Epson and Kodak both took the opportunity of CeBit to show off photo printers that can print straight from their digital cameras without downloading the images to a PC first.

Epson has been absent from the digital camera scene for two years, but at CeBit the company launched two cameras that will be sold bundled with a direct photo printer.

The entry-level 3Mp (megapixel) PhotoPC L300 and 2Mp L200 will be sold with the Stylus Photo 830U printer for €499 (£340) and €399 (£240) respectively, a €100 (£65) discount on buying the products separately.

The inkjet printer produces high-quality (up to 5760dpi) 6x4in prints on glossy photographic paper.

The bundles also contain software that enable users to frame their prints with superimposed Disney characters, generic celebrations, such as happy birthday, or other frames downloadable from Epson's website.

The bundles should be available in the UK from 1 April. The cameras will also be sold separately.

The cameras connect directly to the front of the printer via a USB cable and have a print button to make operation as easy as possible, said Neil Martin, Epson camera product manager. The camera contains a print engine — a chip made by Texas Instruments which governs the printing and even polls the printer before printing commences to ensure that there is enough ink in the cartridges to compete the print run.

Kodak's PC-less photo printer, the Dock 6000, also produces 4x6in prints straight from its 6000/600 range of Easyshare cameras.

But unlike Epson's inkjet, the Kodak machine uses continuous-tone thermal dye-transfer printing technology that gives longer print life because the dyes penetrate the paper instead of just being painted on to its surface, says Kodak.

The Dock 6000 is priced at £199 inc VAT.