Steve's Digicams

PMA 2001 Special Report

Our daily reports from the Photo Marketing Association's
show in Orlando Florida - February 11 through 14, 2001.
Click for info about the PMA


Quick links to info on the new

Adobe PhotoShop Elements $99
ASF's ICE3 in New Nikon Scanners
Canon FS4000US High-Speed Film Scanner
Canon PowerShot A10 and A20
Canon CP-10 Card Printer
Canon PowerShot S300
Canon S800 Photo Bubble Jet
CanoScan 1230UF & 2400UF Color Flatbed Scanners
Canon ZR30MC, ZR25MC, ZR20 Camcorders
Casio QV3500EX Plus
Contax N Digital SLR
2001 DIMA Digital Camera Shoot-Out Winners
eye Q Digicam Features LightView QVGA Display
EFS Finally Demo'd by Silicon Film
EPSON Stylus Photo 780/890/1280 Printers
Epson PRINT Image Matching technology
EPSON Stylus Pro 5500
Fujifilm FinePix 2300, 4800, 6800
Kodak MC3 - Camera/MP3/Video
Kodak's New Inkjet Media
Kodak & Olympus Join Forces
Kyocera Finecam S3 3-Megapixel
Lexar Media 512MB CF Type I
Minolta Dimage S304, 5 and 7
Nikon D1H and D1X Pro SLRs
Nixvue Photo Album
Panasonic PV-DV851, PV-DV901 PV-DV951 Camcorders
Pentax EI-3000 SLR-like
SanDisk 512MB CompactFlash Type I
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P30, P50, S75
Sony Mavica MVC-FD87, FD92, FD97
Sony Cyber-shot & Mavica Press Releases
Sony TRV30 1.5-Megapixel Camcorder
Toshiba PDR-M11, M21, M61, M65






02-12-2001

PMA 2001 - Day 2 - Monday Feb 12



The Fujifilm blimp has been circling the convention center for the last couple of days. Tomorrow our very own Dannee will be going up for a ride in the big green, white and red blimp.



02-12-2001

SanDisk Introduces a 512MB CompactFlash Memory Card and Also Introduces 128MB SmartMedia Card

ORLANDO, Fla.--Feb. 12, 2001--SanDisk Corporation today introduced a 512 megabyte (MB) CompactFlash (CF) memory card, the world's highest capacity, standard CF Type I card. The company also introduced a high-capacity 128MB SmartMedia memory card. The announcement was made at the annual Photo Marketing Association trade show where SanDisk is demonstrating products at the Orange County Convention Center, booth No. 3137.

SanDisk, which also added 256MB and 384MB standard CF cards to its product lineup, is targeting the new high-capacity cards primarily at the new three and four megapixel, high-resolution digital cameras and Internet music players.

Nelson Chan, senior vice president of worldwide marketing and sales at SanDisk, said, "Having more than a half gigabyte of removable storage means consumers can store hundreds or more high-quality digital images, MP3 music files or even video on the same card. It's this combination of exceptionally large capacities and cross-platform versatility that is becoming increasingly important among consumers. The introduction of advanced products such as these cards should allow SanDisk to maintain its position as the industry leader in the flash card market."

Suggested retail prices for the 512MB, 384MB and 256MB cards are $799.00, $599.00 and $399.00, respectively. The 128MB SmartMedia card has a list price of $189.00. These removable storage cards are expected to be available in Q2 from camera dealers, distributors and major retailers.

SanDisk products, which include a complete line of ImageMate memory card reader/writers and adapters, are available in more than 20,000 retail stores worldwide. Retailers include Best Buy, Circuit City, Fry's, K-Mart, Micro Center, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Ritz, Sears, Staples, Target, Wal-Mart, Wolf and others.




02-12-2001

New Kodak mc3 Offers Digital Video, Music and Pictures In One Stylish Package

Kodak mc3
Click to see a larger image

PHOENIX, Ariz., February 12 - The new Kodak mc3 is the first portable unit that combines digital video with virtually unlimited recording, an MP3 player and a digital still camera together for less than $300. Unveiled for the first time at DEMO 2001, a high technology conference in Phoenix, the Kodak mc3's unique combination of today's most popular mobile features will appeal to active, Internet-savvy individuals who want to connect with their friends through video, music and pictures. And, it works with both Macintosh and Microsoft Windows computer platforms.

Kodak designed the mc3 specially to produce files that can be transmitted simply and quickly via email. Thanks to its full-color reflective LCD screen, users can preview and review their video and pictures easily and accurately, even in bright sunlight. With Arcsoft Video Impressions software for video editing and albuming, users can combine their video, pictures and music to create unique multimedia movies or music videos. The mc3 can record more than 20 minutes of non-stop video in Quick Time format on a 64 MB CompactFlash card (or 20 seconds of video for each MB of removable memory recording at 10 fps. At a higher frame rate (20 fps), it can record 4 seconds of video for each MB of memory.)

The Kodak mc3 is a fully functional MP3 player. With the included Real Jukebox software, users can convert music from CDs to MP3 format and play up to 1.5 hours of music with a 64MB memory card. A USB cable, also included, provides for fast uploading of music and downloading of video and still picture files.

The Kodak mc3 is the company's first product to incorporate it's own CMOS image sensor technology. The KAC-0310 CMOS sensor applies Kodak's vast array of imaging expertise, enabling the mc3 to capture outstanding images under all lighting conditions with excellent color quality. In addition, Kodak's CMOS sensor offers very low power consumption that greatly extends usable battery life. The sensor captures full-color still pictures in VGA resolution, producing modest file sizes, maximizing image storage and minimizing upload and transmission time of pictures via the Internet. An mc3 equipped with a 64 MB memory card can hold over 600 still images. The mc3 ships with Arcsoft Photo Impressions software for photo editing and albuming.

A built-in microphone and speaker simplify capturing and playing back video. The unit also has an Audio/Video-out port for playing music on a home or car stereo or through headphones, or to play back video with audio on a TV or VCR. There's even a slide show function for sharing still pictures on a television.

Weighing only 5.5 oz (without batteries) and measuring a scant 2.6 x 4.1-inches, the mc3 fits easily into a small pocket or backpack. The mc3 was designed for single hand operation and is powered by three AAA batteries (included), and the unit is fully upgradeable for future Internet music formats.

The Kodak mc3 comes in a number of configurations, based on the size of its replaceable memory. With 16 MB memory, the unit's suggested retail price is $229; with 64 MB memory, $299. A dock with USB connection is also available for a suggested retail price of $24.95. The dock automatically detects the mc3, launches the software, and downloads all of the files in seconds.

Optional accessories are available including memory cards, a carrying holster, video/audio cable and rechargeable batteries with charger. Both the mc3 and the accessories will be available on www.kodak.com and in retail stores in March.




02-12-2001

Casio QV-3500EX Plus Introduced at PMA

Epson partners with Casio to introduce Print Image Matching, a breakthrough in consumer digital photography





ORLANDO, FL.--Casio, Inc., Dover, NJ, in conjunction with Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan is pleased to announce the launch of the QV-3500EX, a new 3.34 megapixel CCD digital camera with built-in "Best-Shot" mode for perfect pictures every time.   Two bundles are available - the QV-3500EX with 16 MB memory card and the QV-3500EXplus (which will sell for under $900) with the 340 MB (245 images in fine resolution) IBM Microdrive.  Both cameras will be at retail in April.

Casio also announced that it has partnered with Epson America, Inc. to incorporate PRINT Image Matching Technology in the QV-3500EX and in future digital camera models as well. PRINT Image Matching Technology ensures that digital cameras and printers work together to produce photographs that print truer- to-life than ever before. Epson will also include PRINT Image Matching in all future photo printers as well.

The most prestigious digital camera in Casio's range, the QV-3500EX employs a F2.0 Canon 3x optical zoom lens in conjunction with a true 3.34 megapixel CCD. 

For the more experienced photographer, it comes fully equipped with practical photographic functions which enable manual adjustment of exposure, light metering and white balance settings. 

For the beginner, the built-in "Best- Shot" mode offers the chance to capture amazing images at the touch of a button - simply choose from a selection of sample images and the camera set-up automatically switches to the photographic settings, including shutter speed, aperture and focus, required to shoot the chosen scene.

Bundled with Photo Loader software for automatic image transfer and offering IBM Microdrive support, the QV-3500EX works in perfect harmony with your personal computer.

MAIN FEATURES OF THE QV-3500EX

  • True 3.34 Megapixel Color Filter CCD
  • Canon F2.0 3x Optical, Wide- Aperture Lens
    With the additional 4x digital zoom option, enjoy the benefits of a combined maximum magnification factor of 12x. The lens is also threaded, enabling the QV-3500 to be used in conjunction with various filters and Canon conversion lenses.
  • "Best Shot" Function
    Simply select a sample image from one of 28 built-in, pre- recorded scenes (beach, blue sky, twilight, flowing water, etc.) and the camera will automatically adjust the relevant photographic settings, such as shutter speed, aperture and focus, according to the chosen scene. 

The bundled CD ROM also contains pre-recorded data for 64 scenes (including the 28 scenes built in the camera itself) and, by copying data onto a CompactFlash card, enjoy quick-and-easy access to your chosen scene set-ups through the camera itself. On the CompactFlash card supplied, it is possible to store up to 250 sample images, including the data for the original settings.

  • Bulb Mode for Maximum 60 second Shutter Speed
  • Aperture Priority AE/Shutter Speed Priority AE/Manual Exposure Settings.
  • 4-Step Sensitivity Control (from standard ISO100 equivalent to maximum ISO500 equivalent)
  • Manual Settings for Full Control Over the Camera Setup
    Manual settings include a choice of 3 light metering modes (multi-pattern/centre-weighted/spot), white balance, flash intensity, focus, exposure compensation, image quality, and more.
  • Versatile Digital Recording and Playback Features
    -Movie recording and playback that even enables you to record action which took place in front of the lens before the shutter release is pressed.
    -  Panorama recording and playback combines single images to create breathtaking panoramas.
  • 0.5 Second Interval Shooting and Playback
    Thanks to the large buffer memory capacity, images can be recorded at intervals of approximately 2 seconds between each press of the shutter release and, by continually pressing the shutter release, it is possible to take up to 3 images at intervals of approximately 0.5 seconds. Similarly, during playback, images can be scrolled at intervals of approximately 0.5 seconds for easy access.
  • Easy PC Connectivity and Image Transfer
    The Casio Photo Loader software enables automatic image transfer to a personal computer. Simply connect the camera to your computer using the supplied USB cable or insert the CompactFlash card directly and Photo Loader automatically starts image upload. The uploaded images are stored in folders named according to the dates on which they are recorded and can be viewed on your computer either individually or as a group, using standard Web browser software.
  • IBM Microdrive Compatible (340MB, 512MB and 1GB Microdrive)
  • Shortcut Keys and Shortcut Key Customization
    Three shortcut keys below the monitor screen can be used to cycle through available settings without going through the menu screens. It is even possible to change the functions assigned to the shortcut keys to keep the settings you want at your fingertips.
  • One-touch VGA image creation
  • Image Trim Function 
  • Option to Save Images in TIFF File Format 
  • Compatible with Print Image Matching
    It is possible to use the camera in conjunction with Epson printers which feature the Print Image Matching function. By simply inserting a CompactFlash card directly into the card slot of a compatible printer, images can be printed automatically and exactly according to the print image information set by the camera.
  • Computer Image Catalogue produced by an HTML File Generator
  • Mode Memory 
    Stores power saving settings and other camera set-up parameters in memory even when camera power is turned off.
  • 1.8 inch High Definition Hyper Amorphous Silicon TFT (HAST) LCD Monitor Screen
  • 4-Mode Flash (Auto / On / Off / Red-eye Reduction)
  • DCF (Design rule for Camera File system) and DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) Compliant

* * *

Casio, Inc., Dover, NJ is the U.S. subsidiary of Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.  Casio, Inc., with almost a half billion in sales, markets calculators, business organizers, handheld personal computers, keyboards, digital cameras, digital scanners and printers, handheld color TVs, timepieces, audio and video products, cash registers and other consumer products.

Specifications for all products were believed to be correct at the time of release.   All specifications and designs are subject to change without notice.  All products subject to availability.

CompactFlash and the CompactFlash logo are trademarks of San Disk Corporation.  All other company and product names mentioned may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.  





02-12-2001

Canon Releases New S800 Photo Bubble Jet Printer

ORLANDO, FL, February 12, 2001 (PMA) - Canon announced three new products here today at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) tradeshow which address the higher end of the personal digital computing market. The S800 Bubble Jet printer for fast photo printing packaged with a CompactFlash (CF) Card Reader, and the CanoScan 1230UF and CanoScan 2400UF color flatbed scanners for high-resolution scanning with large format built-in film adapters are the newest products from the recently created Digital Home and Personal Systems Division of Canon U.S.A. Inc.

S800 Bubble Jet Printer

The S800 Bubble Jet printer replaces Canon's award-winning BJC-8200 printer. At 2400x1200 dpi resolution the S800 has 38 percent higher resolution than most competitive printers which boast only 2880x720 dpi while also delivering one of the fastest speeds in its class. An 8x10-inch photo image prints in approximately two minutes through Canon's improved technology of firing the printer's 1,536 nozzles 1.5 times faster than its predecessor. This improved print speed makes the S800 printer one of the speediest 6-color printers currently available and approximately one minute faster than its predecessor, the BJC-8200 printer

With more than 49 levels of color gradation, the S800 printer uses Canon's exclusive Advanced Microfine Droplet Technology which creates a 4-picoliter size droplet on the page with Canon's unique "star-shaped" nozzle. This printing technology breakthrough ensures that the drop placed on the page is center-weighted so that when the ink bonds with the paper there is no bleeding or feathering as the drop settles. This allows Canon to achieve superior photo quality even on plain paper. Canon has also achieved a fade-resistant rating of 25-28 years when printing on Canon's Photo Paper Pro specialty paper. This industry-leading rating is based on internal Canon archivability testing as well rigorous testing conducted by Henry Wilhelm of Wilhelm Imaging Research**.

In addition to superior photo quality and print speeds, the S800 printer offers customers Canon's unique individual ink tank system with genuine Canon inks. This "no waste" system is a hallmark of Canon's Bubble Jet printer line where users only replace the color ink that has run out rather than having to waste an entire ink cartridge, something they experience with most competitive printers. The Canon ThinkTank System also includes an on-screen warning so that users are alerted when the ink is running low.

Since many of Canon's BJC-8200 printer customers use CompactFlash or other photo direct cards for printing their digital images, Canon has included a CompactFlash card reader in the S800 box. Compatible with all Type I and Type II CompactFlash cards used by all Canon digital cameras available today, the included card reader allows users instant printing of their digital prints. Shipping in late March for both Windows and Mac customers, the S800 printer has an estimated street price of $299*.

CanoScan 1230UF, CanoScan 2400UF Color Flatbed Scanners

As the world's leading imaging solutions company, Canon continues to expand its offerings in the color flatbed scanner market. Since Canon debuted its first CanoScan model in 1997, the company has leapt to Number 3 in the personal flatbed scanner marketplace. Two new models join Canon's current line-up for a total of six CanoScan products for PC and Mac users. Both the CanoScan D1230UF and CanoScan D2400UF scanners address a more professional digital imaging/scanner customer with Charge Coupled Device (CCD) technology featuring Canon's new Galileo Lens system, built-in large-format film adapters, 48-bit color scanning and improved resolutions and scanning speeds.

Both the CanoScan D1230UF and the CanonScan D2400UF boast a built-in large format film adapter that allows users to scan 35mm, medium format and 4x5-inch slides, transparencies and negatives. Dual-scan buttons, for regular scanning or film scanning, on the scanners' lids allow for ease-of-use operation. In addition, these two scanners use a new lens developed by Canon's world-class R&D team. The Galileo-class Lens system is a larger lens that creates brighter illumination, up to 2.7 times brighter, than other scanners in its class. This Canon lens technology allows more light to the CCD for faster, higher quality scanning.

While both new CanoScan models have built-in USB capability providing PC and Mac users easy connectivity and compatibility, USB can slow down file transfers compared with other technologies such as Firewire. Canon has addressed this by creating its new Data Compression Transfer technology that allows for scanning times that are 30 percent faster than previous CanoScan scanner models. After the scanner digitizes the scanned image, Data Compression Transfer technology automatically compresses the data in the scanner and then completely restores it when the file is opened on the user's system - all without losing any image information. This allows users, especially graphics professionals, to work with larger image files with greater confidence than ever before.

The CanoScan D2400UF offers 2400x4800 dpi up to 9600x9600 dpi for ultra high-resolution color scans. With 48-bit internal/external scanning, this scanner model can create a color gamut of over 281 trillion possible colors - the most colors for any scanner. In addition to its high-resolution scanning capability, Canon has created another imaging technology breakthrough to improve scanned image quality for its CanoScan 2400UF customers -- FARE (Film Automatic Retouching and Enhancement) technology. This technology feature offers users the ability to automatically conduct professional retouching right on their desktop - removing scratches, dust and other imperfections that appear on the original image helping to create a more pristine scan. By using an infrared light source in the film adapter in addition to the white light source, FARE interpolates the data to fill in the blemishes found on the original image.

The CanoScan D1230UF offers 1200x2400 dpi resolution with a 48-bit internal and 42-bit external scanning capability. Both the CanoScan 1230UF and CanoScan 2400UF scanners will ship in April with estimated street prices of $299* and $499* respectively.




02-12-2001

Epson Introduces an All-Star Graphics Desktop Printer for Professional Designers and Advanced Digital Image Artists

ORLANDO, Fla.--Feb. 12, 2001-- EPSON Stylus Pro 5500 Offers Graphics Professionals a Winning Combination of Long Lasting Images, Higher Resolution, Faster Output and Unsurpassed Image Quality

It's the most advanced EPSON ink jet printer to date with a winning combination of features engineered to meet the needs of the most demanding professional graphics users.

Epson America Inc. today announced a new 13-inch wide format, high-end ink jet printer -- the EPSON Stylus(R) Pro 5500 -- designed to create exhibit-quality prints and eliminate the costly need for interim analog proofing.

Featuring up to 2880 x 720 dpi resolution, variable-sized three-picoliter droplets and photographic quality output, this new printer provides photographers and digital fine artists the perfect desktop printing solution for creating high resolution images up to 13 inches in width at extremely high speeds and intensely detailed output.

Furthermore, the EPSON Stylus Pro 5500 uses Epson's advanced pigmented inks on a large array of professional photography and proofing media that can resist fading for generations.

"The EPSON Stylus Pro 5500 represents an outstanding investment for graphic artists, professional photographers and other creative professionals who are looking for a cost-effective way to produce photo-lab quality prints that can be sold in addition to giving designers a tool that's perfect for tasks such as comping and pre-press proofing," said Mark Radogna, senior product manager, professional graphics, Epson. "The EPSON Stylus Pro 5500 represents the most technologically advanced printer to ever display the EPSON logo."

One of the Stylus Pro 5500's most advanced features is its high-speed output. In about three and a half minutes, the printer can blast out a high-quality letter size (8.5 x 11-inch) photograph that is superior in image quality to its predecessor the Stylus Pro 5000. The printer can match the quality of a chemistry-based letter size photo in about five and a half minutes and even surpass that level of image quality in approximately 11 minutes (using the highest resolution level).

Epson's award-winning Micro Piezo(R) DX3(TM) print head technology enables the Stylus Pro 5500 to place extremely precise and now variable-sized droplets of ink on a wide array of media for ultra-sharp resolution and high print-to-print consistency.

The printer's innovative six-color, high-capacity, six-cartridge inking system (cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan, light magenta and black) now uses six heads with 96 nozzles to create intensely detailed photographic output on a wide array of media, while maximizing the efficiency of ink use. The quick-drying ink system also makes it possible to manually handle prints immediately after exiting the printer without the risk of smudging.

As the level of print quality continues to rise for professional graphic artists, so does the need to preserve images against time and the elements. Epson continues to address this issue by equipping the Stylus Pro 5500 with EPSON Archival(TM) Ink technology -- a breakthrough in chemical engineering that enables prints to last for generations without fading or damage caused by light or moisture.

This pigment-based ink system is designed to deliver a color gamut that rivals dye inks and gives users the ability to create heirloom-quality prints on a wider range of media than standard dye-based ink.

Epson is also launching a new line of cut sheet archival media for the Stylus Pro 5500 that includes premium luster paper, glossy photo paper, matte, semi-glossy paper, canvas, water color papers, DuPont/EPSON proofing media and many more.

Cut sheets as wide as 13 inches in width and up to 19 inches in length are easily inserted into the printer's 250-sheet feeder, which can also handle media as thick as 200-pound bond. An optional 250-sheet tray is available to increase the printer's total paper capacity up to 500 sheets.

The EPSON Stylus Pro 5500 uses the latest driver technology, offering compatibility with Macintosh OS 8.5.1 through 9.1, in addition to Microsoft's Windows 95, 98, Me, NT 4.X and 2000 operating systems. A wide selection of printer interfaces includes a USB, parallel and EPSON Type-B expansion slot standard with optional cards available for 10/100 BaseT and FireWire.

An optional Fiery Spark Professional RIP (Raster Image Processor) from Electronics for Imaging Inc. (EFI) is also available for the EPSON Stylus Pro 5500. The RIP is designed to help maximize several of the printer's advanced features combined with applications that are engineered around the needs of graphic artists, advertising agencies, fine arts studios and other professionals who create color composites and proofs for press runs.

Fiery Spark Professional also adds the benefits of advanced throughput options, job control, workflow flexibility, easy-to-create high quality graphics and presentations. Additional RIPs for the EPSON Stylus Pro 5500 will also be available from several other third-party manufacturers.

The EPSON Stylus Pro 5500 basic printing system is now available for $3,495 (estimated U.S. street price) and can be ordered through authorized Epson dealers nationwide. The optional Fiery Spark Professional RIP is available for an additional $2,995 (estimated U.S. street price).




02-12-2001

Epson Partners With Leading Camera Manufacturers to Introduce Print Image Matching, a Breakthrough in Consumer Digital Photography

ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 12, 2001-- Epson America Inc. today unveiled its revolutionary PRINT Image Matching technology that ensures digital cameras and printers work together perfectly to produce photographs that print truer-to-life than ever before.

Several leading digital camera manufacturers -- Casio Computer Co. Ltd., Konica Corp., Kyocera Corp., Minolta Co. Ltd., Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., Ricoh Co. Ltd., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. -- have partnered with Epson to incorporate PRINT Image Matching technology in their upcoming digital camera models. Epson will include PRINT Image Matching in all future photo printers.

Until now, it has been challenging to get the most accurate prints on a consistent basis when printing the same digital camera image from different software programs. This has occurred because software programs set their own unique print commands. Furthermore, while digital cameras can capture images in a wider color space, printers haven't been able to access the data because the digital camera image files were optimized for the limited computer monitor color space. Now, PRINT Image Matching-compatible printers seamlessly utilize the precise print quality instructions and color space embedded in the digital camera file, resulting in a printed image that accurately reflects the image captured through the camera lens.

"PRINT Image Matching will undoubtedly revolutionize the consumer photographic market by making it more enticing for average households to use digital as an alternative to traditional film," said Keith Kratzberg, director of photo imaging, Epson. "This technology makes it easier to get consistent digital photographic prints of incredible quality. Because the technology works by putting more control of the photographic process in the camera than ever before, PRINT Image Matching creates new opportunities for both digital camera developers and photographers."

With a growing number of people printing out their digital photos from their home printers, there is a greater demand for an easy way to optimize digital camera prints. PRINT Image Matching technology allows digital camera customers to easily and consistently produce the best quality prints. It provides a new level of control for the photographer, from the moment an image is captured to the final print. PRINT Image Matching-enabled digital cameras can control the printing conditions to ensure that the printers accurately deliver the image captured.

"PRINT Image Matching technology provides a printing solution between digital cameras and printers, providing customers with optimum image output results," said Michelle Lampmann, market research analyst, InfoTrends Research Group, Boston. "InfoTrends' digital camera user studies show that image quality and print quality are the two most important digital camera features. With the photographers intentions being captured correctly in the printed image, Epson's technology will contribute to meeting customers' expectations for quality digital photo printing."

With PRINT Image Matching technology, the digital camera manufacturer can set critical image specific parameters for printing, such as gamma level, color space, contrast, sharpness, brightness, saturation, shadow point, highlight point and color balance, to ensure optimum results for each digital camera model. The camera saves this ideal print information in each image data file. PRINT Image Matching-compatible printers then use this information when printing the image to ensure that they most accurately reproduce the image created by the camera.

Utilizing a PRINT Image Matching-enabled digital camera, the photographer simply points and shoots in automatic mode or selects an image type, like portrait, landscape, macro, scenery or sport, and snaps a picture. The print commands for photos taken in macro mode may emphasize sharpness and clarity, for example, while those taken in portrait mode could highlight soft focusing and subtle flesh tones. Additionally, the gamma setting data will reflect the original brightness of the image, while the wider color space setting of the digital camera will provide access to previously unavailable color data resulting in truer colors overall. The photographer's original intentions are automatically reflected in the printed image.

PRINT Image Matching will deliver new levels of image consistency and produce unsurpassed photo quality.

PRINT Image Matching-enabled digital cameras and EPSON Stylus Photo printers will be available by Spring 2001.




02-12-2001

FlashPoint and SANYO Align For Production Of Wireless-Capable Cameras

SAN JOSE, Calif.--Feb. 12, 2001--FlashPoint Technology, Inc., the creator of Digita(R), the underlying technology for wireless imaging, announced today that SANYO Electric Company, Ltd., one of the world's top manufacturers of digital still cameras, intends to license Digita Photivity(TM) technology to create new digital cameras compatible with FlashPoint's wireless imaging platform.

The cameras will be compatible with the wireless imaging service to be offered by Sprint PCS, which has licensed FlashPoint's Photivity platform to provide wireless imaging solutions to mobile professionals via the Sprint PCS nationwide network. Customers will be able to send images wirelessly using a SANYO digital camera connected to a Sprint PCS Internet-ready Phone and data cable.

"The SANYO relationship is a significant alliance for FlashPoint and the Photivity platform," said FlashPoint president Stephen Saylor. "With SANYO products connecting to the Photivity platform, mobile professionals will be able to choose from a wide selection of high-quality digital cameras to meet their wireless imaging needs. These cameras will be designed to function as wireless appliances, helping to make wireless photography a must-have tool for business collaboration and workflow enhancement."

"We at SANYO Fisher Company are excited by the possibilities of incorporating FlashPoint's technology in order to advance the adoption of wireless imaging in the United States," said Atsushi Kodera, group vice president of Communications and Information Technology for Sanyo Fisher Company, a division of SANYO North America Corporation, a subsidiary of SANYO Electric Co. Ltd. "The Photivity platform is quickly becoming the standard for wireless photography, as demonstrated by FlashPoint's relationship with Sprint PCS. We anticipate that, working together, we can gain significant market share in wireless Internet imaging."

"With SANYO producing digital cameras linking to the Photivity platform, Sprint PCS customers will have more device choices to wirelessly send images, once this innovative mobile service is available, via the Sprint PCS nationwide network," said Jay Highley, vice president, Business Marketing, Sprint PCS. "Being able to send pictures to a web site in real time will be a valuable productivity tool to a broad range of industries from insurance and real estate, to journalism and architectural engineering."

FlashPoint and SANYO will show a Photivity-enabled SANYO digital camera at the Photo Marketing Association conference, PMA 2001, in Orlando, Florida, February 11-14, 2001. (PMA Booth No. 1491)




02-12-2001

Applied Science Fiction Announces Incorporation of Digital ICE3 Technology in New Nikon Film Scanners

ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 12, 2001-- Applied Science Fiction, Inc., the leader in digital imaging enhancement and correction technology, announces today the implementation of its Digital ICE3(TM) technology into Nikon's three new film scanners - the Coolscan(R) IV ED, Super Coolscan(R) 4000 ED and Super Coolscan(R) 8000 ED.

Applied Science Fiction's groundbreaking Digital ICE3 technology enables photographers, graphic artists and publishers to make the best possible scanned image files from original color negatives and slides, even if there are scratches or dust on the film, the original color has faded or the images are grainy. Digital ICE3, combined with the high-speed functionality and versatility of these new Nikon desktop film scanners, provide photographers and other imaging specialists with the tools and flexibility they need to quickly create high-quality scanned images.

"By introducing these innovative film scanners, Nikon is raising the standards for high-quality, high-speed desktop scanning," said Dan Sullivan, ASF's president and CEO. "We are proud that Nikon is expanding its offering of our technology by selecting Digital ICE3 to enhance these three versatile film scanners. We are delighted that our on-going relationship with Nikon will continue to provide end users with cutting-edge solutions for enhanced digital imaging."

"Nikon was the first scanner manufacturer to introduce Applied Science Fiction's Digital ICE technology in the Super Coolscan(R) 2000 and the Coolscan(R) III film scanners in 1998," said Deborah Sauer, general manager, marketing, Consumer Digital Products for Nikon. "We are proud that in 2001, Nikon is once again revolutionizing the desktop film scanner market with these groundbreaking introductions. We are extremely pleased to be able to enhance our film scanner line by offering the first ever implementation of Applied Science Fiction's Digital ICE3 technology."

ASF's Digital ICE3 suite is a combination of ASF's Digital ICE(TM) (Image Correction & Enhancement), Digital ROC(TM) (Reconstruction Of Color) and Digital GEM(TM) (Grain Equalization Management) technologies. Scanners integrated with this trio provide professionals and photo enthusiasts with simply the best digital image possible, automatically.

The award-winning Digital ICE automatically removes surface defects such as dust and scratches from a scanned image. Digital ICE differentiates itself from software-only solutions because it does not soften, blur or otherwise alter any underlying details or composition of the original image. Instead, ASF's patented Digital ICE technology works from within the scanner during the scanning process to provide the user with a clear, authentic base image that improves the original image. The user does not need to learn or install any additional software to make the Digital ICE solution work.

Correcting faded color and reducing image grain has plagued professionals as a painstaking and time-consuming process. Digital ROC automatically restores an image's original colors by analyzing the base image and applying corrections to the faded colors. Using a complex set of proprietary algorithms, Digital ROC reads the dye signature in color negatives and slides and restores colors to the appropriate levels.

By analyzing and reducing the grain caused by the film emulsion, Digital GEM automatically enhances the clarity of a scanned image while preserving its colors, gradations and sharpness. Digital GEM analyzes a film's unique grain pattern pixel by pixel, extracts all data related to image quality, color and sharpness, and removes the grain from the scanned record of the image, which results in dramatically improved images.




02-12-2001

Epson Takes Photo Printing "To the Edge" With a Trio of New Epson Stylus Photo Printers

ORLANDO, Fla.--Feb. 12, 2001-- Epson America Inc., a leader in high-quality, award- winning imaging products, today announced the EPSON Stylus® Photo 780, EPSON Stylus Photo 890 and EPSON Stylus Photo 1280 ink jet printers.

This new line of printers delivers true photo-quality results and a new borderless printing feature to a variety of customers, including advanced imaging professionals. These three models replace the award-winning EPSON Stylus Photo 870 and 1270 printers. The EPSON Stylus Photo 780 is a first in the photo printing industry -- a six-color photo printer for under $200.

The EPSON Stylus Photo 780, 890 and 1280 printers feature up to 2880 x 720 dpi and Epson's Advanced Micro Piezo(TM) ink jet technology, a six-color photo ink system, creating incredible detail, beautiful skin tones, sharper contrast and an ultra-wide color range designed ideally for photography. These printers also offer "unvisible" four-picoliter droplets, delivering the best in virtually continuous tone quality for prints that are indistinguishable from traditional photos.

Additionally, all three printers include Epson's patented, new true BorderFree(TM) photo printing technology, which allows customers to print borderless photos in a variety of frame-ready, popular photographic sizes, such as 4" x 6" and 5" x 7", without unsightly perforations or the inconvenience of trimming the margins. This new borderless photo printing feature is one of Epson's exclusive paper handling capabilities optimized and developed for users of digital imaging.

The EPSON Stylus Photo 890 and 1280 will both include a newly designed roll paper holder accessory that will allow customers to print multiple 4" x 6" snapshots on 4" rolls conveniently and quickly, emulating the print delivery methods used by many of today's commercial photo labs. A roll paper holder feeds the paper through the printer, producing marginless snapshots and panoramas with reduced paper consumption. Larger images or banner signs can also be printed on 8.3" and 13" panoramic photo paper rolls. Customers can choose from up to seven different types of roll papers.

"These printers set a new standard in photo printing with their amazing image quality coupled with the convenience of borderless printing and incredible ease of use," said Fabia Ochoa, product manager, photo imaging, Epson. "Epson is continuing its commitment to developing the best photographic solutions at an affordable price for a variety of customers, ranging from novices to advanced photo enthusiasts."

Specially designed for at-home printing, the EPSON Stylus Photo 780 offers the most flexible and easy-to-use solution for true photo quality and performance at an affordable price. The printer can print right to the edge on a variety of paper sizes, including Epson's unique Borderless 4" x 6", 5" x 7" and 8" x 10" Epson photo papers, as well as traditional letter-size papers. It is ideal for families who want the ultimate photo image quality for printing, sharing and displaying their pictures.

The EPSON Stylus Photo 780 includes several bonus software programs valued up to $98, including: ArcSoft(TM) PhotoImpression 3.0, a project-based image editing application; EPSON Software(TM) Film Factory(TM), a photo management tool for organizing, beautifying and printing photos; and QBeo(TM) PhotoGenetics(TM) TE, an image enhancement tool for dramatically improving digital photos. This printer has an estimated street price of $199 ($149 after a $50 rebate).

The EPSON Stylus Photo 890 is perfect for imaging enthusiasts and photographers who want the ultimate in photo quality and printing versatility. This printer provides professional-looking borderless prints on 4" x 6" and 5" x 7" sized paper, in addition to prints on letter and panoramic sizes, yet is easy enough to use in any home or office. The print flexibility is amazing, handling 44-inch long panoramas, photo and thick weight paper stocks, as well as continuous roll printing with the included roll paper holder.

A robust selection of software applications is bundled with this printer with a combined value of more than $100, including: ArcSoft PhotoImpression 3.0; ArcSoft PhotoStudio® 2000, a complete photo enhancing and retouching program; QBeo PhotoGenetics 2.0; and EPSON Software Film Factory TE. The estimated street price of this printer is $299.

The EPSON Stylus Photo 1280 includes a wider 13-inch carriage, offering a greater selection of print sizes frequently used by professional photographers and advanced enthusiasts. This printer is the perfect tool for producing enlargements, portfolio prints, duplicates, soft proofs, match prints and general photo print projects. BorderFree printing is possible with this printer on a variety of photographic sizes, including 4" x 6," 5" x 7," 8" x 10" and letter, in addition to the capability to print borderless 11" x 14" enlargements and 13" x 44" panoramas. As with the EPSON Stylus Photo 890, this model also includes the roll paper holder for convenient, continuous edge-to-edge snapshot printing from Epson's various roll papers.

The EPSON Stylus Photo 1280 comes with special bonus software and upgrades that include Adobe® Photoshop® LE, a world-standard photo editing solution, and a special upgrade price for Photoshop 6.0 of $299 for EPSON Stylus Photo 1280 customers. An additional special discount is available for EPSON Stylus Photo 1280 customers to purchase MonacoEZColor color management system for only $199 -- an ideal solution for calibrating scanners, monitors and printers together. Additionally, the printer includes QBeo PhotoGenetics TE and EPSON Software Film Factory TE.

The EPSON Stylus Photo 1280 has an estimated street price of $499.

Professional options for the EPSON Stylus Photo 1280 include an external Ethernet card and EPSON Stylus RIP (postscript software), which will be available in April for estimated street prices of $179 and $99, respectively.

In addition to having an amazing new resolution of up to 2880 x 720 dpi and borderless printing capabilities, many of the same award-winning features of previous Epson photo printers have also been incorporated into this new line -- fast photo and text speeds, paper options for water and finger print resistance and better lightfastness(a) for framed prints. The EPSON Stylus Photo 780, 890 and 1280 printers have the fastest photo print speeds in the industry, along with fast and convenient quick drying inks for prints that are immediately dry to the touch when they are finished printing. A 4" x 6" photo prints in under a minute, an 8" x 10" in less than two minutes, and an 11" x 14" in about four minutes.




02-12-2001

Adobe unveils Photoshop Elements

By Stephen Beale (MacWeek.com)

Adobe Systems, seeking to exploit the explosive popularity of digital cameras and other imaging products, has unveiled a new mid-range version of its Photoshop image-editing software that will replace Photoshop LE. Adobe plans to demonstrate the $99 program at the Photo Marketing Association show in Orlando, which opens Sunday. PC/Windows 98, 98SE, 2000, Me and NT4 and Mac OS version 8.6, 9.0, 9.0.4, or 9.1 platforms are supported.

Unlike Photoshop LE (Limited Edition), which Adobe product manager Mark Dahm described as "Photoshop cut off at the knees," Photoshop Elements has an interface and feature set specifically geared toward mid-range users: prosumers, photo hobbyists, business people and others who deal with images, but don't need Photoshop's more-advanced prepress and Web-graphics functions. Dahm also thinks Photoshop Elements will appeal to artists who use Photoshop in the office, but want to work with files at home as well. A few features in the program, such as a new red-eye removal brush and fill flash/backlighting functions, could find their way into a future version of the full Photoshop package, Dahm said. Adobe will continue to offer PhotoDeluxe as an entry-level image-editing tool.

Photoshop Elements is limited to working in RGB and gray-scale color spaces, and lacks such features as Curves, the Channel Mixer and many of the advanced layer- blending functions in the main program. However, it does support layers, and implements Photoshop 6.0's Layer Styles through a palette in which you select the style from a visual list. It doesn't let you create layer sets, as Photoshop 6 does, but to maintain file compatibility, it will retain layer sets in imported files. Basic layer blending modes--Normal, Dissolve, Exclusion, and so on--are included.

The Photoshop Elements interface, while similar to Photoshop 6.0's, adds a Microsoft Office-style toolbar to the Tool Options bar in the main program. The palette well in Photoshop 6.0, used to store infrequently used palettes, has been moved to the new toolbar and expanded to accommodate more palettes. The program adds two new palettes designed to assist inexperienced users with common image-editing tasks: The Hints palette provides context-sensitive illustrations and tips for performing basic operations, and the Recipes palette--essentially combining Actions with tutorial information--guides you through common multistep tasks. In addition, Elements adds a Quick Start screen, which appears by default when you launch the program, allowing you to open a file, capture an image or perform other tasks to begin a project. One new feature is the ability to create a file with clipboard contents already pasted in.

Some of the tools and commands have been rearranged, with most image-editing functions now located in separate Image and Enhance menus. The former includes Rotate, Mode change, Resize and basic adjustment commands such as Invert and Posterize; the latter includes Brightness/Contrast, Variations and other commands commonly used to fix problems with color and exposure.

PhotoMerge, a stitching technology that automatically combines multiple photos, horizontally and vertically, into a single, seamless image, automatically resizing, skewing and adjusting the brightness of the merged images. It won't go ahead and create a navigable VR panorama, but stitching is often the most-tedious part of creating a panorama.

Filter Browser, a palette that visually depicts filter effects; dragging the effect to the image applies it.

An Effects Browser, which automatically applies a variety of text and image effects, such as adding textures and beveled borders.

A Red-Eye removal brush that desaturates the areas over which you paint.

File Browser, which displays thumbnails of image files in the system.

Adjust Backlighting, which darkens overexposed areas of an image while leaving other areas unaffected; and Fill Flash, which similarly adjusts underexposed areas.

A color cast tool, which automatically adjusts color cast when you click on a white point.

A Straighten and Crop command that automatically rotates a cropped image.

U.S customers can upload images to Shutterfly.com, a photo-sharing service in which Adobe is an investor.

In addition, Photoshop Elements supports Photoshop's Save for Web feature--letting you create optimized GIF and JPEG files--and retains Photoshop's History palette. Unlike Photoshop 6, which has separate commands for Undo and stepping forward/back through recent commands, Photoshop Elements combines them, so Command-Z steps you back through previous commands rather than toggling Undo/Redo. However, you can restore the traditional Undo behavior through Preferences. You cannot create Actions in Photoshop Elements, but you can use the Recipe palette to apply many Actions created in Photoshop 6.0 (the exception would be Actions that include Photoshop 6.0 features not present in Elements). Elements also provides limited batch-processing functions, allowing you to resize and rename all images in a folder, or convert them to any Photoshop-supported file format.

Photoshop Elements retains most of Photoshop 6.0's text capabilities--you can enter text directly on screen and warp it--but the Character and Paragraph palettes are gone, and you thus lose control over such features as tracking and kerning.

The software is scheduled to ship in the second quarter in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Adobe plans an aggressive retail marketing push, promoting the product at outlets such as Best Buy and Fry's with special in-store displays. "This hasn't been our classical area of expertise," Dahm admitted. However, he said that Adobe has hired new retail marketing personnel to help fill in the gaps. "We have some great experience now with the retail channel," he said.

Adobe has posted an Element's overview and several PDF files describing the program's features.





PMA 2001 News Index






Please support our sponsors, they make all of this possible

802,003,996


Content copyright © 1998-2001 Steve's Digicam Online, Inc.

The information presented here has been gathered from the manufacturers' press releases and other news sources
and is believed to be true but no warranty is made as to the general suitability or performance of these products.
We do not personally endorse any company or product described here. All trademarks, registered trademarks, and
service marks are the property of their respective owners.