July 27, 2006
Canon Announces a new High Definition 6X Zoom XL 3.4-20.4mm L Lens for the XL-H1 HD Camcorder
Back from a long hiatus here. I'm
preparing fro grad school, so been purty busy. The blog will
probably die off too, though I will make an effort to remain
up-to-date in the tech/photography line. Anyway, Canon announced
a 6X wide angle High Def. (HD) zoom video lens, the 6X Zoom XL
3.4-20.4mm L lens for the XL H1 HD. Canon put this lens in its
so called "L-series", which is where Canon designates their
“highest quality” line. L series lenses have a red stripe around
the lens. The 6X XL Wide 3.4 - 20.4mm L-series zoom lens
features Ultra High Refractive Index Aspherical glass elements
reducing distortion and lens elements are multi-coated to reduce
flare and ghosting
The wide-angle lens provides has focal lengths from 24.5 to
147mm (in 35mm photographic terms) and the lens has a manual
iris ring (maximum aperture of f/1.6 - 2.6) and a distance
display function to help in manual focusing accuracy.
The lens will also allow users to switch between two ‘Neutral
Density’ filters (1/6, 1/32) and it includes a Minimum Object
Distance (MOD) feature, which creates an AF range suitable for
normal shooting situations from one meter to infinity,
preventing the annoying problem of a lens focusing on dust
particles accumulated on the lens. The AF range can be extended
to a minimum focusing distance of 20mm.
The lens will be available in November, at an MSRP of $2,999.
June 30, 2006
Samsung Developing Faster Flash Memory
Samsung Electronics announced it had developed a faster and higher capacity version of the world's fastest memory chip, what they call “OneNAND”, applying 60nm technology to the chip's production process.
The new 2Gb "OneNAND" has double the capacity of of the previous chip and increases the chip's write speed from 9.3MByte to 17MByte per second. Samsung says the chips can be ‘interleaved’, or interconnected, while allowing each chip to independently interact with the system, allowing more data that can be processed. And so, the chip's write capacity can be increased up to 136MByte per second when eight of the 2Gb memory chips are combined.
In addition to write operations, OneNAND memory can be used as buffer memory for faster read operations. Samsung says such a memory device could be employed as a buffer memory inside a hybrid hard disk.
I'm guessing this is going to be of more use to hard drives
etc, than to compact flash cards. Although, future D-SLR's could
use 50MB/sec write speeds, I guess.
June 15, 2006
Samsung Announces Launches of First Blu-ray Disc Player To The U.S. Market
Here we go. The battle between HD-DVD and Blu-ray has begun. And Samsung has beaten Panasonic to the punch. Samsung has shipped the first Blu-ray, model BD-P1000 player to retailers in the U.S. market for availability on June 25th at a suggested price of $999.99.
Blu-ray offers close to five times the resolution of conventional DVDs making it the highest picture quality available on the market. The format is supported by movie studios including Sony Pictures and LionsGate Pictures which plans to release movies in Blu-ray format later this month. Paramount studios supports the HD-DVD format, as does Microsoft, Intel and others.
The BD-P1000 will be ‘backwards compatible’ and plays both standard DVDs and CDs in addition to supporting all DVD formats including, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+RW, and DVD+R. Another nice feature is the included 10-in-2 multi memory card interface that supports all the major memory card formats including Compact Flash™, Secure Digital™, XD Picture Card™, Memory Stick™ (all TM) and others.
June 8, 2006
Kingston Introduces their 8GB CompactFlash Elite Pro Card
Been a long time since my last entry.
I've been busy with life outside the digital world. Howeveh, I
am back for now. Alas, it may only be a short while. Anyvey,
another Kingston product caught my eye, 8GB! Darn! Doing very
little research, however, I discovered this is old news. My my,
I have not been keeping up to date the past year and change. So,
back to the topic at hand.Kingston Technology Company joined the 8GB club announcing the
release of their CompactFlash Elite Pro 8-GB memory card. The
card is an ideal storage choice for studio, catalog and portrait
photographers who need to produce large files for catalog
reproduction and other commercial purposes.
Kingston’s 8-GB card will, like the rest of their CF Elite Pro
cards have read speeds up to 8 MB/sec. and write speeds up to
6.75 MB/sec. This is far from Lexar’s 90X cards that have
sustained writing speeds of up to 13.5MB/sec, but will
undoubtedly be more affordable. However, I’d think if a
photographer is already shelling out the money for an 8GB card,
they’d go for the one with double the speed. But that’s just me.
March 28, 2006
Panasonic announces its first High Definition Blu-Ray Disc
So this is not really directly related to
digital photography, but anyone with a computer and who uses
DVD's will be affected, so I shall dabble in this area as well.
Panasonic Consumer Electronics announced the upcoming
availability of the company’s first Blu-ray Disc player, the
DMP-BD10, to be available this September.
Panasoinc touts “Blu-ray Disc” technology as the “next
generation optical disc format”. Of course, makers of the HD DVD
format will disagree with that. Blu-ray will feature capacity
upwards of 50 gigabytes on a dual-layer disc and will be capable
of holding high-definition movies, many thousands of songs, and
extensive capacity for extraordinary video games and PC storage.
For an extended explanation of the entire DVD format war, refer
to this Wikipedia
Panasonic writes that they added an “EZ-Sync HDAVI control
function” to make it easier to connect and control many
Panasonic products, such as their Plasma TV's, Disc players and
The introduction of the DMP-BD10 is timed to coincide with
Panasonic’s release of its first 1080p Plasma TVs this fall,
which can make full use of Blu-ray’s high definition
Pricing in the United States on the DMP-BD10 has not been set,
but the player will sell for less than $1,500. Panasonic also
plans to release a high-definition receiver to be matched with
the Blu-ray Disc player.
March 16, 2006
Secure USB Drive from Kingston Technology
Kingston introduced their DataTraveler® Elite – Privacy Edition (DTE Privacy Edition), what they tout as the “world’s first USB Flash drive that secures 100% of data on-the-fly via 128-bit hardware-based AES encryption.” The DTE Privacy Edition offers 4GB of secure storage. If the drive is ever lost or stolen, data on the DTE Privacy Edition device remains secure.
In addition to hardware-based encryption, the drive features several other advanced security measures, including a complex password protocol and a mechanism that locks out would-be attackers after 25 consecutive failed password attempts.
Kingston says that DTE Privacy Edition drives are operable from any computer, and do not require admin rights, for which the likes of the Lexar Secure USB drew many complaints.
The DTE Privacy Edition runs on Windows 2000 SP4 or higher, and Windows XP operating systems.
Kingston released the USB in 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB, and 4 GB versions. The USB drives come with 5 year warranties and have transfer rates of up to 24MB/sec read and 14MB/sec write.
March 13, 2006
Sony Debuts 8GB Compact Vault™ Drive for higher Storage Capacity
Sony Electronics unveiled the
Compact Vault™ 8GB drive. The new drive is compatible with Compact Flash type II slots,
and provides a significant increase in data storage over the current 5GB version.
The new drive's 8GB capacity holds up to 2,560 JPEG images (at 3MB each) or
320 minutes of MPEG4 video, and has transfer speeds of up to 12MB per second.
The hard disk drive measures just over 1.5 inches wide and less than 1.5 inches high.
It is designed for photo enthusiasts and so-called “prosumers”
with 6-7+ megapixel cameras. The 8GB Compact Vault will
be available in June with a suggested retail price of $259.99.
March 3, 2006
Sony Introduces the Cyber-shot® DSC-W100 and DSC-W70
The DSC-W100 model packs an 8 megapixel sensor in a compact metal body with a stylized finish in black and silver. It has a manual exposure mode with extended control for up to 46 steps of adjustable shutter speeds (30 - 1/1000 sec.) and two steps of aperture control.
Both the DSC-W100 camera and the new seven-megapixel DSC-W70 model have an updated traditional camera style with their eye-level viewfinders and large 2.5-inch LCD screens. Both new models also feature Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lenses; MPEG1 movie recording; high-light sensitivity settings; and a mode dial to quickly switch among photo, video, and preview.
The cameras' high light-sensitivity facilitates shooting at higher shutter speeds to capture fast-moving subjects with reduced blur. It also allows for shooting without a flash to capture more natural-looking images in low-light settings.
The DSC-W70 model has a maximum ISO setting of 1000, while the DSC-W100 model extends to IS0 1250 for even greater control. Sony's Clear RAW ™ imaging technology helps increase the cameras' ISO settings and, at the same time, reduces the chances of blurry or grainy pictures by keeping picture noise to a minimum.
These W-series models feature a new function guide and
resolution guide. When menu icons are selected, such as a
specific shooting function or scene mode, a simple text
explanation is displayed on the LCD making it easier to maximize
the camera's performance. This function guide can be turned off
as you become more familiar with the camera.
Link to full article
March 1, 2006
Transcend Releases Hi-Speed, Horizontal
128/256/512MB USB Flash Modules
The rugged, 10-Pin Horizontal USB Flash Module (UFM) for use in
Industrial PCs, Set-Top Boxes and other specialist industrial equipment offers
expanded system memory for certain types of Computers and many specialist
industrial systems take advantage of the USB interface for Hi-Speed data
transfer and exchange.
The USB Flash Modules are small in size and specially designed for True
Plug and Play functionality with Hi-Speed USB 2.0 data transfer. Transcend also
says that its USB Flash Module is shock resistant, and achieves amazing
Read/Write speeds of 25MB/18MB per second with a mechanical write protection to
ensure that data is not overwritten. The Transcend’s Horizontal USB Flash
Modules has an external
4-Pin-out connector, which can be used to connect an additional USB
February 28, 2006
Announces 4-Gigabyte Memory Stick Pro Duo Cards For Digital
ultra-high capacity cards are primarily aimed for advanced
photographers with high-resolution cameras. The Ultra II cards
feature minimum writing speeds of 9 MB/sec and minimum reading
speeds of 10MB/sec.
write speeds are designed to allow with ease advanced digital
camera features such as rapid fire, continuous-shooting modes or
to capture digital video clips.
will be available in early March at an MSRP of $239.99, and will
include an adapter for use in full size Memory Stick slots.
Link to full article
February 27, 2006
Lexar Smart Download To Offer "Active
Memory" Functionality For Adobe CS
Lexar Media announced the release of
Smart Download, a plug-in module that will allow photographers
to rapidly download and manage images directly from their memory
cards via Adobe®
Bridge, a component of Adobe CS2.
The plug-in takes advantage of the Adobe open scripting
interface by allowing direct image downloads along with
important IPTC metadata to Adobe Bridge and Creative Suite 2.
The Active Memory System (AMS) is stores user preferences and
host device settings in a protected area on AMS flash memory
cards. These settings can only be modified by the host
application that created them and can be used to auto-configure
multiple AMS-enabled products within the system. Also, these
settings are preserved even when the card is re-formatted or
other data files on the card are deleted, because the AMS data
is stored outside the standard DOS file structure on the card.
The AMS functionality coupled with Lexar Smart Download makes it
possible to drive concurrent downloads from multiple cards and
readers, a benefit for any photographer looking to save time in
their daily workflow.
Lexar Smart Download will be available as a stand-alone
application on Lexar's website for $29.95, and will be included
with all of Lexar's Professional ActiveMemory CompactFlash and
Secure Digital flash memory cards. The plug-in will be available
for both Mac OS 10.4 and Windows XP/2000 and is scheduled for
release by the end of March.