Epson has released details regarding its new Print Image Matching (PIM) technology, developed to help digital cameras and printers work together better.

The new technology has been adopted by a series of digital-camera manufacturers already - including Casio, Konica, Kyocera, Minolta, Olympus, Ricoh, Sony and Toshiba, claims Epson. Epson is to integrate its PIM into its digital-camera range.

Currently images captured by digital camera lose image data as the data is transferred between camera, computer and printer. Now, Epson has developed a way to exchange more data between camera and printer, leading to higher-quality prints.

Colour gamut PIM allows the wider colour space associated with many digital cameras to be used by the printer, without clipping (reducing available image data) to sRGB (a digital image file format) as is generally the case with current technology. This means that the full potential colour gamut of Epson's printers can be used.

PIM overrides the colour settings of the Mac – this means more colour information makes it through to the printer.

Image processing Stuart Davis, inkjet product manager at Epson UK, said: "There is rapid growth in the number of digital-camera owners, many of whom want to output their photos to a high-quality inkjet printer. Epson became aware that the results of such output often need image processing.

"The current lack of a direct link between the digital camera and printer prevents the necessary information being transmitted. PIM provides a software link between cameras and Epson photo printers, giving the camera better control over the printing."

PIM-enabled digital cameras and Epson's range of PIM-ready Stylus Photo printers will be available during spring 2001.