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Sony Digital Photo Finishing System Bows

ORLANDO, FLA. -A full line of Sony Digital Photo Finishing Systems that offer scalable, flexible solutions for retailers to provide customized, on-demand digital printing services was announced by the company at the PMA trade show, here.

The systems, which produce photo-quality digital prints from digital media, will be supported by a global branding campaign called “Print By Sony.”

With the new systems from Sony, customers can choose the images they want to print, correct defects such as red eye, specify the photo size and make prints on demand.

The basic system incorporates a computer with touch-screen interface that accepts PC cards, CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, CD and floppy disks, and the UP-DR100 digital color printer for 3.5 x 5, 4 x 6 and 5 x 7-inch color output. The printer is a dye sublimation model so there are no photo chemicals and very little consumables involved.

The basic unit is tentatively scheduled to ship in the fourth quarter for less than $15,000.

Sony designed an open platform so the system can be configured with extra printers for a variety of paper sizes, and/or scanners to make prints from prints. The systems can also be configured to access Internet-based images, burn photo CDs and/or process film. The units can be scaled up from the basic self-service model to a full-scale “behind the counter” model.

San Marcos, Texas-based Pixel Magic Imaging (makers of the Photo Ditto kiosk) is working with Sony to develop software for the Digital Photo Finishing Systems. The new software is designed to integrate with Sony’s digital scanning and printing technologies. In addition, Pixel will join with Sony in handling marketing responsibilities.

Product manager Phil Cathcart said the basic Digital Photo Finishing System is ideal for CE retailers who sell digital cameras but don’t offer printing. The basic unit has a small footprint, can sit on a countertop, and could be co-branded in a retail partnership. The GUI (graphical user interface) is simple and self-explanatory and guides customers to prints in a few minutes, Sony said.