Steve's Digicams

Photokina 1998
Special Report


A really big thanks to reader Dirk Ellenbeck from Germany
for bringing us this Photokina 98 exclusive report and some
very interesting and detailed digipics of new products seen
at the show. Click on thumbnails for the BIG picture.

Also, see below for some pictures of the new Olympus digicams.


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Really new is a digital camera from Fuji with an integrated printer. It's so new that there is no printed information available yet. What they could tell was this: it will be a digitalcamera (no zoom at the moment), which should be released in the middle of 1999 with 1.5 megapixels and an integrated printer which prints out polaroid photos. The model they had on exhibition was a "pre-production" model with only 300.000 pixels. Price and name is still unknown. You can review your photos on the LCD and give them borders for the print out. The pictures are saved on SmartMedia cards and because of its form I think this gadget is based on the MX-700 or MX-500, but I really don't know and the Fuji people at Photokina didn't know either.

The new Rollei digital SLR camera with 3x-zoom seems to be a real hit. It can save pictures on SmartMedia, CompactFlash and even PC-Cards up to 520MB!. It has an aluminium case and is connectable to PC and Mac via serial, SCSI or parallel port cables. It's 2/3" CCD-Chip (1280 x 1024) has 30 bit colour depth. It has an integrated flash and the possibility to connect an external flash via the hot shoe contact. The lens is equivalent to 35-105 mm zoom. The price will be somewhere between $1700 and $2300 here in Germany.

The new Sony DSC-D700 should be released in November (like the Canon and the Rollei). Believe me, it looks very cool, very professional and very great. It has a 1/2" CCD Chip with 1.5 Megapixel and a lens with a 5x zoom, equivalent to 28-140 mm. Exposure will be possible between 4 sec. and 1/2000 secs. Automatic, Programmed, or you can control everything - if you want to - or let the Sony do the work. It behaves like a real SLR camera including the view through the TTL-viefinder where you can see a little LCD display with info about exposure, etc. Pictures are saved on a new media (bad!)- the "Memory Stick" which fits in the camera with a PC-Card adapter. At the moment Sony only has sticks with 8 MB but they plan to produce sticks with 64 MB. The stick should become the new Sony standard for entertainment-electronics. All new Sonys (Walkman, Camcorder, etc.) should be equiped with it. The price is very high in comparison to other digital cameras with this resolution: $2300 here in Germany.

(From Steve: The new Sony DSC-D700 will accept standard PCMCIA Type II memory cards. The Sony Memory Stick has a Type II adapter and is not the only memory device this camera will use.)

The new and soon to be released Canon PowerShot Pro70 looks and feels really great. Features as known and described. But the problem with it is that it has no integrated flash and you can only use the new Canon "multiblitz" (multiflash). Other flash units won't work, the Canon representative was really unlucky about this fact, because everyone asked about this. Price will be somewhere between $1400 and $1700 here in Germany.





These pictures and text of the new Olympus cameras were
submitted by Marc-Andre Keune on Sept 17, 1998.


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The C900Zoom (D-400Z in US) has an uncompressed mode, a spot-focus-mode, an infinity-focus-lock and a 2.5m-focus-lock, 5 white-balance-modes (auto, daylight, neon etc.), it can take 6-10 pictures in SQ with 2 pics/sec. and there's an ±2 AE-correction in half-steps. There will be an US-Version called D400Z (Don't know when).

The C1400XL (D-620L in US) also has an infinity-focus-lock (on the OK-button, see picture), a battery-save-mode (in the menu, don't know more about that) and can take 5 pictures without delay (3.3 pics/sec.). If you take 5 pictures in that mode, it takes 40-45 secs to store them on the SM-Card (that means 8-9 secs for storing 1 picture like with the C1400L). For this mode, there are 5 filled oder unfilled squares on the control-panel (meaning how many pictures you can take (unfilled) and how many are still to be written on the SM-Cards (filled)). It also has 7 white-balance-modes (auto and from 3000K - 6500K). The macro- and spot-focus-functions are now on the same button (see picture, pressing once = macro, twice = spot, three times = macro and spot, four times = off etc.).



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