Eastman Kodak Co has launched its latest digital camera which it believes will aid the growth of the digital imaging market, providing users with a cheap, high quality, easy-to-use product. Looking very similar to a small video camera, the DC120 enables the user to take a still photograph, viewable on a built in LCD screen, and transport it to either a Windows-based personal computer or a Macintosh, where it can be edited and manipulated. The camera holds 1.2 mega pixels of information and has a storage capacity of 2Mb, capable of storing some 20 images at any one time. Additional memory and storage space can be added to the camera via picture cards, available in 2Mb or 10Mb, the 10Mb card providing storage for around 120 images. The picture can be transferred to the computer in a number of ways; either via a serial cable that plugs into the camera and attaches to the computer, which is not particularly fast, or the picture card can be slotted into a picture card reader which plugs directly into the system, or, by using a train driver that enables users to access images directly from the camera. The DC120 comes with software that enables the editing and manipulation of photographs. PhotoEnhancer 3.2 provides the user with some 2,000 features designed to enhance, distort or manipulate the picture. Users can store images on the personal computer or Mac, or write them to blank compact disks. The photograph can then be printed on a color printer. Andrew Garton, sales manager for Kodak’s Digital and Applied Imaging division says the DC120 takes away the disappointment some people have had with other digital cameras, and believes this is why they’ll take off.
On-line photo processing
Pierre Schaeffer, regional general business manager for Kodak’s Digital and Applied Imaging division believes people will be more attracted to digital imaging if they are provided with cheap, easy-to-use products. He said as the three main foundations of digital imaging expand – the multimedia personal computer, the Internet and the color printer – the value of the market will be recognized. Schaeffer also revealed Kodak will be developing an on-line photo processing service where users will be able to electronically mail their undeveloped images to a reseller who will print them and deliver them back to the user, in the future. He also said the Internet plays an important role in digital imaging for both the home and office user. Apparently around 75% of people who take photographs across the world, at some point over the space of a year will send one or more of them through the post, triggering the sharing of photos that Kodak sees as particularly important. Kodak launched its last digital camera in February (CI No 2854) and said then that it was working on keeping products cheap, but at the same time of a high quality. Schaeffer said that Kodak’s PicturePostcard software enables the user to take a picture and send it over the Net to anyone. The recipient doesn’t need the software the sender has, because the program wraps the application around the picture when it is sent. The company has also announced the Digital Video Camera 300 which will be available at the beginning of next month, designed to be used mainly as a video conferencing tool, although it can take still pictures. Thanks to its Universal Serial Bus Technology it can photograph 24 images a second, and like the DC120 comes with software to enable image editing. Kodak has also said its new PhotoDoc scanner will be available in the summer, enabling users to scan both text and photos on to a computer. All of the products are, or will be, available on a world wide basis.