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Kodak plays small card

Kodak introduces the first digital camera to use a tiny CompactFlash storage card for digital picture storage.

Kodak (EK) has introduced the first digital camera to use a tiny CompactFlash storage card for digital picture storage.

While cameras that use PC cards for storage are already on the market, the DC25 Digital Camera is the first to use the CompactFlash card standard, which uses a smaller flash memory card developed by SanDisk (SNDK).

The card comes in 2MB, 4MB, 10MB, and 15MB capacities and can be used to store pictures taken with any PC card, ATA (AT Attachment) compatible digital camera. The card uses the power supplied by the camera battery to read or write images, but images can be stored indefinitely with no degradation in quality without a power supply.

Later this year, Kodak will offer service to instantly process digital prints at retail outlets nationwide. Users will be able to insert the CompactFlash cards into Image Magic Picture Maker workstations at these outlets to create instant digital prints.

The CompactFlash card, which is about a quarter the size of a standard PC card, can be used in other products such as PDAs, pagers, and camcorders as they become available. Users will need a special adapter to move data and images from the cards to their PCs.

Kodak will start selling the DC25 camera in November and will be selling cards manufactured by SanDisk under the Kodak brand name. The camera is expected to retail for $499, while the street price of a 2MB card is expected to be around $100.

In related news, Adtron announced that it will begin producing a card reader for use with CompactFlash cards.

The Accent-CF Reader/Writer works like a floppy disk drive and connects to a PC's printer port. The company claims that data from a 10MB CompactFlash card can be downloaded in 80 seconds, compared to about 40 minutes through a serial port.

The Accent-CF will be sold mainly through OEM channels, Adtron said. It will carry a suggested retail price of less than $100.