Press Release: Ritz Camera Centers, the largest retail camera and photo chain in the United States, today announced the nationwide launch of the Dakota Digital Single-Use Camera at select Ritz Camera and Wolf Camera locations. The cameras, a first to offer consumers a high-quality, fully digital experience at a single-use price, will sell for $10.99 under the company’s Dakota Digital brand.

disposable-digital.jpgThe Dakota Digital Single-Use Camera, built on the Pure Digital(TM) Imaging Platform, gives consumers the exciting benefits of digital photography without the associated cost and complexity. The easy-to-use camera offers functions normally associated with sophisticated digital cameras, including the ability to delete unwanted pictures, a fully automatic flash, metered exposure control, and a self-timer feature. Processing is made simple by returning the camera to any of the Ritz Camera or Wolf Camera locations for film-quality 4 x 6 DigiPrints “in minutes” and a photo CD. Now with a click of the mouse, even the novice computer users can email pictures, create photo greetings, or send multiple photos as a slideshow. Each camera is fully recycled after processing.

“The Dakota Digital Single-Use Camera is the easy and affordable answer to digital photography without giving up prints,” noted David Ritz, Chairman of Ritz Camera Centers. “This worry-free digital camera is a perfect choice to capture the moments of summer or for anyone interested in trying digital for the first time.”

“This new digital single-use camera addresses the two fastest growing segments of the consumer photography market,” said Michelle Slaughter, director of InfoTrends Research Group’s digital photography trends service. “In addition, the digital single-use camera provides Ritz’s customers with the experience of in-store digital photo printing, which will contribute to establishing a behavior for printing digital photos at retail.”

According to the Photo Marketing Association, single-use cameras sales have grown over 15% annually for the last five years, even as film sales have declined. Single-use cameras now represent over 19% of film rolls processed. Digital cameras sales have grown 23% over the past year and are expected to be present in almost 30% of US homes by year’s end. Despite the increasing popularity of digital, less than 19% of digital pictures are printed, primarily due to the complexity, cost, and time requirements of home printing.

The Dakota Digital Single-Use Camera is available beginning July 28th at Ritz Camera and Wolf Camera locations in more than 14 cities, including Washington, Baltimore, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Dallas.