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Microtek Enters DigiCam Market

Scanner manufacturer Microtek used the PhotoPlus East show to announce its entry into the digital camera market with its first two products under the Take-It brand.

“We thought, with the category just at the tip of the mainstream market, the time was right,” said Mary Ann Whitlock, executive director, marketing, Microtek.

The company’s strategy will be to leverage aggressive pricing and its brand-name in the scanner market and to carve a niche in the competitive, consumer-end of the digital camera market, Whitlock said. Dealers can expect a broader selection of digital cameras from Microtek in 2004, she added.

The entry-level offering will be the Take-It D1, a CMOS-based 2.1-megapixel camera with a 1.5-inch LCD screen, 4x digital zoom, five flash modes and 8MB of internal memory. The camera accepts SD memory and can capture video at 320 by 240 resolution at 15 fps to the capacity of the memory card.

The camera will be available this month for a suggested retail price of $99 and will be bundled with Ulead Photo Explorer, Ulead DVD Picture Show SE Basic and Adobe Photoshop Album SE.

The second model, the Take-It TX1, will be CCD-based and feature 3-megapixel resolution and a 3x optical zoom lens for a suggested retail price of $199.99. The model will be shipping in late December.

Microtek also introduced its first flatbed scanner to incorporate Kodak/Applied Science Fiction’s Digital ICE for photo restoration, the ScanMaker i300. According to Whitlock, as the scanner market matures, the company is positioning its scanners as a means for consumers to not only digitize photo prints, but to restore old and damaged photos. As such, Microtek incorporated ICE into its PictuRescue system, which also includes the company’s proprietary ColoRescue solution for restoring faded colors.

The i300 will ship this month with an estimated street price of $199.99.