Friday, January 28, 2011


The performance of a digital camera is largely determined by three key components: the lens, the image sensor (CMOS or CCD), and the image processor. The image sensor, which takes the light entering the camera through the lens and converts it into electrical signals, can be compared to the film used in a traditional film camera, while the image processor “develops” the image. If any one of these three components is of substandard quality, it will negatively affect the images that the camera produces. Canon, which has been making cameras for over 70 years, develops its own lens units and CMOS sensors in-house, and has for some years now also been designing its own image processors: the DIGIC digital image processors.

The evolution of the DIGIC image processor has been the result of an ongoing search for higher and higher levels of image quality and faster speeds. DIGIC 4, which Canon began using in its camera products in the fall of 2008, represents the sixth generation of DIGIC processors. Compared with first-generation DIGIC processors, device performance has improved 50-fold in the space of just 10 years.
Today’s DIGIC image processor does more than mere image processing: It controls a wide range of functions and circuits, including automatic exposure control, exposure mode control, image file compression/playback control, LCD display control, and more. All of these functions are contained in a single-chip system large-scale integrated circuit (LSI), and the same image-processing platform can be used in any Canon digital camera, including the Digital ELPH/IXUS and PowerShot series of compact digital cameras, and the EOS digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera series.

One could say that DIGIC is the “brain” of Canon digital cameras. DIGIC 4, the latest version of the DIGIC digital image processor, provides dramatic improvements in terms of image quality and processing speed. So how have these advances in processor design been achieved? We talked to four members of the DIGIC 4 development team to find out more.



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Nikon D3100 Digital-SLR Camera and COOLPIX S1100pj Compact Digital Camera Recipients of Germany's iF Product Design Awards

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that the Nikon D3100 digital-SLR camera and COOLPIX S1100pj compact digital camera are the recipients of the iF Product Design Award. The iF Product Design Awards are globally prestigious industrial product design awards sponsored by International Forum Design GmbH of Hanover Germany.
The iF Product Design Award has been sponsored by International Forum Design (iF) based in Hanover Germany, since 1953. Each year, industrial products exhibiting superior design from around the world are selected as recipients of the prestigious award. This year, 2,756 products from 43 countries were evaluated, with the award being presented to 993 products. In selecting recipients of the award, product aspects including quality of design, functionality, degree of innovation, simplicity of operation and environmental impact are considered.
Nikon D3100

The D3100 is an entry level digital-SLR camera equipped with a new DX-format CMOS image sensor with an effective pixel count of 14.2-million pixels and the new image-processing engine, EXPEED 2, both developed by Nikon, that enables the capture of high-definition images with superior image quality. The D3100 offers improvements to the Guide mode built into its predecessor, the D3000, with the addition of options and assist images that make operation simpler and more intuitive. The camera is also equipped with a number of convenient functions, including live view mode, which allows users to compose shots using the camera's monitor, as well as D-Movie, which enables recording of full HD movies. Despite its compact size and light weight, the D3100 offers the authentic performance of a digital-SLR camera, allowing even beginners to capture beautiful photos according to their individual intent with simple operation.

The COOLPIX S1100pj is a compact digital camera with an effective pixel count of 14.1-million pixels, and is equipped with a 5× optical zoom NIKKOR lens and an ultra-compact projector. By increasing projection brightness by 40% over that of its predecessor, the COOLPIX S1000pj, projection is larger and clearer. In addition, adoption of a 3-inch TFT LCD touch panel monitor enables intuitive camera operation. The S1100pj also supports projection of computer data when connected to a computer, increasing the ways in which the built-in projector may be used for both personal and business applications.