Memory Cards Safe From Airport X-Rays
Recent tests at the TSA Security Laboratory in Atlantic City, N.J.
found no evidence of X-ray scanner damage to digital camera media cards
or to the images they hold.
The tests of scanner models currently in use in the U.S.
transportation industry were jointly conducted by the International
Imaging Industry Association (I3A), SanDisk Corporation, and the U.S.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Hand checks of high speed film (ISO 800 or greater) are still
Nicole Kidman Wins Restraining Order Against
Actress Nicole Kidman has won a restraining order against two Australian
paparazzi. She claims their aggressive and intrusive behavior have made her fearful of leaving her Sydney
The restraining order was granted after two recent incidents. A bug
was found in the building used by Kidman's security team, presumably to
listen in on conversations among her security people as to her travel
times and destinations. The other involved a high speed chase by
paparazzi on wet roads that left Kidman shaken. In that incident
paparazzi drove through red lights and on the wrong side of the road in
pursuit of Kidman's vehicle while trying to snap pictures, raising
disturbing comparisons to the circumstances that led to Princess
Dianna's death in a fatal wreck allegedly caused in part by pursuing paparazzi.
Kidman is in Australia to begin filming the movie Eucalyptus but
according to her publiscist Wendy Day "Nicole would like to make it
clear that she acknowledges she is a public figure and that reporters
and photographers have a job to do and she respects that. However, these
are specific actions against two individuals who, over a period of time,
have caused her to feel threatened, intimidated and unable to leave her
home without fearing for her safety."
Lawyers for Jamie Fawcett and Ben McDonald denied the pair were
involved in the chase. And Fawcett refused to confirm he was the man
captured on security video tape planting a listening device near Miss
A Variable Focal Length Liquid Lens
Researchers De-Ying Zhang, Nicole Justis and Yu-Hwa Lo of the
University of California, San Diego have published a paper detailing the design of an
optical lens fabricated using a UV lithographic-galvanic-like process
involving soft lithography and wafer bonding. In simpler terms it is a
liquid filled lens that whose focal length is varied by adjusting fluid
pressure. Current lens designs adjust focal length by varying the
distance between two glass elements (Optics
Letters, Volume 29, Issue 24).
Why should you care?
The authors speculate that such lenses could be manufactured using
batch processes similar to those used in the manufacture of integrated
circuits. The result would be a lens system requiring much less
space while costing significantly less than a comparable glass lens system.
The scientists were able to demonstrate a zoom ratio (the ratio of the
maximum and minimum focal lengths) of two. According to the team, zoom
ratios of four and above can be achieved with this design.
French firm VariOptic is also active in the area, but rather than
using pressure to vary lens shape it applies a voltage to the lens
substrate modifying the contact angle of the liquid drop.
But don't expect to see these lenses for your SLR anytime
soon as they're still in the experimental stages.
Seagate Introduces 5GB Compact Flash Hard
for Digital Cameras
announced it will begin shipping its new CompactFlash Photo Hard Drive
in 2.5GB and 5GB capacities in January 2005. The drives will be
compatible with any digital camera with a Compact Flash type II media
To put that in perspective, the 5GB capacity represents the ability
to store 1,500 6 megapixel images or over 4,000 3 megapixel images on a
3D Movement Recognition, Look for it on SLRs
The Samsung SCH-S310
cameraphone, with a 1.3-megapixel camera, incorporates 3D movement
recognition to carry out commands.
Samsung Electronics Inc., Seoul, South Korea, unveiled the SCH-S310,
a"3D movement recognition" mobile phone featuring an antenna
slide design with GPS, 1.3-megapixel camera, music-on-demand, and mobile
banking capabilities. An 'Accelerometer' is built in to accurately
calculate and ascertain movement in three dimensional space and carry
out commands according to those calculations. This technology will do
away with the need for complex keypads on mobile phones, MP3 players,
digital cameras and other handheld products, the company says.
Samsung Electronics President Lee Ki-tae says, "Our new movement
recognition technology opens a new chapter in natural communication. We
will continue to work on technology breakthroughs for mobile phones that
make life more convenient for people." Samsung has already
developed movement-controlled functions that will be adopted on later
models. These include switching from landscape to portrait when shooting
video or snapping a still picture, or preventing the picture from
becoming blurred from hand movement.
Lowepro offers new Rolling Mini Trekker AW
has a new ultra lightweight,
compact all-weather backpack, with easy-rolling wheels and a tuck-away shoulder harness
& waist belt. The Rolling Mini Trekker AW
backpack uses sealed bearing wheels to provide smooth, easy rolling and
shock absorbing comfort while protecting the bottom of the bag and
camera equipment from damage. The extendable single-tube handle reduces
weight and bulk from its double tube predecessors and is curved to
provide perfect balance, says the company.
backpack offers several pockets and compartments for storing camera
equipment and accessories. Its padded dividers can be reconfigured and
customized to handle a variety of camera, lens and accessory
combinations and individual pockets provide storage for pens, cell
phones, or PDAs. The Rolling Mini Trekker also includes SlipLock
attachment loops for add-on accessories and a tripod holder on the
backpack's face for hands-free carrying and balanced weight
distribution. A built-in All Weather Cover protects the bag and its contents from
damaging moisture, dust, and sand.
backpack will be available at U.S. photo specialty retailers in March
and have a suggested list price of $279.
Sandisk Introduces SD Card with Built-in USB
SanDisk has introduced an innovative SD flash memory card with
built-in USB connectivity. The new product means greater convenience and
cost savings for consumers who can just plug the SD card into any SD
card slot such as is used in most digital cameras, and then plug it into
any USB port without needing an SD card reader to transfer data, images,
audio or video between computers, digital cameras and other electronic
The first products to be released by SanDisk with this new technology
are scheduled to be introduced in Q1, 2005 at the annual Photo Marketing
Association (PMA) show, Feb 20-23 in Orlando, Fl, with capacities up to
SanDisk Cruzer USB Drives Get Upgraded
Cruzer Micro USB flash memory drives are about to become personal
fashion statements as well. Starting with spring shipments, the portable
drives will be packaged with interchangeable colored skins and caps. The
popular drives will now be available in 2 and 4 gigabyte (GB) models and
the SanDisk Cruzer Micro will have 1GB and 2GB models.
Olympus New C-7070 Wide Zoom 7.1-Megapixel
new C-7070 Wide Zoom from Olympus features a high-performance wide-angle
lens in a rugged, magnesium body.
The camera’s wide-angle zoom lens lets photographers frame more of
a subject into their composition, and with the high-resolution
7.1-megapixel CCD, photographers can produce larger than life prints
with amazing vividness. Two new Autofocus (AF) modes enable
photographers to shoot fast, sharp photos of subjects in motion, so no
fleeting photo opportunities are missed.
The all glass lens provides a 4x optical zoom equivalent to 27 to
110mm, f2.8–f8.0. For nature photographers, the C-7070 features a
Super Macro mode that enables shooting from 1.18 inches to capture
details as delicate and nuanced as the wings of a butterfly or the
petals of a flower.
The C-7070 Wide Zoom features a number of professional SLR-type
features to satisfy the artistic needs of advanced users, including two
autofocus systems. A Predictive AF mode enables users to shoot subjects
moving towards them via an external AF sensor that detects the distance
the subject has moved and predicts its location at the moment of shutter
release. And an AF Target Selection function enables users to choose
from 143 AF target zones to focus on virtually any area of their
composition without reframing the shot. The C-7070 Wide Zoom also
features a manual focusing mode, giving users full control over the
accuracy of their focal range.
Kodak to acquire Creo for $980 Million
Kodak has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Creo Inc., a
supplier of prepress systems used by commercial printers worldwide, in
order to bolster Kodak's strategy to push more aggressively into the
commercial printing business.
Under the terms of the agreement, Kodak will pay approximately $980
million in cash, or $16.50 per share, for all the outstanding shares of
Creo, on a fully diluted basis. Creo presently has approximately $85
million of cash on its balance sheet and no debt. The transaction, which
has been approved by Kodak's and Creo's respective boards of directors,
is to be carried out by statutory plan of arrangement under Canadian law
and is subject to regulatory approvals, the approval of Creo's
shareholders, and court approval.
The proposed transaction follows the announcement on Jan. 12 that
Kodak has entered into an agreement to become the sole owner of Kodak
Polychrome Graphics (KPG), its joint venture with Sun Chemical
KPG is the world's leading supplier of digital and conventional
lithographic plates, digital color proofing products, and graphic arts
films, with strong worldwide distribution.
Declining Profits in Both Film and Digital
Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd., reported a 17.7 percent drop in
quarterly operating profit on sliding demand for photographic film and falling
digital camera prices, and left its full-year outlook unchanged,
Olympus Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co. also posted lower
profits reflecting a struggle by all digital camera makers to maintain
profit margins due to price competition and slowing growth in major
markets such as Japan.
The tough transition to digital products facing photographic film and
paper makers was highlighted last week by U.S. rival Eastman Kodak Co.,
which posted a preliminary quarterly loss due to heavy restructuring
costs and weak film sales.
New Canon SELPHY CP-400 Compact Printer
to Canon it's new Compact Photo Printer SELPHY CP-400 makes printing
brilliant, high quality photos from a digital camera quick and easy. It
replaces Canon's popular CP-220 model, the new Compact Photo Printer
SELPHY CP-400 allows consumers to make beautiful 4 x 6-inch postcards or
photographs in approximately 81 seconds, which is four seconds faster
than previous models.
It can also print credit-card size photos, photo stickers, photo
labels and 4 x 8-inch photo greeting cards. This new dye sublimation
device creates water and fade resistant prints that last up to 100
years. It is PictBridge compliant.
It is expected to be available in January 2005.
New Canon PIXMA iP90 Mobile Printer
new PIXMATM iP90 mobile printer offers consumers and business
professionals a compact, high-speed printing solution for both photo and
document printing. The PIXMA iP90 faster text and graphics printing
speeds compared with the i80 it replaces, a new Save Black Ink Mode and
a new Use Composite Black Mode.
A Save Black Ink Mode has been added to the driver of the new PIXMA
iP90 mobile printer. This mode allows the printer to switch to long life
mode, which can achieve up to 66% more ink yield by laying down less ink
on the page. The new "Use Composite Black Mode" will allow the
user to switch the printer to composite black when the standard black
ink tank has run out. Composite black is created by mixing cyan, magenta
and yellow inks together, which can provide the critical ink needed when
the black tank runs dry at a truly inopportune moment.
An optional Bluetooth adapter for wireless printing is available. The
new PIXMA iP90 printer will be available in January for an estimated
selling price of $249.99.
Nikon to Begin Shipping D2X & 300mm f2.8G
announced that the D2X digital SLR will begin shipping on February 25th
at a MSRP of $4,999.
Nikon also announced that the AF-S VR Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens
will begin shipping in late January 2005 at a retail price of $5,999.
Nikon D70 Firmware Update
To download D70 Firmware B Update version 1.03 for Windows click
here, for Mac click