Epson is the latest in a long line of manufacturers to launch a digital camera but the full promotion will not start until after the New Year.
The company's rationale is that many people will be buying colour inkjet printers as part of their main Christmas purchase and the digital camera will then be seen as a great companion to it.
Epson is aiming at low pricing with moderate capacity to compete with Fuji, Casio, Kodak and Canon. The PhotoPC 500 offers 24bit colour in 640x480 high resolution or 320x240 pixel image sizes. Unlike, for example, the recent Casio QV-100 camera which can store up to 64 high resolution images, the Epson camera has a capacity of 30 but costs around u200 less with a retail price of u400.
Bundled software allows the customer to adjust the images for sharpness and colour fidelity and then produce flyers, calendars, cards and postcards.
Supplies are being channelled to retail through Epson's traditional distributors Frontline, Ingram Micro, Micro Peripherals, Merisel and Farnell. Later in the sales cycle, mail order and general photographic dealers will also be approached.
Although details of the New Year offensive have yet to be announced, Epson says that the camera is a data capture device akin to a scanner and will be used as a means to promote its mainline colour printers. Promotions will probably follow this lead.
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