GE To Enter Digital Camera Market

General Electric is one of the largest and best-known brands in the world, making everything from plastics to aircraft engines to power generation gear to toasters to light bulbs to prime time TV (GE is the parent company of broadcast network NBC). Now, GE is going to try its hand in the digital camera market, slapping its brand on a new line of cameras from corporate newcomer General Imaging.

“We were seeking to enter the digital camera arena and found a perfect partner,” said Brad Irvine, GE President of Trading and Licensing, in a statement. “The cameras from General Imaging are truly worthy of the GE name, representative of GE’s leadership in technology and innovation.”

General Imaging is headed up by Hiroshi Komiya, a former president of Olympus, and Takeyoshi Kawano will be heading up the company’s industrial design process—Takeyoshi previously developed products for Sony’s Walkman and Vaio lines, ans well as the Olympus Stylus camera series.

Few details of General Imaging’s pending camera line have been released, but the companies claim the products’ standard offerings will include image stabilization, high ISO sensitivity for taking pictures in low-light conditions, and panoramic stitching features. Entry-level cameras will sport 7 megapixel resolutions and 2.5-inch LCD viewfinder screens; higher-end cameras will offer up to 12 megapixel resolutions and 3-inch LCD screens. No pricing information has been released. General Imaging also plans to offer a photo printer. “Style will play an important part in our product development,” said Kawano. “Consumers are demanding not just advanced features but stylish designs. We’re responding to that demand with cameras that are a statement of style and at the same time have all the latest technology.”

Expect formal product announcements at the annual Photo Marketing Association trade show in Las Vegas the second week of March, with products reaching North American retailers in April; GE plans to offer the cameras in Europe and Asia later in 2007.

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