August 2006

Canon beefs up Digital Rebel
Canon's EOS Digital Rebel XT model – the camera that set all time sales records for digital SLRs of any persuasion - now takes its place alongside of the newest member of the Rebel line: the 10.1 megapixel EOS Digital Rebel XTi SLR camera. The XTi, which has a 2.5-inch monitor instead of the dinky 1.8-incher in the XT, will come in both sleek brushed silver patina and "pro" matte black finishes. It is available in two kit configurations: with and without Canon's high quality EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens. The EOS Digital Rebel XTi camera will be available for an estimated selling price $899* with the zoom lens kit, while the body only kit will carry and estimated selling price of $799*. In order to maintain an appropriate pricing structure, the Digital Rebel XT model will carry an adjusted estimated selling price of $799* with the zoom lens kit and $699* for the body only kit. -- Posted Friday, August 25, 2006 by chb

Nikon releases a flurry of new cameras!
Nikon unveiled two new "L" or Life series cameras and three new "S" or Style series cameras, all with consumers in mind. All include Nikon's In-camera Image Innovations to fix common photo problems. All have TV Quality Move Mode, recording movies at up to 30 fps with sound; Noise Reduction; a broad choice of White Balance selections and a Help Button that explains all menu functions. The COOLPIX L5 has a 5x Zoom-Nikkor glass lens, a bright 2.5 inch LCD, advanced Lens Shift Vibration Reduction; Face-priority AF, In-Camera Red-Eye Fix and D-Lighting. The L5 runs on two AA-batteries which power this 7.2 megapixel camera that uses SD cards. The COOLPIX L6 has 6.0 megapixels and a 3x Zoom-Nikkor glass lens, and takes an unprecedented 1,000 pictures on a single set of the included Energizer e2 Lithium AA-batteries.The L6 offers ISO 800 for shooting pictures in lower light. It also allows users to select higher shutter speeds for the capture of fast-moving subjects. The COOLPIX S9 is a 6.1 megapixel, easy- to-use camera in a slim, stylish body. The camera has a 3x Zoom-Nikkor ED glass lens, a 2.5 inch LCD screen, a One-Touch Portrait Button, and Stop-Motion feature for creating fun, stop-motion animated video shorts. The COOLPIX S10 features a 10x optical Zoom-Nikkor glass lens, Vibration Reduction (VR), 6.0 effective megapixels, a 2.5" LCD and an innovative, compact swivel design allowing the long-zoom camera to fit into a shirt pocket. The COOLPIX S7c combines imaging performance and style with new photo sharing technology to via wireless transfer to a computer or printer or, via T-Mobile, email pictures directly in one of the 7,000 T-Mobile HotSpot. -- Posted Thursday, August 24, 2006 by chb

Nikon launches small 10X optical zoom camera
After all the Olympus announcements, Nikon added a 10x zoom camera with image stabilization to the COOLPIX Style series. The new COOLPIX S10 features a 10x optical Zoom-Nikkor glass lens, Vibration Reduction, 6.0 effective megapixels, a 2.5" LCD and an innovative, compact swivel design allowing the long-zoom camera to fit into a shirt pocket. The 10x powerful, optical zoom combined with Nikon's VR and innovative body design gives digital photographers unprecedented freedom and creativity with the ability to take pictures from a wide range of angles such as overhead, from the hip and even self portraits. The S10 includes 16 MB of internal memory and operates on an EN-EL5 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (up to 300 shots on a charge) and charger. The S10 will be available at retail nationwide in September 2006 with an MSRP of $399.95. -- Posted Thursday, August 24, 2006 by chb

Olympus Stylus 740 and 750 and underwater housing
Olympus released the US$399 Stylus 750 with dual image stabilization and 5x optical zoom in thin, stylish 7.1 megapixel camera with an All-Weather body and Bright Capture Technology [see release]. Also released was the US$349.99 Stylus 740. Both cameras are suitable for underwater photography with special scene modes. The new PT-034 underwater housing is constructed of transparent polycarbonate with safety-locked O-ring seals, enabling the Stylus 740 to safely travel down to 133 feet below the surface. Large red grips, a responsive shutter button and a precision zoom lever make it easy to operate even when wearing diving gloves. Plus, with Bright Capture Technology, images can be easily previewed on the LCD even in the darkest waters. [see release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006 by chb

10 megapixel Olympus Stylus 1000
Olympus announces its first compact, 10-megapixel digital camera, the Stylus 1000. The 10-megapixel CCD image sensor provides superior resolution for great pictures even when printed in formats 16 x 20 inches or larger. This elegant, slim, yet durable, All-Weather camera is packed with features! Ckeck the full press release. -- Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006 by chb

Olympus releases 10X SP-510 Ultra Zoom
The new Olympus SP-510 Ultra Zoom offers the ultimate value in its class with the highest image resolution of any 10x digital camera on the market, an Olympus ED Zoom Lens, a large 2.5-inch LCD and extra-long battery life (up to 630 shots from standard alkaline batteries). Designed to satisfy the needs of beginners and advanced users alike, this highly versatile camera provides incredible point-and-shoot functionality (including 21 preset Scene Modes) as well as professional features like full manual controls, ISO 4000 and RAW shooting. [see Olympus release on the SP-50] -- Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006 by chb

Four new Olympus FE-Series cameras
Olympus announced four new FE-Series point-and-shoot digital cameras that combine stylish design and approachable functionality to provide a fulfilling digital experience. Slim, compact styling and new features have been added to these latest FE cameras, including Digital Image Stabilization, a large 2.5-inch LCD, a 6.0-megapixel CCD image sensor, a 3x or 5x optical zoom and much more. “The Olympus FE-Series cameras are designed for effortless picture taking and provide a variety of user-friendly features to easily navigate the cameras’ capabilities,” said Naoki Tai, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Features ranging from the Help Guide to the large LCD screen will provide an enjoyable digital experience to first-time users. Beyond their affordable price, the cameras also offer incredible image quality without a large learning curve.” [see Olympus release on new FE-Series] -- Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006 by chb

All-weather Olympus Stylus 730 with big LCD
The trend towards larger and larger LCDs continues, and we like it. At a time where the screens on phones and PDAs get ever smaller, the ones on digicams keep growing. The new "All-Weather" 7.1 megapixel Olympus Stylus 730 has a huge 3.0-inch screen, digital image stablization, yet remains very compact: 3.8x2.4x0.83 inches. Zoom is 3X optical times 5X digital, there are 24 scene modes, "Perfect Fix" can optimize most pictures right inside the camera, and MSRP will be US$399. -- Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006 by chb

What kind of "photo personality" do you have?
A survey commissioned by AT&T survey revealed several unique "photo personalities" that people used to describe the way they work with digital photos:

  • Personal Paparazzi. 13% take lots of self-portraits and then share the photos with everyone they can.
  • Shoot and Run. 10% classified themselves as digital photographers who store their photos on a portable device, such as a digital music player or cell phone, and show them to friends and family on the go.
  • Webmaster of Ceremonies; the 20% who not only take pics but also store them on computers, create slide shows, post photos to Web sites or make multimedia movies or DVDs to share their photos with friends and family.
  • Lens Cappers. 17% take digital photos but usually leave them in the camera.
  • Underexposed. 37% take digital photos and store them on their computers but don't share or know what to do with the pictures. -- Posted Thursday, August 17, 2006 by chb

    Digital camera market in for tough, interesting times
    Time Europe presents an interesting essay on the coming struggle in the digital camera market. Ever since 1997, digital cameras have been white-hot, first challenging and then passing film, and now on the verge of rendering fillm irrelevant. Yet, the digicam market is now slowly becoming saturated, with growth rates slowing and profits evaporating as prices continue to fall. The article also points to the havoc the digicam revolution has caused in the imaging market, with several once notable camera makes withdrawing from the market (Konice Minolta, Kyocera, Toshiba, etc.) and others stopping making their own cameras or bleeding tons of red ink. All the while, consumer electronics powerhouses such as Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and others are making big gains, whereas the likes of Kodak, Fuji, and other once mighty photo giants suffer. At the same time, with the megapixel race slowing down, cameras will have to sell on features, quality and innovation. [read article] -- Posted Monday, August 14, 2006 by chb

    Kodak struggling
    According to a Reuters report, Kodak posted a larger second-quarter loss as the once trend-setting photography company finds the move to digital imaging products surprisingly difficult. Kodak recently announced that it would stop making digital cameras itself and shift the making of them to Flextronics, a contract manufacturer. Kodak is not alone; Fuji, another superstar from the film era, also posted lower profits and is cutting production and jobs. What we're seeing here is that the leaders in one technology will not necessarily be the leaders in follow-up technologies. -- Posted Wednesday, August 2, 2006 by chb

    Digital camera sales very strong reports that "digital camera shipments rose 19.5% in the first half of 2006, according to data released by Tokyo-based Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) that represents firms responsible for 80% of global sales. The figures, showing almost 30 million cameras shipped in the traditionally weaker first half of the year, beat analysts' forecasts by a significant margin. A majority of analysts and researchers expect that growth in digital camera sales will slow and level off at around 110 million units per year by 2008. However, the surprisingly strong CIPA data may lend some support to more optimistic forecasts, for example from Semico Research, which recently predicted that the maturing market will continue to grown rapidly and will exceed 150 million units by 2010." -- Posted Wednesday, August 2, 2006 by chb

    Sony goes colorful with new DSC-T10
    Sony is launching a new color strategy with the introduction of its 7-megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-T10 digital camera. Premiering this summer in pink, white, black and silver, the new model upholds the standard for slim and stylish design. “The number of digital still cameras per household is steadily increasing, up to three or four, which suggests that people are buying cameras to fulfill different needs,” said Phil Lubell, director of marketing for digital still cameras and photo printers at Sony Electronics. “Our new model is so stylish that it can be viewed as a fashion accessory.” The US$399 DSC-T10 has a 3X optical zoom, a 2.5-inch display, 56MB of internal memory and uses the Memory Stick Duo and PRO Duo. -- Posted Wednesday, August 2, 2006 by chb