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Norcent Relaunches Digital Camera Effort

San Dimas, Calif. — After an aborted effort a little over a year ago, Norcent Technology is resurrecting its digital camera effort with the introduction of a compact 4-megapixel camera.

The DC-420, with a 3x optical/3.6x digital zoom, will ship this month for a suggested $299.99.

It measures 1-inch thick and weighs 4.4 ounces with a scratch-resistant 2-inch LCD screen and several flash settings, including auto, forced, night scene, suppressed and red-eye reduction.

The camera can capture up to 100 images per charge of its rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The 420 can capture 320 by 240 resolution movie clips, without audio. Users can add a 30-second voice memo after recording video. It also features a self-timer.

According to Jim Hollingsworth, marketing VP, Norcent’s initial cameras were pulled because they did not offer anything innovative or compelling for the market.

“Our strategy is to not to have just ‘me too’ products,” Hollingsworth said.

Norcent’s distribution strategy is aimed at securing CE, camera specialty, e-tail and catalog channels while concurrently tackling the challenge of establishing its brand amidst a pantheon of photo and CE mainstays.

“We know we’re not going to be a Nikon or an Olympus right out of the shoot, but we feel we do offer more innovative technology with entry-level pricing than our competitors,” Hollingsworth said. He added that the company was not playing for the opening price point VGA category or the very low end of the market.

Norcent owns four factories in China with 12 production lines, a key differentiator from the “buy and sell” marketing firms that only own brands and shop around South Asia for product, Hollingsworth said. Norcent entered the U.S. CE market two years ago with a line of video products and will expand its digital camera lineup in 2005.

The 420 would represent its entry-level offering with subsequent models to offer more features and higher prices, Hollingsworth said.