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Pentax to release a range of digital cameras?

By dpreview staff on Feb 3, 2000 at 04:00 GMT

Interesting to note that the new HP digital cameras below use Pentax lenses, in a separate press release FlashPoint "boast" the use of their Digita operating system on "A new range of PENTAX Digital Cameras". Pentax is the name used by Asahi Optical Co. Ltd. of Japan. (This appears to be a joint venture between Asahi and HP, each bringing their own expertise to the camera range).

Here's the offending Press Release:

Asahi Optical Co. Ltd. and FlashPoint to License Digita Platform for New Line of PENTAX Digital Cameras

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 3, 2000--FlashPoint Technology, Inc., creator of Digita(TM), the industry's first standardized software platform for digital imaging appliances, today announced their partnership with Asahi Optical Co. Ltd. (PENTAX).

PENTAX will incorporate the Digita software platform into its next-generation products. FlashPoint's intelligent software platform -- which provides PC-like capabilities, including the ability to constantly add new imaging applications that run directly in the camera. PENTAX joins fellow industry leaders, Epson, HP, Kodak, Konica, and Minolta in licensing the Digita platform.

The cameras will be designed to be intuitive and engaging for enthusiasts, and powerful and scalable for mobile professionals and business users. It allows users to easily capture and view images, add text annotations, store, catalog, and even run aftermarket software applications, all from within the camera. The combination of Digita's open architecture encourages third-party development of applications that will lead to breakthroughs in mainstream and enterprise acceptance and the invention of new imaging solutions and techniques.

``This upgradable, customizable approach will also lead to the development of exciting new applications. Users will enjoy a full-featured portable workspace with no dependencies on personal computers. Professionals will achieve increased productivity and enthusiasts will be inspired to new levels of creative expression,'' said Mr.Keisuke Haraguchi, General Manager of R&D department of Asahi Optical Co. Ltd.

``The PENTAX-FlashPoint partnership signals an ongoing shift in the entire digital imaging market. This will spawn new and compelling applications, drive new solutions, and will fuel the growth for digital photography,'' said Stephen Saylor, Executive Vice President and General Manager of FlashPoint Technology.

Analysts estimate that intelligent, software-enabled cameras will ignite sales of digital cameras, exceeding original forecasts by roughly 40 percent. Worldwide shipments will top 12 million units by 2001, and as many as 20 million units will ship in 2002.

Real-World Solutions

Digita operating environment enabled cameras can be customized for a variety of vertical markets, special interests and tasks. Using the Digita Script(TM) programming language or the Digita Software Developers Kit, developers and enthusiasts can create customized applets to meet their evolving digital imaging needs and address diverse market requirements. For example, professional photographers can directly access advanced camera functions like f-stop and shutter speed giving them more control over their images Mobile professionals can now integrate visual information with their daily workflow. For instance, an insurance appraiser can take a picture of an automobile accident and add text and voice before sending it to colleagues. And photo enthusiasts can easily sort and categorize their images, and create on-screen slide shows that enrich their overall photography experience all right within the camera without the need for a PC.

About Asahi Optical Co. Ltd. Tokyo, Japan

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, AOC develops and manufactures high-quality optical products and high-precision instruments at its research and development center in Tokyo and 10 group companies in Japan and abroad. It then markets them worldwide through 15 overseas subsidiaries.

AOC has always been very conscious of maintaining ``high quality.'' Its years of effort have resulted in the acquisition of ISO9000 quality assurance accreditation for all its business departments and all product manufacturing subsidiaries in Japan. At the same time, AOC has also been actively involved in the promotion of eco-friendly manufacturing, leading to the acquisition of ISO14000 environmental management system accreditation.

About FlashPoint

FlashPoint Technology, Inc. designs, develops and markets complete software solutions for digital photography and imaging devices. The company's Digita operating environment is licensed by leading manufacturers including Epson, Hewlett Packard, Kodak, and Minolta. The first Digita-enabled camera -- the Kodak DC-260 -- has won numerous awards including PC/Computing Magazine's MVP Award, and an International Digital Photography Advancement Award for most compelling core technology of 1998. For more about Digita and FlashPoint, call 888/820-3644 or visit the firm's web site at www.flashpnt.com.

Phil says: They're all at it! I can't tell from this release if the cameras referred to are simply the OEM cameras which HP have badged for their new PhotoSmart range or if PENTAX themselves will be releasing some cameras... Sorry for all the press releases today, but with PMA 2000 it was bound to happen.. read slowly, enjoy and soak up the pure explosion in digital photography and imaging... Right here's where you'll read about it first.

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