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Lower digital camera profits may induce manufacturers to increase 35mm production

It's a digital photo album...it's an online shopping site...it's a fridge!

Minolta Releases two new DiMAGE cameras: the 7i and F100

Canon Announces Wide Ranging Rebate Programs

Canon Releases new Powershot S330 & S200 Digital ELPH Cameras

Pentax Expands 645N & 645NII Lens System with Three New Zoom Lenses

Iomega Offers New Portable and External Hard Drive Product Lines

Fuji Debuts Photo-Shooting Kit for Internet Auctions


Lower digital camera profits may induce manufacturers to increase 35mm production
JPEA Photo Electro News (PEN) reports Japanese camera manufacturers may be introducing new film camera models this summer and fall, due in part to decreasing profits on digital cameras.

Around 5 million digital cameras were sold in Japan last year, while the shipment of film cameras barely amounted to 3 million. In the traditional camera arena, Fuji and Kodak will continue producing APS models. Canon, whose Elph/Ixus series remains a bestseller, will also retain APS camera production, but other makers will focus on 35mm again, PEN reports.

  "We will introduce attractive and comparatively low priced 35mm models this summer and autumn," an Olympus spokesperson told PEN. Nikon is most concerned with a recent decline of SLRs. Nikon, Minolta and Pentax will follow suit, PEN reports.

It's a digital photo album...it's an online shopping site...it's a fridge!

Samsung is showing its Digital Network Refrigerator, the SR-S75F. A complete entertainment and information center, Samsung's intelligent new side-by-side refrigerator features a 15.1-inch detachable LCD screen/TV and Internet connectivity. This product is also a 27.0-cubic-foot refrigerator.

  Consumers would be able to view and send email, surf and shop. A special Messenger Function organizes communication between family members with options for text, voice or even video memos. TV lovers can enjoy their favorite shows or news programs via the built-in Samsung 15.1-inch LCD screen. External inputs also allow hook up of a DVD Player or VCR for a complete suite of viewing options. Samsung's Digital Network Side-By-Side refrigerator also puts a high-tech spin on the tradition of pasting family photos to the fridge with a built-in digital photo album that stores and shares images. Photos can be sent over the Internet or even programmed as screen savers.

Samsung's Digital Network Refrigerator will be available later this year in a variety of finishes.

Minolta Releases two new DiMAGE cameras: the 7i and F100

The 7i boasts several significant improvements over the DiMAGE 7 it replaces. Focus speed is claimed to be 2x faster and shutter speed is increased to 1/4000th. The camera is now capable of 7 frames per second. The capturing interval, the time between the pressing of the shutter and the image being written to the memory card, has been significantly shortened. An interesting feature is the inclusion in the 7i of Minolta's new Digital Effects Control or DEC. This feature allows you to bracket not just exposure but also saturation and contrast. You can also tweak the color temperature of your images in-camera and even tone black and white images. The 7i will be available in late spring. Estimated street prices will be around $1,100.

The DiMAGE F100 is a point and shoot zoom camera on steroids. Sporting 4 megapixel resolution, subject tracking autofocus, and area autofocus it is capable of tracking moving subjects in three dimensions - locking on and maintaining focus for sharp images - a feature normally found on SLRs. The camera also sports 3x optical and 2.5x digital zooms, ISO 100 to 800 modes, and Minolta's new CxProcess firmware. The CxProcess evaluates sharpness, resolution, and color saturation to find the best balance for each image.  

Canon Announces Wide Ranging Rebate Programs

Canon USA announced a number of spring rebate programs. Included in the rebate programs are selected EOS cameras and lenses, image stabilizer binoculars, select APS cameras, digital camcorders, printers, and digital cameras. Go to Canon's Web site for detailed rebate information.

Canon Releases new Powershot S330 & S200 Digital ELPH Cameras

In other news Canon announced the release of two new cameras in the Digital ELPH line the new PowerShot S330 and S200.  "Digital ELPH" models. Aside from differences in their optical zoom range (the S200 includes a 2x 35-70mm f/2.8-4.0 while the S330 includes a 3x 35-105mm* f/2.7-4.7), both cameras provide a similar range of features including a 2.0 megapixel CCD sensor, an improved user interface, direct print capability with Canon's new CP-100 and CP-10 Card Photo Printers ISO settings from 50 to 400, and zoom playback up to 10x for convenient image review.

The PowerShot S330 and S200 will be available in March and April and have a suggested retail price of $499 and $449, respectively.

Pentax Expands 645N & 645NII Lens System with Three New Zoom Lenses

PENTAX has expanded its line of autofocus lenses for use with its 645N and 645NII medium-format cameras with the introduction of the SMCP-FA 645 Zoom 33mm~55mm f/4.5 AL ultra-wide-angle zoom lens and the SMCP-FA 645 Zoom 55mm~110mm f/5.6 standard zoom lens. The addition of these two lenses brings the count of 645 autofocus lenses to 13. For more details check out the Pentax Web site at http://www.pentax.com/news/news_display.cfm?pressid=119

Iomega Offers New Portable and External Hard Drive Product Lines
Iomega introduced two new lines of external hard drives - the HDD Portable Hard Drive in 20GB and 30GB capacities, and the HDD External Hard Drive in 40GB, 80GB, and 120GB capacities. Iomega's new drives for Windows and Macintosh users are hot-swappable and plug-and-play. With an optional interface module, Iomega's new hard drives can be switched between high-bandwidth USB 2.0 and FireWire interfaces. The Iomega HDD Portable Hard Drive is available today. Prices for the varying configurations range from $199 to $279. The Iomega HDD External Hard Drive is expected to be available in May. Prices for its varying configurations range from $199 to $379.

Fuji Debuts Photo-Shooting Kit for Internet Auctions

Fuji is offering a new kit including a digital photo stand and soft box aimed at folks creating images for posting on Internet auction sites. A digital photo stand is used to position the digital camera. The box where the subject is placed is covered with translucent white screen material. The company says the box will help provide even lighting for the product using a fluorescent light. The resulting effect gives the object a near-three-dimensional look. The stand is different from an ordinary camera tripod, and the company says its compact size facilitates shooting on a coffee table or office desk for a photo that looks like a professional commercial photo.

Initial prices were quoted in Yen. The stand is priced at 18,500 and the box is priced at 12,500. Both will be on sale May 10. No word on whether the kit will be available in the U.S. or in Japan only.

 

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