As film photography buffs mourn the end of one Kodak era, the Eastman Kodak Company is charging full steam ahead in the era of all things digital with a trio of digital cameras and other product announcements at CES 2011.
My favorite thing about the new budget-priced cameras is the self-explanatory names that Kodak has chosen: The Kodak EasyShare Sport (a rugged, waterproof camera), the EasyShare Mini (an ultracompact point-and-shoot), and the EasyShare Touch (a camera with -- you guessed it -- a touchscreen display). In a world of inscrutable (not to mention wildly inconsistent) alphanumeric naming conventions, these names are a dream come true.
Of course, the EasyShare part of the model names mean that all three cameras emphasize ease of use and sport Kodak's "Share" button that lets you easily tag photos for automatic upload (after you connect to your PC) to either email, popular social networking sites, or the new Kodak Pulse Digital Frame also announced today.
Kodak EasyShare Sport The new EasyShare Sport is Kodak's first waterproof digital camera, and will sell for an impressively low $79.95. At that price, however, don't expect an underwater camera that you can take scuba diving. The 12-megapixel Sport is waterproof up to 10 feet and dustproof, making it suitable for casual splashing and dunking and generally more rugged than a standard point-and-shoot. The camera sports a 2.4-inch LCD, shoots VGA video, and like all three new cameras features Kodak's Smart Capture face- and scene-detection technology. There are also multiple scene and color modes, including an underwater white balance mode, that helps keep colors more accurate underwater. The camera, which accepts AA alkaline batteries, will be available in white, gray, red (as pictured above), yellow, and blue, and will be available this spring.
Kodak EasyShare Mini Though Kodak has a number of ultracompact cameras in its lineup, the new EasyShare Mini is its smallest camera to date. While it's not as thin as the higher-end EasyShare M590 announced last August, at 3.7x2.4x1.2 inches and a price of $99.95, the 10-megapixel EasyShare Mini is easy on the pocket in more ways than one. The camera sports a 3x optical zoom lens that's impressively wide (28 to 87mm equivalent), a 2.5-inch LCD, and a small built-in mirror on the front, to help set up self portraits and self-timer shots. The Mini will come in white, purple, red, and black color options and will also be available in the spring.
Kodak EasyShare Touch The highest end camera of the pack, the EasyShare Touch features a high-resolution 3-inch capacitive touchscreen display. The 14-megapixel shooter has a wide-angle (28-140mm equivalent) 5x optical zoom lens and includes a dedicated video record button for shooting and 720p HD video. The touchscreen allows you to easily review, tag, or even do light editing of photos and videos on-camera. You can even add caption to photos before uploading with the Share button. The camera will sell for $149.95 when it ships this spring and will come in silver, black, red-orange, purple, and red color options.