2006 News Archives

December 19: DPS 4-16: Images of Africa and the Stories Behind them.

December 17: Tragically Bruce Fraser has passed away from lung cancer. Brue was a true thought leader in imaging and color management, as well as a very generous soul and a friend. His "Real World" books have led countless photographers to make better images and he will be missed by all of us. There will be a tribute at Macworld on January 10th.

December 15: DPS 4-15: One bag solutions for Airline Photo Travel. We review four of the top bags designed to let you bring both your computer and camera gear on the plane.

December 15: Photoshop CS3 public beta available: You can download Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta from the Adobe Labs website. Note that you'll need a valid CS2 serial number to use it.

November 16th: Nikon announces long awaited 6.1MP Nikon D40 D-SLR. At a record breaking price of $599 (Nikon estimate) with entry level lens the successor to the D50 will be a hit for those on a budget or who just want a small, high quality camera for travel or as a backup to their bigger "pro" models. At 17 oz it is 2 oz lighter than the D50 and 4 oz lighter than the D80. Read the full release. Cameras are expected to be available in time for Christmas. Nikon has also introduced the Nikon SB-400, compact CLS-compatible speedlite powered by 2 AA batteries.

November 7: DigitalPro 4-14: Top reasons not to buy a new computer. Plus an update on our 2007 photo safari schedule to Africa, Alaska & southeast Asia.

November 2: Europe follows US in tightening liquid carry-on restrictions: The EU says that travelers can only take liquids in individual containers that contain less than 100 milliliters of liquid each. Travelers must pack these containers in one transparent, resealable bag that can be presented to screeners at security checkpoints.

November 1: Can't make PhotoPlus Expo in person? Now you can follow it online via real-time broadcasts on the Pop Photo site. Coverage starts with the show on November 3rd and runs through the 5th.

October 31: Halloween update from Bibble. Version 4.9d fixes bugs & memory leaks, especially with Sony a100 files. Download.

October 24: Apple upgrades MacBook Pro models wih Core 2 Duo processor. Available in 15" and 17" models starting at $2K, they are still pricey and heavier than the Windows based Ultralights, but their elegant design makes them a favorite of many.

October 22: Beta Gitzo website provides info on new line of tripods. Coming at the end of this year are updates for nearly all of Gitzo's legsets. Lighter, with the new 6x tube and lock system, and supporting greater loads, the new versions may be the biggest thing in tripods since carbon fiber. Check out the Mountaineer updates in particular (2540 replaces the 13xx, 3540 replaces the 15xx, etc.).

October 20: DPS 4-13, a special issue on 8-bit vs. 16-bit workflow along with colorspace choices, safari update and some thoughts and a poll on global warming.

October 19: Epson quick to brag about new UHD Printers:

Claiming quality and longevity

better than lab photos

, Epson is upping the ante for consumer photo printing with three new low-end printers (R260, R380, RX580 all-in-one) with improved speed, quality and longevity.

Read the full release

.

October 19: Digital Railroad announces unified shopping cart: Allows photo buyers to combine purchases from multiple photographers into a single buying session. Read the full release.

October 13: Nikon D80 scores a home-run in a PC Mag review.
Confirming other early reports the view gives the camera high marks. The only caveats are the nearly $1K price and the need to shoot SD cards--a plus if you have other point and shoots, a minus if you have other high-end D-SLRs.

October 8: Adobe posts Camera Raw 3.6 Beta, adds support for Nikon D80 and Canon Rebel 400: Windows and Mac versions available.

October 3: Nikon releases firmware updates: D2X v2.0.0 for Mac and Windows. Adds improved AF performance, additional Auto ISO features, image authentication support, 3-digits of GPS accuracy and compass bearings recorded, VR shown in shooting data. Full details here. Also an update for the D2Hs for Mac and Windows and for the D200 for Mac and Windows.

September 29: Sony to initiate global battery recall. Most likely Li-Ion computer batteries manufactured since February 2005 will be affected--following on the heels of vendor specific recalls by Lenovo, Toshiba, Dell and others. Read their release.

September 26: Sandisk ups Extreme III cards to 16GB. Read the announcement. Pricing for the 12GB version is suggested at $780 and the 16GB version at $1050. Both capacities are expected to be available in December.

September 25: Epson Pro 3800 Announced at Photokina: 17" pro printer about 1/2 the price of a 4800, with 9 cartridges eliminating the need to swap photo & matte. "Give-ups" appear to be lack of a roll feeder and smaller ink carts. For those looking to save space or money who don't have big production needs this printer could be a winner.

September 21: Click that Shutter! The UK has relaxed carry-on restrictions allowing musicians to take their instruments with them on flights. So get practicing with that shutter button and make sure you can tap out a great melody! They also increased the allowable carry-on for UK flights to 22" x 18" x 10" (still only 1 bag and smaller than elsewhere in the world)

September 19: Adobe Releases Camera Raw 3.5, adds support for Nikon D2Xs, Sony A00. D80 and Canon 400 not available until later this year. Download or learn more.

September 18: DPS 4-12, Trip Report from Photoshop World 2006 & the Mojave Desert, Event Update, Windows Vista sneak peek

September 14: Pro Shooters releases DigitalPro for Windows 4.1, adding support for Adobe DNG, JPEG2000 as well as ColorMagic(tm) and Portrait Magic(tm) One-Click image enhancement. Read the full release or download a 30-day free trial. The upgrade is free to licensed users of DigitalPro 4.

September 2: Nikon releases 1.0.1 update to Capture NX, adds support for D80 and bug fixes. Windows & Mac downloads.

September 1: Are 200GB DVDs in your future? TDK demonstrated a 200GB recordable Blu-Ray prototype. Larger recordables are coming none too soon for digital photographers drowning in disks full of images. Learn more about the future of high capacity recordable media.

August 29: Sigma sneaks a peek at their new SD-14, an upgraded SLR featuring another "full color" sensor to be announced at Photokina.

August 28: Epson raises the ante with "HD" home printers. The Epson R260 and R380 Printers and Epson Stylus Photo RX580 all-in-one feature 1.5 picoliter drop siz for smoother printer, as well as faster speeds and built-in CD/DVD printing.

August 25: DPS 4-11: All about Photo Air Travel with plenty of practical tips and advice on the current situation as well as a Canon SD700IS "field test" Review & Event announcements.

August 24: Canon announces Digital Rebel XTi/400D 10MP entry level D-SLR. With 3fps, .2s startup time and 9AF points it's a clear step up. Read the announcement, or their Rebel XTi White Paper.

August 24: Canon issues white paper on full frame sensors. Some good highly technical information on sensor history and design, although of course there is plenty of marketing spin thrown in to help steer readers into wanting their very own full frame version.

August 9: Nikon D80 Announced: 10.2MP, 3fps, $1K price point. Specs include a 200 ms powerup and 80 ms shutter lag--plus my favorite, the 11 AF points found on the D200 and D2 series. Read Nikon's Announcement.

August 1: Nikon posts NX Tutorials, covering Basics, U Point, Dynamic Range and Image Enhancement, for download on the Nikon site.

 

July 28: Engadget leaks rumored Nikon D80 pictures, 10.2MP D-SLR with SD card slot.

July 28: DigitalPro Shooter 4-10: Africa & Alaska Safari Reports & Tips, Canon 30D and 100-400mm IS USM lens review

July 27: Intel ups the ante on computer CPUs: As expected, Intel introduced the new Core 2 Duo processors today: "Conroe" for desktops, "Merom" for notebooks. Besides giving power hungry digital photographers faster system options starting in late August, they paved the way for price cuts of 40% on Pentium D chips and up to 60% on older Pentium chips, which should mean nice price drops on existing computer models. Extremetech Story.

July 24: Nikon readies 10MP "mid-range" D-SLR: In a series of teaser ads Nikon has taken the unusual step of pre-announcing that they will introduce a more affordable 10MP D-SLR in just under 3 weeks. Expect the camera to fall between the D70s and D200 in price and performance. We'll have details once the camera is announced.

July 23: Sandisk readies "Extreme IV" series of cards (in 2GB, 4GB, 8GB) and readers which promise breakthrough transfer speeds to your computer of up to 38MB per second--fast enough to load a 4GB card in under 2 minutes.

July 7: Nikon releases Trial version of Capture NX for Windows and Mac: Windows Version,  Mac Version, Press Release.

June 28: Microsoft buys iView, Adobe buys assets of Pixmantec (Raw Shooter Essential), and Bibble announces a discount for all existing RSE Pro customers. We'll follow with more analysis, but wanted to let you know these interesting developments in the image software marketplace

June 23: Bibble 4.8 released: Adds barrel/pincushion distortion correction, B&W conversion, S3 support & Mac Universal Binary version. Download from Bibble Labs.

June 13: Nikon to update D2 series firmware: The D2X will receive 13 of the features of the D2Xs, the D200 will receive image authentication, and the D2Hs will receive 9 of the new features all in a free, user-installable firmware upgrade due this fall. Hats off to Nikon!

June 8: Sony launches impressive new D-SLR & lenses: The 10MP a100 features built-in vibration reduction, dust removal, and interopability with Konica/Minolta (Maxxum) lenses, plus with up to 20 new Carl Zeiss designed lenses to be introduced this year. Sony a100 Press Release. Street price is expected to be about US $899.

June 2: D2Xs Nikon info links: Brochure, D2x vs. D2Xs Comparison Chart, Product Page.

June 1: Nikon announces D2Xs: Mid-life update to D2X adds Image Authentication, updated Wireless support, improved color reproduction, masked viewfinder for Crop mode. Full Details. D2Xs is expected to ship in late June or early July for about $4700 street price in the US & Canada. There is a nice writeup of the new camera on Rob Galbraith's site. If you really need the masked viewfinder to make use of HSC mode, or your organization needs image authentication, upgrading is a no-brainer. Otherwise those who already own a D2X probably won't find too much to get jealous about.

June 1: In DPS 4-09 learn about the hottest new bird photo destination in North America, the Lens & Land ranches in South Texas. UPDATE: Read Moose Peterson's write-up of our trip on the Nikon Pro site.

May 25: Microsoft announces JPEG rival: Microsoft has formally announced their Windows Media Photo (WMP) image file format. We've seen some very impressive demos of it's greatly improved compression quality, but the real test will of course be whether the industry moves to adopt the new format. You can read the CNET coverage of WMP here, or get the spec from Microsoft itself here.

May 16: Microsoft posts a Windows XP update to fix battery drain issue for some laptops when using USB 2.0 devices.

April 19: Nikon delays Capture NX & Nikon View Pro: Capture NX has been delayed from May to June and View Pro from May to some future date. Read the full release from Nikon Japan.

April 18: PixelGenius releases Photokit Color 2.0: The long awaited PK Color 2.0 is finally here. We'll be doing a more complete review of it, but among other new filters it features greatly beefed up special effects selections--presumably aiming at the nik Color Efex market. PK Color 2.0 is $99 for new users and $29 for upgraders. Read the full release or download an eval now.

April 18: Citing too much work and too little revenue, Rob Galbraith has closed his photo forums in preparation to selling them. He's keeping his news site & domain name, as they are much more lucrative and generate revenue to pay for staffing. Rob's forums will be missed by his many loyal contributors.

April 15: A new way to rent lenses: Rentglass.com has great prices on high-quality EOS lenses with Nikons to come soon. Aside from their low prices ($12-$40/week) there service is unusual because they only rent the small to mid-size lenses (up to about 100-400 or 300f/4 size). They say that their business model precludes them from renting big glass. In my experience though, most of the rentals pros need are exotic big glass. But certainly this service is an inexpensive way to try lenses before buying. And let us know in our Photo Tools forum whether you think they're on the right track.

April 10: Curious about the nuances of Nikon's new Creative Lighting System for flash? Whether you're using it for field, studio or macro work, Jim VanHoose's exclusive to nikondigital.org Overview of Nikon's CLS will give you some helpful insight as to how it works and why it is such a breakthrough for digital shooters.

April 5: Windows for Mac! In an exciting development for Windows users, they can use Apple's new Boot Camp software to run their existing copy of Windows XP on Intel-based Macs without any emulation software. Clear short-term winners are Apple, Microsoft, and Windows users lusting after sleek Mac designs. Short term losers are PC hardware makers.Longer term it isn't clear what this will mean for Windows and whether Windows users buying Macs will be seduced by MacOS. This ties in neatly with Dell's purchase of Alienware in a desire to add more style to their businesslike product line.

April 3: Canon provides firmware updates for Canon EOS 350D/ Digital Rebel XT, EOS-1D Mark II, and EOS-1Ds Mark II. Nikon has extended the D2X $500 rebate until June 30th. This puts the street price under $4K (B&H is $4499 [add to cart to see price] minus rebate, for example)

March 27: Adobe opens the door for competition: Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen announced that Adobe's CS3 products were at least a year away. Previously Adobe has also announced that its applications wouldn't run native on Intel Macs until CS3, so the combination of these announcements provides a year of running room for competitors like Aperture, LightZone and others to establish markets. Hopefully Adobe will use the time to create some best of breed synergies between Dreamweaver and GoLive and other overlapping products. Full Chizen Interview in Forbes.

March 22: Style meets Business: Dell announced today they are acquiring performance PC maker Alienware. This is great news for pro photographers as we may be able to see systems with Alienware's cool high-performance designs but with Dell-like pricing. Read the rationale & next steps as stated by Alienware CEO Nelson Gonzales.

March 2: Southeast Asian Photo Safari announced. Join David Cardinal on a custom photo safari of the monuments and exotic sites of Cambodia, Burma and Thailand.

February 27: Lexar announces software support for its Active Memory (AMS) technology, including Adobe, Pro Shooters' Digitalpro, Photo Mechanic and Corel, demoed at PMA. AMS allows photographers to "memorize" caption and setting information on a flash card which can be automatically used when the card is loaded on any computer with compatible software. Lexar also announced they are doubling the speed of their top-end 8GB cards to 90X.

February 27: ColorVision introduces Spyder2 PRO with AmbientLight technology. As a beta site we've been very impressed with the way Ambient PreciseLight allows us to use multiple displays for color critical editing. We'll be covering this breakthrough feature in more detail in our special PMA issue of DigitalPro Shooter newsletter, so make sure and subscribe using the sign-up box at the bottom of this page! You can order Spyder2 PRO directly from our website at our special subscriber price.

February 8: Avoid Getting Ripped-Off on the Web. We've assembled our Top 10 Tips for not getting taken advantage of online into this week's issue of DigitalPro Shooter Newsletter.

March 21: Windows 2007? Microsoft today announced that retail versions of Windows Vista would not be available until January 2007--6 years after Windows XP. Enterprises will still be able to get Vista in November, but it will be available too late for PC makers and retailers to accomodate it in the channel during the busy Holiday season.

March 21: Nikon bets big on D-SLR market: Bloomberg has reported that Nikon expects D-SLR shipments to increase to 1.8 million units in the next 12 months according to Nikon Imaging's Managing Director Makoto Kimura, up over 30% from the previous year. Nikon is in particular targeting the entry-level "$1K" sector, although weak early sales of the D50 were reported to have been the reason for a February forecast decrease. Canon is expected to sell about 2.2 million D-SLRs this year, making the total market well over 4 million units. Nikon is also increasing D-SLR R&D by an unspecified amount to help fend off competition from Canon, Sony and others. According to Kimura Nikon will be making their entry level models "smaller and lighter to attract new users, as well as making them more affordable." Clearly the manufacturers are chasing profits up the market as lower cost point and shoots are quickly becoming commoditized.

March 20: Epson Japan announces updated Photo Viewer. The Epson P-4500 will have a brighter screen, as well as support for larger images & more RAW formats. The hard drive is still "only" 80GB. As competitors launch larger drives, we'd like to see Epson offer larger options. No US announcement has been made yet.

March 16: Nikon 18-200mm AF-S users with a D70, D2H or D100 should make sure they have the latest firmware in their cameras to avoid a rare focus problem. See the Nikon service bulletin for details.

March 9: Special issue of DigitalPro Shooter on the Orphan Works Copyright Amendment and what it might mean for your photographs and your business. This bill makes proper coyright registration more important than ever. Frequent contributor and veteran commercial photographer James Cavanaugh has put together a Guide to Copyrighting your Images in our Getting Started section. Also, we're pleased to announce another new article in our Getting Started series on Using Curves by Curves guru and Curvemeister author Mike Russell.

March 8: URGENT Congress considers weakening Photo Copyright protections: In a proposed bill on Orphaned Works photographs can be used after a "reasonable effort" is made to reach the photographer. Damages are limited to a maximum of the license fee or if no commercial advantage is made then no damages are allowed. ASMP calls this a "disaster-in-the-making" and has the full story and how you can help. The House Judiciary committee is holding a hearing today (2-4 EST) where David Trust, CEO of PPA is testifying. You can listent to the webcast live. Jim Cavanaugh has provided our readers with all the info you need to get started writing or faxing Congress and helps explain the bill in our Digital Cafe Forum.

February 25: HP targets Epson 2400 with new Photosmart Pro B9180 13" x 19" desktop pigmented ink printer. Like Canon, it will feature a PS plug-in to "end-around" the typical print driver limitations.

February 23: AP boycotts LPGA: As the latest twist in a conflict with far-reaching impact for all pro photographers AP is boycotting this weekends LPGA event after the LPGA started requiring that it have unlimited rights to all photographs taken by those with media credentials. PDN has the full story.

February 22: Canon enters the Pro Printer fray with a splash with its first two Pro Pixma models and the wide-format iPF5000 (17"-wide images with bundled 16-bit RIP functionality).

February 21: Nikon unveils new Capture, Canon announces EOS 30D D-SLR:

  • Nikon Capture NX--Developed with nik Software, features new U Point for selective edits and improved batch processing. (Spring, price TBD) Capture NX Announcement.

  • Nikon 105mm AF-S VR f/2.8 Macro: World's first silent wave macro. Has VR too!

  • Canon EOS 30D--Closer to a "20D Mark II", the 30D shares the sensor of the 20D but adds a larger rear LCD (Yeah!), bigger burst capability, longer shutter duty cycle and other enhancements (March, $1399est.). Canon EOS 30D Specs.

  • Canon 85mm f/1.2L II EF-S lens (faster AF, updated design, March, $2100est.)

  • Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 ISEF-S lens (designed for digital, many "L" features, May, $1149est)

February 16: Bibble Answers Back: A rash of new raw processing initiatives such as Aperture, Lightroom, Lightzone and Nikon's announcement with Nik haven't caught Bibble--the grand-daddy of Raw processors--flat-footed. In quick succession today Bibble Labs announced they have licensed Kodak's ColorFlow ICC software and color engine and PictureCode (Noise Ninja's) noise reduction technology. As a big fan of Noise Ninja for creating large prints, we'll be happy to see it integrated with Bibble.

February 14: Nikon has a change of heart? After several years of "go it alone" in software, Nikon today announced it will cooperate with Nik Software and has made an equity investment in Nik. Look for joint products including the much rumored Nik-led overhaul of Nikon Capture and for Nik products to be sold by Nikon and through Nikon distributors. If Nik can pull off the Capture rewrite it will be a huge boon for Nikon Raw shooters. See the release Nikon Collaborates with Nik.

February 10: Nikon USA explains banding on D200 and other cameras. Clearly feeling some pressure from early D200 feedback, Nikon attempts to clarify "long banding" and "short banding." Most importantly, they reiterate that if you think you have an issue with your D200, send it to them and they'll evaluate it and adjust it as necessary.

January 31: GretagMacbeth to merge with X-Rite: Combining one of the largest color management software companies with one of the most popular makers of measuring devices, the combined company will be even more of a force in the digital imaging industry. Read the Press Release, Customer Letter, and Customer Q&A. The company is mum on specific product impacts, but short term each company will sell its own products. Longer term they are looking for major cost savings, so expect product line consolidation.

January 27: Super-charging Photoshop using LAB & Curvemeister, plus hot new tools for color management, GPS and macro flash. All in DPS 4-05, now online.

January 19: Konica Minolta to withdraw from camera business, transfer D-SLR assets to Sony. Sony will begin marketing Maxxum/Dynax compatible D-SLR bodies this Summer. No mention of how they will support their Raw file users.

January 18: Zeiss introduces new ZF line of lenses for 35mm SLRs & D-SLRs, including Nikon F-mount: Will sell directly through distributors instead of through camera companies. First lenses, due this Spring, will be versions of their 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4 models.

January 17: Lexar upping the Ante with 133x Pro CompactFlash & SD cards: Lexar is beginning to replace their 80x Pro cards with 133x (nearly 20MB/second). Some readers have already reported seeing them in stores, but Lexar says it will be a few weeks before they are available. The 133x speed puts these cards in the same league as the Sandisk Extreme III cards which have a similar rated speed.

January 12: Nikon to ramp down film photography, focus on digital, according to Nikon UK. But plan to continue to build the F6 & FM10. Digital accounts for 95% of Nikon UK sales.

January 12, 2006: PrintFIX PRO makes high quality printer profiling affordable. Read our hands on review of the new product from Colorvision shipping this week in DigitalPro Shooter 4-3.

January 10, 2006: Nikon has started shipping their cool new Macro flash controller & flashes. The R1C1 system is now available in limited quantities.

January 9, 2006: Adobe announces Adobe Lightroom to challenge Apple Aperture and Lightcrafts' LightZone as the ideal Image Editor for Photographers: Read all about it in DigitalPro Shooter 4-2. Adobe has also posted a 20-minute overview video and will be demonstrating the product at Macworld in San Francisco this week. For the detail-oriented, a list of keyboard shortcuts has also been posted.

Safari
Sunrise over the Namib Desert
Nikon D2X, Nikon 24-120VR
December 18:
Africa photo Safari trip report & new product news available in DigitalPro Shooter newsletter issue 4-01.