Myron Kassaraba's weblog about digital photography on the web

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

New Kodak Camera Has Wireless Email (Reuters)

New Kodak Camera Has Wireless Email (Reuters)

Though the details are a bit sketchy, Kodak is pushing forward to keep digital cameras relevant in a cameraphone age by adding wireless capabilities to a compact point-and-shoot digital camera. The new camera called the Kodak EasyShare One (don't get me started on naming but this seems like a limiting place to start - next we will have the EasyShare Two and Three............. it is true that some of the letter number combo model names have become cumbersome but at least I know that my CoolPix 5200 is a five megapixel camera from Nikon).

The Wi-Fi card is optional - it is in an SD format package and looks like it will protrude from the camera when plugged in which is too bad since that means you probably can't keep it in all the time and have to worry about keeping track of it for when you want to upload and connect. This is not a first, Ricoh has had a Wi-Fi capable camera since 2002 that also used an optional card for either Wi-Fi or high speed digital wireless, link to press release.

The big news here is that Kodak's on-camera software has been updated to use the Wi-Fi card when it is present and gives the user a UI for accessing net-based services. The screen is huge by digital camera standards (3") and is a touchscreen. The UI looks more akin to a PDA than a digital camera. From looking at the info provided on the Kodak CES site (, it would appear that the Kodak EasyShare One is designed to work seamlessly with the re-named Kodak EasyShare Gallery service (a.k.a. Ofoto). This serves Kodak's purposes for connecting the devices they manufacture into their ecosystem of services but will not make those of us with Flickr sites very happy. Hopefully the software allows you to email to any internet address. I'll see if I can get someone to go by their booth in Vegas to check it out.

All-in-all this is a good move for Kodak. The idea of a digital camera that can be used for local viewing in a group plus hop on a Wi-Fi network to upload is solving some real needs for active photo sharers. I'm sure this will not be the last we hear about wireless cameras both this week at CES and next month at PMA.

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