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HP touts new photo offerings

Lineup of digital-photography products includes special-edition navy-blue camera designed with BMW. Photos: Gentlemen, start your cameras

In advance of the annual Photo Marketing Association International show in Orlando, Fla., next week, Hewlett-Packard on Friday announced a slew of releases to boost its digital-photography business.

Among the new products are five digital cameras for amateurs, photo printers for home users and new printer models for professionals. HP said these are the first in a series of digital-photography products slated for launch during 2005.

HP is sharpening its focus on imaging products for the consumer and professional segments. In the most recent quarter, its imaging and printing group accounted for 67 percent, or $932 million, of total operating profit of $1.39 billion.

The Photosmart 8750 Professional Photo Printer, targeted at advanced amateurs, includes an HP 101 Blue Photo Inkjet Print Cartridge capable of delivering nine-ink color prints, HP said. The printer is likely to begin shipping in April for about $499, it added.

The Designjet 90 Printer series is meant for professionals. It can print postcard-size images, full-color pages or banner-style pieces. The printer is likely to be available this summer for prices ranging from $995 to $1,150.

New cameras--the R717, M417, M22 and M23-?will be available with price tags ranging from $149 to $349. HP also rolled out a special-edition Photosmart R607 camera, the BMW.WilliamsF1 Team, which was designed with the car company. The navy-blue camera "revs" like an engine when turned on and comes in a silver collector's tin, embossed with the HP and BMW logos.