Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Olympus E-3 Pro DSLR Sighted in Korea

The Olympus E-3 professional DSLR camera has surfaced in Korea at an Olympus press conference. The first ever DSLR to feature a rotating LCD screen complete with Live View mode, a working prototype of the Olympus E3 was being shown to the Korean press along with a transparent 12-60mm F2.8-4 lens (24-120mm equivalent in 35mm terms). SLRclub website features extensive pictures of the new Olympus E-3 DSLR, which is said to be due for release in November. In one photo, the E-3 seems to be turned on, with the rear-panel monitor displaying a “no card” and a “battery low” message.
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HP Introduces New Compact Photosmart Printer

HP has unveiled a new flagship model for its line of compact Photosmart printers. The 5.8-pound A826 outputs 4x6 and 5x7 prints, as well as panoramic and card formats as wide as 4x12 inches. The new model uses three-color Vivera dye-based ink cartridges and has a maximum print resolution of 4800x1200 dpi.

The A826 stands out in the compact printer market by incorporating a 7-inch touchscreen LCD. In addition to providing a control interface, it allows users to write messages on photos with a stylus or add captions and notes with a virtual keyboard.

The printer includes memory card slots and a PictBridge-compatible USB port for receiving images directly from digital cameras. Camera phone photographers can send images to the A826 via Bluetooth when an optional adapter is plugged into the USB port. The printer's internal paper tray holds 100 sheets.

The A826 offers numerous photo enhancement tools, including redeye correction; HP's Adaptive Lighting feature for improving image detail and brightness; and a large number of graphics, frames, and effects that can be applied to photos.

The A826 will be available in September 2007 for $249.
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Olympus Photo Contest Winners Shoot At US Open

Olympus Imaging America today announced winners of its national sweepstakes, which is sending five lucky tennis fans and their doubles partners on a weekend getaway (August 31- September 2, 2007) in New York City to experience the fast action and excitement of the 2007 US Open Tennis Championships . The winners of this dream trip are: Karen Woodby of Jonesborough , TN ; Alex Dixon of Clatskanie , OR ; Harriet Ahr of Inverness , IL ; Rosemarie Keyser of Naples , FL ; and Mary Walter of Ormond Beach , FL. Winners are receiving hotel, airfare, spending cash and two admission tickets to the world-class tennis tournament, including exclusive access to designated professional photography locations at the event, enabling them to capture the on-court and behind-the-scenes drama .

The winners are shooting with the newly available Olympus E-410 and the E-510 digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras, both of which are highly regarded for the ability to take live action shots . The winners’ access to the tournament begins in the Olympus suite located at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where they are coached by Olympus Visionary Jim Sugar, an award-winning photographer, on best techniques for shooting nonstop tennis action. Access also includes the Olympus Photographers’ Lounge and other elite locations, where capturing great pictures is a snap. The ultimate experience is in the photographers’ pit, where the winners shoot where the professional photographers work, capturing amazing up-close images.

“The sweepstakes is one of the many elements we are implementing as the official camera sponsor of the US Open 2007,” said Mark Huggins, executive director, Brand Marketing, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Each element showcases how consumers can capture amazing photos using Olympus cameras.”

Canon EOS 40D Beta Preview Gallery

Digital Photography Review has posted a Canon EOS 40D Beta Preview Gallery. They also take an initial look at the recently announced new DSLR due out soon.

New CompactFlash Media Cards From ATP Electronics

Flash memory manufacturer ATP Electronics, Inc. released what the company calls “one of the world’s fastest CompactFlash cards equipped with the ability to support UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access) mode,” according to a recent company press release. To support the new memory card, ATP is also introducing a compatible USB 2.0 card reader. Pricing has not yet been announced for the ATP ProMax II CompactFlash card or reader.

The ATP ProMax II CF card is available in 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB storage capacities. Geared toward digital SLR users, the ATP ProMax II CF card has a 300x write speed. Promising a 45 MB per second transfer rate, the ATP memory card enables photographers to shoot continuously in high resolution format.

“Our ProMax II CompactFlash Cards deliver uncompromising performance for next generation DSLR cameras with UDMA feature. At the same time, we also wanted to give everyday users a convenient, cost effective way to take advantage of the new interface,” said ATP Vice President of Sales Michael Plaksin in the release.

To complement the ATP flash card, ATP announced a new card reader that supports both CF and SDHC memory cards. The ProMax card reader is compatible with USB 2.0 ports and has a read speed of 220x, according to the release.

“...we developed our USB2.0 UDMA card reader that allows for a performance increase on an interface that is widely used and adopted today,” Plaksin said.

The ATP ProMax II CF card is backwards compliant and compatible with standard CF-accepting cameras and readers.
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Two New Digital Photo Frames From JOBO

Photo storage device maker JOBO announced the introduction of two digital photo frames into its product line. The PDJ701, with 1 GB of storage space, and PDJ700, with 128 MB of internal memory, each include 7-inch monitors for displaying photos. The JOBO PDJ701 is priced at $179, and the PDJ700 at $159.

“These affordable new JOBO Photo Displays were created specifically to help consumers keep their memories alive and visible," said JOBO CEO Johannes Bockemuehl-Simon in a company press release. "With the popularity of digital photography and the ability of consumers to take more pictures than they ever did before, products like our Photo Displays are the perfect solution to proudly showcase digital images that until now were just being stored on home computers never to be seen again.”

Both JOBO frames are fitted with TFT color LCD screens with a 384,000 pixel monitor resolution. Users can display their photos in slide show form with transition effects. The frames feature built-in editing functions including Copy, Delete, Rotate functions, and Picture Effects such as black-and-white conversion.

The JOBO frames also include an alarm clock, calendar, and automatic shutoff by timer.

The JOBO PDJ701, with 1 GB of storage space, can hold more than 10,000 pictures, according to the press release. The JOBO PDJ700, with 128MB of space, can store 1,000 images. Both frames support JPEG and BMP file formats.

The new JOBO digital photo frames are compatible with CF, SD, MMC, MS, MS Pro, xD, and USB 2.0 media. The PDJ701 frame features a metal stand, while the PDJ700 includes a black plastic stand.
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Casio Announces Two New EXILIM Digicams

Casio America, Inc. and its parent company, Casio Computer Co., Ltd., released two new EXILIM digital cameras today. The EX-V8 features a slim, yet powerful optical zoom like its predecessors in the EXILIM Hi-Zoom series. The EX-Z1080, the latest addition to the core EXILIM Zoom series, packs an outstanding range of functions into a compact size.

The EX-V8 delivers 8.1 effective megapixels in a slim shape that is compact enough to fit in the palm of the hand. The camera features a 7X optical internal zoom lens designed for quiet operation. The EX-V8 also offers four blur reduction technologies, including a CCD-shift image stabilization mechanism.

The 10.1 megapixel EX-Z1080 produces beautiful photographs even when making large prints. It also enables high sensitivity photography up to a maximum of ISO 6400, and is ideal for photographing darker scenes and reducing blur caused by shaky hands and subject movement.

Both new models incorporate the EXILIM Engine 2.0 high-performance image processing module, which allows high quality movies to be recorded at the high compression rate of the next-generation H.264 standard. They also feature a YouTube™ Capture Mode, which enables users to shoot and save movies at the optimum size, quality and other settings for YouTube™, the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube™ allows people to easily upload and share video clips on and across the Internet through websites, blogs and e-mail. Casio has also included an exclusive software application that makes it fast and simple to upload movies to YouTube™. This makes it easier than ever for people to enjoy “snapshot movies” of everyday fun, trips, and other occasions.

“Each year we strive to make advancements in our popular EXILIM digital cameras,” said Bill Heuer, Vice President of Sales for Casio’s Digital Imaging Division. “These models are no exception, as they blend many of the standard features EXILIM cameras are known for, with groundbreaking new technology such as YouTube™ Capture Mode, and the EXILIM Engine 2.0 high performance image processing module. If you ever needed an excuse to shoot photos and videos of friends or family these EXILIM cameras are it!”

The EX-V8 will have an MSRP of $329.99 and the EX-Z1080 an MSRP of $279.99. Both models will be available at retail in September.

Main Features of EXILIM Hi-Zoom EX-V8 & EXILIM Zoom EX-Z1080
- High-quality movies using the H.264 standard
- YouTube™ Capture Mode allows users to shoot movies at the optimum size, quality and other settings for uploading to YouTube™.
- Comes with unique “YouTube™ Uploader for CASIO” software that enables users to upload movies to YouTube™ in as few as two steps.
- The combination of face detection*1 technology and the auto-tracking AF system using motion analysis technology maintains both sharp focus and correct exposure for a human face
- Blur reduction technologies driven by the EXILIM Engine 2.0 image processing module
- Based on motion analysis technology, sets the most appropriate ISO sensitivity and shutter speed.
- Anti Shake DSP reduces blur due to shaky hands and subject movement, using high shutter speeds and high sensitivity settings.
- Movie mode with electronic image stabilization function.

Other Features of the EXILIM Hi-Zoom EX-V8
- 8.1 million effective pixels, 7X optical zoom
- CCD-shift image stabilization mechanism
- 2.5-inch Bright LCD display (maximum brightness of 1000 cd/m2 at the center of the screen)
- Maximum 4 shot/second*2 high-speed continuous shutter (only at 2.0 megapixel image size)
- Available in silver

Other Features of the EXILIM Zoom EX-Z1080
- 10.1 million effective pixels, 3X optical zoom
- BEST SHOT function with high-sensitivity shooting mode, up to a maximum of ISO 6400
- 2.6-inch Bright widescreen LCD display (maximum brightness of 1000 cd/m2 at the center of the screen)
- Maximum 7 shot/second*2 high-speed continuous shutter (only at 2.0 megapixel image size)
- Super Life Battery allows up to 370 shots to be taken when fully charged
- Choice of four body colors: gray, black, blue, pink

*1. The face detection feature includes a face detection technology provided by OKI’s face image processing engine, FSE (Face Sensing Engine).
*2. Number of shots can vary depending on the memory card used.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Nikon D3 And D300 DSLR Previews From Imaging Resource

Imaging Resource provides an early and detailed look at the recently announced D3 and D300 DSLRs from Nikon. Here is a brief excerpt:

… Both the D3 and D300 are pro-grade cameras, and share many of the same revolutionary features. While the D3 breaks new ground for Nikon with a full-frame sensor (called FX) at 12.1 megapixels, the D300 nearly matches that resolution at the old DX-size recording a 12.3 megapixel image with a 1.5x crop factor. They share so many features, we've come to think of the D300 as the build-it-yourself Nikon D3. You can almost achieve the D3's performance by adding accessories to the D300; all but the larger frame size…

Read the Nikon D3 Preview and the D300 Preview from Imaging Resource.

Boinx Releases FotoMagico 2.1 Upgrade

Official company press release:

As professional photographers master digital photography more and more, their interest turns to things to do with their photos. Stunning slide shows in minutes are the speciality of FotoMagico 2. Or as Macworld says: "A photographer's dream come true". With the latest update, FotoMagico 2.1 gains the ability to non-destructively adjust the color of an image, adapts to changes to iPhoto '08, exports to iPhone and Apple TV and exports better looking movies.

Color for Professionals
Imagine you took five images of sky on five different days. Due to differences in white balance, exposure and time of day, each of them is a slightly different shade of blue. You don't want to edit the original images, but just for this slide show, you want them to look the same. In FotoMagico 2 Pro, you can adjust the color of an image non-destructively. That means the color will be adjusted for presentation and export, but the original image file is not changed.

iPhoto '08
FotoMagico 2.1 is updated to support the latest changes to the iPhoto libraries introduced by Apple with the iLife '08 update. You can continue to access your photos in iPhoto as conveniently as with iPhoto 6 and before.

Plays Nice With iPhone, Apple TV
By creating a cool FotoMagico show from your photos and loading it on your iPhone, the iPhone becomes a powerful sales tool. Just think of the wow factor when your clients see how stylish you present your work. FotoMagico 2.1 adds export presets to make shows that play on the iPhone and the Apple TV easy to create.

Better Movies for Web
When exporting a movie, there is always a compromise between movie quality and file size. If you create a movie for the web, you want it to load quickly so you need a small file, but you also want good quality, which usually means a bigger file. As video encoding technology progresses, the FotoMagico presets are constantly improved to create better quality movies at the same file size. So you don't have to learn all about the technology.

Availability & Pricing
FotoMagico 2.1 is available immediately from Boinx. A built-in assistant will guide users through the process of aquiring the proper license. The update to FotoMagico 2.1 is free of charge to current FotoMagico 2 license owners at their current license levels. FotoMagico 2.1 Express is available for $49, FotoMagico 2.1 Pro is available for $129 via Kagi. For all purchase options see Boinx Fotomagico. Commercial Multi-User license discounts are available upon request.

Sony 11-18mm Wide Angle Lens Review

Popular Photography and Imaging reviews the widest Sony lens available for the Alpha 100 DSLR. Here is an excerpt from the online review of the Sony branded 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 DT AF Lens.

…IN THE LAB: Lens bench test data showed Excellent sharpness and contrast at the three tested focal lengths, in keeping with the majority of performances among today's digital-only ultrawides. In DxO Analyzer 2.0 tests, barrel distortion was in the Visible range at 11mm (0.49%), and in the Slight range at 14mm and 18mm (0.27% and 0.13%, respectively). These are among the best distortion performances in the digital-only ultrawide category…

Read the entire lens review and view gallery on

Nikon Launches Digital Learning Center on

Nikon, known for its dedication to helping everyday people take better pictures, continues to raise the bar with the launch of the Nikon Digital Learning Center on Flickr ( Complementing an interactive educational site on Nikon’s USA Web site, the launch of this new program on Flickr is revolutionary for a camera manufacturer. As an extension of Nikon School, this online resource provides Flickr members with tutorials, practical photography tips and advice from Nikon photo professionals to assist them in taking the photos they’ve always dreamed of capturing.

In addition, Nikon’s targeted sponsorship program on Flickr helps connect avid photographers with others who share their interests and/or use the same camera via Nikon-sponsored Groups on Flickr. The Nikon D50 and D80 digital SLRs rank among the most popular cameras in the Flickr community, and over 50,000 Nikon enthusiasts worldwide are already active participants in the many Nikon Groups on Flickr.

Different from other photo education sites, Nikon’s Digital Learning Center on Flickr offers live interaction with Nikon sponsored pros—including Rosanne Pennella, Cliff Mautner, and Nikon School instructors Reed Hoffman and Bill Durrence—who post images, interact with the community, explain the techniques used to achieve their end result, provide tips, and answer questions for those looking to improve their photography skills or just interact with other passionate Nikon photographers. The Nikon Digital Learning Center also includes information about understanding aperture, shutter speed, and composition, to specific genres like action, close-up, travel, landscapes, and portraits.

“This is a unique experience for both professional and leisure photographers to interact with and learn from the Nikon pros to increase their photography skills,” said Anna Marie Bakker, director of communications at Nikon. “Not only does it provide our customers with an interactive learning experience that will help them take better, sharper pictures, but it’s also available to anyone who is interested in photography. We are proud to further our partnership with Flickr by offering its members and anyone interested in photography, the chance to take great pictures.”

“It’s great to see the momentum that this innovative advertising program has already gained over a short period of time, as a result of providing useful community tools and information for Nikon photographers on Flickr,” said Kakul Srivastava, director of product management at Flickr. “The Nikon Digital Learning Center and the many official Nikon Groups on Flickr highlight one of the things that Flickr does best – connecting people with shared photography interests to help them learn and grow from each other’s experience.”

The Nikon Digital Learning Center is the latest way Nikon is fulfilling its mission to provide the best quality products and support to all levels of photographic experience and provide new and innovative ways of bringing photography to consumers.

Visit for more information.

Specifics For The New Pentax Optio S10 Digicam

PENTAX Corporation is pleased to announce the new PENTAX Optio S10, the newest model in the “Optio S” series of highly acclaimed compact digital cameras, with a stylish and ultra-compact body and realizing 10.0 effective megapixels and high resolution images. In addition to enabling easy mobility and photography of high resolution images, the Optio S10 comes with enhanced usability by upgrading Shake Reduction and Face Recognition functions.

Main Features

1. Ultra Compact body with a stylish design

The Optio S10's compact design makes carrying more comfortable and convenient not only in travel and leisure but also in the daily snapshots and business scenes. The aluminum alloy adopted as outer cover gives a sophisticated texture to the camera, and the front face with glossy spindle finish creates an elegant appearance. Despite a 3X optical zoom lens and a large 2.5 inch LCD monitor, the Optio S10 realizes one of the smallest and the lightest ultra compact camera body with 10.0 megapixels, by miniaturizing circuit board and applying high-density compact mounting technology.

2. 10.0 effective megapixcels with high resolution

With an upgraded 10.0 effective megapixels, the Optio S10 ensures much higher resolution and delivers clear and crisp photo even when images are enlarged to A3 ( 11.7 x 16.5 inch ) size. A large 1/1.8 inch CCD with large sensing area is newly used for the image sensor, so it provides excellent performance for tone reproduction, texture delineation and noise reduction.

3. Digital SR ( Shake Reduction )

Digital SR ( Shake Reduction ) *1 mode reduces camera shakes and blurring of the subject when photographing still images. The sensitivity is adjusted automatically, to as high as the ultrahigh sensitivity of ISO 3200, to match the brightness of the subjects. This enables photography with fast shutter speeds, and images with less blurs can be obtained.

*1 Recording image is fixed at 5M ( 2592 x 1944 pixels ) when “Digital SR” mode is selected

4. “Face Recognition AF & AE” function that photographs portrait more beautifully with simple operation

The Optio S10 is equipped with a “Face Recognition AF&AE” function *2 that automatically detects and focuses on faces. In addition, the Optio S10 also comes with new functions that apply face recognition technology, such as “Natural Skin Tone” mode, which smoothly presents skin texture based on the detected information, and “Half-length Portrait” mode *3 , which automatically takes close-up photograph of the upper body by trimming the people recognized in photo frame.

*2 Available when the picture mode is “Portrait”, “Natural Skin Tone”, “Kids”, or “Half-length Portrait” and the camera is directed at people from the front
*3 Recording size is fixed at 3M ( 2048 x 1536 pixels ) when “Half-length Portrait” mode is selected
This Camera's Face Recognition AF & AE function use the Face Tracker face-recognition technology from FotoNation.

5. Auto Picture mode automatically determines the best settings for the shooting conditions

The Auto Picture mode lets the camera automatically determines the shooting conditions for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, and Normal mode and choose the optimum settings for each subject. This function makes photography a lot easier for users since it eliminate the necessity of making a number of individual settings.

6. Bright and easy-to view LCD monitor

This LCD monitor is a high intensity type equipped with an LCD booster that adjusts the brightness of screen, which users can easily check the screen even at the outdoors. With 2.5-inch and high resolution of 232,000 pixels, it is easy to confirm picture compositions and the focus. Due to its wide viewing angle, the screen can also be easily viewed, since there is little change in brightness and colors even when looking at the monitor diagonally.

7. Video recording function enabling high-quality recording for long period of time

The Optio S10 smoothly captures movies at 30 fps ( frames per second ) at sizes up to 640x480 pixels with image quality rivaling camcorders. Since it employs the DivX® ( MPEG-4 ) movie format *4 , the Optio S10 can record long, high-quality movies. In addition, Movie SR ( Shake reduction ) effectively corrects blurring in images through software, so it enables users to easily enjoy movie recording.

*4 The Optio S10 is DivX® certified. Movie playback is not supported on Macintosh operating systems

8. Other features

* A “Green button” that enables you to assign functions that are frequently used, and recall them in just one touch
* An “Intelligent zoom” function which enables images to be magnified even larger and stored, while maintaining the image quality of optical zoom
* Mode palette provide quick access to 18 shooting modes and 15 playback modes
* Data imprint function for easier image categorizing
* Approximately 22.0 MB of built-in-memory
* Compatible with SD memory cards and SDHC memory cards
* FotoNation's red-eye compensation function for flash shots
* Includes the ACDsee for PENTAX image viewer/image management software
* Support PictBridge, DPOF functions, Eixf Print, and PRINT Image Matching III

Pentax Announces Two New Digicams

It’s time again for digital camera manufactures to release another wave of new digicams. Canon, Olympus and Sony have recently announced new models due out soon, and now Pentax adds to the list. Here is the official company press release for the new Optio Z10 and S10.

PENTAX Imaging Company has announced two digital compact cameras including the Optio Z10 with a high-magnification 7X optical zoom lens and the small, stylish PENTAX Optio S10 with 10.0 megapixels.

The PENTAX Optio Z10 is equipped with a 7X optical zoom lens, the highest magnification among current PENTAX compact digital camera models. Designed with a refraction lens system so the lens never protrudes from the camera while zooming, the 7X optical zoom covers a broad range, from wide-angle to telephoto zoom, and offers an ultra high-magnification of up to approximately 35.7X when combined with digital zoom. With 8.0 megapixels, the Optio Z10 also features high speed detection time Face Recognition for improved portraits and digital Shake Reduction that allows ISO to 3200 to capture sharper images even in low light settings. The sleek, stylish PENTAX Optio Z10 body design also features a sliding lens cover for extra protection that also operates the on/off camera setting.

PENTAX also announced the stylish PENTAX Optio S10 compact digital camera with 10.0 effective megapixels. This latest model in the popular PENTAX Optio S series offers digital Shake Reduction and a high-speed Face Recognition AF&AE function for fast, high-quality portraits. The Optio S10 is the seventh DivX Certified® digital camera from PENTAX. Now enhanced with digital Shake Reduction, the DivX format enables users to create high-quality video files that may be played back on a wide variety of DivX DVD players and other devices. The PENTAX Optio S10 digital camera is one of the smallest, lightest 10 megapixel digital cameras in the world.

Priced at US $249.95 each, both cameras will ship in September. The PENTAX Optio S10 will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart Stores in the United States.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Toshiba Announces 32GB SDHC Memory Card

The Toshiba 32GB SDHC memory card is the world’s biggest capacity SD card. Meeting the Class 4 specification in the SD Speed Class, the Toshiba 32GB SDHC card will be launched worldwide in January 2008. Also unveiled are a 16Gb SDHC card and an 8GB microSDHC card. The expanded new card series will be featured at the IFA 2007, in Berlin, Germany from August 31 to September 5.

Toshiba Adds New High Density SDHC Cards and microSDHC Card to Extensive Memory Card Line-up

Press Release:
Toshiba Corp., a leading innovator in memory card solutions, today reinforced its line up of SD High Capacity (SDHC) cards with three new cards, including the worlds first 32-gigabyte (GB) memory card in this high density. Alongside the 32GB SDHC card, Toshiba also announced a 16GB SDHC card and an 8GB microSDHC card. All the new cards meet the Class 4 specification in the SD Speed Class, ensuring they deliver the high level performance and functionality essential for advanced mobile phones and other personal digital products.

The 16GB SDHC card will be available worldwide from October, and the 32GB SDHC card and 8GB microSDHC card will be launched worldwide in January next year.

The market for high density memory cards is growing fast, driven by increasing demand for personal digital equipment able to handle motion pictures and high resolution images. Demand for high density microSDHC cards is expected to emerge in the mobile phone market, as on-board cameras advance multi-megapixel capacities, and demand for music and motion pictures are expanding as well.

Toshiba will continue to expand and upgrade its SDHC and SD Memory Card series to meet the growing demand for high speed, high density products.

The expanded new card series will be featured at the IFA 2007, in Berlin, Germany from August 31 to September 5.

Note: Product names above are for the Japanese market.

Key Features
1.SDHC Memory Card (High Speed Type)
(1) Realizes maximum write speed of 6MB per sec.
(2) "Class 4” SD Speed Class, guaranteeing sustained data write at 4MB/s.
(3) Integrates highly secure CPRM copyright technology.
2. microSDHC Memory Card
(1) Realizes large 8GB capacity in a microSDHC Card. It can store 139 hours of music at a bit rate of 128kbps.
(2) "Class 4” SD Speed Class, guaranteeing sustained data write at 4MB/s.
(3) Integrates highly secure CPRM copyright technology.

Note: Product names above are for the Japanese market.

* Maximum read and write speed depends on such factors as device and file size.
* SDHC Memory Cards can be used with devices that support the SD Memory Card Ver. 2.00 standard. They are not backward compatible with standard SD Memory Cards.

New 7MP Stylus 790SW Waterproof DSLR From Olympus

Olympus today announced the 7.1-megapixel Stylus 790 SW, an addition to its waterproof, shockproof camera line. The Stylus camera can be submerged in up to 10 feet of water at 14 degrees Fahrenheit and survive a 5-foot fall, according to an Olympus press release. The new model features a TruePic III image processor and comes in five colors. It will retail for $299.99 when it is available in September.

The Stylus 790 SW is “a durable, worry-free camera,” said Olympus Product Manager Sally Smith Clemens in an interview with

Targeted toward vacationers and travelers, the SW-series was first introduced a year and a half ago. The Stylus 790 SW, the third in the series, marks a price cut from the previous two models. At just under $300, the 790 SW is less expensive than last year’s $400 720 SW and the $380 770 SW, released earlier this year.

Despite the higher model number “790 SW,” it reverts back to some of the features of the earlier 720 SW. For the new reduced price, the 790 SW downgrades to a 10-foot underwater submergence level, down from the 770 SW's 33-foot maximum. The new camera also ditches the crushproof rating, whereas the 770 SW can withstand 220 pounds.

The 790 SW retains some of the same features from the earlier models. It has a 7.1-megapixel count and 3x optical zoom lens. It also has the 2.5-inch, 230,000 pixel resolution HyperCrystal LCD screen, a borrowed feature from the 770 SW. The LCD has an anti-glare coating and 176-degree angle of view. It carries over the shockproof rating of up to 5 feet and includes specialized components that allow the camera to function at temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit, like the 770 SW.

The 790 SW adds a few updates, including the TruePic III image processor, the same technology used in Olympus’ EVOLT E-510 and E-410 digital SLRs. With the 790 SW, the processing technology is brought down to the consumer level, according to Clemens. The TruePic III promises to reduce grain at high ISO settings and increase processing speed. It also equips the camera with face detection to automatically expose and focus on faces.

The 790 SW comes with Shadow Adjustment Technology to compensate for underexposure in high contrast situations, such as backlit scenes. Like its predecessors, the camera features Olympus' Bright Capture technology that boosts sensitivity to 1600 ISO for improved low light shooting. To reduce blur, the 790 SW possesses Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) that increases both ISO sensitivity and shutter speed.

Other features include in-camera editing tools for red-eye fix, resizing, and adding borders to images. The camera possesses a Perfect Shot Preview that displays a multi-frame window on the LCD so users can select exposure compensation, white balance, and metering before capture with the live view. The 790 SW has 27 Scene modes.

Among the noticeable exterior differences are the Stylus 790 SW's new color options. In addition to the standard silver or black, it is offered in orange, blue, and lime. For additional waterproofing, users can purchase the PT-041 underwater housing for a submergence level of up to 130 feet. The Olympus Stylus 790 SW is compatible with xD memory cards and accepts lithium-ion batteries.

“This is the year where technology, style, and price merge together,” Clemens said. “You’re not forsaking technology for that lower price."
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Olympus Announces New SP-560UZ 8MP Digicam

Olympus today unleashed the compact, ultra-zoom SP-560UZ. As the sophomore version to the SP-550UZ, the company's first camera with18x optical zoom, it carries a higher megapixel count, slightly wider zoom, the latest TruePic III processor, and two new Scene modes called Smile Shot and Quick Shutter. The 8-megapixel Olympus SP-560UZ has a suggested retail price of $449.99 and is expected to ship for October.

The SP-550UZ was the longest zoom non-SLR on the market when Olympus announced it last January. A class of 18x optical zoom cameras has emerged since then, categorized by SLR-like features in a smaller frame. Competitors include the Panasonic FZ18 and the Fujifilm S8000fd, both launched last month.

The new Olympus SP-560UZ offers the widest zoom capabilities among its competitors. It's fitted with an f/2.8 to f/4.5 extending lens, constructed of 14 lenses in 11 groups. With an equivalent focal range of 27 to 486mm, the updated camera touts a slightly wider but shorter zoom range than its predecessor; the SP-550UZ's lens reaches from 28 to 504mm.

At $50 less than the 7.1-megapixel 550-UZ, the Olympus SP-560UZ carries a higher 8.0-megapixel count. Both models are fitted with 2.5-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD monitors.

Whereas the previous Olympus edition included the TruePic TURBO image processor, the SP-560UZ upgrades to the TruePic III. With it comes Olympus’s Face Detection system to auto expose and auto focus on faces. Other features include Shadow Adjustment Technology for high-contrast lighting, Perfect Shot Preview for live preview of different settings, and Perfect Fix with built-in editing functions.

The new camera has 33 Scene modes, including two new shooting modes. Olympus’s Smile Shot comes just days after Sony’s launch of the “Smile Shutter” feature, which Sony declared the first in digital camera history. Similarly, the new Olympus Smile Shot is a preset mode that automatically captures an image when the subject smiles. The Quick Shutter mode captures images once the user hits the shutter, without having to wait for the auto focus lock, to allow for faster shooting.

The camera maintains the 15 fps Sequential Shooting and Pre-Capture burst that takes photos before the user hits the shutter. The Sequential Shooting mode, however, comes with some asterisked fine print; it captures images at a lower 1.2-megapixel resolution. The Olympus compact also borrows the dual image stabilization system from the SP-550UZ, with both mechanical and digital image stabilization.

The Olympus SP-560 UZ has full manual exposure control with JPEG and RAW shooting abilities, and includes an eye dioptric.
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Canon Restores RAW support With New G-Series Digicam

The people, bless their hearts, have spoken.

As reported Monday, Canon will restore raw-image support for its G line of compact cameras when its new $500 PowerShot G9 goes on sale in October. Raw images, the unprocessed data from an image sensor, retain a lot of information that's otherwise thrown away when cameras convert sensor light into a JPEG image. Raw images are useful for tasks such as correcting underexposure, enhancing tonal subtleties and tweaking color balance for different lighting conditions.

Raw images are not for everyone. They're bulky, usually proprietary, and photographers have to spend time staring at a computer to convert them into more portable, universal, standard formats such as JPEG. But for a lot of enthusiasts--in particular, those who have grown accustomed to shooting raw with increasingly widespread SLR cameras--a compact camera that lacks raw support is somewhere between a bummer and a showstopper. Raw image support was a top desire I encountered when interviewing people for a story about dearth of compact cameras for the SLR crowd.

The absence of raw support was particularly notable in the PowerShot G7, given that its predecessors supported raw and the G line is geared for sophisticated buyers who appreciate its manual controls, fast performance and hot shoe to mount an external flash. Canon's decision to remove raw support was unpopular.

Asked why raw support was restored, Canon spokesman and tech guru Chuck Westfall had two words: "Popular demand."

As a raw shooter myself, I'm delighted with the decision, even though it doubtless means more software hassles and support expense for Canon. In particular, I hope it sets a precedent: Canon is the dominant camera maker--both compact and SLR--so it's plausible that competitors such as Nikon will follow suit. Panasonic, Ricoh and Olympus already offer some raw support, but not as much as I'd like. And perhaps Canon will expand raw support to other compact models, such as the super-zoom PowerShot S5 IS.

However, until we see the detailed camera reviews, it won't be clear how much advantage over JPEG the G9's raw images will offer. That was certainly a concern when I asked Westfall last year about why Canon removed raw support from the G7: Because increasing megapixels means pixel size gets smaller, sensitivity is degraded. "The net result is that even if the G7 offered raw image capture...there would be no discernible improvement in image quality compared to...Superfine JPEG mode," Westfall said.

The G9 offers 12.1 megapixels compared with 10 for the G7, so the shrinking pixel size is still an issue. However, new generations of sensors often decrease the amount of sensor area lost to electronics so that more light can be gathered, and Westfall said the G9's sensor is actually "slightly" bigger than the G7's--0.59 inches diagonally instead of 0.56--so there's a bit more surface area to work with.

Other differences between the G7 and G9 include improved face detection, which helps with focus and exposure; the built-in ability to correct red-eye; better support for Canon Speedlite external flashes; and a larger LCD screen.
provided by Stephen Shankland of CNet News.

Nikon Announces Three New NIKKOR Lenses

Nikon users have a lot of good news today, two new DSLR cameras and three new NIKKOR lenses. The following is the official press release for the new lenses.

Nikon ( today introduced three new super-telephoto NIKKOR lenses that offer professional photographers the latest innovations in lens technology and optical design. The new AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR, and AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR all offer unprecedented image quality, responsiveness and versatility along with new features such as Nikon’s VR II Vibration Reduction technology and Nikon's exclusive Nano Crystal Coat. These new lenses are designed for use with Nikon’s FX and DX format digital SLR cameras and together with Nikon’s current AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR lens, they complete Nikon’s range of super-telephoto lenses.

“An incredible number of the most famous moments in sports history have been captured faithfully and forever with NIKKOR super telephoto lenses,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR Systems Products, at Nikon Inc. “And a long list of the world’s finest nature and wildlife photographers rely on NIKKOR super telephoto lenses to capture images that inspire and educate people the world over. With the introduction of the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR, and the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm and 600mm f/4G ED VR lenses, we are thrilled to offer professional photographers the most sophisticated super-telephoto optics available today.”

These new super-telephoto lenses are equipped with Nikon’s VR II Vibration Reduction system that minimizes image blur caused by camera shake and offers up to four stops of compensation for clean, crisp images. When using Nikon’s VR function, photographers can view a stabilized image through the viewfinder and therefore are able to compose their pictures naturally and with greater accuracy. A Tripod mode in the camera reduces vibration that may occur at shutter release when shooting with a super-telephoto lens attached to a tripod.

The new optical design for all three lenses features three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements that minimize chromatic aberration, producing consistently high-quality images. Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat – an extra-low refractive index coating – virtually eliminates internal lens element reflections across a wide range of wavelengths, and is particularly effective in reducing ghosting and flare. A meniscus protective glass element also minimizes the ghosting that occurs when light reflected from a digital camera’s image sensor is in turn reflected off an ordinary flat protective glass element.

All three new lenses feature ergonomically arranged controls that enable easy access and comfortable operation. The Focus Preset function instantly recalls a focal point preset with a simple push of a button while the Focus Limiter switch restricts AF-servo movement to a controlled shooting distance range. The lenses also feature an AF-L switch that makes it possible to lock focus from the lens; and AF-ON engages auto focus from the lens.

By employing magnesium die-cast to construction the lens barrel, Nikon has achieved considerable weight reduction advantages without sacrificing rugged field-proven construction that's resistant to both dust and moisture.

Price and Availability
The three new Super-Telephoto lenses will be available beginning November 2007. Estimated selling prices* for the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 500mm and 600mm f/4G ED VR lenses are $8,799.95, $7,899.95 and $9,499.95 respectively. These lenses will be compatible with all current F-mount Nikon cameras, as well as the NIKKOR 1.4x, 1.7x and 2.0x AF-Tele-converters.

* Estimated selling prices listed are only an estimate. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Nikon Announces New D300 12MP Digital SLR

The Nikon D300 digital SLR has a resolution of twelve megapixels - the same as the D3, but achieved courtesy of a smaller and hence more economical "DX Format" image sensor (roughly analogous to an APS-C film frame), which is rather smaller than the D3's "FX Format" type (near-identical to the size of a 35mm film frame). The D300 can shoot full-res photos at six frames per second for as many as 100 JPEG Large/Normal photos, pulling almost neck and neck with the 6.5 fps of Canon's just-announced EOS 40D digital SLR. Add the optional Nikon MB-D10 battery grip though, and that jumps to 8 fps - a significant step up from the Canon. The Nikon D300's combination of modern CMOS sensor technology, and Nikon's a new image processor dubbed "Expeed", come together to yield an impressive ISO sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 3,200 with the ability to extend this to an ISO 100 to 6,400 range.

With the D3 and D300, Nikon becomes the latest manufacturer to support a "live view" function in a digital SLR - letting you preview the frame to be captured in the LCD display rather than having to hold the viewfinder to your eye. The LCD, incidentally, is the same one used in the Nikon D3 and should prove easy on the eye with a diagonal of three inches, 640 x 480 pixel (920,000 dots) of resolution, and 170-degree wide viewing angle. Nikon's live view functionality has two operating modes. In "Handheld" mode, autofocus is allowed by dropping the mirror briefly to allow light to reach the camera's TTL phase detection autofocus module - the downside being an interruption to the live view while focusing is happening.. In "Tripod" mode, the camera uses contrast detection autofocus from the image sensor, allowing for autofocus to occur without interruption to the live view - and usefully, also allowing for the AF point to be set anywhere in the image area.

Which brings us to autofocus, another area of the Nikon D300 that impresses. A new Multi-CAM 3500 DX autofocus system has 15 cross-type sensors and 36 linear sensors, for a total of 51 autofocus points. 3D Focus Tracking is possible across all 51 points, with the camera automatically switching between focus points to follow your subject. A new Scene Recognition System is described as a "world's first" by Nikon and is said to recognize the scene being photographed, then use this information accordingly when calculating exposure, autofocus and white balance. An Active D-Lighting system corrects for shadows and highlights to produce more appealing images. There's also a new Picture Control System with four basic presets - Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome - which the user can then tweak to their taste, adjust imaging parameters such as saturation, brightness, sharpening and tone compensation. Up to nine different customized presets can be stored in each D300 body, and up to 99 can be stored on a CompactFlash card - enabling easy sharing of settings among multiple cameras (or for that matter, easy sharing of cameras between multiple photographers).

As with the Nikon D3 it is announced alongside, there are enough standout features on the Nikon D300 that a full discussion is beyond the scope of this news article. Briefly though, other features of note include a 0.13 second startup time, 45 millisecond shutter release lag, viewfinder with near-100% coverage, UDMA-compatible CompactFlash storage media slot, an HDMI connection (cable not included) that allows for the Nikon D300 to be connected directly to a high definition display, in-camera correction of chromatic abberations based on information on the lens in use, dust and moisture-resistant gaskets, a magnesium alloy body, tempered glass over the LCD display, a self-cleaning sensor, and a shutter mechanism rated to last to 150,000 releases.

The Nikon D300 digital SLR goes on sale from November 2007, priced at just under $1,800.
provided by Imaging Resource

Nikon Announces New D3 Digital SLR

Dubbed "Nikon FX" to differentiate it from the smaller "Nikon DX" sensors used in the company's DSLRs to date, the new sensor has an area of 36 x 23.9mm - about the same as a frame of 35mm film (hence "full frame"). It is still possible to use DX format lenses with the Nikon D3, but if you do so the camera will automatically set itself to the "DX Crop" mode, reducing sensor resolution to account for the smaller image circle of a DX lens. Resolution is twelve megapixels ordinarily, and 5.1 megapixels when in "DX Crop" mode. The Nikon D3 can shoot full-res photos at an impressive nine frames per second for 20 Raw or 64 JPEG Normal photos - just a hair behind the 10 fps to 30 Raw / 110 JPEG frames of Canon's EOS-1D Mark III. Bump the resolution down to the 5.1 megapixel "DX Crop" mode, and you can boost this to ten frames per second (with auto exposure limitations) or even to an incredible 11 frames per second (with further limitations to auto focus as well). The cropped area of the image is automatically masked out in the viewfinder when using "DX Crop" mode.

That's not the only trick the camera has up its sleeve though. The Nikon D3 combines modern CMOS sensor technology, a new image processor dubbed "Expeed", a large light gathering sensor area for the resolution, and a resultingly large pixel cell size (relative to, say, Canon's just announced 21 megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark III which has essentially the same sensor size). Add all that up, and you get the promise of relatively low noise at higher sensitivities than competitors - and based on the maximum ISO sensitivity limit in the D3, it look like Nikon is ready to deliver on that promise. Most SLRs max out at ISO 3200 or perhaps ISO 6400 - but with the Nikon D3 you can manage ISO sensitivities in a staggeringly wide range from ISO 100 to ISO 25,600. (Yes, you read that right - no typo there!) Of course like most SLRs, the ISO sensitivity is normally locked to a smaller range where image quality is least likely to be affected by noise - and on the Nikon D3 that range is ISO 200 to 3,200.

With the D3, Nikon becomes the latest manufacturer to support a "live view" function in a digital SLR - letting you preview the frame to be captured in the LCD display rather than having to hold the viewfinder to your eye. That LCD, by the way, should be easy on the eye with a diagonal of three inches, 640 x 480 pixel (920,000 dots) of resolution, and 170-degree wide viewing angle. Nikon's live view functionality has two operating modes. In "Handheld" mode, autofocus is allowed by dropping the mirror briefly to allow light to reach the camera's TTL phase detection autofocus module - the downside being an interruption to the live view while focusing is happening.. In "Tripod" mode, the camera uses contrast detection autofocus from the image sensor, allowing for autofocus to occur without interruption to the live view - and usefully, also allowing for the AF point to be set anywhere in the image area.

Speaking of autofocus, that's another area of improvement in the Nikon D3. A new Multi-CAM 3500 FX autofocus system has 15 cross-type sensors and 36 linear sensors, for a total of 51 autofocus points. 3D Focus Tracking is possible across all 51 points, with the camera automatically switching between focus points to follow your subject. A new Scene Recognition System is described as a "world's first" by Nikon and is said to recognize the scene being photographed, then use this information accordingly when calculating exposure, autofocus and white balance. An Active D-Lighting system corrects for shadows and highlights to produce more appealing images. There's also a new Picture Control System with four basic presets - Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome - which the user can then tweak to their taste, adjust imaging parameters such as saturation, brightness, sharpening and tone compensation. Up to nine different customized presets can be stored in each D3 body, and up to 99 can be stored on a CompactFlash card - enabling easy sharing of settings among multiple cameras (or for that matter, easy sharing of cameras between multiple photographers).

There are enough standout features on the Nikon D3 that a full discussion is rather beyond the scope of this news article. Briefly though, other features of note include the camera's general speed - undeniably swift with a claimed 0.12 second startup time and a 37 millisecond shutter release lag. There's also dual CompactFlash slots with the ability to copy files in-camera, write to both cards simultaneously or consecutively, or even place Raw and JPEG files on separate cards. An HDMI connection (cable not included) allows for the Nikon D3 to be connected directly to a high definition display. Some features are a little more exotic - for example, a Virtual Horizon function that indicates (in both LCD and viewfinder) whether the camera is true and level, based on information from a built-in digital level sensor, or in-camera correction of chromatic abberations based on information on the lens in use. Others are features you expect to see on a camera of this level, such as dust and water proofing measures, a magnesium alloy body, tempered glass over the LCD display, and a shutter mechanism rated to last to 300,000 releases.

The Nikon D3 digital SLR goes on sale from November 2007, priced at just under $5,000.
provided by Imaging Resource.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Macworld Reviews Kodak EasyShare 5300 Printer

Macworld reviews the recent Kodak EasyShare 5300 multifunction ink-jet printer. Here is an excerpt:

… The Kodak EasyShare 5300 is a multifunction device that features scanning, copying, and printing capabilities. It also comes with a special promise from Kodak: the company asserts that this multifunction printer will save you money on ink, thus reducing the cost per print. The EasyShare 5300 utilizes a two-cartridge, six-ink system; the total cost for an ink refill is only $25 ($10 for black and $15 for five-ink color). And although you’ll save money in the long run, there won’t be a compromise in the quality of your scans and prints. In my testing, the EasyShare 5300 was a solid performer, with the exception of a minor scanning glitch that Kodak says it plans to fix in a software update soon…

Read the entire Macworld review.

Photo And Statue Nudes Cast Out Of Calgary Garden

The Calgary Fringe Festival wrapped up on the weekend but not without controversy. During its final days, organizers were ordered to remove statues and pictures of naked people from the city’s Devonian Gardens.

“The city did not think that body art & photography exhibits were appropriate uses for public space. They received three phone complaints on the 311 line,” festival producer Blair Gallant said in an e-mail to the National Post, in which he also noted that “we had over 1,000 people come to the exhibit with glowing reviews.”

The city’s parks director told the Calgary Herald on the weekend that when the show was approved, officials were not aware it was “an adult art exhibit.”

The interdisciplinary festival includes The Canadian Body Art Championship and Exposed Calgary Photography, both of which work with the naked body. Judging by the Body Art winner shown above as well as the Web sites of both events, what’s on display is not especially racy.

provided by Rob A. McKenzie in The National Post
image - [Mark Eadie with his winning entry in the body-art competition; photo courtesy Calgary Fringe Festival]

Ohio County Settles Morgue Photos Suit

An Ohio county agreed Tuesday to pay $8 million to settle a lawsuit over photos taken of posed bodies in the county morgue.

Hamilton County will pay the money to 532 families during a two-year period, formally apologize to them and make sure offensive photos and copies are destroyed under an agreement that must be approved by U.S. District Judge S. Arthur Spiegel. The settlement also includes grief counseling and a memorial.

The photos were of bodies posed with fruit, doll house furniture and other props. The photographer, Thomas Condon, said he took them as part of an art project to illustrate the cycle of life from birth through death. He was convicted in 2001 of eight counts of gross abuse of a corpse for taking the pictures. His 2 1/2-year sentence was reduced to 18 months on appeal.

'The current settlement, based on unauthorized manipulation and photography of bodies over a four-month period in the morgue, is viewed by both sides as a fair compromise, particularly with the focus on continuing improvement at the Coroner's Office,' said a joint statement by the county and plaintiffs.

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune said those responsible are no longer in county government and that current officials pledge to remain vigilant.
provided by The Associated Press

Canon's New EOS 40D DSLR And Picture Style Editor

Canon has announced their new EOS 40D Digital SLR. Included with the camera is a CD containing several digital software tools. takes a closer look at one of these packages called Picture Style Editor as well as a preview of the Canon EOS 40D itself.

Sony Announces New Additions To Their T-Series Digicam Line

Sony has announced two additions to its T-series, the Cyber-shot DSC-T200 and DSC-T70. The models follow up the T100 and T20, introduced in February. The new 8-megapixel point-and-shoots borrow HD viewing abilities from the previous models, but offer larger, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD screens and a Smile Shutter function that detects a smile and automatically snaps a photo. The Sony T200 will retail for $400 when it ships in September, and the T70 for $300 in October.

Sony adds a few features to the T-series models, known for their touch screens. Using the touch screen, users can select the subject to focus on in Shooting Mode and select the image and zoom level in Playback mode. The T200 sports a 3.5-inch, 230,000-pixel Clear Photo LCD Plus, up from the T100's 3-inch screen. The T70 has a 3-inch, 230,000-pixel resolution Clear Photo LCD Plus monitor, compared to the 2.5-inch LCD on the T20. Both the new models' LCD screens maintain the same resolution as the older models.

Sony added 16:9 viewing capabilities to these point-and-shoots, making them the largest 3- and 3.5-inch LCDs with 16:9 aspect ratios on the market, according to the company website. In 16:9 view, users can play back images in wide format, as well as view images captured in 4:3 aspect ratio as wide photos.

The 5x optical zoom T200 and 3x optical zoom T70 feature the 8-megapixel Super HAD CCD image sensors and optical zoom from the earlier T100 and T20 models.

The Cyber-shot T200 and T70 add a new Smile Shutter feature, a first in digital camera still history, according to the website. Smile Shutter works in concert with the cameras’ face detection system that sets focus, exposure, white balance, and flash automatically on up to eight faces in a scene. When engaged, Smile Shutter detects faces, as the name implies, that are smiling. Users can set different levels of smile sensitivity from High for faint smiles, Medium, and Low for wide smiles. Users can also select which subject to use the Smile Shutter on with the touch screen control. The feature works in both vertical and horizontal shooting, according to the website.

Both Cyber-shots share the Bionz processor, a feature borrowed from the Sony Alpha SLRs. The processor was first introduced to the point-and-shoot line with the T100 and T20. In addition, the T200 and T20 carry over the double Anti-Blur system with mechanical and digital stabilization. Super SteadyShot technology reduces camera shake with a built-in gyro sensor and a High Sensitivity mode for up to ISO 3200 sensitivity.

The DSC-T200 and T70 retain HD viewing abilities that allow users to view photos at a high definition 1080-pixel resolution. Users can see their photos on HD-enabled television screens via an HD cable or cradle. Both point-and-shoots are compatible with the optional Sony GPS-CS1 device that tracks longitude and latitude coordinates on photos.

The Sony Cyber-shot T200 will be available in silver, black, and red, and the T70 in silver, black, white, and pink.
provided by

Sony Announces New Cybershot DSC-H3

The new Sony Cybershot DSC-H3 features an 8 megapixel sensor, 10x optical zoom Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens (38-380mm) and a 2.5 inch LCD screen.

It includes super steady shot optical image stabilization, face detection (auto exposure, focussing, white balance and flash), ISO of up to 3200, 31 megabytes of internal memory and an advanced sports mode with predictive auto focussing and high shutter speeds. It comes in silver and black.

Aside from the zoom difference, the H3 borrows many features from its predecessors. The Cyber-shot compact still retains the 2.5-inch LCD with 115,000 pixel resolution, like the H7, but lacks the flip-out screen of the H9.

The H3 maintains Sony’s face detection system which automates exposure, focus, flash, and white balance on up to eight faces for portrait photography. The H3 also contains the Bionz processor Sony uses in its Alpha line of digital SLRs and includes in the H9 and H7 compacts. With the processor comes the Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) feature that automatically selects exposure before JPEG compression to produce a broad range of tones.

Users can retouch images with built-in editing functions such as fish-eye effect and cropping. The Cyber-shot camera also includes HD (high definition) output so users can view their photos on HD televisions. The camera can be hooked up to an HDTV with the Sony VMC-HD1 high definition component cable that currently retails for $40.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3 accepts lithium-ion batteries and is compatible with MS (Memory Stick) Duo, MS Pro Duo, and MS Pro HG Duo. Expect a retail price of $299.99 USD when it hit stores in September.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Claria Dye-Based Inkjet Printers From Epson

Epson has added a new printer and two all-in-ones to its line of inkjet devices that use Claria dye-based inks. The printers use six individual ink cartridges, and can output images on both paper and CDs or DVDs.

The compact Stylus Photo R280 Ultra Hi-Definition printer produces droplets as small as 1.5 picoliters. It can print photos at sizes up to 8.5x11 inches, and can also output prints as wide as 44 inches on specialty paper. Its Auto Photo Correction feature uses face-detection technology to distinguish people from scenery, and optimizes exposures, skin tones, and color vibrancy, in addition to correcting redeye and sharpening images.

Adding copying and 1200x2400 dpi, 48-bit scanning functions to the R280's feature set, the larger RX595 also includes a 2.5-inch color LCD, memory card slots, PictBridge support, and a USB port to enable printing without a computer. An optional Bluetooth adapter can be plugged into the USB port to transfer camera phone images via Bluetooth, and the RX595 can print photos directly from a USB flash drive. Photos can be printed from memory cards in the order of their dates. Other notable features include automatic color restoration for scanned prints, direct-to-JPEG and -PDF scanning, and an index sheet feature that lets users select images to print, paper size, and paper type by marking and scanning a paper index sheet.

The pricier RX680 is very similar to the RX595, but includes a built-in auto duplexer for printing on two sides of each sheet of paper, as well as separate input trays for plain and photo paper.

The $99.99 R280, $149.99 RX595, and $199.99 RX680 will be available in September 2007.
provided by

New Personal Focus Within Senior Photo Market

Today’s senior pictures are expected to be more personal than previous ‘by-the-numbers’ in-studio offerings. Read an interesting article by Leeann Moore from the Zanesville Times Recorder. The latest issue of Rangefinder Magazine also includes an article covering the new focus within the Senior Market.

Macworld Reviews New iPhoto '08 From Apple

Rick LePage of Macworld reviews the new iPhoto ’08 software from Apple. Here is an excerpt:

…One immediately obvious change in iPhoto ’08 is in the way your photos are organized when you import them from your camera. Apple has replaced the film-roll metaphor—in which each batch of imported pictures is stored as a “roll”—with a scheme called Events, based upon the time the pictures were taken. An event is represented by a thumbnail image in iPhoto’s viewing area. The Events feature is an attempt to better organize your pictures when they first enter your library by segmenting images into daily, weekly, and two- or four-hour chunks, depending on what works best for you…

Read the entire Macworld review.

Sony Announces New CMOS Sensor

Sony has announced it is commercializing a new CMOS sensor for upcoming digital SLRs. The 12.47-megapixel APS-C size CMOS promises improved noise reduction, better image quality, and faster speeds of up to 10.39 frames per second, according to a company press release.

The Sony CMOS sensor, model number IMX021, uses Sony’s technology of “Column-Parallel A/D Conversion Technique.” Each column of the 28.0 x 22.3mm sensor has an analog-to-digital converter. The system converts vertical signals over the shortest distance possible, and therefore preserves image quality while improving speed.

The Sony CMOS chip promises to produce shooting capabilities at 10.39 fps, a digital SLR frame rate that beats the rate currently held by Canon and its 10 fps EOS-1D Mark III, announced last February. The Sony CMOS, however, uses 12-bit AD conversion, while the Canon 1D Mark III APS-H sized chip uses 14-bit conversion.

“Sony will position ‘IMX021’ as a key device capable of generating new added value in the high-growth digital SLR camera market, actively promoting its use within Sony and externally," according to the release.

Sony’s semiconductor division will provide the IMX021 sensor. The initial sample price is set at 40,000 yen (approx. $348 USD).

Canon Announces Seven New Camera Models

Canon's new SX100 might be garnering considerable attention, but it's by no means the only camera model the company announced today: in fact, Canon has announced no fewer than seven other new cameras, running the gamut from entry-level point-and-shoot cameras to professional DSLRs.

Read about all of these camera releases from Digital Trends.

New EOS-1Ds Mark III From Canon

A sibling to the 1D Mark III model that debuted last February, the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III fills out the latest generation of Canon's dual-pronged professional digital SLR lineup. With a truly epic 21.1 megapixels, the Canon 1Ds Mark III has resolution in spades. Perhaps more impressive though is that the Canon 1Ds Mk. III can capture this volume of data at no less than five frames per second, for 12 Raw or 56 Large / Fine JPEG images. This speed comes courtesy of a pair of Canon's proprietary DIGIC III processors as well as twice as much DDR-SDRAM as in Canon's previous EOS-1Ds Mark II digital SLR. Also improved is the 1Ds Mark III's shutter mechanism, now rated at a lifetime of 300,000 exposures (a 50% improvement on the previous 1Ds model, despite the speed increases).

The Canon 1Ds MkIII also gets the uprated focusing system we've seen previously in the 1D Mark III, one of many features it inherits from that model. Like that camera, the 1Ds MkIII has a 45-point autofocusing sensor, 19 of which are cross-type and selectable manually by the user, while the remaining 26 points are linear sensors that can only be selected by the camera itself when autofocusing. Autofocusing is now possible in a range from -1 to 18EV, versus 0 - 18EV in the 1Ds Mark II. Another feature inherited from the 1D Mark III is that camera's clever "AF microadjustment" feature. Exposure control is also improved in the 1Ds Mark III, with new 63-zone metering sensor in place of the 1Ds Mark II's 21-zone sensor. This should yield more accurate autoexposures that are more stable and consistent from shot to shot.

Other significant changes from the EOS-1Ds Mark II include:

14-bit analog / digital conversion (was 12-bit A/D)
Highlight Tone Priority control
Canon Picture Style as in 1D Mark III
Integrated sensor cleaning
High-ISO noise reduction
Five custom white balance settings (was one)
USB 2.0 High-Speed connectivity (was IEEE 1394 FireWire)
PictBridge now extended with Canon Print Effects features
Compatibility with UDMA high-speed CF cards
Automatic switching between card slots
External hard drive compatibility (with optional WFT-E2A wireless file transmitter)
Ability to record Raw and JPEG files on separate cards
Ability to set a four-character filename prefix
3.0" LCD display (was 2.0", resolution is identical at 230,000 pixels)
Live view shooting ability, including via USB and wireless
Dials plus SET button interface (was hold button / turn dial type)
Silent mode accessible through camera menu
Speedlite 580EX II flash can be controlled from camera menu
57 in-camera custom functions (was 47, of which 27 were "personal functions" accessible via a tethered connection only)
New LP-E4 Li-Ion battery (as used in 1D Mark III, was NP-E3 NiMH)
Rated for 1,800 shots / charge at 68°F (was 1,200 shots)
Precise battery status read-out through the camera menu
Reduced body weight (48.8 oz vs. 54.7 oz body-only)
Different wireless transmitter (now smaller, more functional WFT-E2A rather than WFT-E1A)

The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III ships from November priced at $7,999 body only, the same price at which the EOS-1Ds Mark II debuted.
provided by Imaging Resource.

New iWatermark Software Released

Secure, protect and get recognition for your photos and artworkScript Software ( has announced version 3.0.11 of iWatermark for Mac and Win.

If you own a digital camera and you email or put your images on the Web then anyone can take and use them for whatever they want. iWatermark gives you the protection and recognition for your digital photos and artwork. Like the master painters, you can now sign your art work with iWatermark. iWatermark is easy to use on 1 or 1000 images at a time. Add your signature, url, email address or logo to all your photos. Professional photographers especially who care about their property will appreciate the security iWatermark can give and will find it an essential tool in the arsenal. Don't get ripped off. Use iWatermark to protect your images.

Download it for Mac or Windows at

• [Mod] Auto Saves the watermark changes
• [Mod] Created a workaround for incorrect meta data (Nikon DX2 & Photoshop CS Mac)
• [Mod] updated the help system to reflect changes in the program
• [Bug] Fixed a bug when it was accidentally corrupting non-JPEGs when saving
• [Bug] Fixed a bug with converting dates
• [Bug] Fixed a problem that may occur when unable to create backup location
• [Bug] Fixed a problem when overwriting files from the Watermark Editor
• [fr] Ability to draw the filename without the file extension.
• [fr] Insert only the year from Exif
• [fr] Set Correct Orientation for Thumbnails
provided by Imaging Resource

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Lexar Offers Free Software To Media Buyers

Memory card manufacturer Lexar Media Inc. announced the Lexar Backup n Sync Software promotion, in which purchasers of its CompactFlash , SD, and SDHC cards can test photo backup software free until Sept. 15. After the free trial, users qualify for 30 percent off a one-year subscription to Sharpcast.

“Looking for a fast, easy way to protect and preserve your valuable photos? Lexar Backup n Sync™ software, powered by Sharpcast, backs up all your valuable photos automatically in the background, eliminating time-consuming uploads and the need to burn photos to CDs!” according to the promotion website.Backup n Sync 's free plan resizes photos to 5x7 inches.

Premium plans allow users to backup full resolution files. Lexar customers can register for the free Backup n Sync Software promotion online.

Olympus E-510 DSLR Awarded By EISA

With its winning combination of cutting-edge technology, exceptional image quality and superb ergonomic handling, the Olympus E-510 has secured the prestigious EISA "European Consumer Camera 2007-2008" Award. The innovative D-SLR, which is based on the Four Thirds System, boasts Live View capabilities for the optimal framing of compositions and also features a built-in image stabiliser that ensures shots come out blur-free - no matter which lens is being used. Like all cameras from the impressive Olympus E-System, the professionally-designed 10.0 Megapixel E-510 also incorporates the unique Olympus Supersonic Wave Filter to provide the ultimate protection against the effects of dust.

Commenting on their decision to bestow the camera with the award, the EISA jury explained that: "The Olympus E-510 is a digital SLR with excellent image quality and some clear advantages over the rest of the market." Handling was cited as another winning feature: "The camera is compact and light, but with its large handgrip it is comfortable to hold." Naturally, the innovative technology incorporated in the E-510 had not escaped EISA's attention. Here they said that the camera's "anti-dust and image stabilisation systems are both invaluable benefits for the amateur photographer."

EISA (European Imaging & Sound Association) is comprised of around 50 prominent magazines in the areas of audio, video, home theatre, mobile electronics and photography from 20 European countries. Each year it honours the best newly-released products in recognition of their features, quality and general appeal to users.

Sony Honored With Five EISA Awards

Sony technological innovation has once again been recognised by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA). This year the EISA judging panel has made no less than four awards to Sony Europe in categories spanning home entertainment, digital imaging and in-car navigation. A fifth award was made to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe for PLAYSTATION®3.

EISA Awards 2007-2008 have been made to Sony Europe for these products: European Green Television (Sony BRAVIA KDL-40D3000); European Video Projector (Sony BRAVIA VPL-VW60); European HD Camcorder (Sony Handycam® HDR-SR8E); and European Portable Navigation (Sony NV-U92T). PLAYSTATION®3 was winner of the European Media Center category.

"It's immensely gratifying to have the skill and passion of our designers and engineers recognised by the world's largest and most prestigious multimedia magazines association", commented Fujio Nishida, President, Sony Europe. "At Sony we take pride in creating products that transcend their basic function to create an emotional connection with the user. This year's award‑winning innovations are a perfect demonstration of this 'Sony Spirit' in action."

EISA is the largest editorial multimedia organisation in Europe, with a membership of nearly 50 Audio, Mobile Electronics, Video and Photo magazines drawn from 19 European countries. This year' award winners were selected after the deliberations of a judging panel comprising journalists and independent technical experts.

The 2007-2008 EISA Awards will be presented at a special Gala Event on September 1st, 2007.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Upcoming Photo Events And Contests

Upcoming Photo Events And Contests provided by National Geographic Traveler, Corbis, Advertising Photographers of America and Travel Photographer of the Year.

Monday, August 13, 2007

FujiFilm Offers Free HyperUtility HS-V3 With S5 Pro Purchase

FujiFilm’s new promotion is trying to provide incentive to purchase their new S5 Pro DSLR. Buy an S5 Pro Body Only Kit and receive a FREE Copy of Fujifilm HyperUtility HS-V3 and Pantone HueyTM Pro by mail - $240 Retail Value!

Film Photo Processors Attempt To Adapt To Digital

Keiko Morris of explores the changing business of film photo processors as they adapt to digital. Here is an excerpt:

… "When film was king, if you wanted to be involved with photography, you had to print everything whether it was good or not," said Gary Pageau, the publisher of the magazine for PMA, an international photo imaging trade association. "The industry had a 100 percent profit center. So now the number of prints made is declining and that's impacted the retail segment tremendously…

Read the entire article.

First Look At Apple's iPhoto '08 From Macworld

Macworld takes a first look at the new iPhoto ’08 from Apple. Here is an excerpt:

… iPhoto ’08 features improvements to some of its editing tools, but the bulk of its enhancements are related to organization, with a revamped import process and capabilities aimed at making it easier to categorize, rank and filter images. Apple also focused on the things that extend beyond iPhoto, adding the sexy Web Gallery feature for .Mac users, and offering a wider range of books, cards and calendars for sale, making the update even larger in scope for those folks who are interested in (and willing to pay for) external services…

Read the entire Macworld article.

Three New Digital Camera Reviews

Three new digital camera reviews have been added to the ‘Recent Digital Camera Reviews’ section for the Canon PowerShot SD-750, Casio Exilim EX-Z1050, and the Olympus E-Volt E-510 DSLR.

Hawaii Date Added To Lightroom Live Tour

Scott Kelby, author of The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers has announced the addition of a Hawaii date for his Lightroom Live Tour on December 3rd at the Hawaii Convention Center. Now if he’d only bring it to the sweltering heat of the Sonoran desert. I can’t image why he doesn’t…

Leica Announces Summarit-M Lens Line

Official Company Press Release:

Leica Camera Incorporated will introduce a new collection of lenses for analog and digital Leica rangefinder cameras: the Leica Summarit-M® class.

The new lenses offer world class Leica optical and mechanical excellence while being positioned at a new price level that broaden its availability to new customer segments. The maximum aperture of f 2.5 and combined with concentration on the classic and proven spherical lens design, have led to the production of a new series of lenses that now brings famous Leica quality and a superb price/performance ratio to a broader market.

The four lenses LEICA SUMMARIT-M 35mm f2.5, LEICA SUMMARIT-M 50mm f2.5, LEICA SUMMARIT-M 75mm f2.5 and LEICA SUMMARIT-M 90mm f2.5 cover the most popular focal lengths in the Leica M system. All Summarit-M lenses were designed and are manufactured in Germany and will bear the “Made in Germany” quality stamp.

The launch of the Leica Summarit-M collection of lenses marks the return of important Leica heritage elements. All letter and number engravings are made with the traditional “Leitz-Norm“ font as originally used by Leitz Wetzlar during the 1960s, and the red button on the lens mount is consistent with the original color used on Leitz lenses produced since the introduction of the M mount through the 1960s. Each Leica Summarit-M lens is supplied with a metal lens front cap, a lens hood cap and a velours pouch for storage. High-quality all-metal lens hoods are available as accessories.

Customers can purchase the lenses individually or in sets consisting of two, three or four lenses. Deliveries of Leica Summarit-M lenses are scheduled to begin at the end of November 2007.

The launch of the new Leica Summarit-M lenses is the start of a campaign in which Leica Camera AG is putting a greater focus on its core competencies in optics manufacturing. Leica’s high-performance optics, made by hand at Leica’s main factory in Solms, Germany, are the fruit of many years of experience in optics, precision mechanics, unique technologies, high-quality materials and the commitment to craftsmanship of the staff.

It is the lenses on which the legend of the Leica brand was founded: finely crafted masterpieces – compact and practical precision optics for analog and digital photography. This superior optical performance makes it easy to capture fascinating moments in the best possible quality. Pictures taken with Leica lenses not only demonstrate technical imaging quality (color fidelity, definition, contrast and resolution) but also structure, richness and natural expression. The variety of Leica products and their areas of application are matched by the variety of measures taken to achieve brilliant, high-contrast images with exact true-to-nature color rendering. High-refraction optical glass types featuring particularly good homogeneity and purity, special glass with partial anomalous dispersion such as fluorophosphate and heavy barium flint glass, aspherical elements, apochromatic optics and modern multicoatings, ensure magnificent imaging quality.

“Leica users are the most demanding customers in the world of photography,” said Steven K. Lee, CEO of Leica Camera AG. “To satisfy their high expectations of quality, we put a tremendous amount of time and effort into manufacturing Leica lenses. This starts with a bold idea and continues with an ambitious optical design, a selection of the best materials on the market and sophisticated production processes. Meticulous quality assurance with 100% checks is, of course, an integral part of the process. The aim of all these efforts is to create high-class photographic and phototechnical images. Corner-to-corner definition and brilliance over the entire visual field, maximum imaging performance already at full aperture and superior stray light reduction – this is what photographers like about their Leica lenses, plus a unique mechanical excellence that is immediately felt when turning the focus ring or adjusting the aperture. This gives Leica photographers decades of pleasure – and enviable photographic results.”

Summarit-M lenses will be on sale at authorized Leica retailers from November 2007.

Friday, August 10, 2007

ABCNews Looks At Recent Doctored Photos

More Photoshop fun! Following the recent hoopla over a Redbook cover featuring a slimmed-down and 'made-up' Faith Hill, ABCNews has posted several questionable ‘fixed’ images that have appeared in recent publications. Some are familiar, some are humorous, and some are just downright deceitful. With Photography, it’s a fine line between truth and lies.

Chicago Photographer Claims Police Destroyed Cameras

Chicago Tribune photographer Terrence Antonio James was covering a fatal shooting on Monday night when police allegedly interfered with his work. After an officer noticed James shooting photos of the police entering a building near the crime scene, he ordered the photographer to leave. James said he was a member of the press, but that didn’t satisfy the officer, who knocked one of the photographer’s cameras on the ground, breaking it. An officer also took and threw James’ second camera. The police department is investigating the allegations.

FocalView Site Updates

- New camera review for the Ricoh Caplio GX-100 has been added to ‘Recent Digital Camera Reviews’ section.

- Posts can now be accessed by subject using the ‘Post Catagories’ section under ‘Archives’. If looking for any posts related to recent book releases, click on ‘Books’, for contests click on ‘Contests’, etc. So easy even I can do it.

- Check out the ‘Podcasts’ section, many of these have been updated this week.

Wow! Photos From Erik Almas

Today's "Wow!" photo inspiration site is by Erik Almas. Scott Kelby of NAPP found this site and I'm also recommending it. Wonderful images. Very surreal techniques. Visit Erik Almas Photography.

Enter Sigma's "Summer Dreams" Photo Contest By September 30th

Sigma has announced its “Summer Dreams” photo contest, the third in a series of four. The contest calls for photos with a summer theme taken with a Sigma lens.

Entires will be accepted through Sept. 30. Three winners will be notified by Oct. 31. First prize is a Sigma APO 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC HSM lens, retailing at $1,050; second prize is a Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO, retailing at $590; and third prize is a Sigma MACRO 70mm F2.8 EX DG, retailing at $570.

The photo can contain any subject, although model permission is necessary for use of people. Photos will be judged on composure, image quality, and theme relevance.

After the completion of the “Summer Dreams” contest, a fourth contest will be announced. The final contet will be only be open to the winners and honorable mention photographers from “Summer Dreams” and Sigma’s first two contests, “A Perfect World” and “Faces in Nature.” The contests are open to U.S. residents only.

For more details visit the Sigma website.

Photojournalist Harry Benson Featured On Kingston's Icons Of Photography Site

Kingston Technology Company, Inc. has announced that it has posted an interview with legendary photojournalist Harry Benson on its ‘Icons of Photography’ microsite. A witness to history, Benson shares what it was like to be standing next to Robert F. Kennedy when he was assassinated, how he got his first big break as the only journalist allowed to interview a mass murderer in prison, and how it felt to march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition to his photographic exploits, Benson expresses personal goals such as his longtime desire to become a professional football (soccer) player.

“Being a member of Kingston’s ‘Icons of Photography’ means I have the support of professionals I can rely on to answer any questions I might have,” said Benson. “It seems rather apropos that Kingston would take it one step further and develop a program that allows photographers from around the world to ask questions and seek advice from us. Being involved in this way brings my career full-circle as it allows me to share my life experiences,” added Benson.

The interview marks the second in a series called 20 Questions which gives site visitors an up-close-and-personal look at some of the world’s most respected photographers. Kingston encourages photographers who visit the ‘Icons of Photography’ microsite to take an active role through features including Ask the Icon, which gives photographers an opportunity to pose their own questions and Critique My Image, which invites photographers to submit a photo to be constructively critiqued by one of Kingston’s Icons.

Benson has photographed every U.S. president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush. In addition, he went on maneuvers with the IRA, was in the room with former President Richard Nixon when he resigned and was next to Coretta Scott King at her husband’s funeral.For more detailed information visit the Kingston IOP Web site at