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Digicam Peripherals Ride High At PMA

Exhibitors at the recent Photo Marketing Association (PMA) Show, here, illustrated the diversity of imaging peripherals and testified to the digital camera’s strengthening hold over the consumer photographic market.

With household penetration at a shade over 20 percent in the United States, according to PMA, manufacturers are aiming to supply the digital dark room with accessories and add-ons for the digital photographer.

Highlights included:

didi, the digital frame company, introduced four frames at the show. All of the frames feature 16MB of internal memory for displaying JPEG or TIF images, as well as accept CompactFlash and SmartMedia cards directly and Memory Stick with an adapter. They can also connect to a PC via USB.

The 6.4-inch Bravura VI is housed in wood with mat and glass and has a resolution of 640 by 480, it will have a suggested retail price of $449. The 8.4-inch Aurora VIII will retail for a suggested $649, and features 800 by 600 (SVGA) resolution and a wood with mat glass frame finish.

Another SVGA resolution frame, the Regent X, is 10.4 inches and will retail for a suggested $799. Finally, the steel-finished Zephyr XII sizes up at 12.1 inches and displays images at SVGA resolution. It ships with a suggested retail price of $999.

Konica introduced a line of inkjet photo paper in Professional Photo Glossy, Professional Two Sided Photo Glossy, Premium Photo Glossy, Premium Photo Self Adhesive and Matte Everyday styles. The papers feature a dry time of five seconds with a micro-porous structure that keeps surfaces smudge proof. The papers ship this month.

Lexar announced a new line of its JumpDrive USB portable storage devices, called the JumpDrive Secure. The USB drive is made from impact resistant ABS plastic and co-molded rubber for durability. The device also includes encrypted password protected security software for PC and Mac.

JumpDrive Secure will be available this month in 64MB, 128MB and 256MB capacities. Suggested retail pricing for the product is $59.99, $89.99 and $149.99, respectively.

The company also announced a second-generation Digital Photo Player, which will ship this month for a suggested retail price of $79.99. The new Digital Photo Player is faster than the previous version and now supports six memory formats.

Minolta stepped into the retail software market with its DiMAGE Messenger Software, which it is targeting at consumers and vertical markets. The program allows users to connect written text to specific portions of a digital image, share the information with others via e-mail, and allow comments to be added from the receiver. When a recipient receives an image via e-mail, they drag their mouse across the image and specific text will pop up over the portions of the image the sender had singled out for comment. It will retail for under $40.

PNY introduce an xD-Picture Card reader for the latest flash format, shipping in the second quarter for a suggested retail price of $29.99. It also introduced USB 2.0 single card readers for all the major formats. The readers are backwards-compatible with USB 1.1 and will ship in the second quarter and all will carry a suggested retail price of $49.99.

Roxio bowed its PhotoSuite 5 Platinum software. This is the first major upgrade of the software since 2000 and it adds, among other things, the ability to burn CDs with Roxio’s Easy CD Creator technology. Consumers can burn photos to CDs or create slide shows onto Video CDs, which can be played back on most DVD players. It has a suggested retail price of $49.95.

SanDisk announced SanDisk Extreme, a line of “prosumer” CompactFlash and SD cards sold exclusively though photo-retail. The cards can endure a wide range of temperature extremes and deliver a sustained write speed of up to 6 megabyte (MB) per second and sustained read speed of 9MB/sec. SanDisk Extreme SD cards provide sustained write speeds of up to 2.5MB/sec.

SanDisk Extreme CompactFlash will initially ship in capacities of 256, 512MB and 1GB, with street prices of $99, $189 and $379 respectively. SanDisk Extreme SD cards will be available in 256 and 512MB capacities with a street price $109 and $219 respectively. Both card formats will ship in the second quarter.

The company also introduced a line of new, higher performance memory cards under the Ultra brand. A 1GB CompactFlash (CF) card with a sustained write speed of up to 6MB per second and a sustained read speed of 9MB per second will be the fastest CF card on the market, according to SanDisk. The Ultra line of CF cards will be available in capacities of 128MB, 256MB, 512MB and 1GB in the second quarter with suggested retail prices between $59 to $329.

SD cards with write speeds of up to 2.5MB per second will also be available in the Ultra line. SD cards will ship in the second quarter with capacities between 128MB and 512MB and suggested retails between $29 and $169.

SimpleTech introduced its entry into the TV photo viewer category with its PhotoZen, shipping in May for a suggested $79.99. It accepts six memory formats and doubles as a USB card reader for transferring images to a PC. The PhotoZen connects to a TV via composite or S-Video input and ships with a remote control.