Jan 12, 2005

Kodak's EASYSHARE-ONE Ground-breaking

Kodak is convinced that there's a huge market for folks that want the convenience of using a digital camera without having to use a computer to share the photos with family and friends. I tend to agree.

When the EASYSHARE-ONE ($599) ships in April, it'll exemplify that idea, at least if you spring for the optional WiFi card. If you have that WiFi connection, you can email images directly from the camera anytime you're in range of an open hotspot.

The 4 megapixel camera features a 3X optical zoom, made by SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOGON, and includes a hefty 256 MB of built in RAM. Kodak claims that's enough space for 1500 images of high enough quality to print 4x6 pictures. The camera also has an additional SD card slot for more picture storage. We didn't see any examples, but the EASYHARE-ONE can also record 30 fps video and share it over the WiFi connection.

You can also use the WiFi connection to transfer pictures to your PC, or oFoto. If you upload your images to oFoto the only way to get versions you can use on your computer (or freely distribute over the web) is to purchase a copy burned to disk. On the upside, you can use the camera's WiFi connection to browse and 'send' images that are already in your oFoto account.

The camera includes a big 3 inch LCD touch screen, along with a built in stylus, much like a PDA, to make it easier to operate the touchscreen. In fact, using the (very) beta model of the Kodak EASYSHARE-ONE at CES felt like using a highly customized PDA (or very tiny kiosk). People with large hands might have trouble with the stylus (it's very short), but the rest of the buttons on the case were fairly easy to use.

At launch, the KODAK EASYSHARE-ONE camera will be compatible with most in-home and public WiFi networks that support 802.11b technology. A firmware update to permit direct connections via hotspots that require WEP key authentication or acceptance of terms and conditions is planned for September 2005.

Read more about the Kodak EASYSHARE-ONE in our other article