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Forget CompUSA for Inkjet Ink, We've Got Laser Monks!

Tucked away in the hills of Wisconsin is a group of monks who decided that jumping on the imaging and printing bandwagon would be a financially rewarding way to support their monastery, the Cistercian Abbey. 

The business, which operates the website, offers up to 75 percent discounts for businesses and individuals on printing and imaging supplies, including toner cartridges, inkjet cartridges, refill kits, copier toner, even cash register ribbons, Reuters reports.

The market for printing and imaging supplies is a big one. Hewlett-Packard Co., the biggest maker of printers, derived $918 million, or 76 percent, of its operating profit in its most recent quarter from its imaging and printing business. And, increasingly, consumers have options beyond going to Office Depot, OfficeMax, Fry's Electronics stores and other retailers to get inkjet and laser printer cartridges when they are running low on ink, or have already run out, said the report.

The price difference for buying inkjet and laser toner cartridges from manufacturers, such as HP, Canon, Epson, Lexmark International Inc. and others and from a discount website is not inconsiderable.

"A Canon or Epson inkjet that they're selling for $20 or $25, we've got it for like $3 or $4," Bernard McCoy, one of the monks who is leading the project, said, adding that the quality of remanufactured cartridges has improved markedly over the last two years.

"We're just a small, simple monastery in many ways, but I'd love to take on the big boys," McCoy said, referring to national retail chains OfficeMax and Office Depot. "David and Goliath is perhaps an apropos way of saying what we're trying to do."

McCoy said his hope for the business is to be able to support the Abbey's operating expenses and charitable giving, which together run about $120,000 annually. If things really take off, any additional profits will be given to charity, said the report.

Fujifilm introduces 512MB xD-Picture Card

Fuji Photo Film announced the Fujifilm 512MB xD-Picture Card. The new xD-Picture Card will begin shipping to consumer electronics, photography and other retailers later this summer.

The xD-Picture Card format, developed by Fujifilm and Olympus, was first introduced in September 2002. The development roadmap for the product predicts an eventual storage capacity of up to 8GB in a single card.

The xD-Picture Card also minimizes power consumption to save battery life and provides fast read/write capabilities for smoother digital camera operation. 

Fujifilm xD-Picture Cards are currently available at 16MB, 32MB, 64MB, 128MB and 256MB.

Put Your Pictures on Your Credit Cards

iPIX is providing Bank of America with imaging services that offer customers a new way to personalize their credit cards.

iPIX and Bank of America have created a four-step process designed for the novice. The consumer provides an electronic image of their choice, such as a photo of their pet or recent vacation, and has a chance to make simple adjustments to that image. Then, the consumer previews exactly what their new, personalized credit card design will look like before accepting.

When Bank of America cardholders select the Photo Expressions feature, they can add almost any photo to their existing Classic, Gold or Platinum credit card to create a one-of-a-kind card. Eligible customers can select the Photo Expressions feature through the company's website at

Canon Announces New 5 Megapixel PowerShot G5

The new Powershot G5 from Canon is a 5.0 megapixel digital with some impressive features. It has 4x optical and 4x digital zooms for a combined 16x zoom. 

It has 12 EOS-based Shooting Modes, Photo Effects, Custom Modes, Wide-Area FlexiZone AF/AE, Spot Metering. Also included are direct printing and EXIF compatibility.

Street prices are expected to be around $800 and it should be available as your read this. 

Creo announces its professional 22-megapixel camera back, the Leaf Valeo 22

Creo Leaf Valeo 22, a 22-megapixel digital camera Creo Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, announces the Leaf Valeo 22 digital camera back for in studio and portable shooting. It utilizes a newly developed 22-megapixel CCD that is designed for medium- and large-format photography.

In studio, the Leaf Valeo 22 camera back features live video view and electronic shutter control. On location, the Leaf Valeo 22 offers fast capture rates and a burst rate of eight frames. The Leaf Valeo 22 camera back contains a mega-sized sensor. The 4,056-by-5,356 resolution in a sensor size of 48-by-36 mm provides exactness and diminishes moire issues. Raw data files reach 126 MB in 16 bit. Advanced imaging technologies include the 16 bit Leaf High Dynamic Range raw data format; Leaf double-sensor-readout technology, and the 512 MB internal memory buffer for eight fast continuous frames.

Two upgrade options are being offered to assist photographers who want to work digitally today and be among the first in the world to use the new Leaf Valeo 22 camera back. Option 1: Purchase a Leaf Valeo 11 now and be among the first to receive the Leaf Valeo 22. The cost of the Leaf Valeo 22 is only the difference in the price of the trade-in. Option 2: Upgrade to the new Leaf Valeo 22 by receiving trade-in value for any existing camera back. Offer valid until Sept. 30, 2003. For more details about the upgrade options, contact Leaf by visiting

Auto FX Software releases Mystical Tint Tone and Color
PictureAuto FX Software has released a new suite of 38 tint, tone and color effects for enhancing digital images called Mystical Tint Tone and Color. uses unique methods to apply color editing and tonal enhancements to images making it easier for  novice users to turn their pictures into works of art. Rather than using selection masks, setup layers, and filters as PhotoShop does, Mystical Tint, Tone and Color uses a simple set of tools to brush on the color, tinting and tonal effects with no masking or selections required. A user can just brush on tonal sharpness in the areas they want, for example, using varying degrees of opacity and feather. Pricing starts at $299. See for more information.

Bogen Releases New Lightweight Tripod

Today's cameras are getting lighter and lighter and tripods have always been a chore to carry around. So Bogen has introduced the new Manfrotto 714B Digi Tripodfor all those lightweight camera users. 

The Black Anodized Aluminum 714B weighs only two and a half pounds and collapses down to 17". Extended it rises to 52.3 inches and 64 inches with the center column extended. 

Featuring quick release leg locks and an integral ball head the 714B can hold up to 5.5 lbs. 

Bogen addresses the convenience issue by packaging the 714 with a carrying case with dual shoulder straps that allows it to be carried like a backpack. For more information see Bogen's Web site.  

Epson, EFI and Wayport Give Travelers Mobile Access to Color Printing in Airports

Business travelers are now able to quickly and easily print high-quality, full-color documents at numerous airports across the United States through a trial program being offered by Epson and Electronics for Imaging (EFI), at Wayport's Laptop Lane airport business centers in nine major U.S. metropolitan airports: Hartsfield Atlanta (three locations), Chicago O'Hare (two locations), Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle-Tacoma, New York LaGuardia, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (three locations), Oakland (two locations), and Philadelphia. These centers will allow travelers to print from Laptop Lane computers and their own laptops, PDAs, cell phones or other mobile devices without having to install software drivers or undergo a complex setup process. 

To use the service, people establish either a wired or wireless secure high-speed connection to the Internet via Wayport in one of the designated Laptop Lane locations and upload or email their documents to a Web site.

 Each document is assigned a private Document ID number that is securely provided to the user. Users simply enter the DocID into the PrintMe station, a small device with a keypad and LCD attached to the Epson printer, to quickly and confidentially print their document. Using PrintMe DocIDs, travelers can also print documents uploaded by colleagues, clients and vendors.


Sigma Announces SD-9 Firmware Upgrade

Sigma has announced a firmware update for the SD-9 digital SLR. Among the features the update adds are support for the WA (Write Acceleration) memory card standard. 

To get the download go to

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