Kodak hopes to challenge consumer digital SLRs with a new 8-million-pixel digital compact called the EasyShare P880 which it hails as a cheaper, less bulky alternative.

Key features on board the £449.99 newcomer include a manual zoom ring, manual focus ring, pop-up flash and a hotshoe for attaching external flash (P20 Zoom Flash, priced £99.99).

The P880 will be launched in the UK next month alongside a new 5.1MP model called the P850. These will be the first in a new EasyShare family called the P-series and the first EasyShare models to offer RAW file support.

The launches come two months after Kodak decided to axe production of its professional digital SLRs, the DCS Pro SLR/n and DCS Pro SLR/c.

The P880 sports an f/2.8 Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon lens delivering the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 24-140mm optic.

Also on board are shutter and aperture priority, full manual exposure control and custom modes. Exposure bracketing of ±2EV is possible in 1/3 EV steps. The photographer can also bracket their exposures.

Trumpeted as an ?new alternative to pricier, bulkier DSLRs? the P880 includes a 237,000 pixel electronic viewfinder with dioptre adjustment and the user can choose from 25 selectable AF points.

The camera is designed to shoot at 1.5 frames per second for up to six JPEG images.

The P880 also features a 2.5in LCD screen with brightness adjustment setting. The P880 accepts SD and MMC memory cards.

For details call Kodak on 01442 261122.