Mac News Review

Mac mini Switcher's Guide, Mac mini Dock, iDash, mini Opens World to Windows Users, New Digicams, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2005.02.24

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

PowerBook, iBook, iPod, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review.

Digigraphica

The Fairly Complete Mac mini Switcher's Hardware Guide

NEWS: AppleMatters Chris Seibold says:

"It doesn't matter if you were wooed by the Mac Mini's cool industrial design, the lack of commas on the Mini's price tag or if you just got fed up with Windows based PCs you, like a plethora of other folks, have decided to switch. Congratulations, I think you'll be very happy.

"While the switching process can be as simple as hooking everything up to your new Mac there can be a lot of complicating factors to consider. Hence I've produced a handy guide for the various flavors of switchers. Below you'll find recommended products, their prices and places to find them. You can order everything straight off the internet or you can walk into the brick and mortar stores listed and ask for the item by number. No need to confuse the guy getting paid eight bucks an hour at your local Best Buy or CompUSA, just saunter in, request the item and leave with the realization that everything will work flawlessly.

The "tepid" switcher:

The tepid switcher just wants to get their toes wet. A quick dip in the Aqua flavored waters of OS X if you will. You a tepid switcher if you want to run your Mac Mini next to your XP box and use the same peripherals.

The "can't hardly wait" switcher:

If you're ready to jettison your old PC entirely without a second thought but you want to still use the monitor, keyboard and mouse you already have (which is a good idea because the Mac Mini comes without any of those items) the process is much more streamlined.

The "I threw my old set up out of the window I need new everything" switcher:

If you've jettisoned every scrap of computer related gadgetry you own you're going to need quite a few things, fortunately we've got you covered....

Switching to a Mac - Ain't Ever Going Back

NEWS: Coop's Corner's Charles Cooper says:

"Twenty years after logging on for the first time, I'm logging off - forever.

"No, I'm not retiring but I am finally through with that soul-stomping repository of bad karma known as my PC. And after chucking the machine down the dumpster, I won't ever look back because, folks, I've switched to the Mac.

"Not too loud. Somebody might dig out one of my columns from years gone by. Truth be told, I have on occasion dunned the Mac faithful for being a tad irrational, if not overly exuberant, in their glorification of Apple's technology. To be sure, as the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg so eloquently explains in his Thursday column the Mac isn't for everybody.

"Speaking personally, I've had only good luck with the latest Mac incarnation, the G5. No wonder the company's stock is soaring to new highs. Hand it to Steve Jobs for making Apple relevant again. Only a few years ago, few within the ranks of the digerati would have made that bet."

Mac Mini Too Small - Dock It

NEWS: itbusiness.ca reports:

"We reported last week how one enterprising Mac Mini owner had stuck it into a standard ATX case to increase the storage capacity. Now Wordman's 'Asteroid' blog has mocked up a Mac Mini docking station so the small, shiny brick can sit comfortably alongside the rest of the kit in a home theater rack.

Mac mini dock

"The design shows a control-less, sleek, Apple-like, system into which the Mac Mini can slide.

"Good idea we think, but comments on the blog have picked up on potential cooling issues as well some connection problems with the design as it stands.

"Still, we expect to see a commercial product along these lines in the nearish future as there seems to be a growing demand for products that actually increase the footprint of the Mini."

iDash: Mac mini for Your Car

NEWS: gizmodo.com says:

"As much as we'd like to flatter ourselves by claiming to be the first to notice the Mac mini's car stereo-sized form factor would be a perfect fit, it was an idea that probably was obvious to anyone who has installed a car stereo (or in our case, made sandwiches while watching someone install it). And lots of people are ready to stick one in their dash (or elsewhere), since its relatively low power draw and small size would make a great car computer. Classic Restorations have already installed a couple.

"But the missing element to turn the Mac mini into a proper car PC is a proper front-end software, something I am excited to see being taken up by the 'iDash' project. They're just getting started, but are aiming for an open-source, modular Applescript front-end that will allow people to pop a Mac mini in their car, hook up a touchscreen, and go. They've got a lot work to do - integrating external hardware, developing software module standards, setting up Bluetooth cellular voice and data connections, etc. - but it's got promise."

Obsession, the New Fragrance from Apple

NEWS: Computing Canada comments:

"Despite my line of work - if writing about technology can actually be considered productive labour - I'm not a technophile. Sure, the flashy gadgets occasionally distract me, but that's just the short attention span talkin'. I've test-driven umpteen PDAs, cellphones, laptops and peripherals, and only one or two have really screamed 'BUY ME!'

"Thus, it's difficult to understand my positively visceral reaction to Apple's two new gewgaws - the iPod Shuffle and the iMac (sic) Mini. From the moment I laid eyes on their sexy jpegs, I have had but one thought: I. Must. Have. Them.

"I am not of that breed of user who has that touching, if somewhat odd, attachment to all things Mac. In fact, I'm in a bit of a Mac snit at the moment, having just suffered an OS upgrade at work - my new applications actually seem to perform slower than the old versions; the applications that weren't updated are running under an emulator, and have dropped some functionality and default settings; anfd thekteyborasd is too sebsuitive for a clumsy typist like me. But as I don't make much of an emotional investment in technology, I'm sure I'll get used to it. As a friend of mine likes to say, I'll be fine when the swelling goes down....

"Why, then, have I fallen so deeply, so passionately, for the pixieish duo recently launched by Jobs & Co.?"

Square, Barely There Mac mini Opens World to Windows Users

Mac miniNEWS: The Chicago Tribune's James Coates says:

"Even if the Mac mini were as ugly as Bill Gates' kneecaps, it wouldn't really matter because it is small enough to disappear behind a dictionary. But when I say stripped down, this baby makes Gypsy Rose Lee look like a lady in a snowmobile suit.

"If your gig is writing computer columns, then you pretty much have to write about Apple's new US$499 Mac mini - the stripped-down desktop Macintosh meant to compete with the ultralow prices at the bottom of the Microsoft Windows-compatible food chain.

"First, please note that at 6-1/2 inches square and 2-1/2 inches deep, you can get sandwiches at Subway bigger than this computer. Note as well that the new addition to the Mac lineup is endowed with Apple's famously clean lines and understated white-on-white exterior....

"This half-foot-wide wonder makes it clear that Apple isn't really targeting its traditional customers with the Mac mini. The idea is to win over Windows users tempted to take a bite out of the Apple because they already lust after their iPod digital music players.

"Here's the genius behind it all: If I hand you a Mac mini while you're sitting in front of your Windows-powered computer, you can simply unplug your mouse, your keyboard and your monitor and plug them into the Mac instead. Ditto with the PC's speakers."

Daystar Apple Authorized Service and Sales Launched

PR: Daystar Technology, a longtime leading Macintosh Technology Integrator, has expanded its Service and Sales offerings. As an Apple Authorized Reseller since March of 2004, Daystar now provides full in-warranty and out-of-warranty services via its website.

Utilizing Apple Certified technicians and its wealth of knowledge gained over the past 16 years, the company is able to deliver top-quality, 24 hour service options on any Apple system.

Why Daystar?

  • The longest history of technology development and expertise available in the Apple market.
  • Level 3 technicians available on-site for all services including component level BGA rework.
  • Exceptional PowerBook service expertise, over 2,000 units serviced to-date.
  • Fast diagnostics and service, 24 hours in most cases.
  • Customizable service and shipment options available via the web.
  • Top-rated customer service (see http://DaystarTechnology.com/Customer_Testiminals).
  • Live Chat with technicians and online status updates.
  • 99% of all services, stay fixed.
  • Exclusive Daystar 90/720 warranty (see http://DaystarTechnology.com/Warranty).
  • Full Service, Apple Authorized Reseller.

"We're excited to expand our availability of services," said Gary Dailey, president of Daystar. "Being able to easily meet our customers' needs for new system sales, services and of course upgrades, means that Daystar is the true One-Stop-Shop!"

Daystar Technology is a Macintosh Technology Integrator. The company specializes in developing custom solutions, and integrating leading performance technologies for consumers, enterprises and graphics professionals. Daystar operates as an Apple Authorized Reseller and Service center, and maintains a staff of Apple Certified Technicians. Daystar is also the designer and manufacturer of XLR8 brand products. With its history as the creator of the original Mac upgrade, the company continues to deliver the best of the best for the Apple based computing platform.

Daystar currently distributes XLR8 brand products and select, qualified performance and expansion products via its web store at http://4daystar.com, via eBay and select resellers. Daystar offers a wide array of Apple performance products. It also sells and services Apple products via its storefront in Buford, Georgia.

Samsung Introduces 16x DVD Rewritable Drive with 5x Dual Speed Recording

PR: Samsung Electronics Ltd., the worldwide digital consumer electronics and information technology leader, builds on the tremendous success of its award-winning 16x DVD rewritable disc drive technology with the introduction of the faster, more powerful Writemaster TS-H552U. Designed for the consumer market, the TS-H552U offers an amazing 5X dual layer speed recording - one of the fastest in the industry today. The TS-H552U is currently shipping nationwide with an estimated street price of $75.

The 5x dual layer speed recording of the TS-H552U is twice as fast as Samsung's first 16x dual layer DVD RW drive. This dramatically improved speed helps to significantly cut down on timing issues, such as backup recording. For example, a file that would have taken 30 minutes to back up, now just takes 15 minutes, which is particularly helpful for users who conduct vast amounts of video or data backup. The 5X dual layer speed also allows users to input large amounts of data, such as video, photos or information from a database, onto a DVD at a much faster rate compared to Samsung's first drive. The TS-H552U also offers further advanced stability in dual layer operation than in prior drives.

Supporting all the popular DVD recordable/rewritable formats, the TS-H552U provides computer users with greater storage power and even more flexibility to enjoy favorite movies and music, and archive data without regard to format variations.

"With DVD storage now the standard media format, Samsung is capitalizing upon the success of its current line of drives and is looking for ways to offer consumers even greater drive speed, quality and features," comments Albert Kim, National Sales Manager, Storage Systems for Samsung SSI. "The new TS-H552U provides users with one of the fastest dual layer drives on the market today, allowing them to burn or convert video clips, create custom CD-R discs in just minutes and save vast amounts of data faster than ever. The TS-H552U further empowers computer users and multimedia enthusiasts by offering cutting-edge technologies at an ultra-affordable price point."

The TS-H552U offers double layer data storage up to 8.5 GB in one disc, which is two times more than single layer DVD and 12 times more than a CD disc. Samsung's latest drive also features its Silent Pulse Width Modulation (SPWM) technology and an Automatic Ball Balancing System (ABS) to reduce noise when recording or reading at high speeds and ensure outstanding functionality.

Many high-end technologies are featured in the TS-H552U to ensure quick and reliable performance of the drive. These technologies include Speed Adjustment Technology (SAT), which automatically optimizes the speed according to the disc quality; Tilt Actuator Compensation (TAC), which gives the disc a tilt with the objective lens for the most reliable writing condition; and Double Optimum Power Control (OPC), which strengthens the writing performance by controlling the laser power in the inner and outer sides of the disc. The drive also includes a power save function and technology to prevent Buffer Under Run Error.

The TS-H552U is capable of recording DVD+R media at 16X, DVD-R at 16X, DVD+/-RW at 4X and double layer DVD+R.

Digigraphica

Concord Introduces EasyShot Popular Priced Digital Cameras

PR: Concord Camera Corp., a leader in award-winning, high-quality, affordably priced image capture products, announced the unveiling of the new EasyShot line at the Photo Marketing Association Trade Show PMA on February 20th 2005.  

The ultimate line of family-friendly digital cameras, EasyShot was designed to offer unsurpassed ease of use, advanced features at popular prices, and an exciting new look and feel that family memory keepers and first-time digital camera users will prefer.

Select EasyShot digital cameras are packed with family-friendly features, such as:

  • One-Touch Image Enhancement: Offered on select EasyShot digital cameras, Concord's exclusive one-touch ImageEnhance feature provides hassle-free in-camera image correction that instantly improves poor color and lighting situations to achieve the best possible photo.
  • Extra Large LCD Screens: EasyShot digital cameras feature extra large 2.4" and 2.5" LCD's, enabling easy photo viewing for the whole family.
  • Direct Print Capability: Select EasyShot cameras will offer the capability of printing directly from the camera, making it easy for users to print and share photos.
  • Ruggedized non-slip Rubber Base: Currently offered on the 510z, the rubberized base keeps the camera from sliding on smooth surfaces, and makes it easier to hold while taking pictures by providing a more secure surface for fingers to grip.

The EasyShot Line Includes:

EasyShot 510z

Slim and Stylish 5 Megapixel: The EasyShot 510z is a slim and stylish 5 Megapixel CCD digital camera and the first to feature Concord's advanced ImageEnhance" button feature for instant image correction directly on the camera. It offers 12X zoom (3X optical/4X digital), features a large 2.5" LTPS LCD, and comes with rechargeable lithium batteries. The EasyShot 510z takes MPEG-4 movies with sound up to 30 frames per second and has 16 MB of internal memory. The camera's all metal housing is ergonomical with an exciting new look and feel for ease-of-use and is accented with a ruggedized nonskid rubber base. The camera will be available in two stylish colors: Gun Metal Gray with silver accents and Aqua blue with silver accents, is priced at $229 and is expected to be available in October 2005.

EasyShot 500z

Popular Priced 5 Megapixel: The EasyShot 500z is a 5 Megapixel CCD, 12x zoom (3X optical/4X digital) digital camera, with a unique voice recording feature, that enables the recording of voice memos on still images. The EasyShot 500z comes with a 2" LCD and takes MPEG-4 movies with sound up to 30 frames per second. Users can also choose from 6 preset scene capture modes: portrait, landscape, sports, night, backlit and macro. The EasyShot 500z is available in stylish Gun Metal Gray with silver accents and will have direct print capability. The EasyShot 500z is priced at $179.99 and is expected to be available in April 2005.

EasyShot 820z

Scheduled for introduction at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2005, the EasyShot 820z will be the first 8 Megapixel digital camera under $250. The EasyShot 820z features a super-sharp 8 Megapixel CCD sensor, 12X zoom (3X optical/4X digital) and large 2.4-inch color LCD. The camera utilizes SD memory cards, but for times when no card is available, it also has 16 MB of internal memory. The EasyShot 820z takes MPEG-4 movies with sound for up to 30 frames per second and will be available in Gun Metal Gray with metallic silver accents at a price of $249.99.

Rollei Is Back with First SLR Auto Focus Camera in 6x6 Format

PR: Rollei, manufacturer of the classic twin-lens 6x6 Rolleiflex, which has been a workhorse and a work of art for 85 years to professionals and enthusiasts, is back in the US - and in a big way. Rollei will introduce five new cameras for professional photographers and digital camera enthusiasts, at the PMA 2005 Annual Convention and Trade Show.

Of particular interest to professional photographers will be the new Rolleiflex 6008 AF with a db20p PhaseOne digital back and 16 megapixels. It is the world's first single lens reflex camera in a 6x6 format to offer rapid and precise auto-focusing with its dedicated AF lenses.

In addition to unveiling its new cameras, Rollei will announce a restructuring of its US subsidiary, Rollei USA LLC. It will be headed by Bernd Franke.

The 6008 AF is targeted to studio and on-location professionals - from portrait, fashion and landscape photographers, to photojournalists and corporate/government photographers involved in "workflow" photography. It is compatible with the extensive line of Rollei-6000 lenses.

In addition to metered manual, the Rolleiflex 6008 AF offers three precise metering methods (center-weighted average, evaluative and spot), and comfortable exposure control with aperture-priority, shutter-priority and programmed AE. It also has comfortable flash photography with preflash metering, plus the option of selective exposure compensation to cope with difficult situations.

The new camera becomes Rollei's top-of-the-line model but retains full compatibility with Rollei's 6000 system, which means it's compatible with the more than 20 current 6000 system lenses.

The Rolleiflex 6008 AF weighs 1500 grams and is 143 x 139 x 124 mm without lens. It will begin shipping later this month and be available through specialty retailers. A unique Direct Source Marketing program, which essentially cuts out the middle person in distribution, will help keep the cost down. While pricing hasn't been finalized, it is expected to be in the US$16,000 range.

In addition to the 6008 AF, the company will unveil the Rollei dr5, an ultra-flat, "go anywhere" digital camera with 5 megapixels. In addition to fitting in a shirt pocket without a bulge, the camera features instant readiness and minimal shutter lag, which makes it an ideal candid camera.

Another new product is the powerful 5.1-megapixel Rollei dr5100. Discriminating amateurs and professional users will be impressed by its features: 5.1 megapixels, 3x D-VarioApogon zoom lens, voice and video recording plus a host of manual controls. It weighs only 205 g. Its stylish aluminum body and an ergonomically shaped rubber grip on the right-hand side make the new digital camera very easy to handle. A fast f2/5-4.3 wide-angle zoom lens with a very short focal length at the lower end offers ideal sweeping panoramas and group pictures even in a confined space.

Rolleiflex will also show a 4-megapixel superzoom camera, the Rollei dk4010 with 10x zoom lens and a 6x digital zoom that covers focal lengths from 5.7 to 57 mm, equivalent to 37-370 mm in 35mm photography. With f/2.8-3.1, it offers high speed for the wide zooming range. A high-speed autofocus system guarantees consistently sharp pictures. Another feature is unlimited continuous shooting.

The company will also show the compact Rollei Prego dp5200 digital camera with 5.2 megapixels, a 3x zoom lens and a 4x digital zoom shooting. It features a large and easy-to-read 2.5-inch TFT color display and an extra flat, stylish lightweight metal body.

The MSRP for the Rollei dr5100 and dp5200 is expected to be US$400. The Rollei dk4010 will have a MSRP of US$500. Pricing has not been set on the Rollei dr5.

Concord Announces "Impulse Buy" Line of 3 & 4 Megapixel Digicams for under $100

PR: Concord Camera Corp. has announced a new line of digital cameras positioned as "Impulse Buys" at the Photo Marketing Association Trade Show (PMA). Designed to be the ideal camera for first time digital camera users as an excellent gift, Concord's 3047 and 4042 take great pictures and are priced to sell at $79 and $99 respectively.

3 Megapixel Concord 3047 Super Slim Body

Priced at $79.99, the 3 Megapixel Concord 3047 offers consumers style and value - with features usually available in much more expensive cameras, including an all-metal housing, white balance and exposure settings, 4x digital zoom, AVI movie, burst mode, 1.5" color TFT LCD, and built-in 16 MB of memory. With dimensions of .94" (width) x 2.3" (height) x 3.5" (length), the super slim Concord 3047 is ideal for on-the-go consumers. For added convenience, the Concord 3047 functions as a PC camera as well. The Concord 3047 is similar to the Concord 3043 (previously announced at Photokina 2004), but with a larger 1.8" LCD and more color choices and is available in Metallic Silver.

4 Megapixel Concord 4042 with Easy Power-Up

Priced at $99, the compact Concord 4042 4 Megapixel digital camera features a unique "quick click" sliding power-up button strategically located on the front of the camera that enables users to quickly turn the camera on, so that they never miss a great photo opportunity. The Concord 4042 combines a 4x digital zoom and a 1.5" color LCD with preset exposure and shutter settings for mistake-free photo lighting. The camera's voice recording feature enables users to record voice memos on still images while shooting so they always remember who is in every shot. The Concord 4042 also takes MPEG movies with sound up to 15 frames per second that can easily be emailed to family and friends, comes with 16 MB of internal memory, and is expected to be available in March 2005.

SmartDisk Launches FotoChute Image Storage Device

PR: SmartDisk Corporation has introduced FotoChute, a USB On-The-Go photo storage device.

"Pocket-sized FotoChute offers a fast, convenient and easy way to directly transfer digital photos from your camera," states Charles Klinker, Vice President of Marketing for SmartDisk. "Simply plug FotoChute into the USB port of your camera and, with one touch, copy and safely store your photos." FotoChute holds over 20,000 photos (at 800 KB file size) on the internal 20 GB hard drive and can be connected directly to a PC to offload images to share with family and friends.

FotoChute will be available in March for $249.99 retail price through distributors, retail stores, and at the company's website.

Stylish, All-Weather Olympus Stylus Verve S Packs More Options in an Ultra-Compact Design

PR: With the announcement of the new 5.0-megapixel Stylus Verve S, Olympus adds more choices to its lineup of sleek, ultra-compact digital cameras in the Stylus Verve series. The new Stylus Verve S packs 5 million pixels of image resolution into its compact, durable, all-weather designer body, along with new features such as a calendar, album function and a histogram for enhanced usability.

Stylus Verve SThe Stylus Verve S combines a 5.0-megapixel CCD image sensor with Olympus' exclusive image processor, TruePic TURBO, which significantly enhances image quality and delivers faster overall processing speeds for rapid startup, shutter release and playback. TruePic TURBO uses pixel "micro-smoothing" to deliver clearer, more color-accurate photos, even at lower resolutions. The result is high quality prints that can be cropped and printed to 11 x 14 inches and larger. And with a fast startup of less than one second and nearly instant shutter release time, you're always ready to take great pictures. The bright, clear 1.8-inch HyperCrystal LCD delivers a high contrast image and 160-degree angle of view.

The Stylus line of digital cameras is renowned for all-weather durability. The body of the Stylus Verve S is constructed of durable, lightweight metal with rubber gaskets throughout the interior to ensure that rain, sleet, snow or sand won't get in the way of great photos. Designed for active digital photographers always on the go, the Stylus Verve S also features optimized battery technology that enables users to get more shots between battery charges.

Modeled after the shape of a falling water droplet, the Stylus Verve S maintains the unique body design of its predecessor, the Stylus Verve. With its smooth contoured lines and ultra-compact size of just 3.7 x 2.2 x 1.1 inches and weight of only 4.1 ounces, the Stylus Verve S fits snugly in a hip pocket or in the palm of the hand.

Designed to perform during a variety of occasions, the Stylus Verve S includes 16 shooting modes that can be accessed through the camera's menu to provide fully automatic exposure adjustments for shooting Night Scenes, Landscapes, Fireworks, Cuisine and more. And the inclusion of advanced shooting functions, such as a direct histogram and white balance presets, makes it easy to capture images with perfect exposure every time. With its QuickTime(R) Movie Mode, the Stylus Verve S can record movies of any length, limited only by the size of the memory card in the camera.

The Stylus Verve S will be available in April 2005. It includes a 16 MB xD Picture Card, Wrist Strap, Camera WIN/Mac USB Cable, Audio/Video cable, Li-30B Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery and Charger, Quick Start Guide, Basic Instruction Manual, Warranty Card, CD-ROM with OLYMPUS Master Software, and Camera Advanced Manual.

Stylus Verve S Estimated Street Price: $349.99

Olympus Announces D-630 Zoom: Ultra-Slim Digital Camera Goes Everywhere

PR: Olympus announces the D-630 Zoom ultra-slim 5.0-megapixel digital camera, featuring an elegant new design for compact portability. The minimalist beauty of this thin, brushed metal camera is much more than skin deep, with loads of features specifically designed for simplicity. Every action is accessed directly from the camera's menu, which is easy to view in the large 2.0-inch LCD. A built-in help guide provides new users with all the information they need. And automatic scene modes ensure fabulous results in even the most difficult-to-capture lighting situations.

Olympus D-630 ZoomThe metal body has clean, sharp lines that will appeal to the discerning eye - and hand - of the purist. Smaller than a deck of cards, at a mere one-inch thick (3.1" W x 2.4" H x 1.0" D) and weighing just 4.4 ounces, the D-630 Zoom slips discreetly in a shirt or jacket pocket without so much as a bulge. This is a camera that you'll soon be taking with you everywhere.

The D-630 Zoom is designed to enable users of all skill levels to enjoy the fun and convenience of digital photography - from shooting pictures to sharing them with friends - without the learning curve. The large 2.0-inch LCD makes it easy to review images and make menu selections. A built-in help guide can be accessed from the menu with images and brief descriptions of each function and shooting mode to help users determine the settings that best suit their shooting situation and purpose. The inclusion of 10 automatic scene modes makes it easy to capture great images in a variety of lighting situations, such as portrait, night scene, or sports. A QuickTime Movie mode with sound enables users to create and share short movies.

The D-630 Zoom employs a 5.0-megapixel CCD that enables users to capture images of such high quality that they can be cropped and printed to 11 x 14 inches and larger. Olympus' high-quality lenses are designed specifically for digital cameras to deliver edge-to-edge sharpness and clarity. The D-630 Zoom combines a 3x optical zoom lens (35-105mm equivalent in 35mm photography f2.8 - f4.8) with a 4x digital zoom to deliver a total 12x zoom so virtually no photo opportunity is out of reach. And with the macro mode it's possible to capture amazingly small details, as tiny as the date on the back of a penny, from as close as 4 inches.

The D-630 Zoom will be available in April 2005. It includes: Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery and Charger (Li-40B and Li-40C), USB Cable (WIN/MAC), Audio/Video Cable, Wrist Strap, Quick Start Guide, Quick Reference Guide, Basic Instruction Manual, CD-ROM with OLYMPUS Master Software and Advanced Instruction Manual, Warranty Card.

D-630 Zoom Estimated Street Price: $299.99

Concord Wins DIMA Shootout for Best Digital Camera under $100

PR: Concord Camera Corp. has announced at the Photo Marketing Association Trade Show & Exposition (PMA) that the Concord 3346z 3 Megapixel point & shoot digital camera has won the coveted DIMA Shootout for "Best Digital Camera under $100."

In its 9th year, the DIMA Digital Camera Shoot-out is judged by a panel of experts prior to PMA. These experts vote on digital camera entries, reviewing the overall quality and accuracy of color of the digital prints as compared to the samples of fabrics that were worn by studio models during shooting. The DIMA Shootout was designed in such a way as to replicate the environment and applications in which digital cameras are typically used. Within that environment, DIMA attempts to push the cameras to their natural limits.

"We are extremely pleased to be honored by DIMA," said Jeff Mandell, VP of Worldwide Marketing. "It means a lot to all of our dedicated employees around the world to win an industry award like this. Going forward, we will continue to strive to deliver great, easy-to-use products at popular prices."

Priced at $99.99, the Concord 3346z features a 3.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor, 3X optical/4x digital zoom (for total 12x zoom), 6 MB internal memory, SD card slot for unlimited photo-taking possibilities. The seven preset scene modes make quality picture taking easy no matter the situation, and the AF assist lamp will lock in the focus even in the darkest conditions. With additional cool features, such as continuous shooting and AVI video mode, the consumer has everything needed to get started in digital photography - all at a remarkably low price of $99.

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