SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Eastman Kodak Co. has developed a camera system it says will make digital photography easier than ever.
The world's biggest photography company planned to unveil the EasyShare System on Monday — the first two camera models in a series that will be compatible with a dock designed to simplify the process of storing, transferring and sharing photos.
Once the camera is in the dock featuring a USB connection, pictures are automatically uploaded to the computer, and the dock recharges the camera's battery pack. With a few mouse clicks, the accompanying software allows users to e-mail the photos, print them or make minor enhancements. Users could also send images to an online photofinisher — though initially only to PrintKodak.com — to store and share photos on the Web site.
"It's for folks who are interested in digital photography but feel it's too complicated for them," said Nancy Carr, vice president of Digital & Applied Imaging of the Rochester, N.Y.-based company.
The new camera models, the DX3500 and DX3600 Zoom, have 2.2-megapixel resolution and offer 8 megabytes of memory, enough to hold up to 48 photos at a time.
The dock costs $79.95, and the DX3500 costs $299.95. Both will be available worldwide in early May. The DX3600 Zoom costs $399.95 and will be available in July.
A few lesser-known companies have attempted to market similar docking systems but failed, said Kristy Holch, principal of Infotrends Research Group Inc.
Whether Kodak's system will succeed remains unclear, but timing may be in its favor.
"It's about the right time to look at these," Holch said. "There are enough people buying digital cameras and people are starting to feel the pain of uploading and storing their pictures and are looking for easier ways to do it."
Worldwide shipments of digital cameras priced under $1,000 are projected to grow annually at 50 percent through 2005, according to Infotrends.