updated 05:45 pm EST, Sun January 4, 2009
Kodak at CES 2009
Kodak on Sunday has slipped out its launch plans for CES that start with one of the farthest-reaching high-zoom cameras available. Despite its name, the Z980 is considered a successor to the Z1000-series cameras and contains a new 26mm lens that can zoom up to 24X versus the company's previous best 15X lenses. It can also shoot relatively close-up thanks to a wide angle design and is hardware stabilized to cut back on blur. A new 12-megapixel sensor and native 720p video capture will be part of the design when it ships in the spring for $400.
Also on tap is the Zx1, a sequel to the Zi6; the new model continues to shoot 720p at up to 60 frames per second but switches to a more upscale design that Kodak claims meets IP43 standards that should withstand everyday dust, dirt and water splashes. The camera maker continues to differentiate its models from Pure's Flip Mino HD by using removable SDHC cards for storage but now supplies an HDMI video out for previewing rough footage at its native resolution. Kodak will ship the YouTube-friendly Zx1 in April and stresses price by dropping the cost of its pocket camcorder from $180 to $150 with the new model.
A final addition from the company, the EasyShare M380, is a more traditional still photo camera that brings a 10-megapixel sensor, 5X optical zoom and a full scene auto-adjustment mode nicknamed Smart Capture. Full specifications for this and the other cameras is unavailable, though Kodak says it will deliver the M380 in March for $179.