Magazine Article


The Camera as Fashion Statement

The Camera as Fashion Statement

Point and Shoot Cameras Do More Than Take Great Photos

By Diane Berkenfeld

These days, a camera's design is as important as all the bells and whistles packed inside. Along with being able to take great photos, cameras now make a fashion statement. Gold, silver and black are the dominant colors. Sleek designs are mixed with stylish metallic finishes for a look of elegance that makes these cameras as at home at a black tie wedding as they are at a backyard barbeque.
Thanks to all the styles, the photo specialist can now offer an extensive variety of cameras to their customers, including sporty high-end models specifically marketed to the specialist retailer. Better yet, many of the industry's most stylish cameras are also affordable to most everyone's budget, from the basic entry level focus free model to the auto-everything, manual feature-packed auto-focus point and shoot camera on the higher end.

Argus Camera has introduced a new line of compact point and shoot cameras that pack a lot of power into their small packages. The M4300 and M5500D are the first cameras in the power zoom family to debut this year. The M4300 is a 38-80mm zoom with an MSRP of $79.98 and the M5500D is a 38-125mm zoom with an MSRP of $159.98. According to Bill Pearson, president of Argus, "The cameras' bold and dramatic new packaging provide an additional feature that separates Argus from the competition."
Argus also introduced the M400, M450 and M500 35mm cameras, priced at $19.98, $29.98 and $49.98 respectively. "The new line of Argus 35mm zoom cameras are small enough to fit into a purse or a pocket, yet they are powerful enough to take crisp, clean photos from a good distance away," said Stu Kalov, executive vice president of Argus. "Along with the convenience and power, consumers will find the camera line is extremely affordable."

Canon U.S.A. Inc. introduced two new point and shoot cameras this year, the Sure Shot Z155 35mm and the ELPH Z3 APS model. The Sure Shot Z155 is a 37-155mm zoom camera with a sleek aluminum exterior design. The camera incorporates a newly developed 7-zone, 3-point AiAF CMOS passive autofocus system which Canon says immediately identifies the main subject without the need to center the subject for focusing and recompose. Other features include seven shooting modes, manual exposure compensation and spot metering. The Z155 is priced at $300 with the Quartz Date model coming in at $320.
According to Canon, the ELPH series cameras have been singled out by designers and the fashion world as the "must have" travel accessory. The ELPH Z3 APS camera has been completely redesigned from the previous "box and circle" look the ELPH line is known for. "The Canon ELPH series has become synonymous with the Advanced Photo System since its introduction in 1996," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, vice president and general manager, Photographic Products group, Canon U.S.A. "The new Z3 with its elegant design, will continue the ELPH tradition of capturing high-quality images with style."

Concord Camera Corporation has expanded its line of 35mm point and shoot offerings to include two new Easy Zooms in the Le Clic by Concord brand. The Le Clic by Concord brand also includes the 35mm Slim Line and Big Viewfinder Line. Concord also has a line of Advanced Photo System (APS) cameras, the LC100, LC250 and LC300.

Ferrania Imaging Technologies, known for their Solaris brand and private label films is now moving into the point and shoot camera market. Introduced at PMA were four 35mm P&S cameras with prices ranging from $14.99 to $59.99. The cameras come with Solaris FG800 film. The line includes two focus-free, an AF 35-70mm zoom and an underwater model, all of which would make a perfect beginner camera.
"These cameras are great for introducing young people to photography because they are stylish, affordable and easy to use," said Don Cacciola, U.S. marketing manager, Ferrania Imaging Technologies. "This new line of cameras also is another example of our efforts to support our business partners by offering tailor-made solutions, reinforcing our position and commitment to store brand marketing by offering customized promotional and product support."

Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. offers an extensive line-up of 35mm P&S cameras including three new models: the Zoom Date 110 SR, a 38-110mm camera; the Zoom Date 125 SR, a 38-125mm zoom; and the Zoom Date 1300, a 28-130mm camera. The Zoom Date 1300 is loaded with features including an extra large LCD panel on the rear of the camera for easy viewing of the camera's functions. The camera also offers an Advanced Digital-Programmed Zoom Flash which adjusts the power output to match the subject distance with ambient light for great exposures every time. An IR remote control usually an additional purchase, comes with the camera.

Jazz Photo Corp. has rolled out three new "Hot Ice" compact cameras. The cameras feature a mirror-like finish in an array of colors including Ice Blue, Ice Green, Ice Red, and Ice Silver.
The Bell and Howell line of cameras added two new models, the BF977 and BH707. The BF977 is a fully automatic point and shoot 35mm camera with a large viewfinder, pop-up flash and panoramic capability. The BH707 is a sleek pocket-sized 35mm camera with a sliding lens cover. The cameras come loaded with Kodak film and batteries.

, renowned for quality craftsmanship and style, continues the tradition with the introduction of the C1 and Z2X P&S cameras. The Z2X is a 35-70mm zoom camera and is offered with or without a Date Back. The camera features both automatic settings and manual controls including a shutter speed range of up to 99 seconds. A soft leather case comes with the camera. MSRP is $309 without the Date Back and $329 with the Date Back.
Leica's C1 features a 38-105mm zoom and also comes with a soft leather carrying case for $449.

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