Nikon and Hewlett-Packard

Real Nikon news today. Was Ken Rockwell correct in this post (see also here)? Is this going to be the BIG announcement next year? NR reports, you decide:

Nikon and Hewlett-Packard Collaborate to Develop a High-Resolution Digital Image Reproduction System

September 24, 2008

Nikon Corporation (Michio Kariya, President) and HP (Hewlett-Packard Company, 3000 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304-1185 USA; Mark Hurd, CEO and President) have been working together since 2005 to develop high-resolution digital imaging technologies. The result of this collaboration is a new high-resolution digital imaging system for reproducing fine art.

The digital fine art (DFA) market, the field concerned with the capture, preservation and digital reproduction of artwork, has expanded incredibly in recent years with the steady increase in digital image resolution. However, the faithful digitization and printing of artwork demands a clear knowledge of the entire workflow, from capture to image processing and final printing, as well as the necessary technologies.

Nikon and HP are proud to introduce their new system, which offers a total capture-to-print solution. This system optimizes and improves the digital fine art workflow by reducing total production time from hours to minutes. The system is comprised of the Nikon D3 digital-SLR camera for capture, a special edition of ErgoSoft’s StudioPrint photo RIP software for image processing, and HP’s Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer for printing. This system enables faithful reproduction of originals with optimization of a variety of aspects, including those of the camera and lens used for capture, lighting conditions, white balance, and the paper used for printing. Moreover, this system offers the added benefits of minimal initial cost as purchase of a large-format digital camera is not a requirement, as well as significant improvements in workflow and efficiency.

The result of collaboration between Nikon and HP is a single capture-to-print system that maximizes the capabilities of devices and software for digital reproduction with an unprecedented fidelity to the original and superior workflow and efficiency.

Update: KR changed his mind two days later - "SPX rangefinder coming at WPPI in February".
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  • jimmy

    i think this is lame. how about some glass? id say more than half of us viewing this site and using nikons use them for something other than reproducing fine art. okay yea i’m sure there is a market for it but come on, provide for your loyal fan base! GLASS!

  • Kuri

    It’s a bundle deal, really. A camera, a RIP and a printer. Yay.
    Not the BIG announcement, why would they be secretive about the BIG thing, place ads and then just release it as a normal press release tis way? Nah.

    The curious bit is ‘The result of this collaboration is a new high-resolution digital imaging system for reproducing fine art.” High resolution? Sounds more like nikon is shifting D3’s? Wouldn’t a D700 be better suited for this? Do you need a vertical grip and high fps for shooting artwork? Also, if the “benefits of minimal initial cost’ are so important, again why a D3 and not a D700? Shifting surplus stock? Surely there are better ways to do this than offer a niche market bundle.
    Odd combination if you ask me…
    Marketing people… gotta love ’em!

  • Marc

    So what does this mean for consumers/pros?

  • Tom

    This is just marketing…I’m into professionel art reproduction and didn’t need this combo to do the job. This is the territory of digital MF (16bit here) but when I’m in a hurry my D2x is giving me great results too. All you need is a clean 100 (or 50 Iso) file. Better skipping the D3 and D700 for these studio shots and wait for a D3x, D4, D800 (please with 100 or 50 ISO).

  • Pablov

    Hi Tom:

    Did you say “skip D3 and D700” because of the ISO 200 base shooting or because of what reason?

    PS: I’m not sure if it this the “BIG” thing.. but, who knows, time will say…

  • Tom

    I have to admit that I’m not really happy with the idea of cameras beginning at 200 Iso (with some strobes I would have to close to f:16 or f:22), of course the D3/D700 give great results, no question, but at low ISO and studio, I don’t think it’s necessary to upgrade the D2x for the moment.The D3 is a photojournalist dream, i think it strange that Nikon tries this marketing blabla.

  • alex

    the gigapixel HAL9000 is based on nikon cameras and lenses.

    a complete system probably is required on the market. nothing wrong for hp and nikon to work together.

    it has nothing to do with weddings so no reason to think it’s related to the BIG thing.

  • alex

    and for the “experts” here: there is iso 100 on d3/700. IQ is best at 200.

  • cameron

    why dont you try these:
    1) decrease the flash power?
    2) use a ND filter?
    3) use a circular polarizer filter?
    4) ever gave it a try with “iso 100” on d3 and d700?
    5) ever gave it a try with 14-bit RAW recording mode on d3 and d700?

  • Richard

    I agree with Tom; reproduction of fine art benefits, in my opinion, 16-bit capture.

    The D3 is not just a PJ’s dream; it’s a sports photographer’s dream, too (I shoot sports); as Tom notes above, I don’t see a ‘fit’ between the D3 and fine art reproduction.

    However, could the D3 be ‘due’ for an update, perhaps to 16-bit capture?; perhaps with a (Sony or other) sensor, with smaller (but far more) pixels?; perhaps with certain other features well-suited to fine art photography?

    We live in very interesting times…

  • Richard

    My error; my first sentence in the post above should read, in part, “…benefits, in my opinion, from 16-bit capture.”

  • bet

    art reproduction? why announce it on WPPI?

  • PHB

    I don’t see why you would book an arena to launch a partnership. And to be honest, this would be more of a HP event than Nikon.

    It makes perfect sense for Nikon to partner with either HP or Kodak in the printer market. HP is the better bet, Kodak has offerings that are below the Nikon price point and mindlessly above it (think six figure price tags).

    Partnering makes sense because HP and Nikon both face competition from Canon’s offering that goes from capture right through to the printer, paper and ink.

    But that should be a HP show, not a Nikon show. Nikon, Sony and Mamiya/Hassy are all in the same boat. If it was printers it should be HP holding the event and lining up a consortium of partners.

  • Doesn’t say anywhere in that release that it will be announced @ WPPI. That’s speculation (unless my reading ski1z are the suX0r).

    Perhaps the timing is of 2 different things being announced around the same time.

  • Blog Admin

    of course it’s specualtion – everything here is rumors and speculations

  • not sure

    This would be a better rumor if it was Epson and not HP.

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