By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
After a three-year hiatus, due in large measure to its effort to win vendor support for its Print Image Matching technology, Epson is back in the U.S. digital camera market with two new models targeting opposite ends of the digital camera spectrum.
One, the 4-megapixel L-410 is a compact model priced at a suggested $399 and targeted for mainstream consumers. The other, the R-D1, will command close to $3,000 and is aimed at enthusiasts, professionals and collectors.
The L-410, which ships this month, features a 3x optical/3x digital zoom, auto and manual modes and a VGA motion JPEG video mode for clips up to 102 seconds.
It comes with 16MB of internal memory and a 1.5-inch LCD screen and features NuCORE's CleanCapture image processor for capturing images at 3 frames per second to the capacity of an SD memory card. Previously only Kyocera, another NuCORE customer, offered that burst performance on a consumer priced digital camera.
The L-410 offers a new Epson technology, PRINT Image Framer (P.I.F.), which lets users add pre-loaded borders to their images in the camera. The frames do not impact the original image file. Epson will bundle software with the L-410 that will allow users to create their own frames and import them into the camera, as well as to personalize existing frames stored within the camera.
A "print" button on the back of the camera lets users send images directly to Epson printers via USB cable.
The company also announced the R-D1, hailing it as the "world's first digital rangefinder." The R-D1 will command a suggested retail price in the neighborhood of $3,000 and is aimed at collectors, advanced amateurs and the pros. It will ship in the fall.
According to Epson, the 6-megapixel D1 is the first digital camera to support Leica's L and M mount lenses.
The company also announced three new photo scanners in its Perfection series, the 4180, 2580 and 2480.
Each of these new scanners offers USB 2 connectivity and the second generation of the company's Easy Photo Fix technology for one-touch color restoration of faded photos, slides and negatives, and one-touch dust removal from slides and negatives.
The Perfection 4180 Photo, which ships in August with an estimated street price of $249, features a maximum hardware resolution of 4,800 by 9,600 dpi; a 3.4 Dmax; and built-in adapter for scanning multiple 35mm slides, negatives and 2.25-inch transparencies. Epson will offer an optional automatic document feeder for the 4180 for an estimated street price of $149.
The Perfection 2580 Photo features a maximum hardware resolution of 2,400 by 4,800 dpi and an Auto Film Loader located on the top of the scanner lid for scanning 35mm negatives. Epson will offer an optional Multi Photo and Business Card Feeder for an estimated street price of $149. The Multi Photo and Business Card Feeder can scan up to 24 business cards and up to 24 photos (up to 4 inches by 6 inches).
The 2580 will be available in August for an estimated street price of $149.
The entry 2480 offers the same software and hardware features as the 2580 without the Auto Film Loader. It does include a built-in transparency adapter and can scan 35mm film, up to three frames per strip, or two slides. It will be available in July for an estimated street price of $99.
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