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Price, Features Drive Digital Camera Intros

10/14/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

The digital camera pre-holiday blitz continued as three vendors added more fuel to the market's competitive fire. Kodak and Olympus have pumped new features to distinguish their latest higher-end digital camera offerings, while SiPix staked out aggressive new pricing ground in the 3-megapixel market.

Kodak announced the flagship to its 2002 EasyShare line, the 4-megapixel LS443 Zoom Digital Camera. For this model Kodak paired with Schneider-Kreuznach, a German lens producer to create the Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 3x optical zoom lens. It also has a 3.3x digital zoom for a total 10x zoom capability.

The LS443 comes bundled with a new special edition dock for battery charging and image transfer and will be available this month with a suggested retail price of $499.95.

Kodak's new 1.8-inch indoor/outdoor LCD screen, first seen on the DX4330, is also incorporated in the LS443. The LCD features a non-glare coating which reduces the sun's glare on its surface and makes it easier to view images outdoors. The camera comes with 16MB of internal memory and is SD memory card compatible.

Olympus has introduced two new 5-megapixel models, both shipping now. The Camedia C-5050 Zoom is aimed at the advanced digital photographer while the C-50 is aimed at the mainstream.

The C-5050 features all-magnesium construction and takes three types of memory media – the new xD-Picture Card, SmartMedia, or Compact Flash Type I and II including Microdrives. It can also hold two media cards simultaneously.

In fully Programmed Auto mode, the camera offers basic point-and-shoot functionality, and scene programs on the mode dial provides fully automatic exposure adjustments for night scenes, portrait and landscape photography. A "My Mode" feature lets users assign frequently used functions for quicker access.

The C-5050 includes a 32MB xD-Picture Card and has a suggested retail price of $899.

The Camedia C-50 Zoom sports a 3x optical/4x digital zoom lens. The camera offers basic point-and-shoot operation while scene programs on the mode dial provide for fully automatic exposure adjustments for portrait, self portrait, landscape-portrait, and sports photography.

The C-50 ships with a 32MB xD-Picture Card and a suggested retail price of $699.

SiPix broke new price ground bringing its SC-3300, a 3.3-megapixel model, to the market for a suggested retail price of $199.99. Available in time for the holiday season, the SC-3300 can capture both still images and video, features 1.6-inch color LCD and a 3x digital zoom. The camera comes with 16MB of internal memory and a CompactFlash slot for additional memory. In movie mode the camera can capture video at up to 15 fps, and a continuous-shot mode snaps up to 4 images in rapid succession.

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