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General Imaging Unveils PMA Offering

2/01/2008 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Torrance, Calif. — After its freshmen year in the digital camera business, General Imaging will launch a second round of GE-branded digital cameras in the spring, offering new in-camera technologies and high-definition video capture.

The company also announced that Walgreens will offer two models (the new A735 and last year’s E850) in all of its 6,148 stores, bringing the total number of retail storefronts carrying GE digital cameras to 22,000.

There will be nine new cameras, bringing the total number of models available to 15, the company said.

All the new models will include smile detection — which pauses the moment of image capture until a subject is smiling — and blink detection, which kicks on after a photo has been taking to alert users that a subject’s eyes were closed. They will be offered in red, black and silver.

The camera will also offer face detection, in-camera panorama stitching and in-camera red eye removal, features that were available across the firm’s 2007 line.

Cameras in the higher-end E and G series will feature LCD screens that will adjust brightness based on ambient lighting conditions. Prices on most of the models were still being finalized.

The new 10-megapixel E1050 features HD video recording at 1,280 by 720/30 fps and an HD output. It offers a 3-inch touchscreen LCD and works with an optional GPS receiver for geo-tagging digital images with GPS coordinates. A future version of the camera, expected to be available in the fall, will offer GPS functionality built into the camera, said Rene Buhay, sales and marketing senior VP.

The E1050 features a 5x optical zoom lens (28-140mm, 35mm equivalent); 26MB of internal memory; face, smile and blink detection; and digital stabilization with a maximum ISO of 3,200. It will retail for $249.

The 12-megapixel E1235 ($299) features a 3x optical zoom lens, 2.7-inch LCD, and VGA/20 fps MPEG-4 video recording. The same features will also be available on a 10-megapixel model, the E1035.

The 10–megapixel X3 features a 12x optical zoom lens (33-396mm, 35mm equivalent); a 2.7-inch LCD screen; blink and face detection; and high-definition video recording at 1,280 by 720/27fps. It features a max ISO of 3,200, 26MB of internal memory. Pricing on the X3 has not been set.

In the compact G-series, the firm will add the 8-megapixel G2 ($179) with a 4x optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD screen, VGA/30 fps movie recording, ISO 1,600, and 26MB of internal memory.

The 10-megapixel G3, for $199, builds off the G2 with HD video recording at 1,280 by 720/30 fps.

The 8-megapixel E840S sports a 4x optical zoom, 2.7-inch LCD, VGA/30 fps movie recording, ISO 1,600 and 26MB of internal memory.

The 7-megapixel A735 will retail for $89 and features a 3x optical zoom, a 2.5-inch LCD screen, VGA/30 fps movie recording, 32MB of internal memory and a battery life of 150 shots on a pair of AA batteries. The same features will be available in the 8-megapixel A835 for $109.

The company is still working on introducing a printer into the market. The first printer it announced last year never came to market, Buhay said. “We don’t want a me-too.”

General Imaging has pegged its strategy as offering the most features at a given price to unseat entrenched incumbents, Buhay added.  

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