Gardena, Calif. — After the first year marketing the Kodak PixPro camera line, J.K. Imaging is expanding its assortment with the addition of cutting-edge categories and concepts, all intended to hit value price points for a wide range of photo and CE retailers.
The company has forged distribution relationships with such top chains as Walmart, Sears, Kmart, Amazon and, most recently, RadioShack, the latter of which is carrying a Kodak PixPro Smart Lens camera in the new flagship stores the chain is launching now through August, said Tracy Christall, JK Imaging marketing manager.
Paul Meyhoefer, J.K. Imaging market VP for the Kodak PixPro line, said the company continues to add dealers to its distribution mix, with an added focus on regional accounts looking for a major brand with attractive price points to engage a new crop of photo enthusiasts looking for products that capture images above and beyond those possible with standard smartphones.
Among the new 2014 Kodak PixPro products rolling out now or slated to ship in coming months are a range of super-zoom bridge cameras (up to 65x), the brand’s first wearable action video camera, a 360-degree action video camera, wireless Smart Lens smartphone camera attachments, and the brand’s first Micro Four Thirds mirrorless compact system camera.
Meyhoefer said, “Photography and the awareness of photo-taking is at an all-time high, even though digital cameras are approaching an all-time sales decline. It’s an interesting time for all of us, and our approach to it is to introduce products that will serve basic consumer needs that differentiate from the cellphone in providing an entry point for longer zoom and other features while giving convenience to our retailers.”
He explained that in addition to point-and-shoot cameras, Kodak PixPro will support dealers with a range of affordably priced advance concept cameras including action video cams and Smart Lens cameras.
Meyhoefer said that the company’s first Smart Lens cameras — high-value approaches to the “Lens camera” concept Sony introduced last year — could eventually develop and merge into new lines wearable technologies.
The camera looks like an SLR lens that snaps onto a smartphone body to take advanced quality images and store the image files wireless (via Wi-Fi/NFC) to the smartphone’s storage or to a MicroSD card in the Smart Lens.
The company’s previously launched SL10 ($229 suggested retail) Smart Lens camera connects via Wi-Fi to an iOS or Android smartphone, to which the lens can be physically attached to capture 16-megapixel images with up to a 10x zoom range.
A new SL25 ($299) step-up model out this month expands the zoom range to 25x, while keeping the other SL10 features.
The company’s action video camera model SP1 is equipped with a 14 megapixel CMOS sensor to capture FullHD videos and still images. It includes a 1.5-inch LCD monitor, a shockproof (from 6.5 feet), waterproof (to 32-feet) body, electronic image stabilization and built-in wireless connectivity.
The SP1 is available with one of four mounting accessory pack bundles including: a standard pack ($199), explorer pack ($229), aqua sport pack ($229) and an extreme pack ($249).
The SP360 Action Cam will be the first 360-degree video/still camera under the Kodak PixPro brand to capture 360-degree images, which can be viewed with PC or software smart device apps to reveal dome-like images surrounding the viewer. Images can also be “de-warped” with PC editing software to present 360 degree images as long panoramic photos.
The SP360 ($299) has a 360-degree round view from a 214-degree wide angle lens, 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, built-in Wi-Fi, 1-inch LCD, FullHD 1080p video resolution, splash/dust/shock proof design and the ability to capture stills with 10 fps burst shooting.
The company will continue to offer a large selection of super-zoom bridge-style point-and-shoot cameras including the 52x AZ525 ($279) and AZ526 ($299), the later adds an electronic viewfinder.
Both models will be available in July featuring 16-megapixel BSI sensors, FullHD 1080 video recording, optical image stabilization, 3-inch 460,000-dot LCD monitor and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
Coming this month is the AZ651 65x “Astro-Zoom” bridge camera which steps up from the AZ525/6 with 5 fps burst shooting, JPEG and RAW image capture, electronic viewfinder, and 3-inch articulating LCD monitor in addition to a 65x zoom range.
Meanwhile, Kodak PixPro will soon expand into the interchangeable-lens camera field with a Micro Four Thirds mirrorless compact system camera, model S-1 ($499 for body and single lens, $599 for body and double lens kit) that incorporates a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, 3-inch 920,000-dot articulating LCD monitor, sensor-shift image stabilization, FullHD 1080/30p video capture, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with iOS/Android apps, 4 fps burst shooting and metal body construction.