July 2006

Pentax adds another Optio
Pentax added another model to its line of slim, stylish "S" line. The 7.0 megapixel Optio S7 has a 3X optical zoom and a Blur Reduction mode to help reduce the effects of camera shake and subject blurring for sharper images even in dim lighting conditions. In this mode, the camera adjusts shutter speeds automatically to an ISO as high as 1600 to match the brightness of the subject. The higher sensitivities permit faster shutter speeds. There is also face recognition AF & AE to simplifies portrait-taking by automatically detecting the position of the subject's face and adjusting the focus and exposure based on the detected position. The Optio S7 has a high res 2.5 inch LCD monitor, MPEG-4 DivX Movie Mode, and 23MB internal memory and can use the new SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) memory cards in addition to SD memory cards. The Optio S7 will ship in September 2006 for under $300.00 US. -- Posted Thursday, July 27, 2006 by chb

Panasonic introduces three new FX Series LUMIX digicams
Panasonic introduced the LUMIX 7.2MP DMC-FX50 and DMC-FX07 digital still cameras, and also the 6-megapixel DMC-FX3 that features "Intelligent ISO Control" (IIC) to correct image blurriness. The FX50 will have an MSRP of $399.95, the FX07 $349.95 and the FX3 $279.95. All three use Panasonic’s MEGA Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) technology which reduces blurry photos caused by unsteady hands. The FX50 and FX07 have a 28mm wide angle f/2.8 LEICA DC lens with 3.6x optical zoom (equivalent to 28mm to 102mm on a 35mm film camera) that provides the benefit of a wide angle lens when shooting indoor group portraits, expansive landscapes, or architectural scenes.
-- Posted Thursday, July 20, 2006 by chb

SanDisk introduces Extreme IV CF cards - world's fastest
SanDisk introduced the new SanDisk Extreme IV line of CompactFlash digital film cards for professional photographers who require the highest possible performance and the largest capacities for their medium format and high-end digital SLR cameras. Extreme IV cards are available in capacities of up to 8GB and deliver minimum read and write speeds of 40 megabytes per second, making these the fastest flash memory cards in the world. [see news release.] -- Posted Thursday, July 20, 2006 by chb

SanDisk introduces 4-Gigabyte SDHC Flash Card
SanDisk introduced a 4GB SD High Capacity, or SDHC, card. The new high speed cards support capacities of 4GB and higher, and the 4GB SDHC card will be bundled with the MicroMate USB 2.0 reader at no extra charge. These new readers work with both SDHC and SD cards. SDHC cards require an SDHC-compatible reader. SDHC is the designation for SD cards larger than 2GB that adhere to the SD 2.00 specification, a completely new design that is required for cards and hosts to support 4GB to 32GB capacities. -- Posted Thursday, July 20, 2006 by chb

Water-resistant digital media camera from Sanyo
The new, 5X optical zoom, 6-megapixel SANYO Xacti CA6 is a pocket-sized digital still and MPEG-4 video camera specially designed to capture outdoor fun under the sun and around water (rated IPX4 for rated water resistance: "protected from splash in all directions"). Ergonomically designed for convenient, one-handed operation, the CA6 digital media camera records both 640 x 480 resolution MPEG-4 video and 6-megapixel digital still images to a standard SD or SDHC flash memory card. It will be available in the U.S. from SANYO in August 2006 at $399.99 MSRP. -- Posted Thursday, July 13, 2006 by chb

Yahoo! Photos Introduces Dynamic New Web-Based Photo Sharing Experience
Yahoo! Photos today unveiled an entirely new photo sharing experience. The limited beta launch of the all new Yahoo! Photos (http://photos.yahoo.com) marks the most dramatic upgrade to the product since Yahoo! initially launched the service in 2000. Designed to make it easier for people to enjoy and share their growing photo collections with family and friends, the new Yahoo! Photos is a Web-based product that offers desktop-like functionality including drag-and-drop organization, tagging, comments and advanced search capabilities.

“The new Yahoo! Photos is a next generation service that introduces innovations from across the Yahoo! network -- like tagging, search, and comments -- to a mainstream audience of thirty million and counting,” said Brad Garlinghouse, Yahoo!’s senior vice president of communications, community and front doors. “The new Yahoo! Photos will change the way millions of people enjoy their pictures. The new features and redesigned interface make photo management more efficient so people spend less time maintaining their collections and more time viewing and sharing them with family and friends.”

New community-based features foster greater user interaction in ways that weren’t possible before, including the ability to comment, rate and tag family and friends’ photos. People can now exchange comments on shared pictures, add tags to help organize each other’s photos, and rate them for simple searching. Also, deep integration across the Yahoo! network, including Yahoo! Mail, Messenger, Mobile and 360°, gives users a universally accessible location where they can view photos that family and friends have shared.


-- Posted Friday, July 7, 2006 by dtm

dotPhoto Unveils Next Generation of Photo Sharing Site
Today dotPhoto announced the launch of the next generation of its flagship consumer service: www.dotPhoto.com, a comprehensive multimedia and photo-sharing site, with features and services tailored to an individual’s special images, moments, and memories. The new www.dotPhoto.com automatically builds communities for consumer photographers by providing a next-generation forum where they share life’s stories through digital photography.

“dotPhoto gives each and every photographer the opportunity to use their special images and videos in as many meaningful ways as possible,” says Fred King, Vice President and General Manager–Web for dotPhoto, a leading provider of photo, video, and multimedia applications, content, and services for wireless and Web users. “Every user gets that coveted and sometimes much deserved 15 minutes of fame when they express themselves to our online community, whether through a personal Web site, an on-line photo slide show, or customized merchandise gift. As a result, dotPhoto.com goes far beyond utilitarian -- it completely engages our audience, and gives them the optimal member experience.”

The new dotPhoto.com has a redesigned ‘unified interface’ that makes it easy to access its friendly, personalized features, such as My dotPhoto, My Albums, My Shows, My Projects, and My Web Site. Other cool options include community photo sharing with Top Picks, and merchandising opportunities with unique, theme-based products. Finally, in-depth, easy-to-use editing tools work on both Macs and PCs.

“While technology and tools are always changing, the human experience lasts forever,” King says.


-- Posted Friday, July 7, 2006 by dtm

3.2 megapixel cameraphones!
Samsung and Verizon Wireless announced the SCH-a990, the first 3.2 mega pixel digital camera phone, enabling photo enthusiasts to take fairly high-res photos of a similar print quality as a standalone digital camera. In addition, the SCH-a990 boasts a number of media features, including video recording capabilities, V CAST to view video and V CAST Music to download music directly to the phone and Bluetooth wireless technology, to allow a customer to print pictures wirelessly from the SCH-a990 to a Bluetooth-enabled printer basic print profile. -- Posted Thursday, July 6, 2006 by chb

Nikon successful with its digital SLRs
According to Reuters, Nikon's digital SLR shipments are up 35% in April and May 2006 compared to 2005, and its production facilities are going full blast to meet demand for the D40, D70 and D200. Nikon, the world's second-largest maker of dSLRs behind Canon, expects to ship 1.75 million dSLRs this fiscal year (the total global market for dSLRs is about 5 million worldwide in 2006). Anticipated problems are the increasing performance of compact digicams as well as the great price pressure on digital SLRs which still cost way more than film-based economy models. -- Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2006 by chb

Reaching the end of the megapixel madness?
After several yers of megapixel madness, we may see the end of it, or at least a slowing down. You could get 5-megapixel cameras a few yers ago, and they are still up-to-date. And if you bought a 7 or 8-megapixel camera last year, it's not obsolete. That's because unless you plan on making huge prints, or cropping most of the picture, 8 megapixel or so is plenty. Most of the time we end up shrinking the picture to be able to look at it on a computer screen. What's becoming more important are other features. Simpler menus, faster cycling, longer zooms, and better image stablization. And better lenses. 10 blurry megapixel is no fun. -- Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2006 by chb

Samsung annouces "New Vision"
Already offering one of the largest lineups of digital cameras, hard-charging Samsung abbounced a new range of digicams, named Samsung NV, for "New Vision." The NV line initially consists of three models, the 7.2 megapixel NV3 and NV7 OPS (optical picture stabilization), and the 10.1 megapixel NV10. All are remarkably slender, with the NV3 being just 0.7 inches thick. Borrowing from PDA technology, the NV7 and NV10 have a "Smart Touch" interface with buttons along two side that allow to select options. Of the lot, the NV7 is perhaps the most interesting with its 7X optical zoom, image stabiliation and ASR, which stands for Advanced Share Reduction. The NV10, of course, impresses with sheer resolution (though Caio and others match it there), and the NV3 doubles up as a MP3 and movie player. -- Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2006 by chb

Nikon announces 14.4-megapixel D2xs pro digital SLR

Nikon today introduced the new D2XS professional digital SLR camera, incorporating an impressive range of refinements that improve overall camera performance and enhance the user experience. The D2XS shares many performance and design innovations with the current and highly successful D2X camera, including the 12.4 million pixel DX format CMOS image sensor that renders images with high resolution and sharp detail, necessary for demanding professional assignments. The D2XS also hosts a range of upgraded features that make operation significantly more responsive – including refined viewfinder performance that makes for easier composition when shooting in Nikon's exclusive High-Speed Crop mode, a new 2.5 inch LCD with a 170-degree wide viewing angle, individually calibrated at the factory to ensure consistent color fidelity, significantly increased battery life and a wide range of firmware enhancements.

With its numerous refinements, the D2XS is truly equipped to meet the widely varied demands of today’s professional photographers who strive to create photographs that push the boundaries of what’s possible. Not only does the camera successfully combine high resolution, speed and quality, but it also incorporates exclusive technologies that enable unfettered creativity. Options such as the WT-2A Wi-Fi transmitter achieves full wireless remote camera control and transmission, while the revolutionary i-TTL Speedlight technology included in the D2XS ensures radical new possibilities in creative lighting.

“Increasingly, professional photographers have chosen the D2X as their primary workhorse camera due to its remarkable performance and versatility, making it Nikon’s best selling professional digital SLR camera. With the introduction of the D2XS, Nikon has built upon the proven performance of its predecessor and added new technologies and refined features that will offer professionals an enhanced overall experience,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR Systems Products, Nikon Inc. “The D2XS is poised to become the next Nikon DSLR of choice among professional photographers.”


-- Posted Saturday, July 1, 2006 by dtm