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Instant Digital

Digital cameras are hot, and they’re certainly the way to go when you want to put your photos on the Web or attach them to an email. But at consumer prices, old-fashioned film still provides a much sharper picture-as well as gives you a snapshot to hold within seconds of tripping the shutter.

Starting in August, you will be able to get the best of both technologies in one package. That’s when Polaroid plans to roll out a camera that, for the first time, brings instant and digital photography together. The new product-the I-Zone Pocket ComboCamera-will join a 640x480 pixel digital camera to an instant camera that takes photographs on Polaroid’s smallest format film (about 2.5 centimeters square). The result: You can share the instant paper image now while keeping the digital copy for easy electronic storage and online distribution. Incorporating an inexpensive semiconductor image sensor, the camera will sell for about $100.

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