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Kodak back with 360-degree actioncam

JK Imaging, licensee of the Kodak brand for cameras, has appointed E3 Style as exclusive distributor of Kodak cameras within the Oceania region.

The $350, 52x Kodak Pix Pro AZ521.
The $350, 52x Kodak Pix Pro AZ521.

The deal was inked last December, but went largely unreported at the time.

‘Kodak remains a strong and trustworthy brand to consumers and having Kodak in our portfolio is a logical synergy. Our market share of the entry-priced camera market is quite substantial so it makes sense to extend our offering with a globally recognised and trusted brand like Kodak,’ said Vanessa Garrard, CEO, E3 Style.

Queensland-based E3 Style describes itself as a ‘product development company’. It holds a range of brand licences such as Barbie, South Park, Sesame Street, The Simpsons and Superman, via which it sells items such as phone cases, docks and cables, etc.

The Kodak SP1 actioncam.
The Kodak SP1 actioncam.

It also offers a range of OEM products in categories as varied as digital cameras,GPS and in-car accessories, audio docks and speakers – even ‘bling’. It describes itself as the largest eReader supplier in Australia and New Zealand, with over 70 percent market share under brands such as Tevion, MiGear, LeVision and Gear2Go.

It recently moved into distributing branded products in the shape of Kodak cameras, and Motorola corded and wireless landline handsets.

‘Our low-cost business model means that we will have price points to challenge all other branded cameras in the market today,’ added Vanessa Garrard.

The Kodak range for Oceania features the Kodak Pix Pro AZ (‘Astro Zoom’) 521, a 52x zoom model which retails at $349.95. It has a 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor, 3-inch LCD screen, and a 24-1248mm f2.9-f5.6 lens.

The Kodak FZ41, a 16-megapixel, 4x zoom model has a $69 price point.

The Kodak Pixpro SP360.
The Kodak Pixpro SP360.

The Kodak M4/3 interchangeable lens camera, the S1, does not seem to be in the E3 Style range as yet (indeed, nor is it available for JK Imaging’s own online store despite having been ‘launched’ over a year ago). Nor is the US$199 Kodak PixPro SP1 actioncam, a possible competitor to the GoPro range at about half the price. E3 Style hasn’t made a decision about whether to release it in Australia.

However, JK Imaging’s sales and marketing director, Austin Kazami (ex-Olympus Imaging Europe and Australia) was in Australia this week showing the latest Kodak action camera, the SP360. This small, cube-shaped model has a bubble lens housing on the top and is capable of 360-degree fisheye shots, or panoramas, or even capturing a ‘selfie’ and the view in front of the intrepid adventurer at the same time. Release is slated for late in the fourth quarter.

Mr Kazami said the camera would retail at around the same price point as GoPro.

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