Now Accepting Credit Cards / Promotional Specials
We are now accepting all major credit cards in payment for our Professional Photographic Digital Services.  Be sure to inquire about our high quality Film Recorder Services and Printing Services (including Dye Sub).  We are running several specials at this time including 8" x 10" Kodak Dye Sub prints for $10.00 (normally $18.00).  If you have several prints to make from your images, you may want to consider having traditional film negatives made (Film Recorder Service).  By doing so, you can have your digital images printed at any photo lab.  This represents significant savings where volume printing is concerned.  Currently, we are offering a 24 images (35mm film) for $75 or 36 images for $100 (does NOT apply to slide film).   For even higher quality enlargements (over 8" x 10"), we can output to 6x7 (medium format) film.  Also, we are currently offering free second day express shipping on orders over $150.00.  Most image files can simply be e-mailed for prompt processing/printing.   Call or e-mail for more details.  Please note, these specials are subject to ending at any time without notice.

October 29,2000

Canon AF Mount Lens Resolution Evaluation
We have posted several side by side images comparing the relative sharpness of several Canon AF Mount lenses.  It turned out to be a very educational experience for us.   Knowing the specific characteristics of these lenses is helpful in selecting the most appropriate for the job at hand.  For close-up portrait work, sometimes the sharpest is not the most desirable.  Check out the report here.  The results speak for themselves.

September 19, 2000

NEW!!  Kodak Professional DCS Pro Back

Kodak DCS Pro Back

Today, Kodak announced the latest addition to their Professional DCS Camera lineup, the DCS Pro Back.  This is the first capture device that uses the recently announced 16 megapixel square format chip developed and marketed by Kodak.  The chip, measuring 36.86mm x 36.86mm is essentially the size of a 35mm film frame's long axis, squared.   But large file sizes (48MB) are not the limit to this exciting new product.   This is the first digital capture back that incorporates:
  -  Its own LCD preview screen (also offers one handed 90 degree tilt-up for waist level operation)
  -  Built-in spot meter and focus check features (via LCD screen)
  -  Internal rechargeable batteries (or powered through the IEEE-1394 Firewire cable - no additional power cables necessary)
  -  Internal PC card storage media (or tethered operation via Firewire)
  -  ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) sensor base material for improved blue channel sensitivity
  -  Removable Infrared/Anti-Aliasing filter (also featuring digital anti-aliasing technology)

In addition, the DCS Pro Back offers:
  -  ISO 100
  -  Capture rate of one 48MB image every two seconds
  -  Buffer capable of storing up to eight images before pausing to write to disk (or tethered computer)
  -  Stand alone software (not a Photoshop plug-in) known as DCS Capture Studio Software (version 1.5)

This software is initially available for the Macintosh platform only, but will be available for Windows in the future.  It is said to have a "greatly simplified workflow" and is ICC savvy.

The camera is currently compatible with the Hasselblad 555 ELD and the Mamiya RZ film cameras.  Down the road, Kodak will offer interfaces for "a wide range of medium and large format camera systems."

The DCS Pro Back is scheduled to be available during the first quarter of 2001.  The price has not yet been released at this time.  Click Here for the full Kodak Press Release.

September 6, 2000

Getting Back To Business!
The anticipated painful experience of upgrading our PC (where this web site is managed from) to a new Dell Computer is nearly complete.  So far, this has been one of the easiest changeovers that I have ever done.  I was a bit apprehensive due to the new operating system (Windows ME) and the extensive number of devices that are attached to this system, but no real problems have presented themselves so far.  This has gone almost as smooth as working with our Macs!  I really can't say enough good things about the great service/product that I received through Dell Computers.  Be sure to check out the Dell Small Business Deals for some significant values/savings/specials.

Minolta Dimage Scan Multi II Film Scanner
Minolta has introduced the Dimage Scan Multi II film scanner.  It offers all the same features of the original Scan Multi (35mm, APS, Medium Format film up to 6x9).   The new improvements of the Scan Multi II are all software driven.  They include the "Ice" technology for dust and scratch management, multi sampling scanning technology for noise reduction, and now 2,820dpi input resolution for Medium Format film!  Since these feature enhancements are software driven, users of the original Scan Multi can upgrade to the Scan Multi II by purchasing a CD with the new drivers/software.  The cost for this disk is $111.95 through the Minolta Parts Department.  The part number is Pt# 2883430.  The direct phone number is (201) 236-4218.  We ordered our copy this week and expect it to arrive within the next few days.  Save this ordering information since we have beaten Minolta to getting it on the web! (with some significant leg work!)

We were misinformed about the Minolta Scan Multi II software including the "Ice" technology.  The added features are for managing film grain and managing faded color from old film.  Nothing new for dust and scratch management though.

Camera Bits Introduces Quantum Mechanic Pro for Windows
Well, sort of!  Once again, we have beaten the maker to the web with information about their own product!  Dennis Walker of Camera Bits sent me this direct URL link for downloading Quantum MechanicTM Pro for Windows (Click Here).   The Windows version of Quantum MechanicTM Pro offers all the same features of the Mac version including Auto Contrast Adjustment, Low-Radius Luminance Sharpening, Luminance De-speckling, and more!  The download is good for 20 days or 20 uses.  The purchase price is $189 which also includes "Band Aide" for Windows.

June 8, 2000

Camera Bits Introduces "Band Aide" for the Nikon D1
Dennis Walker has added a new product to the excellent lineup over at along with Quantum MechanicTM and Photo MechanicTM.   The latest offering is called "Band Aide" and was designed with the Nikon D1's high ISO pitting and banding artifacts in mind.  Here is the "official" description:

Band Aide is an Adobe Photoshop filter plug-in that reduces or eliminates the "pitting" and "banding" noise that occurs in high ISO photos from the Nikon D1 digital camera. At ISO settings of 800 or higher, the Nikon D1 produces photos that are (understandably) very noisy. This noise appears as both high frequency "pitting" noise, and as low frequency "bands" or lines that that streak across the entire width of the frame. Often times the bands are actually composed of the high frequency "pitting" noise.

If you zoom-in to a 800+ ISO Nikon D1 photo at high magnification in Photoshop, you will see areas that have a regular pattern of dark and light pixels at alternating pixels. We call this "pitting" or pattern noise. When sharpening is later applied, the pitting noise is amplified and becomes white speckles. This noise is difficult to remove in Photoshop without loosing sharpness or image detail. Band Aide removes most or all of the pitting noise, without loosing image detail, so that subsequent sharpening doesn't produce the white speckles. Band Aide will also reduce the bands that are composed of the high frequency pitting noise.

The good (better) news is that Band Aide is available at no additional charge for registered owners of Quantum MechanicTM Pro.   Otherwise, it is a $99 license.  Incidentally, I spoke to Dennis two days ago and he indicated that Quantum MechanicTM Pro will soon be available for the Windows platform (it is out in beta testing at this time while the Windows version of Moiré EraserTM is being written).

The filter interface features the familiar "Filter Amount" and "Zoom" sliders and the Overview button.  There are three levels of intensity to choose from, "Weak (Low Noise)", "Medium", and "Strong (High Noise)".  In addition, there is a "Auto Contrast Range" option.  Essentially, this is a smart blurring tool that has been taught to attack luminance speckling and color banding.  Overall, I have found it to be quite effective for its intended purpose.  It should also be noted that this filter does do well with removing/reducing high ISO luminance speckling found in Kodak Professional cameras.

At this time, Band Aide is only available for the Mac platform (a Windows version should be released soon). 

Kodak DCS Firmware Version 3.2 On Its Way
The latest target release date for the Kodak Professional DCS firmware v3.2 is June 15th, 2000 along with v5.9.2 host software.  Once again, Kodak experienced some delays due to Microsoft and Apple changes to the Firewire standard.  In the mean time, v5.9.1 host software will ship with the DCS-620x camera.  This version of firmware/software will allow direct Cellular support/transmission and will feature a new camera (firmware) switch for applying host software sharpening upon acquire (gone is the "Antialiasing Filter Removed" message in the host software info box).  And, of course, the PC Notebook/DCS Camera Firewire connectivity will finally be licked!   For those interested in utilizing the Cellular transmission feature, there will be a "nominal" fee to activate this feature (with a serialized firmware key).   Also included in this fee will be a "kit" containing a serial cable packet and a replacement battery compartment door (allows the door to be closed with the serial cable attached).  As of now, the cost has not been determined.

May 30, 2000

Adobe Photoshop 6.0 Sneak Peak
UPDATE: 6-19-00
Apple Insider has removed the preview by "Demand of Adobe Legal"
Check out the Apple Insider preview (complete with screen shots) of the next generation of Adobe Photoshop.  It is said to be "due out sometime later this year".

"Photoshop 6, which is said by Adobe to be one of the most exciting releases to come out of the company in years, has recently turned Beta and gained all around stability. Code-named 'Venus in Furs,' the new release, like Photoshop 5.5, will ship complete with a new version of Adobe Image Ready." 


May 29, 2000

Bibble Software for Mac Now Available
The first public test version of Eric Hyman's Bibble software for Macs is now available, click here.   Quoting Eric's recent post on an Internet forum,

"At this point in its life, MacBibble, might crash frequently, corrupt your display, generate incorrect results, or force you to reboot the hard way. If this is unacceptable to you, please stop reading now and wait for a more stable version later.  Now, if your still with me:
At this point in time, many of MacBibble's features are disabled in the Mac version. This test version will allow you to read .nef files only, and save them as jpgs, or tiffs. It is a standalone program and does *not* include a photoshop plugin. I wanted to release a test to make sure it works on machines other than my own, as well as to get feedback on the way the program is laid out before setting everything in stone. If all goes well the rest of MacBibbles features and the plugin will follow over the next couple of weeks."

Epson Announces the Upcoming Photo Stylus 2000P Printer
Yet another addition to the Epson printer lineup is the new 2000P.  Some of the main features are:
- 13" Paper Handling
- Specially Formulated Pigment Based Inks
- Over 200 Years Without Fading (under specific display conditions)
- Estimated Street Price of $899
- Availability Starting In Mid July
- Click Here For Full Details

Nikon Announces a New 14mm/f2.8 AF Lens for the D1
This new lens features a focal length equivalent of about 22mm when used with the D1 (due to the 1.55x lens multiplier factor).  It accepts rear filters, stops down to f22, has a 114 deg. field of view, and has one ED glass and two aspherical lens elements (14 elements in 12 groups). The price will be $1,950 and will begin shipping in July 2000.

Scitex announces new Leaf C-MOST technology -Over six mega pixel CMOS sensor
Thanks to Rob Galbraith and John Mabanglo for pointing out this item:

Herzlia, January 10, 2000 - Scitex Corporation Ltd. today revealed that it is completing development of the innovative Leaf C-MOST™, active pixel CMOS sensor. The company released details of its patent pending technological breakthrough, a 6.6 Mega Pixel CMOS sensor in a unique, ultra-thin package. This is the first full-size, 35mm CMOS sensor to be commercially developed.

The Leaf C-MOST 6.6 Mega Pixel sensor is another technological breakthrough for Scitex Input Systems Division. In 1986 this Scitex division pioneered the first flatbed, CCD color scanner, and in 1992 it presented the Leaf DCB, the first film quality, digital camera back for professional studio photography.

The company embarked on the sensor project in order to develop future products to complement its CCD based Leaf line of camera backs for professional digital photography. The project yielded the new Leaf C-MOST sensor which presents key advantages over existing CCD and CMOS sensor technologies.

With its unique, ultra thin packaging the Leaf C-MOST sensor can be positioned in the focal plane of a standard 35mm camera, allowing full-size, high resolution images to be captured using standard 35mm lenses. The Leaf C-MOST sensor provides exceptional image quality when compared to other CMOS sensors due to the unique active pixel design, and its high sensitivity and low noise levels are comparable to CCD technology currently available.

Scitex also affirmed that Leaf devices incorporating the Leaf C-MOST sensor are expected in the future to offer cost effective digital imaging alternatives to CCD based devices.

John Cowley Posts Kodak Professional DCS-620x Pictures
Be sure to check out John Cowley's high ISO (and high quality) 620x images over at Lonestar Digital.  Also, if you have not yet seen my samples, click here.  This camera is sure to be a winner for applications where high ISO is needed.


May 17, 2000

Phil Askey Post a Hands-on Look at the Upcoming Canon EOS-D30
Be sure to check out Phil's preview of the upcoming Canon EOS-D30 SLR digital camera.  According to Phil, the EOS-D30 features:

-  3.11 Megapixel effective (2,160 x 1,440)
-  Canon APS sized CMOS sensor
-  EF lens mount
-  1.6x focal length multiplier
-  3+ fps up to 8 images
-  CF Type I / II, Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (and optional battery pack)
-  Type II CompactFlash Media

It is scheduled for availability in September 2000.  The price: $2,700.


May 15, 2000

Kodak Announces the DCS-620x Professional Digital Camera
Kodak Professional has announced the new DCS-620x digital camera.  As its name suggests, it is a DCS-620 with a very exciting enhancement!  The DCS-620 offers a user selectable ISO of 200 - 1600.  The new DCS-620x offers a user selectable ISO of 400 - 6400.  I have been shooting several images and evaluating the performance of this upcoming entry to the Professional Digital Camera lineup.  In short...IMPRESSIVE!  Click here to read my full, hands-on review of the DCS-620x.  Click here for Kodak's official announcement.   Click here for Kodak's Question and Answer page.
Update: May 16, 2000 - Kodak has updated their product pages with more DCS-620x information and comparisons (including downloadable image files).


May 12, 2000

Kodak Notebook/Firewire Solution is Near
The last few weeks have finally brought a long awaited solution to the ongoing challenge of getting the Kodak Professional DCS cameras to "talk" to PC notebook computers.  Back on the 9th of April, I received an e-mail from a new DCS-620 user named Jaye Muller stating that he was able to successfully connect his camera to a Sony VAIO Z505 notebook running Win98se with no problems!  This was the first report of a successful PC notebook connection via Firewire that I had come across.   Given the full specifications (software, firmware, hardware, etc.) I was unable to duplicate Jaye's success with my DCS-520 and Sony VAIO F270 (or my RATOC PC Firewire Cardbus).  Other users started reporting similar success with their Kodak Firewire cameras (mainly DCS-620s).

Shortly after this, I plugged a DCS-620 (running firmware 1.9.6) into my Sony VAIO notebook and found, much to my surprise, that it worked perfectly with the Kodak TWAIN Module and PC Event Software!  Without changing a thing, I unplugged the DCS-620 and plugged-in the DCS-520 (running firmware 3.0.14) only to find that is still did not work.   I attempted to downgrade the firmware all the way down to version 1.6.7 (with several versions between) but could not get the DCS-520 to properly communicate with the notebook.

Since then, I have been beta testing the upcoming version 3.2 firmware for the DCS-520.   As of this writing, all of the major bugs have been worked out as the firmware comes very close to release.  The firmware does allow the DCS-520 to fully communicate with the PC notebook perfectly (Kodak TWAIN and PC Event).  Note: there is one minor workaround with PC Event which I will discuss after the firmware is officially released, if the bug still exists.  This successful connection is based on using the RATOC PCMCIA Firewire card for PC notebooks.  As of this writing, the built-in  Sony i-Link connector still does not allow proper communication (although, that was the basis for the successful connection of the DCS-620).  Kodak's Jay Kelbley assures me that a Host Software update will remedy that final problem (still being worked on as of this writing).

Kodak PC Event/PC Pro Version 3.50
On March 26th, I reported the following regarding PC Event version 3.49 software:

6.  The only "downfall" to version 3.49 is the missing 5" x 7" hold/timer for media conservation.  If you are using an 8" x 10" printer such as the 8650, 8660, or 8670, this feature held single 5" x 7" images for up to 10 minutes or until a second 5" x 7" was sent for printing.  This was quite handy for media conservation (eliminates wasting 1/2 sheet for a single 5" x 7").  Gregory Knope from Kodak assures me that this feature will be once again included in near-future updates.  In the mean time, there is a "manual" work-around.  Select 2-up from the options.  This brings an additional page printing option (composite).  You need to manually hold a single 5" x 7" back until a second is available upon which time you select the composite page and send both 5" x 7" images to the printer.  The timer is replaced by your anxious customer reminding you that they have been waiting too long!

On April 20th, I received the version 3.50 update which fully took care of the above concern.  Once again, the update installed flawlessly.  The only limitation at this time is that this version does not support Windows 2000.

Epson 1270 Printer
I have received the Epson 1270 printer and can happily report that all of the user feedback and reviews are "right-on".  Whisper quiet, fast, beautiful resolution and durable prints are some of the key attributes of this excellent printer.   I really can't add too much more to the already excellent reviews which I linked from this page.  If you are think about buying one, go for it!  You won't regret it.

Epson Ink Cartridge "Killer Chip" Reset Rumor
On April 2nd., I made reference to the embedded electronic chip that Epson has placed into their ink cartridges that prevents the cartridge from being refilled/reused.   There was a recent rumor of a "trick" to reset the chip (pull the plug of the printer while turned on).  MIS attempted to duplicate this method without success.  Click here for more details.  Personally, I would much rather see more paper selections made available through third party suppliers (while maintaining/exceeding the archival properties of the Epson materials).

Qimage Pro Version 8.02 Now Available
Mike Chaney's must-have Nikon D1 software now features the following updates:

Changes in Version 8.0:

  • For those of you who have experienced the "Incorrect parameter" error while using the batch filter, this was actually an "out of memory" error caused by a significant memory leak in the batch filtering process. Although the memory would ultimately be released upon exiting Qimage Pro (unless you ran out before exiting), memory usage would increase in older versions the more you accessed the batch filter (or the more images you processed with it). The problem, which related to Windows not honoring memory "free" requests due to a bug in Qimage Pro's memory locking mechanism, has been fixed in v8.0. The new version has been tested with various Windows "memory sniffers" on all three operating systems, so this latest version has been verified as completely "clean" with respect to memory management and is a must-have for all Qimage Pro users.

  • Since some batch filtering operations can take a significant amount of time to run, the "Filter Application" window has been changed from "StayOnTop" to the "Normal" mode so you can do other things with your PC while Qimage Pro is processing images.

  • The "Save Page" option on the main screen had a bug that caused saved TIF files to have no decimal between the name and the "TIF" extension. This bug has been fixed in v8.0.

  • The "Shadow Clip" default for Nikon D1 NEF decoding was changed from 0.3 to 1.5 percent. No other changes have been made to the Nikon D1 NEF decoder. The new value will result in images that have a bit more contrast or "pop" and less of a dull look. Note that this is only a change to the default values. You can always change these values to suit your needs

Canon SLR Digicam "Official" Announcement
Rumor has it that on May 17th, Canon will be officially announcing the details of the SLR type digital camera shown at PMA 2000 in February.

New Digital Wedding Photography Internet Forum
Be sure to check out Jeff Caplan's new Internet forum designed specifically for digital wedding photography.  It is only about a week old and already has over 135 posts from various participants.  Lots of interesting issues/discussions for those involved in digital wedding photography (or digital photography itself).  Click here to go there.

IBM Microdrive Issues
If you have, or are thinking about getting an IBM Microdrive storage card, be sure to read Rob Galbraith's May 6th. entry of Rob's Diginews for interesting user feedback (including Rob himself). 

D1 Custom Function Cheat Sheet
Also in the May 6th. entry of Rob's Diginews is a handy downloadable PDF file containing a microscopic cheat sheet for the Nikon  D1.   It is designed to fit into the inside of the LCD display protective cover.  It makes setting the top ten (of 31 total) custom features of the D1 a whole lot more feasible (without having to pull out the manual every time).


April 27, 2000

Nikon Coolpix 990 Cameras Have Started Shipping In The USA
The anxiously awaited Nikon 990 has started shipping to stores for sale in the US.  Expect the "street price" to be in the $850 to $995 range IF you can find one available for the upcoming few weeks!

Epson Photo Stylus 1270 Review by Michael Reichmann
Michael Reichmann has posted another excellent review of the Epson 1270 on his web site:
He was the recipient of one of approximately 1,000 units that was erroneously shipped with the Epson 870 driver disk so he cautions buyers to check their boxes before leaving the store and starting on a frustrating journey!  In his head to head (print head, that is) comparison to the 1200, he too notes the significant improvement in quietness.  He was pleased with the perfect color balance upon printing the first picture using the standard profiles!  Several print to print comparisons are detailed, as well.

When printing on glossy stock, Michael notes a magenta color shift that disappears after about 10 minutes.  The matte stock does not exhibit this shift in color.  Be sure to judge the print color after 10 minutes when printing on glossy stock.

Michael also mentions that there is no apparent color cast on B&W prints like most ink jet printers have.  He outlines some excellent suggestions for PhotoShop tweaks for optimum print quality.

In closing his article, he gives a sneak peak at the upcoming Epson 1270 UPGRADE model!!   The Epson 7000 series printer will have the same quality as the 1270, but will handle 24" paper.  The expected price is "under $4,000 U.S."  Yet another variation of the 7000 series will offer pigment based ultra archival inks that Epson will rate at 100+ years!

Fuji Backs Off File Resolution Rating of the FinePix 4700
Fuji has removed the "4.3 Million Pixel" label from their FinePix 4700 camera and related marketing materials.  The image resolution is now stated to be 2.4 megapixels.  It would seem that they were taking too much heat over stating the interpolated  file size that the camera produces rather than the actual CCD pixel array size.  Fuji had defended this marketing strategy since they have introduced their newly designed octagonal shaped pixel CCD known as the Super CCD.  Since the upcoming FinePix S1 was marketed with the same tactics, one would think that we can expect to see the same type of adjustment to the resolution figures.


April 2, 2000

Kodak Releases Version 5.9.0 Host Software for Professional DCS Cameras
Kodak has posted another update to their DCS Acquire Software.  The only significant change that I have seen is an update to the color noise algorithm that produces a cleaner blue channel.  Although it is better than previous versions, it still is not always as effective and controllable as Quantum Mechanic.  However, for most situations where color channel noise becomes objectionable, v5.9.0 does make a notable improvement.   It is important that version 3.0.9 (or newer) DCS camera firmware be used with this update in order to realize this improvement.  Using older versions of the camera firmware will produce poor results.  I (and many other DCS users) am still anxiously awaiting the update that will finally allow the Firewire connected DCS cameras to "talk" to PC Notebooks (while tethered via Firewire).  The last projection that I heard was April.   Soon, very soon (I hope).

Nikon Plans to Bundle Genuine Fractals With the Upcoming Coolpix 990 Camera
BURBANK, Calif.--March 30, 2000--Building upon an established relationship, Nikon and Altamira Group Inc. have reached an agreement to bundle Altamira Genuine Fractals limited-edition software with Nikon's new, top-of-the-line Coolpix 990 digital camera, which is slated for shipment in April of this year.

"The Coolpix 990 is designed to put the best in digital photography into the hands of the serious photographer," said Bill Giordano, national marketing manager of Nikon's Digital Imaging Products. "Our agreement with Altamira plays an important part in delivering on this promise. With Genuine Fractals, the output of enlarged files is virtually indistinguishable from its source."

The Coolpix 990 CCD captures 3.34 megapixels or 9 MB of true noninterpolated image resolution at 2048 x 1536 pixels, which would produce an 8x10 inch print at 200 dpi. The Altamira Genuine Fractals 2.0 LE software included in the bundle enables users of the Coolpix 990 to save images as resolution-free files that can be enlarged well beyond their original size with unmatched fidelity to the original. For example, the above-mentioned 8x10 image can be reproduced as a 20x27 inch print without compromising image quality.

Users of the Coolpix 990 are eligible to purchase the full version of Genuine Fractals for a special discounted price. The full version of Genuine Fractals 2.0, the award-winning file format plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop®, is the only software on the market that is able to encode photographic quality images as scalable, reusable assets, which can be rendered to any size or resolution without sacrificing image quality.

Nikon Announces $100 Rebate on the Purchase of a New Coolpix 950 Between now and June 30, 2000
MELVILLE, N.Y., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- What better way to celebrate the spring season than a $100 rebate from Nikon? Beginning April 1, Nikon will offer $100 rebate on its 2.11 megapixel, 3x optical zoom Coolpix 950. Currently priced at $899 MSRP, consumers can now save an additional $100 on this award-winning consumer digital camera. 
To qualify for Nikon's outstanding rebate, buyers must simply obtain an application provided by authorized Nikon dealers nationwide or download it from Nikon's website at Once completed, mail in the application with proof of purchase.  Customers will then receive a rebate check from Nikon Inc. in the amount of $100.  The rebate program starts April 1 and extends through June 30.  All rebate applications must be postmarked to Nikon no later than July 15, 2000.
"The Coolpix 950 has been rated #1 by a leading product testing organization and has won numerous highly prestigious industry awards," states Joe Carfora, general manager of national account sales for Nikon digital products. "We are offering a rebate on the Coolpix 950 just in time for vacationers, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and high school and college graduates.  A rebate is a great way to get the word out that this is the camera to buy right now."
The award-winning Coolpix 950 camera was the first digital camera to break the two-megapixel resolution standard to create vastly superior images, while taking digital enlargements to the 11" x 14" realm.  It is faster, more responsive, more technologically innovative, simpler to use and even smaller than its predecessors.   Images captured by its 3x Nikkor zoom lens on the 2.11 megapixel, 1/2 inch CCD can be saved in an uncompressed TIFF format plus three JPEG compression modes. It also offers two-second boot-up, and Nikon's exclusive Matrix metering system and precision focus.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Version 5.0 Now Available for Macs
Be sure to download this free update to your Mac for a new look and feel to the Internet.   Microsoft Outlook Express Version 5.02 is also available as well.

Epson Embeds Chip Into Photo 1270 Printer Ink Cartridges
Prevents Refilling or Using Third Party Inks
This point should be noted by those that prefer to have a wider selection of inks/papers for their ink jet printers.  Epson has placed an electronic chip into the ink cartridges for the new 1270 (and 870) printers that "kills" the cartridge once it is empty.  Although a work-around is technically feasible, there may be legal issues at hand, as well.  Click here for a MIS Associates (third party ink/paper supplier) recent write-up.

Qimage Pro Keeps Improving!
Version 7.8 offers:

  • Better management of dynamic range improves Nikon D1 NEF image quality and ensures maximum detail using Qimage Pro's super accurate "D1 color correction".

  • NEF decoder now 20% faster.

  • Extended EXIF info now available for Nikon D1 (both NEF and JPG images).


March 26, 2000

Kodak PC Event/PC Pro Update Now Available - Part II
Allows Use with DCS-5xx/6xx Version 3.0.9 Firmware
I have loaded and tested the latest version of PC Event software (version 3.49) and am happy to report that it loaded and functioned perfectly!  This is quite refreshing is this sometimes frustrating world of digital imaging (hardware/software conflicts, performance loss, etc.).  The installation process was very turnkey.  The updater file that was provided to me actually produces two floppy disks for installation/updating.  Nothing terribly technical, at all.  Just follow the installer wizard and watch it do its thing! 

Upon initial testing, I noticed a few changes:
1.  First of all, version 3.49 now fully supports version 3 firmware (DCS-5xx and DCS-6xx series cameras).  It is no longer necessary to revert back to previous versions of the camera(s) firmware to use PC Event.

2.  The log viewer is now accessible from within PC Event itself.  In previous versions, the log viewer was a separate program.  The log is a utility that keeps a record of prints produced (by hour, day, month) along with other details such as which borders was selected, if any.

3.  The Portrait/Product look option is now available from within PC Event.  The default selection is Product (just like the Kodak Acquire Module).  Selecting the Portrait look reduces the contrast of the image.  The quick shortcut to this option is right clicking on the preview image.

4.  PC Event version 3.49 is no longer limited to four printers.

5.  It is now possible to close the program with the standard windows "X" box (upper right corner of the window).  In previous versions, this button did not function.  It was necessary to hit the F12 key to close the program (still works in version 3.49).

6.  The only "downfall" to version 3.49 is the missing 5" x 7" hold/timer for media conservation.  If you are using an 8" x 10" printer such as the 8650, 8660, or 8670, this feature held single 5" x 7" images for up to 10 minutes or until a second 5" x 7" was sent for printing.  This was quite handy for media conservation (eliminates wasting 1/2 sheet for a single 5" x 7").  Gregory Knope from Kodak assures me that this feature will be once again included in near-future updates.  In the mean time, there is a "manual" work-around.  Select 2-up from the options.  This brings an additional page printing option (composite).  You need to manually hold a single 5" x 7" back until a second is available upon which time you select the composite page and send both 5" x 7" images to the printer.  The timer is replaced by your anxious customer reminding you that they have been waiting too long!

I also noted a couple of other improvements:
On my systems, the image preview speed has improved from seven seconds to five seconds (DCS-520 tethered via IEEE-1394 Firewire).  It is unclear at this time just what attributes to this speed improvement (firmware, acquire module, firewire drivers, PC Event software, etc.).  According to Gregory Knope of Kodak, nobody else has reported gains in the time to acquire with PC Event version 3.49.

Also, the preview seems clearer on my systems.  With previous versions of PC Event, there was certain situations where the preview showed moiré or lack of sharpness/details but the print looked perfect.  I tried reloading those same images with version 3.49 and found that they appeared fine now.  According to Mr. Knope of Kodak, the preview resolution of version 3.49 is the same as previous versions.

Qimage Pro Version 7.7 Offers Further Improvements
Version 7.7 now allows specification of an image output folder when converting/filtering images.
Improvements to the D1 raw file decoder include significant color correction improvements, user selectable auto-level clipping, and a 10% increase in speed.

Version 7.7 offers the following:

  • When you choose to convert or save filtered images when using the batch filter, older versions of Qimage Pro would always save the converted/filtered images in the same folder as the originals with a {Q} prefix added to the file name. Version 7.7 allows you to continue using this method (just leave the output folder name blank), but if you like, you can now specify an existing folder or a new folder name. When the image(s) are converted, the converted files will be saved in the folder that you specify.

  • When saving converted/filtered images in JPEG format, Qimage Pro now remembers the JPEG quality (compression amount) that you last used.

  • In addition to a slight increase in load speed (about 10%), the Nikon D1 raw file decoder has been further enhanced to include a user selectable clipping value that helps you define your dynamic range. Most importantly, we found a bug in the D1 color correction algorithm being used in Qimage Pro v7.6 through v7.62. Although the color correction algorithm was optimized correctly from the start, we found that a significant amount of color was "leaking" from one primary channel to others on the conversion. This has been fixed in the v7.7 color correction algorithm and the results are INCREDIBLE! Even with the "color leak" bug in v7.6, we were achieving very good color, but the accuracy in v7.7 is obvious. We believe that this latest version completely addresses the "magenta" issue on the Nikon D1. Please see the updated D1 Raw File Comparison page.


March 25, 2000

Archival Inks/Papers Available for Epson 1200
Although Epson's solution to producing Super A3/B size inkjet prints with archival properties requires upgrading equipment, there are other options for 1200 users.   Archival inks/papers are now available for the 1200.  Here are a couple of links:
Luminos Preservation Inks -
Lyson Inks for Epson Printers

Kodak DCS-560 Purchase Incentive
Between now and June 30, 2000, if you purchase a new 6 megapixel Kodak DCS-560 Professional Digital Camera from an authorized Kodak dealer, you will also receive a new Mac G4/450 ($2,499 value) from Kodak.  The other specs of the G4 are: 128 MB RAM, 20 GB, 1 MB L2 cache, Zip Drive, 56k modem, DVD-ROM, Rage 128 Pro, 10/100 Ethernet.  You will need to get a form and send it in to Kodak in order to receive your Mac G4.   Allow six weeks for delivery.


March 13, 2000

Ian Lyons Posts Initial Overview/Review of the New Epson 870 and 1270 Printers
Photo enthusiast, Ian Lyons, already got his hands on a new Epson 1270 which was released in the UK on February 1st, 2000.  In his review he makes several comparisons to the Epson 1200 printer.  He used Windows 98 primarily for the review, but also used Windows 2000 (no direct usage of the Mac drivers).  In his review, he answers some of the frequent questions such as:

  • How much are consumables compared to the 1200?
  • Is there any sharpness improvement with the 1270?
  • Is the new 1270 quieter than the 1200?
  • Is the color more accurate?
  • What are the new features of the printer drivers?
  • Is the 1270 faster than the 1200?
  • Is the 1200 "pizza wheel" effect corrected?

Thanks for making us want to spend more money, Ian!

Kodak PC Event/PC Pro Update Now Available
Allows Use with DCS-5xx/6xx Version 3.0.9 Firmware
As I pointed out in my December 18, 1999 entry, version 3.0.8 and/or 3.0.9 firmware did not allow usage with Kodak PC Event and/or PC Event software due to the inherent format change of the image files.  Kodak/Castle Works has finally put the finishing touches on their event software offering(s) so the new firmware can now be used.   Contact your dealer for an updated version of PC Event/PC Pro.  You will also need to update the Profire Driver in order to correctly use the updated software.  I will be performing some various tests within the next couple of weeks and will report any findings at that time.

Lexar Media's Pro Series Digital Film Cards Capture the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards and TV Guide Award Events
FREMONT, Calif., March 13, 2000 - Lexar Media today announced that ImageDirect, the official digital photographers of the 42nd Grammy Awards and the 2nd Annual TV Guide Awards, used Lexar Media's Pro Series 160MB 8X and 320MB 8X Pro Series digital film cards with Kodak Professional digital cameras to capture both star-studded awards galas. The digital images from both events were used for the official Grammy web site (, the TV Guide web site ( as well as a variety of news services and magazines.

Lexar's Pro Series digital film cards are a family of digital film specifically designed for the professional or "pro-sumer" digital photographer. The Pro Series digital film cards range from 160 to 320MB, and are available from professional camera retailers and Lexar's web site with prices starting from $629.00. Lexar recently announced a 512MB Pro Series card that will be available in Q2 2000.

"You only get one chance to capture a live event," said Frank Micelotta, President, ImageDirect and Director of Photography for The Recording Academy. "Lexar's digital film cards have the speed, capacity and solid-state reliability that is so important to professional photographers. Lexar's Pro Series digital film have performed flawlessly at other major events we shot such as The Golden Globes and the Superbowl."

The Grammy Awards presented a unique challenge for photographers since it was also broadcast simultaneously over the Internet. By using digital cameras, ImageDirect was able to post images of the Grammy event and award winners on the official web site almost immediately. In addition, the digital cameras were able to offer instant feedback so the photographers could make any necessary exposure or f-stop adjustments to get the best image.

"We are really excited that a world class agency like ImageDirect chose Lexar digital film for The Grammy Awards," said John Reimer, President and CEO of Lexar Media. "The speed, capacity and reliability of the Pro Series line can offer the same outstanding results to both professional and enthusiast photographers alike."


March 12, 2000

Qimage Pro v7.6 Runs More Efficient With Further Improvements
Just yesterday, I posted an article about the must have software for Nikon D1 owners/users.  In addition to all of the features listed yesterday, today's version (v7.6) has been further refined with the following features:

  • Better dynamic memory allocation reduces memory (RAM) requirements by 20%, improving overall performance.

  • Significant improvements to the D1 raw file decoder, including:

    1. Better dynamic range for more detail in shadows/highlights: no clipping/blowouts.

    2. Improvements to low level interpolation: finer detail in edges with no edge noise.

    3. Qimage Pro proprietary "D1 color calibration" gets you as close as possible to perfect color.

Be sure to check out this link for comparison images and more details.


March 11, 2000

Here are some news highlights since the last update:

Qimage Pro v7.5 Now Supports Nikon D1 Raw Files
Mike Chaney's Qimage Pro software is a must have for Nikon D1 users.  With Qimage, D1 users can actually gain over 26,000 pixels that are otherwise thrown-away with other software, do batch conversions, read raw D1 files, download direct from the CompactFlash Card, do auto-renaming, etc.  Also, Qimage allows for high ISO filtering that cleans-up the D1 banding and noise.  All of this for the low price of $30!   Nikon's software for raw images runs $500 and does not offer nearly all of the features of Qimage.  It should be noted that Qimage is currently not available for the Mac platform.  However, most of the functions work well with Virtual PC.  Click here for more information on Qimage.

Expect Price Increase on Nikon D1?
Many sources have brought to my attention that Nikon is planning a price increase on the D1 camera body due to the dollar/yen conversion.  It is rumored that this price increase should amount to $300 - $500.  If this is true, it would make sense to grab one now.  However, I am finding that many dealers are now able to sell D1 cameras off the shelf since the initial demand seems to be slowing down in comparison to Nikon's current capacity.  One of my local dealers had "several" on the shelf last week for $4,700 each.  Other sources report buying theirs in the $4,200 - $4,300 range (mail order).  It will be interesting to see what a 10% price increase will do to the ongoing popularity of the D1 if it does indeed happen.  It is plausible that many dealers would effectively "eat" this price increase if they find stagnant stock on their shelves.

UMAX Introduces Small Footprint, Large Format Professional Scanner
PowerLook 2100XL Scans 12" by 17" Images at 800 x 1600 dpi Resolution
FREMONT, Calif., March 6, 2000 -- UMAX Technologies, Inc. today announced the professional PowerLook 2100XL scanner, a one-size-fits-all scanner for graphics professionals who require high resolution and fast color scanning of odd-sized or extra-large documents in a small-footprint package. This professional scanner consumes minimal space on the desktop, yet allows tabloid-sized scanning. The PowerLook 2100XL features UMAX's new proprietary Mirror Moving Technology which utilizes mirrors to project scanned images directly to a stationary CCD element. UMAX's Mirror Moving Technology not only minimizes signal noise to produce higher quality, more consistent scans, it also reduces the scanner's overall power consumption and scanning time.

"The PowerLook 2100XL is perfect for the graphics professional who needs a quick, reliable, multifaceted professional scanner without sacrificing table top space to get it," said Christabel Chen, product marketing manager at UMAX Technologies. "They will especially appreciate the fast performance and superior 800 x 1600 dpi hardware-based resolution provided."

The scanning area measures a full 12" by 17", despite the small footprint of just over 18" by 24." The scan area can accommodate up to thirty-two 35mm slides when used with the optional transparency adapter. High 3.4Dmax captures fine details of shadow areas -- especially important when scanning transparencies. With auto-detect slide holders, the PowerLook 2100XL can crop and scan up to 32 slides automatically. In addition, batch scanning allows multiple image scans at a single pass for higher productivity.

Eastman Kodak Company Begins Marketing Award-Winning Blue Plus Color CCD Image Sensors To Other Manufacturers
ROCHESTER, N.Y., March 9--Eastman Kodak Company today announced it is now selling its award-winning Kodak Blue Plus Color charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensors to manufacturers of digital cameras and other imaging devices.

The decision to sell these devices as individual components underscores the company's commitment to grow the overall picture business and create a broader presence for Kodak imaging technologies in that industry.

"Today's imaging systems demand extremely high performance yet competitively priced full-frame, solid-state image sensors. We've made a great reputation for these Blue Plus sensors because they perform so well under so many conditions," said Dona Flamme, general manager, Image Sensor Solutions and vice president, Digital & Applied Imaging, Eastman Kodak Company. "Making the Blue Plus Color sensors available throughout the industry will help drive market acceptance for digital cameras--particularly 'prosumer' cameras.

"We're putting Kodak digital technology to work to grow the picture business," she concluded.

A key component to digital cameras, sensors receive and react to the light coming through the camera lens. Kodak's Blue Plus Color CCD image sensors are full-frame devices that offer enhanced photo-responsivity and very low dark signal. The high dynamic range of these sensors provides exceptional performance in digital camera applications where superior image quality is required. As a result, digital cameras deliver great pictures even in difficult lighting.

Kodak's Blue Plus Color CCDs incorporate the company's indium tin oxide technology, which, coupled with integral color filter arrays, provides enhanced photo-responsivity. The result: very high equivalent film speeds (up to 1600).

Detroit News Reporter Peronet Despeignes is Impressed with Hands-on Experience of Mac OS X
Operating system makes Apple shine - Mac OS X easy to use, with features for storing icons, tracking files

"Last week, I had the chance to see for myself an early beta version of Apple's newest operating system, Mac OS X, slated for release this summer.  OS X stands out. Apple's unusual attention to detail in crafting a pleasant computing experience really shows through."

Click here for full story

Epson to Offer Popular Photo Management Software in Macintosh Version
Film Factory Gives Simple Solution to Help Photographers Organize and Print Digital Images

    LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 22, 2000--Epson America Inc., creator of high-quality, award-winning imaging products, today announced that its popular photo management software, EPSON Software Film Factory, is now available for Macintosh users.
    Epson launched a Windows-compatible version of Film Factory last summer.
    Designed for photographers of all skill levels who are overwhelmed by their growing collection of digital images, Film Factory is the photo management solution that offers the easiest way to import, catalog, edit and print thousands of their favorite pictures.
    Unlike traditional image editing and photo project software that can edit and print only one photo at a time, Film Factory can process and print batches of photos, duplicating the features of a one-hour photo lab. In addition, Film Factory provides powerful, yet simple to use cataloging features that let users quickly browse, find and ultimately print their archived pictures.
    Users import pictures from their digital camera, scanner, image files or the Internet into the software and store them as virtual "rolls of film" that can then be stored into "film cases." Film Factory also allows users to add text annotations, enabling them to retrieve photos on demand by browsing through "film rolls" or searching for specific photos by keywords, date or filename.
    To promote simplicity and clarity, the software includes only the most important image enhancement tools, enabling users to adjust the size, color and sharpness of photos automatically or manually to make their photos as beautiful as they can be.
    Film Factory offers a full-range of photo printing options. Users can print snapshots on demand, print an index sheet for a particular film roll, or choose favorites from a roll and print standard sized prints, custom greeting cards, enlargements, or even a page of stickers. Film Factory also makes it simple to create colorful photo Web pages, as well as read and export common file formats.
    "For people who are up to their eyeballs in digital photo discs, photo files and that collection of good old-fashioned snapshots stuffed in a drawer, Film Factory puts them a mouse-click away from their very own organized computer-based photo library and processing center," said Art Wong, manager, Epson Software.
    "Having easy-to-use software that helps users better manage and print their photos improves their overall digital imaging experience, so we are pleased to now expand this offering to the Macintosh market."

Intel® Pentium® III 1 Gigahertz (GHz) Processor
The Fastest Intel Processor for the Consumer PC Market is Now Offered by HP

Palo Alto, Calif., March 8, 2000 - Hewlett-Packard Company, a leader in the home-PC market, today announced an HP Pavilion home PC that includes the Intel® Pentium® III 1 gigahertz (GHz) processor, the fastest Intel processor for the consumer PC market.

The new HP Pavilion 1G PC will offer the highest level of processor performance for the most demanding applications and Internet activities, such as making music CDs and playing the latest 3-D games.

"The addition of the 1.0GHz processor keeps the HP Pavilion home PC on the leading edge of technology and will provide the fastest computing experience for consumers today," said Sam Szteinbaum, business manager of HP's North America Consumer Computing Organization. "Combining the latest technology and inventive features, such as CD-RW drives and keyboards with quick-access Internet keys, creates an unrivaled home-computing experience."

"Intel is excited about the HP Pavilion 1G PC," said Jeff McCrea, marketing director for Intel's Desktop Products Group. "By combining the latest platform technologies, such as the Pentium III processor at 1.0GHz, the Intel 820 chipset and RDRAM memory, this system offers awesome performance both on and off the Internet."

In addition to the Intel Pentium III 1.0GHz processor, the HP Pavilion 1G PC includes the Intel 820 chipset, 128MB PC800 RDRAM, 7200 RPM 40GB hard drive, 8x maximum speed DVD drive, HP CD-Writer Plus CD-RW drive, Creative Annihilator 4x AGP graphics card with the NVIDIA GeForce chip with 32MB DDR memory, Creative Sound Blaster Live! soundcard, Polk Audio AMR2 speakers, V.90 56K modem, Intel 10/100 BaseT network card, one-touch Internet keyboard and scroller mouse.

The HP Pavilion 1G PC has an estimated U.S. street price of $3,499. The new PC is expected to be available next week through PC kiosks at Best Buy, Circuit City and Staples stores nationwide, as well as through Additionally, the HP Pavilion 1G PC is expected to be available next week through


February 7, 2000

More Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro Information
Check out this Imaging Resource Special report on the Fuji FinePix S1 Pro from the PMA show.  This report contains the first images from the yet to be released pre-production camera.  As mentioned, the image quality cannot be fully judged by these samples since the final tweaking of the camera will be taking place right up to shipment of the first production units.

Rob Galbraith Dismisses the Fuji S1 for Photojournalism Use
In his February 7th. entry of Rob's Diginews, Rob Galbraith points out the reasons that the Fuji Reps were overextending their claims of the S1's ability to fulfil the demanding needs of a working news photojournalist.  He lists many valid points in his summary.  Realistically, this camera is designed for controlled studio use or certain traveling location uses.   Keeping this in mind, the Fuji S1 Pro still potentially offers non-photojournalists a lot of exciting features and quality for the money.  Fuji should keep their target market in mind and control their enthusiasm!


February 6, 2000

2000 DIMA Digital Printer Shoot-Out Winners
Check out the results of the Digital Printer Shoot-Out over on the Imaging Resource page.  Also, there you will find the results of the Innovative Digital Product awards.

Wilhelm Research Data Updated
The latest Wilhelm Research Data includes the new Epson 1270 and 870 Printers, inks, and papers.  According to these findings, we can expect up to 24 - 26 years from the new "standard" Epson Inks and Heavyweight Matte Paper.  This is nearly twice as long as the Kodak Portra III Photo Paper (standard RA-4 photo paper).

Kodak Offers DCS 520/620 Base Camera Kit at Reduced Pricing
In addition to the standard packaging, Kodak is now offering the popular DCS-520 and DCS-620 Professional Digital Cameras in a new "Base Camera Kit".  This kit offers the same camera body, less the AC adapter, battery charger, and the various cables/adapters.  Also, Kodak has removed the Anti-Aliasing Filter and replaced it with a IR-only filter.  This new kit allows shooters to purchase additional bodies at a reduced price.  I would caution potential buyers though, if you think that you will need the Anti-Aliasing Filter, be sure to get a quote from your dealer on purchasing one as an accessory to this kit.  You may find that the price savings of this kit is quickly diminished by the cost of the expensive AA filter!


February 4, 2000

2000 DIMA Digital Camera Shoot-Out Winners
The winners of the fourth annual DIMA Digital Camera Shoot-Out have been announced at the PMA Show in Las Vegas.

The PMA Voting Members voted on the various entries/categories. The criteria included image/print quality, production and price. The actual camera identities were not reveled to the voters during the judging although the camera specifications were known.

Professional/Portrait Photographic Catagory
The Professional Photographic images were handled by a PC or Macintosh running Adobe PhotoShop and printed in RGB on a Fuji Pictrography 4000.

$5000 and Below
  Fuji FinePix S1 Pro

Over $5000
  Phase One Light Phase

Commercial Studio Quality Catagory
The strobe-based Commercial Studio camera images were handled by a Macintosh running Adobe PhotoShop and printed on a Kodak DCP9300 CMYK proofer printer and Kodak 8660 RGB printer.

Strobe-Based Capture
  Phase One Power Phase

Scanning Capture
  Better Light Super 6K

Point and Shoot Catagory
Images from the Point and Shoot cameras were handled by a PC or iMac running Adobe PhotoShop and Adobe PhotoDeluxe, and printed on the Epson Stylus Photo 870 inkjet printer using Epson photo-gloss paper.

Below $300
  Kodak DC215

$300 to $599
  Fuji Photo Film MX-1700 Zoom

$600 to $899
   Toshiba PDR-M5

$900 and Above
  Olympus C-2500L


February 3, 2000

Epson Delivers First Real Photo Lab Solutions For Digital Printing
New Line of Photo Printers Delivers Look, Feel and Now Longevity of Traditional Photo Lab Prints

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 3, 2000--Since the advent of color ink jet printing, no manufacturer has been able to rival the quality and longevity of output from a professional photo lab ... until now.
    Epson America Inc., creator of high-quality, award-winning imaging products, today announced the EPSON Stylus(R) Photo 870, EPSON Stylus Photo 875DC and EPSON Stylus Photo 1270, the first line of printers to deliver real photo lab quality for consumers and advanced imaging professionals.
    For the first time, fade resistance (lightfastness) is made possible for ink jet users in a complete solution that combines new printers, papers and inks.
    The new EPSON Photo Inks come standard with the printers and are used with either the breakthrough EPSON Premium Glossy Photo Paper or the EPSON Matte Paper-Heavyweight to achieve real photo lab quality prints with fade resistance that rivals standard photo lab prints.
    "We've raised the bar in digital photo quality printing once again with these new products," said Fabia Ochoa, product manager, photographic reproduction printers, Epson. "Not only do consumers have the ability to create prints that have the look and feel of images that a photo lab might produce, but also they now can create pictures that will last like standard lab prints with stunning clarity, color and even resistance to water."

Kodak Professional DCS Cameras to Feature Cellular Phone Connectivity
A future firmware upgrade will allow direct connection of the Kodak Professional DCS 330, 5xx and 6xx cameras to a standard cellular phone.  Images can be transmitted to a remote location without a direct connection to a laptop or other computer.   There will be a "nominal fee" for this firmware upgrade, if desired.   Click here for more details.

Canon Shows New Digital EOS Camera at PMA 2000
Although the details regarding this upcoming digital camera offering direct from Canon are sketchy (to say the least), Canon has offered that it will feature "over three million pixels" and that it is slated for release this fall.  Imaging Resource has posted some show shots of the camera.

Click Image For More Photos/Info

Fujifilm Introduces Two New Digital Printers
PMA 2000, LAS VEGAS, NV, February 3, 2000 – Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. is unveiling the new Fujifilm Digital Color Printer NC-600D, a compact, high-speed printer that incorporates Fujifilm’s exclusive Thermo-Autochrome printing technology. Producing a single image in 35 seconds, the Digital Color Printer NC-600D is one of the fastest printers in its category and is ideal for service bureaus, photo labs and business offices.

Thermo-Autochrome printing is an environmentally friendly, single-sheet process that requires no inks, toners or ribbons and is similar to the technology used in conventional photography where the dyes are formed in the paper. Producing prints at 320-dpi resolution, the Digital Color Printer NC-600D provides greater color saturation and superior print quality when compared to similar ink jet and laser printers. Its 256 gradations each of cyan, magenta and yellow produce up to 16.7 million colors – a spectrum that can reproduce the hues and tonality of the original image.

PMA 2000, LAS VEGAS, NV, February 3, 2000 – Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. today unveiled the new Fujifilm FinePix Printer NX-500, a portable and versatile desktop digital printing device that produces improved, 4 x 6-inch prints at 306 dpi in approximately two minutes.

The FinePix Printer NX-500 utilizes Fujifilm’s refined Thermo-Autochrome printing technology, an environmentally friendly single sheet process that requires no inks, toners or ribbons and is similar to the technology used in conventional photography where the dyes are formed in the paper. To ensure accurate and rich color tones, the FinePix Printer NX-500’s improved Compensation System automatically optimizes the data for each picture, while the High-Chroma Processing System uses direct mapping to convert all of a digital camera’s RGB data to CMY data.

Kodak Professional Digital III Color Paper Debuts
Improved Paper Performs Well in All 3 Types of Digital Printers

LAS VEGAS, Nev., February 3--New Kodak Professional Digital III color paper brings a host of improvements and provides first-rate performance in the three most common types of digital printers CRT, LED and laser.

"Digital printers are making ever greater inroads into the workflow, allowing labs to combine text and images more easily and more profitably," said Patrick Siewert, President, Kodak Professional, and Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. "It's important for our customers to have a digital paper they can count on to produce the best output from those printers. While some papers are optimized for a single type of printer, we're continually working to make our digital papers great performers with all printers."

Some of Kodak Professional Digital III color paper's features are readily apparent. It has improved color saturation, a greater color gamut — including clean, saturated yellows, lower Dmin for cleaner, whiter whites, high Dmax for deep, rich blacks — and provides sharper text than the second-generation product it replaces. Processable in standard Process RA-4, the new paper also has improved latent image keeping properties, lower sensitivity to variations in processing and lower sensitivity to heat.

Kodak Professional Digital III color paper joins a full line of output materials for traditional digital and inkjet printers. It replaces Kodak Professional Digital Paper, Type 2976, and is available now in roll and sheet sizes in E, F and N surfaces.

Kodak Professional Introduces Two Large Format Inkjet Printer Platforms
LAS VEGAS, Nev., February 3--A wide range of professionals from creative photo specialty outlets, professional photographers, portrait labs, pre-press, proofing and creative design professionals to commercial labs, digital service bureaus, reprographic houses, exhibition houses, screen printers and sign shops will welcome the new family of large format inkjet printers from Kodak Professional.

The latest products represent two new technology platforms: the 3000 series, a piezo head design, offering extremely high quality large format inkjet output, and the 4000 series, a thermal head-based printer which offers great productivity advantages.

Kodak Professional Reviving Portrait Market Through Digitization
Expands Options for Senior and Wedding Photographers

LAS VEGAS, Nev., February 3--Kodak Professional, a division of Eastman Kodak Company, is hoping to breathe new life into what many see as a static portrait and social photography market. Working with professional photo labs, the division is providing wedding and high school senior portrait photographers the option of selling consumers both traditional prints and digital images in an easy-to-use CD-ROM format.

"Our consumer-based research shows that both brides and seniors view the CD approach as an incremental purchase beyond current portrait packages. This presents new opportunities for portrait photographers to increase their sales from their existing customer base with minimal additional costs," said Penny Pankow, Manager of Home Digitization, Kodak Professional.

Based on Kodak's years of experience with CD-based imaging, the Kodak Professional digital product combines high-resolution images and simple software that allow consumers to e mail their pictures, make simple adjustments such as cropping, even print out photos on inkjet printers at home.

At first glance, Kodak Professional's CD approach seems to conflict with the long-established business model of portrait and wedding photography. That model relies heavily on income from sales of enlargements, albums, reprints and portrait packages. Kodak Professional research, however, indicates that consumers don't view the CD as a substitute for traditional photos, but rather as a 21st Century adjunct. Already accustomed to routinely sharing images via e-mail and the Internet, many consumers are frustrated by the physical and economic limitations of traditional portrait packages, according to Kodak Professional focus groups. Plus, amateur photographers are already reaping similar benefits through Kodak's Consumer Digital Services unit, embracing such services as AOL "You've Got Pictures," Kodak PhotoNet Online and Kodak Picture CD.

"The professional CD option is not intended as a substitute for the prints and albums that make up a majority of the sales in this business," said Steve Romocki, Manager of Home Digitization, U.S. and Canada region. "Research in a variety of U.S. cities has shown that brides and high school seniors are willing to buy the Kodak CD as an incremental sale. They love the ease of e-mailing, which could lead to additional sales opportunities of reprints from customers whom a professional photographer doesn't reach today."

The CD offering also provides a means for photographers to differentiate themselves. Kodak research indicated that consumers perceive photographers who offer the CD option as more leading-edge than those who do not.

Labs around the U.S. will begin offering the CD option in April. They will utilize existing Kodak Professional technology, including the Kodak Professional RFS 3570 and RFS 3570 Plus film scanners to produce the CDs ordered by photographers. The digitization option is expected to be offered to photographers in other areas around the world on a roll-out basis.

January 31, 2000

Fujifilm Announces First Cameras With New Super CCD Image Sensor Technology
ELMSFORD, NY, January 31, 2000 – Today, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. set new standards in digital photography with the introductions of the FinePix 4700 ZOOM and FinePix S1 Pro digital cameras -- the first consumer and professional models to incorporate the company’s new Super CCD image sensor technology.

The first of a new breed of SLR digital cameras from Fujifilm, the FinePix S1 Pro has a 1.1-inch Super CCD sensor that delivers an ultra-high resolution image file with 6.1 million pixels (3040 x 2016 resolution). It has a Nikon F mount for use with existing lenses, continuous shooting of approximately 1.5 frames/second up to five frames, adjustable ISO equivalents of 320/400/800/1600, a shutter speed of 30 to 1/2000 second and compatibility with SmartMedia™ (up to 64MB), CompactFlash™ (Card Type II) and the IBM microdrive™.

The unprecedented image resolution of the FinePix S1 Pro is the result of Fujifilm’s proprietary Super CCD technology. Recognizing limitations in conventional charge-coupled device (CCD) design, Fujifilm developed a new, radically different CCD with larger (approximately 60-percent), octagonal-shaped photodiodes situated on 45-degree angles. Designed specifically for digital still photography, this pattern increases sensitivity, improves signal-to-noise ratio and offers a much wider dynamic range, all attributes that result in sharper, more colorful digital images.

Fuji S1Pro Front.jpg (22631 bytes)
Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro
6.1 Megapixel Pro Digicam

Fuji S1Pro Back.jpg (19672 bytes)

For the professional or serious amateur digital photographer, Fujifilm’s FinePix S1 Pro fits the bill. It has a variety of controls, including four shooting modes (single frame, continuous, preview and multiple exposure), five exposure modes (general-purpose program, auto-multi program, shutter-priority auto mode, aperture-priority auto mode and manual exposure control) and five variable program modes (portrait, landscape, close-up, sport and night scene). In addition, there are eight modes for white balance (auto, fine, shade, incandescent light, custom and three for fluorescent light.)

The FinePix S1 Pro can record images at three resolutions (3040 x 2016, 2304 x 1536 and 1440 x 960) and in three file formats (TIFF-RBG, TIFF-YC and JPEG). There are three compression modes (fine, normal and basic) within the JPEG file format and captured images can be viewed on the camera’s 2-inch liquid crystal display

Packaged along with the camera will be a CD-ROM with camera-shooting software, USB and video cables, a 16MB SmartMedia storage card and four AA alkaline batteries for the image-handling system and two Lithium batteries for controlling the camera system. USB-compatible, the Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro will be available June 2000 with a manufacturer's list price under $4,000.

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro -- Specifications

  • SLR-type digital camera
  • CCD sensor: 23.3mm x 15.6mm Super CCD
  • Image File Size: 3040 x 2016, 2304 x 1536, 1440 x 960 pixels
  • ISO Equivalent: 320/400/800/1600
  • File format: TIFF-RGB, TIFF-YC, JPEG (supports Exif ver 2.1 )
  • Storage Media:
    • Slot No.1 : SmartMedia Cards(2MB to 64MB 3.3v)
    • Slot No.2 : Compact Flash Card type II
  • Lens mount: Nikon F mount
  • Usable Lenses: AF Nikkor and AI-P-type Nikkor lenses (IX-Nikkors cannot be used)
  • Picture angle: Approx. 1.5x focal length in 35mm[135] format equivalent
  • View finder: Fixed-eye level penta-prism high-eye-point type
  • Frame coverage: Approx. 90%
  • Shooting modes:
    • Single frame shooting
    • Continuous shooting: Approx. 1.5 frames/sec. up to 5 frames
    • Preview mode
    • Multiple exposure
  • Exposure Modes:
    • General Purpose Program
    • Auto-Multi Program (Flexible Program possible)
    • Shutter-priority Auto mode
    • Aperture-priority Auto mode
    • Manual Exposure Control mode
    • 5 Variable-program mode (portrait, landscape, close-up, sport, night scene)
  • Exposure metering:
    • 3D Matrix : with D-type AF Nikkor
    • 6 segment Matrix : with non-D-type AF Nikkor or AI-P-Nikkor lenses
    • Center-weighed : in Manual exposure mode or with AE Lock
  • Exposure compensation: 3 EV range in 1/3 EV increments
  • Autofocus detection system: TTL phase detection
  • White Balance: Auto/Fine /Shade(fine weather)/Incandescent light/3 modes for Fluorescent light/Custom setting
  • Shutter: Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
  • Shutter speed: 30 to 1/2000 sec
  • Remote release: Mechanical remote terminal
  • Built-in flash: Guide No.15 (ISO 100),effective for 28mm lens frame coverage
  • TTL flash operations: Normal / slow-synchro / red-eye reduction / red-eye reduction with slow-synchro
  • Accessory shoe: Standard ISO-type with hot-shoe contact, ready-light contact, TTL flash contact, monitor contact; mount receptacle for Posi-Mount system provided
  • Playback Function: One frame, thumbnails in four segments, thumbnails in nine segments, playback zoom, histogram indication, standard chart
  • LCD monitor: 2-inch, low-temperature, poly-silicon TFT (approx. 200,000 pixels)
  • Self timer: 2 sec (quick mode) and 10 sec.
  • Video Output: NTSC (USA/Canada model) or PAL (European model)
  • Digital interface: USB
  • Power source: 4 AA type batteries: Alkaline, Ni-MH or Ni-Cd batteries can be used. or AC power adapter for image-handling system. Two CR123A for controlling camera system
  • Dimensions: 5.8" (W) x 4.9" (H) x 3.1" (D)
  • Weight: Approx. 29oz (without batteries and lens)

January 29, 2000

Here are some news highlights since the last update:

Digital Photography Comes of Age at Digital Photo 2000
Trade Expo and Conference Offers the Latest Solutions in Digital Photography and Imaging

BROOKFIELD, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 28, 2000--InterMedia Events announces the only national trade expo and conference dedicated to digital photography and imaging - Digital Photo 2000. The expo will be held May 19-20, 2000, at the Rosemont Convention Center, Rosemont, Ill., with the conference scheduled for May 17-19, 2000 at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare, across the street from the Rosemont.

The event provides photographers, photo labs, retailers and other graphics professionals with a wide-range of solutions for the explosive digital photography market - from digital photo capture to software manipulation and the latest potentials in photographic printing.

Complete information about the show and conference can be found at the Digital Photo 2000 Web site ( or by e-mailing

Epson Introduces First FireWire Solution Printers
Epson America Inc., creator of award-winning, high-quality imaging products, is now offering a high-speed interface for the Apple Power Macintosh G3 and G4 computers that enables users to take advantage of the full speed capabilities of several Epson printers. The Type B IEEE 1394 Interface Card, also known as FireWire, communicates with peripherals at up to 400Mbps, allowing the computer to run the printers at their full engine speed.
    Epson, the first company to offer FireWire printing, has made this new optional interface available on the EPSON Stylus(R) Color 900, EPSON Stylus Color 900G, EPSON Stylus Color 1520, EPSON Stylus Color 3000, EPSON Stylus Pro 5000 and EPSON Stylus Pro 9000.

Kodak Reduces Digital Camera Prices
Company's Most Popular Digital Cameras Now Even More Affordable

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 27--Known for making digital photography easy, Kodak wants to make it more affordable, too. The company announced today that it is reducing the prices on five of its most popular models, including the award winning DC290, DC280, and DVC325 cameras.

"We want more people to enjoy digital picture-taking, and we're committed to making it easy and affordable for them", said Philip Gerskovich, vice president, Eastman Kodak Company, and chief operating officer, Digital & Applied Imaging. "We've said growing this category was a key initiative for the company. Today's announcement underscores our commitment to that goal." Effective today, following are the cameras with new suggested retail prices.

  • Kodak DC290 zoom digital camera, $899
  • Kodak DC280 zoom digital camera, $699
  • Kodak DC215 Millennium edition digital camera, $349
  • Kodak DC215 Silver edition digital camera, $299
  • Kodak DVC325 digital video camera, $99

Nikon Starts a Resolution Revolution with New Coolpix 990
- New 3.34 Megapixel, 3x Zoom Digital Camera Offers Highest Image Quality -
MELVILLE, N.Y., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Shattering industry records for digital imaging technology once again, Nikon today introduced the Coolpix 990, a new, top-of-the-line digital camera that packs an incredible 3.34 megapixels of resolution and a 3x Zoom-Nikkor lens into a sleek, eye-catching design. Created for the serious photographer who values the quality and versatility that have made Nikon the camera of choice for professionals, with intuitive, easy-to-use features, the Coolpix 990 will hit retail shelves in April at an MSRP of $999.95. (Photo: )

Olympus Announces 3.34 Megapixel Digital Camera with Sound
PMA BOOTH #N131, Las Vegas, NV, Jan. 27—Olympus America Inc., Digital & Imaging Systems Group, the world leader in film and filmless photography, today announced at the Photo Marketing Association Conference (PMA), the C-3030 ZOOM 3.34 Megapixel (2048 x 1536) filmless digital zoom camera to its line of award-winning digital cameras.

Advancing the technology of its predecessors, the Olympus C-2000 and C-2020 world-wide best-selling digital cameras, the C-3030 ZOOM is the first Olympus filmless camera to use both USB and serial connectivity; a 3.34 Megapixel CCD; 3X Zoom 32-96mm equivalent all-glass lens with continuous 2.5X digital telephoto; QuickTime Movie capability with sound; 15 modes of resolution, including 5 uncompressed tiff modes; Infrared Remote; and an improved 6 mode flash with a new slow syncro with red-eye reduction mode. The new C-3030 ZOOM is the only camera in its class to offer a 32MB SDRAM buffer for rapid shooting at 3.5 frames per second and real time shooting at all times—all for $999.

Kodak Is Working on Firewire Solutions for Notebooks
Rob Galbraith reported that Kodak has deemed two Mac PCMCIA/Firewire adapter cards compatible with their Firewire enabled cameras.  At this time, there are still no PC solutions available.  These cards are the Newer Technology FireWire 2 Go and VST FireWire CardBus CardClick here and go to the January 21st. entry of Rob's Diginews for more details.

DigiCam Pal 0.45 Cleans up D1 Luminance Noise
Rob Galbraith has come across and tested a new solution for the Nikon D1 luminance noise problem/concern.  Go to the January 28th. entry of Rob's Diginews for details.  "It's slick, and it works" according to Rob.

Express Digital Releases Most Powerful Digital Imaging Software Yet

DENVER--Jan. 25, 2000-- Express Digital announced today the release of ExpressPhoto 6.0(TM), a digital photographic software application that raises the standard for ease of use and the speed of producing photos. Simply shoot, preview, add a custom border and/or text and print. All in seconds, all on location and all with only two clicks of the keyboard. The software is so easy to learn and use that the photographer will be making money in the digital world in hours instead of in weeks or even months.

Built by photographers for photographers, ExpressPhoto 6.0 has powerful features to capture, customize and completely print a 35mm quality photo in 45 seconds. Whether in the studio, on the sidelines or at a charity fund-raiser, ExpressPhoto is the perfect tool to expand any photography business.

ExpressPhoto 6.0 comes in two versions, ExpressPhoto Pro(TM) and ExpressPhoto Event(TM). ExpressPhoto Pro supports multiple printers and cameras and has the power to produce special effects and composite prints. ExpressPhoto Event supports Sony printers and the Sony FP3 digital camera and offers the photographer an affordable entry into the digital world.

January 18, 2000

HP to Demonstrate Digital Imaging Solutions at DRUPA 2000
From Prepress to Production, HP will Demonstrate Innovative HP Imaging, Proofing and Printing Solutions
Palo Alto, Calif., Jan. 18, 2000 - Hewlett-Packard Company today announced that it will demonstrate its leading digital imaging and printing solutions at DRUPA 2000 -- the No. 1 trade fair of the global print and media industry, being held in Dusseldorf, Germany, from May 18 through 31.

The HP demonstration at DRUPA 2000 will be held in Hall 9, booth No. 9B, and is designed to illustrate how printing systems provided by HP and its strategic partners are the best solutions for optimizing each step of the printing process -- from design and prepress to production. Products to be demonstrated include HP DesignJet large-format printers, HP LaserJet printers and HP ScanJet scanners, as well as HP media and inks.

HP has a leading position in digital, short-run color printing in a wide range of markets, from graphics and prepress agencies to commercial print and production.

ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO — Sienna Imaging, Inc. announced that Gretag Imaging has acquired full ownership of the Company. Headquartered in Regensdorf, Switzerland, Gretag is one of the world’s leading providers of imaging devices and systems.

The acquisition of Sienna by Gretag solidly positions Sienna to continue the strong position in the professional photography lab market that it is aggressively pursing. "Combining Gretag’s advanced imaging technologies with Sienna’s lab workflow expertise and products will for the first time offer customers total workflow solutions," said Sienna Imaging President and CEO John Brenan.

"The purchase of Sienna Imaging opens up important technologies in digital imaging for our Company," said Gretag CEO Peter Fitzgerald. "Sienna’s photo printers are of particular importance to us. By combining these digital systems with the e-commerce applications from Telepix, we can now offer our own integrated solution for internet-supported transmission and processing of image data," he added.

Sienna Imaging, Inc. will remain a separate entity and retain its name. The Company will become a unit within the Pro Group of Gretag Imaging AG.

Sienna Imaging, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of small format digital printers, professional lab systems and automation products, digital cameras and imaging software. The Company also serves as the exclusive North American distributor of RefremaÒ film processors and Pixel Photographics software. With corporate headquarters in Englewood, Colorado, Sienna operates divisions in Bloomington, Minn., Boston, Mass., and Hampshire, U.K.


January 17, 2000

HP Launches New Large-format Product Line
Qualified Printing Material from HP is Ideal for Price-sensitive Graphic-design Professionals Who Need Everyday, Large-format-printing Materials

Palo Alto, Calif., Jan. 17, 2000 - Hewlett-Packard Company today announced Qualified Printing Material, a new line of value-priced media for HP DesignJet large-format printers that is sold exclusively via the Internet. Qualified Printing Material rounds out the large-format-media product line by providing a low-cost, HP-tested alternative that meets the everyday printing needs of graphic-design professionals.

Qualified Printing Material features a variety of media widths and types, including coated papers, semi-gloss and high-gloss photobase, clear and white pressure-sensitive adhesive films, and clear and white repositionable cling film. The line has been tested by HP on its DesignJet printers and comes with a money-back guarantee.

"The Qualified Printing Material line is an example of HP doing what it does best -- listening to our customers," says Cliff Wagner, manager of business development for HP's Inkjet Media Division. "Our graphics customers told us they needed a line of products that gave them excellent value with the confidence that they've been tested to work on HP DesignJet printers. And they wanted to buy it directly over the Internet. That's what the Qualified line is all about."

The new line rounds out HP's large-format printing material offering, which includes HP Premium printing materials, engineered as part of the HP DesignJet printing system. The HP Premium line offers the highest possible print performance, reliability and consistency, from bond and glossy papers to photobase, canvas and Tyvek® banners.

Kodak Version 5.8.2 Host Software Available
The primary reason for this update from 5.8.1 is to allow the DCS-330 to be used with its new 3.0.10 firmware.  According to Rob Galbraith, the latest version 5.8.2 host software also fixes the IPTC text information conflict with Camera Bits Photo Mechanic software (all current Kodak Professional DCS Cameras).


January 13, 2000

It's here!  Kodak Version 3.0.10 Firmware for the DCS-330
Kodak has released version 3.0.10 firmware for the DCS-330.  Also, they have posted version 5.8.2 host software which is necessary in order to read the images produced with the new firmware.  Be sure to read the readme files before installing the firmware.  Also, I still have not heard of any upgrades to the PC Event or PC Pro software that will support the latest firmware formatted files.  If you are using this software, you may want to hold off on upgrading the firmware at this time.  Be sure to check out my review of the version 3 firmware (based on the DCS-520 - features differences are similar).


As progressive as the recent spate of high-resolution digital backs may be, with their 2048 x 3072 pixels in a standard 24 x 36 mm frame, their usefulness has been severely limited. Designed to be attached to medium-format SLR camera bodies such as from Hasselblad®, Mamiya®, Fujifilm® and others, they cannot be used in combination with true wide-angle lenses for the 35 mm format. The shortest focal length lenses available for these camera bodies is around 40 mm, which is still in the standard class for 35 mm. Lenses shorter than that would obstruct the mirror movement in these SLR bodies.


Horseman has designed this totally new professional camera from the ground up, with two major design objectives:

* First, to allow the use of any and all digital backs with Hasselblad® mount.
* Second, to accept all lenses with Nikon® F SLR mount, down to ultra-wide-angle 13 mm.

In a nutshell, the Horseman "DigiWide" is a compact camera body with built-in focal plane shutter and TTL exposure meter. The second design objective did not permit the inclusion of a moving mirror, so the "DigiWide" is not an SLR. Focusing and framing are done either through the (optional) optical viewfinder or through a ground glass.
The camera's light weight and compact size permit unencumbered hand-held operation.

Use with PHASE ONE® "LightPhase"TMdigital back:
The Horseman "DigiWide" automatically supplies the electrical signal required to "wake up" the CCDs in the "LightPhase," for easy one-action shooting.

New HP DeskJet 1220C Printer Delivers 13 x 19" Wide-format and Photo-Quality Features for $499
Palo Alto, Calif. - Hewlett-Packard Company introduced the HP DeskJet 1220C Professional Series color inkjet printer, delivering professional- quality graphics output and high-performance text printing for business and home- office users with either PC or Mac systems.

The printer sets new standards for print quality and speed in the wide-format- printer category. Now users can have both vibrant, photo-quality color prints and unmatched speeds of up to 11 pages per minute (ppm) in black and 9.5 ppm color.

The DeskJet 1220C printer includes the following new ease-of-use features:

  • HP PhotoREt III enhanced color-layering technology uses up to 29 drops of ink for each dot in a printed image, allowing the printer to generate 17 different shade levels for each of the primary colors
  • alternative photo mode that prints at 2,400 dots per inch (dpi) on photo paper.
  • three paper paths, including a direct path accommodating media weights of up to 67 pounds.
  • 4 x 6-inch note cards up to 13 x 19-inch posters.
  • low-ink warning -- alerts the user when ink is low, and can be configured by the user to provide a reminder of a preferred supplier for ink cartridges;
  • cancel-print button -- instantly terminates jobs at the printer;
  • automatic print-cartridge alignment -- automatically aligns new print cartridges using an optical sensor and a test-page procedure; and media-width sensor
  • detects when a job requiring 11-inch x 17-inch paper is sent to the printer, and if that paper size isn't loaded, notifies the user rather than continuing to operate and wasting ink.

The DeskJet 1220C printer ships with Windows NT® 4.0, Windows® 98, Windows 95, Windows 3.1 and Mac OS 8.1 drivers in the box, and supports IEEE parallel and USB connects. The HP DeskJet 1220C Professional Series color inkjet printer is expected to be available in stores in mid-February with an estimated street price of $499.


January 10, 2000

Lexar Media Ships its Highest-Capacity Digital Film Card to Retail­160MB USB-ENABLED COMPACTFLASH
- Lexar Media, a leading supplier of High-Performance Digital FilmTM,today announced it is shipping its 160MB 8X USB-enabled CompactFlash digital film card. The new digital film card is designed to provide more picture-taking capacity for today's high-resolution megapixel digital cameras. A JumpShotTM USB connection cable is included with the card and is used to quickly and easily transfer photos to the computer via the USB port. The 160MB 8X digital film card is available from retailers, camera dealers, distributors and the Company's web site with a suggested list price of $749.00.

Microtech Offering to 128MB CompactFlash for Kodak and Nikon Digital Cameras
Microtech announced new 64MB, 96MB, and 128MB industry standard CompactFlash cards in a Type I (3.3mm) form factor. The new cards are designed to the CompactFlash Association specifications using 256Mb NAND Flash architecture and high-speed controller design.

The cards are compatible with all major brands of digital cameras employing CompactFlash as storage media. The expanded capacity is especially necessary in multi-megapixel digital cameras and MP3 players such as the RCA Lyra. Microtech high capacity CompactFlash cards allow digital pictures or music to be recorded in the highest quality mode without ever changing cards. Capturing images in the highest resolution is always preferred for crisper, more detailed photos.

Nikon Announces New Lower Pricing on Award-Winning Digital Products
MELVILLE, N.Y., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Photographic professionals, people who use imaging technology for business, and consumers now have an opportunity to save from $100 to $300 on Nikon's award-winning digital cameras and scanners. Nikon Inc., which has experienced phenomenal growth with its Coolpix line of digital point-and-shoot cameras and its Coolscan film scanners, and has earned virtually every prestigious award for these products, has announced new, lower prices on four of its top products. The Nikon suite of digital products includes two versatile digital cameras "for the photographer in you." The Coolpix 950, originally $999, now has an MSRP of $899; and the Coolpix 800, originally $699, now has an MSRP of $599. In addition the Super Coolscan 2000 film scanner, originally $1899, now has an MSRP of $1599 and the Coolscan III, originally $999, now has an MSRP of $799. All four of these products are key players in Nikon's digital imaging family, and all are slated to continue in the Nikon line. The new pricing is in effect immediately.


January 5, 2000

Wow, lots of exciting Apple News today!   For starters, their whole web site has a new, refreshing look.

Introducing Mac OS X
The next-generation of the operating system that has charmed millions of people around the world is around the corner. Here’s your first look at the Macintosh for the millennium. 

Internet Explorer 5
Designed to be the fastest, simplest and most reliable browser for the Macintosh, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 — unveiled at the Macworld Expo — features a modern new look, auction manager, media toolbar and completely revamped rendering engine. Microsoft also announced plans to release Mac OS X native versions of Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, as well as Microsoft Office.

Adaptec SCSI Power Now Available For Macintosh Powerbooks
MACWORLD EXPO - January 5, 2000 - Adaptec, Inc. announced today the availability of the PowerDomain SlimSCSI 1480 CardBus adapter for Apple PowerBook users. The new CardBus adapter offers PowerBook users the added performance and connectivity options that Mac desktop SCSI users enjoy today.


January 3, 2000

Happy New Year!
Well, it seems that we made it through all the media hype regarding Y2K.  Now what?

Apple Computer is now shipping it's Cinema Display
Apple is shipping its Apple Cinema Display, a 22-inch all-digital flat panel with a razor-sharp, distortion-free image and unique wide format design. Combined with the new all-digital Power Mac G4, it represents the ultimate system for creative professionals.

Wilhelm Research Print Longevity Studies
I have added a new entry on the Link page for the latest print longevity study results from Wilhelm Imaging (PDF Format).  Note that "traditional" RA-4 Kodak Ektacolor Portra III prints are rated for 14 years when considering the longevity of other options.

Kodak's Web Site Has a New Look
Kodak has brightened up their popular web site with a cleaner look and brighter colors. Gone are the old black backgrounds.


December 29,1999

Nikon USA Web Site Back In Service:
Nikon's USA web site was restored today.  However, the forums are in read only format until after the new year.   Here is a direct link to the digital equipment area of the Nikon USA web site.

Nikon Coolpix 950 Firmware 1.3
Here is a link directly to the latest version 1.3 firmware for the Nikon Coolpix 950.  Be sure to read the questions and answers section and the installation warnings to avoid any unnecessary shipments of your 950 to the Nikon service center!

Apple OS9 and Nikon View 2.x and Nikon View DX ( for the D1 Digital Camera)
Nikon reports that these products are not compatible with Apple OS9 at this time.   Nikon will be updating their software to correct this problem.  Target date: January 15, 2000.

JPEG2000 Compression Spec Approved
Pop over to Phil Askey's web site and check out his report on this exciting JPG specification news.  The new spec allow for 200:1 compression without any appreciable degradation of quality.  It also addresses the mixed raster content issues related to current JPG compression where text is softened upon compression.   The new JPG compression will handle textual portions with a different algorithm that preserves the sharp edges and shapes of text.  Phil has also provided a link for a limited time availability download of LuraTech's LuraWave Photoshop Plugin.  The technology of this compression utility has been incorporated into the JPEG2000 committee draft.

Macintosh Users - Microsoft Update
From - Users of Outlook Express 5 and Internet Explorer 4.5 should download Internet Explorer 4.51-Outlook Express 5.01 Internet Update to ensure a seamless Internet experience after Dec 31.  Click Here for Updates

Turn Your Digital Pictures Into Postcards:
Adobe announced the release of ActiveShare software version 1.3.  Through a direct link to within Adobe ActiveShare software, consumers can easily and affordably add photos and personalized messages to postcards then have them printed and sent via the U.S. Post Office to friends and family who may not have Internet access.  The first postcard is free. As a special launch promotion, is offering two-for-one postcards through the end of the year allowing consumers to send postcards to friends and family for as little as 45 cents (U.S.) per card, including printing and mailing. After that, postcards can be purchased individually for 99 cents or in packages of 10 for $8.90 (U.S.), with additional price breaks for larger quantities.   Click Here for more details.


December 28, 1999

Nikon USA Web Site Down:
For the last week or so, Nikon users have been having problems accessing Nikon's USA web site (  In the mean time, Nikon's USA technical support site for digital products can be accessed at

Epson Printer Comparison:
Many people have inquired as to the differences in the print quality of the various Epson Ink Jet Printers.  I recently came across an interesting web site that offers direct comparisons of the different Epson offerings.  The comparison page can be found at   An easier to remember URL is   From there, you can follow the link titled "Comparing Epson printer output quality" in the "Links" section.

December 27, 1999

Kodak's Jay Kelbley responded to my request for "official" comment regarding the alleged Kodak warning against using version 3 firmware at this time (see December 23, 1999 entry below).  Mr. Kelbley's comments confirm my skepticism regarding the validity of this rumor:

Tom, we are not yet aware of any significant bugs in the version 3.0.9

The only significant issue that we were aware of with the version 3.0.8
firmware, is a format incompatibility with some very early Lexar storage

Some of the first 160MB cards from Lexar (some of the ones with the red
lables) will not format to full capacity. We compensated for this problem
in the early Lexar cards, in our version 3.0.9 firmware.

We are also not aware of any significant bugs in the latest host sofware,
when used with the DCS 5xx and DCS 6xx series cameras..
However, we willl be releasing an updated version of the v5.8.X host
software in early January, to fully support the DCS 3XX series cameras along
with the v3.0.x firmware for the DCS 3XX...

I will send a note to our Belgian rep in a few minutes..


December 23, 1999

A Kodak version 3 firmware user reports receiving a notice from Kodak (Europe) warning against using the latest version 3.0.9 firmware since "there are a lot of bugs" in it at this time.  This message was reportedly sent to 16 Belgium photographers today from a Kodak e-mail address.  I have requested "official" comment from my Kodak Contacts and will post it here as soon as I receive it.  Until then, I am very skeptical of the validity of this information since Kodak would likely "pull" version 3 firmware from further distribution if serious issues were known.


December 18, 1999

I have updated my user review of the new Kodak version 3 firmware to reflect the release of version 3.0.9.  This update resolves the older Lexar Media formatting issue (did not format to full capacity).  Also, I added additional warnings regarding upgrading to version 3 firmware IF you are using PC Event or PC Pro software (see Caution section of the review).


December 12, 1999

Check out a new Nikon D1 user review by Mike Chaney.  Mike has created a really cool "Hands On" tour of the D1 that shows some of the most comprehensive illustrations that I have seen to date.  He also compares the D1 to the Olympus C-2500L and gives his overall impressions of the D1.  Mike also gives some tips on locating/buying the hard-to-find Nikon D1.


December 11, 1999

Now that Kodak has released version 3.0.8 of the camera firmware and version 5.8.1 of the host software, I have modified my commentary in the Nikon D1 vs. Kodak Professional DCS feature comparision.   Many of the previously unsupported Kodak features described are now supported.

I have posted my initial user review of the new version 3 firmware and the Kodak DCS-520.  Kodak is on the right track with the new feature additions/enhancements.  Hopefully, Kodak will take note of a few additional suggestions that I have offered.

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