One last Kodak moment? Kodak intros Wi-Fi and hybrid cameras

Faced with an uncertain future, Kodak announces a Wi-Fi-enabled point-and-shoot camera and a pocketable still/video device at CES 2012.

Kodak has certainly seen better days in its impressive 131-year history; by now, you've probably heard the rumors that the company has fallen on hard times. It's a sad fact, but this year's CES may mark the last camera announcements for the company as we know it. Two new Kodak cameras were announced today, both of which are priced below the US$200 mark: the Wi-Fi-enabled Kodak EasyShare M750, which allows users to upload photos directly from the camera and pair up with smartphones via a peer-to-peer connection, and the Playfull Dual hybrid still/video camera, which has some of the best specs we've seen in a pocket camcorder.

Kodak EasyShare M750: EasyShare Button Gets Wi-Fi

Kodak's EasyShare button has been featured on the company's cameras for a few years now, but its functionality was limited to tagging photos for e-mailing and uploading to social-networking after the camera was connected to a computer via USB.

The 16-megapixel CCD-based EasyShare M750 cuts the cord, allowing direct e-mailing and uploading from the camera to sites such as Facebook and YouTube. The camera itself doesn't have a Web browser, but it pairs up with Android, iOS, and BlackBerry phones via a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection that allows users to upload to other sites via the phone.

A free app is required for the smartphone-sharing functionality, and according to Kodak Vice President of Marketing Phil Scott, photos offloaded to a smartphone will show up in the phone's camera roll and allow all the sharing options provided by the smartphone. Other than a physical shutter button, zoom control, and video button, the EasyShare M750 is largely controlled using a 3-inch-diagonal touchsceen, and the camera offers a 5X optical zoom lens (26mm to 130mm). Along with 720p video capture, the camera also has a few built-in editing options, including the ability to trim video clips and crop photos before uploading.

Priced at US$160, the EasyShare M750 is slated for availability in March or April of this year.

Kodak Playfull Dual Zi12: Pocketable Camera-Camcorder Hybrid

Also coming in early 2012 is a new pocket camcorder/camera, the Kodak Playfull Dual Camera. According to Kodak, the device's "Dual" name refers to the camera's design, which looks like a pocket camcorder when held vertically and feels more like a camera when held horizontally.

The latest Kodak pocket camcorder offers many of the features we liked in the older-but-still-solid Kodak Zi8: 1080p video capture, an external microphone jack, and storage handled by an SD card slot. The new Playfull Dual adds to those specs with a 12-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor that can capture still images as you're shooting video, an on-board flash, the ability to switch between 60fps and 30fps frame rates in 1080p mode, a super-slow-motion video option that shoots 720p video at 120fps, in-camera effects modes, and basic video-editing tasks that can be done in-camera.

The price and availability date hasn't been set for the Playfull Dual, but Kodak says it will cost less than US$200 and be available in the Spring.

[For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out PCWorld's complete coverage of CES 2012]

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Tim Moynihan

PC World (US online)

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