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You Think You have Lots of Frequent Flyer Miles?

After a journey of about 2.8 billion miles, history's most prolific traveling photographer, the Galileo spacecraft, plunged into Jupiter's atmosphere on Sunday September 21st.

The Galileo was launched from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Atlantis in 1989. Returning over 14,000 images and 30 gigabits of data the sturdy craft has provided a wealth of discoveries and surprises for scientists while burning just 246 gallons of fuel in 14 years and 2.8 billion miles! 

Galileo's own discovery of a likely ocean hidden under Europa's surface raises the possibility of life on Jupiter's moon and concern about protecting it. For that reason, its final act was to dive into Jupiter's atmosphere and disintegrate. 

Predictably, some of the spacecraft's findings raised intriguing questions that will have to be answered by future missions. But Galileo Galilei, the first modern astronomer, would be immensely proud of the discoveries made by the spacecraft that carried his name. 

To see some of the amazing images returned by the Galileo spacecraft go to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Web site at


Photoflex Offers New Catalog on CDROM & Sponsors Online Web Photo School with Olympus

Photoflex recently released their new product catalog as an interactive CDROM. 

That in itself is interesting as it gives photographers an easy way to navigate the sometimes confusing world of studio lighting and accessories.

But also of interest to photographers is the fact that Photoflex and Olympus have teamed up to sponsor an online photo school that offers over 200 lessons - many of which are focused on lighting - a topic that confuses many photographers. A one year membership in the school is $60, one month is $20 and there are trial lessons that you can check out online for free. For more information go to


PhotoPlus Expo 2003

PhotoPlus Expo 2003 will take place from October 30th to November 1st at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York.

Information is available online at


Beam Me Up Scotty!

Kodak demonstrated a new class of device it calls a "universal communicator" at the annual Intel developer forum that pairs Kodak's OLED display technology with Intel's PCA processor. 

There are two technologies showcased here that are of interest to photographers: Kodak's OLED display and Intel's XScale. 

OLED is a breakthrough screen technology that is self luminous. That means it requires no backlighting, is much thinner, and uses very little power. OLED displays have a wide viewing angle of up to 160 degrees, provide rich colors in even bright sunlight, and are capable of ghost free full motion video. 

XScale is a new Intel technology that scales rich media (images, sound, and video) across multiple platforms. That means that we will see a dramatic blurring of the lines between digital cameras, cellular phones, digital video cameras, DVD players, and PDAs in the next generation of devices as these technologies allow one device to be good at more than one job. The next generation will be a far cry from today's cell phones with grainy half-megapixel cameras.


Lexar Offers Two Smaller Memory Stick Options

Lexar will manufacture and distribute two smaller versions of Memory Stick: Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo. 

They are one-third the volume and one half the weight of a standard Memory Stick, which makes them ideal for mobile phones, compact digital cameras and mobile electronic devices. They are available now.


Olympus Unveils C-5000 Zoom 5.0 Megapixel Digital Camera

Olympus introduced the C-5000 Zoom 5.0 Megapixel digital camera. It offers an Olympus 3x Optical Zoom lens 38mm 114mm equivalent, f2.8/f4.8 f8.0 with shutter speeds from 16 to 1/1,000th of a second, 4x digital zoom, flash hot shoe, six program modes, and optional lenses.

The C-5000 has six program modes and a "My Mode" setting that allows you to program the camera for the options you use most. It also offers full manual operation.

The C-5000 will be available in October with an estimated street price of around $500.


Bogen/Manfrotto Introduces New Line of 
Panoramic Tripod Heads

Bogen/Manfrotto has announced a new line of QTVR panoramic tripod heads. 

The 300N covers the most common requests of panoramic photographers providing a choice of rotation angle (and number of photos) needed to complete a 360 pan. The 300N also allows the photographer to take sequential constant-angle shots around a single axis, which is an essential part of achieving accurate and easy-to-stitch panoramic compositions.

The 303 pan head permits the photographer to take sequential constant-angle shots around a single axis with his or her camera either in portrait or landscape position, and with the nodal point of the camera/lens in line with the center of rotation to ensure that parallax effects do not cause problems during image stitching.

The 303PLUS head is built around the 300N pan rotation unit, with sliding plates for nodal point positioning and an elbow bracket to allow the camera to be mounted in either portrait or landscape orientation. The 303PLUS incorporates precise geared movements of the two sliding plates used to locate the camera over the panoramic axis of rotation, adding greater accuracy to nodal point positioning.

The 303SPH head allows photography of multi-row cubic, spherical and cylindrical panoramas, along with VR object movie sequences. It has sliding plates to position the camera over the panoramic axis of rotation, plus a sliding plate which rotates around the front/back tilt axis allowing the camera to be rotated on both horizontal and vertical axis around the camera/lens nodal point. 


Olympus E-1 Now Supports Lexar WA Standard

Olympus announced that it's 5.0 megapixel E-1 digital SLR will support the Lexar WA (Write Acceleration) standard. 

The camera features a FAT32 file system and has a CompactFlash Type II slot, which enables the E-1 to accept 4GB CompactFlash cards, currently the largest size available.

The E-1 will be available in October with a list price of $2,199. Expect street prices to be significantly lower.



Product Updates

Updated driver software available for DiMAGE film scanners

Minolta has updated its DiMAGE Scan driver software (version 1.1.1), supporting the new DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400, DiMAGE Scan Multi PRO, DiMAGE Scan Elite II, DiMAGE Scan Multi, and DiMAGE Scan Multi II film scanners. This updated DiMAGE Scan driver software is available for free Internet download for current Minolta film scanner owners for Windows and Macintosh (including Mac OS X) operating systems. 

DiMAGE Scan v.1.1.1 now features a histogram display in the Exposure Control Tab for the DiMAGE Scan Multi PRO, DiMAGE Scan Elite II, DiMAGE Scan Multi and DiMAGE Scan Multi II.


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