HP Shows Camcorders, ’10 Digicam Lineup

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ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Hewlett-Packard used the recent PMA 2010 Show to showcase its recent entry into the digital camcorder market and to mark a more aggressive new chapter in its role as a digital camera resource.

Late last year the company made its fi rst entry into the U.S. digital camcorder market offering a lineup of HD models, and used the PMA Show to announce an expansion of that assortment.

New to the line two models with 1080p HD resolution and one new 720p HD unit. All offer HDMI outputs and store recordings onto SD and SDHC memory cards.

They all also double as digital still cameras, providing up to 5-megapixel resolution that can be boosted to 12 megapixels with internal line interpolation.

Most of the models target the entry end of the category, where so-called pocket models are driving prices downward.

HP’s strategy in entering the segment prior to the recent holiday season was to offer products that are affordable, outperform established competitive products and are very easy to use. This is underscored by an easy user interface.

HP’s lineup now includes the V5061u, V5560u and V5040u (all with 1080p resolution), and the V5060h and the V1020h (both with 720p resolution). The new V5061u and V5560u feature 3-inch touchscreen displays, 1,080p recording and motion-detection capability.

The V5560u has a 5x optical, 4x digital zoom, and the V5061u has a dual SD/SDHC memory card slot and the option to install AA batteries if the rechargeable lithium-ion battery loses its charge.

Respective suggested prices for the V5061u and the V5560u are $169 and $199; they are now available.

The new V1020h is a 720p HD-capable model with a rechargeable lithium- ion battery and is priced at $109. It will ship this summer.

The company also rolled out five point-and-shoot digital cameras as part of its re-entry into the digital camera market.

HP was last in the digital camera market in 2007, but quietly continued marketing a few models all along, according to a company spokesman.

As HP broadens the camera lineup, retailers are slowly coming back, the company said. Current accounts carrying the line include Ultimate Electronics, Walmart Canada, Amazon, and Newegg. The company has also done significant volume on QVC.

As with camcorders, the focus in the new digicam line is on affordability and value-oriented feature sets.

The digital still cameras are the CW450t, PW460t, CW450, SW450 and the PW550z. All capture video in up to VGA resolution.

The first two fall under HP’s premium camera segment and have 2.7- inch and 3-inch touchscreen LCDs, respectively. The company added a touch interface to enable simpler photo viewing. Each has 4x optical, 5x digital zoom and can support up to a 32GB SD/SDHC memory card.

The CW450t comes in blue and merlot and carries a $109 suggested retail, while the PW460t is available in pink and charcoal gray for $149.

The CW450 comes in black and red at $99 and features a 4x optical zoom and a 2.7-inch LCD. The SW450 is a slim-line model that adds a lithiumion battery and comes in red and turquoise for $129. The PW550z steps up to a 5x optical zoom with a wide-angle lens. It is$149 in black or plum.

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