HP said it plans to release eight new digital cameras incorporating technologies designed to make picture-taking easier, while Kodak announced four new cameras, along with a Microsoft partnership.
The ease-of-use features in the new HP cameras will, among other things, let users remove "red eye" from photos with the camera itself, without turning to a PC. They'll also let photographers eliminate shadows from faces while taking pictures.
HP's revamping of its digital camera line is part of. The goal is to connect different products like PCs, cameras and printers through common user interfaces such as wireless networking and common memory cards.
The Photosmart R707 camera, the first in the series, is scheduled to hit the market in May. It will have 5.1-megapixel resolution, 24x total zoom and 32MB of onboard storage.
In addition, HP plans to release a device called the camera dock, designed to let people view their digital photos on television sets using a remote control. The camera dock will let users share, print, e-mail and store photos and video clips, in addition to handling tasks like recharging the camera battery. The new camera will be priced at $349, and the dock will sell for $79. Both products will be available at HP's Web site and through retailers.
In addition to cameras, HP announced gear for printing digital photos at home. The company said that the growing number ofwill boost market for printing devices like its Designjet 30 and Designjet 130, launched this week.
"In 2004, HP digital cameras will establish a higher standard by which the mainstream digital camera market will be judged both in technologic advancements and image quality as well as ease of use," said a statement from Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of the imaging and printing group at HP.
Meanwhile, Kodak unveiled on Thursday four new Easyshare digital cameras, including the 6-megapixel DX7630, which will be available in April at a retail price of $499. The company also said it is working with Microsoft to develop a photo-imaging application to work with Windows Media Center Edition PCs. The application would let users of Kodak's Ofoto online photo service access images from their TV or PC display using a remote control.
Kodak also announced that Verizon Wireless subscribers will be able to view, organize and store images from their cell phones through the Ofoto service.