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Nikon Intros ’07 Coolpix, Keeps Wi-Fi Cam In Fold

Melville, N.Y. — While Kodak and Canon have backed off their wireless offerings, Nikon introduced its second Wi-Fi-enabled model capable of sending image e-mails directly from the camera last week.

The wireless camera was one of nine point-and-shoot introductions from the company.

All the new Coolpix cameras will include a suite of in-camera technologies including red-eye fix, face priority autofocus and D-Lighting exposure correction. Some models will offer a dedicated portrait button on the camera to access these technologies while others will include them in the camera’s menu.

Nikon’s S-series will see four additions, including the Wi-Fi-enabled S50c. The camera can e-mail images directly at open hot spots or through T-Mobile’s network of Wi-Fi access points. It will not be bundled with a year’s free subscription to T-Mobile Hotspot service as the 2006 wireless Coolpix S7c was.

The S50c will interface with the second-generation Coolpix Connect service, which was originally launched last year to compliment the S7c. Images e-mailed from the S50c are sent to the Connect service which e-mails a link to the intended recipient, inviting them to view the images online. E-mailed images are available for viewing for up to two weeks.

The new version of the online image management service will offer up to 2GB of image and video storage for free.

Aside from Wi-Fi, the 7-megapixel S50c features a 3x optical zoom, a 3-inch LCD screen with a 170-degree viewing angle, a new optical Vibration Reduction (VR) system, ISO 1600 and a dedicated portrait button.

The camera also offers the company’s Pictmotion in-camera slide show creator, which can play back images in-camera with music and transitions added automatically. Up to 10 songs can be stored on the camera for use with Pictmotion.

The S50c ships in April for a suggested $349. Nikon will also offer the S50 with the same feature set, minus the wireless connectivity, in April for $299.

The other two S-series models, the S200 and S500 will be sold through photo specialty channels in March and offer 7-megapixel resolutions, 2.5-inch LCD screens, 3x optical zoom lenses and a 16:9 image-capture mode.

The stainless steel S500, for a suggested $299, sports a start-up time of 0.6 seconds, optical VR, ISO 2000 and Nikon’s anti-shake mode and one-touch portrait button.

The S200 features electronic VR, ISO 1000 and will retail for $249.

In March, Nikon will ship the 10-megapixel P5000. The model sports a 3.5x optical zoom lens, 2.5-inch LCD, an optical viewfinder, optical VR, 16 scene modes, manual exposure controls and a new processing engine to improve low-light photography.

The $399-suggested P5000 boasts light sensitivity to ISO 3200 when shooting 5-megapixel images. An anti-shake mode (accessed through a dedicated control on the camera) boosts light sensitivity, activates VR and records up to ten sequential images, allowing users to choose the best one.

The camera also uses a new menu interface and works with a series of accessory lenses. In-camera image editing and filters can add color effects to photos or adjust for the barrel distortion caused by some add-on lenses, the company said.

Finally, the company will ship three models in its L-series of entry-level snapshooters in March. The new models support the SDHC memory format and take AA batteries.

The 5-megapixel L10 and 6-megapixel L11 feature 3x optical zoom lenses, 7MB of internal memory, ISO 800, and a 2-inch and 2.4-inch LCD, respectively. They will retail for $119 and $149, respectively.

The 7-megapixel L12 offers a 3x optical zoom lens, a 2.5-inch LCD, optical VR, ISO 1600, the anti-shake and portrait buttons and 21MB of internal memory. It will retail for $199.