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Coolpix 8700: a new 8Mp digital camera from Nikon

Nikon officially announces D70 body, AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G IF-ED and SB-600 flash

RLDRAM II: slightly better than expected

The first PCI Express tests: NVIDIA NV34 and ATI RV380

NV40 = GeForceFX 6XXX? Some rumours on new NVIDIA GPUs

Our Hardware Museum: Mystery #8 solved

Alcatel One Touch 735i: a Java version of the popular model

BenQ unveils DC S30 digital camera with MP3 playback support



Coolpix 8700: a new 8Mp digital camera from Nikon

The wave of Nikon´s press releases brought the announcement of the new 8Mp fixed-lens digital camera, Coolpix 8700. By appearance the novelty resembles Coolpix 5700 but differs by increased LCD and the new Zoom-Nikkor ED 8x optical lens.


Coolpix 8700 brief specs:

  • 2/3" CCD, 8.31Mp, 8.0Mp effective
  • Zoom-Nikkor ED, 14 elements in 10 groups, F2.8-4.2, 35-280mm (35mm equiv.), 4x digital zoom
  • 5 shots at 3264x2448 @ 2.5fps
  • 12 shooting modes
  • 2-1/4000 s exposures
  • Buffer for 5 frames
  • Up to 3-minute movies at 640x480 @ 30 fps w/sound, 320x240 @ 15 fps w/sound, 320x240 @ 5 fps, Sepia, w/sound; 640x480 @ 30 fps w/o sound;
  • Li-Ion EN-EL1 (up to 210 shots) or 2CR5 (up to 240 shots) batteries
  • Compatible with COOLPIX lens (Fisheye / Wideangle / Telephoto) via adapter
  • Continuous AF, Single AF, Manual focusing
  • 50cm to inf. Normal and 3cm Macro focusing distance
  • 3264x2448, 3264x2176 (3:2), 2592x1944, 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 1024x768, 640x480 resolutions
  • NEF (Uncompressed RAW), TIFF-RGB, JPEG (EXIF 2.2) image and MOV (Motion JPEG) movie formats
  • Programmed AE, Shutter-Priority AE, Aperture-Priority, Manual exposure modes
  • 3 or 10 s timer
  • Auto ISO (50-200), ISO 50, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400
  • Central 7-leaf shutter
  • Auto, Preset, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Speedlight, Shade white balance
  • Built-in flash (0.5-4,1 m Wide, 0.5-2.7 m Tele)
  • 1.8 LCD, 134K pixels, 97% (shooting), 100% (preview) coverage
  • 0.44" EVF, 235K pixels
  • -4 to +1m-1 dioptre correction
  • Compact Flash Type I/II, Microdrive media
  • USB 1.1, A/V Out interfaces
  • 113x105x78mm size
  • 480 g weight
  • $899 MSRP
  • To be shipped from February 2004

Nikon officially announces D70 body, AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G IF-ED and SB-600 flash

Early in December 2003 we got the first trustworthy information about Nikon´s new DLSR camera, Nikon D70 (Nikon F lens mount). There wasn´t much actually, just the sales scheduled to Spring 2004 and the availability in April/March 2004. The price was said to be $999 for body (£799), $1299 for body + Nikkor AF-S DX 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens.

Today company officially announced this digital camera together with AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens and SB-600 flash. For specs take a look at the table below:



Effective pixels 6.1 million
CCD RGB, 23.7x15.6mm, 6.24Mp total
Resolutions 3008x2000, 2240x1448, 1504x1000 pixels
ISO 200-1600 (compensation with 1/3 EV increments)
Media CompactFlash Type I and II, Microdrive
Image formats NEF (RAW); 12-bit lossless compression, JPEG
White balance Auto (1005 RGB sensor), 6 manual presets
LCD 1.8", 130K pixels, brightness control
Preview Thumbnail, 4 or 9 segments, zoom, slideshow, histogram, automatic rotation
Image deletion Media format, delete all, delete selected
Video-Out NTSC/PAL (selectable)
Interface USB
Viewfinder Dioptre adjustable (-1.6 to +0.5 m-1)
Exposure
  • Digital Vari-Program (Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close up, Sports, Night landscape, Night portrait)
  • Programmable automatic
  • Shutter-priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Exposure compensation 5 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
Shutter Combined, 30-1/8000 s speeds
Sync contact X-contact, up to 1/500 s
Flash mount Standard
Optional remote control Wireless ML-L3
Power
  • Li-Ion EN-EL3
  • 3 x CR2 batteries
  • AC adapter (EH-5, optional)
Size 13.9x11.2x7.8mm
Weight ~0.6kg w/o battery and Flash media

As it was mentioned before, the company extended its DSLR lens series with AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm F3.5-4.5G IF-ED (MSRP £300). According to the press release, this is the first DX lens in its class compatible with Nikon-D DSLR solutions. In particular, it will be a standard lens for D70. Besides, DX 18-70mm has three ED elements minimizing chromatic aberration color fringing.


In 35mm equivalent lens´ focusing range is 27-105mm. If you remember, the first DX Nikkor lens were introduced about a year ago, so at the moment it already includes 4 lens:

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 IF-ED: 76° — 22°50´
  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED: 79° — 28°50´
  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED: 99° — 61°
  • AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED: 180°

The company itself positions the new lens as an effective addition AF 28-105 and AF 18-35 that is lighter the the former and is sized as the latter.


Finally, Nikon announced SB-600 Speedlight flash supporting i-TTL technology. From this angle the model is compatible with D70 camera as well as Nikon D2H. In its turn, D-TTL technology enables to use the flash with D1, D1X, D1H, and D100 models. For sale it should go in Spring 2004.

Other features include:

  • Supports Nikon Creative Lighting
  • Supports i-TTL, D-TTL, TTL
  • LCD display with 6 backlit control buttons
  • 24-85mm autozoom
  • Supports optional SJ-1 light filters

Source: Nikon UK

RLDRAM II: slightly better than expected

Micron Technology introduced 288Mbit RLDRAM II (reduced latency DRAM) chips that have timings even lower than it was expected. Currently the company is researching these chips at <20ns random access critical for such memory (RLDRAM II is positioned as a comm and storage systems solution.)

Chips work at 400MHz clock speed and provide 800Mbps throughput per pin at tRC=20ns. The 8-bank architecture is optimized for network systems and applications with intense graphics, as the peak bandwidth of 36-bit interface is 28.8Gbps.

Other RLDRAM II advantages includes on-die termination (ODT), multiplexing and non-multiplexing addressing, on-chip delay lock loop (DLL), programmable output impedance and 1.8V.

The new 288Mbit RLDRAM II are shipped in the standard 144-pin FBGA packages sized 11x18.5mm.

The first PCI Express tests: NVIDIA NV34 and ATI RV380

Today everyone is urging to write about future PCI Express 16x graphics cards and discuss capabilities of this bus, however it´s still pure theory. The PCI Express... RV380 & FX5200 article published at Chinese HKE PC sheds the first light on the practical side.

Of course, you shouldn´t consider this test of beta cards with beta drivers on a beta motherboard as the utter truth. But anyway this doesn´t lower the interest in the PCI Express 16x experiments.

So, the battle was settled between somehow obtained engineering samples of PCI Express-based NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 (NV34, 0.15µm, external AGP => PCI Express bridge, Hynix TSOP II memory, 275/400MHz) and ATI 9600XT (RV380, i.e. RV360 + PCI Express, 0.13µm, 128MB 2.8ns Samsung BGA memory, 450MHz GPU clock).


NV34 PCI Express


NV34


AGP => PCI Express bridge


RV380


RV380

The testbed was assembled from Gigabyte´s motherboard (i915G + ICH6R), 2.8E GHz Intel Pentium 4 (Prescott core, LGA 775, A0 stepping), 512MB Kingston DDR400 CL2 RAM, MS Windows XP Professional SP1.


i915G + ICH6R, 2.8E GHz Pentium 4 Prescott, LGA 775

The testbed to compare was based on AGP version of these graphics cards, i875P + ICH5R chipset, 2.8C GHz Pentium 4 (Northwood), the same memory and OS.

I don´t think that the results below can clearly indicate anything, including the capabilities of AGP => PCI Express bridge of GeForce FX 5200. The testbed is "very beta" and to me it seems like another chance to look at the future hardware...


Source: HKE PC

NV40 = GeForceFX 6XXX? Some rumours on new NVIDIA GPUs

As usual, not long before the announcement of an intriguing novelty, the Web starts buzzing with rumours on its probable features. This is naturally happening now with the NVIDIA NV40.

German 3DCenter shared with us a compilation of rumours, leaks and assumptions on NV40 architectural features:

  • 0.13µm process
  • 175 million transistors
  • 8 pipelines, 2 textures per pass
  • Hardware DirectX 9.0 Shader 3.0
  • DDR1, GDDR2, GDDR3 support
  • AGP8x
  • Probable clock speeds: 500-600MHz GPU and 600-800MHz memory
  • Probable release date: late March, CeBIT
  • Arrival to retail: late April — early May 2004
  • Probable retail name: GeForceFX 6XXX

As for the probable release dates and features of NV41-NV45 GPUs, they don´t differ much from those published in our Video Digest (to be released these days). Anyway, below is a chart of estimated released dates.


Source: 3DCenter

Our Hardware Museum: Mystery #8 solved

We thank all readers who sent in their answers to the yesterday riddle. This time it was some harder to recognize, but nevertheless you managed to do it right.

And the answer is: PowerColor Voodoo3 3500, 16MB, 183/183 MHz (some readers pointed out Microview International as the manufacturer).

Actually the clue was on the photo from the beginning! You should have paid attention to the lower edge, where there was a tiny part of the onchip inscription shifted to the right. And which logo wasn´t centered? ATI has a rectangle, NVIDIA´s is centered. Only 3dfx had a "tail" skewed to the right.



Alcatel One Touch 735i: a Java version of the popular model

Alcatel announced its new camera-equipped mobile handset — One Touch 735i — that is to go on sale in Europe in February with MSRP of about €280.


By appearance and features it´s identical to One Touch 735 for sale since Q3 2003. The difference is that One Touch 735i is a Java version of One Touch 735 and supports Java 2.0.

Some Alcatel One Touch 735i features:

  • eGSM900/GSM1800 ranges
  • GPRS class 10: 53.6/26.8 Kbps (4+2)
  • 89g weight
  • 106x47x21mm size
  • EL, 128x128x4K color, 31x31mm blue-backlit display
  • Li-Ion 800mAh battery for up to 300 hours of standby and up to 7 hours of active operation
  • IrDA, USB, SyncML interfaces
  • SMS, MMS, EMS 4.0, WAP
  • Polyphony, vibration caller
  • Built-in CIF camera

BenQ unveils DC S30 digital camera with MP3 playback support

BenQ unveiled its new digital camera, DC S30, that should go on sale in Europe in the near future. S30 is a rather standard mainstream model: 3.34Mp, 3x optical lens, movie and sound recording.


Still the camera stands out among similar solutions with its 180° rotating LCD display more usual for video cameras and the built-in speaker and MP3 playback support. S30 can also charge its battery via USB.

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