Firmware Updates From Nikon Nikon has released firmware updates for the Coolpix 8400 and Coolpix 8800. The following issues were addressed (for both models): The shutter releases immediately with self-timer photography using the remote control. Be aware that the 2-second shutter-release delay will no longer be possible with self-timer photography using the remote control. The self-timer can now be used with Fireworks show, Museum, and Sports Scene modes. Camera control using PictureProject COOLPIX Remote Control is now possible. (since firmware version 1.3) 6-GB Microdrives can now be used. Pictures were not correctly recorded when taken with Internal off selected for the Speedlight cntrl option in the shooting menus Speedlight opt. item, and flash mode set to rear-curtain sync. This problem has been corrected. (since firmware version 1.3) Command-dial operation was possible while a picture, taken with Quick response selected for the Release speed option in the setup menus Monitor options item, was being recorded to the memory card. This problem has been corrected. Shooting was possible while a picture, taken with Quick response selected for the Release speed option in the setup menus Monitor options item and Auto bracketing selected for the Auto bracketing item in the shooting menu, was being recorded to the memory card. This problem has been corrected. Errors in Korean menus have been corrected. Coolpix 8400 Update Coolpix 8800 Update Nikon to Beat Profit Targets Reported at bloomberg.com, Nikon's imaging unit is expecting to beat its profit target of 20 billion yen ($183 million) as it introduces new models and cleans out their inventory. They expect their wide offerings, especially in the digital SLR market, to help curb the falling prices on cheaper cameras (point and shoots). As the prices drop on the lower-end cameras and demand slows down (1 in 2 households in Japan have a digital camera), having more expensive products will help keep revenue going. During themonths ending in June, there was a 10% increase in shipments of compact digital cameras over a year ago. However, there was a 40% increase in shipments of digital SLR's over the same period, when compared to a year ago. Full Article RAW Viewer from Microsoft Microsoft has released the "Microsoft Raw Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP". This first release fully supports the Nikon and Canon RAW formats. The software consists of two components: A Windows XP shell extension that adds optionsto the context-specific menu (when you right click) on a RAW file. An enhancement to the Picture Viewer to allow RAW images to be viewed like other image files. For full details and link to download the "power toy", head over to Microsoft's site. Fireworks Photo Gallery at DCResource If you like to look at (or take) photos of fireworks, Jeff, over at Digital Camera Resource Page (dcresource.com) has details on his 6th annual fireworks photo gallery. He gives some pointers on how to take great pictures of fireworks and gives you the opportunity to show what you've taken. You can go see the page for this years gallery or browse the images from 2004.