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Kodak, Olympus Intro New Digicams

Kodak and Olympus today introduced sub-$500 digital cameras aimed at the mainstream consumer market.

Kodak unveiled the DC3400 that started shipping today, while Olympus rolled out the D-490 Zoom, which will start arriving in stores on Aug. 15. Both companies hyped the stylish appearance of their cameras and indicated they were for the home, not business, consumer.

The 2-megapixel DC-3400 features a 3x optical zoom, flash and LCD, and can capture images in black and white. The camera comes bundled with an 8MB CompactFlash card. Kodak claims the new model is more energy efficient and the user interface is designed for first-time digital camera buyers.

The Olympus camera has a slightly higher resolution of 2.11 megapixels but otherwise its basic features are similar to the Kodak model. However, instead of a CompactFlash card, the Olympus camera comes with an 8MB SmartMedia card and has QuickTime movie capabilities.