JK Imaging updates Kodak line with superzooms and ‘Smart Lenses’







CES2014: JK Imaging has announced an array of Kodak-branded cameras, including a superzoom compact with a 65x optical zoom and a couple of ‘Smart Lenses’ designed to clip onto smartphones (very much like Sony’s QX cameras). It’s also given more details about its long-in-development Pixpro S1 Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera. The standout models in Kodak’s latest line-up are as follows.

The Pixpro S1 is the company’s first Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens mirrorless camera, which we first reported on about a year ago. It has a 16MP BSI CMOS 4/3” sensor, a 3.0″ 920kdot articulating LCD, sensor shift image stabilisation, 1080p 30fps H.264 movie recording, and built-in Wi-Fi. It’ll cost $499 for a single lens kit and $599 for a twin lens kit. 

The Pixpro Astro Zoom AZ651 is a compact superzoom that offers an extraordinary 65x 24-1560mm equivalent optical zoom lens. It also has a 3″ articulating LCD and can record 1080p HD Video – all for just $349.

Kodak is also offering two ‘Pixpro Smart Lens’ devices, which are very similar to Sony’s QX clip-on smartphone lenses. With cylindrical designs, both communicate with a smartphone via Wi-Fi, using free Android and iOS apps. The $299 SL25 offers a 25x, 24-600mm equivalent lens, while the $199 SL10 has a 10x 28-280mm equivalent zoom. These devices will be available in spring 2014.     


Press release:

KODAK PIXPRO DIGITAL DEVICES BROADENS LINE UP IN 2014

LAS VEGAS, NV, January 7, 2014 – JK Imaging Ltd., the worldwide licensee for KODAK PIXPRO Digital Cameras and Devices, announced today its full 2014 line of digital imaging products. Building on last year’s initial launch, this year’s line up broadens the very successful Astro Zoom Bridge category, introduces all weather, rugged HD action cams and makes a technology statement with all new, cutting edge Smart Phone lenses and an affordable option to the high-end Micro Four Thirds camera category.

The updated KODAK PIXPRO suite of cameras will continue to offer consumers a variety of feature-rich, long-zoom options at very attractive price points. The 2014 Astro Zoom line is highlighted with the flagship 65x optical zoom AZ651. This model retails for a MSRP of $349; features a 24 mm wide-angle lens; 1080p HD Video; 3.0” articulating LCD; OIS and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The AZ651 is scheduled to go on sale in spring 2014.

Additional models in the KODAK PIXPRO Astro Zoom Camera line offer outstanding performance and a wide range of affordable price points, including the AZ251, AZ362 (25x & 36x optical zoom), AZ421 (42x optical zoom, Q2 2014 launch) and AZ525 (52x optical zoom plus new Wi-Fi capability). Models are priced respectively from $139 – $249 (MSRP) and offer a popular bridge style camera to suit all budgets and levels of photography experience.

With the introduction of the brand new KODAK PIXPRO SMART LENS® camera models SL10 and SL25, consumers now have a viable option to outfit their existing iOS or ANDROID smartphones with a snap on lens boasting powerful 10x or 25x optical zoom. The SMART LENS® Camera is also wireless for added flexibility and can be controlled via a free app. Features on the SL10 ($199 MSRP) include 10x optical zoom, 1080p video, 28-280mm wide angle lens, optical image stabilization (OIS), a micro SD card and compatibility with iOS/ANDROID phones. The SL25 ($299 MSRP) adds 25x optical zoom and a 24mm ultra-wide-angle lens. The SMART LENS® devices will be available in spring 2014. 

Leveraging technical prowess and manufacturing excellence, the KODAK PIXPRO Camera line will introduce its first micro four thirds camera with the S-1. The S-1 is WiFi® enabled, boasts a 16MP BSI CMOS 4/3” sensor, a 3.0″ 920 articulating LCD, sensor shift OIS, 1080p 30fps H.264 FHD Video and lithium-ion battery. The S-1 is priced competitively at $499 MSRP for the entry-level single lens kit and $599 MSRP for a double lens kit and is perfect for the avid photographer looking for a high performance model in a slim and compact design. 

The KODAK PIXPRO line also includes two new waterproof, freeze-proof, dust-proof and shock-proof 1080p HD video devices. The entry-level SPZ1 Action Cam ($139 MSRP) offers 3x optical zoom, 14 MP CMOS sensor and Video Image Stabilization. The step up SP1 Action Cam features a 160 degree ultra-wide-angle lens and built-in Wireless capability. The SP1 is attractively priced at ($169-$229 MSRP) and offers three optional accessory packs depending on retailer, giving consumers even more flexibility to choose from options including a handlebar attachment, head/helmet strap, surfboard, suction cups and other attachments for capturing life’s adventures in full HD.

For customers who value the convenience of a quality point-and-shoot compact camera, the KODAK PIXPRO Friendly Zoom line of point-and-shoot digital cameras is also available, with price points ranging from $69 – $129 (MSRP) with many automatic and very easy to use features.

KODAK PIXPRO devices are available in leading national retailers and online including Best Buy, Costco, Fry’s, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, Sears, and Walmart. For more information and for product availability, please visit: http://kodakcamera.jkiltd.com.
















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Comments

new boyz

About to be sued by Sony, I see 80% resemblance… hahahaha..

Marvol

Yes I do hope for them they had their patent lawyers check all Sony’s patents for the QX series else they’ll be in trouble.

RStyga

Kodak did pioneering things during the film era and continued in the digital age with some degree of the same spirit of innovation but never quite made it to establish itself. I’m not sure at all that JK is up to the task, i.e., using such an iconic brand name for mediocre profiteering. Let’s hope for the best outcome, but I seriously doubt that JK can do to Kodak what Cosina has done to Voigtlander.

yabokkie

love the name JK Imaging.
JK is a Japanese acronym for “high school girls.”
fashionable customers of entry level cameras.

joe6pack

Given that the QX lens have frequented liquidation sites just months after release. I would say the market for smart lens simply isn’t there.

Gesture

I think these models prove not that JK is copying the established OEMs, but, rather, that the OEMs “order up” and then specify their cameras from a common pool of assemblies.

SeeRoy

A low-cost M4/3 camera – providing it’s a decent performer – is a great idea if it reinforces the format. Let’s hope it’s successful.

Tonio Loewald

$499 with kit lens isn’t especially cheap by M43 standards. That’s more than an Olympus EPL5. And if you’re willing to get slightly older models… (But then of course, there’s the “Kodak” name, which we all know is a byword for awesome cameras.)

Gesture

I agree but actually many of the Kodak point and shoot cameras were quite good, especially the lens and sensor. They were made cheaper by less powerful processing engines, probably other older components.

Sergey Kostrov

Take into account that during sales ( Christmas times, etc ) prices for many digital cameras go down and, for example in December 2013, it was possible to buy an older Panasonic Lumix GF3 for $199 ( just body ). I agree that $499 is Not-A-Right price and the camera is over-priced ( as usual… ).

Revenant

It’s not fair to compare the price of a new product at launch, with the heavily discounted price of an older, now discontinued, product. Don’t you think the Kodak S-1 will be cheaper at Christmas time 2015?

samfan

I expect some bitch-slapping with Nikon about the S1 name…

yabokkie

super, hyper, ultra zooms certainly have future expecially when we are going from still to video. and 4/3″ will have it’s chance to perform well, instead of the current low performance high cost system for cheating.

kff

Who will make first lens with APS-C, FF and MF senzor with Wi-Fi connection ? Ricoh GXR is without … will be a new with Wi-Fi and usable on tablets with high resolution or we would expect any better connection? Will make anyone tablet which will expect a similar external camera system and will make some preparation for connection and able to mount some grip for better keeping in the hands? OK, Samsung has similar system with interchangable lens … it would be better with pure Android 4.4 and better manual control …

noflashplease

I think I would judge these products on the basis of their own merits, such as they are. I’m not a fan of Asian companies reusing bankrupt American brands, especially brands like Kodak that were tarnished by decades of All-American mismanagement. I’d have an easier time accepting a produce badged “JK Imaging” than “Kodak.” I have no opinion on the parent company but I do remember Kodak and those memories aren’t all positive or nostalgic.

As far as the similarities between the JK Imaging SL10 and the Sony QX10, I’m not in a position to judge. There are instances where third party manufacturers have the right to sell a design they produce for one brand to another brand. There are other instances where the issue is disputed, and there are instances of convergent evolution – companies having the same idea and developing it separately to the effect that two separate products end up being entirely similar.

Gesture

I agree. What is the value of using Kodak, GE, Honeywell, Polaroid names.

Yes. The components on modern digital cameras are obviously shared and who knows who “owns” each aspect. This is why so many cameras look alike, right down to button placement, and why the new models can come out so quickly.

caver3d

It’s called MARKETING for heaven’s sake. A good percentage of the American and overseas public identifies with these names. If they see “Kodak” on the camera, are they going to know it is JK Imaging? It is all about “In Kodak We Trust”, and that means a positive for such camera sales. Not everyone is an advanced enthusiast or pro, and bothers researching it further. Get it?

RXVGS

“What brand of camera do you have?”

“Kodak”

Really?

“No, just JK…..”

Vladik

HILARIOUS! :)))))

NCB

Dodgy cameras??? Simple, we don’t KNOW. Wait until they’re available and tested before coming to a conclusion. At least they’re not aiming at run of the mill stuff, with things like the Astro Zoom. If they can’t offer something at least as good as the competition they’ll be no more than a very minor blip on the market. If they do produce something good it’ll help shake up the market a bit, to everyone’s advantage. Remember when Panasonic started their Lumix line a lot of people laughed at the idea of them making cameras; in fact it drove the market forwards. With this new Kodak we don’t know, but don’t write them off just yet.

Boerseuntjie

JK Imaging is just a shady Chinese copycat company with a shiny Kodak name.
http://www.photocounter.com.au/2013/kodak-camera-licence-to-unknown-start-up/

Photomonkey

This is what happens when a historic brand falls upon hard times. Best to avert ones eyes to avoid mutual shame.

Revenant

It may be a shady copycat company, but it’s American, not Chinese. They did make their first announcements in China, though, so they’re certainly aiming for that market. And according to one rumour, the actual manufacturer of the cameras is the Taiwanese company Asia Optical.

Jogger

Most likely it was a Chinese OEM who was shopping around a prototype design to anyone looking to get into the market for cheap. JK picked it up and will be marketing it under the KODAK nameplate.

Roland Karlsson

JK imaging is a one year old American digital camera company that pays Kodak for using the Kodak brand. They have currently 9 digital cameras. Of course they are made somewhere in Asia, just as almost all other cameras.

yabokkie

this is why Sony and Pana should not use German brands, at least not for their top products. for brand holders can dump them and turn to Korean or Chinese makers.

but then there is non-zero possibility that Canon and Nikon will do the same business as Leica and Zeiss now.

King Penguin

………..I know the feeling, I mean Rolls Royce is owned by that shady German VW company……..LOL

gerard boulanger

Add-on cameras wirelessly attached to “smart phone” devices won’t be considered as alternative to P&S, Bridge/entry level DSLR and MILC cameras unless a more modest zoom (equivalent of a 28-60 or so) with a larger sensor will be made.
As soon as the IQ matches the competition, then some of us would ask themselves that question: why not using my “smart phone” (always in our pockets) to control the shot, see the result and send it to the “cloud”?

orion1983

…because for me, it is too clumsy to have my phone in the one hand and the optics in the other hand. i won´t get such a toy….

gerard boulanger

devices won’t be separated, but attached as a clip-on, check the Sony Q-100

Resom

Separating things is always very important. Because it´s so flexible!
I can see it … “oh WOW Dad, BIG Lego stones!” – “No kids, this is my absolutly flexible smartphone camera, more aa 32 parts!”

Very important – ist must be a real challenge to handle this “things”, but thats okay, because showing the people that you are a real innovative photographer.

If you stick it together, a D800 with battery pack will look like a toy against it, because every part has his own housing, own enery source,…

WOW!

Shamael

@ orion1983, but, you can fix them on a wand and take magic shots from bottom to top. If you do that with a point and shoot, you risk to get hurts, hahaha.

Jogger

Its amazing to see how different the two film giants have transitioned to digital. Fuji is making a range of mirrorless cameras and lenses.. while Kodak is patent trolling and licensing their name for gimmick half-cameras.

AbrasiveReducer

Fuji looked ahead and saw that profit making consumables like film were going away. The payoff of this foresight is that Fuji is losing money far more slowly than Kodak.

DotCom Editor

So, even though Eastman Kodak withdrew from the camera business a while back, this JK Imaging entity is marketing cameras under that Kodak brand? Uh, yeah, that’s sure going clear things up. Do you think anyone would buy one of these? And, JK, what’s that stand for, Joe Kodak or Just Kidding?

mgblack74

I guess getting sued by Nikon wasn’t enough. Now it’s Sony’s turn.

Andy Westlake

It was Sakar / Polaroid who got sued by Nikon, not JK Imaging / Kodak. But yes, there’s a risk that Sony’s lawyers might cast a glance in the general direction of the ‘Smart Lens’.

offertonhatter

I would not be at all surprised if the SL10 is in fact just a re-badged QX10 licenced by JK from Sony, even made by Sony for JK. The picture clearly shows the buttons are in the very same place. Also, calling the lens PIXPRO may indicate a better optical design, just like the Sony G series (which the QX10 has)

mgrum

@offertonhatter The buttons might be in the same place but the maximum aperture values (and probably the focal length, though the actual focal length of the PIXPRO is not stated) indicate this is not a rebadged Sony lens…

Samuel Dilworth

My best guess is that Sony made the Smart Lens merely as a diversionary tactic, hoping others would invest resources copying it. And they did. What a thing to copy!

neo_nights

“Also, calling the lens PIXPRO may indicate a better optical design, just like the Sony G series (which the QX10 has)”

Well, I have never heard of a PIXPRO lens brand.. it doesn’t inspire much QUALITY either.

yabokkie

it’s good to recycle rubbish. it’s not good to recycle brands.
it’s good that hurdles & barriers to the market become easier to overcome.

TacticDesigns

BMW mini? Jaguar?

King Penguin

Chrysler, dodge, land rover, Lambo, Saab, Bugatti (surely a Hassleblad lunar award due here)……….

88SAL

Is it 24-1600 on the Astro? Reads 24-160 which is barely over 10x

88SAL

5x**

RPJG

Err… 24 * 65 = 1560. They obviously just dropped a 5 when they said “160”. Maths isn’t that hard, is it? 🙂

Andy Westlake

Typo corrected, sorry about that.

Photato

There seems to be serious money behind this company.
Interesting product line for a new comer.

RichRMA

A BSI sensor that large? Should be interesting.

Samuel Dilworth

Just because they call it BSI does not mean it is BSI, I fear. It would not make a useful difference on this sensor anyway.

Svein Eriksen

The info says 4/3″, not mFT. Not sure if that’s the same or some new format.

Revenant

4/3″ is the sensor format, Micro Four Thirds is the lens mount. This camera uses both.

Naveed Akhtar

very clever move Jk.. its a good new market and good to see Kodak brand resurrected!!

Resom

Like Rollei? Sorry, sometimes its a good to bury things forever. No one needs zombies.

Roland Karlsson

They are just licensing the name. It is not like JK has bought the Kodak name and now plan to rebuild the empire.

AbrasiveReducer

They realize that some people will buy anything with a well known name (see low end Canon and Nikon point and shoots). If you asked Target shoppers if they preferred Kodak to Zeiss, they’d say Kodak.

Roland Karlsson

Yes, I understand that it is so. Regarding Kodak, more over in US than here in Europe I assume. Rather pathetic in a way. But, what shall people that have no knowledge regarding photography and brands do? “Buy one of those unknown Panasonic … no I rather take a nice Kodak. Then you know what you get!” But, except for inventing digital photography and some heroic tries in the beginning Kodak never really got into digital cameras in the first place. But I have some very nice vintage Kodak cameras in my collection.

Source Article from http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/01/09/jk-imaging-updates-kodak-line-with-superzooms-and-smart-lenses