New Kodak photo printer, ESP 5, announced
Imagining giant Kodak has taken the wraps off of its latest consumer-level photo all-in-one printer, the Kodak ESP 5.
Officially unveiled this morning, Kodak's latest consumer inkjet features a 3-inch LCD and USB and memory card slots to facilitate easy stand-alone photo printing. The ESP 5 lays down lab-quality, borderless prints up to 8.5x11, and can print standard documents on paper as large as 8.5x14. According to Kodak, the ESP 5 is able to produce borderless 4x6 photo prints in as little as 30 seconds. Document printing stats specify a print speed of 30 pages per minute black and white, or 29 ppm color.
As an all-in-one device, the ESP 5 is also capable of scanning documents up to 8.5x11.7 inches.
Kodak has also made a conscious effort to control ink costs with the new device: the ESP 5 uses currently available ink tanks, with replacement black cartridges for the ESP 5 costing less than $10, and the printer's five-ink color catridge coming in under $15.
Suggested pricing for the ESP 5 has been set at $169.99. No word yet on anticipated retail availability.
Canon passes 40-million EF lens milestone
In an announcement coming out of its Japanese headquarters yesterday, Canon made it known that it has passed the 40-million mark for production of its EF-series auto focus lenses.
Canon began producing EF lenses to accompany its EOS series of film SLRs in 1987. The company made its 30 millionth EF lens less than two-and-a-half years ago, and more than 60 EF models are currently in production.
With the EF mount, Canon is credited with producing the first completely electronically coupled lens-camera connection for SLRs. Other now-common innovations to grace the EF line include internal focusing motors (Canon made its first USM lens in 1987), an f/1.0 lens (in 1989), and lens-based image stabilization (in 1995).
By any standard, 40 million units is a pretty impressive number. With Canon having produced its 30 millionth EOS camera as well in December, it will be interesting to see how long it takes the company, which is looking as strong as ever in spite of increased competition in the DSLR space, to add another 10 million units in both categories.
In an announcement recognizing this week's Earth Day observance, Ritz Camera – the U.S.'s largest photo-specific retailer – provided details of a new environmentally aware partnership with Nikon.
Ritz's "Buy Green, Be Green" promotion features a special-edition "ECO-Green" Nikon Coolpix S52. For every green S52 it sells, Ritz will make a donation to Carbonfund.org to help offset 1.91 tons of carbon dioxide emissions through reforestation. According to Carbonfund, the average American produces roughly this volume of carbon dioxide per month as a result of daily activities and energy usage.
The special-edition Coolpix will be available at Ritz stores nationwide on May 1, with an MSRP of $249.95.
Ruggedized Ricoh ready for outdoor adventures
Ricoh doesn't get perhaps as much attention as they deserve in the States, but the company's announcement this week of a water-, dust-, and shock-resistant compact for advanced photographers piqued our interest.
The 10 megapixel, 5x zoom Ricoh G600 features an internally contained wide-angle lens with an equivalent range of 28-140mm. The G600 also provides a high-res 2.7-inch LCD with advanced ambient light sensing and gain-up control, a lithium battery good for more than 350 shots that also allows common AAA alkalines to be substituted if the proprietary pack runs out, and a hot shoe for attaching an external flash.
While its photographic credentials look promising, the G600's most unique feature is probably its ruggedize body. Able to withstand falls of up to 1.5 meters (and thus conforming with U.S. Department of Defense shock-resistance standards), take pictures underwater, and keep dust out, the G600's go-anywhere flexibility should appeal to anyone who needs a high-performance camera that can stand up to the rigors of constant outdoor use.
Ricoh's press release didn't provide details on pricing or possible U.S. availability, though several U.K. sources are reporting a suggested retail price of £349.99 (nearly $700 USD) when the camera is launched next month.
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