CES 2013: Kodak-branded compact system camera on way

LAS VEGAS - A Kodak-branded interchangeable lens camera will be among a series of products that bosses say will be launched as part of a licensing deal it has struck with manufacturer JK Imaging Ltd.

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On Monday, Eastman Kodak announced that it had entered a 'multi-year' agreement with JK Imaging, a US-based company, to license the Kodak brand name for products such as digital cameras, pocket video cameras and portable projectors.

In an interview with Amateur Photographer (AP) at CES on 10 January, Eastman Kodak general manager for Film Capture, Paper and Output Systems, Dennis Olbrich, was asked whether the line-up will include a compact system camera.

Olbrich, who used to work inside Kodak's camera division, replied: 'That's part of the portfolio.'

A high-zoom, 52x, bridge camera is also among the models planned, confirmed Laura G Quatela, president of Personalized Imaging, and President of Eastman Kodak Company.

Commenting on the deal with JK Imaging, Quatela said in a statement released on Monday: 'Kodak remains a strong and trustworthy brand in the consumer space and this agreement reinforces how valuable our brand is.'

Quatela added: 'When we announced our plan to exit the digital camera business last year, we said we would explore licensing opportunities for the brand in this category. The JK Imaging team has the expertise in the industry.'

Asked if Kodak will give direction to JK Imaging on camera development, as part of the licensing arrangement, Quatela told AP, at CES: 'It's a collaboration. We are not directing them.'

The first of the new Kodak-branded cameras - which will be made in China - are due to go on sale in the US in the second quarter of this year, with European launches to follows after that.

More from AP's interview with Kodak at CES will appear in due course.

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