April 26, 2006 Eastman Kodak once owned the world photographic market and since the advent of digital cameras, it has been fighting the good fight attempting to maintain its leading role, largely focussing on ease-of-use as its point-of-difference. Yesterday, the US-based company celebrated the fifth anniversary of its first Easyshare consumer digital camera and docking system which has seen the company reclaim number one digital camera market share in the U.S. To mark the occasion, it released details of a new compact (4.4 x 2.2 x 0.9 inches) US$449 V610 model with the company’s now trademark dual lens, but also with Bluetooth, 6 megapixels, and a 10X optical zoom. Even with its whopping 38-380 mm equivalent zooms lens it is less than an inch thick. It combines two Schneider-Kreuznach C-Variogon all-glass, non-protruding prism lenses to deliver the long zoom range and incorprates anti-blur technology to enable novices to handhold the high zoom in low light and still produce excellent images.
The Bluetooth wireless technology enables the sharing of pictures with Bluetooth-enabled devices or people up to 30 feet away – as well as be received on the camera’s high resolution 2.8-inch LCD screen (230,000 pixels).
The Kodak Easyshare V610 zoom digital camera will be available worldwide in May.
Also introduced yesterday was the next generation of the award-winning Easyshare-One, the world’s first Wi-Fi consumer digital camera, and the only camera in the world from which people can e-mail pictures. The new Kodak Easyshare-One 6 MP digital camera combines the power of taking, sharing, organizing, and printing pictures into a single, highly innovative product. Its new WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider recommendation) protocol increases the number of hot spot locations to connect anytime, anywhere, wirelessly. The Easyshare-One 6 MP camera will be available in the U.S. beginning this summer for US$299. The Wi-Fi card is an optional accessory US$99.
Yesterday, Kodak also outlined future technologies that build on the company’s ease of use, imaging innovations, and strategic partnerships. One that really impressed us was facial recognition software that will automatically sort through thousands of photos to find pictures of friends or family.