Agfa To Ship Clik! Digital Camera

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Agfa unveiled the latest version of its ePhoto megapixel digital camera which adds a built-in Iomega Clik! drive. The ePhoto CL30 Clik!, will have the same features as the original CL30, which was well-received this past spring when it debuted at the PMA '99 trade show.

"[This] camera is ideal for those digital camera users looking to take unlimited digital photos, offering 10 times more pictures than your average 4MB digital camera," said Christophe Fremont, director of Agfa's Desktop Products Group. "We are excited to launch this camera to the entire digital imaging community, being the first to offer Clik! drives built-in to our camera."

This adds a new dimension to digital imaging removable storage options. Until now, digital cameras have utilized either a floppy disc or a flash memory card solution, such as CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Sony's Memory Stick or a MultiMedia Card.

Iomega has been pushing the Clik! drive -- with its 40MB disks -- as a digital imaging storage solution since the drive first became available late last year. However, until now a Clik! disk was really only an intermediate step between a digital camera and a computer. And users had to carry around a separate Clik! drive in addition to their digital cameras. In favor of Clik! disks is their price tag. While a 40MB CompactFlash card currently costs more than $100, a Clik! disk costs only about $10 when purchased in a pack of 10.One possible downside to using Clik! is that the drive has moving parts, like Sony's Mavica line of digital cameras, which use 1.4MB floppy discs, causing a much faster battery drain than a solid state memory card like CompactFlash. But Iomega's David Henry, VP for magnetic product management, said a Clik! drive makes up for any shortcomings with its storage capacity and speed.

"The ePhoto CL30 Clik! camera is as easy to use as popular floppy-based models," he said. "[But] the 40MB capacity eliminates the hassle of viewing multiple images one floppy at a time. By simply connecting to your PC via the USB port, all of your images can be viewed and edited immediately." One disk can store between 60 and 360 images, depending on the resolution setting.

The camera has a has a 1.5-megapixel CCD, 2X digital zoom and a 1.8-inch color LCD screen with an on/off switch so the user can cut down on battery use. It ships with Agfa's own PhotoGenie technology, which removes image artifacts, such as those from JPEG compression, pixelation, jagged edges and posterization. It also comes with the company's PhotoWise software, an application for accessing, managing and enhancing digital photos.

The CL30 Clik! will ship in November for the suggested price of $549. Agfa is also offering a $50 mail-in rebate to consumers. Initially, the camera will only be PC compatible, but Agfa expects to have a hybrid unit that will work with both PC and Macintosh platforms available by the end of this year.

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