Kodak Launches New Cameras

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New York - Kodak used a media showcase here Wednesday to unveil the latest in its range of digital still cameras, pocket video cameras and digital photo frames.

The company also said it has expanded the functionality of its HD Theater digital media adapter with a slate of new content partners and photo collage search tools, and reduced the price from last fall's test.

Among the highlights of the showcase was the Zi8 pocket video camera with FullHD 1080p recording capability, up from the 720p Zi6. The camera, which ships in September at a $180 suggested retail, includes a 4x digital zoom, built-in image stabilization and 5-megapixel still image capability in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Built-in software on the camera allows seamless uploading of video and pictures from the same desktop interface used for video editing and movie creation, and supports easy uploading to Facebook and YouTube.

The video camera also ships with a bundled HDMI cable, built-in flexible USB connector, 128MBs of internal memory, SD/SDHC memory card slot and built-in microphone jack.

The Zi8 is available in a choice of colors, including aqua, black and raspberry.

Kodak also unveiled a handful of 12-megapixel digital still cameras, including the EasyShare Z950, which will ship in August at a $280 suggested retail.

Positioned as a slight step-up to the previously introduced Z915, the Z950 features a 10x-optical-zoom (35mm to 350mm) lens with optical image stabilization.

The EasyShare Z950 offers 720p/30 fps HD video recording in MPEG-4 format, and in-camera video-editing capability. It includes a 3-inch LCD view screen and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

Also introduced was the EasyShare M381, which is a compact model that will ship in September at a $180 suggested retail. The camera features a 5x-optical-zoom (35mm to 175mm) lens, 3-inch LCD, digital image stabilization and standard-definition video recording at 640 by 480/30 fps.

The EasyShare M341 will ship in September at a $160 suggested retail and features a 3x optical zoom, a 2.7-inch LCD, easy uploading of pictures and video to YouTube or Kodak Gallery and a choice of colors, including gray silver, classic Kodak red, satin black, deep orchid and light blue.

The C190 will ship in September at $130 and includes a 5x optical zoom with digital image stabilization, AA battery power and a 2.7-inch LCD.

New in picture frames is the D830, which is billed as a high-quality basic 8 by 10 digital frame, ships with a wood faceplate that can be replaced with different faceplates to create a different look.

The D830, which ships in August at a $139 suggested retail, offers quick touch border menu and plug-and-play operation that will automatically begin a photo slide show once a memory card or USB flash drive containing digital pictures is inserted. Also included is a dynamic collage mode and clock/calendar views.

The frame includes 512MB of internal memory capable of holding up to 4,000 images.

Following its test market last year, Kodak has launched its Kodak Theater HD Player digital media adapter.

The compact TV set-top box is designed to link a PC to a TV display to playback a range of digital entertainment files, but most specifically digital photos and home videos. It also uses an intuitive and flexible onscreen guide that can be navigated with an unusual Hillcrest-developed air mouse-style remote control.

Following the market test, Steven Jean, Kodak digital capture and devices product marketing manager, said the company found it needed to add more functionality to the device, so it added access to YouTube video that have been specially adapted and processed for display on HDTVs and include easy search functions similar to those found on the PC version of the site.

Also added was Net Video access to hundreds of free on-demand video feeds from the Web.

Another new feature is suite of discovery collage views, including "Today's Collage," which locates and displays pictures relevant to today's date and two weeks forward, such as holidays, birthdays, and special family events, and "Random Collage," which searches for pictures on your PC and rotates randomly through your entire collection.

Another added feature is Café, an on demand content provider that enables creating a configurable home page with information including weather, news and traffic information, and a Picture Chronicles slideshow of personal photos taken around the same time of year.

The Kodak Theatre HD Player is now carries a $200 suggested retail and is being carried at Kodak.com, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Buy.com, Frontgate.com and Sears.com.

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