digitally reproduced on film or canvas, as well as on plaques, plates, tiles, mugs, mouse pads and other substrates. As new printing surfaces for digital images appear on the market, PixArts intends to continue to bring them to consumers.

    The newest PixArts franchise agreement is in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Opening in October 2000, the San Juan PixArts joins an exclusive list of PixArts cities that include San Diego, Las Vegas and Denver. All PixArts Digital Imaging Centers are independently owned and operated.

    Before developing PixArts, DeSio's most recent national franchising success was Mail Boxes Etc., which he founded in 1980. DeSio was the President and CEO until the company was sold in 1997. He expects to have an even greater impact on the digital photography industry with his new venture. PixArts will rely on DeSio's - and a team that goes back to his days at Mail Boxes Etc. - expertise in franchising, financial matters and international business for the company's expansion plans.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

    PhotoChannel licenses MCL software!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 15, 2000 - 23:15 EDT)


    PhotoChannel Networks Inc. today announced that it has executed a licence agreement with MCL Software Services Inc. of San Jose, California whereby MCL has granted PhotoChannel a license to use its Print Utility, Lab Order, and Photoprint 2.1 software to print images uploaded to PhotoChannel's website. The license grants rights to PhotoChannel for a term of five years and contains an exclusivity provision. MCL and PhotoChannel also entered into a Maintenance Agreement whereby MCL will provide technical maintenance services related to the licensed software.
    "With this agreement from the world leader in online photo print services, we can rapidly launch the Company's online photo print service for digital camera and conventional film photographers featuring photographic quality prints on Fuji Crystal Archive silver-halide photographic paper produced with Fuji Frontier Series 370 Digital Minilabs- the state of the art in digital minilab equipment", says Geoffrey G. Briant, Chairman and CEO of PhotoChannel Networks Inc. "This agreement is the final piece of the puzzle in establishing and proving our printing capabilities."
    Upon execution of the license agreement, PhotoChannel also granted to MCL a Warrant to purchase up to one million shares of the Common Stock of PhotoChannel at a price of US$1.75. The warrant expires five years after the date of the Warrant's grant. The grant is subject to the receipt of final regulatory approval of the Montreal Exchange.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

    Kodak assumes control of PictureVision Inc.!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 15, 2000 - 11:25 EDT)


    Eastman Kodak Co. today announced that it has acquired the outstanding shares of PictureVision, Inc., assuming a 100-percent stake in the long-time Kodak partner.

    Willy Shih, President, Digital and Applied Imaging, and Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company, will be CEO of PictureVision, which will operate as a wholly-owned Kodak subsidiary. David MacWhorter will be President of PictureVision. The total value of the transaction is approximately $90 million. Prior to today's transaction, PictureVision operated as a majority-owned subsidiary of Kodak, as a result of Kodak's purchase of a 51 percent stake in PictureVision in March 1998.

    Taking charge of PictureVision illustrates Kodak's belief that digital photography network services represent an important growth opportunity - PictureVision had more than 571,000 unique visitors in April, according to Neilsen/NetRatings.
    "Acquiring PictureVision will accelerate our growth and ability to deliver the most comprehensive, easy-to-use online photography services to the market more quickly," said Shih. "Our goal is to combine the benefits of PictureVision's network infrastructure and photo-sharing services with Kodak's existing products and services to provide the best consumer experience--one that makes sharing pictures online as easy as taking a traditional picture."
    Strategic partners such as photo retailer Wolf Camera, mail-order processors Mystic Color Lab and York Film Developing use PictureVision's infrastructure, as do leading image-editing software programs such as MGI's PhotoSuite and Microsoft's PictureIt.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    ScanSoft, UMAX sign agreement!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 15, 2000 - 11:13 EDT)


    ScanSoft Inc. and UMAX Technologies Inc. have today announced a new OEM licensing agreement. The agreement provides UMAX with rights to bundle ScanSoft's OmniPage Limited Edition OCR software with their flatbed scanners, including UMAX Astra, Mirage and PowerLook models for the Windows and Macintosh platforms on a worldwide basis over the course of the next year.
    "ScanSoft's OmniPage is the leader in recognition software and the combination of our award-winning technologies provides a real world scanning solution for our customers," said Lynn Lin, product marketing manager for UMAX Technologies, "It is important to our users because it dramatically enhances productivity and streamlines everyday data entry right out of the box."

    "We are certainly excited about our partnership with UMAX which holds a strong position in the scanner market,"
    said ScanSoft's Wayne Crandall, Senior Vice President of sales and business development. "With our agreement, we will be able to expose hundreds of thousands of new scanner owners to the OmniPage brand while increasing the use of OCR to a wider audience."
    OmniPage Limited Edition is an Optical Character Recognition program that provides entry-level capabilities to meet the needs of users with basic OCR requirements. With OmniPage LE, users can scan paper documents such as memos, reports, contracts and resumes, for example, and convert them into editable text without having to retype. The features and functions included in OmniPage LE provide entry-level users with the necessary capabilities to convert and output paper documents to applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel as well as other popular text-based applications.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Thumber 3.14 now available!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 15, 2000 - 9:56 EDT)


    An email from programmer Max Lyons tells us the latest version of his excellent Thumber digicam image management software is now available. Thumber 3.14 adds quite a lot since the last (announced) release, 3.12:

    Version 3.14, May 2000
    • Feature: Support for Fuji 1400.
    • Feature: Added log file ability.
    • Bug Fix: Fixed rotation failure on (mostly?) NT systems.
    • Bug Fix: Time stamp feature now understands daylight savings time.
    Version 3.13, April 2000
    • Feature: Added Marked File Browser.
    • Feature: Added crop feature.
    • Feature: Added Hue/Saturation/Value. Note: Saturation needs
      improving...see next feature.
    • Feature: Added Smart Saturate feature -- wider range of settings and much quicker if not changing Hue or Value.
    • Feature: Added vertical and horizontal frame HTML pages.
    • Feature: Added confirmation prompt before overwriting existing file.
    • Feature: Added support for Intel JPG Library Version 1.1
    • Feature: Added ability to link to original image as well as resized version.
    • Feature: Moved some web page options to new screen -- interface is too cluttered!
    • Feature: Support for Nikon 990, Olympus 3030, Fuji 4700, Canon S20, Casio 3000.
    • Bug Fix: Better error handling when bad variables are supplied in rename mask.
    • Bug Fix: Comments are now retained in edited/resaved images.
    • Bug Fix: Rename counter leading "0" are now stored properly in preferences.
    • Bug Fix: Custom Rename mask is now stored properly in preferences.
    • Bug Fix: Fixed reporting of file size for resized images on web page.
    • Bug Fix: Remove image from marked image list fixed.
    • Bug Fix: Program Mode and Whitebalance toggle properly.
    Thumber is an excellent program, which we use extensively in our reviews to produce all the thumbnail pages... We highly recommend it, so if you haven't already tried it, head on over to Max's Thumber website and check it out!
    Source: Thumber website

    Canon releases new PowerShot S10 firmware!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 15, 2000 - 9:26 EDT)


    IR reader (and regular contributor) David Kamanski wrote in this morning with news of a new firmware version released by Canon for the PowerShot S10 digital camera... The new firmware corrects a problem that S10 users have long been asking to be fixed - that of a too-low default flash shutter speed. Here's how David described the change:
    "The primary fix involves increasing the default flash shutter speed from 1/15th of a second to 1/30th of a second (as it is on the S20 which they caught just in time before production last January). This helps to greatly reduce the occurrence of blurring from either subject motion and/or camera shake. It also is aimed at reducing a yellow cast esp. on skin tones in mixed lighting in some auto white balance shots and blue casts in some shadow or lower lighting situations."
    The new firmware has been shipping in cameras since around April 24th, but even if you bought your camera since then there's a chance you might have an older camera which sat in store stock for a little while, so check the firmware revision to be sure.

    Original S10 cameras shipped with version 1.0.0.0, which was later replaced by 1.0.0.1 fixing a bug which stopped the IBM MicroDrive functioning correctly in the camera. The new version is 1.0.0.2, and if you don't already have it in your camera you can download it directly from Canon's BeBit website.

    Be sure to read the Canon's provided directions carefully, and follow them to the letter! Upgrading the firmware of any electronic device is not to be taken lightly, as if you don't follow the instructions precisely you could conceivably interrupt the software from updating, and end up with a camera that has to go back to the factory for repair. That is, unless you're hoping to make a fashion statement with your new Digital Camera Paper Weight... :)
    Source: Canon BeBit PowerShot S10 firmware upgrade

    Kodak announces new Pro digital camera!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 15, 2000 - 2:21 EDT)


    Kodak DCS 620x digital camera  with lens attached - click for a bigger picture!
    Click for a bigger picture!

    A press release today announces a new version of Kodak's DCS 620 digital camera, the Kodak DCS 620x. Based on the same Nikon F5 body as its older sibling, the DCS 620x is targetted at photographers shooting fast action or in low-light conditions, including sports/action, medical and scientific imaging, government, military and law enforcement. It features a new 2 megapixel indium tin oxide CCD, CMY (cyan, magenta, yellow) color filter array pattern, low-noise electronics, and software noise reduction feature, and offers features ISO settings ranging from 400 to 6400 with a significant improvement in image quality.

    The improvement comes thanks to lower dye absorption (each color for a CMY filter requires only one dye, whereas in an RGB filter each color consists of two dyes, each absorbing more valuable light) and increased color signal, with resulting improvements in signal to noise ratio. A document which we're providing for download from Kodak's Advanced Development Manager, Stephen A. Noble, explains the theory behind the benefits of the CMY color filter array in greater detail.

    Two points in the specifications of the new camera are worth elaborating on somewhat... Whilst the DCS 620x has a maximum ISO of 6400, Kodak does note that it is only calibrated up to ISO 4000. The reasoning behind this is apparently that whilst the camera is only capable of the extremely high ISO 6400 setting with the possibility of reduced image and color quality, early users felt that in low light situations the trade-off of quality for speed was still very much worthwhile. The camera also doesn't offer ISO settings below 400, the reasoning being that it is targetted at photographers requiring high speed or low-light performance where ISO 400 is realistically an absolute minimum.

    Kodak DCS  620x front view - click for a bigger picture!Kodak DCS  620x back view - click for a bigger picture!
    Click for a bigger picture!

    Here's a list of specifications for the DCS 620x highlighted by Kodak in their press release:
    • 2-megapixel (1736 x 1160) 13um, ITO, CCD sensor.
    • Flexible ISO of 400 – 6400 (calibrated from ISO 400-4000).
    • Serial port for GPS receivers and direct cellular telephone connectivity.
    • Burst rate of 3.5 frames per second, and a sustained burst depth of 12 images.
    • Patented on-board histogram lets photographers verify exposure accuracy on the spot.
    • Cast magnesium alloy body ensures high durability, while its light weight makes it ideal for field use.
    • Calibrated color response and the TTL auto color balance option ensure that the camera adjusts image color to match the light source.
    • 36-bit color (12 bits per channel) for capturing color and detail in shadows and highlights.
    • Intervalometer to enable automated capture over timed intervals for remote applications.
    • Open Application Programmer Interface (API) lets third-party developers write their own custom software applications.
    • Color liquid crystal display (LCD) provides instant review of images.
    • IEEE 1394 interface provides fast and reliable transfer of images.
    • Voice annotation provides audio notebook to document specific shots.
    • Dual PC card storage interface offers storage flexibility.
    • Delivers 6MB finished files in 24 bit RGB.
    • Onboard JPEG compression with three levels of resolution.
    • Removable batteries for easy transport and recharge.
    • New NiMH batteries for extended battery life.
    • Improved version 5.9.1 Adobe PhotoShop Plug in / TWAIN acquire software tools.
    Kodak sample picture, camera unspecified


    Kodak provided us with numerous sample pictures, all cropped from photos shot essentially the same as the one above. In the following three sample pictures, Kodak shows its Kodak DCS 620, DCS 620x and an unnamed competitor's camera at ISO 1600:

    Kodak DCS 620 ISO  1600 sample picture
    Kodak DCS 620


    Kodak DCS 620x ISO  1600 sample picture
    Kodak DCS 620x


    Unnamed competitor  camera ISO 1600 sample picture!
    Unnamed competitor

    We also have the following four samples showing the Kodak DCS 620x at ISO 400, 1600, 3200 and 6400:

    Kodak DCS 620x ISO 400  sample picture
    ISO 400


    Kodak DCS 620x ISO  1600 sample picture
    ISO 1600


    Kodak DCS 620x ISO  3200 sample picture
    ISO 3200


    Kodak DCS 620x ISO  6400 sample picture
    ISO 6400

    Finally, we have two samples showing the DCS 620x's Noise Reduction mode turned on, and the same photo with Noise Reduction disabled:

    Kodak DCS 620x sample picture - noise  reduction on
    Noise Reduction On
    Kodak DCS 620x sample picture - noise reduction off
    Noise Reduction Off

    Kodak doesn't intend the DCS 620x to replace the DCS 620, but instead to complement it with the DCS 620 seeing a reduction in price to $8,995. The DCS 620x will in turn have a suggested list price of $10,495 in the US, with availability from June 1st. As well as the technical document looking at Kodak's CMY color filter array, we also have a question and answer document from Kodak mostly discussing the implications of the camera for other Kodak Pro models, and Kodak's official press release for the new model, all in Word format.

    Friday, May 12, 2000



    Nikon D1 FULL review posted!
    By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
    (Friday, May 12, 2000 - 22:19 EDT)


    Occasionally, a product comes along that substantially redefines an entire marketplace. This was the case with the Nikon D1 professional digital SLR, when it was released late last year. It provided a true pro-quality photographic tool at an unheard of price, opening up a huge new market for digital photography in the professional arena. In our most ambitious review to date, we've closely examined the Nikon D1, and in the process looked at some of the other components that make up the overall Nikon pro digital solution. Among other things, we studied the effect of a variety of lenses on its resolution, in an effort to address questions many readers have raised regarding the impact of lens quality on the D1's performance. (A hint: Don't skimp by using cheap lenses.) We also played fairly extensively with the exceptional Nikon SB-28DX speedlight, and experimented with its capability to work cooperatively in multi-unit lashups. (A full report on this will be forthcoming in a little while. Suffice to say though, that Nikon truly provides a single-vendor solution for digital studio photography, thanks in no small part to the SB-28's multi-unit capabilities.) Overall, we were extremely impressed, and think you will be too. Check out the review for full details!
    Source: Imaging Resource Nikon D1 Pro SLR Review

    Sony DSC-S50 full review posted!
    By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
    (Friday, May 12, 2000 - 12:00 EDT)


    As promised at at the beginning of the week, we've now completed our full review of the Sony DSC-S70's "little brother", the DSC-S50. With 1.92 million effective pixels, good picture quality, a friendly user-interface, and full movie-with-sound capability, we tagged it as an ideal "family" camera: It works fine in full-auto mode, yet still offers a fair bit of exposure control via aperture- and shutter-priority options to please more advanced shooters. (The front-of-lens filter threads are also a bonus for those of us who like to tinker with ultra-macro and color/effects filtration.) When we tested the S70, we were struck by the sharpness of its lens, attributing it to the Carl Zeiss name. By contrast, the S50 arrived in the midst of a batch of 3 megapixel models, so we initially weren't terribly impressed with its resolution. Imagine our surprise then, when we compared it with other two megapixel digicams, and found that it tested right up there with the very best of them, including Sony's own (original) F505, widely noted for its sharp optics! We did miss having an optical viewfinder, despite the excellent brightness of the S50's LCD. (The twisty-mounted LCD display is a great tool for getting candid shots of difficult subjects though: "Oh, Dad is just tinkering with his camera now, not even looking at me - I can stop mugging and just play with the puppy...") Overall a very nice little camera, that takes great pictures. Check out the review for full details!
    Source: Imaging Resource Sony DSC-S50 Review

    Thursday, May 11, 2000



    Christmas hits So-Cal - in May!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 11, 2000 - 11:13 EDT)


    New cameras on display in the stores. (c)2000 David Kamanski, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins


    We received an email from IR man-on-the-street David Kamanski with news that 3 megapixel cameras are truly hitting the shelves in a big way in his neck of the woods (Southern California)... Here's what David had to say:
    "Over the weekend I found the new Toshiba, Sony and JVC 3.3 cameras in stores here in Southern California. None of the sales persons new anything about them, other than the Sony has a really good lens. They were interested to learn that the JVC uses pixel shifting to take a picture with over 6 million pixels. They did not have any batteries so I did not get sample shots. The Oly 3030 is all over the place, I saw it at Wolf's and Ritz. They had
    the Nikon 990 too, I got side by side samples of with the Canon S20. Looks like the wait is over for those who have been itching to lighten their pocket books with a new 3.3 camera! It occurred to me that the new store displays with at least 5 new 3.3 megapixel cameras now shows that digital camera selection at stores is beginning to equal if not surpass traditional film cameras. I was really impressed with the choices and numbers of models they had out (and it isn't even Christmas time!)"
    Thanks to David for the email and photo - we can hear the sleigh-bells already! :)

    DCRP reviews Pixid's Whiteboard Photo!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 11, 2000 - 10:45 EDT)


    Our friend Jeff over at the Digital Camera Resource Page has just reviewed Pixid's Whiteboard Photo, a program we reviewed ourselves last month. Here's what Jeff had to say about this interesting application:
    "What can I say -- Whiteboard Photo is very useful, and cool too. The software allows you to tweak brightness, and correct the edges of the white board, but I never needed to. It's also easy to learn -- I never had to open the manual. The software currently has a $20 rebate, so it's a great buy at $79 for anyone that does lots of note taking in meetings. I highly recommend it!"

    Source: DCRP's Pixid Whiteboard Photo review

    KB Gear reveals more on new JamCam 3.0!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 11, 2000 - 10:34 EDT)


    Today at E3 2000 in Los Angeles, KB Gear Interactive unveiled four products, all part of KB Gear's new "Jam" line, offering ways to create, exchange and obtain photographs, music and graphics online.

    As part of the "Jam" line, KB Gear also will introduce a new web site, jamonline.com (set to launch in August 2000), to enhance the features of its new products and to help "Jam" product users get connected to the digital world.

    Included in the new "Jam" line is the JamCam 3.0 digital camera, first announced May 03. With an MSRP of $99, the JamCam 3.0 adds to KB's previous version with a 640 x 480 true VGA resolution sensor provided by Agilent Technologies, Inc., an expandable memory slot and an automatic flash. The unit is manufactured by Concord Camera Corp.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

    Ni4U completes TV set-top photofinishing trial!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 11, 2000 - 10:20 EDT)


    Ni4U Corp. today announced completion of a 16 month Orlando, Florida trial of it's patent-pending "PhotoTronics Picture Service". The internet service allows digital camera owners to view, select, store, share and order photographic quality prints and imaging products from their living room television sets, without the use of a personal computer. Imaging products such as photographs and postcards are delivered the next day.

    The company says that it intends to use the results of the trial to refine its system and prepare the service for introduction into the home by the end of the year. James A. Ionson, Chairman and CEO of Ni4U, who is also a former senior officer of Polaroid Corporation, says that
    "Our intellectual property and first mover advantage levels the playing field, allowing Ni4U to effectively compete with traditional photography giants such as Eastman Kodak (EK) who have not yet developed or begun trials of a similar system and service."

    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Sega, PictureIQ to demonstrate Dreamcast digicam at E3!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 11, 2000 - 10:15 EDT)


    Sega Enterprises and PictureIQ Corp. today announced that the two companies will showcase digital imaging capabilities for the Sega Dreamcast videogame console at E3 Expo 2000, May 11-13 in Los Angeles in Sega's booth #2216. This will be the first opportunity for U.S. consumers to see the Dreamcast digital camera solution in action.

    Together, Sega and PictureIQ will demonstrate digital photo capabilities for the Sega Dreamcast environment, making it the first game console to offer capabilities beyond viewing. First covered in this news page on February 15, just before its Japanese announcement, the new Dreamcast digital camera will ship with a digital photo application, Dream PhotoFun, written by PictureIQ, that brings a suite of photo enhancement and creativity tools to the console.

    After taking pictures with the Dreamcast digital camera, consumers plug it into one of the game controller ports on the Dreamcast. Dream PhotoFun then enables users to view, enhance, and be creative with their still pictures directly on the TV using only the standard Dreamcast game controller. Some of the PictureIQ-powered features to be demonstrated at E3 include one-button enhancement of photos, the ability to add clip art and text, and the power to create electronic photo greeting cards. Additionally, because every Dreamcast comes with a built-in modem, these photo creations can be shared with family and friends using the Internet.
    "Our relationship with PictureIQ demonstrates Sega's commitment to provide innovative capabilities that push the limits of what people expect from a game console," said Hideki Sato, Corporate Senior Vice President at Sega Enterprises, Ltd. "PictureIQ's technology, and the easy-to-use, powerful digital photo capabilities it delivers, will help to broaden Dreamcast's appeal as consumers realize the tremendous possibilities with the Internet-ready Sega Dreamcast system."

    "Game consoles have become a familiar part of households worldwide, and e-mailing and sharing digital pictures is exploding, especially within the younger generation,"
    said Bill McCoy, President and CEO of PictureIQ Corporation. "Thus, bringing digital photography capabilities to Dreamcast was a natural next step. This demonstration of the Dreamcast digital camera solution highlights the power that PictureIQ technology delivers to consumer devices. Now, millions of Dreamcast users can take, view, enhance, and share digital pictures without having to use a PC and cumbersome, PC-based software.
    PictureIQ's patent-pending technology delivers the only solution specifically designed to bring digital picture editing and creativity capabilities to consumer devices. Its standards based-architecture gives it the ability to be easily integrated across numerous operating systems and hardware platforms and into a variety of other consumer devices including TV set-top boxes, digital photo frames, photo printers, PDAs and even cellular phones.

    Sega expects that the Dreamcast digital camera, bundled with the new Dream PhotoFun software as well as with video mail and video chat capabilities, will be available in Japan in the second quarter of this year.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

    PhotoPoint announces million-dollar winner!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 11, 2000 - 10:02 EDT)


    PhotoPoint.com today announced that Steve Ringman, acclaimed photographer for The Seattle Times, is the grand-prize winner in the "Million-Dollar Moment" Photo Contest. PhotoPoint awarded Ringman the $1 million live this morning on CBS' "The Early Show."

    As the grand-prize winner of $1 million, Ringman's entry was a black and white photograph of schoolgirls on a stormy day, rounding a corner on a windy street in San Francisco's Mission District. The photo was taken in 1983 when Ringman was a photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle.

    The San Francisco Chronicle owns rights to Ringman's photo and will receive 10 percent of his winnings, which will be contributed to a local homeless charity. Throughout his career Ringman has won numerous photography awards, including twice being named Newspaper Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association.

    Ringman currently lives in Sammamish WA, a suburb of Seattle, with his wife Sally, an artist, and his two children aged six and 10.

    PhotoPoint also announced the first runner-up and second runner-up of the contest. Allan Detrich of Fremont OH, was named the first runner-up, and received a trip for two anywhere in the world, valued at $20,000. Malie Rich-Griffith from Kailua HI, was named the second runner-up, and received an online shopping spree at PhotoPoint's online store, valued at $10,000.
    "We sponsored this contest to show picture-takers of all ages and levels just how fun it is to share photos online," noted David Rowley, president and co-founder of PhotoPoint, who personally awarded the prize to Wingman. "Not only were we amazed at the number of entries we received from people all over the world, but the quality, diversity and overall emotional appeal of the photos we received was phenomenal. It gives us great pleasure to be the first company ever to award $1 million for exceptional photography."
    The many thousands of entries were judged on the ability of the photo to tell a story (in support of PhotoPoint's slogan "Where Every Picture Tells Your Story", as well as to showcase strong creativity and photographic quality. The contest, which ran from Feb. 7 through April 2, was open to anyone who registered as a free member of PhotoPoint.com.

    All photographs were judged by a panel of 10 professional, award-winning photographers from around the country. The 10 finalists were chosen from a selection of 80 semi-finalists, and flown to New York in anticipation of their photo being chosen as the million-dollar winner.

    The winning photos can be viewed on PhotoPoint's site at www.photopoint.com/gomillion/pc_main.html.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    NUWAVE announces online photo sharing service!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 11, 2000 - 9:54 EDT)


    NUWAVE Technologies, Inc. today announced the final development phase of ShutterBugClub.com which will provide consumers with web-based digital photo exhibition services in conjunction with its web-based image enhancement software, PicturePrep Suite 2000. This announcement unveils NUWAVE's planned entry into the growing E-commerce market of web-based digital imaging and follows last month's introduction of PicturePrep Suite 2000, a digital video and photo enhancement software product line.

    With ShutterBugClub.com, NUWAVE will offer consumers a variety of services.
    "We envision our consumers using PicturePrep to prepare and enhance their scanned and/or original digital photos, uploading them to ShutterBugClub.com, for exhibition to family and friends, and making high-quality, professional, prints - that get delivered directly to their home," Gerald Zarin, CEO of NUWAVE, remarked.


    The web-based digital photo printing market and related services are growing rapidly. Market analysts predict that by 2002 the Internet will control almost 10% of the $3.2 billion worldwide photo finishing industry. In the US alone, 40 billion photo prints will be made this year - 34 billion from photo finishing services and 6 billion from home printers. That number is expected to rise to 67 billion by 2005 - with 41 billion from photo finishing services and 26 billion from home printers. Digital camera sales in the US surged 91% to 2 million units last year, while conventional non-disposable camera sales increased an impressive 12% to 18 million units. Even US 35mm film sales rose 7% to 1 billion rolls last year.

    "We are happy with the April introduction of our PicturePrep(TM) Suite 2000, our digital video and photo enhancement software product, and look forward to the launch of ShutterBugClub.com(TM), our Internet photo portal. These initiatives enable our entry into a new E-commerce marketplace, where we have identified the opportunity to derive new revenue streams by satisfying consumer demand for high quality services, in the emerging worldwide digital photo finishing market," Zarin stated.

    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Over 2500 developers download new Mac TWAIN API!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 11, 2000 - 9:45 EDT)


    The TWAIN Working Group today announced that the TWAIN Toolkit for Mac, targeted at developers, has received almost 3000 downloads since its release in February. The updated Macintosh version of the industry standard TWAIN interface enables Macintosh application developers to acquire images from digital cameras and scanners for use in their imaging applications. The new version of the standard application program interface (API), called Macintosh TWAIN Data Source Manager Version 1.7, is a free download currently available online at www.twain.com.

    The Data Source Manager (DSM) is the industry standard cross-platform (Windows and Mac) API for image acquisition. The Macintosh DSM Version 1.7 is PowerPC native and supports Mac OS 8.0 and above. The new version is fully compatible with previous TWAIN specifications and existing data sources, and provides the same functionality as the Windows DSM that is shipped standard with the Windows platform by Microsoft. Using TWAIN, developers can manage interactions between various image acquisition devices (scanners, camera, etc.) in a standard way, which is important given the growing popularity of low cost image capture devices. For example, when a desktop publishing program acquires a picture from a digital camera, the Macintosh TWAIN DSM Version 1.7 acts as a translator between the camera and the desktop publishing program, providing a standard way to acquire the image.
    "Our work on the Mac DSM will benefit Macintosh consumers, hardware and software vendors involved in image acquisition," said Gene Rogalski, Chair of the Mac Subcommittee of the TWAIN Working Group and Project Manager for Xerox Corporation. "TWAIN Standard makes it easier for Macintosh developers and users to easily interact with a broad range of image acquisition devices."

    "This large number of developer downloads confirms our belief that the adoption of the TWAIN DSM for Macintosh will grow in similar proportion to the widespread adoption TWAIN now enjoys in the Windows environment,"
    said Pamela Doyle, Chair of The TWAIN Working Group and Director, Imaging Market Development, Fujitsu Computer Products of America. "We are pleased to enhance our standard on the Macintosh, which is a very popular platform for creative professionals working with digital content."

    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Help your fellow readers, and get your name in lights!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Thursday, May 11, 2000 - 8:58 EDT)


    A couple of emails which arrived in our mailbox yesterday from IR readers "Steve" and John Slivinski reminded us of the fact that the Deals page has lain idle for the last few weeks... This was due in part to Mike's long-distance move which delayed things slightly, causing a couple of great deals to expire in our mailbox before we'd had time to post them...

    That said, the Deals page is really about the most reader-supported part of our site, and we rely on your emails to let us know about the latest great prices you've found. They needn't be just about digital cameras - any digital-imaging related items are covered, so long as the price is below the norm... Nor need they be in the USA - we have a readership that spans the globe, and we're equally happy to post a deal that spans the USA, or applies just to the good folks in Addis Abbaba! :)

    Whilst we can't offer fortune as an incentive, we can certainly offer you your 15 minutes of fame... We're always happy to post your name in lights (or pixels, at least) right alongside your deal. We'll also gladly accept anonymous deals, if you're the shy type - just mention in your email that you'd like to remain anonymous.

    If you have noticed a great price on something recently and it is still available, please - help support the Deals Page, and help keep a great resource alive! We've had many thank-you emails since we started the page from readers who saved themselves money, and the next time you're making a purchase, that reader could be you -but only if you help support the page and keep it alive until then...
    Source: The Imaging Resource Deals Page

    Wednesday, May 10, 2000



    Flashpoint recaps inaugural Software Developer Kitchen!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Wednesday, May 10, 2000 - 7:13 EDT)


    FlashPoint Technology Inc., the company behind the Digita operating system used in some digital cameras, distributed a press release today describing its inaugural Software Developer Kitchen as a "resounding success". The event, held April 25-26 in San Jose, included a programming workshop and a marketing overview of the soon-to-be-released Digita Application Software Development Kit (SDK).

    The Digita Application SDK provides the first opportunity for third parties to create custom imaging applications as after-market software products or part of total solution packages. With the Digita SDK, independent software vendors can create and re-sell their applications as customized vertical, business, and consumer solutions, in a retail environment or directly via the Web.

    Two flavors of SDK are available: standard edition ($399) and professional edition ($2,995). The standard edition, designed for non-commercial use by enthusiasts, includes sample code, documentation and Tornado for Digita Developers from Wind River Systems. The professional edition includes additional development and debugging tools from Wind River Systems and is intended for developers creating applications for commercial use. Intended for experienced software developers with proficiency in C and C++, the SDK requires Windows NT 4.0. Windows 2000 compatibility is slated for the near future.

    At the Developer Kitchen, experienced software developers, including the leading beta testers of the Digita Application SDK, met with the FlashPoint SDK team to exchange tips, tricks and ideas for creating in-camera applications. There was a strong focus on business workflow and vertical market solutions such as medical imaging, law enforcement, and insurance.
    "The kitchen highlighted ways that Digita has integrated software-driven solutions into everyday workflow," said Catherine Edwards, vice president of marketing at FlashPoint Technology, Inc. "It underscored our commitment to support third party developers who target a variety of markets with specialized in-camera applications. These tools allow developers to add functionality that did not previously exist inside the camera."
    Image Software demonstrated an application that will soon be announced and shared their experiences developing with the Digita Application SDK. Tom Moore, president of Image Software, Inc., said,
    "We have several important imaging applications under development. Digita enables camera vendors and ISVs to dramatically extend the platform, providing the ability to move their cameras in a number of different directions for a variety of targeted markets."
    The developer who traveled the farthest to attend FlashPoint's first Developer Kitchen was Stelios Koroneos of the Greek company, OPSiS. Koroneos unveiled a GPS application built using the Digita Application SDK, as well as demonstrating a 'breakout box' that would allow users to control their cameras and applications via a standard remote control or one supplied by OPSiS.

    Following on from the first Developer Kitchen event, FlashPoint is currently preparing for a similar event in Tokyo next week.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Iomega licenses PictureIQ technology!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Wednesday, May 10, 2000 - 6:58 EDT)


    Iomega Corp. and PictureIQ Corp. announced today that Iomega has licensed PictureIQ technology for use in future imaging and entertainment products.

    Iomega selected PictureIQ technology because "it has developed a software solution to bring advanced, easy-to-use digital picture editing and creativity capabilities to consumer devices". The patent-pending technology may be integrated into such consumer devices as set-top boxes, digital photo frames, game consoles, photo printers, PDAs and cellular telephones. Iomega plans to work with PictureIQ on a joint basis to develop future products.
    "Our customer research shows that millions of digital photographs are being stored and shared on our Zip, Jaz and Clik disks," said Bruce Albertson, president and CEO, Iomega Corporation. "As a natural extension of our already significant presence in this market, we're committed to leveraging new opportunities through the development of Iomega-branded digital photography-based products. Licensing PictureIQ's powerful technology will enable us to develop these breakthrough products."Bill McCoy, president and CEO, PictureIQ Corporation added,
    "Licensing PictureIQ technology to Iomega is a significant step in our strategy to integrate PictureIQ capabilities across a wide range of consumer devices and deliver fun, easy-to-use digital photo capabilities to people everywhere. The power of PictureIQ combined with Iomega's brand appeal, product design strength and clear leadership in the storage solutions markets could produce some formidable consumer digital photography products.

    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    IDC predicts continued strong digicam growth!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Wednesday, May 10, 2000 - 6:50 EDT)


    According to new research from market-research firm International Data Corp., 1999 proved to be a breakthrough year in the digital camera market as acceptance moved beyond the early adopters, driving shipment growth 200% in the United States and almost 125% worldwide. The report predicts that strong shipment growth will continue, and the worldwide value of the market will exceed $4.3 billion in 2000, despite plummeting price points.

    With the introduction of 2 and 3 megapixel cameras, IDC feels that digital images have caught up with their traditional film camera cousins in terms of picture quality, and now the next issue becomes the usability of these digital images.
    "A digital infrastructure has been developing over the past 18 months and a wide range of opportunity is beginning to present itself," said Ron Glaz, manager of IDC's Digital Camera program. "With three quarters of PC-owning households online, the Internet has fueled digital image acceptance. Internet imaging portals are now providing services that range from storage and printing to on-site manipulation and slideshow capabilities."
    Additionally, the industry has recognized consumers' high comfort levels with traditional "brick-and-mortar" photo shops and is addressing this by creating kiosks and processing stations that will help make the transition from film to digital more seamless. In 1999 worldwide digital camera shipments exceeded 6.5 million units. That number will increase dramatically to 41.6 million by 2004.

    IDC's Key Findings
    • Worldwide digital camera ASVs dropped 8% from 1998 to 1999. They will decline 19% between 1999 and 2000.
    • The entry-level segment enjoyed tremendous success, shipping 1.3 million units worldwide in 1999.
    • Sony dominated the VGA point and shoot segment.
    • 3MP penetrates the markets in early 2000, pushing 2MP camera pricing down to under $799.
    • Professional photographers are adopting digital cameras steadily, but there is still a decided lack of education about the new technology.
    Data and trend information for IDC's report "Digital Camera Market Forecast and Analysis, 1997-2004" (IDC #B22190) was collected through survey questions and in-depth interviews with marketing and product management executives representing more than 40 digital camera vendors. Secondary sources, such as third-party component suppliers, resellers, and resources in IDC's extensive information bases, were used to supplement primary research.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

    PhotoPoint teams with Shutterfly, offers free prints!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Wednesday, May 10, 2000 - 6:33 EDT)


    Online photo-sharing website PhotoPoint.com today announced a partnership with online photofinisher Shutterfly to provide PhotoPoint members with the ability to order 35mm-quality prints of their digital images from a co-branded Website. Members now have access to prints and enlargements as well as reprint ordering and fulfillment services by simply clicking a "print" button on the PhotoPoint Website.

    Like all Shutterfly customers, PhotoPoint members will be able to order silver halide photographic prints and have them mailed to themselves, friends and family, printed using Shutterfly's "VividPics" technology, to automatically enhance both the color and sharpness of member's photos.
    "We look for strategic partners who are leaders in their respective categories, and PhotoPoint certainly fits this description. We are proud to offer 35mm-quality prints to PhotoPoint's millions of members and visitors," said Jayne Spiegelman, Shutterfly's CEO. "We are certain that this printing service will add an exciting new dimension to their digital photography experience."
    PhotoPoint is the Web's most visited photo-sharing site, where hundreds of thousands of members have posted more than 10 million photos, resulting in more than 1.7 million unique monthly visitors. The new printing service comes in response to requests from PhotoPoint members.
    "We're pleased to work with a market leader," said Ed Bernstein, CEO at PhotoPoint. "We receive more than 60,000 photos a day from our members, and providing them the opportunity to make the highest 35mm-quality prints is a key part of our business strategy. In choosing Shutterfly as a print partner, we can offer and stand behind a service that is high quality, easy to use, and provides value to our members."
    To introduce the newly available service, PhotoPoint and Shutterfly are offering a free 60-day trial to its members. Effective immediately, members will have the opportunity to order up to 50 4" x6" prints or reprints at no charge.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Tuesday, May 9, 2000



    Steve's Digicams reviews Fuji FinePix 1400Z!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 10:09 EDT)


    Steve's Digicams has today posted their review of Fuji's FinePix 1400 Zoom digital camera - and here's what Steve had to say about this interesting camera which features 1280 x 960 resolution, 3x optical zoom lens, and USB connectivity:
    "a great camera for the money and it takes excellent pictures. It looks and feels like a regular camera, has a high quality zoom lens and good to great battery life. It's an excellent choice for beginners to the advanced users that just want a reliable camera they can stick in their pocket and take with them wherever they go. I give the FinePix 1400 Zoom a solid Two Thumbs Up! - this is a great little camera."
    There's plenty more in the conclusion, plus all the usual sample photos, as well as in-depth info and photos of the camera itself... Check it out!
    Source: Steve's Digicams Fuji FinePix 1400Z review

    Lego working on digital video kit!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 9:48 EDT)


    Four news items today (1,2,3,4)from the Associated Press and Reuters describe plans from Danish toy giant Lego and movie mogul Steven Spielberg to bring the tremendous power of their names together for a tethered digital video camera targeted at children. The Lego Studios Steven Spielberg MovieMaker Set will retail for US$179.99 on its release in the USA this November.

    Details thus far are sketchy, but the MovieMaker, which is to be released elsewhere in the world in early 2001, connects to a computer to record live video, stop-motion video or still frames. It will be bundled with a software package from Pinnacle Systems, presumably allowing basic video editing and saving of clips - the news items note that the software allows users to send their films to friends via email, and contains a library of sound clips from "an angry T-Rex to a kitten"...

    The camera itself apparently features a case with the familiar Lego-style connectors allowing it to be mounted on a Lego construction, and will be sold bundled with an assortment of Lego props such as buildings, houses, cars, characters including firefighters and dinosaurs and other animals. A book of tips and tricks, as well as challenges to kids will be included. Starting from January, seven further "props" sets will be sold, without the camera and software, such as a a bank, car stunt area and a rotating city. These will cost between $69.99 and $199.

    Speilberg intends to donate proceeds from his share of the sales to the Starbright Foundation, which helps seriously ill children, and The Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which preserves testimonies of Holocaust survivors. The Lego set will be only the second product which he has agreed to brand with his name, the first being a 1996 CD-ROM titled 'Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair,' an interactive, movie-making game put out by Knowledge Adventure and DreamWorks Interactive and distributed by Microsoft.

    It seems that with this news, there's going to be quite some competition to existing digital still and video cameras targetted at kids - the Lego plan seems to offer the potential for a great deal of creativity from kids... If the specification of the camera itself is comparable to others on the market (and particularly, if it is able to take and store still images when not connected to a PC, something which is not mentioned in the press release), it could be quite a contender in a market which is seeing larger and larger names making their entries! If we are able to confirm further details on the camera, we'll post them here...

    Ulead announces iMira photo-sharing site!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 9:19 EDT)


    Ulead Systems Inc. announced today a new media sharing Web site for consumer digital media users. iMira.com is Ulead's largest effort to date to establish the company as a primary force in the Internet media space - a mission set by Ulead's executive team in December 1999.

    "Ulead has always been a pioneer in the Web marketplace," said Danielle Liao, president of Ulead Systems, Inc. "We were first to create integrated Web tools, then first to develop technologies and online retailer relationships that offer easy and convenient ways to buy those tools online. Now, iMira.com has a unique opportunity to provide Ulead's 3.5 million registered users with a solution that brings together the best of our desktop applications and Web services."


    Launched today in the U.S., iMira.com provides one destination to store, share and showcase personal media files. Today, the site focuses on supporting the needs of digital photography users; however, applications and services for video and audio enthusiasts will be available shortly. Users can upload existing files and store 20 MB in a Gallery for future projects. Digital photography users can now create online photo albums accessible by friends and family and send electronic greeting cards for all types of holidays and events. Through a partnership with Photo Access, users will be able to create memorable gifts from the photos they store online. Finally, the site will offer a large selection of free, downloadable photos and animations. iMira.com can be viewed in several languages including English, Chinese and Japanese.

    iMira.com dramatically extends the value Ulead delivers with its desktop software by integrating a client-side application, Ulead Photo Explorer 6.0, with its Web-based services. Photo Explorer 6.0 is a solution for acquiring, organizing, enhancing and sharing digital photos. The key significance of Photo Explorer 6.0 is its ability to easily and quickly transfer images from a PC to iMira.com. Photo Explorer 6.0 is now available as a free download from both iMira.com and Ulead's Web sites. Ulead plans to enable all future software versions to be able to upload images to iMira. With a total shipment of 7.5 million units in 1999 and a 2000 forecast to exceed 10 million, Ulead believes it will be able to deliver high traffic to iMira.com.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

    Beta of ACDSee for Mac available!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 8:21 EDT)


    ACD Systems Int'l, Inc. today announced that the Macintosh beta version of its leading digital image management software, ACDSee, is now available. ACDSee for Mac is a fast, full-featured image viewer that displays digital images in high resolution and allows users to find and organize image archives, movie and sound clips. It supports over 40 popular image formats, plus provides fast viewing and playing of multimedia files using QuickTime(TM) technology including MPEGs and MP3s.

    "This first product release to the Macintosh community is part of ACD Systems' aggressive growth strategy to increase the size of our established user base and to expand the market penetration of ACD Systems' products worldwide," said Doug Vandekerkhove, President and CEO of ACD Systems. "By releasing a beta version of ACDSee for Mac to the Macintosh community, we're encouraging Mac users to explore ACDSee and become involved in creating a solution that best fits their needs by providing us with feedback."


    ACDSee for Mac is available as a download from ACD Systems' corporate Web site, http://www.acdsystems.com/, where the company receives approximately 3/4 of a million download requests each month. Following the release of the beta version of ACDSee for Mac and gathering of user feedback, ACD Systems will release the first complete version of ACDSee for Mac in summer 2000.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / Canadian Corporate News

    AOL, PictureVision bring Kideo onboard 'You've Got Pictures'!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 8:10 EDT)


    PictureVision Inc. has partnered with Kideo Productions Inc. and America Online to co-market Kideo's line of photo-personalized products through AOL's "You've Got Pictures" service, a press release today announces.

    AOL and PictureVision will offer Kideo's photo-personalized product line including videos, calendars, and photos featuring popular licensed characters to "You've Got Pictures" users.

    "You've Got Pictures," powered by technology developed by PictureVision, allows AOL members to share and store their photographs online. Over 38,000 retail photo developers offer the "You've Got Pictures" service to consumers who include their AOL screen name when dropping off film.
    "This partnership is a natural outgrowth of our continued efforts to strengthen PictureVision's place as the industry leader in online photo finishing," says Dave MacWhorter, PictureVision CEO. "Working with Kideo opens new doors to consumers who want to explore new ways to view, use and share their photos over the Internet."

    "Kideo's photo-personalized product line offers one more compelling reason for consumers to take advantage of AOL's terrific 'You've Got Pictures' service,"
    says Kideo President and CEO Richard Bulman. "The way consumers manage their photographs is being fundamentally changed by online photo sharing, and the 'You've Got Pictures' service is without a doubt the leading service in that category. We're very excited to be working with AOL and PictureVision to make Kideo's photo-customized products a leading online application for consumer photographs."

    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Matsushita to ship SD Memory Cards next month!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 6:16 EDT)


    A Reuters news item today notes that Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. will start selling SD Memory Cards and products based on the format in Japan from June. It will start selling 64 megabyte (MB) and 32 MB SD Memory Cards on June 30, producing up to 100,000 of each a month, and plans to launch 256 MB cards in the year starting April 2001.

    SD Memory Cards are postage stamp-sized flash memory cards with built-in copy protection, developed by Matsushita, SanDisk Corp. and Toshiba Corp. 70 to 90 companies including Hewlett Packard, Eastman Kodak, Motorola and Compaq are expected to introduce products compatible with SD Memory Cards, according to a Matsushita spokesman...
    Source: Yahoo! News / Reuters

    ScanSoft extends Microtek OEM agreement!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 6:12 EDT)


    ScanSoft Inc. today announced a new OEM agreement with Microtek Lab Inc. extending Microtek's rights to bundle Scansoft OmniPage® OCR and PageKeeper® document management software products with its scanners. The agreement involves scanners distributed worldwide including the Microtek ScanMaker series for the Windows and Macintosh platforms.
    "Enabling users to do productive things with their scanner right away, bundled software adds value to any scanner purchase," said Wayne Crandall, ScanSoft's senior vice president of sales and business development. "We are pleased that our OCR and document management products have been chosen to complement Microtek's award-winning scanning solutions"

    "Our relationship with ScanSoft is important in our strategy to provide superior digital imaging solutions at competitive price points,"
    said Mary Ann Whitlock, director of marketing at Microtek Lab, Inc. "As scanners become more of a commodity, it is our approach to provide a comprehensive solution by bundling feature-rich software that makes the power of our hardware come to life. We are happy to provide our scanner customers with ScanSoft's outstanding digital imaging products."

    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    PhotoChannel announces appointment!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 6:09 EDT)


    PhotoChannel Networks Inc. has today announced that Mr. Owen Matthews has been appointed to its Board of Directors.

    Mr. Matthews is the President of NewHeights Software Corporation of Victoria, British Columbia. NewHeights entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with the PhotoChannel.Com Limited Partnership on May 4, 2000 to create proprietary flash media readers that will upload images directly to PhotoChannel's online photo-sharing website. NewHeights Software Corporation is a privately held Canadian company whose principal shareholders include Owen Matthews, Andrew Fisher, Celtic House International Corporation and Ubiquity Software Corporation, a U.K. software development company. Its Board of Directors includes Terence H. Matthews, the founder and CEO of Newbridge Networks Corp. of Kanata, Ontario.
    "We are extremely pleased to have Owen Matthews join our Board," said Geoffrey G. Briant, Chairman & CEO. "He has already helped us launch some new strategic initiatives which we are actively pursuing. We welcome him to PhotoChannel and look forward to his active participation as a member of our Board."

    Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

    Toshiba, SanDisk cooperate on VA flash plant!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 6:01 EDT)


    Toshiba Corp. and SanDisk Corp. today signed an agreement to create a new semiconductor company, FlashVision LLC, to produce advanced flash memory, utilizing fabrication space at Dominion Semiconductor in Manassas, Virginia.

    Toshiba and SanDisk will each get 50 percent of Dominion's flash memory production and will separately market and sell their share of the output of the joint venture production to their respective customers. The NAND memory wafers will primarily be used to manufacture flash memory cards for use in digital cameras, digital music players and future generations of cell phones. By 2002, the flash memory production capacity of the joint venture is projected to be able to support more than $1 billion in annual sales.

    The agreement was announced today at a news conference in Manassas attended by Virginia Governor James S. Gilmore III, state and local officials, and business leaders and representatives from Toshiba, SanDisk and Dominion Semiconductor.

    Yasuo Morimoto, president and CEO, Toshiba Corporation Semiconductor Company, welcomed the new joint venture and said,
    "FlashVision will bring together Toshiba's advanced semiconductor process technologies and SanDisk's original multilevel cell technology. The company will build on the excellent potential of NAND flash to produce cost-effective, next generation devices and can look forward to a very bright future."
    Eli Harari, president and CEO of SanDisk, said,
    "It is an honor and a pleasure for SanDisk Corporation to participate today with Toshiba Corporation in the launching of this exciting FlashVision joint venture. In the short time we have worked with the Dominion manufacturing team, we are impressed with their high professionalism, dedication, warm hospitality and passionate desire to help us launch FlashVision right here at Dominion Manassas. The markets for the flash memory that will be manufactured at Dominion are projected to grow rapidly in the coming decade. SanDisk, Toshiba, the state of Virginia and the local government at Manassas are committed to work together with the Dominion team to make FlashVision a commercial success. I am confident that FlashVision will produce the most advanced and most competitive flash storage products in the world, thereby creating an engine of growth and prosperity for all participants."
    Under the terms of the joint venture, Toshiba and SanDisk plan to spend approximately $700 million to equip existing fabrication space at Dominion. The investment costs and ownership of FlashVision will be shared equally by both companies. Dominion expects to hire an additional 600 workers for production for FlashVision with volume production of NAND flash memories expected to start in the second half of 2001 and achieve high volume mass production in 2002.

    In addition to the joint venture company, Toshiba and SanDisk will work together to develop 512 megabit (Mbit), 1 gigabit (Gbit) and 2 Gbit flash memories, along with future generations of flash memories, employing 0.16 and 0.13 micron process technologies. The flash memory devices will utilize SanDisk's proprietary multilevel cell (MLC) flash technology. In addition, the companies will develop advanced controllers including Secure Digital (SD) Memory Card controllers. The agreement is expected to close no later than June 30, 2000, pending satisfactory completion of due diligence by SanDisk and Toshiba.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Ulead announces Photo Explorer 6.0!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 5:56 EDT)


    Ulead Systems Inc. today announced Ulead Photo Explorer 6.0, the latest version of its software for acquiring, organizing, enhancing and sharing image files. Version 6.0 is Ulead's first application to tightly integrate with Web-based services offered from iMira.com, Ulead's new online photo-sharing web site.

    The new Digital Camera Wizard feature in Photo Explorer 6.0 simplifies the process of downloading photos from a camera or memory card reader into one single step. By following the JEIDA-DCF standard, Photo Explorer 6.0 preserves and displays Exif data recorded by the camera. Version 6.0 also allows users to quickly gather files from multiple Web sites with its Web scanning feature. This feature allows users to browse and download specified media files from chosen sites.

    Uploading and sharing files online is simplified in version 6.0. First, users can drag-and-drop files to the Drop Spot, a unique utility that uploads files in one step to a personal account on the iMira.com media sharing Web site. Membership on iMira.com is free and new accounts can be created directly from within Photo Explorer 6.0. Second, the slide show feature in Photo Explorer 6.0 has been improved. Users can now create image-based slideshows, add audio, then email or output the shows as Web pages.

    Resizable thumbnails, new sorting options and drag-and-drop file management make media file organization quick and easy. Users can preview files in a new area built directly into the program or step through photo collections in full size. Enhancement options include lossless JPEG rotation, cropping, brightness/color correction and file format conversion.

    Two versions of Ulead Photo Explorer 6.0 are available. A free version includes a banner advertisement area in the user interface. Or, an electronic software distributions version without advertising may be purchased from online retailers for $29.95. As a special offer, a free upgrade to the ad-free version of Photo Explorer 6.0 is available to current users of Photo Explorer 5.0, WebRazor Pro 2.0, and Ulead PhotoImpact 5.0.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

    Kodak ships PalmPix!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 5:49 EDT)


    Kodak PalmPix with 3COM Palm IIIx - click for a bigger picture!
    Click for a bigger picture!


    Eastman Kodak Co. announced today that its PalmPix camera is now shipping to retail stores worldwide and will be available online at www.kodak.com/go/shop this month.
    "Pre-release demand has been terrific both in the U.S. and overseas as Palm users recognize the value that PalmPix adds to their organizers," said Phil Gerskovich, Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company, and Chief Operating Officer, Digital & Applied Imaging. "And we're working to fulfill that demand as quickly as possible."
    With the PalmPix, owners of Palm III and VII series handheld devices can capture and share pictures simply by connecting the camera to their organizer to take and transfer digital pictures. At a suggested retail price of $179, PalmPix enables Palm users to capture images of important items and events, like notes from a conference room board, business associates, or trade shows.

    PalmPix is compatible with Palm III, IIIe, IIIx and IIIc, IBM Workpad, Palm VII platform, and TRGpro. It is also compatible with Palm V and Vx models with a required Dock V adapter (sold separately). Included in the box are two Kodak AAA alkaline batteries, quick setup and user guide, and PalmPix software, Windows 95, 98 and NT 4.0 Installer, Presto! Mr. Photo, for editing, sharing and storing photos, and Image Carousel software, a slide show screen saver and wallpaper utility.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Monday, May 8, 2000



    Full review of 3 megapixel Sony DSC-S70 posted!
    By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 19:41 EDT)


    Well, it looks like this is going to be "Sony Week" at the Imaging Resource! - We've just posted our full review of the 3.3 megapixel Sony CyberShot DSC-S70, and should have a full review of the 2.1 megapixel DSC-S50 up by tomorrow. (Actually, our friendly "competitors" Steve and Phil both had links posted to our own review before we did: The explanation is that Dave needed to finish-off the "test results" section before we announced it officially, and he didn't get to that until today, thanks to *absurd* ethernet problems in his new office space.)

    Interestingly, although essentially every other 3 megapixel digicam on the market uses Sony's 3.34 megapixel CCD chip, this is the first camera produced by Sony to use that sensor. (We reported about a week ago on Sony's DSC-F505V, which also uses the same CCD, but that unit won't be shipping for nearly two months yet, while the S70 is appearing in stores already.)

    The S70 looks like a real winner: Like the F505 and F505V, it uses a Carl Zeiss lens, and the optical quality is clearly evident in the ultra-sharp pictures it captures: The S70 now holds the distinction of having the highest measured resolution of any digicam we've tested to date! Other image-quality characteristics are great as well, with excellent color, nice exposure controls, and good macro and low-light performance. It even records movies with sound, a nice feature. An optional adapter provides front-of-lens filter threads for attaching filters and accessory lenses, and there's also a flash-sync socket, albeit a proprietary one for a Sony external flash unit. Overall, we think the S70 is going to be very popular, with a compact form factor, excellent image quality, and nice feature set! Check out the review for full details!

    Source: Imaging Resource DSC-S70 full review!

    Steve's Digicams posts FinePix 4700 first look, PDR-M70 samples!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 19:37 EDT)


    Our friends over at Steve's Digicams have posted their first look review of Fuji's FinePix 4700 Zoom digital camera today. There's no conclusion as yet (it's a first look!), but plenty of pictures and info on what Steve describes as "a very interesting little (and I do mean little!) digicam"...

    Also on Steve's we see news that the first PDR-M70 sample photos have been posted over the weekend - so if you read Steve's first-look on the M70 but were waiting to see some samples, head on over and check them out!

    DPReview posts Olympus C-3030Z review!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 19:32 EDT)


    Our friends over at the Digital Photography Review have today posted their review of Olympus' new C-3030Z digital camera. Here's what Phil has to say about this 3 megapixel unit:
    "Olympus take last years successful C-2020Z and upgrade it. With more pixels, several fixes and the new black case the C-3030Z is a worthy successor. Image quality is excellent, if occasionally marred by chromatic aberrations (don't we love em?). I was a little disappointed that Olympus didn't do more, they had the opportunity to get some added functionality in as well as just increasing resolution (I'm talking about what Nikon have done with the Coolpix 990)..."
    There's plenty of in-depth info and pictures, as well as sample images and a comparison with Nikon's Coolpix 990. Check it out here!
    Source: Digital Photography Review's Olympus C-3030Z review

    Agfa scanner receives award!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 19:01 EDT)


    Agfa Corp.'s Desktop Products Group announced today that its SnapScan Touch desktop scanner was awarded the title of "Editor's Choice" in the April 2000 issue of Working Woman Magazine. The magazine highlights the SnapScan Touch's ease of use combined with excellent scan quality and favorably comments about its software and image capture capabilities. The unit was the highest rated scanner of those reviewed.

    The SnapScan Touch is a Universal Serial Bus (USB) compatible, landscape-designed flat-bed scanner designed for home and small/office environments. It incorporates USB compatibility, with a push-button system for scanning directly into email, fax or printer. The SnapScan Touch also includes ScanWise - the scanner driver that ships with the entire SnapScan series of scanners.
    Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

    Epson announces PhotoPC 3000Z digital camera!
    By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
    (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 18:54 EDT)


    Epson PhotoPC 3000Z - click for a bigger picture!
    Click for a bigger picture!


    Epson America Inc. has today announced its new 3.34 megapixel PhotoPC 3000Z digital camera. The PhotoPC 3000Z features a 3x optical zoom lens, CompactFlash storage, and USB connectivity - here's the full details:
    • Epson PhotoPC 3000Z digital camera
    • 3.34 megapixel CCD provides native 2048 x 1536 pixel image size
    • 3x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 34-102mm on a 35mm camera. 49mm lens thread for add-on lenses and filters. Digital zoom (strength unspecified). Macro mode allows focusing between 2.36" and 20".
    • 1.8" wide-view LCD display shows 98% of image.
    • CompactFlash storage (16MB card bundled). Supports cards up to 200MB.
    • Serial and USB connectivity, USB compatible with iMac, G3/G4 Mac, Windows98 and Windows2000. 3 megapixel images can be downloaded in 1.5 seconds.
    • Built-in flash with red-eye reduction and slow sync modes
    • External flash hotshoe
    • Built-in microphone and speaker gives audio recording and playback capability. 10 second audio clips can be recorded and attached to each still image. Audio clips can be played in the camera.
    • Video recording capability (first Epson camera with this feature!). Video stored as 15 frame-per-second MotionJPEG files with sound, up to a maximum of 25 seconds per video clip.
    • Fully automatic, programmed or manual modes. Manual mode gives control of shutter, aperture, or both, as well as focusing. Spot metering available. Programmed mode offers adjustable white balance, ISO sensitivity, or exposure compensation. Auto mode controls everything itself.
    • Playback zoom and pan capability, as well as ability to view date/time, shutter speed and aperture of stored photos.
    • Panorama mode.
    • Compliant with DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System)
    • Proprietary Epson HyPict interpolation offers maximum image size of 2544 x 1904 pixels. Interpolation occurs before JPEG compression.
    • Bundled with 4 AA NiMH batteries and fast charger, 16MB CompactFlash card, Sierra Imaging Image Expert image manager, Epson Photo!3 TWAIN driver, Epson Photo File Uploader, Epson Photo! Print 2.
    • Powered by four AA NiMH batteries (2-hour fast charger and batteries included).
    • Compatible with Epson Image Authentication System
    • Will ship for an estimated street price of $999. Ship date unspecified. Covered by Epson rebate for $50 if purchased with an Epson printer, and $30 if purchased with an Epson scanner between April 1 and Aug 30 2000.

    • Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      PictureIQ and NDS cooperating in set-tops!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 17:45 EDT)


      PictureIQ Corp. announced today that it is collaborating with NDS Group plc to add picture editing and creativity capabilities to NDS' interactive photo applications for TV set-top boxes. The companies will demonstrate a digital picture-enabled solution on a variety of set-top boxes at the NCTA Cable 2K trade show.
      "Bringing consumers' pictures to the TV overcomes a major hurdle preventing mass consumer adoption of digital photography - which is that consumers want to view, share, enhance, and play with their digital pictures in a familiar and convenient place, but their only option today is to gather their friends around the computer," said Bill McCoy, President and CEO of PictureIQ Corporation. "The TV is the centerpiece of most family rooms, and thus provides a natural place to enjoy digital pictures. In addition to solving this significant consumer problem, our work with NDS to create easy, fun, and profitable TV photo applications that can be deployed across a variety of digital delivery and set-top environments worldwide will result in a substantially increased mass-market presence for PictureIQ technology beyond the PC.
      NDS is developing and marketing interactive TV photo applications to digital broadcasters, cable system operators, and set-top box manufacturers. The applications combine TV, digital photography and the Internet to allow consumers to seamlessly view, share, and order reprints of pictures from digital cameras and those stored on the Internet, from their family rooms via the TV. PictureIQ's digital imaging tools enhance these applications, providing benefits including one-button instant photo fixing, zoom, cropping, rotation, and creative special effects such as photo greeting cards and artistic color filters.
      "PictureIQ has demonstrated unique capabilities for picture enhancement and creativity infrastructure designed for the TV," said Abe Peled, President and CEO of NDS Group plc. "Working with PictureIQ will add significant and unique value to the breakthrough digital picture experiences that we and our partners will be providing."
      The companies will show a complete solution running on a variety of TV set-top box environments as well as on an Internet-enabled Sega Dreamcast game console. This demonstration illustrates the cross-platform nature of PictureIQ technology. Its architecture gives it the ability to be easily integrated across numerous set-top operating system and hardware platforms, and into other consumer devices such as game consoles, digital photo frames and PDAs.

      NDS chose to collaborate with PictureIQ based on its experience in bringing digital photography to the TV. PictureIQ recently worked with Sega Enterprises to deliver a photo viewing, editing and creativity application for the Sega Dreamcast game console, and has dedicated significant research and development resources towards creating intuitive digital photo applications for the TV. PictureIQ's strengths include optimizing photos for viewing on the TV, building user interfaces that rely only on simple remote control devices, and customizing PictureIQ features based on customers' specific needs.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

      PhotoPoint hits 10M photos, announces contest results!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 16:36 EDT)


      Photo-sharing website PhotoPoint.com today announced it has received its 10 millionth photograph, marking one of several significant milestones for the company. Launched in the fall 1998, PhotoPoint currently receives more than 1.7 million unique visitors a month and has been receiving over 60,000 new photos a day for posting.
      "Less than one year ago, we announced a milestone of one million photos hosted," noted David Rowley, president and co-founder of PhotoPoint. "Today we're announcing almost a tenfold increase in the amount of photos we've received. This incredible growth demonstrates that we have really struck a chord with people - they're recognizing how simple, easy and fun it is to share photos. We're really proud of hitting the 10 million photo mark."
      Later this week, on Thursday, May 11, PhotoPoint will award $1 million to the winner of its 'Million Dollar Moment' photo contest live at 8:00 am EST on CBS' "The Early Show." The million-dollar prize will go to one of 10 finalists who were chosen from a selection of 80 semi-finalists, all of whom submitted a photo that best tells a story during the company's 8-week contest, which kicked off February 7th. A panel of 10 professional photographers will select the top prize winner, as well as the first runner-up who will win a trip for two anywhere in the world, and the second runner-up who will win a $10,000 online shopping spree at PhotoPoint's Digital Store. All ten of the finalists' photos can be viewed on PhotoPoint's site at http://www.photopoint.com/gomillion/contest_finalists.html.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Scientific-Atlanta, Kodak collaborate!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 16:27 EDT)


      Scientific-Atlanta and Kodak have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on the development of an interactive photo-sharing television-based service for Scientific-Atlanta's Explorer platform, a press release today announces. Consumers will be able to view, organize, enhance, share and order prints of their digital pictures using their television sets as a result of the initiative.
      "This collaboration between Scientific-Atlanta and Kodak marries two of the most popular consumer devices ever-the camera and the television," said Allen Ecker, President, Subscriber Networks of Scientific-Atlanta. "Soon, people will have an easy option to view, organize, enhance, share and order prints of their treasured photos - easily accessible over the television, a centerpiece in many families' lives."
      When development of the new service is complete, consumers will be able to access the service through their televisions using Scientific-Atlanta's Explorer set-tops and interactive digital network and Kodak's networked printing infrastructure. Trials of the new service are expected to begin this fall.
      "Kodak and Scientific-Atlanta will bring Internet photography services to the TV in the living room - the place where most people want to share their pictures - and enable Kodak to reach non-PC households," said Willy Shih, President, Digital and Applied Imaging, and Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. "This venture will generate new revenue for Kodak and its partners from service fees, fulfillment of prints from digital files and through advertising sales."
      Cable operators will be able to gain new revenue streams by offering this service. Currently, approximately 1.5 million Explorer set-tops are installed in consumers' homes, and more than 70 percent of U.S. households subscribe to cable. Similarly, 90 percent of U.S. households own at least one camera; and 70 percent of U.S. households regularly take and develop photographs. This application will allow MSOs to tap into this revenue-generating market.

      Kodak's digital photography and imaging experience, combined with Scientific-Atlanta's Explorer set-top and digital network, will allow broadband operators to reap new revenues by enabling consumers to accomplish some or all of the following:
      • Transfer pictures from a digital camera (via USB interface) plugged into the Explorer set-top
      • Send pictures to be printed at Kodak's Internet photo finishing service
      • Enhance pictures by adding text messages, cropping or making other improvements, such as removing red eye
      • Share pictures by e-mailing them to friends and relatives
      • Purchase merchandise such as t-shirts and mugs customized with personal photos
      • Publish images on the World Wide Web

      Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

      Forbes reports on digicam market!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 14:21 EDT)


      A news item on Yahoo! Finance from Forbes.com looks at the digital camera market, and finds that whilst the revenue and sales picture looks rosy, the bottom line is still a thorny issue. According to Forbes, whilst reports such as a recent one from InfoTrends predict sales revenues of digicams to exceed film cameras this year, and unit sales to do the same in 2002, in reality the digicam business is still "a huge moneylosing ordeal" thus far. Forbes quotes Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Gibboney Huske as saying:
      "Despite demand for digital cameras, the business has yet to reach the level of scalability to make it profitable. Simply put, vendors are not selling enough units to make the incremental cost of manufacturing the technology worth it."
      The demands of such a marketplace are causing manufacturers to seek other ways to turn a profit from their digital camera businesses, something that is not as easy when the digital "film" can be reused... The solution thus far has been to go after tie-in deals, such as Kodak's bundling of Lexmark printers with its digital cameras. Forbes sees a problem with this approach though, noting that "[although it] provides a good marketing opportunity for Kodak and encourages people to buy its paper, it neglects a crucial trend in the industry. Consumers are increasingly using screen technology and digital storage for pictures rather than relying on prints. As a result, consumers are more likely to use alternatives to Kodak's paper when they decide to get their pictures." Forbes' opinion? The only real way to make digicams profitable is to sell more of them, and that'll mean ploughing more money into digital until the profits finally appear... Interesting!
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / Forbes.com

      Agfa and LightSurf settle ePhoto dispute!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 14:06 EDT)


      Agfa Corp. and LightSurf Technologies Inc. today announced they have settled their disputes and lawsuits involving Agfa's ePhoto trademark and LightSurf's ephoto.com Web site, which we first reported on back on March 31st. Settlement terms were not disclosed.
      "We are pleased to have resolved these important intellectual property rights issues," stated Christophe Fremont, vice president, Agfa Corporation, Consumer Imaging. "We have invested heavily in the development of the ePhoto brand - representing our complete family of digital cameras. We look forward to further expansion of the ePhoto brand in digital imaging and photography."
      Philippe Kahn, chairman of LightSurf, said,
      "LightSurf is pleased that the resolution of this dispute confirms LightSurf's rights in its ephoto.com domain name, and allows us to continue to focus our efforts on the upcoming launch of ephoto.com and providing wireless Internet ephoto and digital photography solutions to our partners and customers."

      Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR NewsWire

      PhotoWorks launches advertising campaign!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 13:45 EDT)


      PhotoWorks has announced that it will begin an $8 million television and print advertising campaign designed by the Seattle office of Bozell Worldwide today. The ad campaign is part of a larger marketing campaign which combines television and print ads, as well as direct mail, online advertising and promotions.

      The advertising campaign is part of an increased total marketing budget for PhotoWorks, a company that has moved from its roots in photo processing into the emerging online photo processing market. Within the last four months, PhotoWorks has acquired funding from Internet venture capital firms, changed its name, rebranded its Web site and announced a partnership with AT&T.
      "The Internet is going to change the way people use photos, and PhotoWorks continues to lead the category by showing people how easy the possibilities are," said Gary Christophersen, PhotoWorks President and CEO. "The television and print ads truly capture and introduce the simple ways in which the Internet and PhotoWorks can help people share, print and store photographs."
      PhotoWorks' media buy begins with a Monday night "roadblock", which means that the advertisement will run simultaneously on major networks including ABC, NBC and Fox and major cable stations including Discover, Learning Channel, CNN and E! The ads will then continue running at various times throughout the summer. Additionally, print ads will be seen in weeklies such as People, Time, Newsweek, and lifestyle publications including Better Homes & Gardens and Martha Stewart Living beginning this week.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Toshiba ships the PDR-M70 digital camera!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 13:31 EDT)


      Toshiba's PDR-M70 mockup, shown at PMA 2000.  (c) 2000, Michael R. Tomkins


      A press release from Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. announces that its PDR-M70 digital camera is now shipping in the USA, somewhat later than the March ship-date originally planned when we first told you about the camera back on February 3rd. The 3.37 megapixel PDR-M70 features a 3x optical zoom lens, SmartMedia storage, USB connectivity and a pricetag of $899, which fits well with Toshiba's goal of a sub-$1000 price. Here's the full details:
      • Toshiba PDR-M70 digital camera
      • 1/1.8 inch 3.37 megapixel CCD gives image at 2048 x 1536 or 1024 x 768 pixels; EXIF 2.1 JPEG
      • 3x all-glass aspheric optical zoom lens, F2 - 2.5, 8 elements in 7 groups, equivalent to 35-105mm on a 35mm camera; macro focusing down to 8 inches; 2x digital zoom
      • 1.8 inch TFT backlit LCD display, (wider vertical viewing angles), 122,000 pixels
      • Built-in five mode flash (auto, on, off, slow-sync, red-eye reduction, fill-in); range 8 inches to 13.3 feet
      • USB (PC/Mac compatible) and NTSC/PAL video out connectivity
      • SmartMedia storage (2 to 6MB; upgradeable to 128MB)
      • Automatic exposure control with exposure compensation +/- 1.5EV in 0.3EV steps; shutter priority and aperture priority AE modes
      • Shutter speeds 1/2 to 1/1000 second (with mechanical shutter)
      • Automatic and four-mode manual white balance (outdoor, incandescent, fluorescent I and II)
      • ISO 100, 200 and 400 ratings
      • Approx 1.5 seconds recycle time between shots, less than one second between images in playback, less than three seconds startup time
      • Multi-shot mode records 36 shots in 1, 15 shots per second
      • Movie mode records up to 120 seconds at 15 frames per second
      • Self timer (2 or 10 seconds)
      • Long exposure mode (1, 2, 4 or 8 seconds)
      • Playback single frame, slide show, 9-in-1 thumbnails, movie, audio or 1.6x/3.2x playback zoom
      • Weighs 14.1 ounces with batteries, dimensions of 116mm x 76mm x 62mm
      • Bundled with USB cable (Mac/PC), video out cable, neck-strap, 16MB SmartMedia card, soft case, lens cap, rechargeable Lithium Ion battery with AC Adapter, and multi-platform CD software from Sierra Imaging for accessing, managing and enhancing digital photos
      The good folks over at Steve's Digicams recently posted a first look at the PDR-M70 digital camera - check it out!
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Silicon Film promotes COO to President and CEO!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Monday, May 8, 2000 - 11:02 EDT)


      Silicon Film Technologies Inc., the company behind the long-awaited "digital film cartridge" which can be used in a standard film camera, today announced the promotion of Kenneth P. Fay to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Fay joined Silicon Film in February 2000 as Chief Operating Officer and brings extensive digital manufacturing and operations experience to his new responsibilities. He was also elected to membership on Silicon Film's Board of Directors. Robert Webber, the former President and CEO, remains with Silicon Film as a Director.

      Most recently, Fay served as Vice President, Digital & Applied Imaging for the Eastman Kodak Company and as the executive director of Chinon Industries Inc., Kodak's digital camera manufacturing subsidiary in Nagano, Japan.

      "Silicon Film is poised to make the transition from a development stage company to an operating company, an environment in which my years of manufacturing and operations experience are directly relevant," said Fay. "Rob Webber has done a remarkable job of assembling the talent and resources to bring us to this point, and I welcome the challenge of continuing this pattern of success as we move into the next phase of our business."

      Source: Yahoo BizWire / PR NewsWire

      Sunday, May 7, 2000



      MegaPixel.net publishes latest issue!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Sunday, May 7, 2000 - 1:26 EDT)


      The May 2000 issue of megapixel.net is now online, according to an email we received tonight... Reviewed this month are:
      • Olympus C-3030Z (3.34 megapixel)
      • Casio QV-3000EX (3.34 megapixel)
      • FujiFilm FinePix 1400 (1.3 megapixel)
      • RCA CDS4100 (1.5 megapixel)
      Articles this month include:
      • Paul Sullivan takes a look at the use of photos on the web.
      • Readers talk about their specific uses of digital cameras.
      • A look at another inexpensive CMOS-based digital camera: RCA's CDS1000.


      Friday, May 5, 2000



      More reviews than you can shake a stick at!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Friday, May 5, 2000 - 12:06 EDT)


      In the midst of Mike's long-distance move from Iowa to Tennessee, and the mountain of news that appeared over the same period, we've missed quite a few reviews from our fellow digicam sites that readers may find interesting... Here's a summary of (we think!) everything we missed:

      Steve's Digicams

      HP PhotoSmart C500 digital camera - "...produces good pictures but the overall operation of the camera is far from robust. Given the current MSRP and street price of this camera I cannot give it very high marks for consumer value"
      Panasonic PV-PD2100 dye-sublimation photo printer - "...a very capable photo printer. If you want to do your own photo printing at home -- this is the way to go."
      Harbortronics DigiSnap 1000 remote shutter release - "If you need the ability to trigger the camera from a distance or wish to do timelapse photography, the DigiSnap performs beautifully. The DigiSnap 1000 has earned its place as another valuable tool in my arsenal of Coolpix gadgets!"
      Sony PLM-A35 Glasstron LCD glasses - "Cool ... very cool! Used with a digital camera or a camcorder, these are the ultimate color viewfinder."
      Toshiba PDR-M70 digital camera first look - "Nice compact size and it does movies with sound too. Over the next couple of days I will be building the sample pictures page and will post it as soon as possible."
      Maha PowerBank NiMH Battery Pack - "...a very nicely constructed battery pack that sells for just $58. I've tested out the Unity Digital ProPower Pack and the Mizco DPS-8000 and the Maha is easily their equal."

      Steve also has the Fuji FinePix 4700 and 1400 digital cameras in house, and is working on first-look reviews of both cameras to be completed in the next couple of days... These, along with the PDR-M70 review, will be given their final conclusions and become full-fledged reviews some time soon!

      Digital Camera Resource Page

      Jeff has now completed his epic production - the Olympus C-3030Z vs. Nikon Coolpix 990 shootout has been posted. He describes the shootout as "the most in-depth review I've ever written, this puppy takes up three pages, and covers not only the usual stuff, but also the software, movie mode, macro mode, flash tests, and more. I've been pretty much living at the computer for the last week and boy am I glad that it's done." Even if you've already read the review, you might want to read it again, as some last-minute corrections went in regarding macro photography and flash strength, amongst others...

      Thursday, May 4, 2000



      Iomega announces FireWire for Zip 250!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Thursday, May 4, 2000 - 17:48 EDT)


      Iomega Corp. has announced shipments of its new FireWire adapter for the Zip 250MB USB drive. The Zip 250MB FireWire adapter connects to the Zip 250MB USB drive via the ATAPI connector on the back of the drive and is compatible with FireWire-enabled PCs or Macintosh computers running Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows 2000 or Mac OS 8.6 through 9.0.

      The FireWire adapter will greatly increase the read speed of the Zip 250MB USB drive from 0.9 MB/second to over 2.0 MB/second. In addition, desktop systems with 6-pin FireWire ports are capable of providing host power to the Zip 250MB USB drive via the FireWire adapter, eliminating the need for a power supply.

      With the addition of the FireWire adapter, users now have three connectivity options for the Zip 250MB USB drive including USB connectivity, FireWire connectivity via the new FireWire adapter and PCMCIA connectivity to most laptop computers via an optional PCMCIA accessory.

      The Zip 250MB FireWire adapter is available directly from Iomega as well as through major distributors and resellers at an estimated street price of $79.95.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Applied Science Fiction buys IBM patents!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Thursday, May 4, 2000 - 17:41 EDT)


      A news item from MacCentral notes that Applied Science Fiction, the company behind the impressive Digital ICE software used in Nikon, Kodak and Minolta scanners, has purchased 18 patents from IBM. ASF had previously licensed the patents, which were developed by ASF Chief Scientist Al Edgar whilst working for IBM. The two companies also agreed on patent cross-licensing. According to MacWeek, some of the patents cover a dry film-processing technology that converts analog film into digital images, a technology which ASF intends to show at Germany's Photokina event in September.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / MacCentral

      Digicams spurring storage innovations!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Thursday, May 4, 2000 - 17:33 EDT)


      A press release from Peripheral Research Corp. announces the results of a new report, entitled "2000 New Applications for Data Storage, a Market and Technology Report". The paper looks at the impact that set-top boxes and digital cameras, amongst other items, are having on the storage market, and mentions another new 1-inch hard-drive on the way. We've told you before about IBM's MicroDrive, and a similar device being developed by Halo Data Devices, but apparently a company called MarQlin should also have a 1-inch hard disk on the market in the next year...

      Peripheral Research sees digital cameras as one of the two fastest-growing factors spurring storage development, and expects 4 or 5 storage devices to be sold per digital camera shipped, each year! Digital cameras are expected to need some 11.2 million storage devices this year, and 68 million by 2003...
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      PrimeShot and PictureVision ally!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Thursday, May 4, 2000 - 17:05 EDT)


      PrimeShot.com and PictureVision, Inc. have announced a strategic partnership that will enable professional photographers to quickly upload pictures from events for consumers to view, share and purchase prints online.

      Under the agreement, PrimeShot will rely on PictureVision's proprietary scanning and digitizing technology and patented processes to post photographs from weddings, reunions, sporting events, corporate affairs and other special occasions to the PrimeShot.com Web site.

      Consumers and event attendees can then view, share and purchase Kodak-paper prints and related items via the Internet. The two companies will also engage in joint marketing opportunities.

      "We view PrimeShot.com as an exciting new entry in an unserved segment of the online digital imaging space," says David MacWhorter, CEO of PictureVision, Inc. "By unifying the services of professional event photographers, PrimeShot.com is providing consumers a single branded online destination to hire certified photographers for a range of social, business and athletic events."

      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      PhotoChannel developing proprietary flash readers!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Thursday, May 4, 2000 - 15:57 EDT)


      PhotoChannel Networks Inc. has announced the formation of PhotoChannel.Com Limited Partnership and the offering of between 750,000 and 2,500,000 "limited partnership units" at a price of $10.00 per unit. The company plans to use proceeds raised from the sale to develop a service using proprietary SmartMedia and CompactFlash Card Readers. These Smart Media and Compact Flash USB Card Readers will exclusively upload images to the PhotoChannel Web site for free lifetime archiving and online photo print ordering.

      The readers will be developed and manufactured on behalf of the partnership by NewHeights Software Corporation of Victoria, British Columbia. PhotoChannel will in turn provide home delivery of prints made on Fuji Crystal Archive silver-halide photographic paper.The print service will be offered "at a price competitive with conventional film processing".
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

      eframes.com, PictureIQ announce deal!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Thursday, May 4, 2000 - 14:34 EDT)


      PictureIQ Corp. and eframes.com have announced in a press release that eframes.com will integrate the PictureIQ Internet Service into its website. eframes.com allows users to upload their digital images, preview them in a variety of over 70 styles of wood, metal and specialty frames, and ship them to friends and family within 24 hours. Users can also order package prints of their photos from eframes.com's printing service.

      The PictureIQ Internet Service provides eframes.com customers with a way to alter and enhance their digital pictures prior to ordering a framed print. Visitors to eframes.com will have access to PictureIQ features such as one-touch instant photo fixing, cropping, rotation and special effects. eframes.com customers will be able to upload their pictures and optimize them for framing within the eframes.com Web site using the PictureIQ "toolbar" without having to spend any time and effort using PC-based software. No downloads of software plug-ins or add-ons are required to use the PictureIQ features.

      In addition, PictureIQ will soon offer its partners eframes.com services through a select version of the PictureIQ Internet Service. PictureIQ will add eframes.com features directly onto the customizable PictureIQ toolbar, enabling customers to easily obtain framed prints.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

      Wednesday, May 3, 2000



      d-store announces Spring photo contest!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 16:40 EDT)


      IR advertiser d-store.com has today announced its Wonders of Spring Photo contest. The contest is open to everyone, with a theme based on what Spring means to the individual as depicted through the photo. Winners will receive prizes ranging from a digital camera to card readers and gift certificates. Contestants can view past winners, which list the make and model of the digital cameras used to take the winning photos.

      "As we continue to develop and refine the d-store.com shopping experience, we listen to what our customers have to say, and they want contests," said Bruce Feldman, Co-President of d-store.com. "Since the d-store.com mission is to make customer satisfaction our first priority, The Wonders of Spring contest serves a dual purpose. Winning is always an incentive, and it's a great way for customers to view and evaluate photos taken from a variety of new-to-market digital cameras -- without any influence from manufacturer or reseller."

      Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

      Morningstar sweepstakes offers chance to win a digicam!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 16:37 EDT)


      Morningstar.com has launched its second promotional sweepstakes, "Investigate and Win," with a grand prize of a Pioneer 40" flat screen TV. Five daily prizes include a Samsung 800K digital camera. The promotion runs for through Monday, May 29, 2000.
      "Our first promotion was such a huge success attracting new users to investing, we wanted to do another. It's also a simple way for investors to connect to Morningstar to learn more about investing and of course, to win prizes," said Nick Bothfeld, vice president of marketing for Morningstar. "It's designed so everyone will win something, he added.
      Everyone who enters the sweepstakes automatically receives a free e-mail report from the Morningstar Investment Vault. In addition, sweepstake participants will be e-mailed weekly reports on critical investing issues, such as how to evaluate funds, stocks and IPOs, until June 2, 2000.

      Sweepstakes participants can return to the site on a daily basis to repeatedly enter for a chance at winning prizes - for both the grand prize and for one of the daily prize giveaways. Users will find out instantly if they have won a daily prize.

      To increase their chances at winning the grand prize by gaining an additional entry, participants can take the Morningstar Stock Tour, which gives them a quick summary of Morningstar stock research and analysis.

      Another way to increase one's chance of winning the grand prize is to refer a friend. Users can click on the Refer-a-Friend icon to generate an e-mail to friends, encouraging them to take part in the Morningstar promotion. Users can refer one unique friend every day for another entry in the grand prize giveaway.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      SnapFish announces $33 million second round financing!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 16:34 EDT)


      Snapfish.com Corp. today announced the close of $33 million in its Series B round of financing led by Japanese investor, Trans Cosmos, with new investors Audax Ventures, BellSouth and Compaq, as well as previous investors CMGI @Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of CMGI, and Mayfield Fund.

      Snapfish.com Corporation's first round of financing of $7.5 million closed in November 1999 and was led by Mayfield Fund and CMGI @Ventures. The second round brings the total amount of funding raised by Snapfish.com to $40.5 million, which is to date the largest amount of secured funding disclosed in the online photo sector. Snapfish.com will use the additional resources to expand the depth and breadth of its Internet service, which launched in April, and for marketing efforts to build the Snapfish.com brand.

      Trans Cosmos has had success bringing U.S. technology brands, such as NetRatings, DoubleClick and RealNetworks, into the Japanese market. Its lead investment in Snapfish.com is designed to expedite the company's expansion into Japan, one of the largest and most active photography markets in the world.
      "We invested in Snapfish.com because it's the only player that combines the three critical ingredients required for success," said Mark Kalow, managing director of Trans Cosmos.

      Kalow continued, "First, Snapfish.com addresses the vast number of 35 mm film camera users who are interested in sharing their photos online. Second, Snapfish.com's award-winning free business model and its strategic partnerships demonstrate visionary thinking with respect to creating a business that truly leverages the New Economy. The third element is the company's experienced management team. All these factors position Snapfish.com well for leadership in the online photo market."
      In addition to funds raised from leading venture capital firms, BellSouth and Compaq have joined the Series B round as strategic investors. These strategic relationships support Snapfish.com's national branding efforts and are expected to expand its reach to targeted groups of American consumers.

      Compaq will develop co-marketing programs with their top-selling personal computer, the Compaq Presario. The strategic relationships with both companies expand Snapfish.com's potential to market its services to the family market.

      Raj Kapoor, Snapfish.com Corporation's co-founder, president and CEO said,
      "In today's market, strong financing from top backers will separate the winners from the losers. We are very fortunate to be backed by leaders in the venture capital space as well as by strategic partners whose comprehensive national consumer branding campaigns complement our own."

      Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

      PhotoChannel completes $15,000,000 financing!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 14:56 EDT)


      Online photofinisher PhotoChannel Networks Inc. has announced that on May 1, 2000 it completed, subject to the fulfillment of certain escrow conditions, the private placement financing of an aggregate of $15,000,000 previously announced on March 20, 2000, on a partly brokered, partly non-brokered basis.
      "The proceeds of the financing will be used to fund the launch of the Company's online photo print service for digital camera photographers featuring photographic quality prints on Fuji Crystal Archive silver-halide photographic paper produced with Fuji Frontier Series 370 Digital Minilabs - the state of the art in digital minilab equipment" said Geoffrey G. Briant, Chairman & CEO of PhotoChannel Networks Inc. "We think our customers will appreciate the superior print quality of pictures from our Fuji Frontier Digital Minilabs - a solid state laser exposure system which is greatly superior to ordinary CRT exposure systems used by our competitors."
      PhotoChannel also advised that it had issued options to purchase 1,150,000 common shares, at a price of $1.00 per share, for a period of one year, to a consultant.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire

      Sony USA announces the DSC-F505V!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 14:42 EDT)




      Sony Electronics Inc. has now announced the Cyber-shot DSC-F505V digital camera in the USA. We first told you about the DSC-F505V on its Japanese announcement April 26, and brought you an exclusive first-look at the camera just two days later on April 28...

      The DSC-F505V features a 3.34 megapixel CCD, of which an effective 2.62 megapixels are used (the remainder being masked off due to the use of the same chassis as for the older DSC-F505 model.

      Here's a summary of the new camera's features:

      • Based on the Sony DSC-F505K
      • 1/1.8" 3.34 megapixel SuperHAD CCD sensor; 3,340,000 pixels of which 2,620,000 pixels effective. 12-bit A/D converter. Sensor image size of 1,856 x 1,392 pixels.
      • Carl Zeiss "Vario-Sonnar" lens, F2.8-3.3, 5X optical zoom (f=7.1-35mm, equivalent to 38-190mm on a 35mm camera). 2x precision digital zoom. Focuses 0.25m to infinity in AF mode, or 0.02m to infinity in Macro AF Mode. Manual focusing available. Magnified display on LCD when focusing manually.
      • 123,000 pixel 2" TFT LCD display
      • MemoryStick storage
      • Built-in flash with off, on, auto and red-eye reduction modes, range of 0.3-2.5m. External flash connector for HVL-F1000 flash
      • USB and monaural NTSC/PAL Connectivity
      • Uses NP-FS11 InfoLithium batteries or AC power adaptor. Consumes 2.9W with LCD display on, or 2.4W with LCD display off.
      • Exposure compensation +/- 2.0EV
      • Manual selection of 9 aperture and 19 shutter speeds.
      • Shutter speeds 8 seconds to 1/1000 second.
      • 12 bit A/D conversion for wider dynamic range
      • JPEG, TIFF, GIF or MPEG1 storage.
      • SRC "Super Resolution Converter" interpolation technology gives final image size up to 2,240 x 1,680 pixels (3.7 megapixel), using data from the CCD to interpolate before JPEG compression. Other available resolutions are 1856 x 1392, 1856 x 1232, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, and 640 x 480.
      • Video modes include 320 x 240 in High Quality or Presentation mode (both up to a maximum of 15 seconds per clip), and 160 x 112 in Video Mail mode (up to a maximum of 60 seconds per clip). 8MB of flash memory will allow up to 20 seconds of High Quality video, 1 minute of Presentation quality, or 5 minutes of Video Mail quality. Video is at 16 frames per second.
      • In-camera resizing and cropping of images
      • Auto orientation - camera detects whether photo is taken in landscape or portrait mode
      • Weighs 424 grams by itself, 475 grams with battery, MemoryStick, wrist strap and lens cap. Dimensions of 107.2 x 62.2 x 135.9mm.
      • Bundled with 8MB MemoryStick, shoulder strap, lens cap, USB cable, AV cable, power cable, NP-FS11 rechargeable battery, AC-VF10 charger/adapter, CD-ROM with USB driver, VideoWaveSE, and PhotoSuite 8.0.
      • Available in June for about $900.

      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Wolf Camera Teams with AOL for Free 'You've Got Pictures' Offer!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 14:23 EDT)


      Photo-retailer Wolf Camera and America Online have announced a partnership designed to promote online photo-processing to consumers. The specifics of the promotion, which runs through June 30, 2000, provide for Wolf Camera to offer free use of AOL's "You've Got Pictures", co-owned by Eastman Kodak, with standard film processing in their 700 locations in 30 states.

      Wolf will promote the offer in their advertising efforts and through direct mail to their frequent user club members. AOL will also promote the offer online to its 22 million members through the length of the promotion. Wolf will support the promotion with newspaper ads, radio spots, direct mail, in-store signage and point-of-purchase displays.
      "We are very excited to undertake this special promotion with America Online," said Wayne Freedman, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Wolf Camera. "Wolf Camera was the first retailer to provide the 'You've Got Pictures' service through one-hour digital processing through on-site digitizing at all of our locations. We are convinced that once consumers experience the service they will regularly have their photos digitized when processing film in the future. 'You've Got Pictures' makes digital photography available to consumers - easily and affordably - without having to buy an expensive digital camera."
      The online photo processing technology for AOL's "You've Got Pictures" service was developed by PictureVision, an independently operated subsidiary of Eastman Kodak, and a strategic partner of both AOL and Wolf Camera. Wolf Camera uses PictureVision technology to offer its customers without personal digital imaging technology the opportunity to view, use and share their photos on the Web.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Shutterfly, BabyCenter announce Family PhotoCenter!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 14:13 EDT)


      A press release notes that online photofinisher Shutterfly Inc. has joined forces with BabyCenter.com to create the Family PhotoCenter, a place to store, share and print photos of your children.

      A recent study by InfoTrends Research Group indicated that parents of young children are far more likely than the general population to own digital cameras or scanners, and picture taking continues to be a very popular family pastime. Scheduled to open in July, The Family PhotoCenter, powered exclusively by Shutterfly, will deliver online photo services to the over 1.25 million BabyCenter users.
      "The Family PhotoCenter is a highly anticipated addition to the BabyCenter.com site and fits our commitment to building a personalized online resource for new parents with all the information, products and services they need," said Mari Baker, BabyCenter senior vice president and general manager. "With just a digital camera and a visit to our Family PhotoCenter, parents will now be able to put their photos online and share their children's latest milestones with family, no matter where they are. By working with Shutterfly, BabyCenter will be able to offer our visitors the best online photo experience and the highest quality print services."
      BabyCenter visitors will find a suite of photo-related products and services at their command within The Family PhotoCenter, including everything they need to get their pictures online, share them through email, and have prints mailed to friends and family. For example, a new father will be able to upload pictures of mother and baby at the hospital, invite family and friends by e-mail to view the pictures in a private gallery on the Web, and have color prints (4x6, 5x7 or 8x10) mailed directly to eagerly awaiting grandparents.

      Visitors to the Family PhotoCenter will also be able to order customised gift items. Shutterfly and BabyCenter will be working together to create additional photo-related products offered exclusively on the site to complement the current services now available including online photo birth announcements and a baby gift registry.
      "Capturing the first moments of a child's life is something that every parent treasures," said Jayne Spiegelman, Shutterfly CEO and co-founder. "By working with BabyCenter we are able to give parents a fast and convenient way to share those precious life moments. New and expectant parents are an ideal audience for Shutterfly services, and we are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the premiere parenting site. Together BabyCenter and Shutterfly will be able to serve an important audience in the rapidly growing digital photography market."
      Shutterfly and BabyCenter will celebrate the opening of the Family PhotoCenter with a series of special promotions, details of which will be announced in coming weeks.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      PhotoAccess.com and Sanyo ally!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 14:07 EDT)


      Online photofinisher PhotoAccess.com Corp. and electronics giant Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. have announced a strategic partnership to provide Sanyo Japan's digital camera customers with a way to obtain film-quality prints via the Internet.

      The goal of this partnership is to promote the growth of the digital camera market by removing a significant barrier to digital camera use - the ability to receive prints from digital photos. Through an aggressive marketing promotions strategy and campaign, the companies will reach consumers at the point of purchase by bundling the PhotoAccess print service with certain Sanyo digital photography products.

      As a first initiative, consumers of the Sanyo SX-550 digital camera in Japan will receive 50 free L-sized digital photos and a PhotoStreamer software CD from PhotoAccess. Customers will be directed to complete a simple registration form on the Sanyo Web site or on PhotoAccess. After uploading photos, users can create and share secure albums, order their free prints and choose from a wide variety of personalized photo merchandise, including mugs, T-shirts, calendars and framed prints.

      PhotoAccess, which launched its Japan Web site on April 10th, is the first U.S. company to bring a service to Japan that allows digital photo consumers to upload, share and order prints and photo merchandise via the Web. In turn, Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. is the first Japanese digital camera manufacturer to partner with PhotoAccess.
      "Based on its exceptional growth in the U.S., we believe that PhotoAccess will be an important player and strategic partner in Japan," said Hiroshi Ono, general manager of Sanyo Electric Co.'s Video Imaging Systems Division. "Clearly, Internet digital photo processing will play a significant role in the future of the industry. As a leading provider of multimedia products and services worldwide, we are pleased to show our commitment to this medium, by offering Sanyo digital camera purchasers 50 free digital prints from PhotoAccess."

      "Sanyo is a world leader in the digital camera market, and we are thrilled to be able to leverage our first-mover advantage in Japan through this partnership,"
      said Gene Wang, chairman and CEO of PhotoAccess. "Working with Sanyo reaffirms our commitment to the world's hottest digital photo market. It is our goal to meet the specific needs of the Japanese consumer through culturally aware, localized products and services -- and ultimately to provide the best solution for obtaining high-quality prints from digital photos for consumers worldwide."

      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Two thirds of non-digital amateurs plan to buy digicam in 6 months!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 12:58 EDT)


      Sixty-four percent of amateur photographers who do not already own a digital camera intend to buy one within the next six months, according to "The Emerging Digital Photographer", a new report from Lyra Research, Inc., that contains the results of a survey of more than 6,693 amateur photographers.

      Only 10 percent of the respondents to the Web-based survey conducted by Hylas International said they intended to buy their first digital camcorder during the same half-year period. The survey included respondents from 17 countries primarily in North America and Europe.
      "For the manufacturers of photographic film, there is good news and bad news in the survey results," says Chuck Davenport, Consultant with Lyra's Digital Photography Advisory Service, and principal author of the report. "The good news is that the amateur photographers who use online photo services, which are becoming increasingly popular, tend to consume more film than any of the other groups measured. The bad news for film manufacturers is that the owners of 35 mm point-and-shoot cameras, which are the most popular types of film cameras in use, are at the bottom of the scale when it comes to film consumption, at least among the nearly 6,700 respondents to the online survey."
      "The Emerging Digital Photographer" report is available now from Lyra. The 81-page report includes 67 figures illustrating the demographic characteristics, film and camera usage patterns, image processing and usage practices, and equipment purchase intentions of this key segment of the photo-taking public: the technically sophisticated, Internet-savvy amateur photographer. Lyra's analysts make sense of the extensive survey data to help camera and other imaging equipment vendors and imaging software companies successfully develop and sell their products to this audience.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      30 Minute Photos predicts "bloodbath" in online photofinishing!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 12:52 EDT)


      We reported on this page back in December of last year on a press release from self-proclaimed industry expert Mitchell Goldstone, President of 30 Minute Photos Etc., describing online photofinishing as a "shortsighted gimmick", and it seems that the proliferation of such services has done nothing to change his mind. 30 Minute Photos has now distributed another such press release as below:

      'Forget "e-commerce" and "B-2-B" solutions, the most powerful Internet tool for retailers in the photographic industry is keeping it simple. Using e-mail as electronic feedback is a free tool that authenticates relationships and helps pilot day-to-day business strategies.

      Other Internet strategies, like on-line photo services are being dismissed by Mitchell Goldstone, a photo industry expert and president of 30 Minute Photos Etc. The financial results, marketing expenses and hefty competition are depressing valuations. Goldstone brushes off those economically risky business models of giving everything away for free in order to grow market share. "Cash flow and earnings are the fuel that nourishes a business and if ignored, failure results," says Goldstone, who opines that a financial bloodbath by most non-brick and mortar photo operations will result.

      Retailers like 30 Minute Photos Etc, are keeping it simply by using e-mail for personalized correspondence. Customers at his Irvine-based retail photo center receive instant, customized words of appreciation for their specific purchases. Interactive feedback tracks each marketing and promotional campaign.

      Electronic messages detail specific purchases and tender information on complementary products. It also insures the staff is friendly and professional as recipients are invited to honestly detail their experience. Goldstone uses instant feedback to harbor modern ways to make photography more fun. His personalized electronic messages coach people to take better pictures, plus the new ways to store and share snapshots, like ordering Kodak Picture CD's, uploads to AOL's "You've Got Pictures" and getting prints from digital files and cameras.

      Some customers at 30 Minute Photos Etc. were unaware that digital camera memory (PC) cards could be easily processed just like film. E-mail helps explain how photographs from film or digital images are both printed on Kodak's Premium Royal photographic paper with identical results and at the same low rate.

      "Technology alone cannot win over customers. It is still important to greet people with warm, friendly smiles and trained photo experts," explains Goldstone. But old-fashioned non-tech treats matter too; Hershey's chocolate bars are added to each order and complimentary Haagen-Dazs ice cream is standard faire at 30 Minute Photos Etc.'

      Our response to the last release was to note that "[it] is interesting ... to consider the motivation behind the release ... it is clear from the tone ... that Goldstone sees online photofinishing as much more of a threat than he'd like to admit. That said, we see a market for both online and traditional photofinishers in the digital arena - each catering for its own market. Online photofinishers have the advantage that you need not leave your house to get your photos - they come to you... Traditional photofinishers can get your prints to you a lot quicker. The final choice will be made by the consumer, not by inflammatory press releases..." This applies equally much to the more recent statements from Goldstone - if he so easily dismisses online photofinishing, why does he feel the need to distribute such acidic press releases predicting its demise?

      We'd like to see traditional photofinishers spending a little more of their energies on promoting their ability to handle digital photography, and a little less on attacking the new "online" photography models, personally. As Mitchell notes in his own release, "Some customers [are] unaware that digital camera memory cards could be easily processed just like film" - and we received emails saying much the same thing from readers after the last press release in December. As long as brick-and-mortar photofinishers allow their customers to remain ignorant of the possibilities available to them, digital will face another obstacle to take over from film as the dominant camera format...
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      InfoTrends predicts digicams revenues to beat film this year!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 12:32 EDT)


      A new study from InfoTrends Research Group reveals that revenue from digital camera sales in North America will reach $1.9 billion this year, exceeding revenue generated from film camera sales by almost 10%. Digital camera unit sales will exceed film cameras by 2002, growing from 6.7 million in 2000 to 42 million in 2005. The digital camera market includes toy digital cameras, digital camera attachments, entry-level, point & shoot and digital SLR cameras. The largest segment in both units and revenues is the digital point & shoot category, which will reach 3.1 million units this year.

      Film cameras still vastly outnumber digital cameras - film cameras can be found in over 90% of U.S. households, while digital cameras are in less than 10%. Furthermore, single-use film cameras, which are not included in these figures, are a popular camera solution that will continue to drive film usage. Most of today's digital camera sales are supplementary to film cameras, but there is growing evidence that the replacement market is beginning. By 2005, film camera sales are expected to be in gradual decline, excluding single-use cameras. Many new developments will make digital cameras a viable replacement for film cameras: comparable image quality, affordability, and availability of photofinishing services for digital images. Beyond these advancements, digital cameras offer many additional attractive benefits, such as immediate photo review, simple sharing over the Internet, and the ability to take pictures at virtually no cost-per-frame, printing only those that are worth printing.
      "We are on the threshold of entering an era of personal visual communication," says Michelle Lampmann, market research analyst, InfoTrends Research Group, Inc. "Already, the most popular use of digital photos is sharing them via the Internet, either through email or on Web sites. Digital photos are becoming the most shared personal content on the Internet, following email."
      With this evolution of personal communication on the horizon, digital camera manufacturers are expected to take a more aggressive approach to marketing and promotion. Additionally, vendors will develop digital camera devices that go beyond traditional point & shoot cameras, such as digital camera attachments for PDAs and cell phones.

      Sony, Olympus and Kodak are the digital camera market leaders, capturing a combined share of nearly 60% of the point & shoot digital camera market. This year there could be a greater shake-up of vendors' unit share, as sub-$200, non-toy digital camera sales exceed 2.2 million units. As a result, vendors' revenue share will become a more critical benchmark. Sony is the digital camera market revenue leader with 35-40% revenue share.

      The new report, "2000 Low End Digital Camera Forecast North America," covers major trends in the digital camera market, and includes a five-year market forecast for digital camera device unit shipments, revenues, and vendor market share. The forecast projects digital camera sales by price segment and market segment. The forecast also analyzes resolution trends and vendors' market share by price segment. The digital camera market segments include toy cameras, digital camera attachments, entry-level, and point & shoot cameras. The report is available immediately from Infotrends in hard copy or electronic format.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Concord and KB Gear announce JamCam 3.0!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 12:26 EDT)


      Concord Camera Corp. and KB Gear Interactive, Inc. have announced an alliance for the development, design and manufacture of KB Gear's next generation, entry-level still digital camera, the JamCam 3.0. The JamCam 3.0 was co-developed by Concord and KB Gear and the supply of this product to KB Gear will be made by Concord as an original equipment manufacturer, or "OEM".

      The JamCam 3.0 will be exclusively manufactured by Concord for KB Gear at Concord's ISO 9002 certified manufacturing facility located in the People's Republic of China.

      According to International Data Corporation, the JamCam 2.0 was the best selling digital camera in the $89 to $249 segment last year. KB Gear anticipates having the JamCam 3.0 in stores in the U.S. and Canada by August of this year at a suggested retail price of $99. The camera will feature a 640 x 480 true VGA resolution sensor provided by Agilent Technologies, Inc. (formerly part of Hewlett-Packard Company).

      The camera also comes with KB Gear's PhotoSharp, a photo enhancement software that allows users to take digital photos with the JamCam 3.0 that rival the quality of pictures taken with significantly more expensive digital cameras.

      Commenting on the news, Ira B. Lampert, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Concord said,
      "Concord and KB Gear's new alliance to design, develop and manufacture the JamCam 3.0 successfully demonstrates to the marketplace Concord's position as a premier digital camera OEM and KB Gear's product development and marketing prowess. Our Company's strategy of focusing on the design, development and manufacturing excellence of traditional film based cameras continues to reap dividends; and that excellence has carried us into digital imaging and technologies. Concord is well positioned to leverage its expertise in this fast emerging segment of the industry."
      KB Gear CEO and Chairman, Dave Dorn, stated,
      "Combining our strengths in product development, marketing and sales of interactive communication accessories for 'teens and tweens' with Concord's vast expertise will allow us to build this year's best-valued entry-level digital camera."

      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Tuesday, May 2, 2000



      Fuji ships FinePix 4700Z, price $200 below expectations!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 17:08 EDT)


      Fuji FinePix 4700 Zoom - click for a bigger picture!
      Click for a bigger picture!

      Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Inc. has announced that the latest addition to its '700 series of digital cameras, the FinePix 4700 ZOOM, is now available at retailers nationwide for an estimated street price of $799.

      The FinePix 4700 ZOOM is the first digital camera to utilize Fujifilm's new Super CCD for increased sensitivity, improved signal-to-noise ratio and wider dynamic range, attributes that result in sharp, vivid and colorful pictures.

      In addition to the Super CCD, the FinePix 4700 also includes a 3x aspherical optical zoom lens, equivalent ISO sensitivities of 200/400/800, pop-up flash, USB port, five programmed exposure modes and the ability to capture 80 seconds of continuous AVI video (with sound) on its bundled 16MB SmartMedia card.

      To make picture taking easier for the user, Fujifilm engineers took many of the image capture modes "out" of the camera and placed them on an easy-to-access feature wheel situated on top of the FinePix 4700 ZOOM. For simple identification, the record/playback switch is now dead-center on the back of the camera and in addition to its 2-inch liquid crystal display, the FinePix 4700 ZOOM has an illuminated function display that glows red during record mode and green during image/video playback.
      "With its unique design, intuitive controls and picture taking ability, the FinePix 4700 ZOOM is truly in a class all to its own," said Darin Pepple, Consumer Product Manager, Digital Imaging Division, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. "What adds to this package is the remarkable output of the camera's new 2.4 million-sensor Super CCD which, when combined with other key image capture elements of the camera, produces eye-pleasing pictures with striking, true-to-life colors.

      As an added value to a camera with this combination of advanced features and print quality, we've lowered the suggested list price of the FinePix 4700 ZOOM $200 from its originally announced price point of $999. A number of market research studies have been conducted since the product was introduced, and it was found that a $799 price point for this level of digital camera would have a broader appeal among consumers."
      The FinePix 4700 ZOOM features a fast (f/2.8) 3X Super EBC Fujinon aspherical zoom lens with a focal length equivalent to a 38-114mm zoom on a 35mm camera, and macro capability to 11.8 inches. The optical zoom is supported by a 3.7x digital zoom that responds in .2x steps, producing a smooth effect similar to that of an optical zoom. In addition, the FinePix 4700 ZOOM benefits from electronics that saves power and both boot the camera and cycle images in less than two seconds.

      For ease of use and accurate exposure in typical shooting situations, the FinePix 4700 ZOOM offers five programmed exposure modes: auto, portrait, scenic, night scene and full manual. For total user-control of the camera, there are three metering modes - multi, center or spot - and 64-zone TTL metering with programmed auto-exposure and exposure compensation for accurate exposure under the most challenging of lighting situations.

      Shutter speeds of the FinePix 4700 ZOOM range from 1/2000 second to three seconds, and it carries an adjustable ISO sensitivity of 200/400/800. The camera's pop-up flash, which is effective to a distance of 11.5 feet, provides five modes: automatic, red-eye reduction, flash-on-demand, flash cancel and slow synch flash for motion effects.

      The FinePix 4700 ZOOM records JPEG images at three compression levels - fine, normal and basic - and depending on the image compression selected can record 8, 18 or up to 45 images, respectively, on its bundled 16MB SmartMedia card at the 2,400 x 1,800 resolution. If additional storage space is required, users have the option of recording images at either 1280 x 960 or 640 x 480 resolutions.

      Fujifilm's Super CCD uses fewer sensors (2.4 million in the case of the FinePix 4700 ZOOM) to capture more usable image data for better pictures. In addition, a new PxGA processing technology found in the FinePix 4700 ZOOM controls color balance immediately off the Super CCD, significantly reducing the chance of noise being added in subsequent analog and digital processing steps.

      The FinePix 4700 ZOOM measures 3.1" W x 3.8" H x 1.3" D, and weighs in at nine ounces. Two included AA nickel-metal hydride batteries power the camera and, as an added value, Fujifilm will bundle two additional batteries and a quick charger along with the camera to ensure that the user will always be ready for the next picture. Also included in the package is Adobe PhotoDeluxe 3.0 Home Edition image editing software.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      PhotoAccess announces partnerships with Sears, d-store!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 16:51 EDT)


      Online photofinisher PhotoAccess.com Corp. has announced its new retail and e-tail promotion strategy to reach digital photography customers at the point of purchase through new partnerships with Sears, Roebuck and Co. and IR advertiser d-store.com. The company is offering free prints and other merchandise to Sears' customers with the purchase of any megapixel camera from Sears, as well as providing d-store.com customers with a software CD containing PhotoStreamer as well as free prints with any d-store purchase. Customers who qualify for these promotions simply register on the PhotoAccess.com Web site to claim their free offer.

      By entering into these types of major distribution and specialty partnerships, PhotoAccess' goal is to reach the maximum number of digital photo consumers at the point of purchase in both traditional retail and online e-tail channels.

      Sears is promoting the PhotoAccess offer, which runs from May 1, 2000 through July 1, 2000, across its 860 full-line stores. It will promote the offer using in-store, point-of-sale materials as well as newspaper pre-prints reaching 40 million consumers. Customers have until July 31, 2000 to register at PhotoAccess.com to claim free photo prints and merchandise.
      "Sears is known for providing great value on products and services," said Chuck Cebuhar, vice president, Home Electronics for Sears. "Easily converting digital images to high-quality prints is an issue consumers are very interested in. We are very pleased to partner with PhotoAccess to help our customers get the same high-quality prints from a new digital camera that they're accustomed to getting with their film cameras. In addition to photos suitable for framing, customers can order fun merchandise like mouse-pads, mugs, t-shirts and other items all customized with their photo images."
      d-store.com will market the PhotoAccess promotion to their customers on their Web site, http://www.d-store.com/, using banner advertisements and via an e-mail newsletter campaign. Customers will receive a free software CD containing PhotoAccess' proprietary PhotoStreamer software for uploading digital photos to the PhotoAccess site with any purchase before Sept. 30, 2000. Included with the software CD is a free photo offer that customers can claim by registering at PhotoAccess.com.
      "We are dedicated to providing the digital photography enthusiast with the most up-to-date technology and highest quality products available through the power of the Internet," said Bruce Feldman, co-president of d-store.com. "We are very pleased to deliver this offer to our customers -- PhotoAccess' service makes ordering prints an easy and affordable process with just a few clicks of the mouse!"

      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Lexmark announces Z52 inkjet printer!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 16:40 EDT)


      Lexmark Int'l Inc. yesterday introduced the Lexmark Z52 Color Jetprinter - the world's first inkjet printer to deliver 2400 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi) resolution in both black and color on all paper types. The Z52 also offers built-in parallel cable and Mac/PC USB compatibility. Other features include:
      • Print speeds of up to 15 pages per minute (ppm) in black, seven ppm in color - the fastest on the market today for inkjets under $200
      • Accu-Feed paper handling system "virtually eliminates" jams and misfeeds
      • One-click driver installation
      • "open-and-load" cartridge installation


      Lexmark was first to market with 1200 x 1200 dpi inkjet resolution, and first into the sub-$100 inkjet market.

      In addition to 2400 x 1200 dpi, the Z52 offers other features new to the Lexmark Z-line, including Mac compatibility. Small business users will appreciate the long life span of the Z52, which boasts the highest duty cycle of any Lexmark inkjet printer. Job finishing functions, such as the ability to print multiple copies of booklets and dual-side pages (prints the odd number pages first and even number pages on the reverse side of the paper after they are re-fed) are also offered. In addition, the Z52 features business-class paper handling, including heavy-stock stationery and transparencies.

      A separate photo cartridge is, Lexmark claims, not needed for quality photo printing because of the Z52's 2400 x 1200 dpi resolution and the small seven picoliter drop size, which together produce sharp photo images on plain paper and effective smoothing and blending of colors. However, the Z52 will support the use of an optional photo cartridge for six-color printing if desired.
      "Lexmark continues to introduce technical innovation while driving high-end features down into lower price points," said Jeff Willard, director of marketing for Lexmark's U.S. Consumer Printer Division. "The Z52's 2400 x 1200 dpi can be easily achieved, unlike competitive products that claim the same resolution. It demonstrates impressive, high-quality output on any paper at speeds that meet the demanding requirements of sophisticated printer users."
      With an estimated street price of $179 (U.S.), the Lexmark Z52 will be sold in most major computer retailers and consumer electronic stores including Best Buy, Circuit City, Comp USA, Office Max and Staples. The Z52 carries a LexExpress warranty, featuring a next-business-day-exchange for one year.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      SmartDisk acquires El Gato Software!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 16:21 EDT)


      SmartDisk Corp. announced today that it has closed its acquisition agreement with El Gato Software LLC of Los Gatos, Calif. Under the terms of the agreement, SmartDisk has acquired substantially all of El Gato's intellectual property and has retained the services of El Gato's staff. El Gato's products include USB and FireWire drivers, applications and firmware support for storage systems including SmartMedia, CompactFlash, hard drives, Zip drives, floppy drives and optical drives.

      The acquisition agreement originally was formed between El Gato Software and VST Technologies Inc. of Boston. SmartDisk subsequently acquired VST Technologies on March 6, 2000, gaining as part of the acquisition VST's agreement with El Gato.
      "This acquisition strengthens SmartDisk's presence in the high-growth personal storage arena," said Michael S. Battaglia, President and CEO, SmartDisk. "By joining forces with El Gato, SmartDisk can offer truly seamless plug-and-play storage solutions for today's growing Internet-based applications.


      SmartDisk uses El Gato drivers in its VST brand FireWire hard drives, FireWire Zip drives and USB products, including the VST Tri-Media Reader, a device that reads and writes to digital multimedia memory, including Compact Flash, CF+, SmartMedia flash memory cards, and floppy diskettes.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      SanDisk announces new card readers!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 16:18 EDT)


      SanDisk Corp. has today introduced several new additions to its family of ImageMate card readers...
      "The new ImageMate family reaffirms SanDisk's commitment to the consumer by continuing to innovate and improve its products," said Nelson Chan, senior vice president of worldwide marketing. "The new ImageMates are even easier to set-up, are lower-priced and have a better performance. For example, the new CF ImageMate is priced at only $30 and is nearly 25 percent faster than its predecessor."
      The new SanDisk CF ImageMate is the first CompactFlash reader on the market that supports the emerging Linux operating system. It also reads CompactFlash Type II and MicroDrive cards, and is USB compliant with support for Windows 2000. A parallel port CF ImageMate that supports Windows 1998 and NT 4.0 is also available.

      In addition to the new CF ImageMate, SanDisk also introduced two new ImageMates for SmartMedia and MultiMediaCards and a new FlashPath floppy disk adapter for MultiMediaCards. Both ImageMates are available in USB and parallel port versions and will soon support Windows 2000.

      The new ImageMates will be sold under the SanDisk brand name in North America, Asia and Europe and are available immediately. The card readers will be sold at most of the 13,000 retail outlets that currently sell ImageMates and SanDisk flash memory cards and will retail at a cost of between $30 to $50 in the U.S. European pricing varies by country. The FlashPath MultiMediaCard adapter will be available at the end of May; pricing is not disclosed in the SanDisk press release.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Lura, ACD cooperate to put wavelets into ACDSee!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 16:10 EDT)


      ACD Systems Inter'l, Inc. and LuraTech, Inc. have announced the integration of LuraWave and LuraDocument compression technology into ACDSee 3.0. ACDSee will now accept LuraWave (.LWF) and LuraDocument (.LDF) format files, both of which use wavelet-technology similar to the upcoming JPEG2000 standard to combine high compression rates and good image quality. In addition to supporting the viewing of LuraWave and LuraDocument formats, ACDSee will offer plug-ins which will allow users to save files in either format. LuraWave provides additional features such as the ability to download progressively sharper versions of an image from a single file and the ability to have scaled images from the original without having to create a new file. LuraDocument's "scan to web" technology compresses scanned colored documents at extremely high rates, allowing for transmission over the Internet yet maintaining image quality and text legibility.

      ACDSee has earned a Top 10 Shareware rating by Windows Magazine, and was given 5 out of 5 stars by PC Magazine. It is bundled with many leading products around the world, including those from Canon, Packard Bell NEC, and HP Cartogra. Marketed as a stand-alone application, ACDSee is also bundled with ACD Systems' other image management tools, PicaView and ImageFox, as part of the company's Digital Image Management Suite. It is available as a download from ACD Systems' corporate Web site, www.acdsystems.com, where the company receives approximately 3/4 of a million download requests each month. The ACDSee LuraWave and LuraDocument plug-ins are available immediately at: www.acdsystems.com. The LuraWave plug-in is available for download at a cost of $29.95 US. The LuraDocument plug-in is available for download at a cost of $149.95 US. Demo versions are also available at http://www.acdsystems.com/ and at LuraTech's website, www.luratech.com along with detailed descriptions of LuraWave and LuraDocument product advantages.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / Canadian Corporate News

      Club Photo announces online photofinishing for traditional film!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 12:59 EDT)


      On the heels of its acquisition of SignatureColor, Club Photo Inc. has announced its new "Pick Your Photo" service, allowing traditional film to be developed and scanned for hosting on the Club Photo site at a cost of $1 per roll. The film is developed in-house, scanned at high resolution and made available for preview and print ordering. The preview feature is integrated with Club Photo's award winning sharing community. With a few clicks of the mouse, an unlimited number of photo albums can be shared in a personal photo-sharing site for free. The new service eliminates the expense of purchasing unnecessary double prints and unwanted pictures that do not turn out. For those wanting prints, users and their friends and family can now preview their photos and order just the prints and quantity they want online.

      Andrew Wei, president and CEO of Club Photo Inc. said:
      "Club Photo is transforming photography into an unforgettable sharing experience. By making it incredibly easy to get pictures from any 35-mm or digital camera onto the Internet, friends and family can stay together, even if they live far away. Pick Your Photo is more than just a new way to develop pictures; it's a new model for capturing and sharing special moments around the world in a few simple steps."
      To start sharing pictures using the Pick Your Photo Service, users go to the Club Photo Web site and order a photo sharing kit. They then send the film to Club Photo for processing, and receive their negatives by mail. Club Photo uploads high-resolution pictures into a dedicated Web page where users can preview and order only the pictures they want. Afterwards, they select which photos they want to share in their free online photo album, and which they would like to be printed...
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Agfa Announces Price Cut for SnapScan 1236u
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 12:48 EDT)


      Agfa Corp.'s Desktop Products Group has announced today a new lower price on the SnapScan 1236u flatbed scanner. Effective immediately, the SnapScan 1236u is available in the United States for the suggested price of $179. The unit previously retailed for $199, although from the end of December '99 through the end of March '00, it was bundled with a $20 mail-in rebate...

      The feature set of the SnapScan 1236u mirrors that of its predecessor, the SnapScan 1236s, but the SnapScan 1236u includes a USB interface instead of the 1236s' SCSI interface. Featuring an optical resolution of 600 by 1200 dpi (which can be interpolated to 9600 dpi) and 36-bit color depth, the SnapScan 1236u shipped last October with a software bundle including MicroFrontier Color it! and Caere OmniPage LE 5.1 for the Mac, or Corel PrintHouse Magic, Caere OmniPage LE 5.1 and Caere PageKeeper for the PC. An optional transparency option is available separately.
      Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

      Mike's back, here comes the news!
      By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
      (Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 10:47 EDT)


      Following on from Dave's posting last night, we're sure you'll be happy to hear that Mike's back in the saddle earlier than planned, after a mammoth 15-hours-in-one-day drive in a 17-foot U-Haul - phew! The office has climbed back out of all the boxes and set itself up to the point where it is useable (the only thing in the house to have done so, thus far), so expect the news postings to recommence pronto... Apologies if things pick up a little slowly initially, the first day after an absence always seems to be the toughest. In the meantime, best wishes to Dave for a speedy recovery!

      Mike Moving, Dave Sick = Slow News!
      By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
      (Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 1:06 EDT)


      Just a quick note to our readers: We had a fair number of news items Monday, but haven't managed to make a post to update everyone. News Editor Mike Tomkins is completing his move from Cedar Rapids, IA to Oak Ridge, TN. (He and Bethany are probably somewhere in between the two, U-Haul piled to the rafters about now.) Meanwhile, Dave's down with yet another absurdly debilitating cold that had him completely laid up all day. Worse, not only is the news delayed, but our review of the Sony S70 (nifty camera, *very* sharp lens!) got pushed back about two days, as it's sitting waiting for Dave's final edits. With luck though, this should be a big week for reviews, with us posting not only the S70, but the Nikon D1(!), and Sony S50 as well. Stay tuned, no mere illness can keep Dave from the site for very long! (And Mike should be back in the saddle by Thursday at the latest.) We'll have some news posts for you on Tuesday, and beaucoup reviews later in the week...

       



       

      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!