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Five Vendors Add To Their Digicam Lines

Digital camera vendors, determined not to be outdone by Hewlett-Packard’s product onslaught (see p. 1), used last week to unveil their own fall-winter lineups.

Casio announced a new addition to its QV line of digital cameras with the 4-megapixel QV-R40.

The camera, which replaces the QV-RV4, sports a one-second power-up time and a 0.01-second release time lag. It features a 3x optical zoom, direct mode access buttons and a five-point multi auto focus. Shipment and pricing info were not available at press time.

Concord Camera introduced the first consumer-level digital camera with internal Bluetooth connectivity. The Concord Eye-Q Go Wireless is a 2-megapixel model with a 4x digital zoom that can wirelessly transmit images to compatible Bluetooth devices from up to 30 feet away.

The camera is packaged with a Bluetooth adapter for desktops, and offers 7MB of internal memory, an SD/MMC card expansion slot, preset scene selections, and three focus modes. The camera is shipping now for a suggested retail of $179.99.

Fujifilm announced five new FinePix digital cameras, including three that incorporate the company’s fourth-generation Super CCD HR technology. Four of the five new cameras and a Universal Picture Cradle USB dock are shipping this month.

The cameras include the entry-level 2-megapixel FinePix A205, which features a 3x optical/2.5x digital zoom lens. The A205 offers 10 frames/second AVI movie capture and has a suggested price of $199.95.

The FinePix A210 is a 3.2-megapixel camera with a 3x optical/3.2x digital zoom and a suggested retail price of $279.95. Incorporating Fujifilm’s proprietary Super CCD HR image sensor, the FinePix A310 features 3.1 million effective pixels which can produce 6-megapixel images. The camera sports a 3x optical/2.9x digital zoom lens and will retail for a suggested $299.95.

Targeted toward the more sophisticated user, the FinePix S5000 sports a 10x optical zoom for a suggested retail of $499.95. The camera, which also features the Super CCD HR, features a 3.1-megapixel sensor that produces a 6-megapixel image.

And the 6.3-megapixel FinePix S7000 sports a 6x optical/3.2x digital zoom, full manual controls, including RAW file capture and dual-slot media storage devices. The FinePix S7000, which employs the company’s new Super CCD HR, ships in October for a suggested retail price of $799.95.

Fujifilm also announced a separate Universal CP-FXA10 Picture Cradle system for the FinePix A-series of cameras that will retail for $74.95. The USB cradle allows users to download images to a PC, recharge the camera’s battery, use the camera as a Web-cam or connect to a TV to view images.

Another film giant, Kodak, announced new digital imaging products including its highest resolution EasyShare digital camera to date and a new printer dock.

The EasyShare DX4530 features 5-megapixel resolution for a suggested retail price of $399 and is shipping now. The camera features a 3x optical/3.3x digital zoom, a fully automatic mode, 32MB of internal memory and an SD/MMC expansion slot. It is compatible with the optional Kodak EasyShare camera dock II and the new printer dock 4000 (details below).

The other model Kodak announced is the 2-megapixel CX6230, which features a 3x optical/3.3x digital zoom and a suggested retail price of $199. It comes with 16MB of internal memory, an SD/MMC expansion slot and ships in September.

Finally, Kodak added a second printer dock to its lineup, to accommodate the new DX4530 digital camera. It produces borderless 4-by-6-inch prints directly from the EasyShare CX/DX 3000 and 4000-series digital cameras without having to be connected to a computer (though it can be). It will be available beginning this month at a suggested retail price of $199.

Minolta gave details of the recently approved Konica Minolta holding company and unveiled the company’s new logo, a riff on Minolta’s blue-globe logo. The company’s new digital cameras will all carry the Minolta brand name.

Minolta introduced a new Z series of cameras with its first model, the 3.2 megapixel DiMAGE Z1, shipping in September for a suggested $399. Featuring a 10x optical/4x digital zoom lens, the Z1 is capable of recording VGA resolution movies at 30 frames per second.

The DiMAGE G500 is a 5-megapixel model with a dual-flash media drive that accepts SD and Memory Stick cards, which can be used alone or in combination. The camera features a 3x optical zoom, a 1.3-second start-up time, manual exposure, and ships in September with a suggested retail price of $499.

Into the digital SLR market, Minolta introduced the 5-megapixel DiMAGE A1, based on Minolta’s DiMAGE 7 series. The A1, which features a 7x optical zoom, a top shutter speed of 1/16,000 of a second, dual-focal macro system, and 3-D Predictive Focus Control, ships in September for a suggested $1,199.