In 2003 digital camera sales grew by 64 percent over 2002 figures to more than 50 million units, according to Photo Marketing Association estimates, with anecdotal reports of some users bringing their photo printers to weddings to surprise newlyweds with photos of the event before they leave on their honeymoon.
About 57 percent of digital camera users are also reporting that they print more because of digital imaging, InfoTrends research also showed.
Cell phones with embedded cameras have been the mobile industry's hottest sellers in 2003. Sales of these phones are expected to surge more than 50% to 165.2 million units worldwide within the year, according to research group Strategy Analytics.
In this robust sales environment Nokia is preparing to launch its Nokia 7610 in Latin America within summer 2004, as part of the company's movement toward providing phones with improved imaging capability and camera quality, said Yolande Pineda, Nokia's director of communications for Latin America.
"The 7610 represents a new way for users to enjoy the imaging experience within a very attractive design," she added. "Because mobile phones are very personal products and represent users' different expressions of their personalities, Nokia is careful to balance all of the elements important to them--not just an imaging capability. But with the 7610, users can appreciate a great design along with excellent imaging capabilities and multiple smartphone features."
The Nokia 7610, which is the company first megapixel camera phone, is encased in a fashionable dual-tone ruby and onyx covers. It offers quick and convenient capturing, printing, storing and sending of photo quality images and videos, in addition to the ability to create a personal logbook or multi-media memo on the phone.
Already popular in Latin America, the Nokia 3200 phone with an integrated camera, a large color screen and multi-media messaging service also allows users to design their own covers. The transparent front and back covers of the phone serve as frames for custom designs and images taken from the phone's camera can be used as designs for the covers.
"Most important to those who have phones with imaging capability is the ability to share a moment with someone who is not with them," said Pineda. "The next step consumers will likely move toward is the use of real time video routinely on the phones. In Latin America, we are already seeing 'voicestreaming'--the ability to view television programs using a mobile phone."
As one of the first companies to launch a digital camera as an accessory to a cell phone, Sony Ericsson is recognized as a true innovator in the industry.
"We had no idea that the technology would become this popular this fast, but our success in the market has inspired us to take our creativity to ever-higher levels," said Andre Jacquet, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications vice president of marketing for the Latin American Region.
He added that Sony Ericsson's 2004 digital imaging product line reflects the input the company received recently from the results of its 2003 study of thousands of digital camera enabled cell phone users.
"They said they wanted better quality images in an attractive and compact design that was easy to use and had more photo memory space. They wanted all this from a company with credibility that they trusted," said Jacquet. "We believe we answer all of those needs with the phones we are launching in 2004."
Consumers also like multi-function digital imaging devices that combine printing, according to Gartner Dataquest. Research has shown they use multifunctional devices and photo printers more often than their old machines and buy more replacement cartridges.
An important development in the multifunctional product trend is Hewlett-Packard Company's PSC 2510 Photosmart All-in-One printer/flatbed fax/scanner/copier. The device is especially designed to provide exceptional digital printing and has wireless and Ethernet capabilities within an easy to use format.
HP also offers a full range of cameras and projectors, scanners and photo printers that provide consumers with a total digital imaging solution.
"Our products are designed to engage those who are not tech savvy but want to be part of the trend," said Ricardo Martiarena, product manager for HP Photosmart Solutions for HP Latin America. "From the huge number of sales of digital imaging products, it is clear that people will take billions of images using this technology and will require the best quality photos in addition to the ability to print, store and share them."
HP's digital products feature the ability to enjoy an instant, high quality photo that can be printed and edited without the use of a personal computer. They also provide the flexibility to share images via email, television, printouts or screens.
Cost-effective multi-functional products to be used in tandem with digital imaging technology are also available from Kyocera Mita America, one of the world's leading document imaging companies.
Kyocera's 17 page per minute FS-CS016N color and monochrome ECOSYS printer and the KM-3035 MFP boasts one of the lowest total cost per print and copy, respectively, in the industry. Challenging the traditional high cost of color, Kyocera Mita America now leads the industry by delivering an ultra-low cost per color print for the FS-C5016N, officials said, adding that competing brands offer a cost per color print two or three times that of Kyocera's cost per page.
Commenting on the FS-C5016N, Michael Pietrunti, senior vice president of marketing and technical for Kyocera Mira America, said: "Kyocera has reached a new milestone by delivering an ultra-low cost per color page. Kyocera is providing businesses of all sizes the opportunity to broadly deploy color output devices throughout their organization, at a very reasonable price."
The KM-3035 is a 30 page per minute device that features a maximum monthly volume of 85,000 and a drum life up to 400,000 impressions. The KM-3035 has optional printing and scanning capabilities. When used for network printing, the device comes standard with 64MB (upgradeable to 576MB) of RAM. The optional print Hard Disk Drive provides several capabilities, including document printing and e-MPS functions, private print, job storage, quick copy, proof and hold, and virtual mailboxes. The optional network print system supports all popular operating systems and page description languages including PRESCRIBE, PCL6 (PCL XL, PCL 5e).
"By incorporating Kyocera's user-friendly technology, including our universal KX print driver, and our versatile print, copy, scan and fax features, organizations will be able to use the new devices as powerful tools for all of their day-to-day complex applications," said Pietrunti.
Kyocera's ECOSYS Technology, which is environmentally friendly, allows the addition of toner to printers without the disposal of their drums, thereby eliminating the unnecessary waste of cartridges.
"Demystifying" digital photography so that consumers can enjoy sharing their memories more easily has been one of the Eastman Kodak Company's strategic foundations over the last several years, according to Richard B. Ford, director of marketing and business development, Latin American Region Digital & Applied Imaging Division of Eastman Kodak Company.
Eastman Kodak, which has one of the largest digital imaging patent portfolios in the industry, has doubled its digital product business year on year in Latin America since it entered the market in June 2001, Ford added.
"We have made it our priority to be in-country throughout Latin America with competitively priced products that are the easiest to use as all of them operate in native Spanish and Portuguese in terms of their user interfaces and prompts," said Ford.
The company has announced six digital cameras in 2004, following its huge success in 2003 with the launch of the Kodak EasyShare printer dock 6000--the world's first printer and camera dock combination enabling users to print borderless 4 inch by 6 inch photos directly from their EasyShare camera at the touch of a button with no computer required.
Although the EesyShare printer dock is small enough to be portable for special occasions, it also can be connected to a computer to offer the benefits of an EasyShare camera dock, including one-touch picture transfer to computer and battery recharging. Used in conjunction with any Kodak EasyShare 6000/600 or 7000/700 series cameras, the printer dock 6000 provides a simple and quick way to get durable, waterproof Kodak prints from an EasyShare digital camera in a little as 90 seconds.
Panasonic, which has sold digital cameras in Latin America for three years, sees so much acceptance of digital imaging in the market that it foresees the demise of conventional, 35-mm cameras that require film within two or three years.
Digital imaging products have become popular in Latin America due to falling product prices, the ability to edit photos, store them electronically and discard unwanted images, and the availability of printing booths in photography stores throughout the region, according to David Kanda, Panasonic's Latin America marketing manager for audio and office products.
Panasonic specializes in medium- and high-end, high-resolution cameras that use the widely accepted SD memory cards and will soon launch its FZ-10, a camera it touts as unmatched in the market for its far-reaching zoom capabilities.
Also important product categories in the region are DVD recorders and multifunction cameras such as the Dsnap AV-25 and AV-50--very popular among young people--that, in addition to taking and viewing photographs, record movies and sound, and play MP3s.
Compelling new digital imaging products have also been created by InFocus Corporation, the worldwide leader in digital projection technology and services.
The company recently launched the TD30, a reliable four inch-thin, LCD-based projection system with high-performance features like integrated five-watt SRS sound, picture-in-picture functions end exceptional image quality and brightness--all packed in a slender form factor that is as easy to use as a personal computer monitor. The device also features an integrated TV tuner to provide even more flexible applications for business and education use.
"The InFocus TD30 is the perfect solution for applications such as conference areas, arenas, public information displays for transportation, retail signage, billboards, control rooms and trading floors. With its ability to fit in small rooms and operate in bright conditions, the thin display supports workgroup collaboration in nearly any environment," said Desiree Ortiz-Rodriguez, Infocus director of Latin America and Canada. "It is particularly effective as dynamic signage that captivates customers in an exciting, multimedia environment, with real-time information and images that run continuously."
The TD30 also works well in living spaces, as it allows for the highest quality images in a space saving format.
Samsung banks on good design and high-quality, resistant components, particularly its sophisticated screen technology, for an edge in the market of cellular phones with incorporated cameras for high-end customers, said Oscar Lara-Fernandez, telecommunications sales and marketing manager for Samsung Electronics Mexico.
Phones with built-in cameras are particularly popular and Samsung's new models offer a variety of features.
The two-in-one products have the advantage of transmitting photos instantly: An insurance adjuster, for instance, can send images of a claim to headquarters right away, while a mother can forward shots of a child's performance to her husband at the office, he said.
One of Samsung's hottest new products is the V200, with a 65,000-color screen and a lens that rotates 180 degrees, allowing users to take self-portraits.
A phone called Ego, the X105, is ideal young customers in search of sleek models. The bar-shaped phone features no antenna, comes in different colors and has a rounded design.
In May, Samsung launched the E715, with an external and internal screen that lets owners take and see photos without opening their phones, shoots a series of up 15 quick photos, can add frames and tones to images and has a delayed shutter function that lets users become part of a shot. It also has a flash, can take 20-second videos and store up to five of them.
Sony Cyber-shot has a wide variety of digital cameras available in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. The company, which is particularly popular in Mexico due to its innovative technology, offers a series of five digital cameras, with each designed to meet a specific need.
The semi-professional F series features eight effective megapixels, total manual control, excellent optics and the latest in technology. Ideal for those versed in photography are the DSC-F828 and DSC-F717 models.
The W, V advanced series with 5.0 effective megapixels, shutter and exposure control Carl Zeiss lenses are perfect in general for photography lovers, while Cybershot's Petit and T series are totally portable options offering resolution and style with 5.0 effective megapixels.
Sony recently launched the semi-professional DSC-F828 digital camera in Mexico. This cutting edge product has eight CCD megapixels, professional Carl Zeiss lenses, the only four-color filter and a new imaging processor that makes the image better, faster, and consumes less energy, in addition to manual controls. The lens rotates 70 degrees up and 30 degrees down, which makes it easier to take photos at difficult angles. The DSC-F868 camera is made with magnesium alloy, which guarantees a strong and quality build, Sony officials said.
KODAK LS743 DIGITAL CAMERA AND EASYSHARE PRINTER DOCK 6000
Produces prints in as little as 90 seconds. www.kodak.com
INFOCUS TD30 PROJECTION SYSTEM
Provides high-quality images in a space-saving format. www.infocus.com
NOKIA 7610 CAMERA PHONE
Can create short films or even music videos of up to 10 minutes. www.nokia.com
KYOCERA FS-C5016N ECOSYS COLOR PRINTER
Creates cost effective color prints. www.kyoceramita.com
HP PSC 2510 PHOTOSMART ALL-IN-ONE PRINTER
Delivers exceptional digital printing. www.hp.com
SAMSUNG V200 CAMERA PHONE
Features a built-in camera that rotates 180 degrees to capture images from every possible angle. www.samsung.com/mx
PANASONIC SV-A50 SD VIDEO CAMERA
Multifunctional: Takes and views photographs, records movies and sound. www.panasonic.com
SONY ERICSSON K700 CAMERA PHONE
Plays video clips, plus captures images and video. www.sonyericsson.com
SONY CYBER-SHOT DSC-F828
Ideal for those versed in photography. www.sony.com/mx
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|Title Annotation:||Special Advertising Feature|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2004|
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