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Kodak Announces New P-Series with the Easyshare P880 and EasyShare P850 Digtal Cameras
by Ben Stafford -  8/2/2005

Kodak has announced the introduction of their new P-series with two new cameras.  You might be able to call the P-series, the "Prosumer" series from Kodak, as that's the user that they're targeting.  Photographers who may not be ready to make the investment in a digital SLR, but have demanding photogrraphic needs.  The Kodak EasyShare P880 provides 8 megapixels, a wide angle lens (24-140 mm, 35 mm equivalent) with a manual zoom ring, for $599 in September.  The Kodak EasyShare P850  is a 5.1 megapixel camera with a 12x optical zoom, image-stablized lens and an advanced auto focus system made up of 25 selectable zones.  The P850 will be available this month for $499.

Press Release:

ROCHESTER, N.Y., August 2 Building on the global success of its EASYSHARE digital photography system, Eastman Kodak Company today announced the KODAK EASYSHARE P-Series camera line. This new class of advanced digital cameras extends Kodak's signature simplicity-of-operation to avid photographers, giving them better tools to capture the exact images they want.

"While serious photographers demand advanced photographic controls, they're also craving easier-to-use cameras and systems an area in which Kodak excels," said Greg Westbrook, general manager of digital capture products at Kodak. "The P-Series breaks new ground by deftly combining high performance and simplicity. Its flagship, the EASYSHARE P880 camera, introduces a new, highly compelling alternative to pricier, bulkier dSLRs."

The KODAK EASYSHARE P880 (8.0 MP, with a 24 -- 140 mm (35mm equiv.,) f/2.8-4.1, wide-angle lens, US$599 MSRP; available beginning this September) and P850 (5.1 MP, 36 -- 432 mm (35mm equiv.), f/2.8-3.7, image stabilized lens, US$499 MSRP; available beginning this month) digital cameras are engineered for exacting performance, whether the photographer is shooting dramatic outdoor vistas, fast-moving sporting events, or everyday family events.

Kodak has incorporated advanced yet easy-to-use features, as well as legendary KODAK Color Science image processing, for stunning, highly accurate color shot after shot. In addition, Kodak is introducing a host of accessories including the new external KODAK P20 Zoom Flash (US$149.95 MSRP), which intelligently and automatically interacts with the P880 and P850 cameras for additional flash range.

Go Wide with the KODAK EASYSHARE P880 zoom digital camera

The innovative KODAK EASYSHARE P880 zoom digital camera brings in-demand KODAK technologies and features to serious photographers, setting a new price-to-performance benchmark. It provides more expansive picture-taking capability with a 24-140mm (35mm equiv) wide-angle, f/2.8 -- f/4.1, professional-quality SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOGON zoom lens. The 24mm wide angle setting is ideal for landscape photography, allowing a person to get closer to subjects, while contributing to greater sense of place by "pulling in" foreground objects with greater depth of field. It's also ideal for interior photography, where barriers such as walls typically make it difficult to get all desired subjects into a shot. Creative photographers can also shoot with this wide perspective for unique portraiture, or to capture a greater scenic expanse for later cropping.

With the same integrated lens, users can also optically zoom up to 140 mm (5.8X) using the manual zoom ring for precise framing. Achieve accurate focusing, even in low light conditions, with the selectable 25-point, advanced, hybrid Auto Focus system or via the manual focus ring. Experience enhanced, flexible lighting control via the hot shoe flash connector, plus the PC sync port for off-camera flash options.

The P880 model offers the freedom to select multiple shooting modes, including program, aperture and shutter priorities, fully manual, and custom modes. For rapid camera adjustments, dial-in multiple pre-set scene modes or switch to automatic mode.

Video takes on a new dimension with the EASYSHARE P880 camera a function not available in dSLRs. Capture VGA video at 30 frames per second (Motion JPEG compression) with the unique ability to use full optical zoom, then trim, cut, splice and merge clips on the camera. Even extract individual video frames as JPEGs at 640 x 480 resolution presenting an ultra-high-speed alternative to the camera's multiple burst modes (first/last/time lapse burst) which can then be shared and printed up to 4 x 6 inches.

For the first time, Kodak has added RAW file support to its EASYSHARE camera line to enable more post-capture flexibility for enthusiasts. These files allow for in-camera JPEG and TIFF extraction, as well as RAW editing within new KODAK EASYSHARE software v5.1. The new Kodak RAW format uniquely embeds a dynamic JPEG within the file, permitting rapid RAW file viewing and organization in the software, without requiring RAW conversion.

Additional highlights include a live histogram with highlight and shadow clipping for immediate on-camera exposure assessment; a 2.5-inch, high-resolution LCD; a 237,000 pixel electronic viewfinder with diopter; a high-capacity lithium ion battery; shutter speeds ranging from 16 -- 1/4000 second, plus a bulb setting; one-push custom white balance; digital red-eye reduction; and a manually-raised pop-up flash. Using the P880 with the new P20 Zoom Flash will provide even greater lighting control. At a weight of only 19.6 oz. (556 g), including battery and SD card, with a compact body (4.6W x 3.8H x 3.6D in.), including lens, the camera is highly portable while providing an excellent in-hand fit and feel.

As with all EASYSHARE cameras, the P880 model is compatible with KODAK EASYSHARE printer docks and camera docks, the IMAGELINK print system, and PICTBRIDGE technology for direct photo output without a computer.

Get Closer with the KODAK EASYSHARE P850 zoom digital camera

The KODAK EASYSHARE P850 camera makes it easier than ever for amateur photographers to shoot like a professional. It features a 12X, 36 -- 432 mm (35mm equiv.), image-stabilized, f2.8 -- f/3.7, SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOGON lens to get incredibly close to a scene while maintaining detail and sharpness.

Optical image stabilization, combined with the advanced, hybrid AF system (25 selectable points), provides a 2-stop advantage over non-Image Stabilized systems for better capturing subjects in low light for both still and video. For instance, if a particular scene called for at least a 1/500 shutter speed to "stop" the action under normal circumstances, the EASYSHARE P850 could deliver the same effect with a much slower 1/125 shutter speed, resulting in a bright yet crisp image. It also minimizes handheld camera shake at longer focal lengths, which is critical when not using a tripod a scenario found on the sidelines of sporting events, on scenic hiking trails, and during everyday spontaneous picture-taking when carrying a stabilizing device is impractical.

The P850 model shares many elements of the more advanced P880, including 30 fps VGA video with single-frame still-extraction and trim/cut/splice/merge editing abilities. Thanks to cutting-edge Motion JPEG technology, record longer, TV-quality videos with sound up to 80 continuous minutes depending on card capacity while using less memory storage. EASYSHARE Software version 5 even makes combining, rotating, and adding music to video clips a breeze. The camera's bright, high-quality LCD and EVF simplify working with, viewing and sharing videos.

Other features include a unique hot shoe for extended lighting control; PASMC and extensive preset scene modes; multiple burst modes for action shooting; a live histogram; highlight/shadow clipping displays; RAW/TIFF/JPEG support; and lithium ion battery. It is compatible with EASYSHARE printer docks, the IMAGELINK print system, and PICTBRIDGE technology.

The KODAK EASYSHARE System Accessories, Printing, and Organization

Kodak offers multiple accessories for its P-Series cameras to help serious photographers express their creativity. These include the KODAK P20 Zoom Flash, which works with both of the new P-series cameras. Its power (GN: 40 m @ 80 mm, with coverage up to 35 feet with the P-series cameras at ISO 100), zoom head and bounce flash capability deliver greater lighting control as compared to the included pop-up flashes or third-party flash units.

Photographers will also benefit from the 1.4X SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH XENAR tele-converter (MSRP $149.95) and KODAK SD 1 GB memory cards, which are compatible with both P-Series models. P850 camera owners can also add 55 mm B+W polarizing and neutral density filters, as well as the 0.7X SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH XENAR wide-angle accessory lens (MSRP $149.95).

P-Series camera owners can quickly print real KODAK 4 x 6-inch pictures with just one touch in as little as 60 seconds, using KODAK EASYSHARE printer docks. Just dock the camera and press the print button no other at home print solution is as straightforward. Printer docks also transfer pictures to a connected computer, and recharge the cameras' lithium-ion batteries in three hours or less. The borderless pictures made from EASYSHARE printer docks are waterproof, durable and will last a lifetime under typical home display conditions.

For more advanced printing, the KODAK PROFESSIONAL 1400 Digital Photo Printer (US$499; available now) is an affordable system for professional and Advanced Amateur photographers that quickly delivers outstanding quality and durability of KODAK prints. Whether used for proofing or final printing, this robust desktop printer produces one 8x12, one 8x10, two 6x8, two 5x7 or four 4x6-inch photos per sheet, and the water-resistant photos last a lifetime. The KODAK PROFESSIONAL paper and ribbon consumables are bundled in matched volumes to provide optimum color density for every print, eliminating worries associated with low ink levels. Consumables including paper available in 50- and 25-sheet packs are priced competitively to similar offerings on the market.

The P-Series cameras include new KODAK EASYSHARE software version 5 for WINDOWS and MACINTOSH systems, providing effortless digital picture organization, editing, sharing and printing. The exclusive One Touch to Better Pictures feature takes advantage of proprietary color technologies developed by Kodak to help users get vibrant, true-to-life prints from inkjet printers. Version 5 also available for free download from www.kodak.com now includes advanced video editing features.

P-Series camera owners can also connect to the KODAK EASYSHARE Gallery (www.kodakgallery.com) to share any or all of their shots with friends, family and colleagues around the world. This online service not only offers electronic sharing and picture printing in a variety of sizes (up to 20 x 30-inches, ideal for the 8 MP P880 model), but also creative options such as professionally-bound Photo Books, photo calendars, and even framing (at no additional charge).