Through a series of agreements and joint ventures Polaroid is launching an aggressive campaign for it's new digital technologies that will bring to consumers 35mm quality prints from digital cameras and memory cards at approximately 1/3rd the cost of current prints. These machines will be available to both mini-labs and direct to consumers through self service kiosks and home printers.
The key to the quality of the prints is the four color thermal process used to produce them. The home printer will be able to produce a print in about 30 seconds (2ppm). The commercial printers for mini-labs and kiosks will be able to produce a print a second (60ppm). Prints would be available in either color or black and white.
Polaroid hopes that these new technologies will boost it's faltering sales, but they face stiff competition from Kodak and Sony, both of whom are much larger, and are also pursuing this market.
SmartDisk announced new USB-based flash media readers for CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick and Secure Digital/MultiMediaCard media cards.
All four models feature a vertically oriented casing allowing users to insert and remove the units with one hand. Included with the readers will be ACDSee 3.1 photo editing and management software from ACD Systems.
The SmartDisk SmartMedia Reader, SmartDisk CompactFlash Reader and SmartDisk Memory Stick Reader are expected to be available at the end of July. The SmartDisk Secure Digital/MultiMediaCard Reader is expected to ship sometime in the fourth quarter. All four readers are priced at $39.95.
Olympus is targeting the market for 8 to 14 year photographers with it's i-snap APS cameras. The i-snap will come in bright colors (ala the i-Mac). Olympus will target the i-snap to the youth market through cross promotions with Nickelodeon.
Seemingly everyone is introducing a new digital cameras these days. Olympus leads this month's list with the Camedia C-4040 ZOOM, a two frames per second, 4 Megapixel camera featuring an f1.8 3X zoom lens (35-105mm equivalent in 35mm). The camera features updated technology from Olympus to improve image quality and noise reduction. The C-4040 has a full range of features aimed at serious digital photographers with an expected street price of around $1,099.
Toshiba announced the PDR-M81 digital camera, expected to be available in July with a suggested retail price of under $1,000. The camera features a 4.2 megapixel CCD sensor and a newly designed lens system incorporating 2.8x optical and 2.2x digital zooms covering a 35mm equivalent of 35mm to 98mm including macro mode. The PDR-M81 also has a full range of features aimed at serious digital photographers.
Beginner digitals are the most crowded sector of the digital camera boom. Into that fray, Sony has introduced the Cyber-shot DSC-P20 digital camera. It's a 1.3 megapixel camera with a 3x digital zoom. In addition to still photos, the Cyber-shot will allow you to take up to 90 minutes of digital video using Sony's memory stick. The Cyber-shot DSC-P20 is expected to have a street price of around $250.
Polaroid to launch new digital printing technology
Olympus targets 8 to 14 year olds with new camera
New digital cameras from Olympus, Toshiba, and Sony
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