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The year 2000 saw the introduction of the first consumer
digicams with 3M pixel capability. This was a significant event as this level
of resolution is what you need to product images of sufficient quality to
print at sizes greater than 8"x10". During this year Epson introduced
the highly successful 870 and 1270 printers which were finally good enough
to make a lot of pros happy.
The end of 2000 saw the introduction of the Olympus E10, the
first mass market true 4M pixel unit, plus some announcements of 6M pixel
technology to appear in 2001. So it looks like 2001 will be another good year for
The end of 2001 saw the arrival of consumer 5M pixel units
with the first shipments of the Nikon 5000, and earlier in the year the Minolta.
As well the 4M pixel units were king of the counter for the Christmas
season, driving the 3M pixel units into the introductory class and the 2M pixel
units in to the value class.
At the start of 2002 the conventional digicams are still at
the 5M pixel mark, but Foveon
released the first version of their true colour pixel sensor (which
is going to be used
in this camera from Sigma), which stacks the RGB senstors
vertically at the same location, this is equivalent to about a 10M pixel sensor
(and it may increase light sensitivity). So by the later part of 2002 expect
to see a big jump!
In September 2002 Canon announced their new EOS-1Ds
SLR with a 11.1M pixel sensor. Now at US$7600 this is only for the
pros, but I would expect to see this technology filtering down to the
amateur cameras within the next year. Let's see its about time for the
Canon G3 to appear, maybe it'll have more than 6M pixels. Alas, no such luck
with the new G3 (and no need for me to replace my G1 with a G3 either).
However, it looks like the 10M pixel point is where 35mm film finally
gets surpassed by digital (see the Luminous
Landscape's excellent review of a pre-production EOS-1Ds for the
reasoning behind this). So when do we see something like the Nikon Coolpix 5700,
but with a 10M pixel sensor? Perhaps it will be the G4?
Steve's Digicams has a preview review on the new Nikon
Coolpix 5700 which is due out in July 2002, this has a lot of
tempting features that make me consider an upgrade from my Canon G1. Its also
making me think about not getting an SLR-type Digicam (since the 8x zoom
covers a pretty good range). What I like about the 5700 is:
The things I don't like about it are quite minor:
- the 8x zoom range, this is equivalent to a 35-280mm zoom on
I find that 200mm and more is really pushing what I can typically
(without an image stabilizer), and that 35mm is often not "wide
So my ideal 8x zoom would be a 28-220mm or 24-190mm range. But this is
a vast improvement over the G1's 35-105mm range. And for wide angle
one can often use the panoramic stitching approach to do a good job.
- the popout and tilt/twist LCD display (after using this on
it to be very difficult to go to any camera without this)
- the 5M pixel sensor, not quite 6M but a significant step
- the faster (and slower) shutter speeds (as compared to the
has a bulb exposure mode for up to 5 minutes
- the continuous shooting mode (the G1 was a bit too slow to
but it got me thinking about the advantages of it and how all the extra
exposures don't cost you anything)
- the hot shoe flash mounting (the G1 has this, and I like it
flash is so much nicer than direct flash)
- the compact size (its certainly a lot more compact than an
in the lens), though not as compact as the G1, its probably not too bad
- the use of a rechargable lithium battery - great for light
- IBM Microdrive compatibility
Another year passes, and it's now August 2003. For the last year the
prosumer market has been stalled at the 5M pixel level, above this
price range is another grouping of cameras, the entry-level SLR digital
units (with interchangable lenses) which are all using 6M pixel sensors
these days. The pro-level SLRs are still in the 10-14M pixel range.
Finally though, Sony has broken ranks and has just announced their
Cyber-shot DSC-F828 which gives you an 8M pixel sensor and a 28-210mm
(35mm equivalent) zoom. This is expected to ship in November 2003, just
in time for Christmas season (this also gives you 3-4 months to save up
for it, and I bet the demand for these will be high enough that a
pre-order will be needed). This has been given first look reviews by
all the major digicam web sites, if you start
with Steve's DigiCams he has links to the others as well. After
reading through these reviews about the only things that come to mind
that I don't like about it are:
- the lack of an infra-red remote control (although I have
use of the one the G1 has, its nice and very compact).
- use of USB 1.1 rather than 2.0 (even though the G1 is only
I find that USB 1.1 is really a bit on the slow side, especially when
a few hundred pictures).
It's now the end of November 2003 and SONY is starting to talk
publically about the DSC-F828, they are allowing one to pre-order
it, so there's a good chance this will ship before the end of the year.
They have also quietly dropped the price by US$300, which makes sense
given the success of the Canon EOS Rebel. They already have the manual
Sony Japan has posted some more sample
images from this camera. More sample images can be found at:
- size, I really like the more compact form factor typical of
digicams than the old 35mm film equipment, as well this unit has become
somewhat heavy. But, given the capabilities of this camera I doubt this
is going to stop me from buying one. Only if another company offered
one with very similar specifications, would I consider the difference
in size or weight to be important.
- the remote control appears to be an option, and its a
remote" as well. What is Sony thinking? Again, as I use my remote very
rarely I don't see this as a big problem.
The first previews of the Nikon
8700 are starting to appear at the end of Jan 2004. This
looks like direct competition to the Sony 828. CNets first mention is here.
Looks like the Minolta
A2 will be joining the 8MP crowd, this one will bring an image
stabilizer to the party. And now there are roomers of the Canon
Powershot Pro 1 to be announced soon. The Powershot Pro1 has now
(10 Feb 2004) been officially
announced and is due to ship in April.
21-Dec-03, has added some duplicate shots taken with the Canon Digital
Rebel so you can compare the two cameras. To my eye the photos are
virtually identical, although the Sony pictures are just a bit sharper
and the Canon's have less noise in the sky. I would guess that if you
printed a pair at 8x10 or 11x14 size you would not be able to tell the
difference. I would like to see some higher ISO shots to see how well
the Sony does then as the Canon seems to do a nice job at higher ISO.
Luminous Landscape has a full review 28-Dec-03. Figure 1 in this
article compares the amount of hardware you might need to surpass the
DSC-828 by taking the digital SLR format route (its actually a bit
biased against the SLR as a D10 is used, which has a smaller than
full-size sensor so if the 1.5x cropping is taken into account a
smaller zoom could be used, say a 28-135mm). This is a really good
illustration of why a digi-cam like the 828 makes a superior travel
camera than a digital SLR.
Outback's review of the 828, their main issues with it being the
limited usefulness of the electronic view finder and the presence of
chromatic aberration (CA). The Luminous Landscape did not have as much
CA trouble. They compared it to the inexpensive Canon 28-135mm lens
(which is the right thing to do as this lens is a likely purchase for
the Digital Rebel owner) and it appears that the 828 has a somewhat
sharper lens. Of course the 828 is noisier that the Canon. They point
out that with the smaller sensors of the digi-cams (like the 828) you
get shorter focal length lenses (for the same viewing angle) and this
gives you more depth of field at the same F-stop, meaning its easier to
get sharp focus, but its also more difficult to blur out the background
to isolate the subject from its surroundings. I need to find a
reference that explains this effect. 29-Dec-03
Camera Resource's review of the DSC-828. This one has a good
selection of sample photos. 30-Dec-03
Digicams has updated their review of the DSC-828. 31-Dec-03
Photography Review's DSC-828 review concludes that the imafe
quality problems are this camera's weak spots. They also note a couple
of oddities about trying to quickly take a series of photos while in
one-shot mode. 11-Jan-04
Lots of information about the Minolta A2.
discusses a number of LCD screen protectors.
In Jan'06 Olympus became
the first manufacturer to wake up and produce a DSLR
with live LCD preview, the E-330. Unfortunately this is only a
7M Pixel unit (though that might be a good thing from the noise
perspective), but now someone has broken from accepted tradition its
only a matter of time before a higher end camera with live preview
comes along. Personally, I think this is a great thing, I
have been using the external LCD for almost all of my composition for
about 5 years now (on a Canon G1, an A95 and a Minolta A2) and greatly
prefer this method. An early review of this is here.
In late Feb'06 Panasonic introduced a similar unit the DMC-L1,
which includes an image-stabilized Leica lens.
In July'06 Panasonic announced their Lumix
DMC-LX2, which is a compact point and shoot with a wide-angle (28mm
equivalent) 4x optical zoom. While not an extrordinary camera it also
introduces the ability to do video at 848x480 (30 fps) and even
1280x720 (at 15fps) resolutions, which is much better than anyone else
can do with a digicam. It looks like Panasonic has introduced the
848x480 video mode to most of their other new cameras, but not the
In Sept'07 Casio
announced a 6MP camera capable of shooting 60 frames per second at
full resolution. This is an order of magnitude faster than anything
else and will be a driving force for other manufacturers to look at
boosting their speeds (which typically have not changed much from the
days of film and motor drives capable of a few frames per second).
While the obvious application of this is for sports photography, it
would also be very useful to the amateur photographer when trying to
take photos of children at play or at some "one of" event like a
wedding where you you are looking for a magic moment type photograph.
Hopefully they will also have a "pre-press" capture (where the camera
starts taking pictures as soon as the shutter button is half pressed
and on the full press it saves 5-10 of the photos just before the full
- 2009-Jun-23: In 2009 the rise of digital photography finally lead to the death of Kodachrome film. For me Kodachrome died when the 25 ASA version was discontinued back in (I think) the 1980's, though I did keep shooting with the 64 ASA version for many years. 
- 2009-Mar-13: ShootSmarter.com has a more pro-oriented look at the world of digital photography and retouching. 
- 2007-Nov-03: Microsoft's HD Photo format has been picked as the basis for the next generation of JPEG standards, to be called JPEG XR. Its probably another year before the standard is finalized (so maybe by late 2008). According to this article the new standard will allow for a much larger colour space (exceeding the human eye's range) and will even allow for floating point colour specification. 
The Digital Photography Blog's lens page
has a lot of announcements of new lenses
Photography, a curiously named site with some photography links
Timecatcher.com, a site
dedicated to nature photography
The sh1ft.org 26
things photographic scavenger hunt, just for the fun of it.
raw-converter.com is a
web site specializing in RAW format conversion software, its available
in English too
Photo Lessons, a self teaching course
Photography a web site on photographic technique
FredMiranda.com is a
site run by a landscape photographer
DCVIEWS has current
digicam news and reviews
some printer reviews, including the Canon S900 and the Epson Stylus Photo 2100.
irdreams.com is all about
dvspot has reviews of digital
which these days are getting digital still capability added to them
Web Photo School
has online lessons in photographic technique
Digital Camera Magazine
Landscape has a nice article on The
Best Light that is part of a series
Digital Camera Resource Page
Digital Photography Review
has an active set of message forums
Feather River Canyon
PhotoBox has some interesting
work on it
is a photography community discussion board with photo posting
looks like a pretty good site too
is a site focusing on standardized reviews of cameras
has current pricing of the current camera offerings from the major
along with reviews and user ratings
- Steve's Digicams
of industry news, new product announcements, good reviews (a
comparision table and review archive) and active discussion groups
- 2010-Jul-10: A cute little marketing slip, Sony (or at least the pro photographer they hired) used a Canon DSLR to take some of their product press photos. How embarrassing!  
- 2009-Jun-11: Fotopedia will be an online encyclopedia of photographs. 
Wraps, a frameless mounting technique for prints that have been
made on some sort of fabric media.
Drug Mart has a prints from digital service.
Microsoft is proposing a new file format: JPEG
XR, that will improve the dynamic range.
A web site called Four
Thirds User has been
launched which will specialize in the four thirds system
is a stock photo website with a simplified pricing model
Low Budget Shooting, by Cyrill Harnischmacher, ISBN: 978-1933952109.
Discusses various ways of building your own photographic tools.
Windows Vista may mess
up your EXIF info.
The effect of megapixel counts and print sizes, this
article demonstrates that 5Meg (or more) can produce apparantly
identical results at a 16x20 print size. In my experience with printing
8MP images (all shot in JPEG) from my Minolta A2 at 13x19" size (on a
Canon i9900 printer), its pretty much impossible to see any evidence of
their digital origins - about the only chance is if you can pick out a
sharp edge between a light and a dark object, then you might be able to
make out a narrow band of lighter area intruding onto the dark region
(which is probably a JPEG artifact). I have done a 13x19 print from the
Minolta A2 of trees in autumn standing in a field of long dry grass,
and even on the grass I cannot make out stair casing. I did some
test prints once from my 3MP Canon G1 and printed a 16x20 as a tiled
8x10 set (which means that the printed pixels were about 100 pixels per
inch) and in those you could see pixelization on the edges of things,
but if you viewed from a reasonable distance you could not see them. My
conclusion is that 5MP should be good enough for most people,
especially if you get a camera with a larger sensor to reduce the
sensor noise. Of course if one is purchasing a camera with less than
about a 5x optical zoom then more pixels might well be useful to allow
for additional cropping before printing.
Flickr launches geotagging
your photos once the've been put on your hard drive.
The JPEG2000 standard
for image compression
Fotolia is paying
for original images
Could the compound eyes
of insects be applied to photography? A camera with about 90,000
microlenses has been developed as a thesis project.
Foto Search Digital Stock
Photography is a stock
photography site, probably quite useful if you are preparing corporate
brochures or websites and need some professional quality material.
trouble you may get into by using proprietary RAW format files, and
how OpenRAW.org wants to help
Wired writes on the issue of finding
photographs from within your vast collection.
Some nice photo
mosaics of the World At Night
have been created recently
a PhotographyBlog review of Digital
Photography Hacks, a book by Derrick Story, ISBN: 0596006667.
sense of digital camera photo sensors
for photographers, at least for the USA. More information
on this subject. PhotoPermit.org
is a site dedicated to this issue. A site from Tomas Hawk that is collecting
information about photo policies in privately owned, public spaces.
Is photography becoming illegal in the
An article that explains
the difference between a circular and a linear polarizing filter,
and goes into the potential colour shifts that can result. More on
polarizers as a filter to enhance infra-red photography.
Comparing the picture quality
of a Nikon D100 to Velvia film that has been scanned. I would have to
say that digital won.
Petteri on Mastering
This article has a
good explanation (and demonstration) of why colour information in
video (and also photographs) is less important to our eyes than
luminance and especially that we really don't see blue very well at all.
Breaking the gigapixel
barrier, using a 6MP camera and stitching a large number of images
together. The result is quite amazing. This also has some (simulated)
comparison between this resolution and other real resolutions. This
sort of resolution is not really so far away as one might think,
consider that the current resolution size is about 10MP, so multiply
this by just 100 and you have 1GP. Now a factor of a hundred sounds a
lot, but since sensors are not lines, they cover an area, so all that
needs to be done is to multiply the number of sensors in each dimension
by a factor of 10. This could be done today by making the sensor
larger, roughly 4 to 8 inches across would do it (but then you're
looking at a pretty big camera - but such large format cameras have
been used before), or else if the sensor was made more dense we would
have to wait about 6 to 9 years (circuits shrink by about a factor of 2
every 2 to 3 years). Sensor noise might be one limiting factor here,
but I would think we would hit some sort of optical limit before this
explaination of colour management.
Mar'06 a review of the Pantone Eye
One Display LT colorimeter and the Huey
low cost calibrator. Another review of the Huey here.
London Drugs stocks the Huey
and the Eye
Pantone makes a colour
calibration system, and in Jan'06 they announced
another called Huey.
Here is a review of the hueyPRO
which improves upon the original Huey.
(Warrington District Camera Club)
Smith Creative Photography from the UK has some interesting IR photos
(film based) along with a variety of portraiture, including a lot of Bands.
Kodak's new Ultima
Picture Paper seems to be a good improvement over their Premium Picture
Paper for Epson inkjets.
FAQ on building PhotoCDs
Ron Reznick has done some nice work with birds,
he has pages here as well.
DLC Photography, a
nature photography site
Some very good insect macro
photography using a laser
photography. For high magnification photography using a macro coupling
ring to attach a 50mm focal length lens in a reversed direction appears
to work quite well. These are available from Adorama and B&H
Photo if you can stand paying $25-30 to ship a $8 part!
Detail comparison article
Building your own infra
red filter out of junk
Hacking up a Fuji Finepix
2300 to allow it to take infrared photos
photography on digicams, and more
- Fire Pictures - from
the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). Not necessarily digital
but there are some amazing pictures here.