Secrets of Digital Photography
Secret Broken* News 12 05 back to 4 29 02
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It's Coming. Soon, it seems.
The DSLR: Nikon D200 eBook is a major new addition to the DSLR-series.
It has taken MONTHS to extract all the techniques, secrets and lore embodied in this camera. To say that the D200 is deep would be an understatement. And the eBook brings out things you won't find in the Instruction manuals, you won't find them on the Internet, you won't read about them in anybody's reviews.
Shooting for IMAX time-lapse? It's in there. How to shoot full circle Nikkor Fisheye images? It's in there. How to shoot practical infrared? It's in there. How to prep for professional printing techniques? In there. Assignments to pump you up? In there. How to switch among four completely different kinds of camera? In there. How to expand that to 16 types of camera operation? In there.
Case in point: Click on the film frame above for news. And a free preview.
Big Deal: As of right this instant you can buy a computer that runs Windows XP and Mac OS X --both at full speed-- in the same machine.
[Exqueeze me, mister, but what does that have to do with digital photography? Oh, the digital part. I get it.]
The Mac Mini seen here is the least expensive machine that does this. iMacs and MacBook Pro laptops do it, too.
Click on the $600 computer to learn more. Scroll through our Editorial on Intel Maciintosh computers to see why Dell is chugging Tums.
Update: 4 13 06: Bwaaahaaahaaahaahaaha! Turns out the Intel Macs are FASTER than other PCs! Go read about it.
- Monitor Calibration
- Large Prints
- Image Editing Control
Every PMA is characterized by various accidental themes. Sometimes it's The Next Hot Dawg New Camera or You Ain't Gonna Believe This Lens or some such. This year it was We Got You Covered In Post.
Without coordination between the contributing elements, the delicious news clumped around things to make your editing sweeter, bigger, neater and more refined.
Click on the huey for details.
Canon has a new camera. Almost.
New, just in time to seem like it's a Big Thing for PMA--which starts in a few days--the Canon 30D DSLR. Same size, same quality image as the 20D/350D, and even the EOS-1D Mark II N, and the same 5 fps continuous mode of the 20D, it's got a handful of nice new features, and even a nice, slightly lower price. If you were thinking of getting a 20D, get this one instead.
Think of it as an EOS 20D Mark II.
Read about its bigger, more detailed monitor screen, Picture Style presets, virtually identical menu system, slight body restyling, ISO increments, Spot Meter, smoother shutter release, direct printing button, selectable 3fps/5fps continuous mode and three new menu languages for those who need Chinese, Korean and Russian.
Oh yeah, it weighs a few grams more and is 2mm smaller in height.
...and they brought out a 17-55mm f/2.8 IS zoom. As seen here, it looks very handsome with the 85mm f/1.2 on board.
Click on the camera for details.
* Big Honking Lens!
A lot of people want one of these. Read the inside story on the Nikkor 18-200mm DX VRII lens and learn what all the hubbub is about.
Click on the image for details.
Done. Available today. It's been out for over a year, though.
Click on the cover and read the update page that reveals how the D70s and D70 are virtual clones.
Hey, I've known a LOT of twins, and these two cameras are closer than any of them.
Of course, if you got the D70s, you know that the monitor is bigger and that you have a couple of advantages over owners of the D70 (price / memory / slightly bigger battery capacity) but where's the line between them?
No sense spoiling your appetite by giving it all away here on the news page.
It's about your professional gear, your next step and where technology is shoving you.
Click on the image for details.
1/11/06: Nikon announces the inevitable, first, beating the competitors to the punch bowl.
Basically the message is: Better imaging through chemistry is a fool's errand.
Or: When a better idea comes along, don't hold your breath waiting for the status quo to spout stem cells and regenerate golden memories of the way things were. Off topic? Moi?
Translated into technobabble: If you want to capture electromagnetic phenomenon, use an electromagnetic phenomenon detector. A digital camera? Yeah, that's the ticket. It makes better bizniz sense, sez Nikon.
Can we come up with more metaphors, similes, and topical approaches to this? Sure, but here's the skinny. Nikon is abandoning film and the lens production that is associated with film's use and possible future. So long, large format film lenses, enlarger lenses and pro film gear, except for the 35mm top of the line F6 and bottom of the barrel FM10 bodies.
Stay tuned for similar announcements from Canon, Fuji, Kodak, Leica, Hasselblad and any other film camera maker.
Reports of people awakening this morning crying "I have a dream: to capture pictures with silver salts and use smelly chemicals to see the results in an hour! I gotta get me a FILM camera!" --are greatly exaggerated. Click the pic for the horse's mouth.
Let's take this puppy out into the real world and see what it can do.
There's always something interesing to see at the LA Auto Show, and then, there are the cars.
Click on the pic.
The JITFTH* arrival of the Nikon D200 prompts some first impressions...
When the Nikon D70 appeared, it was the hottest thing alive in a reasonably priced DSLR. The body alone was a grand (US list) and it aced all the other sub-two grand cameras of that day.
Oddly, the calendar seems to have marched forth (not to be confused with the calendar date of March 4th) and time has delivered the newest Nikon into the world. This time with a 10.2 MP chip, metal all over and a screen that screams. No it's not as low cost as the D70, but oh, baby!
Click on the camera to see our evolving first impressions page.
*JITFTH; Just in time for the holidays.
Rock n ROLL!
20D eBook Debuts. So does this:
The iNovaFX Photoshop Action that made this image is yours on the eBook CD along with over 520 other iNovaFX PS Actions. It's the latest variation that takes 16 images and arranges them exactly like this. You provide the background color. It's called iMulti16VTwistRR (RR for Rock n Roll) and a special version makes it PS CS2 friendly. Wha? If you don't know about these, here's the skinny: In full Photoshop, you bring in 16 images and press the button. About one minute later, you're staring at a printable page that looks like this. A4 and US Letter paper friendly.
What took us so long with the 20D eBook? We had to add some last minute items and issues. Among them Apple Aperture, and possibly the most colorful, intense Digital Gallery ever. Some images from the above collection (Rock Group Powder by rock photographer, Snook) show up there in interactive form.
And you will be very pleased to see what other photographer shows up with a 20D in her hand. Click on the images above for an immediate clue...
If you know someone with a 20D... (yourself, perhaps) here's your Christmas present.
Nikon Drops Shoe #200.
Pixels On The March. Part 26B.
Nikon shows off the D200 DSLR. 10.2MP with 3872 x 2592 pixel DX image. (1.5x magnification factor)
Faster (5 fps). More metallic (magnesium body sealed against environmental factoids -- rollover image for camera in birthday suit). Dual RAW (Would you like that RAW with or without a light soupçon of compression, today, sir?). Medium 5.63 MP frame (small gets large). On-board flash (for fill or convenience). Digital battery meter (%). Big Screen (2.5" LCD). Kelvin WB (color temp by the numbers). AI aperture ring clip (works with manual aperture lenses). When? Nikon says Spring, 2006. I'm thinking; two days before PMA*.
Price? Around $1700, list, for the body. I'm thinking; $1,550, street.
Accessories? A new 18-200mm VR stabilized super lens. $700-ish
Implications? More, better, good, yessss. Click on image for link to Frame Wars page. *But then again, what do I know. It's out. It's here and we are already well into writing the eBook about it.
The eBook delivers November 15ish.
Hey, iNova, you getting fast or what?
"The ergonomics and operational speed of this camera is its forte. Not even the bigger, far more expensive Canons swing into action and out-shoot the 20D.
"As with the Rebel XT, four camera setups lurk within. These are explored in detail, too."
What are the stats?
"Final page count: 558 letter-size pages. Final image count: 1490 plus charts and tables. Final iNovaFX Photoshop Action count: 537, including the new ones, but not counting the 71 PSCS effects re-written for that program, plus many re-written from the ground up and all adapted for the large 8.2 MP frame. Final InfoBite count: 781. Final Photoshop Elements pages: 20, covering 67 repair, enhance, control and artful iNovaFX Techniques adapted for PSE.
"The 20D Operations chapter is 136 pages."
It costs more due to oil prices, right?
Click on the camera for the order page. Click here for the 20D eBook Report.
Here's the best accessory for your XT
The eBook is ready, now! Q and A:
Hey, iNova, what took you so long?
"You get history, science, technology, mythology, lore, spooky revelations, hidden 'features', outrageous techniques, accessories you--or Canon--never knew existed, a huge range of software and tons of information about this killer camera and its images.
"As with prior works, you encounter problems with solutions, take a uniquely digital photography course, learn a lot about printing, special effects and image improvement before and after the shutter is pressed. You'll get more out of a camera that has a huge inventory of features, options and tricks to show you.
"You even learn about the other three cameras lurking inside your Rebel XT."
What are the stats?
"Final page count: 546 letter-size pages. Final image count: 1485 plus charts and tables. Final iNovaFX Photoshop Action count: 533, including the new ones, but not counting the 71 PSCS effects re-written for that program, plus many re-written from the ground up and all adapted for the large XT frame. Final InfoBite count: 778. Final Photoshop Elements pages: 20, covering 67 repair, enhance, control and artful iNovaFX Techniques adapted for PSE.
"The Rebel XT Essentials chapter alone is 130 pages."
It costs more due to oil prices, right?
Click on the camera for the order page. Click here for the 350D eBook Report.
On the debut of a new eBook
Summer of Hot Topics
NOW! the DSLR: Canon Digital Rebel XT has joined the shelf.
Virtually every idea in its Camera Operations chapter is new, because that's the way this camera operates. In fact, it's four cameras, each with a novel approach to controls, functions and features.
We doubt if one in ten owners know that there are three fully functioning "other" cameras under its hood, but after looking at this feature three extra times, the DSLR:Canon Digital Rebel XT EOS 350D eBook will pull the veil of mystery off this exceptionally capable camera. Big time.
With this new eBook, the page count has passed 530. The price remains the same. Note that each page is a full 8.5 x 11 inch print out (print what you need). But embedded in the eBook are interactive examples, movies and animations. Of course, those don't make it to ink, but they do make it into your photo memory bank.
Summer of Hot Optics Again
Fisheye lenses are one of the most fun things you can do with a camera short of shooting respectable images of your favorite spec.
Whatever that means.
Curvilinear has its own appeal. Something in us must resonate with these images because we have so much fun with them.
Sigma's 8mm f/4 fisheye turns out to have a hidden talent that even Sigma never knew, but which we have revealed in a striking manner. It's so cool we've invented a whole new term for it.
Click on the lens to find out what's new in Optical Sushi!
Summer of Hot Optics Continues.
Greatness comes in a variety of forms. When performance, package and price team up to deliver the goods for far less than buckets of blood, sweat and cash, that G word starts whispering in the back of one's head.
And after playing with this lens for a number of weeks, I was real surprised to find out its wonderful little secret.
Now you can seek that secret, too. Click the image for the report.
Stop dreaming. Start saving up.
This is IT. This is the wide angle Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 EF-S lens for your Rebels and 20D that will leave every architect drooling.
Stand in the corner of a room, plaza, cathedral or linen closet, and the whole place is in the shot.
If you point it down, you had better have polished your shoes.
The 10mm wide setting is gracefully wide with an absolute minimum of barrel distortion.
Read our report on the lens over in the Canon Department where all the Big Guns seem to be collecting these days. Just click on the lens.
Dubrovnik! Corfu! Venice! Lake Como! Korcula! Split!
Wherefore digital? Over here, over there. Several thousand images and a bunch of High Def video awaits our shutter release fingers as we head out to test a selection of cameras under the real world conditions of the actual real world.
This time we head off to Italy, Greece and Croatia by air, train, car and boat to find walled cities, sinking cities, ancient cities, beauty spots and random events in abundance.
Local residents have been alerted and have been practicing "looking natural" for our candid lens. Cameras and lenses from Canon, Nikon, Sigma and Sony are along for the ride and this year, video joins the fray. The frame above is from the Sony Z1 HDV camera that will be aboard. It's the same device discussed a few stories down, but the real story is to see how today's gear behaves when the pictures they save came from electronic waves.
Results of the 2005 Digital Camera Shootout will be on these pages in
Junenow. See you then. And if you are in any of the places mentioned and see me pointing a camera at you, just act natural. No waving or ducking, please. I have enough shots of those activities already.
Here It Comes! Oops! Sorry. It's already HERE!
The eBook for Canon's amazing Digital Rebel EOS 300D Kiss Digital--depending on what this camera is called in your part of the world.
New for the camera that has taken the world by storm--iNova & Steinmueller's custom edition of the eBook that has earned accolades from every corner of the word. DSLR: Canon Digital Rebel is being shown at PMA this month and will be ready for your orders in early March on this site.
The eBook's 485 pages in 14 chapters include completely revised and expanded concepts, lore, secrets and more from Peter iNova and Uwe Steinmueller with extra rich information on Canon's RAW format provided in Volume 2 by Uwe.
Compared to prior eBooks, this one has greater depth in shooting techniques, photographic problem solving and digital darkrooming. An enormous number of images are interactive as movies, A/B comparisons and A/B/C examples right on the face of the PDF pages. They even scale so you can see detail huge on your screen.
As with eBooks of the past, included with it is the latest iteration of iNovaFX Photoshop Actions for PS 6, 7 and CS--many customized to the requirements of Canon EOS Digital Rebel requirements and optics. Over 450 Actions at last count.
No sense letting the fabulous EOS 300D image quality go unexploited. A huge section on lenses shows you what you may expect. And let's just say that that section is not what you expect!
New in this title are 20 pages of iNovaFX Photoshop ELEMENTS techniques you can perform with the software that came in the box with the camera.
You will be taking better pictures and getting more out of your Digital Rebel with this eBook under your belt. And you will know why they're coming out better, too.
DSLR: Canon Digital Rebel. $49.95 direct and through major photo stores and Internet links all over the Web.
Special for prior eBook owners: Contact the publisher directly and have your previous eBook CD handy when you call. By being a loyal customer, you can save 20% through a direct eMail or Phone contact. The number to call in Los Angeles is (310) 475 2988. Email here.
The Year of High Def 1/19/05
Apple computer has named 2005 The Year Of High Definition, meaning television at all levels from professional right down to pocket camcorder size will join a much higher resolution basis.
Growing monitor pixel counts, faster computers, better compression codecs and less expensive memory all gather around the campfire to make it possible. In fact, some of the gear you already have in hand makes HD possible right now.
Any digital camera over 3 MP (2048 x 1536 pixel images) is already a candidate for time-lapse animation gatherer. Especially those cameras that form an image this size from an even larger native CCD or CMOS image chip. Take the versatile Nikon Coolpixes from the CP5000 on up. Most can be triggered to collect images in very long strings by using an external "intervalometer" or timed trigger device that can be set to collect one shot per second or one every hour. The DigiSnap 2000 series comes to mind as the appropriate solution, as long as it is fitted with a remote cable suitable to your camera.
Known Time-Lapse Candidates: CP 990, 7500, 4500, 5000, 5700, 5400, 5800 and any Coolpix that can use Nikon's own remote trigger, the RC-EU1. Images from any of these cameras are stunning, and from larger 5 MP cameras on up, they can aspire to IMAX quality. Not kidding! No fooling. (Side note: IMAX 3D frames are rendered out at 2048 pixels wide, and the current Polar Express 3D has shown how wow that size frame can be.) Check with Harbortronics for potential lash ups to your compact digitals. Chances are that anything remotable can become a time-lapse camera.
When Apple's QuickTime transitions to V.7.0 later this spring (update, May: It's Heeere!), a bit of software help will fall into the world that makes HD a Major Factor. It's a codec to handle the highly detailed images at home computer data rates. Called H.264 it is actually in release right now, quietly revolutionizing the media world in editing programs. Apple's own iMovie, Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express editing programs are HD compatible and available now. But only Sony's HDR-FX1 is a $3,500 ($3,150 street), 3-chip "consumer" HD camera followed closely by their more expensive (but nominally so) professional HVR-Z1U (above) multi-standard camera, allows HD top quality image gathering at HD peak image standards. Both record on DV tapes making the new format "HDV".
Getting married this summer? Find a wedding videographer with the high def gear, or put it off a year--it's that near.
The president of Sony has chimed in with promised HD cameras down to pocket size. They've been angling toward this destination for the last two years. All those DV/Still cameras? If you have a 2+ MP image chip behind your DV camera's lens, it just BEGS to become an HD camera, doesn't it? Now that new codec, chip set and HDV format will make it so.
Update: The Z1, as everybody in Hollywood now calls it, is in hand and traveling with the cameras of the 2005 Digital Camera Shootout. See that story higher up the page.
Preliminary tests have been an exercise in picking my jaw up off the floor. Image quality is somewhere between DVD and Major Motion Picture and it even down-converts the HD image to regular plain old TV as you play it back, should you wish. The picture looks like film and numerous controls (66 buttons, switches and dials) let you fix everything.
It shoots NTSC and PAL DV, DVCAM and HD formats including modified progressive 30, 24 and 25 fps HD forms as well as 1080i 60 and 1080i 50 interlaced high definition.
Once again, the world has changed.
What about all the other cameras? Not to worry, they'll get there. Future pocket cams will likely shoot their movie modes in HD. I would NOT be surprised to see cameras the size of the Coolpix 7900 with HD 24 fps movie mode in the next thousand days. In fact, I'd rather bank on it.
The DSLR: Nikon D70 eBook is our own eBook of the year!
In the last six weeks it has become our most popular title ever, and since that includes this year, hence the headline.
Reviews are pouring in from readers literally all over the world.
Catch this one from Imaging Resource. Whew, be still my heart!
If you want one as a Holiday gift (get your D70 it's own eBook) we recommend ordering early and avoiding the next avalanche.
Popular Photography has made a finding. The Nikon D70 is the Camera Of The Year. How convenient.
To Quote the source:
'The Nikon D70 was precisely the camera that the photography world needed this year.
'A revolution began in 2003 with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel-its $899 sticker, its 6.3-megapixel sensor, and its attitude of "Everybody into the digital SLR pool; the water's fine!"'
Well. They're only right. Two years in a row the two top photography-shaking cameras were the lower cost dSLRs. A coming title in the DSLR: -series will complete the thought. DSLR: Digital Rebel is coming soon!
Image courtesy of Popular Photography
Orders for the DSLR eBook have been HUGE! They all tumbled out the door in record time.
Our avalanche of initial orders has been melted down to a manageable size. Order today for immediate delivery.
Here IT IS!
The D70 eBook is for sale. 438 8.5 x 11 pages. Astounding secrets you will find nowhere else. 1100+ images, many interactive and animated. All viewable up to 400% scale on your computer screen. This is likely the greatest accessory you could buy for your D70. Available now. Click the eBook on the right for more info. Click the one on the left for contents. Click on this for the secure order page.
You also receive 466 original iNovaFX Photoshop Actions, 142 of them are exclusive to the D70, designed for its images, its lenses and its unique needs, including the Hyper wide-angle 10.5mm fisheye flattening action seen in the story below.
Plus Photoshop and RAW instruction from Uwe Steinmueller--King of RAW image info and techniques.
InfoBites? Tons. The D70 Camera System Operations Chapter alone has well over 400. These are the 400+ ideas you wish someone had whispered in your ear as you shoot.
Special deal for prior eBook owners? Yes. Save 20%. Contact the publisher directly and have your original eBook serial number handy. Voice: (310)475 2988 (M-F 9-5 Pacific Time), FAX: (310) 475 9486, email here .
This is the expanded, D70 version of the eBook reviewed as:
"It's simply the best photo book I've seen, by any author, in any format, in any medium. (Yes, it really is that good.)" -- Dave Etchells, Editor/Publisher, Imaging-Resource.com.
I should have been a Pisces because I have a great deal of fun with fisheye lenses.
Instead I ended up being a Taurus attraction.
But I digress...
The Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm DX lens is a very sweet optic, but during testing and photography for the new Nikon D70 dSLR eBook, it quickly became obvious that this little puppy was capable of some plus extra achievement. Are your socks on tight?
Read the overview, then see how this lens breaks all prior existing rules and brings a brand new kind of photograph into its owner's hands.
Click the lens to see our preliminary images and hosiery-removing results.
8 4 04
Henri Cartier-Bresson. The man who enjoyed photography decisively. 1908-2004.
""To take photographs is to hold one's breath when all faculties converge in the face of fleeting reality.
It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy."
You've seen what others have had to say about the D70. They like it. So do I. Probably more than most since I've been pushing it to every limit I can think of, and it keeps coming back more than just a winner.
The D70 is a system camera with a HUGE number of bonus points under its skin. Are there demerits? Aren't there always?
Inseparable from my review of the camera, which is available here, is my production of "dSLR, the Nikon D70 eBook" produced in part with Uwe Steinmueller.
That eBook will appear in September, just in time for Photokina, but the major work on it is finished to the 90% level today.
Today you get the review. Eventually you will see the eBook. Click on the book cover for the eBook announcement detail page.
July 5 2004
or How About a Sony eBook for Everyone in Canada?*
*Providing you lucky Canadians purchase a Sony DSC-F717, DSC-V1 or DSC-F828 sometime this summer!
Every purchaser of these cameras in Canada who buy their camera in the Sony stores gets a brand spanking new copy of The Sony Advanced Cyber-shot eBook by Peter iNova.
Version 2.0 of the Sony eBook was released March, 2004 featuring detailed assistance for the 7x7, V1 and 828 Cyber-shot cameras.
Sony of Canada decided they would be just the thing for every purchaser to have, what with their ability to make the cameras more valuable in the hands of their users, so a truckload of eBooks headed North. From June 1 through September 30, every one of these cameras come WITH the eBook.
Looks like the Canadian Cyber-shotsters are going to have the edge. And the best part is that the eBooks come with the camera at no additional cost.
June 16 2004
New Phases Department
Just when you thought that the 5-megapixel Nikon Coolpix 5400 was last summer's romance, she comes home from the College of Photographic Knowledge with a PhD in image gathering!
Remember that sweet, versatile, lightweight camera that walked off with last October's big award as Miss Congeniality and oh, by the way, Ms Europe Shootout? She's back with a new act.
The Nikon CP5400 accepts a firmware upgrade to Version 1.4 adding the ability to shoot full frame RAW images in the Nikon NEF format. And to think, I knew her when she was just a kid filled with talent and promise.
Now she's all grown up but has kept her youthful figure. The firmware upgrade doesn't weigh a thing but suddenly the camera is "heavier." Best of all, it's free. Just Nikon's way of keeping you ahead of the ever expanding curve of technology.
Learn more from Nikon's own download page here.
Let's go visit China. Let's take a bunch of cameras along to see how they do.
Let's come back with lots of shots and sift through them for the views and understandings of how travel photography works with some of the year's latest gear.
In fact today's cameras have produced a Great Leap Forward. A Cultural Revolution of sorts in the ability to acquire and travel with equipment that gets out of your way.
All within seconds.
Click the picture or the iNova Chop to jump to the very large article that goes where only a billion or so have gone before.
Something wicked tiny this way comes.
It's big and it's small at the same time and it claims to be a Nikon.
It claims that it can shoot 38 pictures without ANY media card on board, but that turns out to be a lie. But a good lie. You'll see.
The Coolpix 5200 impressed me at PMA, but what does it do for me in the flesh--er--metal? Click the pic and see what all the recitement* is all about.
Did I mention it was pocket size?
* things that are spoken of.
Not a road race, not the length of the Great Wall, it's the number of frames captured on the trip.
All these frames were inhaled through four different cameras this trip, and the whole notion of China has forever changed in my head. What a great bunch of folks inhabit that land, and they LOVE to pose for pictures.
With the introduction of the Digital Rebel, the appearance of Olympus' E-1 and the Nikon D70, the rules of photographic engagement have changed.
Then there is the evolution of compact digital cameras into the 8-megapixel zone. What does it all mean?
Come back soon to experience the exciting conclusions.
Phil Askey really likes the Olympus C-8080 (see his review at DPReview.com)and I don't. Huh?
We all know that he really, really understands what he writes about, so where's the beef? Or has my brain just turned to hamburger?
Read my decidedly biased Olympus C-8080 review and see for yourself. Click here.
April 26, 2004
Every year we pack up a bunch of cameras and head into the depths of a new and interesting photogenic location. This year's trip starts in two days.
Just to see which camera gets the greatest number of interesting pictures under completely unpredictable conditions.
This year, it's Beijing, the Great Wall, May Day Celebration and a slow boat down the Yangtze River in search of the three gorgeous gorges.
Hopefully our view of the pagoda is as much fun as this one. The girls pictured here are waving their hands in an attempt to generate enough wind for the annual kite festival, or some such.
Check back here at the end of May for the results. We're traveling with two whole dSLR kits, multiple lenses, a compact 8-megger and last year's winner. Hold that pose, ladies, we'll be there in a moment!
April 21, 2004
Operknockity Only Tunes Once Department
at Festival of Books!
Or, as we call it around here, the Festival of eBooks. Whazzat?
Every year the LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books, Saturday April 24 on the UCLA campus is a big deal in Los Angeles, and on that date from open to close (10 AM to 4 PM) author Peter iNova will be on hand for eBook signing, Q&A and Segway HT demo rides (one for sure with every copy of Segway Secrets sold).
Look for the Graphics Management Press booth #435 in front (slightly east) of Royce Hall (just ask anybody).
And the special eDeal? A special price at the show only for live purchase of the Sony or Nikon eBooks @ 20% off!
Show note (post 4-24): It's always a kick to have a steady stream of people come into your booth saying (real quotes), "It was the best fifty bucks I ever spent on my camera," "I learned so much," "The eBook took me to the next level," etc. and thank you to all who showed up. My fingers are a bit sore from all the hand-shaking. (I should have been running for office!) The special price holds through Sunday, April 25, so come on down!
April 16, 2004
News Catsup Department
Canon has begun selling the domestic (Japanese) version of the 300D Digital Rebel in basic Black. Which is, after all, beautiful.
Canon's Pro1, an eight megger in a tiny package brings Canon compact fans a new target of affection. Read about it here (updated).
Nikon has announced a new price for the award-winning CP5400. Now just $599US (formerly MSRP of $796.29).
Olympus has sent us an E-1 dSLR for review. Nice.
March 30, 2004
Tranquility Base, Here, Department
The SONY Has Landed!
SONY's hot 828 and visually stunning V1 are the twin subjects added to the Sony eBook, now shipping with Version 2.0.
Expanded to 322 pages with two new chapters on the V1 and 828, the eBook now contains 420+ iNovaFX Photoshop Actions, 900+ images, illustrations, tables and graphics.
Plus a whole new world of interactivity! Roll your mouse over indicated images and you get instant A/B/C comparisons that animate the explanations. There are even movies embedded in the PDF pages!
New in Version 2 are an expanded Cyber-shot Gallery, fresh interactive URL links in the Appendix, custom iNovaFX Actions for the V1 and 828, Tutorial Actions, new filters and much more.
Order it here, or click the image.
Owners of the Sony eBook Version 1.0 can upgrade for low cost. You'll need to supply the serial number from your original CD, but upgrade disks are only $15 including shipping anywhere in the world.
February 14, 2004
The Year of the 8-ball!
Everybody has one. And they all look good.
Whazzis? EIGHT megapixel cameras! Canon / Minolta / Olympus and of course Nikon (see below) showed their eight meggers at PMA, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. We hope to have a comprehensive report on the whole group in late April from a user perspective. Each has its strong points, like Minolta's easy-attach 0.8X and 1.5X add-on optics plus built-in anti-shake.
All of these cameras use the Sony 8-megapixel RGB chip and shutter speed times are FAST! And as a group, they're all close to the same size. Nikon and Canon models have fully flip-out monitors, while the Olympus and Minolta models have variations on tip up/tip down monitors. Canon, Olympus and Minolta start their zooms at a 28 mm (equivalent) wide setting. What are the images like? We shall see.
Nikon's new 5200/4200. Nice. Sweet, even. So small it fits your shirt pocket and it even re-processes red eye out of "impossible" pictures.
This is a tiny, no-excuses camera with a slew of desirable features. It looks like a killer vacation camera. More about it when we get our mitts on one.
Get the 5200 with its larger pixel count and thank me later.
Super flat Kyocera SL300R goes Leather! Fetishists will like the leather accent on the Contax-branded version along with the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens and faster internal processor that make the improved model worth the extra dollars (500 vs. 400).
Kodak's new, greatly improved full-frame DCS Pro-SLR/n gives the DCS Pro 14n an upgrade path.
Yes, it's a $5K Nikon-based camera body, but if you bought the previous one, they'll upgrade it to the new configuration for just $1,500.
-New chip, new software, new features and you didn't have to buy a whole new body! The pictures? To die for. FULL FRAME @ 4536 x 3024 pixels!
Kodak is showing how dead serious they are about digital photography with this body. (They know that without being serious about digital photography, they're dead...) Getting to play with one at the booth was an exercise in patience.
Pentax's latest flat-cam, the S4i, now shoots 4 megapixels. Last year it was spotted inside an Altoids tin, and this year it was spotted in many shirt pockets.
Tiny cameras were all over the show. It's a trend. Look for our Springtime review of all the ultra portables.
January 28, 2004
Hot Stuff Department
Happy New Gear!
Nikon jumps forward with two very capable new cameras, one to bring the Coolpix compact digital line into the 8-megapixel realm with the CP8700, an improved version of the CP5700 with a larger (1.8 inch) external transflective monitor, a more finely detailed EVF image (280,000 pixels!) and a focus assist light plus a much improved menu graphic display presentation. I handled the prototype recently and was very pleased with the night focus ability in a dark restaurant. Image quality promises to be significantly lower in noise than the Sony 828 but just as finely detailed. A hands-on report will bring details here, soon.
Nikon also announced the D70 (the big one), a budget priced, but not budget built, 6-megapixel dSLR body and a new AF-S DX 18-70mm G IF-ED f/3.5-4.5 Nikkor zoom lens that sell for a comfy $1299 ($1000 for the body only, give or take a buck.) The body is filled with advanced technology including a continuous image buffer for fast motor drive sequences up to 144 (!) shots.
The new lens is solid. A fine piece of engineering at a great price, it doesn't cut manufacturing corners by being built primarily of plastic. The new body is similarly high quality and durable. The new Nikons set the bar a notch higher in the rapidly evolving field of digital photography. Stay tuned.
Version 6.0 of the Nikon eBook, "Mastering Nikon Compact Digital Cameras" has iNovaFX Photoshop Action Filters never seen before.
Some were added so close to the deadline that word of them didn't even make it into print. Want to know how they work and what they do? Read on...
Ever want to tint an image just a smidge? The way you would have if you shot (or corrected in printing) an image by a small CC-filter equivalent? With a film darkroom, the addition of a CC20 tint is a common correction, but in the digital darkroom how do you blush your shot with a small but precise increment like this? Check out the NEW INOVAFX V6 page to get the low down on the new iPAFs*.
*iNovaFX Photoshop Action Filters.
Version 6.0 of the Nikon eBook, "Mastering Nikon Compact Digital Cameras" has been released.
Winning Camera, Championship Optics.
Too small, right? That little 5400 can't be all Nikon claims it to be, right? It couldn't possibly do all that iNova says it can do, right? Guess again, shutter finger, this camera packs more into a small place than you (or I) ever believed could be accomplished.
The Version 6.0 Nikon eBook tells all. And reveals the secrets, special techniques, hidden values and extra credit this small, wide angle Coolpix has to offer. New interactive elements add to the spirit of discovery. Roll your mouse over an image and find what lies beneath. Or click on it and reveal even more. It's like the rollovers on Internet pages, but you can't blow an Internet page up 400% without enlarging the pixels
Version 6.0--over 500 pages deep! With new iNovaFX Photoshop Actions to improve, enhance, correct and refine your images--420 in all, including the new iFish series, iVignette series, iDots graphic series and of course new iBC5.4K barrel correction Actions for the CP5400 plus iCC5.4k color correction actions that whisk away your most egregious color white balance errors.
Click on the package to find out more.
Here Come the Fish!
New optics refined
Fish! It's not the command to take another card, but the 180 degree wide angle converters that have graced the Coolpix line since the early days.
FC-E9 Fisheye in House!
Nikon originally brought us the FC-E8 Fisheye converter and made a lot of us happy. What a lens. But it only fits on the 28mm, split-body cameras (well, okay, it adapts to the CP5000) leaving the CP5700 and CP5400 in the dust. Until now.
We crawled all over the new Walt Disney Concert Hall with the FC-E9 married to the CP5400. Holy Cow! The building already looks like they passed the plans through a fisheye lens to start with, so it turned out to be a marriage made in heaven. Especially when the images were passed through the new iBC54-E9 iNovaFX Photoshop Action Filter that cleans up the corners of the shots. Click the image for the report.
November 18, 2003, Glendale, CA
Wait For It Department
eBook Upgrade Update!
New cameras , new optics, new debut times.
Change! It's the only thing that is constant. But you're going to like the results. The Nikon V6.0 eBook will now deliver in early December and the Sony V2.0 eBook will debut in January. Why the delays? Time. It has not been on my side. (Or Sony's, it would seem.)
ALL ORDERS FOR BOTH OF THESE SINCE AUGUST GET THE UPGRADE FREE! We already have your mailing labels filled out!
The CP5400 turned out to be worthy of even more scrutiny than I thought. It's a very deep instrument, indeed. The chapter on it is 40 pages long and fat-free. The delayed introduction of the Sony DSC-F828 has, of course, slowed down the production process of that camera's appearance in the V2.0 Sony eBook.
Still, all orders placed now will receive the Upgrades for free. If you have a stocking that needs stuffed, the Nikon eBook will be there in time and the Sony original eBook will be in hand immediately with the Upgrade to follow close behind the holidays. Orders placed here receive Upgrades completely automatically to the same shipping address.
October 13, 2003, Glendale, CA
Road Trip and Vacation Travel Shootout!
Premise: Haul a bunch of digital cameras into new territory. Determine which was the most useful, hassled least and achieved the most pleasing images. Now the results are in. Above: The Rhine's sharpest turn. Is that one picture, or six?
Surprise! With six candidates from the Nikon/Sony camp of cameras, three of them passed the bar and three did not. The ones that got the highest marks achieved their success from combinations of image quality, "vacation ergonomics", special features and performance under pleasure.
Read the whole story to see which model camera's won iNova's heart. These may not be your fave, but they generated the most valuable response to me: confidence when I packed them into a days's vacation wanderings. Click Here for the story.
August 23, 2003, Glendale, CA
Biggest News Department
Major eBook Updates!
Version 6 of the Nikon eBook and Version 2 of the Sony eBook are coming to a computer near you!
The Nikon Compact Digital Cameras eBook V.6.0 will deliver in October adding the CP5400 and its optical converter lenses, including Nikon's new 5MP Fisheye lens.
The Sony eBook V.2.0 expands to cover the DSC-V1 and DSC-F828 cameras, plus all the new Optical Converters, and it delivers in November.
No Waiting! You can buy or upgrade either one of these today and get everything currently available, then receive the entire replacement disk AUTOMATICALLY (when purchased through this site) for no additional cost when the updates begin shipping.
This applies to all purchases --even Nikon V.5.0 Upgrades-- made from today onward.
PLUS: As with the previous eMail updates, all purchasers of the Nikon or Sony eBooks made on or after August 1 can receive a lower resolution eMail edition of the new chapter by request.
Bookmark this page. Requests will be gathered starting October 1, 2003.
Big Photon Part II!
The 8-Ball has landed!
Who cares about the Shootout? This is the big news. Sony decided to drop the shoe a day early and what a shoe. This is the DSC-F828, the camera you will save your nickles and dimes for.
No, the image is not a flash shot made at the moment of impact--it's a shot made to let you see the innards of the world's first 8-megapixel compact digital camera. Tantalizing spects: RGB+E chip, 7:1 zoom. F/2.
At $1200 (in November), it delivers so many new features, ideas, technologies and sheer picture power that you need to click on the image to read about it over on the itsSony Breaking News page.
Don't stand there trying to figure out the picture, CLICK! Just do it.
August 15, 2003, Burbank
Never Ending Series of Beeps Department
The second anual Digital Road Trip and Vacation Shootout is coming. With new models of digicams from several manufacturers, the iNova team heads into unpredictable image gathering territory searching for the elusive shot.
Which camera will rise to the top of the heap? Only experience will tell. The last time this shootout was held, the Sony DSC-F707 won the top award. It's long lens and immaculate 5 MP images (right, shot from the top of the Colosseum) brought home more successful and easily captured pictures than the others.
Handiness awards went to several Nikon cameras with a disproportionate amount of coverage centering on the small two-megapixel Coolpix 775. For sheer wide angle coverage, the CP5000+WCE68 copped that prize. None of the prior cameras will be along on this ride, however. It's a new ball game. (No it's not. It's a new shooting match.)
Now there are more compact cameras in the mix including the near-compact Coolpix 5400 and slightly above compact Sony DSC-V1.
The big question at this hour has to do with the 8-ball. Results will be posted here in early October.
August 14, 2003, Glendale
Never Ending Story Department
Years ago I predicted the collision point at which digital photography head-butted 35mm photography in an image version of the Touring Test. That's the test which describes computers becoming indistinguishable from a human responding to your typewritten correspondences.
In the photographic variation, its the point at which a digital image is indistinguishable from a 35mm film image. To do that, the number of image details would have to approach the theoretical resolving power of typical 35mm color films, which is itself immensely arguable. At 50 line pairs/mm a 35mm transparency suggests around 2400 pixels of image in the narrow dimension of the frame.
So what would a hypothetical 35mm-breaker chip have to have in order to stand a chance against the 35mm shooter? Somewhere around 2400 x 3200 pixels for a 3:4 aspect image.
Huh. The prediction pegged the crossover event at some time in 2003. Huh, again.
And what big thing is Sony cooking up now? Stay tuned.
Nikon 5400: Best Yet?
Smaller than a Coolpix 5000 but just as wide, the new Nikon CP5400 has a 4:1, 28-112 mm zoom (35mm equivalent), 15 scene modes, VGA size movies, rear-curtain flash sync, reworked menus, time lapse movies, multi-flash (true strobe effect), great "motor drive" continuous modes, flip out screen and an optical viewfinder that was designed for the 4500. How's that? Read on.
Read the evolving review starting today here.
July 11, 2003, Glendale
Identity Theft Meets Digital Photography
SONY Style Bogus eMail!?
People are being urged urged by eMail to provide sensitive information to a look-alike site that falsely claims to be the right place to leave your SonyStyle username, password and email address. A fishing expedition to hook SonyStyle participants in potential Identity theft?
Read the note: (of course, if it were to prove false, then what?)
From SonyStyle (apparently):
We have become aware of a fraudulent email message (subject: "SonyStyle user and email address") that has been circulating and falsely indicates that it is from SonyStyle.com and claims that "your user and email address had an error on SonyStyle LLC. databases." This email includes a link to a bogus SonyStyle.com registration site that asks for your registered username, password and email address.
The fraudulent e-mail does not appear to be targeted to SonyStyle.com customers, nevertheless we wanted to make you aware of it in case you receive it.
The fraudulent email is not from Sony and if you receive it you should disregard it and delete it. If you have provided the information requested in the email, you should immediately go to the www.sonystyle.com website and click on "view account" at the top of the page to change your registered username and password and you should contact the issuing bank of the credit cards you have used for purchases on SonyStyle.com. If you use the same username or password for any other services or applications, we recommend that you consider changing them for those other services/applications as well.
Sony is currently investigating the origin of the fraudulent email and is working with the appropriate law enforcement authorities.
(numbers and addresses omitted)
I'm being a tad cagey about publishing the return address because it bears little resemblance to the rest of Sony's own addresses coming from a mass eMail distribution server, not a return address active source. It may in fact be a bogus "alert" that is geared to getting you to respond to it inappropriately.
We can't even trust our warnings these days, because they also may be false, misleading or dangerous to respond to. If it is real, then they've shot themselves in the "credibility foot" by having it arrive from a suspicious-looking source.
SONY V1 Shipping!
And we are putting ours through the review mill even as I type.
Sony's new 5.0 megapixel DSC-V1 is perhaps the most feature-packed Advanced Cyber shot Sony DigiCam yet.
It's SMALL, a chunk of silver metal that looks like it was sculpted out of a 60 x 70 x 100 mm brick of aluminum (2.25 x 2.75 x 4 inches) that will easily fit in a coat pocket. Just don't put it in there with your keys or a handful of change.
Speaking of a handful of change, for those who know the Sony feature set, this one adds a few new things including control over Sharpening, Chroma and Contrast. The imager is the new 1/1.8-inch 5.1-megapixel chip that makes 2592 x 1944 shots, up a micro-slice from prior 2/3-inch 5-megapixel chips which have 2560 x 1920 sensors. How does it compare? We will soon find out.
This model combines standard "range finder format" shape and screen placement with a 4:1 Zeiss, f/2.8-4 lens equivalent to 34-136 mm optics on a standard 35mm camera. An optical viewfinder allows direct viewing. Some features have new names. Digital zoom is now "Smart Zoom," movie capture (full video VGA size @ 16fps) is now "MPEG-VX."
Our photographer-based review (meaning how does it work for the photographer rather than how do the numbers sift out) is being churned now. So far the camera is intriguing and the pictures look great. Stay tuned.
June 13, 2003, Glendale
Dept. of the Interior
SONY 8 Megger!
At last, a pixel for everybody in New York City!
Sony makes the chips for Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Casio, Pentax and most small digital cameras. But Sony knows that small is relative.
Small is growing larger every day, the smaller it gets. Why, in digital photography, Small is BIG! Lemme 'splain:
As individual sensors shrink, the chip they're fabricated onto doesn't, necessarily. But Sony does manage to pack more and more sensors into every square millimeter of space. The new Nikon 5400, Canon G5 and Sony V1 cameras all use the same 5-megapixel imager, but it's a smaller chip (1/1.8") than the imager used in the Nikon 5700 and Sony 717 (2/3"). More small means smaller cameras and optics.
But what if instead of just smaller, the chip simply had more as well? That's what Sony's new 8-megapixel ICX456AQF imager does. It's the same size package as their 5-meg ICX28AQF image chip found in the existing 2/3-inch cameras, but this one has 3328 x 2496 sensors for an image 30% larger than the previous chip. It's similar to the scale of improvement from the 3.14 megapixel to 5-megapixel chips, as far as detail count is concerned. Shown here, 3.14/5/8 meg pixel counts (assumes same size pixels).
Sources within Sony hint at dynamic range improvements, too. We hope so. As digital camera mogul Phil Askey notes, that's a better place to spend your improvements than sheer pixel population.
No sense keeping this under any more wraps, the CP5400 is heading for summer!
It's Nikon's newest 5.1-Megapixel camera and who-ee! does it have something to say:
- 4.1:1 zoom--and one that starts wider than your average digicam.
- The zoom goes from equivalent 28mm to 116mm covering more of the desirable wide to modest tele range people want.
- Bunches of scene modes--15 in all.
- Rear Curtain Sync (great for freeze/move night shots)!
- 3 fps for up to 7 shots!
- More pixels. New chip: 2592 x 1944!
- 2--count them--BSS modes. One for exposure, the other for motion.
- Fast multi-mode repeat flash!
- Internal Time Lapse!
- New high-quality Fisheye Converter!
- Uses the WC-E80 Wide Converter for 22.4mm equivalent wide shots!
- Uses the TC-E15 Tele Converter for those 174mm long shots!
- Ultra Macro mode--of course!
- Super angle LCD!
- All the prior control features you want and need!
- And what about RAW Mode? Not to worry...
This could be the last camera you ever buy. Well, who knows? Available for under $800 this summer.
Photoshop: Full PS7 from PSElements: $299?
This special promotion of upgrading to the full Photoshop 7.0 from Photoshop Elements is on right now. The jump from PSE to PS7 is usually MUCH MORE money! Photoshop 7 sells for $609, PSE for $99. Adobe will charge you the $510 difference, usually, but here you can upgrade for about $300.
Now by clicking RIGHT HERE, you will go to Adobe's special deal page. US and Canada only. It's tied to a Microtec scanner offer, but appears to be working for all valid PSE owners.
May 20, 2003, Burbank
Where Were We Department
Summer '03: Digital Plateau
Sometimes things move along at a slow pace. Not much excitement in the upper end of digital photography these days. And not because digital photography is dull, but the tide of new products is on the same hiatus as the Economy.
Pentax has put their *ist D SLR on hold, Kodak's DCS14n has V4.2.2 firmware, Canon's 11 megger is holding its own at firmware V1.0.2.
Sigma has some software improvements to the Foveon-chipped SD9; Nikon has some minor Firmware upgrades for the 5700, 4500, 4300, 3100, and 2100. Fuji, on the other hand, is cutting back on new models due to a shortage of imaging chips. They say.
The Economy is tanked, the war's all over except for the looting, the fundamentalists are still no fun and here comes Summer, time of great photon capture in the Northern Hemisphere. Aah! A ray of hope and creativity!
Sony's V1 is coming and wait till you see what Nikon has in store (but not in stores yet), and surely there will be other products on the near horizon, but with Summer staring us in the lens, it may be time to hone photographic skills rather than lust after new gear.
It's a good time to sharpen your skills with those iNovaFX Photoshop Actions you already own (provided you have the eBooks) and since there are over 300 of them, you will need to learn five or six each day before Labor Day comes around. Or give yourself some challenges!
Jump to your Nikon eBook Chapter 5 (or SONY eBook Chapter 6) titled Learning Digital Photography and start exercising your shutter finger. One, two, press together...
New Digital Art from iNovaFX!
Over 20,000 eBook owners have the iNovaFX Photoshop Actions in their hands, and as their digital photographic experience grows, these PSAs bring control, correction and artistry to their images.
Today, all Nikon and Sony eBook owners receive a bonus. Two new packages of PSAs are available, free.
The iLiner series makes photos into art pieces.
Four of the eight variations in the series are illustrated here.
The split image shows a straight interpretation of the original / iRustica 1 effect.
With the right subject and intermediate tones, each of the iRustica variations can achieve a decisive effect.
All eBooks that have been shipped since April 1 have included these iNovaFX PSAs, but for those who have had their eBooks longer, click on the images to find out how you can acquire your set for free.
The Nikon CP5700 Firmware V1.1--you know, the one that Nikon has been installing in their cameras for TWO MONTHS NOW--has been released by Nikon worldwide.
The Nikon non-news story of January has become the also-ran news story of March.
Yawn. It's a minor upgrade. No restoration of the numerical distance readout for manual focus has appeared. For details on that idea, read the review on the CP5700.
Details concerning the Firmware upgrade are on Nikon Europe's page. It's easily uploaded into the camera via the CF card. Have fun.
Why, it's even available on the Nikon USA site along with the equally stunning upgrade for the CP4500.
With the news that a military action to disarm Iraq is imminent, some may wish to shoot pictures that include TV screens. But TVs are often much too blue for good results.
You can follow procedures that will help make your TV screen images look fairly normal, and even add a bit of reasonable room light, if you know how.
Check this page for details.
March 17, 2003, Glendale
St. Patty's Day
Before Tax Day (USA, April 15) strikes Midnight, a new era of Photoshop Photographic Art will have begun.
At least for all owners of the Nikon and Sony eBooks.
It's called "iLiner." It's from iNovaFX.
It knows where to draw the line.
Here's the preview.
The PMA show in Las Vegas is over until next year, but what a show. Some of the more interesting things seen there cascaded in from unexpected directions. Fuji's 6-megapixel (!) pocket cam, Panasonic's 12:1 zoom, optically stabilized 2 megger, Photoshop Album, HP's tablet computer, Pentax's Camera-In-A-Tin, NixView's portable CD burner with card-direct input, JVC's consumer High Definition Video camera, Olympus' 4/3 SLR system, Canon's portable color printer--why we'll need a whole new page to sort these out...
New 123Di e-book!
Our friend Vincent Bockaert has created an interactive e-book about digital photography in a brand new format.
You play it on your Windows computer. And playful it is! The format is totally interactive, feeling much like a video game that teaches you the ins and outs of digital photography.
With over 5000 illustrations and 2000+ pages, this $39.95 volume can be downloaded on the Internet. I've been playing a pre-release version for some time now on my Mac and it's a lot of fun. The animations are terrific.
Mac, you say? Sure, using Connectix Virtual PC! Works like a champ.
Read more about 123Di here.
February 24, 2003, Glendale
Department of Well I'll Be
Tiny The Nikon!
SQ explained. For a minor entry into the Coolpix camp, the SQ turns out to have things we've been ranting for for years.
Whoda thunk? The diminutive 3 Mega Pixel CP SQ with its unique flip lens section sports nice new ideas like PC screen live feed 1024 x 768 pixels as well as TV out, a White Balance swiped from the D100 SLR technology, RGB sensor, full VGA 640x480 movie mode, 9-zone manual focus select, in-camera halo filter (for those tender moments), 1000+ segment matrix meter and my favorite, "Say good bye to that quarter screen quick review--go directly to playback," feature. Check it out:
Oh Adobe! They're the ones who give us Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat, Illustrator, and the layout program that makes these web pages. So when they introduce a New Thing, we listen.
This one's a beaut.
Everybody wants RAW images, right? And Adobe wants you to enjoy the boogie out of them. Today, for a hundred bucks, you can plop Adobe's own RAW reader/processor into your computer where it will quickly Size, White Balance, Color Depth interpret, Shadow Control, Sharpen to taste and batch process your RAW images. Download their pdf file and read all about it.
Then, just for kicks, the same purchase kicks in the JPEG 2000 read/save utility you need for this coming (three years late?) new file format standard based on wavelet technology. A bargain.
February 8, 2003, Burbank
Secrets Unraveled in Public Department
SQ Teaser? Nikon has been teasing the Internet with a series of staged announcements about something squarish with rounded corners.
It has not been brought to the US Nikon site, so one wonders if it is even something we should be wondering about, but in a bold move, Nikon's web guys in Japan (web mistresses probably wouldn't make such a mistake) loaded up the whole evolving campaign with "part 1", "part 2", etc. suffixes on the sequentially released pages, and intrepid followers noticed. Hence this image of what is said to be the Coolpix SQ (seen twisted open, here).
From its look, breath holding is not advised. A square body format, small twist cam of pocket size and general public target market. SoQute.
February 1, 2003, America
Tragedy in space. The 28th flight of Space Shuttle Columbia, and 113th Space Shuttle flight, has ended this morning in a reentry break-up of the craft and loss of the seven astronauts on board.
STS 107, by NASA's nomenclature, is the second space disaster since the Challenger launch disaster in 1986 and the 88th flight since then. On board was Israel's first astronaut, but no terrorism is likely.
Pieces of Columbia came down in Texas.
Our prayers go out to the families of the astronauts and their friends.
We have lost seven of the best people our species creates.
As an active participant in the space program, first as a news site photographer of NASA launches including the first launch of Columbia (which is the first Shuttle ever launched), and as a designer of the first motion space visualizations featuring the Shuttle (among them, the famous image above), then as an experimenter on NASA's weightlessness training plane researching weightless camera techniques, I have an extra appreciation for the exceptional people of NASA at many levels. My heart goes out to all involved.
January 28 update, 2003, Los Angeles California.
Here Comes 1.1...maybe/maybe not
- People get pretty excited about a tenth of a point.
- Well, of course they do. It's a Firmware update for their CP5700s.
- I'm getting pretty excited about it, too, or maybe not.
- Nikon's flagship camera gets a tweak--always a good sign.
- Once again their in-the-field software update wins the hearts and minds of photographers all over the world.
Details either soon or whenever...
1/28/03: Soon sure is taking a long time. People are seeing the firmware 1.1 installed on their new CP5700 cameras, but for whatever reason, Nikon hasn't released it, going on three weeks. Do NOT hold your breath... This could be the Nikon non-news story of the month.
eBooks Now in OZ!
Live in Australia? You lucky soul. No shortage of fabulous images there, eh, mate?
Hipper Multimedia in Melbourne, Victoria now carries the Sony and Nikon eBooks in their stores and on the web. Click the logo for more.
Now your luck has gotten even better. Order from them direct in Melbourne, and avoid the international postage.
Last Week Before Christmas. A Schedule:
- Internet orders are processing daily. You can order now and it will ship in today's mail.
- Direct phone orders resume Friday the 19th but not till then.
- Consider Priority Mail on Thursday/Friday (19-20) and Overnight USPS on Friday through Sunday (20-22) for US delivery.
- Overseas orders from now on will likely arrive post-Christmas.
Merry Pictures and Happy New Gear!
How about them iNovaFX?!
The Nikon V5 eBook has 50, count them, revised, refreshed, re-written, renewed, reconsidered and revitalized packets of iNovaFX Photoshop action Filters. 370+ in all. All have been tweaked, adjusted, improved and tested in Photoshop 6/7. Some packets are new! Click the icon to see what all the hubbub is about.
December 2, 2002, Glendale California.
V5 Captured Alive!
After a long and arduous safari through the nether regions of arcane secretive digitopia, the twin beasts of Chapters 3F and 3G have been wrestled to the ground in the V5 Nikon eBook.
And handsome trophies they are, too.
Chapter 3F--the Coolpix 4500--tips the scales at a sturdy 38 pages and harbors 145 illustrations and tables, along with 151 InfoBites pertaining exclusively to the small but wary 4500, a camera that the text identifies as having arrived from Mars with its other-worldly design and advanced secret technologies.
Seen here in a rare noctournal image, it stalks one of its favorite subjects, the North American Macro. Fortunately the 4500 is a considerate hunter and releases its hapless prey back into the wild after a typically dramatic chase.
Chapter 3G--the Coolpix 5700--a burly, trumpeting beast made all the more powerful with its add-on battery pack and giant converter optics, is observed in its native habitat (photons) through 44 pages, 154 illustrations and tables, and an even gross of InfoBites. (None of which are actually "gross.")
Seen here puffed up with its MB-5700 pack attempting to blind its prey into supressing red-eye, the CP5.7K is known to have the longest reach of all the Nikon Compacts, and the chapter text reveals a startling truth behind its very name.
These new chapters bring the Nikon eBook to 451 pages with over 1200 illustrations, photos and tables.
All purchasers of the V4 eBook from August 15 to now will be receiving their V5 replacement CDs starting this week. Purchasers that acquired the V4 eBook from July 15 to August 15 will receive an eMail copy of the 4500 or 5700 chapter. We have a list and will be double checking via the eMail address you gave with your order. The eMail versions are 2.8 and 3.2 megabytes, so having an appropriate eMail address that can handle these is required.
Re-read the V4 article for details.
November 14, 2002, Burbank, California.
November is the month of getting ready. For the big month to follow.
First we eat the largest bird we can find, then we spend as much money as we can stand on things we later could buy (post holiday) for less cash.
In the mean time--and these are MEAN times--we take a lot of pictures to remind ourselves of our experiences.
Do your camera a favor. Get it the best gift it ever had, an eBook from iNova. There's no post-holiday price reduction, so now's the time to get all those experiences under your belt before the kids start dreaming of sugarplums.
Here it comes in two eBooks for the advanced--or soon to be advanced--digital photographers who shoot with the Sony DSC-F707 and 717 Cyber-shot cameras or the Nikon 9xx, 775, 5xxx and 4500 cameras.
Happy Holidays. Visit our Holiday shipping schedule to get jiggy with the delivery opportunities.
The story so far: "Full Photoshop 7.0 for Mac or Windows: $299 complete on CD plus the Photoshop Classroom In A Book 7.0 (itself a $50 value). Only through October 31."
(Clicking on the illustration took you to the official Adobe order page which appeared to function completely normally within the Adobe ordering system. Now it takes you to a hasty substitute page.)
Today Adobe has pulled the deal page and rescinded the offer. Pity that. They claim it was either
A] For folks to whom a special eMail had been sent,
B] A complete error,
C] For owners of PS Elements only, or
D] Et cetera.
The story behind it gets murkier with every new development.
One thing is for sure, it's gone. Well, huh.
Ever feel like you are completely underwater? Blame it on the pace of life, but as my mother always used to say, "When you find yourself in hot water, relax and take a bath."
Now you can take your CP5K with you. The monolithic aluminum Aquatica A5000 housing will let you grab digital 5-megapixel images in the wettest of places. There are even fittings that will allow you to shoot with the ultra-wide angle WC-E68 super lens at any depth up to 100 meters straight down (330 ft.). Yeah, sure the full wide rig is $1355 plus camera, plus lens, plus underwater strobe and plus SCUBA gear, but who's counting? Click the image for details.
October 20, 2002, Burbank, California.
Gee, just ten days ago film seemed to be winning, but the latest figures show that it is losing out to digital.
Yep, the digital revolution just passed the mid-way point and quality digital cameras are out-selling quality film cameras.
And the gap is widening.
This holiday season will be the last major session with the presents and shredded wrapping paper captured on film.
One of the big let-downs this year will be the opening of "Wow! A new camera! Oh. ...It's film. Geez. I was kinda hoping for a Digital..."
It's still the pre-pre-holiday run-up, but as I carry my digital cameras into situations all over Southern California, the one thing people say is, "Woo! Is that Digital???" and by the gleam in their eyebrows, the message is clear.
Film died. And life moves on.
October 10, 2002, Burbank, California.
No doubt about it. Film is better than digital.
Pretty much everybody has a camera, right? Even if it is a one-shot disposable. So film is far more popular than digital photography.
And according to lots of people, digital photography will NEVER replace film. So it wins. End of story.
Or is it?
I mean, gosh, what if it wasn't the end of the story? What if you could click on the picture and get a different slant on the idea.
Naa. Never happen.
Coolpix 5000 Firmware 1.7 Update.
(Updated 10-1)) Even with this new firmware update, Nikon has failed to fix THE major glaring error in the flash of the CP5K system.
Details of what has been upgraded and what has NOT are now added to the CP5K review.
Japan's Nikon site listed it first, and in a world-wide coordinated effort, the US Nikon site is showing the download link, too. But we are directing your attention to the European site, since the US site seems to be not quite functional. Perhaps they are processing too many hits? Dunno. Click the camera and you will go right to the Euro download page. Windows and Mac versions available.
This is the US site which may be quicker if you are in the US.
Hmm: Nikon 3500 (a 3-megapixel 2500) cameras are out.
SONY eBook NOW!
The Sony eBook is here. The DSC-F707/717 cameras now have a book of digital secrets they deserve. Like the Nikon eBook, this is the rest of your camera.
Over seven months in the making, it contains hundreds of new and revised iNovaFX Photoshop Actions.
The tunable digital iCrosstar and iGrad "filters" are here plus an expansive Index and interactive Appendix. Read all about it.
250 pages, over 550 images, 320+ iNovaFX Actions plus a Gallery of outstanding images from DSC-F707 photographers from around the world.
eBook Version 5 Announced!
Mastering Nikon Compact Digital Cameras is pregnant again with Version 5! New Camera Operation chapters for the Coolpix 4500 and 5700 are being built even as I type. These chapters will become 3F and 3G in the Nikon eBook.
And Version 5 will feature a completely revised set of iNovaFX Photoshop Action Filters including the new TUNABLE iCrosstar series (6 variations -- iCrosstar4 illustrated), new fast Duotones for B&W images, new Grad filters in several colors, new color error fixers for the two new cameras, new iPolarizeSky variations and a bunch more.
Lucky you. If you purchased your eBook from August 15, 2002, onward, you are eligible for a free upgrade Nikon eBook V5 when it is completed. All sales from that date will receive the Version 4 eBook immediately, and a nice fresh Version 5 will come later in the mail.
If you purchased from July 15 through August 14, you can get the 4500 and 5700 chapters by eMail when they are available.
Lucky ALL prior eBook enthusiasts: Your upgrade will only cost 20% of the price of a new eBook. Upgrade Policies here.
Delivery is targeted at November 1.
The 5700 is in house. Along with its tele and wide angle converters.
The first one we laid hands on had "issues" but this one does not. Now a long-dormant review has begun.
What's the iNova verdict on this biggest of Nikon Compact digital cameras?
Read the User Report and find out for yourself.
The folks at Nikon have a new system digital camera in this model.
Suffice to say, there are secrets inside this camera that were not widely reported.
Nikon likes to make cameras. This time they have uprated the popular CP885 into the 4-megapixel realm with the new, compact CP4300. 3:1 zoom, EN-EL1 battery. Sweet.
Very pocketable, very portable, this under-8-ounce camera will sell in the US for under $500. It's sort of a non-twist 4500 in a smaller package. Lighter on the wallet, too.
Prediction: The eventual 5-megapixel version will look pretty much the same and be called the 5300?
August 28, 2002, Glendale, CA
Bernie Heins continues to do it again and again and again...
Every Nikon CP5700 owner:
Check IT OUT.
Want a filter mount for your 5700's lens? How about a special adaptor for a third-party tele converter? A slide copier mount? Hmm?
Bernie Heins at NextPhoto has solutions to questions you didn't even know you could ask. Rings 'n Things. No less than TEN products to make your 5700 smile.
NextPhoto filled the vacuum caused by unavailable UR-E5 adapters. Many of us wanted to mount our WC-E68 lenses on our CP5000s but Nikon was late with the missing element. Bernie came up with an improved alternative that solved the "issue" and now he has a group of filter rings and custom adapters made just for the unique mount on the CP5700. Now a whole passel of rings and adapters including the 52, 49 and 46mm filter adapters shown. NextPhoto.
Nikon eBook Gets Top AMAZON.COM Rating!
Jump over to Amazon.Com and enter "Mastering Nikon" into their bookfinder search engine, and what do you find these days?
A five-star rating by the readers.
Then again, Amazon thinks this is a "hard to find title", but that's another story. I happen to know that they have a bunch on the shelf. Click on the stars to see the Amazon.Com page, but click here to see how INSTANTANEOUSLY you can find the Nikon eBook.
August 4, 2002, Glendale, CA
Nikon eBooks Go Worldwide!
The eBook population is worldwide. Although most of the owners are in the USA, we've recently seen orders from Belgium, Canada, Chile, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Indonesia, Great Britain, Taiwan, South Africa, Thailand, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Norway, Austria, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and at least one to a US soldier in Afghanistan.
July 26, 2002, Glendale, CA
Low $ CP5K Remote!
One way of looking at these cameras is as a system, as it were, of parts that are ripe for embellishing.
Thus it is with the clever folks at Harbortronics, makers of all the nifty, flexible DigiSnap remote and time-lapse gear. This time they have broken the price barrier ($55) and come up with a wired remote that works with the contacts buried in the Nikon CP5000's base.
It's a flat chunk of plastic that touches into the bottom of the CP5K, allowing you to attach a wired shutter button. In this case, the button is a Canon RS-60E3 that is pressed into service for remote triggering the Nikon camera. Pun intended. Button and base create an integrated remote system.
Called the DigiSnap 5000, the system provides the two-stage focus/shoot we all know and love, plus a lock for continuous shooting. Hey, don't knock it. That can get you loads of VGA shots at under 1 sec intervals. Or use the button lock for those long Bulb exposures.
Harbortronics can ship it to you on July 29.
Coolpix 995 Firmware
Upgrade 1.7 Released!
A year after we reviewed the CP995, Nikon has released a maintenance Firmware upgrade V1.7 that addresses our largest complaint, the too-warm response to incandescent light that the Auto White Balance provides.
Nice to know that they are still thinking of their prior customers.
Today you can download the Upgrade software for both Windows and Macintosh platforms from the Nikon European site.
July 19, 2002, Glendale, CA
Every once in a while something very significant comes along that makes my photographic heart suddenly feel warm and/or fuzzy. Yesterday that process began with the new production model of the Nikon Coolpix 4500.
If you wondered if this camera was going to be any good, I think the end of wondering is at hand, and the era of knowing something valuable has begun.
Read my Preliminary Review for details.
New Photoshop Elements 2!
Coming soon to a computer near your lap.
Adobe has just announced Photoshop Elements 2, and enhanced, expanded, more friendly version of Photoshop Elements, son of (or little brother/sister of) Big Photoshop.
Photoshop elements is THE best value for people starting into digital photography and Product Manager Marc Dahm was enthusiastic about PSE2 at PMA last February when we talked.
See how it works? You like things so you buy them. People who make things feel good that you liked what they made, so they make it better so the next people who buy them feel better about them, and that just starts the encouragement cycle all over again. Adobe has been very good at turning applause into greater capabilities for us all.
Same low cost and many new features. Cool! Look for it in Autumn.
July 14, 2002, Glendale, CA
Steve's Digicams has posted a production sample review on the new 4-Megapixel Nikon Coolpix 4500. Pretty, isn't it?
As you can see from his picture, the small, light weight 4500 sports the new US teal color grip and has a pop-up flash that snugs into the camera body in a neat way.
But how is it to play with? Ask Steve.
As an early adopter of the Nikon CP5000, I wanted to extend its capabilities beyond the basic camera. The WC-E68 lens is phenomenal. Adding an SB-50DX flash unit is da bomb and now, at last, the MB-E5000 battery pack has arrived.
That's the sturdy-looking extension off the bottom of this CP5000. But did you notice the magic extra feature? Of course not, it's around on the back.
Check out the bottom of the CP5000 Camera Review to catch some insights into this nifty accessory.
June 19, 2002, Glendale, CA (refreshed)
Nikon Japan has posted another Coolpix firmware update. Versions for various Windows OS AND Mac 9.x OS are immediately available in the same instant. Which camera? The new CP2500. Version 1.1 firmware. First reports claim improved image quality.
Now Sharper: CP2500.
Good to see that they're on it!
In the interim, a few days ago Nikon USA finally offered the Mac version of firmware upgrade for the CP5000 (Version 1.6). Excuse me? Why that's only two months behind Japan's offering the same thing, and only 5.5 MONTHS behind the US site's delivery of the CP5000's firmware upgrade formatted for various Windows users. This was promised "soon" in December. Next: accurate measurements of a "New York Minute". Stay tuned. (You'd think somebody around here uses Macs, the way this story has been dogged...)
June 11, 2002, Glendale, CA
If you never got Photoshop Elements, now's the time. It has a few tricks that the big Photoshop doesn't have, yet, and it definitely deserves your attention at this promotional price. Why, the automatic panorama stitcher alone would be worth the price.
Limited time offer with $70 worth of rebates. Check It Out.
Fine print: you need to download Amazon.Com's special rebate form for their $40 rebate, and meet the requirements of Adobe's $30-off rebates, but I'd bet you can find a way.
June 10, 2002, Glendale, CA
When is a "Background Copy" not a "Background Copy?" When it is in French as an "Arrière-plan copie." But run an iNovaFX Photoshop Action Filter in Chinese and see what you get: Errors. Merd! &%$#@!!! It's all because those other languages use different words. Dang!
Photoshop doesn't yet have Universal Translation of Actions. They should, but they don't. So what's a body to do? Click on the InfoBite to find some relief. It may not be perfect, but it may help.
June 9, 2002, Glendale, CA (revised)
Nikon Japan has posted two Coolpix firmware updates that may be of interest. One for the CP5000, for Macintosh computers, and the other, just yesterday for the CP775 in versions for Mac and Windows.
Gee. I didn't know the 775 needed a firmware update. It's about as clean an operating system as a digicam can have. The official word:
This firmware upgrade solves the following issue. When video-mode settings were changed from the original default setting, photos taken with a slow shutter speed tended to contain an increased amount of noise.
Say, that's a rather rare idea, what? You can get the 775 update from Nikon USA now.
The 5K Mac update has not made it to the Nikon USA site at this hour. And it has been available to the Japanese site since April 25, 2002. If your CP5K still has the previous firmware 1.5, then this update could save your camera from a fatal jam. Details here.
May 29, 2002, Burbank, CA
Hang ON: Here They Are!
Nikon dropped the other shoe. Actually, about 3.5 shoes hit the floor.
1. The new extra-pocket size 2-megapixel Coolpix 2000 (not pictured) with its 3X zoom and rich color (RGBG sensor for a change... [the 950/775/2500 all use CMYG-filtered sensors]). Low cost is its big deal.
2. The snarky looking (that's a good thing) svelte, split-twist body CP4500 with its 4-megapixel imager and new 4:1 zoom.
And check out the chic auto pop-up flash, optical viewfinder, 16 Scene modes, Perspective Control, Panorama Assist, movies with sound, macro cu, 28mm thread for all prior optical converters, magnesium metal body, Thumbstick and always appreciated BSS. This one gets the iNova style award, too.
As the successor to the 9xx series, the CP4500 takes the cake and the ice cream.
3. The Coolpix 5700 amplifies Nikon's 5-megapixel series with its 8:1, f2.8~4.2 Super Zoooooooom (35~280mm equivalent) and many features that have made the 5000 so popular. It looks a little bit like a Minolta or Fuji, but packs a lot of Nikon under that hood:
Flip out monitor, super-resolution EVF, camera-top illuminated data LCD, auto pop-up flash, ergonomic interface, RAW format image option, magnesium body, Clear Image mode at SXGA size (???-that isn't implemented on the 5K yet, so how... never mind.), BSS, 3-fps burst, sound movies, new wide and tele converters that fit via the new UR-E8 adapter, and much more. All this and it is less than 3 oz. heavier than the CP5000.
3.5. The Extra Hot Coollight SL1-- a surround-the-lens ringlight-like illuminator for macro close ups that has 8 white LEDs inside. Now THAT's extra cool.
Every dentist, every jeweler, every catalog photographer, every entomologist, every macro fiend on the planet will want one of these. Let's see... at last count that list stood at about 375 million people. Let's hope Nikon can make them fast enough. Runs on EN-EL2 batteries. Fits all the 28mm-threaded Nikons.
Will there be eBook Chapters? You can be assured that items 2, 3 and 3.5 will make the pages.
With over 2500 images on disk, Italy is now a matter of record. Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome have yielded up zillions of treasured photons in the name of digital photographic research and illustration.
Images gathered with Sony and Nikon cameras can be seen in the growing report. Click on the image for the Italy page.
Looking for even older stuff? I can't imagine why, but click on this and you'll see articles from even earlier.