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New PLAYTOUCH and EASYSHARE social networking cameras from Kodak


August 25, 2010

Kodak's new PLAYTOUCH video camera and EASYSHARE M590 digital camera, and the upgraded PUL...

Kodak's new PLAYTOUCH video camera and EASYSHARE M590 digital camera, and the upgraded PULSE digital photo frame

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Kodak has unveiled a pocket-friendly digital video camera and a 14MP point-and-shoot, both with a special button for tagging movies and snaps for upload to social networking sites or to send via email. The PLAYTOUCH video camera can record up to 1080p high definition video, includes face-tracking technology and a handy HDMI-out port. The svelte EASYSHARE M590 digital camera can also shoot high definition movies, although at the lower resolution of 720p, and benefits from optical image stabilization and a high sensitivity range. Images can also be tagged and sent to the company's PULSE Digital Photo Frame, which has just been given a bigger screen.

Joining the company's PLAYSPORT actioncam shortly is a full 1080p high definition pocket digital video camera with included HDMI-out port and complimentary cable. The Kodak PLAYTOUCH Video Camera features a 3.9mm, 4x digital zoom lens, 3-inch (7.6 cm.) capacitive touchscreen, in-camera editing features such as trim and snapshot, and a Share Button.

The PLAYTOUCH features a 3.9mm, 4x digital zoom lens, 3-inch capacitive touchscreen, in-ca...

The latter is used to tag content for later upload to social networking and sharing sites like YouTube and FaceBook. When connected to an Internet-enabled computer running a special app, all tagged videos and snaps are automatically uploaded to the website chosen during the tagging process. The PLAYTOUCH also takes 5.3 megapixel still images and sports a flip-out USB arm which allows the device to charge, connect and share.

As well as recording 1080p high def video at 30 frames per second, users are also offered a 720p high def mode that allows movies to be captured at 60 frames per second for some slow motion antics. Creative types can add a bit of a twist to movies with a choice of four capture effects, including a 1970s film look, and those too shaky or too slow to keep up with the action are sure to benefit from the built-in digital image stabilization and smart face-tracking.

As well as Cabana (Orange) shown here, the PLAYTOUCH also comes in Smoke Gaze (Black), Chr...

Audio is captured via an included mono mic, but Kodak has included an external microphone jack that also doubles up as a headphone socket. The 2.3 x 4.3 x 0.6 inch (5.8 x 10.9 x 1.5 cm.) PLAYTOUCH supports SD/SDHC media cards, is compatible with both Mac and PC operating systems and is available now for pre-order in Smoke Gaze (Black), Chrome, Wine Country (Magenta), Cabana (Orange) and Spa Blue (Teal) for US$229.95, with delivery expected to begin from mid-September.

The EASYSHARE M590 Digital Camera

Like the PLAYTOUCH above, Kodak's EASYSHARE M590 Digital Camera has the company's exclusive Share Button for tagging snaps for upload to social networking sites or to send via email. Photos can also be tagged for onward display on the new PULSE Digital Photo Frame detailed below. Kodak says that its new point-and-shoot is the "world's thinnest 5x optical zoom digital camera" at just 0.6 inch (1.5 cm.) thick. Along with the SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOGON lens, the camera also features 5x digital zoom.

The super-thin M590 is available in silver (shown), red, purple and blue

There's a 14 megapixel CCD sensor and a high ISO6400 sensitivity setting that helps get clear shots in poor lighting or fast-paced situations, although this does come at the expense of some pixels. Other features include optical image stabilization, Smart Capture, which automatically adjusts settings to help obtain the best shot depending on detected scenes, and face-detection – up to five faces can be located in a frame, and up to 20 faces can be tagged for easy recall later.

To the rear is a 2.7 inch (6.9 cm.), 230,000 dot resolution LCD display which is where all of the framing up and playback is undertaken. The M590 has a built-in orientation sensor, offers a choice of aspect ratios (although some are limited to certain quality settings) and is capable of shooting 720p high def video at 30 frames per second. Content is saved to MicroSD/MicroSDHC.

The M590 has a 14 megapixel CCD sensor which is given low light assistance from a high ISO...

The EASYSHARE M590 Digital Camera is shown as "in stock" at the time of writing, comes in silver, red, purple and blue and costs US$199.95

The new PULSE Digital Photo Frame

Kodak is also increasing the size of its PULSE Digital Photo Frame's LED backlit display to 10.4 inches at 800 x 600 resolution. Like the 7 inch (17.8 cm.) model before it, the new 10.6 x 8.4 x 3.1 inch (26.9 x 21.3 x 7.9 cm.) PULSE benefits from a touchscreen display, Wi-Fi connectivity, has its own email address and comes with 512MB of internal memory. There's a couple of memory card slots and a USB port, and users will be alerted when new content has been received and is ready to view. All images are rendered in a 4:3 aspect ratio with content automatically resized to best fit the display.

Content can be sent to the Wi-Fi-enabled PULSE's unique email address

The new PULSE Digital Frame is also available for pre-order with a shipping date of October 4. It carries a manufacturer's suggested retail of US$199.95

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About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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