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Camera-print standard comes into focus

Contrary to current proprietary practices, six companies are pushing for an industry standard to allow photos to be printed through a direct camera-to-printer connection.

In a move contrary to current proprietary practices, six companies are now rooting for an industry standard to allow photos to be printed through a direct camera-to-printer connection.

The common standard, tentatively named DPS (direct print standard), is endorsed by Canon, Fuji Film, Hewlett-Packard, Olympus, Seiko Epson and Sony.

Prior to the announcement, each vendor had its own unique solution for direct printing. The practice meant that consumers who wanted to print their pictures without PC intervention had to buy a printer from their camera maker.

The situation has proven to be limiting to consumers because of the inability to combine products of different brands, the companies said in a joint statement.

DPS seeks to eliminate this problem by ensuring compatibility across different digital cameras and printers, they added.

The specification was initially developed by Canon, HP, Seiko Epson and Sony, but Fuji and Olympus subsequently joined the fold.

This unison could be a further boon to the burgeoning digital camera market as prices become increasingly affordable for consumers.

Market research firm IDC last week predicted a significant drop in prices for entry-level digital cameras. It said 2-megapixel cameras could retail at a rock-bottom price of $99 in a few weeks, compared with the current $199.

CNETAsia's Winston Chai reported from Singapore.