You may recall a few years back when HP opted to remove itself from the highly-competitive digital camera market, focusing its efforts on the photofinishing side of the business with products like printers, photo album makers, and retail kiosks. Well, the company has quietly re-entered the digicam market.
The re-emergence, however, is quiet only in publicity: HP's first ling in some time is extensive, consisting of five point-and-shoot models and three camcorders ranging in price from US$99 to US$199, and coming in a variety of colour options. All models are expected to be available in both Canada and the U.S. by the Spring.
The premium CW450t and PW460t digicams include touch-screens (2.7" and 3", respectively), more than 25 scene modes, 4x optical zoom, and support for new, high-capacity SDHC memory cards.
The V5061u and V5560u camcorders will also boast 3" touch-screens, plus the ability to record 1,080p video with motion detection. Other features include 5x optical zoom (V5560u), dual SD/SDHC memory card (V5061u). With the latter model, users can gain power through either a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or "AA" batteries.
This is a good sign for the digital camera industry, which has arguably reached its plateau over the past year or so. With innovative features like touch-screens, built-in WiFi and GPS tagging, and high-definition video recording, combined with plenty of consumers due for upgrades, the digicam market could heat back up in 2010.