PMA 2006 Show Report – Preview

pmalogo.gifPre-PMA 2006: Just under one month away and the presence of the PMA trade show can already be felt with no less than 36 new product announcements (including a few from CES). We’re expecting many more in the next four weeks or so and so have already activated our PMA 2006 show report. This special live article will enable you to stay up to date with the latest product announcements as well as following our live minute-by-minute reports from the show floor (during show hours).

Pentax *ist DL2

Pentax has announced a minor upgrade to the *ist DL – but only for users in Asia and Canada. The *ist DL2 offers a couple of extra focus points, a few new scene modes andpentax_istdl2.gif a couple of bits of silver plastic (where the DL was all-black). Looking at the spec the DL2 appears to be the Pentax version of the Samsung GX-1S, announced earlier this month, and may be an indication of the intention to sell the future cameras as Pentax branded in some markets and Samsung cameras in others (namely Europe and the US). more »

Olympus E-330 (EVOLT) Digital SLR, previewed

Pre-PMA 2006: The cherry on the top of a raft of new Olympus products today is the new E-330 (to be known in North America as the ‘Olympus EVOLT E-oly_e330.gif330′). The E-330 has a similar appearance to the E-300 (although slightly narrower) and inherits many improvements seen on the E-500, however it has one major new feature. The seven-point-five megapixel E-330 is the first digital SLR designed to provide a full-time live view on its LCD monitor while still providing a usable through-the-lens viewfinder. It provides two live view modes, the first uses a small CCD sensor integrated into the viewfinder chamber, the second mode uses the main sensor but this blocks the viewfinder and disables auto-focus. We have a detailed hands-on preview of the E-330 available

S3 Pro buffer upgrade available

fuji_s3.gifFuji Photo Film USA is now offering the same hardware upgrade for the FinePix S3 Pro as originally launched in Japan in September 2005. The upgrade doubles the camera’s internal memory capacity from 128MB to 256MB. This increase in buffer space means up to 8/16 RAW/JPEG frames (Wide dynamic range) or 17/33 RAW/JPEG frames (Standard dynamic range) in a single burst.

Olympus FE-115 & FE-150

oly_fe150.gifPre-PMA 2006: Olympus has announced today the FE-150 and FE-115; 5 megapixel cameras that won’t break the bank. The FE150 has a 3x optical zoom, 2.5-inch LCD and movie recording capability all wrapped up in a slim metal casing. The FE115 has a 2.8x zoom and features a ‘one button, one function’ design.

Olympus FE-130 & FE-140

oly_fe140.gifPre-PMA 2006: Today sees the announcement of a couple more budget priced cameras from Olympus, the FE-130 and FE-140. Featuring 5.1 and 6 million pixels respectively, the cameras sport large screens and their ‘one button, one function’ design makes for easy operation.

Olympus Stylus 810 & 700 Digital


Pre-PMA 2006: Olympus has announced two new additions to the weatherproof Stylus (Mju) range in the form of the slim-bodied Stylus 700 and the Stylus 810 Digital – a minor upgrade to the current Stylus 800. The cameras, 7.1 megapixel and 8.0 megapixel respectively, both feature an all-weather body, 3x optical zoom, ISO range covering ISO 64 through to 1600 and a 2.5-inch LCD screen.

Olympus Stylus 720 SW Digital

oly_stylus720sw.gifPre-PMA 2006: Olympus today announced the Stylus 720 SW Digital, a waterproof (to 3m) 7.1 megapixel camera that is also ‘shock-proof’ (resistant to falls from up to 1.5m). Boasting a maximum ISO of 1600, a large 2.5-inch screen and a 3x optical zoom, the 720SW is available in an array of colours; Dusky Pink, Polar Blue and Steel Silver.

Olympus SP-320

oly_sp320.gifPre-PMA 2006: Olympus also announced on 26 January an upgrade to the SP-310 in the shape of the SP-320. The 7.1 megapixel camera features full manual exposure control, a 3x optical zoom, a histogram function, up to ISO 800 and a large 2.5-inch LCD screen. An optional tele-converter and underwater casing will also be available.

ClearVid, Sony’s SuperCCD?

Sony Japan has today announced a newly developed CMOS sensor which has a 45 degree rotated pixel structure (the same layout as Fujifilm’s SuperCCD). The development sonyclearvid-gry1.gifbackground to this sensor was the need to pack more pixels into a smaller and smaller package. Sony make the same claims about the increase in horizontal and vertical resolution (they state 1.4x better) as well as improved sensitivity per pixel (presumably because each output pixel is a combination of more than one input pixel). This new ClearVid (Clear + Vivid) CMOS sensor will initially be used in the new DCR-DVD505 camcorder, it will be interesting to see if this development makes it way to Sony’s digital still camera range.