Kodak Now Courting High-End Shooters

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Rochester, N.Y. — Kodak broke above its self imposed $499 price ceiling today with the introduction of a new series in its EasyShare camera line, positioning the new family as a high-end alternative to a digital SLR.

The 8-megapixel P880, for a suggested $599, is the company’s first model to break the $499 price point since the company directed its focus to the mainstream camera buyer. With the slated introduction of the $699 priced Wi-Fi enabled EasyShare One in October, Kodak will have broadened its product line in an effort to net buyers outside of its traditional “soccer mom” demographic.

The P880 will ship in September and features a 5.8x optical zoom lens (24 - 140 mm, 35mm equivalent), a 2.5-inch LCD screen, a manual zoom ring and a selectable 25-point hybrid Auto Focus system. The camera features automatic, manual and custom exposure controls and VGA video capture at 30 frames per second (fps) while using the optical zoom.

Users can trim, cut, splice and merge video clips in-camera.

The P-series will be Kodak’s first models to offer support for uncompressed RAW image files and its newest EasyShare software (version 5.1) will also support Kodak RAW files. The new Kodak RAW format embeds a dynamic JPEG within the file, permitting quicker RAW file viewing and organization in the software, without RAW conversion, the company said.

The second new model, the 5-megapixel P850 features a 12x optical zoom (36 - 432 mm) with built-in image-stabilization. It will ship in August for a suggested $499.

The P850 shares most of the features of the P880 including in-camera video editing, automatic and manual exposure control, preset scene modes, burst modes, and RAW support.

Both models will work with the company’s docks, ImageLink-enabled printer docks and are PictBridge-compatible

The new cameras will be accompanied by several new accessories including the P20 external zoom flash for a suggested $149.95 and a 1.4x tele-converter for a suggested $149.95. P850 owners can avail themselves of 55 mm B+W polarizing and neutral density filters in addition to a 0.7X wide-angle accessory lens for a suggested $149.95.

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