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Kodak licensee shows off Micro Four Thirds camera in China

Jan 18, 2013 at 18:43 GMT

Just a week after announcing it was licensing the Kodak brand name, JK Imaging has been showing a Micro Four Thirds camera at a press conference in China. Details are vague but the camera, reported to be called the S1, does appear to be sporting the official Micro Four Thirds logo. The camera, which will offer Wi-Fi for communication with smartphones, is said to be based around a Sony CMOS sensor (Reported as backside-illuminated CMOS in some sources. To the best of our knowledge, Sony only uses BSI designs in 1/1.7" and smaller sensor sizes, where it brings most benefit.)

Image from PCOnline's Weibo Digital Camera's blog

JK Imaging - a recently established California-registered company - has bought the right to make cameras under the Kodak name. At the same press conference it also showed a series of the sort of contract-made compact cameras such a deal would normally be expected to yield, but the decision to create Micro Four Thirds camera and have something tangible to show so quickly, is a surprise. The UK's Amateur Photographer magazine had reported that a Mirrorless system camera was planned.

Kodak was a founding member of the original, open, Four Thirds standard and its name has subsequently been added to the list of members of the Micro Four Thirds consortium.

Another slide in the presentation includes Asia Optical (a Taiwanese contract manufacturer) in the Kodak/JK Imaging partnership, though this may only relate to the compact cameras being launched in Q2 2013.

Image from PCOnline's Weibo Digital Camera's blog

While images available give little away, it's interesting to note that the position of the focus and zoom rings on the lens (along with the lip around the front of the lens), is very similar to Olympus' 14-42mm mark II design, though it's too early to know if this is much more than a mock-up. (via PetaPixel)