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Digital Camera News: Pentax Optio WPi GPS Bundle, Samsung Pro815 Wins Gold, Pentax to Increase Lens Production
by Ben Stafford -  2/7/2006

Pentax-Garmin GPS Bundle Announced

Geospatial Experts, creators of GPS-Photolink software, have announced that they've selected the Pentax Optio WPi to be bundled with a Garmin GPS receiver and their software.  The low cost, waterproof, dustproof camera makes the bundle a good choice for first-time photo-mapping users.

pentax optio wpi gps bundle

The GPS-Photolink software creates a web page for each watermarked image that is overlaid with GIS data (like satellite imagery and street maps).  The software links up images to GPS data without the need for cables.  Just take a picture of the GPS screen at the beginning of the day, and GPS-Photolink links everything together.

Along with the Pentax Optio WPi, the Garmin GPS60 handheld GPS received was selected because it's waterproof, rugged, and has upgradeable memory for users who need to capture thousands of data points.  A battery life of 28 hours also makes the GPS60 an excellent choice.

Pricing starts at $697.24 for the bundle with a basic GPS unit.

For more details, see www.geospatialexperts.com.

Samsung Pro815 Receives DIWA Gold Award

The Digital Imaging Websites Association (DIWA) has awarded the Samsung Pro815 digital camera a Gold Award.  The Pro815 made a splash, when it was announced, simply based on its spec sheet.  A 15x optical zoom, 3.5" LCD, and a long-lasting 1900 mAh battery pack were enough to catch some attention, but there were some skeptics when it came to image quality.

After testing, the DIWA members reported scores higher than expected.  The 15x Schneider-Kreuznach lens and improved imaging processor from Samsung allowed the camera to perform like a professional caliber camera.

For more information about the DIWA Awards, see www.diwa-awards.com.

Pentax to Increase Production to Meet Demand for Digital SLR Lenses.

Pentax has announced that they're going to expand their subsidiary in Vietnam by building a second plant.  Pentax VN specializes in the manufacture of optical instruments and components.  To keep up with a greater demand for interchangeable lenses for digital SLRS, the new 6,000 square meter plant will be built to augment the current 6,700 square meter plant.  Once up to speed, production capacity will increase from 1 million units per month to 1.6 million units per month.  The new facility has a tentative completion date in October 2006.

For more information, see the press release.

Nik Multimedia Changes Identity to Nik Software

Nik Multimedia has announced that they're going to change their name, effective immediately, as they launch a new corporate identity.  They will  now be known as Nik Software, Inc.  When started in 1995, Nik Multimedia catered to a larger market space for graphic arts, design, print, and digital imaging.  As their business grew, the growth was greatest in software development for digital photography.  Nik Software is known for DFine (noise reduction for digital images), Nik Color Efex Pro (digital photographic filters) and Nik Sharpener Pro (digital image sharpening).

With the new emphasis on digital photography, Nik Software will modify their logo and add a tagline of "Photography first".

See the press release (PDF) for more details.