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Kodak Courts Camera Phone Users With New Printer Dock

Hoping to ride the rising tide of camera phone users, Kodak introduced a new EasyShare Printer Dock that can produce prints from camera phones, in addition to traditional digital sources.

The company also made a replacement in its EasyShare digital camera lineup with a new ultra-zoom model, the 5-megapixel DX7590, which will replace the DX6490.

Kodak’s new EasyShare Printer Dock Plus will ship this month for a suggested $199.99. It lets users wirelessly transmit pictures from their mobile phone cameras to the Printer Dock Plus via infrared. In October, Kodak will ship an optional USB dongle for transmitting camera phone images via Bluetooth.

The Printer Dock Plus is PictBridge enabled, features a slot for SD/MMC flash memory cards and works with an optional external 8-in-1 memory card reader for producing prints without a computer. The unit’s dedicated camera dock works with Kodak’s 600/6000 and 700/7000 series of EasyShare cameras.

The new Printer Dock Plus can also be connected to a computer and is packaged with a sample photo paper and cartridge kit good for 10 pictures. Kodak sells a 40-print refill pack with paper and ink for a suggested $24.99.

The dock also works with an optional remote control ($19.95) for viewing and printing images from a TV. Kodak will sell a Printer Dock Travel Bag ($39.95) for users who want to take their dock on the road.

The DX7590 camera will also ship this month for a suggested retail price of $499. It features a Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 10x optical zoom, a 311,000 pixel electronic viewfinder, flash compensation, and a click-to-capture speed of 0.2 seconds.

A dual-speed zoom control lets users focus the lens from 1x to 10x in two seconds. The lens barrel extends one inch after powering up the camera, and all subsequent lens movements occur within the protective housing, a feature Kodak says allows for easier handling.

The model offers both automatic and manual controls in addition to aperture and shutter priority modes and 16 scene modes. The camera is equipped with an external flash synch which is capable of synching at any shutter speed for illumination beyond the 16-foot range of the unit’s pop-up flash.

Other features include a 2.2-inch LCD screen, 32MB of internal memory, an SD/MMC expansion slot, a joystick and jog-dial controls for navigating the camera’s features.