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Panasonic, Sony Push New Digital Cameras

Techstination feature for Monday, February 25, 2002

The digital photography market keeps growing. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's not that I like to say anything negative about film... .but taking pictures without film is gaining in popularity. The proof is in the sales that reached 6 million last year... and in the quality of the images. And that quality is getting better all of the time. Panasonic is teaming up with legendary German lens maker Leica on its new line of Lumix digital cameras. Panasonic's Rusty Osterstock tells us pricing will start at about 350 dollars...

"The combination of the Leica technology, which are terrific optics in a lens, through some special features in the lens itself and the Panasonic digital technology such as the CCD, create a picture that is going to be so different than what consumers are used to. So much more vibrant, so much better in resolution and so much better in color, that we don't think there's anything on the market quite like it now."

The new line will arrive in stores next month. The highest end model, at 4 megapixels with manual controls similar to a good film camera, will sell for just under a thousand dollars. Sony is adding new cameras to its market leading digital line as well. Among the new features... NightShot... similar to the technology used in some camcorders... for framing and taking photos in complete darkness. Sony's Jim Malcolm...

"What we see as far as industry trends... film camera sales tend to be flat or declining, digital still cameras are growing at a very fast pace."

The growth is this year is expected to top twenty percent. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.