Impact Review: Samsung V700

This is the first review I have seen of the next generation of Samsung digital cameras. As some of you may recall, the previous generations of Samsung digicams got neutral to negative reviews. Sometimes they even got negative comments from reviewers who like to "sugar coat" things. As Samsung aspires to do great things in the world of digital cameras, the quality of this new generation is crucial. Thus earning the designation of "Impact Review".

So the first review [that I have seen] published is for the Samsung V700, a compact camera apparently using the critically acclaimed 7mp 1/1.8" Sony CCD. The five page review is right here: The conclusion in this review is actually on page 2, not the last page.

I won't spoil the review or the conclusion, but I will say one thing: The closer co-operation between Sony and Samsung of recent months is surely helping Samsung.

Numbers: Kodak is #1 but with a big asterisk

Kodak shipped/sold the most digital cameras in Q1 of 2005 in the USA market.

That is great news for Kodak who is trying to make a comeback and recover from the "downfall" of the film era.
Kodak has managed to push away Fuji and Olympus and become the favorite entry-level low-price P&S brand.
Perhaps the greed that led to the creation of the xD memory card is coming back to haunt Fuji and Olympus.

However, there is a big asterisk next to that #1 spot.


Because the average Kodak camera and especially the best selling Kodak digital cameras are low priced especially when compared to #2 and #3 Canon and Sony. If for every $100 Kodak CX7300, Canon sells a $1000 350D/RebelXT and Sony sells a $400 P200, well you can see why there should be an asterisk. Same thing can be said for HP who doesn't even have a camera over $300 (apart from the "old" HP 945).

Q1 2005 numbers
1. Kodak 900,000 [up 41% from Q1 2004] 20.4% vs 18.1%
2. Canon 850,000 [up 72% from Q1 2004] 19.3% vs 14.0%
3. Sony 800,000 [?] 18%
4. Olympus 480,000 [] 10.9% vs 12.7%
5. HP 7.5%
6. Fuji 6.8%
7. Nikon 5.7%

Annual results USA 2004
1. Kodak 4.88 million 21.9% vs 17.9% in 2003
2. Sony 4.33 million 19.4% vs 21.7%

Total in 2004: 22.3 million vs 16.4 in 2003. 2005 estimate: 27.3 million

My predictions for 2005
* The new set of P&S Nikon Coolpixs seems to be priced competitively and is getting positive response. That along with the success of the three "versions" of the Nikon D70 should push Nikon higher. Even their "bijou" camera which is usually a "failure" [eg SQ, 3700] looks like a success story this time around (The S1 and S2)

* Canon can do nothing wrong it seems. The signs were there early last year of Canon domination and it sure is happening!

* Olympus is struggling across the board. Their traditional markets (entry level P&S and mid-range cameras) are struggling. Part of it may be xD, part of it maybe the change in buyer patterns - partly because of all the long zooms and high-end LiIon ultra-compacts. Once a leader in long zooms Olympus is now left behind with no new models and no image stabilization. The Stylus brand has not translated very well to digital. One "bright" spot may be the colorful Stylus Verve line.

* Fuji is also struggling but if they can get the F10 sensor/engine into other models, watch out!

Digital camera scoop: Nikon Coolpix S2 coming soon

dpreview forums user Walter Freiberg posted a link to an advertisement he noticed in Switzerland showing the "Nikon Coolpix S2". It looks like this is some sort of a "waterproof" or "weatherproof" version of the S1. It is advertised at a price 16% higher than that of the trendy-looking S1.

Kyocera: are you In or Out?

Kyocera and Contax have told us they are going out of the digital camera business.
Yashica is one of their brands, that was allegedly absorbed by the Kyocera brand digital-camera-wise a few years ago.
Yet Yashica is announcing a brand new digital camera co-branded with Kyocera and having a "Kyocera lens".
It is a "standard" 5mp 3x optical camera using AA batteries.

So Kyocera/Contax/Yashica, are you IN or OUT of the digital camera business?

The picture is from the site below:

Digital Camera Scoop: new from Pentax

dpreview forums user "danielmiller" posted a link to specs of two brand new Pentax digital cameras, the S5z (oh why can't they come up with longer/easier product names), which is an updated to the S5i with a trendy 2.5" LCD, and the S55 which is an update to S50 with (you guessed it) a trendy 2.5" LCD.

The dpreview effect

It is just a few hours after the Fuji F10 review appeared on dpreview, and since then the Fuji F10 has already jumped into the Amazon Top 75 best selling cameras. In just a few hours! This is the "dpreview effect".

Why did more people start buying it? I won't spoil the review results [you have to read it yourselves]. But obviously there is something very unique about that camera that was verified by the detailed/technical yet concise dpreview review!