Hewlett-Packard Co reckons that its inkjet printer skills leave it ideally placed to challenge for leadership of the embryonic digital photography market. The company has realized that just as the film rather than the cameras made Eastman Kodak Co’s fortune, and that it is in an ideal position to corner the market for ink cartridges and photographic paper – if only it can bring cameras and printing equipment down to a price where people start buying and using the things. According to the Wall Street Journal, HP has done a deal with Konica Corp for the cameras, and next month will launch a new PhotoSmart family of digital photography products, starting with a $400 camera, significantly cheaper than the leading Japanese offerings, a $500 printer, and a $500 scanner. Underlining the potential for supplies, a full-size page for the company’s new photo printer is expected to cost around $4. The new inkjet printer will be designed exclusively for printing photographs, and the paper says people that have seen it say it creates prints with both the high resolution and the glossy feel of traditionally printed pictures. The scanner will be able to handle prints, slides and negatives.