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New Kodak cameras focus on sharing

The photography giant announces two new digital cameras, both with features that continue the industry's push to make cameras less dependent on PCs.

Photography giant Eastman Kodak announced two new digital cameras Tuesday, both with features that continue the industry's push to make cameras less dependent on PCs.

The new DX4330 and CX4200 cameras both work with Kodak's EasyShare docking cradles, which allow users to transfer pictures from camera to PC by pushing a single button. The cameras also include an on-camera "share" button that tags photos for automatic printing or e-mail transfer the next time the camera is docked.

Hewlett-Packard introduced a similar Instant Share system this year, and other camera makers are working on features to minimize PC manipulation for using digital photos.

Such sharing features will become more important as the imaging industry tries to expand digital camera adoption to a mainstream audience less comfortable with PCs, said Michelle Slaughter, an analyst for research firm InfoTrends Research Group.

"I think these are features that require more user education," she said. "Right now, I don't think they're being used much, but I think it's preparing things for down the road."

The DX4330 also includes a brighter LCD screen that lets photographers see their work in bright daylight. Sony began including backlit LCD screens in some camera models earlier this year, addressing one of the less-acknowledged frustration points of digital photography, Slaughter said.

"You really have to contort yourself to make out what's on the screen in bright daylight," she said.

The DX4330 will have resolution of 3.1 megapixels and a 3x zoom lens. It is set to go on sale in early September for $350. The CX4200 will have a 2x zoom lens and resolution of 2 megapixels. It will go on sale late this month for $180.

Both cameras will work with Secure Digital and MultiMedia storage cards and will include 16MB of internal memory for faster shooting.