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Digital Photography News Archive!
October 1999


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Saturday, October 30, 1999

Steve's Digicams reviews Sony DSC-F505 and Kodak DC290!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Saturday, October 30, 1999 - 23:44 EDT)

The folks over at Steve's Digicams have now posted first-look reviews of Sony's DSC-F505 and Kodak's DC290 digital cameras. Also new is a review of the Umax Astracam. No conclusions are drawn yet, but there's plenty of information from both cameras, as well as sample pictures. Check it out!

Digital Photography Review posts Fuji MX-2900 review!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Saturday, October 30, 1999 - 21:38 EDT)

The fine folks over at the Digital Photography Review website have posted an in-depth look at Fuji's MX-2900 digital camera, a 2.3 megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom and manual features aimed at those of us who want more control over our digital photos. Here's what Phil had to say:

"The MX-2900 is a fair attempt to capture the imagination of owners who are looking for a 2+ megapixel digital camera with manual features and a traditional look and feel. And for most it would produce good results, however it's not top-of-the-pile and has some shortcomings which wouldn't make it my choice."

For the full story, head on over to the Digital Photography Review!

Friday, October 29, 1999

Nikon Coolpix950 wins good design award!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 29, 1999 - 13:50 EDT)

Nikon's Coolpix950 digital camera was one of a number of Nikon products to receive an award from the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization, according to a press release from the company. The Coolpix950 received a "Good Design Award" recognizing its innovative design and superior images. The "Good Design Awards" are issued annually, and honor products that show innovation, originality and performance in design.

Thursday, October 28, 1999

Kopin completes $73 million stock offering!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 28, 1999 - 17:37 EDT)

Kopin Corp. has announced the completion of a public offering of 2,300,000 shares of common stock at $33.94 per share. The company had filed initially to sell 1,800,000 shares, and later increased this to 2,000,000. A further 300,000 were purchased by underwriters to cover over-allotments. The total offering raised $73 million in net proceeds for Kopin, which will be used to increase production capacity for the company's CyberDisplays, amongst other things. The Kopin CyberDisplays allow digital cameras designers to remove optical viewfinders and power-hungry LCDs, replacing them with a high resolution unit similar to a camcorder viewfinder...

Fuji announces "Big Job" DS-260HD digital camera!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 28, 1999 - 14:05 EDT)

Fuji Photo Film USA has today announced its "Big Job" DS-260HD digital camera, a rugged dust-proof, impact- and water-resistant digital camera. The DS-260HD was first announced on January 31 in Japan (covered in our news item "Fuji makes a camera with muscle!" of that date). The unit features a 1.5 megapixel CCD, 3x optical zoom, and a case that should ensure your camera is still functioning as long as you are! Here's the full specifications:

 - Fuji "Big Job" DS-260HD
- 1.5 megapixel CCD, maximum image size of 1280 x 1024
- 3x optical zoom all-glass Fujinon EBC lens (7.4-22mm,
equivalent to 35-105mm on a 35mm camera; macro mode
allows focusing down to 10 inches)
- Optical and 1.8-inch LCD viewfinders
- Ruggedized dust-proof, impact- and water-resistant case
- Manual exposure and "Selectable" white balance
- Black and White mode
- SmartMedia storage (8MB card bundled)
- JPEG files (fine, normal or basic compression; 12, 23
or 46 images on an 8MB SmartMedia card)
- Built-in auto-sensing flash varies power according to
lighting conditions
- Power from a bundled lithium ion rechargeable battery
- Software bundle includes Adobe PhotoDeluxe 3.0 Home
- Dimensions of 5.7" x 4.2" x 3.9", weighs 22.9 ounces
- Available immediately at a suggested retail price of
Photo courtesy of Fuji Photo Film USA Inc.

Wednesday, October 27, 1999

Digital Imaging Group elects new Committee Chair!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 - 16:17 EDT)

A press release today from the Digital Imaging Group announces that it has elected Dr. Marc Berger, Chief Scientist of MGI Software, as the DIG Technical Committee Chair. Berger, formerly chief scientist for OliVR Corp. Ltd (acquired by Live Picture Inc. in 1997), will be responsible for "overseeing and reviewing DIG technical initiatives, conducting technical forums, managing DIG technical resources, interfacing with other standards bodies and fostering interoperability".

Digital Photography World starts photo contest!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 - 13:54 EDT)

We just received an email from our friends over at the Digital Photography World website in Israel, with news that they're about to start a new "Photo of the Month" contest... Here's what DPW Editor Danny Brenner had to say: "The Israeli "Digital Photography World" web site magazine will post its first "Photo of the Month" contest. Voting starts October 31, 23:59 EDT. Our readers and visitors will be given a 48 hour period to vote their favorite photo and the results will be published on a special page starting November 2, 23:59 EDT."

Caere focuses on digital imaging software!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 - 13:48 EDT)

A press release today from Caere Corp. announces that the company will be discontinuing its automated data entry hardware business by the end of the year, intending to focus instead on its software operations, including desktop scanner and digital camera products. The company has seen its hardware business decline over the last year, and will lay off 36 employees from its Los Gatos headquarters with a resulting Q4 write-off of between $1.5 and $2.5 million in folding up the business.

Problems with NetCenter...
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 - 9:32 EDT)

Thanks to IR reader Dennis Faulkner for alerting us to the fact that our Netcenter channel has stopped updating... We were aware that for some reason the updates were being very erratic (to say the least - updating every 2-12 hours, instead of every hour as promised!) but hadn't realised that now everything had stopped updating completely! We've already contacted Netscape regarding the erratic updates, and will attempt to figure out why the page is now not updating today (time permitting). Thanks again to Dennis for the feedback, and we'll let folks know on the News page once our Netcenter channel is back to a relatively stable state.

Note: We've just discovered an error with the news forum setup (caused by lack of sleep :) which we've just now corrected. Whilst the error is now fixed for new news items, unfortunately the number of comments for this news item and the three below will not update correctly, but will continue to show 0 comments... Our apologies!

Mac OS9 draws lawsuits on release!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 - 8:58 EDT)

We reported October 4 on Apple's apparent decision to hold off on releasing its "ColorSync for Windows" product, apparently due to a pending lawsuit from IMATEC Ltd. alleging that Apple violated three IMATEC patents in ColorSync, which is already part of the Mac operating system. A news item from CNet notes that this lawsuit has now been updated to add Apple's newly released flagship OS9 operating system, with IMATEC commenting that since Apple's OS9 has been released after the initial Feb 13, 1998 lawsuit, "...[we] will be able to prove willful infringement that could lead to triple damages." Apple in turn noted that whilst it doesn't comment on pending litigation, it believes that the claims are without merit.

Also noted is that Apple has been sued by Microware, who consider that Apple's use of the name OS9 violates its own trademark on the use of OS9.

Agfato show DuoScan T2500 and T2000XL at PhotoPlus East '99!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 - 8:44 EDT)

A press release today from Agfa Corp.'s Desktop Products Group announces that the company will be showing its DuoScan T2500 and T2000XL scanners at the upcoming PhotoPlus East '99 show, to be held October 28-30 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York. The DuoScan T2500 features an optical resolution of 1250 x 2500 dpi in 36 bit color, a density range of 3.4D - 3.5Dmax, and a scanning area of 8 x 14 inches for reflective scans, or 8 x 12 inches for transparencies. The T2000XL, meanwhile, offers an optical resolution of 2000 x 2000 dpi, density range of 3.3D - 3.5Dmax, and a large format scanning area of 12 x 18 inches for reflective art or 12 x 9.5 inches for transparencies. The two scanners feature suggested prices of $4,495 and $8,995 respectively.

IR News gets another new feature!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 - 1:26 EDT)

We've added another new feature tonight for readers of the Imaging Resource News page! If you've ever wished you could have your say on the latest digital imaging news, now you can... We've now added a forum capability to the news page, which will allow you to add your comments to each news item. Every item will have its own comments page, and you can keep track of the comments for each by looking at the comments link below the news item. The number in parentheses is the number of comments attached to that news item; simply click on the Comments link to read or respond yourself! Currently, the number of comments on each item will only update each time we post a news item, however we plan on updating this soon to increment the number of comments immediately on a new posting...

Tuesday, October 26, 1999

Adobe and cooperate!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 26, 1999 - 14:29 EDT)

A press release today from announces that the online printing company has teamed up with Adobe Systems Inc. to offer users of Adobe's ActiveShare photo sharing website a way to create personalised products from mugs, memo pads and ties to golf balls, using their digital images. ActiveShare users will be able to create these and more items in the Adobe/ Print Center.

Monday, October 25, 1999

Fuji announces MX-1700 now shipping!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 25, 1999 - 19:43 EDT)

Fuji Photo Film USA Inc. has today announced that its new MX-1700 digital camera, first announced on August 26, is now shipping. We reviewed the MX-1700, which features a true 3x optical zoom and 1.5 megapixel CCD in a truly tiny package, on September 29; you can also find reviews and sample images at Steve's Digicams, the Digital Camera Resource Page, and the PC Watch website in Japan (1,2,3).

Nikon to sell Coolpix950 Millennium, 25% of proceeds to go to charity!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 25, 1999 - 16:38 EDT)

Nikon has today announced that it will be selling a special Millennium edition of its popular Coolpix950 digital camera, with 25% of the proceeds going to charity. The Coolpix950 Millennium bundle will feature a special silver-blue brushed metal Coolpix950 with a grey handgrip and an individually numbered plate (0001 to 2000) on the front of it, as well as a black Millennium camera bag, Energizer� NiMH battery and charger, Lexar 64MB CompactFlash(TM) Card, USB card reader and four filters with a filter wallet. The bundle will sell only on Nikon's online outlet store ( at a price of US$2000. Of this price, $500 will go to charity, and the customer will be issued with a tax deduction letter. The press release notes that the cameras should net about $1 million for charity, which is earmarked for the Imus Ranch, an authentic working cattle ranch in New Mexico where children with cancer or serious blood disorders, as well as those who have lost brothers and sisters to sudden infant death syndrome can experience the life of an American cowboy. Children spend 10 days at the Imus Ranch, working side by side with range wranglers, tending sheep and rounding up cattle, as well as meeting local craftsmen and artists.

The Coolpix950 bundle will be on sale Monday, November 8, from 9:00 am (EST), exclusively through the online Nikon Outlet Store (

Congratulations are due to Nikon for supporting this worthy cause!

Sony dominates US digicam marketplace!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 25, 1999 - 16:11 EDT)

A new report out today from International Data Corp. notes that electronics giant Sony Corp. is continuing to dominate the US digital camera marketplace. According to IDC, in the third quarter of 1999, Sony digital cameras accounted for 35% of all US shipments, an impressive 15% ahead of nearest rival Eastman Kodak. In third place behind Kodak's 20% Q3 share was Olympus, with a 17% share of the market. Meanwhile, in the tethered camera market, Logitech took a solid 38% market share, with Intel taking up another 29% of the market. IDC intends to continue taking a look at these markets on a quarterly basis as in this report throughout the next year...

FULL Nikon Coolpix 800 Review Posted!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 25, 1999 - 15:26 EDT)

Finally, reviews are starting to crank out the other end of our "pipeline!" Today we've posted the FULL review of the Nikon Coolpix 800. (We posted a brief "First Look" back on September 27.) The full range of test images is also posted as well. This camera looks like a winner to us, offering many of the features of the very popular Coolpix 950, but at a price about $200 less. Check it out!

Friday, October 22, 1999

DCRP Posts Toshiba PDR-M5 Review!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 22, 1999 - 15:35 EDT)

Jeff at the Digital Camera Resource Page has just posted their review of the Toshiba PDR-M5 2 megapixel, zoom-equipped digicam. Jeff liked the combination of the speed of the earlier PDR-M4 with an optical zoom lens, but felt overall that the camera was a bit of a mixed bag. Read his review for all the conclusions and comments. (Also check out Steve's Digicams review of the PDR-M5, which we reported on a little while back. - Our own review is "in the works", hopefully out soon: Stay tuned!)

Kodak Ships DC290!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 22, 1999 - 15:24 EDT)

Kodak today announced that they've begun shipping their 2.1 megapixel DC290 digital camera. Announcedback in August along with their DC280 and DC215 digital still cameras, and DVC325 digital video camera, the DC290 has been slated to ship in "late October." Well, late October is here, and the '290 is shipping! (At a suggested retail price of $999.) The list of high points below is copied from the Kodak press release, but to our mind, the most significant featues are: 2.1 megapixel CCD (the camera can interpolate up to 3.2 million pixels in the file, but the sensor itself is 2.1 megapixels); the Digita scripting environment (the DC280 was a 2 megapixel camera, but the 290 adds the scripting system of the DC220/260/265); and a true uncompressed file format option, something Kodak users have been clamoring for for some time. Kodak's promised us one of the first full-production models, so we hope to have a review for you soon. Meanwhile, here's Kodak's list of features, from the press release:
  • A USB interface for both Macintosh and Windows platforms, enabling significantly faster transfer of pictures than either serial or IrDA ports
  • Finished file formats--JPEG and uncompressed RGB TIFF
  • A burst mode that lets the camera take up to four sequential pictures at high-resolution and up to 16 at standard resolution at the touch of a button
  • A time-lapse mode for shots taken at intervals from one minute up to 24 hours
  • Expandability and support through firmware upgrades from the Kodak web site.
  • Scripting capabilities make it easy to use pre-programmed settings for camera operation, to customize tags for each image, and to accommodate accessories such as a global positioning system.
  • Immediate LCD review on a two-inch color screen, enabling users to verify that they got their shot
  • Audio input and playback lets users record up to two-minutes of sound with each image
  • Video-out enables users to view their pictures on a TV or through an LCD projector
  • A unique ``file open'' feature that turns the camera into a card reader
  • Year 2000 compliance as detailed on the Kodak Web site

Olympus D-450 Zoom Review Posted!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 22, 1999 - 0:32 EDT)

(Finally!) We've just posted a full review of the new 1.3 megapixel Olympus D-450 Zoom digicam. An update of their earlier D-400 Zoom, the new unit sports several improvements. First, the color-handling has been improved, particularly in the area of blues and purples. Big news is an increase in ISO speed, not only to a default of 160, but with a variable ISO range up to 640! The result is that the camera takes *really great* low-light shots, and in fact preserves color at low light levels better than many higher-priced units. Finally, the electronics have been revamped, to include both a faster processor and larger buffer memory, making the unit pretty fast shot-to-shot. (A bit under 5 seconds at maximum resolution.) Combine all this with a suggested retail price of only $499, and it looks like Olympus has a winner for Christmas! (It's already selling on the 'net for ~$450.) Check out the review!

Thursday, October 21, 1999

d# digital press reviews the Sony DCR-PC100!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 21, 1999 - 15:45 EDT)

The Japanese d# digital press website has posted a review and sample images of Sony's DCR-PC100 megapixel digital video camera. In particular, the review attempts to look at the still image quality of the camera, which was first announced in Japan on August 19, followed by a US announcement on August 23 1999. (These were covered in our news items "Sony announces megapixel digital camcorder!" and "A big news day at Sony!" respectively.)

The review begins by describing the DCR-PC100 as the first megapixel digital video camera. Despite the fact that the unit has a megapixel CCD, however, it is not used as such for video, because the DV tape format is limited to 720 x 480 pixels. Instead, 690,000 pixels from the center of the CCD, with the remainder of the CCD being used for correction of camera shake as part of the camera's electronic stabilisation system. As the camera is shaken, it moves the area of the CCD being used to compensate for this, a rather interesting solution. In addition, as the image is saved to tape, half of the information recorded is discarded, to reduce the final image to the required 720 x 480 pixels (345,600 pixels).

The unit also has the ability to record 1152 x 864 pixel still images to MemoryStick, a significantly higher resolution than that available from other digital video cameras, thanks to the megapixel CCD. However, this comes at a cost of course - since the entire CCD is being used for the still image, nothing is left over for the image stabilisation feature available on video, and hence when capturing still images the image stabilisation is disabled.

The DCR-PC100 features a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens, which is equivalent to 48-480mm when the camera takes still images, and 40-400mm when used as a video camera - the difference again due to the unusual image stabilisation method used for video recording. This powerful 10x zoom range does make for rather difficult still images at the full tele end however, due to the lack of image stabilisation, according to the reviewer. The first two sample images demonstrate the full wide and telephoto settings of the lens in still image mode.

The reviewer notes that the picture of the penguins used the exposure compensation capability of the camera, to ensure that the penguin's belly was white, and that the exposure compensation was a lot easier than some digital cameras that require you to delve through menus to activate it.

The sunset picture demonstrates the auto white balance, which overall the reviewer described as "nervous". By this, he meant that as you move the camera, the white balance changes significantly, and he found it better to set the white balance manually. He did note however that he'd have preferred to have the ability to set white balance from a button on the camera, rather than going through the menu system to do so.

The final three pictures demonstrate another interesting feature of the camera. It is possible to capture still images to the MemoryStick whilst you're already recording video by pressing the snapshot button. The reviewer seemed pleased with this feature, the only drawback being that images can only be captured at VGA resolution when using this feature, obviously because the image stabilisation is enabled.

Here's the full specifications of the DCR-PC100 from our coverage of the US announcement:
 - Sony DCR-PC100 Digital Video Handycam
- 1/4" HAD Megapixel CCD
- 1152 x 864 pixel still images, 520-line video
- 10x optical/120x digital zoom lens
- 2.5" swivel screen 200K-pixel LCD display
- i.LINK DV interface
- RS-232 serial interface
- Analog audio/video input and outputs
- Able to save 304 megapixel images on a 64MB
- 2.5" x 5" x 4 7/8", weighs 1 lb. 3 oz.
- InfoLithium batteries, with time remaining feature
- NightShot InfraRed system (0 lux, slow shutter mode)
- LaserLink wireless transmission system
- SteadyShot picture stabilisation
- Black & White, Sepia, Negative, Solarize, Pastel,
Slim, Stretch, and Mosaic effects
- Old Movie, Luminance Key, Flash Motion, Still, Slow
Shutter, and Trail modes
- Memory Chroma Key, Camera Chroma Key and Memory
Luminance Key modes allow still and video pictures
to be combined
- Intelligent Accessory Shoe allows accessories to be
controlled by the camera, eg. a zoom microphone
automatically alters its pickup to match the lens.
- PictureGear Windows software, AC Adapter, wireless
remote control, lens cap/hood and 4MB MemoryStick
bundled with the camcorder
- Available in October at an MSRP of $2,199.

More on the SuperCCD!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 21, 1999 - 14:39 EDT)

Thanks to IR reader Daniel Cardenas for writing in to point out an article regarding Fuji's newly announced Super CCD technology on the EE Times website! Mike's got a busy day today and so doesn't have any time to summarise the article, but it did appear to contain further information as to how the Super CCD works at first glance... Read the whole article for yourself here:

"Fuji alters pixel structure for CCD breakthrough"; EETimes, 10/20/99

Fuji announces Super CCD image sensor!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 21, 1999 - 13:43 EDT)

Fuji has announced its new Super CCD image sensor, which differs greatly from standard CCDs in the shape and layout of its photodiodes. Where ordinary CCDs use square photodiodes and pixel arrangements, the new Super CCD uses otagonal shaped photodiodes situated at 45 degree angles to each other. The resulting honeycomb pattern (illustrated in the diagram below) offers improved picture quality through both an improved dynamic range, and improved signal to noise ratio.

Ordinary CCD vs. Fuji Super CCD

So how does the variation in shape and layout of the photodiodes improve your picture? Here's how Fuji explains the new technology:

"The new pixel shape and arrangement of the Super CCD offers a number of advantages over the current, conventional CCD. Space efficiency for the photodiode located in each pixel has been dramatically improved by its octagonal shape, and the honeycomb arrangement allows the pixels in the Super CCD to be packed at maximum density. This efficient use of space allows for larger pixels and higher resolutions. As a result, a Super CCD sporting 1.3 million pixels would reproduce the picture quality of a conventional CCD with 2 million pixels.

Plus, the difference in the area of the photodiode is more pronounced with a larger number of pixels, a factor that results in better image quality. So, for example, the area of the photodiode in a 1/2-inch Super CCD with two million pixels is about 1.6 times as large as the area offered in the conventional CCD with the same number of pixels. A larger photodiode area proportionately improves sensitivity, the signal-to-noise ratio and the dynamic range, key elements in digital image capture.

In addition, the Super CCD mirrors the optics of the human eye to interpret collected information. Similar to the function of the retina, which is used to interpret color and light, the Super CCD transforms optical signals into electrical impulses. These impulses are then passed through a signal processing system to form the image. By arranging the pixels at 45-degree angles in a honeycomb pattern, the new Super CCD sharply increases the image sensor's ability to capture more resolution in both the horizontal and vertical directions. As a result of this feature, Fujifilm's Super CCD makes it possible to match the optical characteristics of human sight.

The Super CCD also streamlines the process by which electrical charges are transmitted through the photodiodes, making high-speed continuous photography possible, thus offering high-quality, full-motion video output."

All in all, this seems to be a very significant (and exciting) development, that really could make for some impressive digital cameras!
Image courtesy of Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd., with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource

Wednesday, October 20, 1999

PC Watch posts PMA Europe '99 report!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 20, 1999 - 13:59 EDT)

The PMA Europe '99 show has now finished, and PC Watch's Yamada has posted a report, now that he's back from London. Our man on the spot, Rommel P. Feria, found little of note at the show, the only digital cameras of note being Epson's PhotoPC 850 and Sony's DSC-F505. That said, here's a (brief) synopsis of what Yamada had to say:

- Epson
Epson showed its PhotoPC 850 digital camera, announced in the US at the end of September. The 2 megapixel unit features a 3x optical zoom lens, which Yamada commented was similar to Olympus' C-2000ZOOM, as well as a shoe for an external flash. The back of the camera was described as very similar to Epson's Colorio CP-800, with a large, easy-to-see LCD display. Record times were also similar to the CP-800, but Yamada didn't seem happy with the high price of GBP630 (US$1048) and thought the camera somewhat too large.

Epson also showed its printers, notably a silver version of the six ink-color Stylus Photo750 (being sold as the Millennium Edition), and an all-in-one machine which added the capability to scan to email...

- Hewlett Packard
HP showed its PhotoSmart C200 digital camera and P1100 ink jet printer

- Sony
Sony showed its CyberShot DSC-F55 and DSC-F505 digital cameras, however the main focus of the Sony booth was Sony's digital ID Photo System, comprised of a 350,000 pixel digital camera and dye sublimation printer.

- Fuji
Fuji did have digital cameras on display, however the FinePix1200 wasn't shown. The company concentrated more on lab equipment and a touch-panel kiosk with a scanner, floppy, memory card, zip and CD-ROM capability.

- Konica
Konica concentrated on film cameras, although the company did announce a digital lab printer, the QD-21.

- Mitsubishi
Mistubishi showed its digital photo ID system, an interesting looking unit with a large LCD screen to be used alongside a dye sublimation printer.

Nikon D1 strap problems?
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 20, 1999 - 13:22 EDT)

The latest news we're hearing from Japan regarding Nikon's D1 is that users are reporting problems with the strap mounting on the initial shipment. Apparently, the strap mounting on the right side of the camera is not strong enough, and in daily use is likely to break, resulting in thousands of dollars worth of camera bouncing off the floor. No word yet on what Nikon Japan is going to do to resolve the situation, but lets hope that Nikon USA fixes this problem before the camera ships here!

Toshiba announces PDR-M40 digital camera!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 20, 1999 - 13:14 EDT)

Toshiba has today announced its PDR-M40 digital camera in Japan, according to the PC Watch website. The PDR-M40 is based on Toshiba's PDR-M4, with which it shares the same chassis, lens and 2.14 megapixel CCD. What are the differences?

 - Champagne-gold colored chassis
- Rubberized hand grip
- ISO ratings of 100, 200 and 400 (PDR-M4 was only
ISO 100)
- Shutter speeds 1/2 to 1/1000 second (PDR-M4 was
1/4 to 1/1000)
- Flash (auto, on, off, red-eye and slow-synch;
PDR-M4 didn't have slow synch)
- Video capability (AVI Motion JPEG, 160 x 120 for
120 seconds or 320 x 240 for 30 seconds).

Olympus announces upgrade to C-2000 Zoom!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 20, 1999 - 11:58 EDT)

Olympus has announced an upgrade to its popular C-2000 Zoom digital camera in Japan, the Olympus Camedia C-2020 Zoom. The C-2020 features the following changes/improvements over the C-2000 Zoom:

 - Case is identical in shape, but has a new
titanium-colored metallic finish
- new TFT LCD display has greater viewing angle
than on the C-2000 Zoom
- Fully manual exposure capability added
- Manual focus down to 0.2 meters
- QuickTime Motion JPEG capability; 15 frames per
second in either 160 x 120 pixels (up to 60
seconds) or 320 x 240 pixels (up to 15 seconds).
- New iESP auto white balance - more accurate, and
better flesh tones
- Supports 64MB SmartMedia
- Price of ¥113,000 (US$1061)

Olympus announces C-920Zoom digital camera!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 20, 1999 - 11:40 EDT)

Olympus Japan has announced its C-920 Zoom digital camera. The C-920, which is a Japanese equivalent to the D-450Zoom announced in the US on August 24, shares the same 1.3 megapixel CCD and 3x optical zoom lens as its predecessor, the D-400Zoom/C-900Zoom. Here's the changes:

 - ISO selectable from 160, 320, 640 or auto; was
ISO 100 on D-400Z.
- LCD Display now viewable in bright light and from
any angle
- Improved flash range
- Slow Sync flash capability
- Improved burst-mode and shot-shot speeds
- New champagne-gold colored housing

Nikon Japan announces NikonScan 2.5, firmware updates!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 20, 1999 - 11:36 EDT)

Nikon Japan has released its NikonScan 2.5 software for the CoolScan III and LS-2000 scanners in Japan, and simultaneously announced firmware updates for both scanners. Firmware version 1.3 for each scanner, as well as the NikonScan 2.5 software, is available for our Japanese readers here.

The Imaging Resource does not recommend use of non-US firmware or software with US scanners. This is a quick route to turning your scanner into a doorstop - don't try it!

Minolta announces new Dimage Scan Elite F-2900 film scanner!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 20, 1999 - 11:28 EDT)

Minolta Ltd. has announced in Japan its new Dimage Scan Elite F-2900 film scanner, which features Digital Ice technology from Austin, TX based Applied Science Fiction Inc. The Elite F-2900 will retail for ¥148,000 (US$1392.65) including the scanner, 35mm film holder, 35mm/APS slide holder, power cable, TWAIN driver and Adobe PhotoShop LE when it ships on November 18 in Japan. It features an optical resolution of 2,820 dpi, 12-bit scanning and 8 or 16-bit output, dynamic range of 3.4D, SCSI-II interface, and Digital Ice technology for correcting dust and scratches...

Tomy delays shipment of Mexia digicam!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 20, 1999 - 11:14 EDT)

Japanese toy giant Tomy has delayed shipment of its Mexia digital camera, according to the company's website. The camera will now ship one month behind schedule, on November 13, 1999. The Mexia, first announced on July 30, and covered in our news item of that date, "Tomy announces Mexia digital camera!", features a 250,000 pixel CMOS sensor and an image size of 256 x 240 pixels. Here's further coverage from our July article:

"[The Mexia] has a planned price of 6,980 yen (US$60) when it goes on the market in October. The unit is available in two colors (pink or blue), and has a built-in 1MB memory stores 15 images in .BMP format, the reasoning being that the camera, which is only compatible with Windows95/98, will provide files that can be edited in an editor every Windows user has - Paintbrush (!). The camera transfers all 15 images to the user's PC in 54 seconds via a parallel connection. The F2.5 lens has a focal length of 4.8 mm, equivalent to 55.7mm on a 35mm camera, and is fixed focus (60 centimeters to infinity). Power comes from 4 AAA batteries, and interestingly there is no way to turn the camera off, although a battery life of three weeks is quoted thanks to the absence of a flash, LCD display, focusing or zoom mechanisms and a power-hungry CCD. The camera weighs 113.5 grams, with dimensions of 89.2 x 28.5 x 57.6 millimeters. Suprisingly (especially considering Tomy's background in toys), the camera is aimed not at children like the Barbiecam et al., but is instead to be sold in PC shops, gadget shops and discount camera retailers, and will be targetted at PC beginners as a 'communications tool'."

Tuesday, October 19, 1999

QImage Pro 6.3 released!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 19, 1999 - 20:28 EDT)

Mike Chaney has released a new version of his popular QImage Pro program, according to the folks at Steve's Digicams. QImage Pro 6.3 adds the ability to remove noise from your digital images, whilst not affecting the overall sharpness. Sample images can be seen on Mike's QImage Pro page.Thanks to Steve's Digicams for this item!

Digital Camera Resource Page reviews Canon PowerShot S10!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 19, 1999 - 18:24 EDT)

The Digital Camera Resource Page has now completed a review of Canon's PowerShot S10 digital camera. Here's what Jeff had to say about this tiny little 2.1 megapixel unit:

"The Canon PowerShot S10 is a fantastic camera. It's very small and light, and really stands out in a crowd, and the photo quality is very good. You can easily use it with one hand, and it's fast processing speeds let you record and view photos quickly. And the built-in USB support helps you get the photos onto your PC just as quickly. The software packages for downloading and browsing photos, as well as creating panoramas, were both very good. And, with a CompactFlash Type II slot, you can put in an IBM Microdrive to hold thousands of photos."

Check the full review out here!

Jenoptik announces Jendigital JD1500 z3 digicam!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 19, 1999 - 16:00 EDT)

German Carl Zeiss Jena subsidiary Jenoptik AG has announced a new digital camera, according to the website. The Jenoptik Jendigital JD1500 z3 digital camera features a 1.5 megapixel CCD, CompactFlash storage, 3x optical and 2x digital zoom lens (equivalent to 38-115mm in a 35mm camera), and USB connectivity. The camera is due to ship in Europe for about EUR500 (US$539) in November. Here's the complete specs:

 - Jenoptik Jendigital JD1500 z3
- 1.5 megapixel 1/2" CCD sensor. Output resolutions of
1,360 x 1,024 or 640 x 480 pixels. JPEG file format.
- 3x optical and 2x digital zoom lens, equivalent to
38-115 mm on a 35mm camera. Autofocus from 30cm to
infinity, macro capability, no filter threads.
- Aperture f3.6-5.7
- ISO 100 rating
- Shutter speeds 1/8 to 1/4000 second
- Exposure compensation +/- 2.0EV in 0.5EV increments
- CompactFlash storage (4MB card bundled)
- Serial or USB connectivity
- PAL/NTSC Video-out connectivity
- Built-in 4-mode flash (on, off, auto, red-eye reduction)
- 10 second self-timer
- Burst mode allows up to 4 images per second (unspecified
resolution and maximum number of images)
- Power from 4 AA batteries or AC adapter (4 alkaline
batteries bundled)
- Comes with: 4 AA alkaline batteries, AC adapter, 4MB
CompactFlash card, Serial cable, video cable, USB cable,
soft case, hand strap, Win95/98 TWAIN driver, Ulead
Photo Express 2.0 (Win95/98)
- Weight: 340g (batteries and CF card included)
- Dimensions: 138 x 72 x 41mm
- Available in November for EUR500 (US$539)

Epson Stylus Color 900 fastest in NSTL tests!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 19, 1999 - 14:23 EDT)

A press release today from NSTL Inc. announces that Epson's Stylus Color 900 has been found in testing to be the fastest inkjet printer in its category, beating the identically-rated HP DeskJet 970Cxi by some 8%. NSTL is an independant testing organisation, and conducted the test under contract to Epson simulating real-world useage with files from various applications including Microsoft Word 97, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe PhotoShop 5.5 and Adobe PageMaker 6.52.

InfoTrends announces Digital Imaging Conference '99!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 19, 1999 - 14:07 EDT)

InfoTrends Research Group Inc. today announced its fourth annual Digital Imaging Conference '99, to take place on December 7, 1999, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo, Japan. Billed as being "designed to address the issues that are critical to successfully navigating [the rapidly evolving digital imaging] market", attendees will look at:

 - Digital photography and infrastructure issues
(storage, digital film processing, photo printing,
set-top appliances, kiosks)
- Digital cameras
- Internet imaging
- Scanning, document imaging, MFPs
- Image processing
- Application software
- Consumer, vertical and business markets

Agfa announces $50 mail-in rebate on ePhoto CL30!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 19, 1999 - 13:30 EDT)

Adding to yesterday's news of a price drop on Agfa's ePhoto CL30 digital camera, the company has today announced a new $50 mail-in rebate scheme for buyers of the unit, valid immediately through the end of this year. The ePhoto CL30, which currently retails for $349 without the rebate, has the following features:

 - 1 Megapixel CCD, 30 bit color depth
- Resolutions of 1440x1080 (interpolated), 1152x864
1024x768 and 640x480; also a 1152x864 black and
white mode. 24-bit color JPEG files.
- CompactFlash storage (4MB bundled)
- 2X digital zoom
- Focus free, all glass lens; equivalent to 43 mm
on a 35mm camera; macro capability
- Built-in flash (auto, fill, variable energy, red-eye
reduction, external flash trigger, off)
- 10 second self timer
- NTSC and PAL video out connectivity
- USB connectivity

ImageScape '99 sets exhibitor records!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 19, 1999 - 0:52 EDT)

A press release today from InfoTrends Research Group notes that the ImageScape '99 press event, running alongside Fall Comdex in Las Vegas, has filled its exhibitor space in record time. 36 digital imaging companies will participate in the event, which will also feature a keynote from Bill Gates. Recent additions to the exhibitors at ImageScape '99 include: AOL, Corel Corporation, E-Color, FotoWire Development USA, Intensys Corporation, Kodak Online Digital Services, MGI Software, Olympus America and Seattle Film Works.

Monday, October 18, 1999

IDC sees digicams reaching mainstream in Europe!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 18, 1999 - 16:30 EDT)

A new report from International Data Corp. sees digital cameras entering the mass market in Western Europe, with sales expected to reach 616,000 units in 1999 and more than 4 million by 2003, and revenues climbing from $321 million to $981 million over the same period. The "Western European Digital Camera Market Review and Forecast" notes that with the entry this year of 2 megapixel digital cameras in the European market, 1 megapixel cameras are being pushed down to mass-market levels of $300 to $600.

Fuji ships MX-1200!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 18, 1999 - 13:46 EDT)

Fuji Photo Film USA has today distributed a press release announcing that it is now shipping its new MX-1200 digital camera in the USA. The MX-1200, first announced on 15 September, features a 1.3 megapixel CCD, SmartMedia storage, anan extremely low $299 price tag! Here's the full specs:

 - Fuji MX-1200
- 1.3 megapixel CCD, output resolution of 1280 x 960
- 38mm-equivalent Fujinon lens with macro capability,
minimum focus distance 3.9 inches in macro mode
- 2x digital zoom
- 1.6 inch LCD display
- Optical viewfinder
- Built-in flash (on, off, red-eye reduction, slow
sync and auto)
- SmartMedia storage (4MB card bundled)
- Serial connectivity
- ISO rating of 125
- Auto and preset manual white balance
- Exposure compensation
- Bundled with Adobe Photo Deluxe Home Edition 3.0
- Power from 4 AA alkaline batteries (250 shots
without LCD, 100 shots with LCD)
- Weighs 7.1 ounces
- Dimensions of 4.3" x 3.0" x 1.3"

SST announces 64MB and 96MB CompactFlash!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 18, 1999 - 13:27 EDT)

Media manufacturer Silicon Storage Technology Inc. (SST) has today announced its new CompactFlash cards in 64MB and 96MB capacities. According to the press release, the cards feature SST's patented ATA controller and the industry's fastest sustained write speeds of 1.4MB per second. The new cards are priced at $160 and $240 each, respectively, in 1,000 unit quantities, and are available now for both samples and production. SST is an executive member of the CompactFlash Association; the new cards bring the company's lineup of CompactFlash memory to 7 capacities from 8MB to 96MB.

Agfa announces price cut on ePhoto CL30!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 18, 1999 - 12:50 EDT)

Agfa Corp.'s Desktop Products Group has today announced a price cut on its ePhoto CL30 digital camera. The CL30, first announced 04 January 1999 (and covered in our news item of that date, "Agfa introduces ePhoto CL30"), will now retail at $349. The price-drop clears the way for a special version of the CL30 with a built-in Clik! drive, announced officially on September 23 to retail at $599. The CL30 has the following features:

 - 1 Megapixel CCD, 30 bit color depth
- Resolutions of 1440x1080 (interpolated), 1152x864
1024x768 and 640x480; also a 1152x864 black and
white mode. 24-bit color JPEG files.
- CompactFlash storage (4MB bundled)
- 2X digital zoom
- Focus free, all glass lens; equivalent to 43 mm
on a 35mm camera; macro capability
- Aperture f/2.8 (wide)/ 8.0 (tele)
- Built-in flash (auto, fill, variable energy, red-eye
reduction, external flash trigger, off)
- 10 second self timer
- NTSC and PAL video out connectivity
- USB connectivity

Friday, October 15, 1999

Matsushita to make pocket email terminal with built-in digicam!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 15, 1999 - 22:33 EDT)

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. and Kyushu Matsushita Electric Co., Ltd will make a pocket email terminal with built-in digital camera, according to a press release on the Japanese National/Panasonic website. The Pocket-E KX-FE830 will be sold in volumes of 10,000 per month from November 5, at an as-yet undecided price. It will feature email and web browser capabilities, as well as a 180-degree rotateable digital camera, photos from which can be emailed or posted on the web.

PC Watch posts PDR-M5 sample pics!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 15, 1999 - 22:21 EDT)

The Japanese PC Watch website has posted a number of sample pictures from Toshiba's Allegretto M5 digital camera (the Japanese equivalent of the PDR-M5). The PDR-M5 features a 2.14 megapixel CCD and a 3x optical zoom, and the sample pictures are as follows:

 - 8 indoor pictures
- 4 outdoor pictures
- 1 portrait
- 6 zoom/compression pictures (wide fine, tele fine, wide
normal, tele normal, wide basic, tele basic)

d# Digital Press compares Nikon D1 and APS film!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 15, 1999 - 18:25 EDT)

The Japanese d# Digital Press website has completed a comparison of Nikon's D1 digital camera with the APS film format. The comparison sets out to decide if the D1 has exceeded the quality of APS film, since both APS film and the Nikon D1 have about the same light-gathering area. An identical lens was used on the D1 and a Nikon Pronea 600i APS camera, and two different film and scanner types used for the APS camera. Comparison shots were also taken with Nikon's Coolpix 950 digital camera.

From top to bottom, the pictures are (in each case a thumbnail linked to the full image, and a cropped portion of the image at approximately the same size shown):

 - Nikon D1 with Nikkor AF-S Zoom ED17-35mm F2.8D
F4.0, 1/3000 second, Fine mode, Auto white balance
- Nikon Coolpix950, F7.4, 1/480 second, Fine mode,
auto white balance
- Nikon Pronea600i with Nikkor AF-S Zoom ED17-35mm
F2.8D, FujiFilm Nexia A200 APS ISO200 color
negative film, scanned at 2700DPI with an Epson
GT-9600 scanner
- Nikon Pronea600i with Nikkor AF-S Zoom ED17-35mm
F2.8D, FujiFilm Nexia A200 APS ISO200 color
negative film, scanned at 2700DPI with a Nikon
LS-2000 scanner
- Nikon Pronea600i with Nikkor AF-S Zoom ED17-35mm
F2.8D, FujiFilm 100ix APS ISO100 color positive
film, scanned at 2700DPI with a Nikon LS-2000
Whilst there's not a lot in it, the reviewer seems to feel that the D1 has slightly exceeded the capabilities of APS film, although he notes that each has its own disadvantages. The D1 doesn't capture the fine details of the air vents below the Kenwood sign, for example, as well as APS - but then the APS film has more of a "speckled" appearance than the smoother areas of color such as in the sky from the D1. The reviewer does note that the D1 is still a bit of an unknown quantity because Nikon Capture was not yet available, and hence he was unable to look at pictures in CCD RAW mode from the D1 that likely would have improved fine detail.

MGI PhotoSuite III Platinum on's WinList!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 15, 1999 - 17:41 EDT)

A press release today from MGI Software Corp. announces that its MGI PhotoSuite III Platinum Edition photo editing software has been placed on's WinList, knocking the previous version, PhotoSuite II off the list. "We are thrilled that MGI PhotoSuite III has evoked such a positive response within the industry," said Anthony DeCristofaro, president and CEO of MGI Software. "We are honored by the recognition from and especially pleased that PhotoSuite III was the only photo software able to usurp PhotoSuite II, which had remained on the WinList for nearly a year."

IEEE 1394 growth continues to accelerate!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 15, 1999 - 17:18 EDT)

A press release today from the 1394 Trade Association notes that growth of the IEEE 1394 standard, alternatively known as FireWire or i.Link, is continuing to accelerate. James Snider, Chairman of the Association, predicts that 90 percent of new camcorders to be released in Japan next year will include the 1394 standard, whilst one third of all new PCs shipped by the end of next year will offer 1394 connectivity. Snider further predicted that 1394b silicon will enter production next spring, bringing speeds double those of existing 1394, up to 800 megabits per second.

Snider continued by playing down expectations of USB 2.0 rivalling even basic 1394 any time soon, stating: "Improvements to a specification which needs them are certainly welcomed. But a draft specification represent only the first step. It takes up to two years from initial silicon to complete hardware debug. Then, it takes another 10 to 12 months, at the minimum, for software development and debug. With the original USB specification, this process required four years. I can not imagine that ramping from 12 Megabits to 120 Megabits is going happen any sooner. Faster speeds will take even longer."

We'd note that the 1394 Trade Association is hardly impartial here, so things may not be as dire for USB 2.0 as they'd like to suggest (and the language of the press release certainly makes it clear they'll not be best friends any time soon!). That said, we've yet to see any predictions from the USB 2.0 Promoter Group as to when USB 2.0 will be reaching the market, either... All in all, it could get rather interesting!

Pictographics announces inCamera color management!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 15, 1999 - 15:17 EDT)

Pictographics International Corp. today announced its new inCamera Technology, a color management system being targeted at digital camera manufacturers. inCamera allows for color profiling of the digital camera to ensure consistency of color information, and uses the same technology as ColorSynergy 4.1, a professional color management system for Apple Macintosh computers.

IR News debuts on My Netscape!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 15, 1999 - 15:06 EDT)

Following on from our software upgrade last night, we've enabled a new feature on the Imaging Resource News page. With the aim of making it even easier for you to keep up to date with the latest news in the world of digital imaging, we've created the Imaging Resource News "My Netscape" channel.

"My Netscape" is part of the Netscape Netcenter web site, and features free web based email, plus the ability to keep track of news, weather, horoscopes, search engines and much more - all through one page. Many of you will already be using the service; we actually find it useful to set our web browsers to go straight there when we start our day, to get us quickly up to date with what's new on topics we're interested in! The IR News channel is set to update approximately once an hour with the latest headlines from our site; in between times, you can always find the latest news on our news page as usual...

We're always looking for new ways to make our news service more useful to you, the readers. You can add us to your own personal "My Netscape" page by clicking on this link, or on the icon at the bottom of this page. If you've any suggestions on other ways we can improve the Imaging Resource News, please do email us at [email protected] and let us know!

Agfa cuts pricing on ePhoto CL50!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 15, 1999 - 13:59 EDT)

A press release today from Agfa Corp.'s Desktop Products Group announces a price cut on the company's ePhoto CL50 digital camera. The CL50, first announced in our item of February 08, "Agfa introduces ePhoto CL50 digital camera!", features a 1.3 megapixel CCD, 3x optical zoom lens, burst-mode capability and sunlight-assisted backlighting, and first reached the market at the end of March, for a price of $799. Two months later on 22 May, Agfa announced a $100 mail-in rebate program for the camera, which ran until August 31st. On August 16, a price cut was announced on the camera, bringing it down to $699 (with the rebate still effective, but only for another two weeks). Today's announcement effectively brings the camera in another $50 lower than the final rebate price of $599 - but without the inconvenience of having to wait for the rebate money to get to you. Effective immediately, the ePhoto CL50 is avilable for $549. You can find a review of the unit from the good folks at the Steve's Digicams website here.

News Page software update completed!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 15, 1999 - 2:20 EDT)

We've just completed an upgrade of our News software this evening. For those of you who've visited the site in the last 60 minutes or so, you'll have seen a notice that an upgrade was under way; our apologies for the inconvenience!

So what difference does the new software make for our readers? Currently, you'll see no changes, but it improves the speed of the system behind the scenes, and gets rid of a few bugs. It also brings us a step closer to enabling some new features for you - but more on that later!

Once again, our apologies to anybody who was hoping to read the news over the last hour!

Steve's Digicams completes Canon PowerShot S10 review!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 15, 1999 - 0:19 EDT)

The fine folks over at Steve's Digicams have now finished a full review of Canon's tiny PowerShot S10 digital camera. The unit, which features a 2.11 megapixel CCD, 2x optical zoom lens, Type-II CompactFlash slot and USB connectivity in a tiny, all-metal casing, was summed up as follows:

"All things considered this is one great camera. It's everything the A50 is plus twice the resolution and even faster image processing. I'm no real fan of small cameras but the S10 is a very durable camera that performs better than other cameras three times its size. And at a price of $699 I see it flying off the dealer's shelfs and landing in a lot of stockings this Christmas."

Thursday, October 14, 1999 posts Nikon Coolpix950 review!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 14, 1999 - 18:02 EDT)

The website has posted its review of Nikon's Coolpix950 digital camera. Here's what they had to say: "Despite its detail shortcomings, the Nikon belongs to the elite of digital cameras. If you can live with its minor defects, you will soon come to appreciate the Coolpix 950 as a brilliant tool for shooting pictures and find its compact design and good image quality very pleasing." Check the full review out here! posts Part 3 of Panorama Tutorial!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 14, 1999 - 17:19 EDT)

The website has posted the third and final part of its tutorial on panoramic photography. The third section covers how to presnt your panoramic digital photos - be that on professional photo paper, inkjet photo paper or on the Internet. Particularly interesting are a look at which inkjet drivers can handle special panoramic paper, and the advantages/disadvantages of different techniques for placing panoramas on your web site. Great stuff!

SanDisk announces record revenue for Q3 '99!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 14, 1999 - 16:37 EDT)

Flash media manufacturer SanDisk Corp. has announced its results for the third quarter of 1999, with record revenues of $67.5 million for the third quarter, up some 29% over the second quarter. The increase was attributed to sales of CompactFlash and MultiMediaCard products. Even more impressive was the increase over Q3 revenues from 1 year ago; Q3 revenues for '99 are a full 111% ($35.5 million) higher than Q3 '98 revenues, and in particular product revenues climbed by 139% over a year ago.

According to SanDisk Corp. President and CEO Dr. Eli Harari, SanDisk shipped 24% more flash cards and 52% more flash megabytes in Q3 '99 than the previous record quarter. In Q2 '99, price per megabyte dropped by 19%, whilst lower than expected yields and higher production costs due to component shortages saw gross margins on SanDisk products decrease to 24% from 27%. At the end of this quarter, SanDisk began shipping 256Mbit double density cards to customers, and the switch to this technology along with higher pricing should improve the margin and bring increased availability in Q1 2000.

USB 2.0 spec officially announced!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 14, 1999 - 16:22 EDT)

As predicted in our news item of September 30, "Target speed of USB 2.0 to be announced soon!", the USB 2.0 promoter group has now officially announced the new USB 2.0 draft specification, and target speed. USB 2.0 will have a target speed of 480 Megabits per second, and the draft specification which has now been released to developers is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of next year. The standard will be backward compatible with existing USB equipment, and will continue to use the same cabling and connectors.

Lexar completes $30 million equity financing!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 14, 1999 - 15:58 EDT)

A press release from Lexar Media Inc. announces that it has completed a $30 million private placement of convertible preferred stock, with private investment financing from firms including GE Equity, Van Wagoner Capital Management, Sun America Equity and St. Paul Ventures, arranged through sole placement agent SG Cowen Securities Corporation. GE Capital MD Steve Smith noted: "Lexar Media is well positioned for long-term growth in an explosive market. The Company has a rich portfolio of intellectual property with 15 granted patents and 15 patent applications to protect it. Additionally, Lexar has a strong brand name in the professional market that it is leveraging to capture the general consumer market. These are the attributes of successful companies that yield exceptional returns on investment."

Jasc Software ranked #93 on Inc. 500!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 14, 1999 - 15:33 EDT)

Imaging software company Jasc Software Inc., well known for its popular Paint Shop Pro image editor, has announced in a press release its ranking in the #93 spot on the Inc. 500 listing. The Inc. 500, compiled annually by Inc. Magazine, names the fastest growing companies in the USA. Jasc has climbed some 68 places from its previous spot at #161 on the 1998 Inc. 500. Jasc CEO Kris Tufto commented: "Jasc Software's amazing growth can be attributed to our commitment to our customers. By soliciting and using customer feedback, we can continue to develop tools for Web site and digital image enhancement that provide the advanced functionality our users want at an affordable price. That's really the key to our past growth and continued success."

Wednesday, October 13, 1999

IDC sees toy camera market growing!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 13, 1999 - 18:43 EDT)

A new report out from International Data Corporation sees the market for entry-level and toy digital cameras growing rapidly, with 5.7 million entry level digital cameras and 17.5 million toy digital cameras expected to ship by 2003. The report expects 10 new low-end and toy digital cameras under $250 by the end of this year, with vendors using the market as a springboard to higher-end digicams, and the lower-end units gaining features such as removable memory, LCD displays, Kopin displays, and video capabilities. The US is predicted to be the growth leader for both segments.

ArcSoft announces 2000 line-up, adds Mac support!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 13, 1999 - 13:22 EDT)

Software company ArcSoft has announced the release of PhotoPrinter 2000, PhotoMontage 2000 and PhotoFantasy 2000 in a press release we received in our mailbox yesterday. The programs continue the line currently available for the PC, and for the first time all three are also available for use on Apple computers. Here's the full release:

"ArcSoft Introduces Popular Photo-Editing Software for the Mac - PhotoPrinter 2000, PhotoMontage 2000 and PhotoFantasy 2000 released
as cross-platform products for Macintosh and PC users

Fremont, CA (October 11, 1999) - ArcSoft, a leading provider of digital imaging software and online photo services, today announced the introduction of three programs from their popular line of photo-editing software for the Mac. The three products, ArcSoft PhotoPrinter 2000, ArcSoft PhotoMontage 2000, and ArcSoft PhotoFantasy 2000 will ship in mid-October. The software, whose previous versions were available only for PC users, now offers unique new features for both Mac and PC platforms.

"We have eagerly anticipated the introduction of these three popular programs to the growing Mac market," said Joseph Bollentini, executive vice president and chief operating officer for ArcSoft, Inc. "Now Mac users can experience easy-to-use, full-featured photo-editing and entertainment software at an affordable price."

ArcSoft PhotoFantasy 2000, the software that lets you live vicariously through "fantasy" backgrounds, now features live video preview. The new PhotoFantasy Live Video buttons allow you to capture your picture "live" directly into a fantasy template using a desktop video camera, digital camera or other Video-for-Windows compatible video devices.

Put your face on someone or something famous, like Mt. Rushmore or Miss Universe. Choose from more than 200 fantasy templates or create your own using PhotoFantasy's unique masking feature - great for making greeting cards, screen savers, calendars, invitations and more. Suggested retail price: $19.99.

ArcSoft PhotoMontage 2000 lets you create a montage of a single image made up of thousands of micro images. Personalize the montage by including personal images of pets, friends or family. This newest version includes a new Color Variation feature. The program automatically adjusts the color of each micro-image to perfectly match the original color of the main image. Users can even create a montage using a single image rather than the included micro-collection - the program simply repeats the image, creating a completely unique montage. Suggested retail price: $39.99.

ArcSoft PhotoPrinter 2000 is a popular program that allows you to customize the way you print your photos. Add frames or borders, personalize your calendar, or simply make stickers, photo labels, postcards and note cards. PhotoPrinter now provides new templates for the year 2000. Suggested retail price: $19.99."

Tuesday, October 12, 1999

Steve's Digicams reviews Canon S10, Olympus D-620L, looks for megavisitor!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 12, 1999 - 23:44 EDT)

The good folks over at the Steve's Digicams website have now posted reviews of Olympus' D-620L and Canon's tiny PowerShot S10 digital cameras; Steve had the following to say: "I have just finished and posted my Canon S10 Sample Pictures Page. This is definitely another winner for Canon, everything about this camera is small except for the pictures it takes. The average size of one of those Super-Fine Large mode images is between 1.4 and 2 megabytes! The picture quality is awesome, it focuses in the dark and you gotta love that all-metal body. Quite the pocket powerhouse. I'll have more to say when I finish up the user review in the next couple of days.

I have also posted my Olympus D-620L User Review and sample pictures. This camera may have been overshadowed by the arrival of the C-2500L but it is still a very capable and fast camera. I'm happy to report that it looks as if Olympus has fixed the focus problems I saw on the D-600 model."

Steve is also looking for his 2.11 megavisitor (his 2,110,000th visitor, in other words! ;) - the figure looks set to be reached shortly, and Nikon has provided a 2.11 megapixel digital camera for the lucky winner!

Update; 10-14-99: Steve's Digicams has now reached its 2.11 megavisitor! Congratulations to Steve, and to his lucky reader David Hand of Pasadena, CA, who won a shiny new Nikon Coolpix 950!

Nikon announces the Coolpack carrying case!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 12, 1999 - 23:40 EDT)

Nikon has today announced a carrying case and accessory bundle specifically for its Coolpix digital camera line. Consisting of a beige canvas carrying case, and 4 28mm filters (UV, Circular Polarizer, Neutral Density 4 and Neutral Density 8), as well as a wallet that attaches to the camera strap for carrying the filters, a 5-hour battery charger and 4 AA NiMH batteries, the set is recommended by Nikon for Christmas, and is to be available next month at a cost of $99.

Epson bundles eFax with printers and all-in-ones!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 12, 1999 - 23:32 EDT)

Epson America Inc. has decided to bundle eFax services with its Stylus Color inkjet printers and Stylus Scan all-in-one machines, according to a press release today from eFax will have a link from the Epson CD to the eFax website, where customers can sign up for the service which allows them to obtain a free eFax telephone number through which their faxes will be received and emailed to them. selected as host for RealSlideshow!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 12, 1999 - 23:27 EDT)

Online photo-sharing website has announced that it has been selected as the official default hosting solution for Real Networks' RealSlideshow Plus program. RealSlideshow enables customers to create slideshows of their images accompanied by an audio soundtrack, for example narrating the pictures, or playing music alongside them.

Nix on First Looks! (for now)
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 12, 1999 - 21:08 EDT)

No more "First Looks", at least for a while: We're currently inundated in cameras awaiting review, and in various stages of the process! In the past, we've tried to post "first look" reviews as quickly after receiving a camera as possible, but in the current circumstances, these "quick" reviews (which take a minimum of a day apiece to do to even the roughest approximation) only delay the real reviews even further. To try to step up the review cycle, we're going to eliminate the First Looks, and concentrate on the main reviews. In an effort to marshall our forces a bit, we're also going to push the next issue of our newsletter out a few days (to early next week), in order to get more of the review work underway. (Plug for the newsletter: It's cool (but I may be biased), comes out (about) every two weeks, has tips, reviews, news, special deals, lots more. Unsubscribe at any time. (No spam here!) Subscribe by sending a blank email to [email protected])

Here's the list of what we currently have underway in the review department:

About to finish (really... no, this time for sure! ;)
- Full review of Nikon Coolpix 800
- Full review of Olympus D-450 Zoom

In-house, in-process (various stages)
- Kodak DC215
- Kodak PictureCD
- Fuji MX-1200
- Olympus C-2500L
- Olympus D-340R
- Toshiba PDR-M5
- Canon S10
- Ricoh RDC-5000 (reshoot with updated production model)

Due to arrive soon
- Ricoh RDC-5300
- Casio QV-2000UX
- Casio QV-8000SX

Promised, unknown arrival date
- Kodak DC290

Others coming?
- There are at least another four cameras in "tentative" mode
- Another four beyond that in "maybe" status
- One, possibly two scanners in the next month or so

Yikes! That's 13 cameras, plus PictureCD, that are either here already, or that we're pretty certain of, another 8 after that in "possible/likely" status! Lesse, 20 cameras, 26 hours in a day, ...

Emails to "web", "detchells", and "editor" may get slow responses for the next few weeks! "hotnews" should be answered as usual, since Mike's (thus far) relatively unaffected by the review onslaught. PLEASE don't ask us to recommend cameras for you: That's so dependent on your personal wants/needs/druthers anyway that we really can't answer them properly under the best of conditions, and especially over the next few weeks we won't have the human bandwidth to engage in chats on the subject! - If you have questions about various readers' experiences with different models in actual use, try posting a question on our (very active) Q&A Forum, at

Ricoh USA officially announces RDC-5300!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 12, 1999 - 15:16 EDT)

Ricoh PC Peripherals Unit yesterday announced its new RDC-5300 digital camera in the US market, following up on the announcement in the Japanese marketplace last Thursday (covered in our item "Ricoh Japan announces RDC-5300!" of that date.) The unit is essentially an upgraded RDC-5000 with a 3x optical zoom lens in place of the RDC-5000's 2.3x zoom. Other changes include faster processing speeds, and changes to the user interface. A rubber handgrip has been added, making the camera easier to hold, and the LCD display is now more responsive and better quality. Here's the full specifications from the press release the camera:

 - Ricoh RDC-5300
- 2.3 megapixel CCD; 1792 x 1200 pixel resolution
- 3x optical zoom; 2.5x digital zoom
- 1.8 inch LCD display and optical viewfinder
- 8MB of internal RAM
- SmartMedia storage (in sizes up to 64MB cards)
- USB and serial connectivity
- NTSC and PAL video out capability
- Built-in flash with red-eye reduction; external
flash shoe
- Autofocus "Super Macro" mode
- Time lapse mode (intervals from 30 sec - 3 hrs)
- Black & White and Sepia modes
- Manual focus, exposure, flash, and white balance
- Automatic exposure bracketing (1 shutter press
captures photo plus extra exposures at +0.5EV and
- Bundled with AC adapter, serial and USB cables,
and a software bundle consisting of ArcSoft
PhotoStudio 3.0, PhotoBase, PhotoMontage,
PhotoFantasy, PhotoPrinter, and PhotoIsland

Monday, October 11, 1999

We have a winner!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 11, 1999 - 23:14 EDT)

- In our "Tip of the Month" contest, sponsored by! - Our readers cast their votes, and the winner was Jon Hill for his tip for better lighting when doing macro photography using an on-camera flash. Reader "mlciskey" also won $50 in our random drawing from amongst the people who cast votes for *all* the entries - We insisted on this last criteria, because we wanted to make sure that everyone who submitted tips had an equal chance at winning, even those who submitted early in the month, whose entries had scrolled far down the page. It turned out to be important in the drawing award, as the name that came up first in our random sort had actually voted on only a few entries, meaning we skipped his/her name and went to mlciskey's. The moral of the story is to be sure you vote for *all* the entries next month. Meanwhile, click on over to the Tips Page, to see the top entries, and to learn how YOU can get in line to win next month's prize!

Fall Colors: Take a picture, it lasts longer!
By David Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 11, 1999 - 0:58 EDT)

Just in time for the peak of foliage season across most of the Midwest and East, we've posted a beautiful article by Photographer/Teacher David Halpern, titled Digital Landscape Photography (Fall Colors) - David is an IR reader with literally decades of experience in photography. His first love is nature and landscape photography (he leads in-the-field seminars every summer in the West), and he's been a pioneer in using "consumer" digital cameras to turn out professional- quality work. We're very pleased that David has agreed to share some of his experience on our site! We've just posted his first article on digital landscape photography on the site. The article has a particular focus on photographing fall foliage. Check out this very timely article, and be inspired by David's beautiful photography! Very inspiring, check it out!

Friday, October 8, 1999

Sanyo Japan unveils PHS digital camera!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 8, 1999 - 17:13 EDT)

Sanyo Japan has today unveiled a new digital camera which is melded with a PHS digital cordless phone. The unit features a 1/3" 850,000 pixel CCD, and can capture images in either 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 JPEG (Exif 2.0) format on 3.3V SmartMedia cards. A 110,000 pixel 2-inch LCD display is provided for viewing the images, as is an optical viewfinder. No specifics are given on the lens assembly, which looks to be a fixed focal length type, and has an integrated lens cover. The camera doubles as a 1.9Ghz PHS phone, currently capable of transferring data at 32kbps (and capable of 64Kbps in the future). Since data can also be transmitted, this means that you can transmit your images to your PC, with 640 x 480 images taking approximately 30 seconds to transfer. The unit uses an NiMH battery which gives 6 hours of talk time, or 500 hours of standby time, excluding camera usage. It weighs 250 grams, and has dimensions of 61 x 145 x 35mm, and is to be shown at the Telecom99 show in Geneva, Switzerland from October 10th to October 17th. A photograph of the unit is available on Sanyo Japan's website.
Thanks to Online Access Networks Inc. for passing news of this item to us!

Thursday, October 7, 1999

Steve's Digicams reviews the Fujix DS-330!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 23:37 EDT)

The folks over at Steve's Digicams have mostly completed a review of Fujifilm's Fujix DS-330 digital camera. Steve had the following to say about the camera (no conclusions drawn as yet):

"The DS-330's image resolution may be somewhat "dated" but its real camera features certainly aren't. It has true shutter speed (1/4 to 1/1000 sec) or aperture (F3.5, 5.6, 8, 11) priority, a manual mode, programmed AE and a fully automatic mode."

You can read the full review here...

Nikon Japan apologizes for D1 delays!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 23:26 EDT)

Nikon Japan has posted an apology for delays in releasing its D1 digital camera on its Japanese web site. The page, roughly translated from its original Japanese, notes that pre-orders have outreached expectations and public response to the camera has been very favourable. It goes on to note that whilst the camera had been due to ship on September 29 in Japan, demand has far outstripped supply, and that it has not been possible to prepare enough cameras to meet this plan. Nikon goes on to apologise for the delays, and notes that it is making every effort to increase production and minimize delays and inconvenience to its customers...

Ricoh Japan announces RDC-5300!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 23:20 EDT)

Ricoh Japan has officially announced its RDC-5300 digital camera. The unit is essentially an upgraded RDC-5000 with a 3x optical zoom lens in place of the RDC-5000's 2.3x zoom. Other changes include faster processing speeds, and changes to the user interface. A rubber handgrip has been added, making the camera easier to hold, and the LCD display is now more responsive and better quality. The camera was first mentioned back on September 01 in a report by PC Watch on the IFA show in Berlin.

Fuji Japan announces FinePix PR21 and FinePix 1200!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 23:16 EDT)

Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd., Japan, has announced its new FinePix PR21 and FinePix 1200 digital cameras, according to the PC Watch website. The PR21 is the digital camera we told you about a month ago on September 7, featuring a built-in printer. As predicted, the unit features a 2.3 megapixel CCD, full specifications are as follows:

 - Fuji FinePix PR21
- Based on the FinePix2700
- 2.3 megapixel 1/2" CCD
- Output resolution of 1800 x 1200 pixels
- Fixed focal length lens equivalent to 35mm in a 35mm
- Vaccuum Fluorescent Print Head printer, with a
resolution of 254 dpi, built in. Print size of 86 x 54mm,
printed area 62 x 46mm, 620 x 460 pixels. 30-60 seconds
per print. Index print capability.
- SmartMedia storage
- Powered by 4 AA Alkaline, NiCad or NiMH batteries
- Dimensions 113 x 60 x 127mm, weight 500g (700g with flash
card and batteries).
- Will reach Japanese market on November 20 at a price of
Also announced at the same time is the Fuji FinePix1200, a Japanese version of the Fuji MX-1200 announced in the US on September 15. From our article of that date, here are the specifications:

 - Fuji MX-1200
- 1.3 megapixel CCD, output resolution of 1280 x 960
- 38mm-equivalent Fujinon lens with macro capability,
minimum focus distance 3.9 inches in macro mode
- 2x digital zoom
- 1.6 inch LCD display
- Optical viewfinder
- Built-in flash (on, off, red-eye reduction, slow
sync and auto)
- SmartMedia storage (4MB card bundled)
- Serial connectivity
- ISO rating of 125
- Auto and preset manual white balance
- Exposure compensation
- Bundled with Adobe Photo Deluxe Home Edition 3.0
- Power from 4 AA alkaline batteries (250 shots
without LCD, 100 shots with LCD)
- Weighs 7.1 ounces
- Dimensions of 4.3" x 3.0" x 1.3"
- Will ship in October for $299
The FinePix1200 will ship on November 15 at a price of ¥49,800(US$462).

HP Japan announces PhotoSmart P1000, and P1100!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 23:01 EDT)

Hewlett Packard has announced its PhotoSmart P1000 and P1100 inkjet photo printers in Japan, according to the PC Watch website. The printers back on August 31st in the USA; from our articles of then, here's the specifications:

 - HP PhotoSmart P1100/P1100xi
- HP PhotoREtIII technology offers "most like a
photo" quality with up to 29 5-picoliter drops per
- Up to 2400 x 1200 dpi resolution on photo paper
- C6578 ink cartridges provide 50% faster firing
times and twice as many nozzles compared to C1823
cartridges in DeskJet 8XX printers, delivering
7.3 million drops per second
- Print speeds up to 12 ppm (pages per minute) in
black and 10 ppm in color
- Auto duplexer for automatically printing on both
sides of each sheet
- Manual print-cancel button
- Low ink warning prompt
- Automatic print cartridge alignment
- 100 sheet paper tray, parallel and USB connectivity,
support for printing directly from a digital camera with or
without a PC, infrared JetSend technology, and an expected
price of US$499

- HP PhotoSmart P1000
- Uses the same print engine as the P1100 etc.
announced earlier today
- 600 dpi in black
- 2400 x 1200 dpi in color on Photo paper
- 4 x 6-inch photo tray
- USB and parallel connectivity
- Print speeds up to 11 ppm (pages per minute) in
black, and 8.5 ppm in color.
- Uses HP PhotoREtIII technology
- Available in the USA immediately for $399 (street)

Sony announces DKC-FP3!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 22:50 EDT)

The PMA International Daily Newsline has reported that Sony has announced its DKC-FP3 and DSC-F505 digital cameras in the United States. Regular readers will remember that we covered Sony's US launch of the DSC-F505 on August 23, however whilst we've told you about the DKC-FP3 previously, we hadn't yet seen it officially announced. The DKC-FP3 is a modified DSC-D770, with a darker casing, Firewire connectivity, and slightly improved processing algorithms. To the best of our knowledge, it is available currently...

Canon Japan announces new printer line-up!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 22:44 EDT)

Canon Japan has announced a number of new products, according to an article on the PC Watch website. Included are:

 - Canon BJ-F850 (appears to be a Japanese version of the US
BJC-8200 printer announced earlier today)
- BJ-A10 flash media reader. The BJ-A10 can be connected to a
Canon bubblejet printer to allow it to read Type-II PC cards
(or, by way of an adapter, SmartMedia and CompactFlash cards
including MicroDrive). A control panel (seen on the right of
the reader in PC Watch's picture) allows for image editing
and automatic correction of images, and by using Canon's
IS-52 scanner cartridge, pictures can also be saved onto
the flash card as well. Compatible Japanese printers include
the BJ F850, F610, F600 and F300 models. The reader can
handle JPEG(DCF/CIFF/Exif/JFIF), TIFF (Exif compliant), and
conforms to the DPOF standard. The BJ-A10 will ship in Japan
in November, at a price of ¥24,800(US$231)
- BJ-F6100, BJ-F610 and BJ-F300. The BJ-F6100 and F610
printers are successors to the Japanese F6000 and F600 models,
and features resolutions of 1,440 x 720 dpi with print speed
of 9ppm in black and white or 6ppm in color. The F6100 model
adds support for paper sizes up to A3. The printers feature
dual ink-cartridges, unlike the also-announced BJ-F300, which
reduces cost by instead requiring the user to swap color and
black cartridges as necessary. The BJ-F6100 and F610 will
retail for ¥69,800(US$649) and ¥54,800 (US$510). The
BJ-F300 meanwhile will reach the market on October 9 at a cost
of ¥44,800(US$417). It features, like its bigger
siblings, a resolution of 1,440 x 720 dpi, but has a slower
print speed of 9ppm in black or 4ppm in color. All three
printers have both USB and parallel connectivity.
- BJ-M70 and BJ-M70PW. These two printers are USB versions of
Canon's tiny BJC-80 portable printer, and will reach the
market in October-November for about ¥44,800. The only
difference between the two is that the M70PW is white in
color. Both printers feature a resolution of 720 x 360 dpi,
and also feature parallel and infrared connectivity.

Toshiba and SanDisk cooperate on gigabit flash!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 18:46 EDT)

Following on from a news item we carried on October 04, "SanDisk acquires Invox patents, technical personnel!", in which we noted that SanDisk had purchased the patents with a view to using them to develop gigabit flash technology, the company has today announced that it intends to cooperate with Toshiba in the venture. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to enter into a long-term partnership to develop and manufacture gigabit flash memory, and will establish a new company in January 2000 which will start business in Toshiba's Yokkaichi fab plant. In the first half of 2001, volume production will also commence at Toshiba Group company Dominion Semiconductor LLC in Virginia.

The two companies intend to jointly develop 512 megabit and 1 gigabit flash memory chips and Secure Digital Memory Card controllers using Toshiba's future 0.16 micron and 0.13 micron NAND flash memory technology and SanDisk's multilevel cell flash technology and controller system integration. The joint venture company will be 50/50 funded by each company, which is planned to offer more than $1 billion in annual sales by 2002, and the two companies will share output from the joint venture which they will then market and sell separately. The press release goes on to caution that the memorandum is not legally binding, and that due to the challenges of designing gigabit memory, success is not guaranteed. It is also noted that during the 2001 startup period, fabrication efficiency will be low and hence output is unlikely to cover costs, so this could adversely impact operating results initially.

MetaCreations shows MetaFlash and MetaStream!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 17:49 EDT)

MetaCreations is currently attending the Fall Internet World show in New York, Oct 6-8, and has today distributed a press release inviting those at the show to call the company "for an on-site press meeting to see the latest releases and get upcoming news". On show are Canoma and the latest version of Painter, as well as the much-awaited MetaFlash and MetaStream technologies for capturing digital photographs in 3D, and then streaming them over the Internet. On a related note, IR reader "Stephan" wrote in with news that Minolta has posted information on its upcoming MetaFlash-capable 3D-1500 digital camera on its website at
Thanks, Stephan!

HP, Lexmark announce new ad campaigns!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 17:43 EDT)

Computer giant Hewlett Packard Co. and printer manufacturer Lexmark Int'l. Inc. have both today announced new advertising campaigns. HPs effort, promoting the DeskJet 970C and HP PhotoSmart P1000 inkjet printers, will focus on the "true to the original" quality of prints from the two units, showing a real life setting on one side of the ad with an 8.5 x 11-inch piece cut out from it. The other side of the advert will show the missing piece being printed out on an HP printer. The ad, created by advertising firm Goodby Silverstein and Partners, will appear in national consumer and trade publications, as well as on outdoor billboards such as those in Times Square, New York.

Lexmark's new ads, meanwhile, pushes Lexmark's "ability to capture the consumer's imagination in print", with an advertising campaign showing consumer's faces with colorful montages of images overlaid on them. A new tagline, "Passion for Printing Ideas", will accompany the ads, which are photographed and directed by Herb Ritts for ad company Warwick Baker O'Neill, and are due to appear on television, radio, consumer and business print. The TV campaign will debut during the 1999 Major League Baseball World Series.

Canon announces new BJC-8200 photo printer!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 14:30 EDT)

Canon Computer Systems Inc. has today announced its new BJC-8200 inkjet photo printer. The new unit features a resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi (dots per inch), Canon's "Advanced Microfine Droplet" technology with 4 picoliter droplet size, six ink colors giving 33 gradation levels per pixel, separately replaceable ink cartridges, and a high photo print-speed of less than one minute for postcard-sized photos, or less than 3 minutes for a full 8 x 10 print. Canon also claims that the printer has a "perceived resolution of 1800 dpi" thanks to a droplet size that falls below the level a human eye can detect. The BJC-8200 will be available in December at a price of $399 with both parallel and USB connectivity and a software bundle including Adobe PhotoDeluxe v3.0 for PC, v2.0 for Mac.

Digital cameras to help push flash revenues over $474m in '99!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 0:39 EDT)

According to a new report from International Data Corp., popularity of digital cameras seems set to push revenues from sales of flash media cards over the $474 million mark this year. Currently, IDC sees SmartMedia and CompactFlash being the dominant formats, accounting for almost 90% of all shipments, but this looks set to change. The report predicts a compound annual growth rate of 62% for CompactFlash, 39% for SmartMedia and a whopping 162% for other form factors! IDC predicts, understandably enough, that average card capacity will increase significantly over the next two years, although no estimates are given for this. Finally, IDC notes that whilst currently, competition is limited mostly to cards manufactured by Toshiba, SanDisk, Samsung and Hitachi, this looks set to change with smaller companies looking to cash in on the flash memory "boom". and announce deal!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 0:36 EDT)

In the latest of many such partnerships announced over the past few months, online photo-sharing website has announced a deal with to offer a free PhotoLoft premium membership to all customers applying for a free Tektronix Phaser 840 color printer from The free deal, offered by Tektronix through the website, is offered to customers who complete an application online and agree to maintain a minimum monthly print volume and purchase all ink for their printer from Tektronix.

Steve's Digicams hits the big 2,000,000!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 0:33 EDT)

Congratulations are due to the fine folks over at the Steve's Digicams website, who've noted today in their news feed a new landmark - their 2,000,000th visitor! Well done, Steve, and may your next 2,000,000 come to you even quicker than they did first time round!

Wednesday, October 6, 1999

Creative Labs announces Video Blaster WebCam Go!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 6, 1999 - 16:38 EDT)

Creative Labs has today announced an interesting hybrid of a tethered and a portable digital camera, the Video Blaster WebCam Go. The unit features a resolution of 320 x 240 or 640 x 480, 4MB of built-in memory (stores 90+ high-res or 200+ low res images), a RhinoSkin carrying case, single or multi exposure mode and self-timer (when disconnected from the PC), and video capabilities (when connected to the PC). Power is supplied by two AAA batteries (good for up to 300 exposures), and the camera is available immediately at a price of $149.99.

Digicam market to top 3.6m units this year!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 6, 1999 - 16:17 EDT)

The market for digital cameras worldwide is expected to top 3.6 million units this year, according to a new report by InfoTrends Research Group. InfoTrends' "1999 Low End Digital Camera Forecast Worldwide Summary" sees digital camera sales growing by some 36% annually through 2003, with the highest growth rate being the North American market. Japan and Europe make up the top three markets worldwide, with Japan expected to lose its position at the top of the sales figures next year to North America. Market leaders worldwide are Olympus, Sony, Kodak, and Fuji, with market share varying by region. Infotrends sees the most important aspects of digital cameras varying by region too, with Europe conscious of image quality, North America wanting ease of use, and Japan preferring compact designs and the very latest specifications... announces new sponsors!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 6, 1999 - 16:01 EDT)

The website has announced today the following new sponsors, each of which will have "communities" on the site:

 - IBM PC Camera; manufacturer of the IBM PC Camera and
C-it products for video email and presentations
- iPrint; online print shop for printing and gift services
- IXLA; PC photography and Internet software company,
parent of the site
- Lexar Media; Flash media manufacturer
- New Media Technology; multimedia software developer
- Pixel Pond; "forum that offers graphic artists and users
the opportunity to use and experiment with the latest
digital solutions for the photographic and pre-press
- SanDisk; Flash media manufacturer
- Slick; manufacturer of tripods and tripod accessories
- SunPak; manufacturer of electronic flash equipment
- Ulead; multimedia software company

Iomega provides storage for Kodak Personal Picture Maker!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 6, 1999 - 15:47 EDT)

A press release today from Iomega Corp. announces that the company's Zip 100 and Zip 250 drives are compatible with the recently announced Kodak Personal Picture Maker (see "Kodak and Lexmark join forces on Personal Picture Maker!", Sep 20). The Personal Picture Maker (priced at $199, with a further $50 mail-in rebate available), features built-in SmartMedia and CompactFlash slots, print to perforated 5 x 7, 4 x 6, and 3.5 x 5-inch paper, for borderless prints, and allows borders and text to be added to photos before they are printed. Photos can also be stored from the printer directly to a device such as Iomega's Zip drive, and photos can be printed directly from the storage device - all of this without the need for a PC.

Steve's Digicams reviews the PDR-M5!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 6, 1999 - 15:20 EDT)

The fine folks over at Steve's Digicams have posted a first-look review of Toshiba's new PDR-M5 digital camera. Unfortunately, bad weather has prevented Steve from getting the full review completed, but there's plenty of information and pictures of the camera to whet your appetite...! Check it out!

Canon to launch digital image floppy drive!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 6, 1999 - 11:10 EDT)

Canon Inc has announced a floppy drive storage device for still images taken by digital video camcorders, according to a Reuters report on Yahoo! BizWire. The drive uses standard 2HD 3.5" floppy diskettes, and will ship in Japan, the US and Europe in late October. The unit will retail in Japan for ¥35,000 (US$330), with US/European pricing to be announced at a later date, and 3000 units will be made per month. Of these 3000, 1,500 will be sold in the US, 600 in Europe and 900 in Japan each month.

HTML foe vanquished, IR staff jubilant!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 6, 1999 - 0:03 EDT)

Just a quick note to those amongst you who've been having difficulties with our News archives. It turns out we had a few little "buggettes" that had crept in, and caused certain versions of Netscape's popular browser to refuse to display the archive, even though it had fully loaded in. The errors have been fixed, and the archives are working once more... For those of you who use Internet Explorer, everything should have been working fine previously, and has been tested as working fine after the Netscape fixes too... Any problems? Let us know!

Tuesday, October 5, 1999

ClubPhoto bridges Picture CD and online photo sharing!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 5, 1999 - 15:16 EDT)

Online photo-sharing and finishing website ClubPhoto has announced that it has updated its Living Album software to allow users to access Kodak PictureCD and PictureDisk photos and incorporate these into their online albums. ClubPhoto users will now be able to take their film for processing and scanning onto PictureCD at their photo developer, and then bring the photos home and upload them to their own ClubPhoto website to share with family and friends, without the need for HTML knowledge or any digital imaging hardware such as a scanner or digital camera...

Canon announces PowerShot S10 availability!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, October 5, 1999 - 15:09 EDT)

Canon USA Inc. has now revealed the official launch date of its PowerShot S10 digital camera, first announced in the US back on August 27. The unit will begin shipping to retailers on Friday October 15, essentially meaning that the original target date of mid-October has been met. The camera, whose price was previously unannounced, should have an estimated street price of $699. Canon's CD-300 printer will also begin shipping simultaneously at a price of $499. From our original report of August 27, "Canon announces PowerShot S10 digital camera!", here are the specifications of the PowerShot S10:

 - Same form-factor as Canon PowerShot A5 Zoom / A50
- 1/2 inch 2.1 megapixel CCD
- Billed as "world's smallest and lightest 2-megapixel
digital camera with zoom lens and built-in flash (as of
July 1999"
- JPEG Image files sizes of 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, and
800 x 600, in Super-Fine, Fine or Normal compression
- Burst mode allows 1.7 frames per second in highest
- Type I & Type II CompactFlash card storage
- USB, RS-232 and NTSC connectivity
- High-res low-distortion all-glass 2x zoom lens
(equivalent to 35-70mm f/2.8-4.0 on a 35mm camera)
- 2/4x digital zoom, playback zoom with panning
- Selectable ISO from 100 to 400
- Spot metering
- AE lock
- Auto/Manual White Balancing
- Exposure Compensation of +/-2EV in 1/3EV steps
- Image Selection Mode button allows choice of slow-speed
shutter, high-speed shutter, Night Scene, Landscape and
Black & White modes, as well as flash and ISO modes.
- Supports DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)
- Bundled with: Camera, wrist-strap, video cable,
interface cables, PowerShot Solutions CD-Rom, 2CR5
Lithium battery, 8MB CompactFlash card w/case, and
user's manual, CD-ROM includes Adobe PhotoDeluxe and
Adobe PhotoStitch for Mac and Windows, ZoomBrowser EX
for Windows, PowerShot Browser for Mac.

Monday, October 4, 1999

SanDisk acquires Invox patents, technical personnel!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 4, 1999 - 18:14 EDT)

SanDisk Corp. has announced today that it has acquired the patent portfolio of voice storage products company Invox Technology, as well as some of Invox's technical design staff including Geoff Gongwer, Invox vice president of engineering. The patent portfolio includes 19 U.S. patents issued or allowed, and another 28 pending patent applications, mostly in the area of flash memory storage. Details of the purchase have not been disclosed, but SanDisk believes that some of these concepts outlined therein may prove useful in the development of ultra high capacity flash memory chips. To this end, SanDisk has formed a dedicated team with the goal of developing technology for gigabit capacity flash memory chips, headed up by Gongwer.

SanDisk appoints President of Japanese subsidiary!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 4, 1999 - 17:55 EDT)

SanDisk Corp. has announced that it has appointed Yoshio Aoki as President of its wholly-owned Japanese subsidiary, SanDisk K.K. Aoki was most recently corporate vice president and representative director at Iomega Japan Corporation, before which he spent 22 years with Sony Electronics Inc., serving as product development manager, general manager and senior vice president supervising Sony's entire business of brand computer peripherals. Current SanDisk K.K. president Richard Troutte will return to SanDisk headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA, where he will head up Pacific Rim sales. He will continue to report to Leon Malmed, senior vice president of worldwide marketing and sales, as will Aoki.

Digital Focus to host over two dozen leading companies!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 4, 1999 - 16:50 EDT)

A press release today notes that the upcoming Digital Focus event, scheduled to take place on the eve of Comdex Fall '99, is to play host to at least 28 leading digital imaging companies, with the final total expected to go over 35! Companies scheduled to appear as of today include:

 - Adobe
- Agfa
- Antec
- Applied Science Fiction
- Canon
- Digital Intelligence
- Enroute
- Epson
- Fuji
- Hewlett-Packard
- Intel
- Jasc
- Kodak
- Lexmark
- MGI Software
- Microsoft
- Microtek
- Minolta
- Nikon
- Olympus
- Picture CD
- Polaroid
- Sharp
- Tektronix
- Toshiba
- Xerox
The event will take place in Colosseum IV at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, on Sunday, Nov. 14th from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Companies interested in participating are advised to contact Chris O'Malley ([email protected] or 561-498-8912), or Jon Pepper ([email protected] or 413-665-8131).

Epson introduces Stylus Color 760 and 860!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 4, 1999 - 16:43 EDT)

Epson America Inc. has today introduced two new additions to its Stylus Color inkjet printer line, the Stylus Color 760 and 860. Both printers feature 1440 dpi (dots per inch) print resolution, 4 picoliter droplet size, and Epson's Micro Piezo print technology. The Stylus Color 760 offers print speeds up to 7 pages per minute (ppm) for black text and 6 ppm in color, USB and parallel ports, and "new driver enhancements". Epson claims the printer to be "proven to be up to 71% faster overall than the leading competitors in its class" by the National Software Testing Laboratories. The Stylus Color 860, meanwhile, offers up to 9.5 ppm of black text and 7 ppm of photo-quality output, four color CMYK inks, built-in USB and parallel ports, and new driver features including print preview, poster printing and watermark capability. The unit is claimed to be "up to 54% faster than the leading competitors in its class", and features a new design that is twice as quiet as previous Epson printers. BOth printers are bundled with Polaroid PhotoMAX Pro SE, ArcSoft PhotoPrinter SE, eFax and EPSON Film Factory, as well as a choice of two programs by mail from a range including Corel Ventura Publisher 7, PrintArtist Quick Print, "Warcraft II", "You Don't Know Jack" and more. The Stylus Color 760 is priced at $229 with a $30 mail-in rebate available, whilst the Stylus Color 860 is priced at $279. Both printers are available immediately with a one year warranty and tool-free technical support.

Kingston Technology introduces 64MB and 96MB CF cards!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 4, 1999 - 14:57 EDT)

Kingston Technology has announced in a press release today its new CompactFlash cards in capacities of 64MB and 96MB. The cards are available immediately at an MSRP of $193 and $276 respectively, and come with a five year warranty and free technical support.

Apple puts hold on ColorSync for Windows!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 4, 1999 - 14:31 EDT)

A press release from IMATEC Ltd. today announces that Apple has put a hold on releasing its "ColorSync for Windows" product, first announced more than a year ago. Apple apparently announced its decision to stop the release at a "ColorSync" users group on September 28 1999. IMATEC, which currently has a patent infringement complaint against Apple filed February 13 1998, citing alleged infringement of three IMATEC patents in Apple's ColorSync system, is hailing the decision as evidence that Apple has recognized that it has violated the patents, and is delaying the release of ColorSync for Windows to limit its exposure to damages. Apple has not issued any response to the claims at this time.

Agfa promotes USB products!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 4, 1999 - 14:24 EDT)

Agfa Corp.'s Desktop Products Group has distributed a press release today promoting the fact that the company is now shipping six USB-capable products. Agfa's SnapScan Touch, SnapScan 1212u (Off-White and Bondi Blue), and SnapScan 1236u scanners, and ePhoto CL30 and ePhoto CL30 Clik! digital cameras all feature USB capability.

Lexmark adds Agfa Monotype software to bundle!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, October 4, 1999 - 14:18 EDT)

Printer manufacturer Lexmark International Inc. has added a custom software product developed by Agfa subsidiary Agfa Monotype to its software bundle for the Z11, Z31 and Z51 color inkjet printers, according to a press release today. The new "Instant Calendars" software is on the Lexmark driver installation CD-ROM, and allows Lexmark customers to print calendars from one of eight different themes, including Animals, Flowers, Golf, Outdoors, Sailing, Sights of the World and Sunsets. Each theme has 12 different photos from the John Foxx Images library, one for each month of the year. The software supports 18 languages.

Sunday, October 3, 1999

Pacific Image Electronics launches affordable USB film scanner!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, October 3, 1999 - 22:43 EDT)

Pacific Image Electronics has announced a new, affordable film scanner with USB connectivity and an optical resolution of 1800 x 1800 dpi. The PrimeFilm 1800U film scanner accepts 35mm positive or negative film, either mounted or as unmounted strips, and a 35mm scan at the full 1800 dpi optical resolution takes 35 seconds. Perhaps most impressive, though, is the unit's targetted street price of only US$249! Pacific Image Electronics is part of the Taiwanese San Teh Group, and was founded in 1993. The company currently has a manufacturing capacity of 100,000 units per month, and has a US office located in California, and a warehouse in the Netherlands. Following is the official press release for the unit, as well as full specifications:

"Pacific Image Electronics Launches Unique Film Scanner — Prime Film 1800U—Targeted to Amateur Photographers and PC Enthusiasts

Taipei, Taiwan (September 14, 1999) -- Pacific Image Electronics, an awarding-winning manufacturer and marketer of image scanner products for businesses and consumers, today announced a film scanner, PrimeFilm 1800U, targeted to amateur photographers and PC enthusiasts. The Prime Film 1800U is ideal for the customers who want a professional quality product for scanning 35 mm films and slides to personal computers.

Scanners have become an indispensable tool for amateur photographers and PC enthusiasts to convert their photographic images into their computers. However, the costs of film scanners have been out of reach for most of the amateurs and PC enthusiasts. The PrimeFilm 1800U, offers features comparable to competitive units costing up to 4 times as much. Users also have the benefit of obtaining impeccable image quality that they are not likely to get elsewhere from either traditional film development or from the now widely used digital cameras and flatbed scanners with a TMA (Transparency Media Adapters).

The design of the PrimFilm 1800U is slim, sleek (2.28” x 6.22” x 9.25”), fancy and lightweight (1.65 lbs), just about half the size and weight of other film scanners. With the 36-bit color depth, it lets you easily distinguish a remarkable improvement in shadow and highlight details.

Unlike majority of the other film scanners that are supplied with the more expensive and complicated SCSI interface and are geared for professional users, The PrimeFilm 1800U uses the convenient plug-and-play USB interface, and is compatible with the latest Mac and Windows computers.

Without a film holder, you will be able to quickly and easily insert your filmstrips or mounted slides. With the 35mm transparent viewing window, you are able to see what is being scanned immediately. Pacific Image Electronics has also developed its own distinct proprietary CyberView driver. For both novices and experienced users, the CyberView driver offers many diverse levels of custom controls to satisfy different editing needs for vivid and creative outcomes.

One other design feature of the PrimeFilm 1800U is that it offers settings for 4 different film types, offering users a greater degree of customization. In addition, it takes only 35 seconds to scan your image at 1800 dpi. You can use the scanner to digitize and archive your favorite photographs, obtain images for web page design or to make personalized greeting cards. Most importantly, you get all of these exclusive features at an unbelievably affordable price!

Check it out at your local computer retail establishments, for your Christmas Gift wish lists. PrimeFilm 1800U makes an excellent gift to record all of life’s treasured moments.

Pacific Image Electronics has been building up its expertise in design and manufacture of scanners since it’s establishment in 1993. The engineering core staff has been trained in many diverse fields, to include fax/modem board design, image scanners and printer design. Pacific Image Electronics has 2 production facilities one in China and the other in Taiwan. Its paid up capital is approx. US$8.7 million. To learn more about the company, visit their web site at: or contact their staff at [email protected]."

 - Pacific Image Electronics PrimeFilm 1800U 
- Scanning Type: 35mm Film Scanner
- Image Sensor: Linear Array Color CCD
- Scanning Modes: Color Mode (36 Bits per pixel)
Grayscale Mode (12 Bits per pixel)
- Optical Resolution: 1800 x 1800 dpi (H x V)
- Maximum Resolution: 19200 x 19200 dpi interpolated
- Transmission: Stepping motor
- Lamp: Cold Cathode fluorescent
- Scanning Buffer: 512 KB
- Scanning Preview: Color ...........10 Seconds
- Scanning Speed: Color Scan Positive Film 5.5 ms/line
Grayscale 2 ms/line
Color Scan Negative Film 20 ms/line
- Scanning Settings: Resolution 25 dpi to 19200 dpi in
1 dpi increments
Exposure time - 50% to + 100%
Contrast/Brightness 100% to +100%
- Gamma Curve: Selectable (Auto or Download Curves)
- Highlight/Shadow: Selectable (Auto or Manual Adjust)
- Maximum Scanning Size: 35mm Film (34.5mm x 34.5mm, no
film holder needed)
- System Requirements: Pentium or higher with at
least 32 MB RAM and Microsoft
Windows 95 (OSR2), 98 or
later; or iMac (or Mac
systems with USB solution)
- Interface: USB
- Output Connector: USB connector
- Power Adapter: (Output 12V DC/1A, Input 100VAC to
240VAC; Frequency : 47 Hz to 63 Hz)
- Operating Temperature: 10� to 40�C/50� to 104�F
- Storage Temperature: -20� to 60�C/-4� to 140�F
- Relative Humidity: 20% to 80%
- Dimensions: Width 158 mm, Height 58 mm (61 mm with
foot stand), Length 220 mm
- Weight: 1.5 Kg

Quantum extends the battery life of your camera!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, October 3, 1999 - 20:04 EDT)

Quantum Instruments Inc. has announced its new Quantum Battery 1 Compact, a high-powered external battery to extend the life of your Nikon Coolpix950, Olympus D-620L, or Kodak DC265 digital camera or your film camera's external flash. The unit attaches to the camera's tripod socket, and features a "fuel gauge" to show remaining power, and a memoryless NiMH design that recharges in 3-4 hours. Battery life without LCD usage is claimed as follows:

 - Nikon COOLPIX 950  240 shots
- Olympus 620L 400 shots
- Kodak DC265 800 shots
The unit costs US$199, and is available from Quantum dealers, which are listed on the company's website.
Thanks to IR reader "Guy G" for pointing out that Quantum doesn't sell directly to the public!

A mountain of Fuji reviews!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, October 3, 1999 - 19:55 EDT)

Well OK, maybe they wouldn't rival Mount Fuji, but there's still been plenty enough Fuji reviews this week to keep fans of the company happy... Steve's Digicams has posted a review of the MX-1200, the Digital Camera Resource Page has one on the MX-1700, and on top of that there's our own reviews of the MX-2900 and MX-1700... Plenty of reading to keep you busy!

ClubPhoto announces Holiday photo gifts!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, October 3, 1999 - 19:32 EDT)

Online photo-sharing and finishing website ClubPhoto has announced a new range of personalised photo gifts, just in time for the upcoming holiday season. In addition to the existing photo-cookies, new gifts include decorative white china plates, chocolate photo-wreaths, chocolate photo-lollipops, personal photo holiday greeting cards and photo-snowflake, crystal ball and wreath ornaments. Details are as follows:

 - Photo White China Plate
Club Photo's photo-bearing Fine White China Plate comes
with pure 24-karat gold trim in two designs, one a
delicate holly border around the edge of the plate and
the other a plain border. The personal image is printed
in full color in the center of the 6-1/4 inch plate
using a professional and permanent lamination process.
Both plate styles come with an elegant Display Easel
to hold the plate and enhance the viewing experience.

- Photo Porcelain Ornament
The fine Porcelain Holiday Ornaments are available in
three styles - wreath, ball and snowflake design. The
personal image is painted onto a photo area measuring
1-7/8 inches using the same protective laminate process
that guards images on the china plates. Each style
also features an intricate holly leaf image. The
ornaments, hung from an included 6-inch brass wire
display strand, will elegantly enhance and personalize
any decorative motif.

- Photo Holiday Cards
For those who are tired of writing out endless greeting
cards, but still want to send a truly personal holiday
greeting to loved ones, Club Photo offers a cure for
writer's cramp with one's own Holiday Photo Greeting
Card. Photo Holiday Cards are a great way to add a very
personal touch for the holiday wishes sent to friends,
family and colleagues. The custom Holiday Greeting
Cards, shipped in sets of 25 cards with envelopes,
feature a favorite photo and custom message printed on
high quality card stock.

- Chocolate Photo Wreath and Pops
The delicious and festive Chocolate Photo Wreath,
personalized with a precious photo moment, is about
6-1/2 inches in diameter and made of approximately 12
ounces of the finest, most tantalizing milk chocolate.
Each wreath has "Seasons Greetings" and a bow molded
into the top. Or share holiday greetings with friends
and family via a dozen mouth-watering chocolate Photo
Pops personalized with favorite photos. The delicious
Pops, wrapped individually like traditional lollypops,
are made of scrumptious milk chocolate.

- Photo Cookies
Finally, Club Photo offers an all-time favorite gift,
the amazing Photo Cookies. The cookies feature a highly
detailed recreation of a favorite photo, printed in
delicious, vividly colored frosting and individually
wrapped and sealed. The cookies add a fun, playful touch
to any gathering, but offer an especially compelling
gift idea for this very special millennial holiday
All gifts can be found in the "Prints and Gift" center of the ClubPhoto website.

Free online photo albums for students!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, October 3, 1999 - 19:22 EDT)

A press release from online photo sharing website announces that the company is to provide a Photo Gallery service to, the world's largest online college network. The cobranding enables all 750,000 registered members to upload their photos, add captions, create private albums, order photo-related merchandise and share photos with family and friends. In a related press release, announces that it has applied for a patent "for a system and method for submitting digital images using electronic mail". Using the system, members can email their images to the site for processing and inclusion in their own PhotoPoint album. October issue online!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, October 3, 1999 - 17:35 EDT)

The folks over at the website have now placed their October issue online. Reviewed this month are the following cameras:

 - FujiFilm MX-2900
- Kodak DC-215 Millennium
- Sony DSC-D770
- Kyocera Samurai 2100DG
Also in this month's edition are the results of the first annual reader's survey, as well as a competition with Fuji's MX700 and HP's C200 up for grabs!

Friday, October 1, 1999

Toshiba PDR-M5 now shipping!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 1, 1999 - 17:01 EDT)

We received an email from the PR folks for Toshiba Imaging Systems this afternoon, with news that Toshiba's PDR-M5 digital camera is now shipping. The unit, which we've mentioned previously on this news page, features a 2.14 megapixel CCD, 3x optical zoom, and 16MB of RAM for fast processing and quick recycle times... It is available immediately at a cost of $799, including software, rechargeable lithium battery, USB cable, RS-232C serial cables for PC and RS-422 serial cables for Macintosh, video-out cable, hand strap; and an 8MB SmartMedia Card.

Kodak goes digital at Imagination!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 1, 1999 - 13:48 EDT)

Kodak has today announced the opening of the newly remodeled Imagination pavilion at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. The redesign incorporates digital technologies that are changing the face of photography; visitors can learn how to share pictures over the Internet and by email, how to store their pictures online or on CD-ROM, how to build their own website, how to retouch pictures, and how to make personalised items such as greeting cards, invitations and calendars with them...

Agfa offers $20 rebate on SnapScan scanners!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, October 1, 1999 - 13:41 EDT)

Agfa Corp.'s Desktop Products Group has today announced that it is offering a new rebate program on its SnapScan 1212p and SnapScan 1212u (off-white only) scanners. Under the terms of the rebate, customers purchasing either of the two scanners, which feature a resolution of 600 x 1200dpi in 36-bit color and either USB or parallel connectivity, will receive a $20 mail-in rebate. Both scanners have a suggested retail price of US$99.



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!