A Three Chip Circus: Capturing, Holding & Storing Images
By Michael McEnaney
The operative word was "New" at this year's
annual PMA get together...as in new products, new companies, new
processing techniques and new partnerships. Even a new location for
the show, sort of, after a number of years flip-flopping from New
Orleans to Vegas.
While this year's show was void of any major announcements, what we saw was a continuation of items that have been making news throughout the year.
For instance - both Digital Now and Applied Science Fiction provided the first tire-kicking sessions for their "dry" film processing systems. While we are still a few laps from the finish line with these systems, customers are beginning to line up (we just can't tell you exactly who yet).
Elsewhere, the photo dot.com marketplace has thinned, to say the least, but that isn't necessarily bad news. Only the strong are left standing and consumers can now begin to put their trust in those still at the party. We'll be taking a much closer look at this later in the year as well.
How about a few things we can tell you about, like the digital
camera market continuing to roll along at a dizzying pace. No less
than 100 booths displayed a digital camera of some sort in Orlando.
Some of you may not consider that good news but the fact remains -
the momentum in this market shows no signs of slowing down.
While the traditional photo manufacturers continue to churn out impressive offerings in this category, the consumer electronic giants made some noise as well.
Sony intro'd a bunch of new digital cameras at varying pixel and price points. As for the answer to the question, "Which in-camera media have they settled on?" the answer is they haven't, offering models that take both Memory Stick and floppy disk (as well as CDR and CDRW).
Panasonic introduced two new digital cameras to their new iPalm line-up - the PV-DC3000-A and the PV-DC3010. The two new models succeed the PV-DC3000, the world's first digital camera to use Secure Digital (SD) memory cards.
Both cameras offer 3.3 Megapixel resolution and 2X optical zooms. The 3000-A ships with a 16MB SD card while the 3010 comes packaged with a 32MB SD card. Both models also capture 12 second video clips ready for e-mailing. For more details visit www.panasonic.com.
Toshiba Imaging Systems, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., has introduced its new PDR-M61 2.3 Megapixel Digital Still Camera, targeting the booming sub-$500 category. Designed with the beginner in mind, the easy-to-use PDR-M61 offers an advanced 2.3 Megapixel CCD that captures images at resolutions as high as 1792 x 1200.
Sanyo is turning heads with their IDC-1000Z, a 1.5MP digicam that takes the company's new 730MB mini CD. The new media gives the camera the capacity to hold over 11,000 images on, what they call, the new iDPhoto disk media.
Not to be outdone, the traditional photo guys strutted their stuff
too. The new Minolta DiMAGE 7 is the company's latest digital
camera offering and the industry's first 5 million pixel
consumer-level digital camera. The DiMAGE 7 offers 5.2 Megapixel
resolution on a 2/3-inch CCD. Minolta has added a 7X optical zoom
with a 28mm Wide Angle lens (28mm-200mm equivalent). An ergonomic
design offers users a solidly constructed lens barrel that fits
snuggly in one hand while the other hand is free to operate the
cameras many functions.
Minolta also recently introduced two other Megapixel digital cameras - the DiMAGE 5 and the DiMAGE S304. The DiMAGE 5 is a 3.3 Megapixel digital camera (1/1.8-inch CCD) that also offers users the power of a 7X optical zoom (35mm-250mm equivalent).
The DiMAGE S304 also checks in with 3.3 Megapixel resolution and offers a 4X optical zoom (35mm-140mm equivalent).