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Kodak Dries Off At PMA

Las Vegas — Kodak unveiled a number of new retail printing solutions at PMA, here, last week.

The company joined several competitors, including Fujifilm and Hewlett-Packard, in introducing a “dry” minilab. The new Adaptive Picture Exchange (APEX) uses thermal printers and is a modular system. The minilab uses the Kodak 7000 photo printer with XtraLife II thermal media, a DL2100 duplex printer and a work station running new APEX software. The new 7000 printer offers two finishes (satin and gloss) and three print sizes, 4-inch by 6-inch, 6- by 8-inch and bordered 5- by 7-inch, in a single media SKU.

A new clear caption technology lets retailers print photo metadata directly on the front of the image though it is barely visible to the naked eye.

Additional components of the system include the DL200 duplex printer, which provides the ability to offer double-sided photo books, calendars and greeting cards. The system is controlled through the APEX workstation, which features a dual-core processor and new workflow software. An APEX minilab can accept orders from up to 13 Kodak kiosks (G3, G4 and G4x) alongside orders placed over the Internet.

The system will be available in a number of configurations with list prices ranging from $20,000 for a 450 prints/hour capacity to $33,000 for a 900 prints/hour capacity, according to Ed Deller, kiosk product manager, Kodak. The system can support workloads up to 2,250 prints/hour as well as connect to wide-format printers from Epson for photo poster printing.

Kodak’s new G4x kiosk boasts more RAM and hard disc memory than its predecessor, Kodak said. The company has begun offering the option to tie G4 and G4x kiosks to a new rapid print scanner which handle up to 30 4- by 6-inch prints/minute. It scans them at 300 dpi resolution. The scanned images can be added to photo projects created in the kiosks (mixing both digital camera and scanned images) or burned directly to a CD/DVD. It will be available in Q4 for $2,600.

Lastly, Kodak’s Qualex subsidiary announced the addition of 100 new photo merchandise products it will offer retail partners through online or mail fulfillment. New products include photo restoration and makeover services, digital art creation, and new licensed content from Fox, Hasbro, MLB and the NBA, among others.

Shortly after PMA, Kodak said its Gallery Web site would partner with Slide. The partnership lets Gallery members share their stored images via Slide’s “portable” multimedia slideshow application on a variety of third-party social-network and blog sites.