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This has been the busiest news month in the last three years including: The most aggressive virus attacks to ever hit the Internet, the first digital SLR under $1,000, . Read on...


Expect Greater Scrutiny of Your Cameras at the Airport

The TSA (Transportation Safety Authority) and the Department of Homeland Security have announced they will be paying much closer attention to electronic carry-on items and cameras. 

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that al-Qaida operatives had "shown a special interest" in converting a camera flash attachment into a stun gun type of weapon or a bomb. Operatives also have experimented with disguising a detonator and explosives inside a camera.

Portable CD players, cell phones, laptops, even remote keyless entry transmitters will now get a closer look at the airport. The TSA even recommends taping a business card to the bottom of your laptop "to avoid loss or the accidental 'exchange' with travelers."

To get all the latest updates go to the TSA information page Are You Prepared for Takeoff?

Kodak Announces EasyShare DX6490 Advanced Amateurs

Picture Kodak unveiled the new EasyShare DX6490 zoom digital camera. Aimed at advanced amatuers it features a Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 10X optical zoom lens, a new Kodak Color Science image processing chip, and multiple shooting modes. 

The 4-megapixel camera features a 2.2-inch high-resolution indoor/outdoor LCD screen and will be available worldwide in September for a suggested retail price of $499.  

Pentax to New Digital SLR *ist D & Two New Lenses

Pentax joins the digital SLR fray with their new 6.1-megapixel digital SLR *ist D camera. It will be compatible with existing Pentax SLR lenses with a 1.5x multiplication factor (the image chip is smaller than a 35mm frame). It features a new user selectable 11 point autofocus system, 16 segment metering system, a 2.6 fps frame rate, 1/4000th of a second shutter speed and 1/150th flash sync speed.

It's compatible with type I & II & WA compact flash card standards. The list price is $1,699 and the *ist D will be in stores in September.

The new *ist D lenses are the smc PENTAX-FA J Zoom 18mm-35mm FA-F5.6 AL (equivalent to 27.5mm-53.5mm in 35mm) and the first model of a new DA series designed to match the *ist D CCD size-the PENTAX-DA Zoom 26mm-45mm F4 ED AL.

New Cameras from Canon and the First Sub-$1,000 Digital SLR

EOS Digital Rebel SLR

EOS Rebel K2 
35mm SLR

PowerShot A80
digital camera

The 6.3-megapixel EOS Digital Rebel. The Digital Rebel uses Canon's DIGIC (Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) Imaging Processor from the 10D, which combines the roles of image processing and camera control into one chip. The Digital Rebel has a 7-point AF sensor, shutter speeds from 1/ 4,000 to 30 seconds plus, a built-in TTL flash and PictBridge; a new standard for direct printing to PictBridge compatible printers. 

The EOS Digital Rebel will be offered in two kit configurations: with or without the EF 18-55mm f/3.5 - 5.6 zoom lens. Initial shipments of each kit will begin in mid-September. 

The estimated selling price for the zoom lens kit which includes a battery pack and charger will be $999. The estimated selling price for the body only will be $899.

The Rebel K2 Film Camera incorporates many of the attributes of the Rebel Ti including Canon's 7-point wide area AF, shutter speeds to 1/2000 of a second, and 35-zone AF-linked evaluative metering.The Rebel K2 has 12 shooting modes, various metering links, and exposure brackets all of which are built-in functions, but can be overridden for manual control and a built-in TTL flash.

It should be available in stores in mid-September. The EOS Rebel K2 camera body alone or as part of a kit with an EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II zoom lens. The price is yet to be announced.

Canon's new 4-megapixel PowerShot A80 Digital Camera features a 3X optical zoom and a Vari-Angle LCD Monitor. The PowerShot A80 is part of the PowerShot A series and it supports the new PictBridge standard for direct printing. The PowerShot A80 digital camera captures images up to 2272x1704 using Canon's DIGIC processor. It will be available in October for a suggested retail price of $499.

Lexar Ships 4.0 GB 40x WA Compact Flash Cards

Lexar is now shipping a 4.0 GB 40x Type II WA Compact Flash card. Lexar says the card can store 600 RAW images fro a 6.0 megapixel camera. 

The card features Lexar's WA (Write Acceleration) technology which improves write speeds when used with WA capable cameras. 

Because this card is larger than 2 GB you can't assume it's compatible with your digital camera or SLR. You camera must support the FAT32 standard to use this card (or any card over 2 GB). All that space doesn't come cheap. The suggested list price is a breath taking $1,499.

Konica Minolta Announces New Name and Logo 

We reported in Issue #24 that Konica and Minolta were merging. This month the new entity announce the creation of a new holding company to be called Konica Minolta. The reorganization of the two groups is scheduled to be completed by October 2003. 

Minolta Announces New Line of Digital Cameras

Look for an article covering all the new models shortly.

Ritz Camera Launches New Line of Single Use Digital Cameras

Ritz Camera will soon start selling a $10.99 "single use" digital camera. It will be a 2.0 megapixel fixed focal length camera with no LCD manufactured under the Dakota brand exclusively for Ritz. The camera will allow you to shoot 25 images before being returned to Ritz for printing. The press release indicates that you can delete unwanted images - but without an LCD we're not sure how you would do it. 

The cameras will be available through Ritz Camera, Camera Shop, and Wolf Camera stores (all Ritz properties). And for those already speculating on hacking the cameras to get a free digital some bad news. The cameras will be exclusively manufactured for Ritz and will use a proprietary image format that only Ritz can print.

New Nikon 200-400 f4 VR AFS lens

Nikon has announced a new Nikkor AF-S VR 200-400mm f4 G IF-ED super telephoto zoom lens with vibration reduction (VR) and a silent wave motor (AFS). It is an internal zoom and focus design, has a 'Memory Set' button which can instantly recall a memorized focus position, a drop in filter slot, and has an environmental rubber seal around the F mount bayonet. It is compatible with TC 14E II & TC 20E II teleconverters. On a DX format digital SLRs this lens will provide the equivalent to a 300-600mm focal length. It will be available in Autumn 2003. The price has not been announced.

Two new wide Nikon DX Format lenses

Along with the introduction of the new D2H Digital SLR Nikon is introducing two new DX format lenses. 

The Nikkor AF-S DX 17-55 mm F2.8 G provides an equivalent field of view of 25.5-82.5mm, It is slightly smaller and lighter than the Nikkor AF-S 28-70 mm f2.8. 

The new DX lens is the new AF DX 10.5 mm F2.8 G fisheye which we reported on last month. This lens can be used with Nikon software to "unfold" the fisheye image into a 15.75mm rectilinear image. See First Look: The Nikon D2H for more information on this lens/software package.

Leica Camera Launches "Shop-in-Shop" Concept in the United States

Leica will introduce Leica "shop in shops" to the U.S. market after having success with the concept in Europe . The "shop-in-shops" will open as a series of in-store Leica boutiques at key photography dealers nationwide. These boutiques will offer Leica camera aficionados an expanded offering of rare equipment and merchandise. 

The first shop-in-shop was launched in Camera West in Monterey California in June. Leica plans to open boutiques over the next 12 months in New York, Boston, Dallas, Houston, South Carolina, Denver, Seattle, and Arizona . The concept was developed by Hanns-Peter Cohn, CEO of Leica Camera AG, in 1999 when he joined the company. There are currently more than 10 shop-in-shop Leica boutiques in Germany, 30 in France, and one in Austria and have increased sale by 125% in Germany and 75% in France.

Man Turns Postal Van into Giant Pinhole Camera

Over the years I've heard lots of stories about extreme photographers. But that usually meant climbing mountains or shooting in the arctic. Shaun Irving takes his photography to extremes in a different way. He's built what has to be the world's largest "portable" camera. He's turned an old postal van into a giant pinhole camera that he calls Peanut. 

How big is Peanut? How about Shaun makes 4 foot by 8 foot negatives with Peanut! For more information check out Shaun's Web site at It's gauranteed to put a smile on your face.

Digitized Fine Art

New Scientist Online The National Gallery in London has been working Hewlett-Packard for eight years on a scheme to digitize all of its 2300 paintings. The images have been captured with a digital camera that steps backwards and forwards across the painting yielding an image with 100 megapixel resolution. The gallery hopes to make money by creating high quality digital prints of famous paintings that can be sold to museum patrons. But by digitizing the paintings are they putting the collection at risk of piracy?


The gallery seems resigned to the fact that piracy could happen and admits there's not much they can do to prevent it since the images will contain no digital water marks. This project raises some interesting questions for the art community. For the full story click here.

GM and Getty Images Team to Launch Online GM PhotoStore

General Motors is teaming with Getty Images to launch the GM PhotoStore. It will be the official online photo source for historical images from GM. 

The web site,, has vehicle photos from every GM division dating from the turn of the century to the present. 

If you find a favorite old car or an interesting image you can order it as a poster. In cases where the original negative was grainy or the focus is soft by today's standards there will be a recommendation of the maximum print size you should consider. 

The site is fun and a good way to waste a couple of hours. You'll find favorite old cars, the 1909 Pikes Peak GMC truck, rocket cars from the World's Fair, police cars, school buses, fire engines, locomotives, WWII airplanes and even tanks!

Available print sizes range from 8x10 to 24x30 with prices from $15 to $42. 

Agfa Announces New Photographic Papers

Agfa announced a new generation of photographic papers that will be available starting in September - Agfacolor Type 12 and Agfacolor Prestige 3.

The new papers for the Standard and Premium Range offer more brilliant color that their predecessors Type 11 and Prestige II. The increased color brilliance is attributable to the use of new color couplers. Their low secondary absorptions make for radiant red, rich purple, sunny yellow, fresh green and crisp sky-blue, according to Agfa. At the same time, the new couplers improve the image stability of the processed papers. The papers have identical reciprocity properties and unchanged spectral sensitization with the papers they replace, which eliminates the need to change filters. The paper base also remains unchanged. The new papers are supplied in longer rolls than those they replace.

Adobe Photoshop update now available for Power Mac G5

A version of Photoshop 7.0.1 designed to take advantage of the Power Mac G5 is available as a free download from the Adobe website for customers who have purchased Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1 for an Apple G3 or G4 system. The Power Mac G5 delivers performance that will enable Photoshop 7.0.1 to run up to twice as fast when compared to previous Macintosh models. The Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1 G5 Processor Plug-in for MacOSX is available now at

New Epson Acid Free PremierArt Matte 
Scrapbook Photo Paper

Epson announced the introduction of PremierArt Matte Scrapbook Photo Paper in both a letter and a 12-by-12 size to fit standard album sleeves. PremierArt Matte Scrapbook Photo Paper is an acid-free, lignin-free, buffered paper for printing photos and other elements for creating archival scrapbook pages. This two-sided paper, made of 100-percent cotton, is compatible with all dye-based and pigment-based inkjet printers from all manufacturers. With this paper, scrapbookers can digitally design pages in their entirety, importing photos, creating headlines and adding text directly to the file before printing out the completed scrapbook page. They can also use the paper to print custom elements of their pages, such as background patterns, borders, headlines or photos, then cut them out and adhere them to an album page. Tests conducted by Wilhelm Imaging Research Inc. have rated the dark storage properties of PremierArt Matte Scrapbook Photo Paper with Epson inks up to 200 years without noticeable yellowing or other deterioration when stored in an album in archival sleeves. Tests are still continuing. 

The PremierArt Matte Scrapbook Photo Paper will be sold in packs of 20 sheets in the letter size and packs of 10 sheets in the 12-by-12 size. Because the matte paper is two-sided, these packs will yield 40 scrapbook pages and 20 scrapbook pages, respectively. The estimated street price for each of these packs will be $19.99.

Digital camera makers boost output as demand surges

Digital camera makers are revising their forecasts for digital camera shipments upward, due to an 85% surge in global demand in the first half of this year, Nikkei Business Publications reports. 

Sony Corp. raised its projection for digital camera shipments for the year ending March 2004 by 2 million units, or by 20-25%, to more than 10 million. Canon Inc. also expects to boost production by 10-15% in order to ship 8.5 million units in 2003. 

"We are selling as many digital cameras as we produce," a Canon official said. 

Olympus plans to raise its annual production forecast from an earlier projection of 7 million units in May to 7.5-8 million units. Likewise, Nikon Corp. increased its digital camera shipment goal to more than 5 million from its previous projection of 4.6 million units. Along with compact digital cameras, the company also plans to produce more high-end products, such as single-lens reflex models. 

In the January-June period, global digital camera shipments jumped 85% from a year earlier to 16.83 million units. With the approach of the Christmas and year-end shopping season, demand is expected to rise even further.

Two New Memory Stick Products from SanDisk

SanDisk introduced the new Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo flash memory cards to expand its Memory Stick product line

With higher performance and embedded MagicGate technology, the Memory Stick PRO Duo cards are targeted for digital music players, digital still and video cameras. The Memory Stick PRO Duo cards feature high capacity, high-speed data transfer and built-in security for the secure transfer of copyright-protected content and real-time recording of high-resolution images and video. The new Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo cards are approximately 1/3 the size of a Memory Stick card and include a Memory Stick adapter for use in all Memory Stick or Memory Stick PRO devices.

The SanDisk Memory Stick Duo cards, 32 megabytes (MB) to 128MB, will be available for $34.99 to $69.99. The SanDisk Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, 256MB and 512MB, will be available for $129.99 and $309.99. The cards are expected to ship in September. 

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