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Kodak Adds EasyShares, Wholesale Capabilities

3/08/2007 08:21:00 AM Eastern

Las Vegas — Kodak will offer retailers several doorways into the burgeoning photo merchandise and batch-scanning markets, leveraging its Qualex wholesale photofinishing subsidiary along with new partnerships and hardware for on-site production, the company announced at the Photo Marketing Assocation (PMA) show, here, today.

In addition to retail print solutions, the company added several new EasyShare digital cameras to its lineup.

For retailers, Kodak demonstrated a set of solutions for digitizing customer’s moldering shoeboxes of prints. According to Kodak, the solutions can be performed on a wholesale basis by its Qualex photofinishing subsidiary or offered by individual retailers on site. The Qualex scanning service will be rolled out this summer to service online and retailer customers. Consumers can pick up a kit in a store or order one online, package up their photos and either mail them directly to Qualex or drop them back off to the retail store.

Qualex will scan the photos, upload them to an online account and burn them onto a Kodak Picture Movie DVD. The DVD can store up to 2,000 images, and it and the original photos are returned to the consumer. Kodak said the service would cost “less than $100.”

For in-store scanning, Kodak will offer the s1220 system, which batch scans and auto-corrects images at 30 picture-per-minute. Scanned photos could be burned to a CD or DVD or uploaded to photo Web-sites.

Kodak also announced new Custom Creations software, a desktop application that allows consumers to create photo merchandise at home and either upload the order to retail or burn it to a CD, which can then be delivered to a retailer. The software has templates for photo books and calendars, which can be fulfilled in-store or via Qualex. It will be available for free in May on Kodak’s Web site.

For retailers wishing to create photo books in store, the pages can be output on silver halide or thermal paper and bound with the Powis PhotoPress binding solution, Kodak said.

On the camera front, the company introduced two Z-series and two C-series models.

The 7-megapixel Z712 IS sports a 12x optical zoom lens (36mm-432 mm, 35mm equivalent) with optical image stabilization. It ships in April for a suggested $299.

The 8-megapixel Z885 offers a 5X optical zoom lens a maximum ISO of 8,000 and 10 scene modes. It will ship in May for a suggested $199.

In its entry-level C-series, Kodak added a pair of models offering 3x optical zoom lenses. The 6-megapixel C613 and 7-megapixel C763 will retail for $119 and $179, respectively.

Lastly, Kodak updated its printer dock with the new G610. It can produce a photo print in less than a minute, the company claimed.

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