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Matsushita to launch digital single-lens reflex camera in July.

TOKYO, June 21 Kyodo

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said Wednesday it will launch its first-ever digital single-lens reflex camera in Japan on July 22.

The Lumix L1, which Matsushita has developed in cooperation with camera maker Olympus Corp., is expected to sell for about 250,000 yen.

The camera features a liquid crystal monitor as well as a viewfinder and is equipped with a lens that has been developed jointly by Matsushita and Germany's Leica Camera AG, Matsushita said.

Matsushita joins another consumer electronics giant Sony Corp. in making a foray into the fast-growing digital SLR camera market in July.

Global digital SLR camera shipments in 2005 increased 50 percent from the previous year to 3.79 million units, the Camera & Imaging Product Association said.

But an industry source noted that Canon Inc. and Nikon Corp. of Japan occupy more than 80 percent of the global digital SLR camera market.

Sony, which has acquired the camera division of Konica Minolta Holdings Inc. to expand its digital camera business, has vowed to capture more than 10 percent of the global digital SLR camera market.

Matsushita said it has set a sales target of 50,000 units for the Lumix L1 for the initial year.

Concerning the move on the digital SLR camera market by the two consumer electronics giants, a Canon spokesman said the company is concerned about a possible price-cutting offensive.

A Nikon official welcomed their participation as contributing to expanding the market.
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Publication:Japan Consumer Electronics Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jun 26, 2006
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