PMA Expo Special Report

While we're not at PMA this year, that doesn't mean that we can't report on all the new camera introductions from the show in Orlando. Below are all the PMA-related announcements that have occured over the last week or so.

Last updated: February 17, 2001 12:40 AM


Tuesday, February 13, 2001

In an interesting development today, Kodak and Olympus announced that they have signed a cross licensing agreement designed to "expand the market for digital photography". The agreement includes the mutual cross-licensing of patented digital camera technologies. Both Kodak and Olympus hold over 1,000 patents related to digital cameras. Kodak and Olympus are working together to develop new high resolution CCDs, which Kodak will manufacture and Olympus
intends to purchase.

Both parties have agreed to work together to promote improved digital printing of images, which is expected to utilize Kodak Internet capabilities, including the Print@Kodak Internet photofinishing service and Kodak PhotoNet Online.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for these two!


Yesterday, Casio officially announced the QV-3500EX, which we reported on a few days ago. I'm having an awful hard time figuring out what's different about the QV-3500 versus the QV-3000, and this is all I could come up with:

  • Support for uncompressed TIFFs
  • Support for Epson's PRINT Matching Technology (designed to keep colors accurate between camera and printer)
  • "Best Shot" mode -- aka Scene Mode -- which was last seen on Casio's QV-2300UX.
  • Selectable ISO between 100 and 500
  • Black body vs. silver

There will be two models of the QV-3500EX. The "plus" model will include the 340MB IBM Microdrive for around $900, and there will be a basic model with a 16MB CompactFlash card for an undisclosed price. The camera ships in April.


Monday, February 12, 2001

Minolta is showing off three very interesting new cameras at PMA. They are apparently only showing them off, and not announcing them yet -- so who knows when they'll actually ship, and for how much.

Dimage S304 (shown at right)

  • 3.3 Mpixel CCD
  • 4X optical zoom, equivalent to 35 - 140mm
  • High performance AF and AE

Dimage 5 (similar to model shown below right)

  • 3.3 Mpixel CCD
  • 7X optical zoom (wow), equivalent to 35 - 250mm
  • Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)

Dimage 7 (shown at right)

  • 5.2 Mpixel CCD (holy smokes! I believe this CCD is made by Sony, by the way)
  • 2600 x 1900 resolution (!)
  • 7X optical zoom, equivalent to 28 - 200mm
  • Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)

Epson has announced three new photo printers: the Stylus Photo 780, 890 (shown at right), and 1280. All three of these printers are 2880 x 720 dpi, with 4 picoliter drop size, and 6 colors of ink. The new BorderFree photo printing technology, allows users to print borderless photos in a variety of frame-ready sizes, such as 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 inches, without perforations or margin trimming. The Stylus Photo 780 and 890 can print as large as 8 x 10 inches, while the 1280 (with it's 13-inch wide carriage) can print on 11 x 14 inch or special 13 x 44 inch panorama paper. In addition, the 890 and 1280 include a roll paper holder, to turn your printer into your own photo lab. Print speeds remain fast: under a minute for 4 x 6", under two for 8 x 10", and about four minutes for a 11 x 14". Prices are $149 (after rebate), $299, and $499 respectively. No word on when these printers will be on store shelves.


Flashpoint, SprintPCS, and Sanyo have teamed up to produce wireless-enabled digital cameras. Later this year, Sanyo will ship digital cameras that support Digita Photivity, which will allow users to transmit their photos via a SprintPCS phone.


The RCA CDS6300 is a new 2.3 Mpixel camera with a 3X optical zoom. More on this product as I get more info.


Just a few days after Lexar's announcement, SanDisk has released news on 512MB CompactFlash cards as well. The new card will ship in the Spring for $799. 384MB and 256MB cards are also available, for $599 and $399 respectively.


Sony's new DCR-TRV30 MiniDV camcorder is the industry's first digital camcorder with the ability to take 1.5 Mpixel still images. The camera (which has a 10X optical zoom) also supports MPEG movie recording, and has both USB and Firewire interfaces. The camcorder will be available in April for $1700. {press release}


While this wasn't introduced at PMA, it's still relevant: the Kodak mc3 is a combination digital camera, video recorder, and MP3 player in one. The stats:

  • Can take still photos at 640 x 480 (uses a CMOS sensor, rather than a CCD)
  • Can record video at 10 frames/sec, taking up 1MB of space for each 20 seconds of video.
  • Can also record at 20 frames/sec, taking up 1MB of space for every 4 seconds
  • Full-featured MP3 player; comes with RealJukebox for music management
  • LCD display for reviewing photos
  • Video out and USB ports
  • Ships in March for $229 with a 16MB CompactFlash card, or $299 with a 64MB card (the latter is recommended for serious MP3 use)

The eyemodule2 is a new version of the popular digital camera for the Handspring Visor PDA. The new camera, priced at $199, now features 640 x 480 resolution, and (black & white) mini-movie mode. {press release}


Sunday, February 11, 2001

Just when you thought the Digital ELPH couldn't get any cooler, Canon pulls a fast one on us. In addition to this new upgraded ELPH, there are 2 other new cameras and a printer!

Canon PowerShot S300 Digital ELPH {info, press release}

  • 2.1 Mpixel CCD (1600 x 1200 resolution)
  • 3X optical zoom lens (up from a 2X lens on the S100) -- equivalent to 35-105mm.
  • Body is slightly larger than the S100: 3.7 x 2.5 x 1.2 inches and 8.5 ounces, but still the smallest 2 Mpixel camera with a 3X optical zoom
  • Supports CompactFlash Type I cards -- still no Type II support
  • Burst mode of 2.5 frames/second
  • New movie mode (M-JPEG codec) can record as high as 640 x 480 (I think this is the first camera that can do that), but for only 4 seconds. Can also record at 320 x 240 (10 sec) and 160 x 120 (30 sec).
  • Shipping this Spring for $699 (will be known as the Digital IXUS outside of the U.S., Taiwan, and Canada)

Canon PowerShot A20 {info, press release}

  • 2.1 Mpixel CCD (1600 x 1200 resolution)
  • 3X optical zoom, equivalent to 35-105mm
  • 4.3 x 2.8 x 1.5 inches, 8.8 ounces (not a whole lot bigger than the ELPH)
  • Powered by 4 AA-sized batteries instead of expensive Li-ion batteries (that's good news)
  • Burst mode of 2.5 frames/second
  • Supports a number of conversion lenses and filters
  • Optional underwater housing will allow for use in water up to 100 feet deep
  • Video out, USB support
  • Supports CompactFlash Type I
  • Available in Spring for $599

Canon PowerShot A10 {info, press release}

  • Same as above, except 1.3 Mpixel CCD (1280 x 960 resolution)
  • Ships in Spring for $499

Canon also introduced the new CP-10 Card Photo Printer {info, press release}. Using dye-sublimation technology, the CP-10 can print credit card-sized photos in just under a minute. The printer is very small: 4.2 x 4.9 x 1.8 inches and only 18 oz. It even comes in a translucent blue case. It can directly connect to the cameras listed above for quick printing on the go. It's priced at $399 and will begin shipping this Spring.


Saturday, February 10, 2001

The Imaging Resource Page reports that Casio will announce the new QV-3500 Plus camera at the show. Here are the specs (courtesy of the IR Page):

  • 3.3 Mpixel CCD (2048 x 1536 resolution)
  • 3X optical + 4X digital zoom
  • CompactFlash Type II slot - includes a 340MB IBM Microdrive
  • Full manual controls
  • New black body -- otherwise looks identical to the QV-3000EX.
  • No word yet on pricing or availability
  • More on this when it's officially announced!

Lexar Media has announced a new 512MB CompactFlash Type I card, set to ship this summer. Lexar is already selling 256 and 320MB Type I cards. No word yet on pricing.


Sony yesterday unleashed a whopping seven new digital cameras at PMA: three new Cyber-shot models, and three new Mavicas. Take a deep breath and read on:

Cyber-shot DSC-S75 (shown at right)

  • 3.34 Mpixel CCD (2048 x 1536 resolution)
  • "Carl Zeiss" 3X optical zoom lens + 2X digital zoom
  • Shutter priority, aperture priority, and full manual control
  • MPEG movie recording with sound - up to 90 minutes on a 128MB Memory Stick!
  • 2 frame burst mode
  • 14 bit A/D converter, "providing for more accurate capture of detail"
  • Uncompressed TIFF mode
  • Variable ISO (Auto, 100, 200, 400)
  • Ships in May with an 8MB (!) Memory Stick for $699 (I must admit, an attractive price)

Cyber-shot DSC-P50 (shown at right)

  • 2.1 Mpixel CCD (1600 x 1200 resolution)
  • 3X optical zoom + 2X digital zoom
  • Body similar to popular DSC-P1 (not sure if that underwater pack will work though)
  • MPEG movie recording with sound - up to 90 minutes on a 128MB Memory Stick!
  • Uncompressed TIFF mode
  • Variable ISO (Auto, 100, 200, 400)
  • Can operate on just two AA cells for up to 60 minutes operation, or 1100 shots
  • Ships in May with an 8MB Memory Stick for $499

Cyber-shot DSC-P30 (similar to DSC-P50, shown above right)

  • 1.3 Mpixel CCD (1280 x 960 resolution)
  • 3X optical zoom + 2X digital zoom
  • MPEG movie recording with sound - up to 90 minutes on a 128MB Memory Stick!
  • Uncompressed TIFF mode
  • Variable ISO (Auto, 100, 200, 400)
  • Can operate on just two AA cells for up to 60 minutes operation, or 1100 shots
  • Ships in May with an 4MB Memory Stick for $399

Mavica MVC-FD97 (shown at right)

  • 2.1 Mpixel CCD (1600 x 1200 resolution)
  • 10X optical zoom + 2X digital zoom
  • SteadyShot optical image stabilization
  • 4X Floppy Drive
  • Memory Stick slot (no more sluggish floppy adapter)
  • Shoe for HVL-F1000 external flash
  • Electronic Viewfinder
  • Up to 60 seconds of MPEG video
  • Manual focus using focus ring
  • Shipping in March for $899

Mavica MVC-FD92 (similar to FD87, shown below right)

  • 1.3 MPixel CCD, interpolates to 1.6 Mpixel (1472 x 1104)
  • 8X optical zoom + 2X digital zoom
  • 4X Floppy Drive
  • Memory Stick slot
  • Up to 60 seconds of MPEG video
  • 2.5" LCD is your viewfinder (no optical viewfinder)
  • Shipping in March for $599

Mavica MVC-FD87 (shown at right)

  • 1.3 Mpixel CCD (1280 x 960)
  • 3X optical zoom + 2X digital zoom
  • 4X floppy drive
  • No Memory Stick slot-- you must use the floppy adapter
  • 2.5" LCD is your viewfinder (no optical viewfinder)
  • Ships this month for $499

Mavica MVC-FD75 (shown at right)

  • 350k pixel CCD (640 x 480)
  • 10X optical zoom
  • 2X floppy drive
  • No Memory Stick slot
  • 2.5" LCD is your viewfinder (no optical viewfinder)
  • Ships this month for $399 (it's nice to finally see the prices on Mavicas come down a bit)

Friday, February 9, 2001

Sipix is a new entry in the low-end digital camera market, showing off two new cameras at PMA:

SC-2100

  • 2.1 Mega Pixel
  • Six element glass lens
  • 1.8" color LCD and 2x digital zoom
  • 8MB CompactFlash Card allows users to take six 1600 x 1200 dpi "Superfine"
    images, 31 1600 x 1200 dpi images in the "Fine" high compression mode,
    or 64 images in "Economy" mode
  • Priced at $279

iQuest DualCam

  • (I assume) VGA resolution
  • Can be used as a video camera to create video mail or to make live video
    calls, as well as for flash-assisted still photography
  • Full-featured USB video camera, video conferencing camera, and digital
    camera all in one
  • Priced at $99

Tuesday, February 6, 2001

First up is a bunch of cameras from Toshiba:

PDR-M65 (introduced at CES in January)

  • 3.3 Megapixel (2048 x 1536)
  • 3X optical zoom
  • USB, SmartMedia support
  • Priced at $599

PDR-M61 (shown at right)

  • 2.3 Megapixel (1792 x 1200)
  • 3X optical zoom 38mm lens
  • "Super fast circuitry for quick start-ups and less processing time between shots"
  • USB, SmartMedia support
  • Priced at $399

PDR-M21

  • 2.1 Megapixel (1600 x 1200)
  • 2X digital zoom
  • Autofocus F3.0/F8.0 lens
  • USB, SmartMedia support
  • Priced at $349

PDR-M11

  • 1.3 Megapixel (1280 x 960)
  • Fixed focus, all-glass F2.8/F8.0 lens
  • USB, SmartMedia support
  • Priced at $249

If those entry level cameras are putting you to sleep, how about some professional cameras from Nikon? We don't really cover professional cameras here at the DCRP, so I'll be brief:

Nikon D1X

  • 5.47-megapixel CCD produces whopping 4024 x 1324 pixel images!
  • "Through interpolation it can produce 8-bit 17.7-megabyte TIFF files, and with the next Nikon Capture Version Software it will produce 16-bit 34.4-megabyte TIFF files"
  • Shoots at 3 frames/sec for up to 9 photos
  • Supports CompactFlash (Type II) and Microdrive (there are issues with the 340MB Microdrive though)
  • RS-232C interface for connection to GPS position information unit
  • Top shutter speed of 1/16000 sec and flash sync speed up to 1/500 sec
  • IEEE-1394 (Firewire) support
  • Shipping in spring for $5,500

Nikon D1H

  • 2.74 Megapixel CCD produces 2000 x 1312 pixel images
  • Can shoot as fast as 5 frames per second for up to 40 photos!
  • Supports CompactFlash (Type II) and Microdrive (there are issues with the 340MB Microdrive though)
  • RS-232C interface for connection to GPS position information unit
  • Top shutter speed of 1/16000 sec and flash sync speed up to 1/500 sec
  • IEEE-1394 (Firewire) support
  • Shipping this summer for $4,500

February 1, 2001

Fuji FinePix 6800 Zoom (shown above) {info, press release}

  • New 3.3 Mpixel SuperCCD produces images with 6 million pixels (2832 x 2128)
  • Palm-style cradle lets you easily download pictures to Mac or PC just by popping in the camera. When the camera is in the cradle, the battery is also recharged.
  • Body designed by F.A. Porsche of Porsche 911 fame
  • 3X optical zoom
  • Can take up to 30 mins of voice annotations, 80 seconds of AVI video with sound, and can also be used for videoconferencing (320 x 240, 10fps) on included 16MB SmartMedia card
  • Can take 5 shots in one second at highest resolution
  • CCD produces less noise than the FinePix 4700 it replaces (keeping in mind there's some interpolation going on here)
  • Weighs just 9.1 ounces empty
  • Shipping in April for $899

Fuji FinePix 4800 Zoom {info, press release}
Same as above, with the following changes:

  • Uses the older 2.4 Mpixel SuperCCD which produces images with 4.3 million pixels (2400 x 1800)
  • Can take 3 full resolution shots at 5 frames/sec
  • Shipping in May for $699

Fuji FinePix 2300 (shown at left) {info, press release}

  • Replaces the FinePix 1300
  • 2.1 Megapixel (regular) CCD produces 1600 x 1200 images
  • 2.5X digital zoom (640 x 480 only)
  • USB support
  • 1.6" LCD and optical viewfinder
  • Includes 8MB SmartMedia card
  • Ships in April for $279

 

 

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