Kodak has released news of their new camera system which it claims will make digital photography easier than ever. It is basically a USB dock and associated software that automatically transfers any pictures from the camera to the PC and allows the user to rotate, print etc. directly from the the one integrated software suite. The first two models that will be able to use the system will be the DX3500 and DX3600.

Kodak To Introduce Camera System

Eastman Kodak Co. has developed a camera system it claims will make digital photography easier than ever.

The world's biggest photography company will 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 Print@Kodak.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.

Official Kodak press release:

Kodak Simplifies Digital Photography With New EasyShare System

People Can Transfer and Share Digital Pictures with the Touch of a Button

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 23, 2001--Eastman Kodak Company today introduced a camera docking system, making it easier than ever for people to print and share digital pictures. Called EasyShare, the new line of cameras and docking system will set the standard for ease of use for digital photography.

The Kodak EasyShare system features a camera dock and two new digital camera models--the Kodak DX3500 Digital Camera and the Kodak DX3600 Zoom Digital Camera. The camera dock addresses two of the biggest objections to digital cameras: easy connection and battery charging. Once the camera is placed in the dock, pictures are automatically uploaded to the computer and the dock recharges the camera's battery pack. The system also includes software that allows users to connect to the Internet to e-mail or print their pictures. EasyShare makes picture sharing as easy as picture taking: one-button simple.

"Kodak was the first to make picture-taking simple for people,'' said Daniel A. Carp, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Eastman Kodak Company. "Through EasyShare, Kodak will bring the same benefit of simplicity to people in the digital age by integrating digital cameras, imaging networks and services and media into one system. We intend to harness all the advantages of EasyShare to achieve Kodak's stated goal of being among the top sellers of consumer digital cameras.''

Delivering on the Kodak promise of "You press the button, we do the rest,'' the EasyShare docking system is the latest in a series of new, affordable devices that bring the benefits of digital photography to consumers everywhere. Future models of Kodak consumer digital cameras will incorporate the EasyShare system, an example of how Kodak is connecting devices to its infrastructure and Internet services and media to provide people with easy ways to share pictures.

"By making it extremely simple for anyone to enjoy the rewards of digital photography, we believe we will grow the market well beyond the current penetration rate of 5 percent of U.S. households,'' said Willy Shih, president of Kodak's Digital and Applied Imaging group. "We believe that one day every image will be uploaded, stored and available on the Web. New solutions like Kodak EasyShare will help make that possible.''

Using Kodak Picture Software, the EasyShare system makes digital picture taking and sharing one-button simple. Features of the system include:

  • Fast Picture Transfer: At the touch of a button, the camera dock automatically transfers the pictures into the computer within seconds, avoiding the need to fuss with connecting cables or load memory cards into reading devices. Consumers no longer face a mystery of how to get their pictures out of the digital camera.
  • Easy Picture Sharing: The Kodak Picture Software incorporated into the EasyShare system lets you simply e-mail or print your favorite pictures. A few more clicks, and you can also edit and enhance them.
  • Simple Picture Management: The system lets you organize your pictures automatically in folders the way you want them: by date, name or event. It also lets you automatically delete all pictures on the camera after they are transferred to a computer, readying the camera for more picture taking.
  • Convenient Battery Recharging: The camera is powered and recharged in the dock in less than two and a half hours, or half the time required by competing chargers.

Two new EasyShare compatible digital cameras

The Kodak DX3500 priced at $299.95 and DX3600 Zoom priced at $399.95 are the first two models in Kodak's line of EasyShare compatible digital cameras. With 2.2-megapixel resolution, both cameras take high quality pictures suitable for everything from e-mailing to printing 8 x 10-inch photos. The DX3500 features a 3X digital zoom, auto white balance and close-up mode that are designed to deliver better pictures. The DX3600 Zoom, features a 6X zoom (2X optical, 3X digital), continuous digital video and sound. Both cameras offer 8MB of internal memory so your camera can capture up to 48 pictures without a COMPACTFLASH memory card. For more pictures there is an expansion slot for removable compact flash memory cards. The camera dock, priced at $79.95, includes a rechargeable Ni-MH battery pack and AC adaptor. It connects via USB, so that it's always ready for your camera to upload and recharge. The DX3500 and camera dock will be available worldwide in early May, the DX3600 Zoom will be available in early July.

The Kodak EasyShare system is the latest in a string of new and innovative devices from Kodak -- including the recently introduced mc3, a pocket-sized device that combines digital video with virtually unlimited recording length, an MP3 player and a digital still camera, and the PalmPix cameras, accessories that transform Palm handhelds into color digital cameras.