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Minolta Introduces New Dimage Digital Line with 5 Megapixel Flagship Camera


Polaroid and Active Photo form Alliance for Wireless Image Capture and Printing 


Stock Up on CD-Rs, Prices are Rising Iomega Ships New Peerless 10GB and 20GB Drive System

Minolta Introduces New Dimage Digital Line with 5 Megapixel Flagship Camera

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.

Polaroid and ActivePhoto form Alliance for Wireless Image Capture and Printing

Polaroid 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 images.

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.

Stock up on CD-Rs, Prices are Rising

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 Ships New Peerless 10GB and 20GB Drive System

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.

Peerless disks are 2.5 inch pocket size storage devices based on IBM Travelstar technology, the highest shock rated removable drives, and will ship with Iomega's QuickSync software.  The Peerless disk slips into a base station only slightly larger than the disk itself - a slim, vertical enclosure that minimizes the desktop footprint.

The system's hard drive electronics are located in the base station, rather than on the disk itself, so users only have to buy the drive's electronics once. The technology is a product of collaborations between Iomega and IBM and results in disk prices as low as one cent per megabyte. The fully sealed disk design also eliminates the risk of dust contamination and allows sustained transfer rates up to 15 MB/sec with a FireWire interface module.  Introductory prices on Iomega's site are $359 for the 10GB version and $399 for the 20GB version that includes base station and one disk.  Individual Peerless disks are priced at $159.95 (10GB) and $199.95 (20GB).

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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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