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Canon, Kodak Mark Company Firsts With New DigiCams

Lake Success, N.Y. – Canon introduced its first digital EOS Rebel SLR camera at an aggressive sub-$1,000 price point, while Kodak launched its first digital camera with a 10x optical zoom.

Both announcements were made on Aug. 21.

Canon’s EOS Digital Rebel, based on the company’s line of film SLR cameras, features 6.3-megapixel resolution and will ship in two kit configurations in mid-September: with or without the specially designed EF 18-55mm f/3.5 – 5.6 zoom lens. The estimated street price for the zoom lens kit, including a battery pack and charger, will be $999. The estimated street price for the body-only kit with the same accessories will be $899.

The new EOS Digital Rebel is compatible with Canon’s line of over 50 EF lenses, EOS specific accessories and Canon’s EX-series Speedlites. It employs the same 7-point AF sensor found on the company’s EOS 10D model and features 12 shooting modes, automatic or manual exposure controls and automatic and/or manual focusing point selection.

The Digital Rebel accepts CompactFlash type I and II and Microdrive.

Canon also announced its flagship PowerShot A-series camera, the new 4-megapixel A80. The camera sports a 3x optical zoom, a 270-degree vari-angle LCD monitor, 14-mode command dial, 9-point AiAF and an Intelligent Orientation Sensor that automatically rotates vertical shots. Other features include a customizable My Camera mode, movie mode to a maximum of three minutes and a CompactFlash type I expansion slot.

The PowerShot A80 will ship in October at a suggested retail price of $499.

Both the Digital Rebel and the A80 support the PictBridge direct printing standard which allows the cameras to directly print to any other vendors’ PictBridge compatible printer through the USB cable, without using a PC. These are Canon’s first PictBridge-enabled digital cameras, the company introduced its first PictBridge photo printer, the i560, earlier in the month.

Kodak’s latest addition to its EasyShare lineup is the DX6490, a 4-megapixel camera with a 10x optical zoom lens and Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon optics.

It will be available in September for a $499 suggested retail price.

The DX6490 offers manual controls for aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, ISO equivalent and other settings. The camera features aperture and shutter priority modes, as well as sport, portrait, night, landscape, macro and automatic program modes.

In addition, the camera is equipped with an external flash synch — capable of synching at any shutter speed — for illumination of subjects beyond the 16-foot pop-up flash range.

The camera sports a 2.2-inch indoor/outdoor LCD screen, 16MB of internal memory and an SD/MMC slot. It ships with the EasyShare camera dock 6000 and is also compatible with the printer dock 6000 that sold separately for a suggested price of $199.95.