Kodak has announced the Ektra smartphone aimed at enthusiast photographers, with a physical shutter button and photo-centric software package

With almost everybody now using their smartphone in place of a compact camera, Kodak has spotted what it considers to be a gap in the market, and come up with a design that’s focused on picture-taking. Developed in concert with the British mobile phone company Bullitt Group, the Kodak Ektra has a two-stage physical shutter button, including half-press to focus, and a tiny handgrip that’s just enough to allow one-handed shooting. The leatherette-coated front with metal detailing around the edges is intended to evoke old-fashioned film cameras.

The protruding camera module is protected by a Gorilla Glass cover

The protruding camera module is protected by a Gorilla Glass cover

The headline spec is solid, without being class-leading. The main camera is based around a 21-million-pixel Sony sensor that includes phase detection autofocus, with a 26.5mm equivalent, optically-stabilised f/2 lens, which should help to give decent results in low light. There’s also a 13MP front-facing camera for selfies, with an f/2.2 lens and phase detection AF. The 5″ IPS screen features FullHD, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, and like the projecting camera module on the other side, is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.

Double-clicking the shutter button wakes the device up straight into the camera app

Double-clicking the shutter button wakes the device up straight into the camera app

The device runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and uses camera software developed by Arcsoft. The camera app is neatly-designed, with a comprehensive feature set including smart auto mode, a series of subject-based settings (portrait, sports, landscape, macro and night scene), panorama and HDR settings, and a manual mode giving a decent level of control. There’s also a shallow depth-of-field bokeh mode, with the out-of-focus blur controllable using an onscreen slider. The various modes are selected using an onscreen virtual mode dial, with haptic feedback that emulates clicking at each position.

Kodak's clean and intuitive camera app includes a virtual mode dial with haptic feedback

Kodak’s clean and intuitive camera app includes a virtual mode dial with haptic feedback

Also onboard is a suite of photo-orientated software. Google Snapseed is pre-installed, and integrates into the gallery app for seamless editing. Photos can be shared using the usual social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc – and Kodak is also offering an integrated app for ordering physical prints which will arrive in yellow Kodak envelopes, which is a pretty neat touch. For video there’s a filter to emulate old-fashioned Super 8 home movies.

Here you can see volume control and power buttons, alongside the physical shutter button and an eyelet for connecting a wriststrap

Here you can see volume control and power buttons, alongside the physical shutter button and an eyelet for connecting a wriststrap

Processing power is provided by MediaTek Helio X20 Deca-core processor, with 3GB or RAM and 32GB of built-in storage. The latter is expandable using the microSD card slot, which can accept cards up to 128GB in capacity. Power is provided by a substantial 3000mAh battery that tops up quickly from a 2A charger. Physical connectivity is provided by a USB-C port on the grip end, with a standard 3.5mm headphone socket at the other.

The tiny grip and leatherette coating enable one-handed shooting

The tiny grip and leatherette coating enable one-handed shooting

Kodak is also offering some matched leather cases, available in either black or brown. Alongside a simple leather slip case, there’s also an ‘ever ready’ type case. It’s really rather gorgeous, with lovely stitching and chunky metal strap connectors, but probably somewhat impractical for everyday smartphone tasks such as messaging, maps or listening to music.

The matched ever-ready case will come in black or brown

The matched ever-ready case will come in black or brown

The Kodak Ektra is broadly similar in size to other 5in phones, at 147.8mm x 73.4mm, but the grip and lens make it thicker, maxing at 14mm at the lens module. The phone will be available in December for £449, while the leather slip case will cost £29.99, and the ever-ready case will set you back £59.99.

The 5" screen features full HD resolution at 441ppi.

The 5″ screen features full HD resolution at 441ppi.

Full press release:

KODAK EKTRA Smartphone is Designed for Photographers – from Enthusiasts to Experts

 

The Kodak Ektra features a subtle handgrip and physical shutter button

The Kodak Ektra features a subtle handgrip and physical shutter button

Photography-led smartphone features powerful imaging and editing capabilities

October 20th 2016 – Eastman Kodak Company and Bullitt Group today unveiled the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone, a photography-led smartphone designed for those with a passion for photography, from enthusiasts to experts. The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone fuses the best of Kodak’s rich history in imaging with the latest innovations in smartphone photography. Launching soon across Europe, the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone lets keen photographers capture exceptional images, whatever the environment, with an incredibly fast smartphone, tuned for the best in image quality and media management.

Jeff Clarke, Kodak Chief Executive, said: “Kodak has a rich history in imaging technology and the launch of the KODAK Smartphone today demonstrates our ongoing commitment to bringing the latest advances in photography to consumers. The original KODAK EKTRA Camera was launched in 1941 and in its latest reincarnation, opens up a world of creative opportunities to all who care about photography.”

At the heart of the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone is a 21-megapixel fast focus camera sensor with f2.0 aperture, and an industry leading 13-megapixel front-facing camera with Phase Detection Auto Focus PDAF and f2.2 aperture. The custom built camera app is controlled by an intuitive haptic touch, SLR-style Scene Selection Dial, where adjustments are made in real time via a range of settings including HDR, Landscape, Portrait, Macro, Sport, Night-time, Panorama and Bokeh, alongside a Smart Auto mode which auto-selects the best conditions for your photographs. In Manual mode, more advanced users can adjust exposure, ISO, focus, white balance and shutter speed, with the results being visible on the screen as changes are made.

The camera blends high quality low light and night-time photography, utilising ARCSOFT Night Shot technology combined with a Kodak certified lens coating enabling even more light to reach the sensor, as well as reducing ISO noise, brightening underexposed areas and stabilising blur from slow shutter speeds. Dynamic Focus and Object Tracking give additional control over the camera focus while crisp, clear images are guaranteed through automatic Image Noise Reduction features, reducing the need for extensive post-editing.

The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone has an ergonomically weighted and high quality industrial design, underlining its camera styling and featuring a dedicated dual press shutter button in the horizontal style of traditional cameras. The device also features a Super 8 app, providing professional effects reminiscent of Kodak’s iconic Super 8 film stocks. A lightning-fast HELIO X20 Decacore processor powers the ANDROID Marshmallow smartphone.

The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone includes editing software from SNAPSEED, providing exceptional tools to edit images on-the-go, without having to download any additional apps. This enables users to transform images with professional results similar to many popular desktop image editors. Sharing the results in real time is also easy with integrated social media apps and the Prints app is a simple way to select your best shots to be professionally printed.

“It has been a joy to work with Kodak, their clear brand direction and photography knowledge, combined with our customer and technology insight has culminated in the beautiful and powerful KODAK EKTRA Smartphone,” said Peter Stephens, CEO Bullitt Group, mobile device licensee for Kodak. “We are excited to reach out to this dynamic and engaged photography category and look forward to getting this camera phone into people’s hands.”

KODAK EKTRA Smartphone key features:

  • ANDROID 6.0 (Marshmallow)
  • Professional results from a 21MP fast focus camera sensor with F2.0, PDAF, OIS, Dual LED Flash
  • 13MP phase detection auto focus front-facing camera with F2.2 PDAF
  • Helio X20 2.3GHz Decacore processor with 3GB RAM
  • 32GB memory, expandable with MicroSD cards
  • Advanced Manual Mode – adjustable on Exposure, ISO, Focal Length (Manual/Auto), White Balance, Shutter Speed, Aperture (fixed f2.0 main camera)
  • Familiar scene selection dial experience – includes scene modes Smart Auto, Portrait, Manual, Sports, Bokeh, Night-time, HDR, Panorama, Macro, Landscape, Film / Video
  • Integrated high quality printing app
  • Super 8 Video Recorder
  • Integrated social media sharing
  • 3000mAh, with USB 3.0 Type C fast charger

The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone will be priced at £449 and available across Europe later this year. To find out more visit www.kodak.com

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