Minolta rolled out it's new Dimage cameras and allowed the press to play with mature prototypes at a press conference in New York in late May. The presence of senior Minolta officials, including Minolta's President, indicate that Minolta is serious about being a major player in this market.
The new Dimage line includes a point & shoot model, the S304, and two advanced models, the Dimage 5 & 7. The 5 & 7 are aimed at serious photographers with a number of innovative features, and handling that is closer to traditional cameras than many previous digitals have been. A pleasant surprise is the simple control layout which should lessen the learning curve for those new to digital photography. Both of these cameras include high quality digital zooms (7x & 2x), with apochromatic lenses. The Dimage 7 features 5.24 megapixel resolution and the Dimage 5, 3.34 megapixel resolution.
We had no problems using the basic or advanced features of these cameras without seeing a manual. We'll withhold judgment on image quality until we can get a production model in-house but the prototypes performed well, their beta firmware showing only slight glitches.
Minolta expects to begin shipping the Dimage 7 in July at an MSRP of $1,499 and the Dimage 5 and 3201 in August. MSRP on the Dimage 5 is $999. Prices have not yet been announced for the S304.
Corp., and ActivePhoto,
formed a strategic alliance to develop and market mobile,
wireless digital imaging workflow solutions without the need for
personal computers. The two companies will focus on bringing the
commercial marketplace ways to capture, transmit and print digital
Last year ActivePhoto introduced a "one-touch" photo publishing system that labels and wirelessly transmits images from a digital camera to a website using the label information to categorize, archive, and display images according to the customer's workflow. Utilizing ActivePhoto's proprietary technology, Polaroid plans to market a variety of low-cost mobile, wireless products that will generate and print digital images.Imation Corp., will increase CD-R pricing across all distribution channels, effective June 1, in reaction to an industry-wide tightening of worldwide CD-R supplies, the company reported. The company did say it expects to be able to adequately supply CD-Rs to the market despite current supply-side issues.
"Increases in the market, which are the result of heightened demand and increased costs of blank CD-R and global consolidation of manufacturing capabilities, will not affect the availability of Imation optical storage products to our channel and retail partners," said Steve Carter, general manager of Imation's Personal Storage Solutions business.
Translation: There will be plenty of CD-Rs on the shelf but increased demand will drive up prices temporarily. The demand is being fueled by dropping prices and increasing sales of CD-RW drives. Expect other manufacturers to follow suit.
Caveat Emptor for photographers: With prices rising don't be tempted to put valuable images on cheap "no name" CD-Rs. As they age, the error rate on cheap disks is significantly higher than on high quality disks.
Iomega Corporation announced that the USB version of its new Peerless
10GB and 20GB drive system is now shipping, more than a month ahead of
schedule, to customers who pre-ordered through their Web
site. The FireWire version is expected to ship within the
next several weeks. No ship date was given for the SCSI version.
The Dimage 7 features 5.24 megapixel resolution
Polaroid introduces a wireless image capture system
CD-R prices rising
Iomega Corporation announced that its new Peerless 10GB and 20GB drives now shipping
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