Kodak Adds Wi-Fi, Dual-Lens Digicams

By Greg Scoblete On May 8 2006 - 6:00am

Kodak celebrated the fifth anniversary of the introduction of its EasyShare digital camera system by arguing, with the introduction of two new cameras, that a system predicated on simplicity has evolved to embrace high technology.

The newest members to the company's camera line include the second-generation Wi-Fi-enabled EasyShare One and a second dual-lens model in its V-series.

The new dual-lens V610 will join the V570 on the market. It employs two lenses to achieve a 10x optical zoom (38-380mm, 35mm equivalent) in a camera body less than an inch thick.

The 6-megapixel V610 is also Kodak's first digital camera to offer built-in Bluetooth for sending images to other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

The camera offers image stabilization, a 2.8-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD and VGA movie recording at 30 frames per second (fps) with video stabilization. Individual scenes from the video can be isolated to make VGA still images or four-, nine- or 16-up “video action” prints. In-camera panorama stitching enables the camera to automatically combine three photos into a single panoramic image.

The camera's favorites mode can store 100 pictures on an in-camera album and synchronize those pictures with a folder on a PC or online with Kodak's EasyShare Gallery Web site.

The V610 also offers in camera editing (including cropping and red-eye reduction), 22 scene modes, three color modes, a custom setting and 28MB of internal memory.

It will ship this month for a suggested $449.

Kodak also reaffirmed its support for the EasyShare One Wi-Fi camera, which is the only Wi-Fi model to date capable of connecting to the Internet for e-mailing or uploading images via the EasyShare Gallery. The new version — the EasyShare One 6MP — will retain that capability with a higher resolution and lower retail price. The 6-megapixel EasyShare One 6MP will hit stores in the beginning of the summer for a suggested $299. Kodak will sell a wireless SD card as an optional accessory for a suggested $99.

The new EasyShare One incorporates the WISPr (wireless Internet service provider recommendation) protocol, which Kodak said increases the number of hot spots accessible to the camera.

The new model carries over several features from its predecessor, including 256MB of internal memory, a 3-inch flip-out LCD screen, 3x optical zoom lens and VGA/30 fps video recording.

The existing 4-megapixel model will stay on the market, Kodak said.

Alongside the cameras, Kodak introduced the sixth version of its EasyShare software. According to Pierre Schaefer, consumer digital imaging group VP and chief marketing officer, the software has been installed on 30 million computers, making it the most popular imaging application. The new software, like the old, will be a free download and available with new Kodak digital cameras.

The new version offers a new interface with dynamic icons and personalized background, new photo greeting card and calendar options, and new file organization features.

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