Canon, today become the first company to release a range of products supporting
the new vendor-independent PictBridge standard. PictBridge allows digital cameras,
camcorders and other image capture devices to connect and print directly to
photo printers and other output devices - the simplest method of obtaining a
print from a digital camera. No PC is required and where both devices bear the
PictBridge logo, inter-brand connectivity is now a reality.
The PictBridge standard was officially announced by CIPA (Camera and Imaging
Products Association) in February 2003. With its breadth of product range, Canon
is well positioned to show strong leadership in support for the CIPA initiative.
Canon now has PictBridge compliant digital SLR, digital compact camera, digital
camcorder and photo-printer products.
"With no need for a PC and support for inter-brand connectivity, PictBridge
ultimately means more choice for the consumer," explains Hiroshi Komatsuzaki,
Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. "These new products embody Canon's
commitment to producing devices that work together openly, with whatever products
our customers might have or choose to have in the future. PictBridge will play
an important role in broadening and growing the digital photography market".
Direct photo printing without a PC
The PictBridge standard is independent of the physical connection and communication
protocol. This has allowed vendors such as Canon to employ existing industry
standard connections such as USB, which are widely used on cameras and printers.
Once connected, photo selections and print instructions can be
made from the camera's LCD and control buttons. Products newly released by Canon
that support PictBridge include the EOS 300D digital SLR camera, the PowerShot
A80 digital still compact
camera, the Card Photo Printers CP200 and CP300, the MVX3i, MVX10i and MV6iMC
camcorders, and the Bubble Jet i560 photo printer.
To attain PictBridge certification, products must be capable of basic mandatory
functions such as image selection, although the standard supports more sophisticated
functions such as cropping, multiple prints, print paper size selection and
printing with date stamp. Once connected, the PictBridge communication establishes
which features are supported by both devices and the user is presented with
these options only.
PictBridge supports vendor-to-vendor specific extensions of the standard. Where
a camera of one brand is connected to a printer of the same brand, both devices
are able to communicate in order to take advantage of vendor specific features.
With Canon this may include features such as Vivid Photo and Photo Noise
Firmware upgrades for existing Canon devices
Plans are in place to provide firmware upgrades for recently released Canon
products, in order to give them PictBridge compatibility. These will be provided
via an internet download and will be released for the PowerShot A300, PowerShot
A60, PowerShot A70, PowerShot S50 and the PowerShot G5 as well as for the Digital
IXUS II, Digital IXUS 400 and the EOS 10D.
Backward compatibility for Canon products
Directly connecting a camera and a printer is not a new concept for Canon, who
had already developed their own 'Bubble Jet Direct' and 'Direct Print' standards
long before PictBridge was ratified. To reward the loyalty of existing Canon
customers, the new range of PictBridge compatible products also supports these
Canon proprietary standards.