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Kodak, Nikon Bow Digicams For Mass Mkt.

NEW YORK — Trumpeting ease of use and one-button technology, Kodak and Nikon, in unrelated announcements here, previewed new digital cameras aimed squarely at the blossoming mid-/entry-level consumer digital camera market.

Kodak introduced the EasyShare system: a digital camera dock along with two new compatible digital cameras: the DX3500 and the DX3600.

Designed to streamline the transfer of images from camera to computer in a one button application, the dock serves as a battery charger and computer connection for the two new Kodak digital cameras. The dock connects to a PC via a USB cable and with the push of a button, will transmit images from the docked camera to the PC’s desktop. Once on the desktop, the images open in Kodak Picture Software for editing, e-mailing, printing or uploading to the Internet.

The camera dock, which comes with an AC adaptor and a rechargeable Ni-MH battery pack, will be available in May for a suggested retail of $79.95.

The cameras, the DX3500 and DX3600, both feature 2.2 megapixel resolution and 8MB of internal memory. The DX3500 is due in May with a retail of $299.95. The DX3600 is set for July with a $399.95 retail .

Nikon unveiled the Coolpix 775, a 2.14 megapixel resolution camera that will retail for $449.95 and ship in July.

According to Joe Carfora, national account sales VP for Nikon’s Consumer Digital Products division, the Coolpix 775 marks a new foray for Nikon, which has usually targeted the higher end, “pro-sumer” market.

The camera features a One-Touch button that allows the Coolpix 775 (connected to a computer with the included USB cable) to send images to the desktop or uploaded to the Web via the included NikonView software.

Nikon also announced the Coolpix 995, a 3.34 megapixel camera with a 4x optical zoom. Shipments are set for June with a suggested retail of $895.95.