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Kodak Lagging in Digital World

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the times-they-are-a-changin' dept.

Graphics 335

mattmcal writes "Wired reports on the Kodak's struggle to survive and Mark Glaser comments on their demise at The Industry Standard saying that Kodak failed to take digital photography seriously, or at least failed to find a way to successfully transform their business. The Photo Marketing Association reported that in 2003, digital cameras outsold analog. Kodak's stock has been hovering near its 20-year low. Finally, today, the Asian Business Times reports that billionaire Carl Icahn sold all his shares saying the current business model there doesn't work."

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335 comments

Metal music is gay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348266)

Do you listen to metal music? Heavy metal? Death metal? Any kind of metal? Well, then you might just be a little gay wimp.

Here is why metal music is for gay douchebags:

1) Metal people are always on about how "hardcore" it is. Yes, the way Gaytallica sued Napster was really hardcore. If you want hardcore, maybe you should try Britney Spears or The Spice Girls, because they make most black and death metal look like a bunch of little sissies who wouldn't know hardcore if it hit them in the head. Seriously, people like Britney Spears were brought up with dicipline and hardcore practice drills. Britney Spears had to get up at 3am EVERY SINGLE MORNING of her childhood, so she could practice non-stop 'till 11pm! Once she practiced singing and dancing so hard her shin broke, but did that stop her? No way, she's got dicipline, she's hardcore, she roughed it out and continued doing two concerts a day! Let's see the pussies from "Slayer" or any other gay "hardcore!" band try that. If you throw eggs at them, they usually start crying. Such a bunch of little crybabies. I have a clip from a talent show Britney Spears was in when she was just 5 years old. She's singing and dancing and outdoing most grown-up entertainers, and all the while, the little faggots from Gaytallica, Nile, Satyricon, Darkthrone, and all those other gay bands, were sitting around playing with their EasyBake(tm) ovens. Britney Spears can out-tough them all.

2) Metal fans are often going on about "Darwin" and "Survival of the Strongest". HA! Britney Spears is inarguably more successful than "Drool", "Manosex", "Type O Gay", or "Gayer", so who's the Darwinnian reject now, eh?

3) People who listen to metal are immature. I've hung out with all sorts of different people, and I can say with complete certainty, that the people who listen to metal are by far the most immature. Seriously. They watch little kid's shows like "South Park", and watch gay teen movies like "Faces of Death" and "Guinnea pig". They're so fucking immature.

4) They're total hypocrites. Metal lyrics are often on about death and sodomy and evil stuff. And it's so fucking rediculous because it's not like they've ever killed anyone. Those pussies couldn't kill a fly. Michael Jackson sticks his filthy black penis [goatse.info] up little boys asses, and that's abotu a hundred times more "hardcore" and "evil" than any of those soft-or-gay-porn-watching pussies from Sepultura, Fagtallica, et al.

People who listen to metal are a bunch of little pussies, and they make me sick. You're all fucking gay and you should try listening to some REAL music for a change. Suck it down, you lusers! 'Cos you KNOW I'm right! [eigenvector-girl.com]

Re:Metal music is gay (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348288)

I say there, homestar runner, what's twelve by pies?

Re:Metal music is gay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348293)

"Seriously, people like Britney Spears were brought up with dicipline and hardcore practice drills."

Yeah, girls that do those are pretty intense but it is rather embarrassing when the video gets leaked onto the Internet... =)

Re:Metal music is gay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348333)

All I got was this image of a Disney mouse in bondage gear whipping Britney Spears....

Uh Huh Huh... Hey Beavis, Check this out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348348)

"1) Metal people are always on about how "hardcore" it is."

YES!

METAL KICKS ASS!

*headbangs*

Re:Metal music is gay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348416)

Yes, I've been trolled, but I just thought I'd let you know that listing only mainstream bullshit as examples doesn't make your argument very compelling.

Re:Metal music is gay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348451)

"Mainstream"? I appreciate the criticism, but I'm a bit confused here as to what mainstream you're refering to. Are you talking about the mundane Britney Spears mainstream, or the selfcontradicting Slayer/Dimmu Borgir/Deicide look-at-us-we're-so-underground-and-filthy-rich-fr om-our-latest-mtv-music-video mainstream? I consciously tried to avoid mentioning the nu-metal bands, like Stinking Park, because I know metal people usually don't even think of them as metal.

ps. Eat my shit, you metal-loving homo-fag.

Say cheese! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348268)

What a lovely, pearly white first post!

They had this coming (4, Informative)

shione (666388) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348273)

charging exhorbient prices for a camera dock which didnt work on different model kodak cameras when you upgraded. Compared to the others which charged a much more fairer rate for accessories which reflected their value/build quality, it comes as no surprise their marketshare is so low.

Throwaways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348274)

"Disposable" digital cameras would be nice if they made those instead. =)

Re:Throwaways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348294)

The problem is non-disposable digitals are becoming so cheap, and they come with software too.

Re:Throwaways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348319)

They do... and they've promptly been hacked... check your local drugstore.

Re:Throwaways (2, Interesting)

wibs (696528) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348571)

yup, i have a friend with a 29 picture digital camera that used to be disposable but is now... just a digital camera. no view screen, but if you're comparing it to film that's not a problem anyway. somehow this makes me think of DRM schemes. I don't know why, but I can't shake the feeling that we're going to see subscription-based digital cameras, and 99 cent pictures. ...yes yes I know it won't happen, but I can dream about terrible business ideas, can't I?

alas tis true (5, Interesting)

MrLint (519792) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348275)

I have an old family friend that works as a chemist as Kodak and as i recall its been hard times for a while. For ages of course Kodak's bred and butter has been film and associated chemicals. With the masses switching and of course the long standing competition there is just less and less pie to go round.

Of course on the flip side Kodak does have some good r&d, and with the future of OLEDs and such there may yet be a future.

Re:alas tis true (4, Insightful)

Aurix (610383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348511)

Wouldn't it make sense to make a business model of producing physical copies of these digital photos?

I mean, somewhere or other, everyone wants a decent glossy copy of their perfect digital photos... Kodak just needs to really tap into it.

Re:alas tis true (4, Insightful)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348548)

I think Kodak is doing amazingly well for a company whose main product is on the way to becoming obsolete. They saw the digital photography revolution before it actually happened, and they took preemtive steps to transition their brand name into the new market. They realize that technology is fundamentally changing their entire market, and they are attempting to adapt instead of being dragged kicking and screaming into bankruptcy by the inexorable forward march of technology.

They could have done it better, of course. Right now they are focusing on using digital cameras exactly like film cameras: making prints and organizing photos into albums for storage. Digital photography can be so much more. They should be focusing on the things that can be done better with digital photography: photo editing and distribution. They should offer a web hosting service for individual pictures or complete albums, and their camera software should come with extensive photo editing capabilities. (also it shouldn't suck quite so much). But there's a lot of inertia in a company like Kodak, and it's amazing that they've been able to adapt to changing technology as much as they have. Certainly better than some companies in other industries I could name...

A.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348277)

Kodak moment..

Re:A.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348318)

you're an old fart, aren't you?

Film (5, Insightful)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348283)

With the ever increasing use of digital photography, I've become wary of the same problem that plagues digital media in general: it's so volatile.

Properly stored original film negatives last decades, whereas digital media is gone in a blink of an eye when your harddrive/memory card breaks down or you accidentally erase your media.

It's the same thing as with e-mail. I routinely print out all my e-mail correspondence (sent and received) these days because I've lost my mails too often.

Re:Film (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348297)

Digital media can last pretty long too if it's properly stored.

Re:Film (5, Informative)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348306)

If you want to store digital media right you've basically got one option: digital tape (DLT), a tape drive and a computer that can be used to access the data.

CD-R(W)s are a joke. I have had Plextor CD-Rs become unreadable in a couple of years they spent in a dark closet in my house. I suspect DVD-+R(W)s are even worse due to the higher data density.

Hard drives aren't much better either.

Re:Film (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348328)

Funny, I have 6 years old TDK CD-Rs which work perfectly.

Why always there is somebody bitching about difficulty in storing digital content?

If you are paranoid then get a spare memory card, spare harddrive and in addition save data on a couple of CD-Rs. Propability that ALL of those fail simultaneously is practically zero.

I also fail to understand HOW memory card can break if it's locked in the closet....

Re:Film (3, Insightful)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348335)

If you are paranoid then get a spare memory card, spare harddrive and in addition save data on a couple of CD-Rs. Propability that ALL of those fail simultaneously is practically zero.

And that's easier and cheaper than storing the original film negatives rolled up in a plastic can which are then stored in a dark, cool basement?

Look, I am not bashing digital photography in general. It's great and inexpensive way of shooting a lot of volume. I am, however, dismayed at how it is seen as a silver-bullet for all photography especially since the volatility of digital media is already a problem (NASA's data tapes from 60s, for instance).

Re:Film (3, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348533)

And that's easier and cheaper than storing the original film negatives rolled up in a plastic can which are then stored in a dark, cool basement?

YES! By far.

A single hard drive can hold MASSIVE numbers of pictures. Your basement would be full of "plastic can[s]" if you had the equivalent number of pictures on film negatives.

Re:Film (4, Insightful)

MisanthropicProggram (597526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348455)

I have a negatives of Great Grandparents. When I see digital media last that long, then I'll faith in the long term storage of digital. Also, you don't have to worry about technology compatibility with negatives. In other words, I'd be afraid in a couple of decades that I couldn't read my CD because the tech is obsolete.

Re:Film (1)

Aurix (610383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348505)

What's so difficult about keeping them with your current digital photos and ensuring you have a proper backup?

If you do this, they're bound to last as long as you look after them.

Re:Film (3, Informative)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348473)

How long with DLT last though? What if a stray magnet (like in a speaker or something) comes around the DLT? And of course, in 100 years will there be any machines around to read the DLT?

But negatives last a VERY long time. You could pop in a negative that Ansel Adams made 80 years ago...no dupe but the original negative...into an enlarger and make a print. 80 years from now they may not have enlargers you say? OK, make a contact print from his 4x5 or 8x10 negs.

Digital Photography is SO much better in many regards and I know this is the future (hell, it's the present!) of photography, but I'm still wary of the long term storage of images.

I just hope someone in the industry is working on this problem.

Re:Film (5, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348558)

If you want to store digital media right you've basically got one option: digital tape (DLT)

You've got to be kidding...

CD-R(W)s are a joke. I have had Plextor CD-Rs become unreadable in a couple of years they spent in a dark closet in my house.

I can't comment on the quality of Plextor CD-Rs, but I haven't had experiences anything like that. In fact, I've never had a CD-R fall apart on it's own... only after being handled (never touch the top) and I've been archiving CD-Rs since the first (1x) CD-Recorders came out.

Use good quality media, put them in jewel cases. Don't double them up, don't even think about using soft cases (flexible plastic/rubber, or paper). Be careful to handle them properly. Go easy on the labeling, etc.

I suspect DVD-+R(W)s are even worse due to the higher data density.

You can suspect, assume, and theorize all you want, but they don't have anything to do with the facts.

Hard drives aren't much better either.

Umm, why not? I've never seen (nor heard of) a hard drive, unplugged, unused, going out. It's only after a very large number of hours of use that they finally die. No deathstars need apply.

Besides, you'd be crazy to have only one copy of anything. The chances of one stationary HDD failing is tiny, the chances of two failing are nominal.

Re:Film (5, Interesting)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348312)

Properly stored original film negatives last decades, whereas digital media is gone in a blink of an eye when your harddrive/memory card breaks down or you accidentally erase your media.

Ahhh, but like all analog media, when it comes time to copy the originals in order to preserve them, you lose information. Plus, you need a lot of room, and a controlled environment in order to really take care of film.

With digital, just keep multiple copies, and dup them, with no generation loss, as each new high-density storage media comes out.

I'm not saying digital is better - just that you're not using the benefits of digital to your advantage. Besides, it's kind of hard to erase write only media (ie, CD-Rs or WORMs, if you're really paranoid.)

Ironically, Kodak recently came out with a write-once storage unit for digital information (meant to safeguard data against tampering, by generating a read-only version) by using film...

Re:Film (1)

Soruk (225361) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348331)

CD-Rs or WORMs, if you're really paranoid

I suppose you could write a worm to archive your digital photos on unsuspecting machines around the world, but I suspect it wouldn't be very effective as soon as the AV vendors catch up with it. ;-)

Re:Film (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348315)

It's the same thing as with e-mail. I routinely print out all my e-mail correspondence (sent and received) these days because I've lost my mails too often.

You use email for anything important? If it's that important that you have to print it out after, why don't you just use another medium in the first place. I don't know maybe writing it?

Re:Film (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348324)

You use email for anything important? If it's that important that you have to print it out after, why don't you just use another medium in the first place. I don't know maybe writing it?

I use e-mail for important stuff - if I have something critical to communicate I will both e-mail and fax the info (with a real fax machine; I don't trust computer/modem fax programs).

Re:Film (5, Insightful)

Soruk (225361) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348316)

Very good point. I make a point of archiving my photos to my fileserver which is regularly backed up to tape, and will be put on to some CDRs (or even DVD-Rs) when I've taken enough of them.

The huge advantage over traditional film has to be that there was a significant cost overhead with traditional photography - if a photo didn't come out as intended that was money down the drain, so I very rarely dug out the camera and used it. With digital, if the image isn't as intended then nothing is lost, you can just delete it and try again. Indeed, you can just be trigger-happy and take multiple shots and just use the best of what comes out. And, once you've archived the photos, unlike a traditional film camera, you can erase the media and use it again.

I know this seems obvious, but recently I was talking to someone who actually didn't realise this advantage over traditional film (and he spent nearly GBP1000 a year on film and development, with that he could have a top-notch digital!)

For GBP1000 you ain't gonna get "top notch" digita (2, Informative)

melted (227442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348442)

l. It's more like GBP8K, which pays for eight years of film and processing for this guy. And that's without lenses (add $5K more for some good ones covering the range from 14-16mm to 300-400mm, if you want to cover 500-600mm, add $7K more).

Re:For GBP1000 you ain't gonna get "top notch" dig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348470)

Except that he can probably use his old lenses.. at least with some models (Esp. Canon).

Re:Film (0)

j14ast (258285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348321)

They will never go out of buissnes baring horible management as digital vs large format film war is far from over but they will be relogated to a niche. Point and shoot and photo jurnalism is all going to be digital because its easy and its Good Enough(TM).

Re:Film (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348389)

> Properly stored original film negatives last decades, whereas digital media is
> gone in a blink of an eye when your harddrive/memory card breaks down or you
> accidentally erase your media.

Most pictures taken digitally are just disposable fun. Actually you've got it back to front. In time, ALL film based pictures will become faded yellow crap. Whereas digital photos can last forever. Expect companies to spring up to store digital photos and other digital data for you...forever.

Re:Film (5, Funny)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348390)

With the ever increasing use of digital photography, I've become wary of the same problem that plagues digital media in general: it's so volatile.

Properly stored original film negatives last decades, whereas digital media is gone in a blink of an eye when your harddrive/memory card breaks down or you accidentally erase your media.

It's the same thing as with e-mail. I routinely print out all my e-mail correspondence (sent and received) these days because I've lost my mails too often.


With the ever increasing use of digital photography, I've become wary of the same problem that plagues film in general: it's so volatile.

Properly stored compact flash cards last decades, whereas film is gone in the blink of an eye when your negatives are damaged or you accidentaly spill something on them.

It's the same thing as with snail mail. I routinely type out and store all my snail mail correspondence (sent and received) these days because I've lost my mails too often.

To quote the daily show "That was a stupid thing to say and you're a stupid person for saying it."

Re:Film (3, Interesting)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348453)

Properly stored compact flash cards last decades

Yes, assuming that you have a device that can read that card in ten years. The same goes for digital tapes, too. With the constant push for DRMd media players, I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years CD/DVD drives refuse to access old CD/DVD-R discs. Hell, already a few years ago I ran into a desktop Sony DVD player which refused to read CD-Rs unless they were of the Audio-variety (=more expensive due to a CD-R tax).

On the other hand, you can always access the film negatives because you've got the "access devices" embedded in your head.

Your post about snail-mail doesn't even make sense. Snail mail doesn't get accidentally lost at the press of a DEL-key.

Re:Film (4, Interesting)

Temporal (96070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348550)

I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years CD/DVD drives refuse to access old CD/DVD-R discs.

Oh, what rubbish. No drive manufacturer would put such a limitation on their drives because no one would buy them. No congress would enact a law requiring such a thing because of the obvious damage it would do to the computing industry. Besides that, moving digital data to new mediums is easy and has virtually zero risk of quality loss.

Your post about snail-mail doesn't even make sense. Snail mail doesn't get accidentally lost at the press of a DEL-key.

No, it accidentally gets lost because a gust of wind blew it out the window, or you mistook it for trash and threw it out, or you spilled coffee all over it, or you filed it in the wrong place in your gigantic file cabinet that you use to store e-mails. You can't very well hit ctrl+f and run a search of your file cabinet, or tell it to sort itself by sender, date, or subject.

Also, you should get a better e-mail client. If one press of the "delete" key deletes e-mails without any sort of confirmation, then your software has some serious design issues.

Not only does digital data never degrade, but you can easily make all the backups you want. If you are really so worried about losing any of it, get a RAID-5, make tape backups, whatever. But with analog, not only is it a lot of work to make copies of 100,000 pictures, but the image quality of the copies will be less than that of the original. Hell, most analog mediums degrade even when they're just sitting in storage.

Bottom line is, keeping digital data safe is much easier than keeping analog data safe, especially when you have a lot of it.

Nonsense - that's why we invented *backups* (4, Informative)

blorg (726186) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348392)

With the ever increasing use of digital photography, I've become wary of the same problem that plagues digital media in general: it's so volatile.

Properly stored original film negatives last decades, whereas digital media is gone in a blink of an eye when your harddrive/memory card breaks down or you accidentally erase your media.

That's why we have this handy thing called *backups*, something that is impossible with analog media (you will always have generational loss).

I have documents sitting on my laptop from the mid-80s and due to this sterling innovation of lossless copying I have never in all that time suffered a serious data loss. Every time I get a new computer, anything of importance moves across, and is stored at a minimum on two seperate hard disks and optical media also.

It's also a great advantage to be able to manage all of my digital information easily, and in one place. By contrast, I have both lost and damaged many negatives from only the last few years. Through my negligence, I will grant, but this never would have happened if they had been digital.

There is nothing inherent in digital media that makes it more volatile than analog media, and indeed the fact that it is digital, and thus allows perfect copies, makes the media ultimately irrelevant.

Films are passive, backups are active (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348434)

That's why we have this handy thing called *backups*

Backups require human intervention and, knowing what lazy bastards human beings (myself included) in general are, that means that backups aren't done as often as we should or they're are not done at all.

With film you don't have to keep on doing backups.

Welcome to another innovation - scheduled tasks (2, Interesting)

blorg (726186) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348454)

Backups require human intervention and, knowing what lazy bastards human beings (myself included) in general are, that means that backups aren't done as often as we should or they're are not done at all.

Well, my laptop backs itself up automatically over Wifi whenever I'm at home. My home server in turn backs itself up onto an external hard drive as a scheduled task. All of this without any intervention from me. My work folders are backed up over the network when I'm at work. Any good backup system will not require user action, as you are right, users will not remember.

With film you don't have to keep on doing backups.

No, you just need to store the film carefully in a controlled environment.

Re:Welcome to another innovation - scheduled tasks (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348471)

No, you just need to store the film carefully in a controlled environment.

I recently found rolls of film at my parent's place.

They turned out to be photos my father took 40 years ago. I don't know about how well the colors would turn out if I had had them developed now, but under the lens the negatives still looked sharp and unscratched.

For the last 25 years they'd been sitting in a kitchen cupboard.

Re:Films are passive, backups are active (1)

sebadore (622694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348570)

This is so true. With film, I just file it away and forget it. With digital, I have to backup constantly and check for corruptions. It's a chore. Also, lots of ppl use flaky CDs as backups.

Its a good thing! (0, Flamebait)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348287)

Kodak not doing so hot in the digital camera business?
GREAT!
I hope they will discontinue their digital cameras soon so I can find a digital for cheap!

-Grump

Re:Its a good thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348303)


There are already crap-ass cheap digitals. Are you homeless?

Re:Its a good thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348313)

For Christmas this year, they had a 2 Mpixel camera going for $100. I'd say that price is pretty cheap..

Interesting Considering Their Flagship (0)

deathcow (455995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348296)

Their flagship digital SLR [dpreview.com] (removable lens digital) ha 14 megapixels, still more than Canon or Nikon (fow now.) Sample Pics [dpreview.com] Personally, I love the Canon DSLR's though like the EOS 10D for $1500.

Re:Interesting Considering Their Flagship (2, Informative)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348384)

Or their ProSumer version the DigitalRebel (EOS 300D) for (drumroll) ~$900.

Uses all the Canon Lenses and flashes, just some features 'dumbed down' slightly.

Re:Interesting Considering Their Flagship (2, Interesting)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348410)

It does have a huge amount of pixels but it's still a crappy camera compared to the others. Check out those photographic tests... just terrible. Such horrible noise. I LOVE canon DSLR's (and canon camera's in general but then again my first camera was a Canon Powershot A20 and I've had 2 more cameras since then) and I hate kodak digital cameras so much, my aunt had one it was like $600 with some useless crap the guy at best buy tricked my uncle into buying. The picture quality was TERRIBLE, and the camera was dropped once from a VERY LOW height (one of her kids dropped it when taking a picture) and it never worked properly again (all the pictures come out horribly overexposed, and blurry too). My canon Powershot A20 was dropped onto a concrete train station ledge, bounced off, fell 6' and landed in some rocks. Did it still work? YES! And I'm not even exagerating the fall, I swear I thought that camera was toast (the lens was out too, I'm so lucky it didn't crack.) Sure the body had a few scratches (minor really) but the LCD screen was fine, the picture quality was unchanged and the camera still functioned properly.

Re:Interesting Considering Their Flagship (0, Offtopic)

deathcow (455995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348414)

My Canon 10D with 550EX flash on it (read: lever arm) fell 4 feet to a hardwood desk and all I had to do was take a finger and wipe some dust off one corner of the 10D's beautiful magnesium shell :) No affects. I've dropped my share of Canon gear through the ages with zero ill effects ever.

Re:Interesting Considering Their Flagship (1)

boobox (673856) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348446)

While I haven't kept up with the firmware upgrades for Kodak's DCS 14n, I was very interested in the camera when it was first announced (Photokina, September,2002). The reviews, comments and first photos made me decide to wait. I ultimately bought a Canon 10D earlier this year.

Even though I own (a very small amount of) Kodak stock. Why? I don't like buying something that's, perhaps, been released too early to meet some deadline, not that that, *ahem* , ever happens in the computer world. I was and still am concerned about Kodak's late entry into digital photography and that they, while a powerhouse for so long in traditional photography, may not be able to catch up.

The best alternatives (or first choice), IMHO, are Canon's 1DS, though it's about $3000 more (or so), or medium format photography with a digital back ($14,000+? for just the back). I went the cheaper route with the 10D ($1500), switching from Nikon (akin to going from all Mac to all Linux perhaps; it's not quite as drastic as going from Mac to PC), and, so far, haven't regretted it.

Michael Reichmann has another comprehensive (albeit not as technical) review [luminous-landscape.com] here.

full text of article sans advertisements (1, Informative)

nil5 (538942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348301)

Film Firms Fight to Stay Afloat

By Kari L. Dean
02:00 AM Feb. 19, 2004 PT

Traditional film is moving swiftly toward antiquity, about to be shelved as quaintly as Selectric typewriter ribbon. But with more than half of amateur and professional photographers still attached to 35-mm cameras, the film industry isn't ready to pronounce the medium dead.

Instead, amid layoffs and slipping sales, film companies are struggling to keep the ailing industry alive.

Symptoms of illness abound. Two weeks ago, Eastman Kodak said it will lay off 15,000 workers employed in its core film business. A few months earlier, Kodak's chief executive unveiled, perhaps belatedly, a digitally oriented strategy to spur growth. No. 2 film manufacturer Fujifilm did the same.

Underscoring the urgency behind such announcements, last month the Photography Marketing Association, or PMA, reported that in 2003, digital cameras outsold traditional cameras for the first time. In addition, the group said film sales and processing revenue declined from the prior year.

But industry leaders aren't giving up on film. In a surprising turn this week, Kodak announced plans for new film-processing retail kiosks to sit beside their digital counterparts. Eliminating the in-about-an-hour middleman, customers can process and print their own photos from 35-mm film in about seven minutes. The kiosks also enable customers to select and print only the photos they want, in whichever sizes they want, much like a digital camera.

"Let the consumer decide what the consumer wants," said Kodak spokesman Gerard Meuchner. "If they want to use film, let them use film."

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas this week, attendees at the PMA's annual convention saw Fujifilm introduce three new 35-mm cameras alongside four new digital cameras. The company also announced that it is "defying current trends in the photography industry by announcing significant investment in film camera technology in 2004."

In truth, although the PMA projects digital-camera penetration to surpass 42 percent of households in 2004, that still leaves 58 percent without one. Kodak's Meuchner attributes the ratio to the slow acceptance of digital by the biggest picture-takers of all: moms.

"Mothers with children take the most pictures and have the least amount of time," Meuchner said. "But they aren't early adopters."

But even among this group, film consumption is on the wane. The PMA reports that mothers with young children are quickly becoming the most common owners of digital cameras. So while the lone bright spot for traditional film might have been the increasing sales of the mom-friendly disposable camera -- up by 7 percent in 2003 and projected to rise another 5 percent in 2004 -- even that light is dimming.

As shutter-happy parents go digital, an array of other film users -- health-imaging specialists, professional photographers, artists -- are left to keep the industry alive.

According to a 2003 survey by the Professional Photographers of America, or PPA, just 52 percent of the group's members used digital as their primary means of capturing images. But 86 percent of PPA members were using at least partial digital technology in creating finished photographs.

oth Kodak and Fujifilm are positioning their film-focused entries around convenience and ease of use -- the same benefits used to lure consumers to digital. That choice of strategy might be the only one left as the long-debated quality issue between film and digital becomes increasingly moot: Some professional photographers now claim that large photographic prints from 20-megapixel cameras or camera backs -- attachments that let film cameras take digital images -- are virtually indistinguishable from images captured on 35-mm film.

"Newer cameras and digital backs have the higher quality, resolution and pixel count that have allowed portrait and wedding photographers to switch over," said PPA chairman Steve Best, who says he is a completely digital photographer who hasn't shot with film for five years.

"Portrait and wedding photographers were limited by print size, so we were farting with film to get the quality," Best added. "But now there are people who say digital is even a better quality."

Of course, a 20-plus-megapixel camera back runs about $20,000. But while that may be pricey even for some professionals, digital also eliminates endless film-development processes and saves pros both time and money.

There are other signs of doom for film as well. Media photographers long ago switched to digital for its speed. Printing services are converting to entirely digital operations. And digital evidence for court cases has given birth to an entirely new industry of products and services.

Even health-imaging and commercial printing businesses, traditionally consumers of vast quantities of film, are making the move to digital.

"Digital has been growing for radiography for both digital capture and output," said Kodak's Meuchner. "Once you digitize that information, you can share it with a doctor in another part of the world."

"We are making a big push in commercial printing because that's also becoming increasingly digital," said Meuchner. "If you are a wine merchant, and you know your customer prefers California reds, you can produce a customized flier that excludes the rest.

"You can't do that in an analog world."

Thanks, we needed that... (2, Insightful)

blorg (726186) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348440)

Yeah, well done there. That single ad in the print version [wired.com] was really burning my eyes out, thanks for taking the hit for all of us. And you never know, Wired could be slashdotted.

Could someone post a copy of Slashdot? (1)

blorg (726186) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348490)

full text of article sans advertisements

That ad up the top is really pissing me off, I'm too lazy to dump ads.osdn.com into my hosts file, and too tight to spend the money to become a subscriber. TIA!

seems kind of narrow (4, Insightful)

ajagci (737734) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348322)

Yes, film is pretty much doomed (except for niche applications). But Kodak has seen this coming and started preparing in time. I think among old companies that needed to transform themselves, Kodak has been doing pretty well: their digital camera lineup is decent, they have done some nifty stuff with OLED, and they still have lots of non-consumer products that probably make them money. They also were one of the first companies to actually sell digital cameras widely. Kodak isn't a hot company, but give the guys a break on this one--they haven't been blind and they have been trying to go for the new market.

What is really dragging Kodak down is their brand name--some companies have a brand name that stands for innovation, and they can put out any kind of garbage and people will think it's the latest and greatest thing. Kodak, on the other hand, can put out a really nifty digital camera and the stale odor of photographic fixing solution clings to it in the mind of buyers (yes, including my own).

Re:seems kind of narrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348556)

...and they still have lots of non-consumer products that probably make them money.

Case in point: I hauled a temp gig at a large portrait processor. They were sticking with film for organizational reasons, but more importantly, they were sticking with photographic paper for their digital prints. Why? Because it looks "real" and is proven to last, and the company (itself beholden to forever increase shareholder value) had a fairly major investment in photographic printers, even on the digital end.

With careful leadership and a few institutional customers like that, Kodak should certainly be able to *survive* another decade; the question is where they'll get their growth -- and how they'll pay down R&D to advance if those tasty retail sales keep dropping.

creative destruction: changing markets (5, Insightful)

Reinout (4282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348325)

A 1942 book by Joseph Schumpeter (excerpt here) [ucsb.edu] provides some background info on this.

[Capitalism] incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. It is what capitalism consists in and what every capitalist concern has got to live in....

The idea is that capitalism and innovation are almost linked. By doing something better, handier, cheaper, you can make more money than the other companies. So there is an incentive to do something new.

Seen over a long time, the biggest threat for companies is not so much the competition in the existing market, but the landslide next year when something entirely new just chops down existing, nicely ordered, markets.

Digital photography is such a "creative destruction" development. Suddenly the demand for ordinary kodak camera rolls drops down. Not even the best product in it's category will sell really well when the entire market moves to different products. (Kodak is not just camera rolls, also photographic paper etc, but this is the general idea).

An historical analogy: the dreadnought [dreadnoughtproject.org] was the first all-big-gun battleship, completed in 1906. Great Brittain and Germany (and others) were engaged in a huge shipbuilding arms race. A lot of "ordinary" battleships were being build (one year later they were called "pre-dreadnoughts"...). That one single first dreadnought, prototype of the modern battleship, made every single fleet on earth obsolete. Brittain and Germany effectively had to start from scratch, 0 vs. 0. (Or, more rather 1 vs. 0 :-) Talking about creative destruction...

Reinout

Re:creative destruction: changing markets (2, Insightful)

tootlemonde (579170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348519)

An historical analogy: the dreadnought was the first all-big-gun battleship...

The example of the dreadnought does not illustrate Schumpeter's thesis but in a way contradicts it. A dreadnought is indeed a "creative destruction" development but national rivalry produced it, not capitalism.

Capitalism will only employ creative destruction in a competitive situation. Monopolies, which are one possible outcome of capitalism, often stifle innovation.

Maximizing return on capital is the essential fact about capitalism. It chooses innovation or stifling innovation depending on which achieves that goal better.

Creative destruction is more a feature of technology, unfettered by market considerations.

Same thing happened to Polaroid (4, Informative)

Kunt (755109) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348326)

Any company that is large enough and is run by economists and overpaid suits long enough will inevitably run aground. This happened to Polaroid in the 1990s and IBM in the '80s, and indeed to Apple some ten years ago. It will probably happen to Microsoft one day soon. Today, the success or failure of a company is the focus it puts on technology, and the transformation of that technology into stuff they can sell. The masters at this right now are Apple, Canon and Sony, and yes, Microsoft. Many other major companies just don't have a clue.

Re:Same thing happened to Polaroid (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348356)


Actually, Microsoft is not a technology company. Rather it is the "Standard Oil" of software.

Re:Same thing happened to Polaroid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348357)

probably won't happen to microsoft. microsoft's business is based on bill gate's "digital nervous system" theory that will allow the company to quickly and easily adapt to changes like this.

Re:Same thing happened to Polaroid (0)

MooKore 2004 (737557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348368)

It has been reflected by the threat of Linux! Have you noticed all the lame charts/ads about Windows Server System on Slashdot recently? They acknolodge that Linux is a threat and they are FUDing it on our own doorstep! More reason to use open source software (see my sig for example).

Re:Same thing happened to Polaroid (0, Offtopic)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348394)

The masters at this right now are Apple, Canon and Sony, and yes, Microsoft.

Odd that you should mention those names in the same sentance.

Memories of SesameStreet and "one of these things is not like the other".

Can you guess which is the odd man out?

Here's a small hint:
  • three of these companies are strong innovators, who care enough to produce very polished/well engineered products
  • One of them owes its current success to (a) holding a Virtual Monopoly (b) predatory business practices (b) throwing megabux at politicians and government lobbyinsts

Re:Same thing happened to Polaroid (1)

Kunt (755109) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348419)

Yes, I know, but Microsoft still churns out products that people buy, and that was the point I was trying to make. The point this time was not to bash the Evil Empire(TM), but to illustrate what happens when the financial objectives of the suits take precedence over the creative focus of innovators, engineers and artists.

They muffed it when they (4, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348327)

forgot to hit the market with high quality photo inks and papers for use in printers until it was too late...

the printer manufacturers got their act together first... after all... when faced with the choice of the right paper and cartridge for your photos, you go for the printer manufacturer's first...

What a crock... (3, Interesting)

ffsnjb (238634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348329)

How can someone claim that the company with the largest CCD on the market, the company that holds all the patents on the display tech that you will have on your desk in the next five years, has an ever increasing segment of the health imaging market and still sells more motion picture film (while quickly converting theatres to digital) than everyone else on the planet, combined, be lagging in the digital world.

I hear all this garbage talk from critics, but it just doesn't make any sense. The fact of the matter is, EK is doing just fine transitioning from consumer film to consumer digital sales. IIRC, they sold more consumer digital cameras than anyone else did last year. EK knew consumer film was dying before the world did, considering they invented the CCD.

Blah... Everyone says that EK is dying, but I'm working overtime this weekend... HAH!

Re:What a crock... (3, Interesting)

joe_bruin (266648) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348388)

EK knew consumer film was dying before the world did, considering they invented the CCD.

i believe the ccd was invented [bell-labs.com] at bell laboratories, not eastman kodak.

Re:What a crock... (1)

ffsnjb (238634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348427)

Argh, you're right. Too many lenses to fix and not enough sleep has made me lose my mind.

Although, "In April, the company unveiled the KODAK DIGITAL SCIENCE DC120 Zoom Digital Camera, the first point-and-shoot megapixel quality digital camera under $1,000"(from here) [kodak.com] is more in line with what I should have said.

Feel free to slap me some...

Re:What a crock... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348413)

"IIRC, they sold more consumer digital cameras than anyone else did last year."

Please get your facts straight.... I couldn't find any specific data about Kodak market share, but quote here [dpreview.com] clearly implies that Kodak isn't anywhere near the top spot: "Canon, Japan's largest maker of office machines, is also busy jostling with electronics giant Sony Corp. for the top share of the booming digital camera market worldwide."

Largest CCD doesn't mean much, since maybe 0.001% of the market cares about it. If company can't sell much mid-range products then it's "lagging".

Some marketshare numbers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348428)

Here for H12002: [infosatellite.com]
"the market share leaders for these six months were Sony, Olympus and Kodak, with 24 percent, 17 percent and 13 percent, respectively."

By now Canon has surpassed Kodak (Canon is aiming for 25% marketshare in this year), thus Kodak is n.4 in the US. Their position is propably even lower in the global market.

Re:What a crock... (2, Informative)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348431)

How can someone claim that the company with the largest CCD on the market

Sure the CCD is large but the image quality blows compared to any decent Digital SLR, actually all of their cameras quality blows.

the company that holds all the patents on the display tech that you will have on your desk in the next five years

I didn't know they had patents on my CRT monitor, I should look into that but I'm too lazy right now.

has an ever increasing segment of the health imaging market and still sells more motion picture film (while quickly converting theatres to digital) than everyone else on the planet, combined, be lagging in the digital world.

Because the health imaging market and motion picture film markets aren't part of the digital world? And didn't Canon sell more digital cameras than anyone else? Don't they have 25% of the digital camera market or something like that? Kodak's digital cameras are overpriced and they blow, that's how I can see them lagging in the digital world.

Re:What a crock... (1)

ffsnjb (238634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348460)

I can't find the press release for 2k3 sales numbers because I'm not behind the firewall right now.

The average geek has a tendency to have the newest, most shiny stuff. OLED panels will be out within 5 years, which will replace the dual 17" LCDs on my desk right now.

The health imaging market is becoming almost completely digital(see here [kodak.com] ). Movie theatres are slowly, but surely moving to digital projection, in which Kodak is a major player. Digital capture is moving along at a brisk pace, also.

Its because digital cameras are more versitile! (-1, Troll)

Neo Trolling Group (754829) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348339)

I as a recent user of digital photography am amazed how versitile it is! Insert your batteries, and start taking pictures. 240 exposures (or 40 high quality ones), and even short video clips!

Then, instead of going down to my local photo developers, I can just plug it into a USB port, and start viewing my pictures. No paying development fees, all you have to pay is for the hard disk space (which is real cheap these days, grab a 100Gb drive today).

Its fast. no having to wait hours for development or spending large amounts of money on "instant" film.

In its digital format, I can open it up in the Gimp, edit my photos to my liking and add cool effects. I can then create a digital photo album using gthumb for all my pictures.

No wasted exposures, you can delete pictures you don't like on the fly! Privacy. Take pictures of things you always wanted to take, because you can. I have taken pictures of my Linux box being smashed up by a hammer and its so hilarious to put it on my Windows box as a wallpaper!

Conclusion. Digital Cameras are cheaper, more effective and more fun. Analogue cameras will slowly die out, with only a few Zealots still using them.

Re:Its because digital cameras are more versitile! (0, Troll)

Temporal (96070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348491)

I wonder why this was modded "troll"? "Redundant" I could see, but otherwise everything in it is quite true and well-reasoned. Was it because of your user name and sig? Or was it because you expressed a preference for Windows over Linux? (I found that hillarious, BTW, and completely agree with the sentiment. Of course, to each his own and all that.)

Re:Its because digital cameras are more versitile! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348495)

what makes it even funnier is that your comment would have hit +5 in seconds if you'd swapped 'linux' and 'windows' around.

Re:Its because digital cameras are more versitile! (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348496)

Conclusion. Digital Cameras are cheaper, more effective and more fun. Analogue cameras will slowly die out, with only a few Zealots still using them.

Your assumption may be incorrect.

It is true that digital is more versatile, but film still has it's place (as other posters have noted).

What will happen is that film processors will need to come up with added value to remain competitive in a digital enviroment.

For one service, I think it is the price point. If they can include a cd rom with your regular film development for the same price as regular development, they can keep much of the masses loyal. Where I'm at, it's more expensive for this option. With bandwidth becoming cheaper, maybe they could skip the cdrom and email me a download link for the pictures and mail me the prints/negatives. That way all I would need to do is drop off the film and not worry about making the return trip to pick it up.

Also, it might be nice to take my digital media and have it printed to real film. I do not know what the quality of the kiosks are, but anything that would enhance the quality of my pictures might be worthwhile.

I also do not think that it is coincidence that many stores (Walgreens, Albertsons) have installed a one-hour (or even half-hour) film developer in their stores. These machines have gotten to the point of operating themselves (as they would need to if a clerk is pushing the buttons).

Why bother with buying a digital when you can get your pictures in the time it takes to do your shopping? This is a win-win situation. It keeps people in the store aisles and companies sell more film/film developing equipment and supplies.

And who does the shopping for the family? Click happy moms.

News of Death is Premature (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348349)

Kodak, while acting like a bit of a lumbering giant, has the resources to tranform itself into a digital imaging giant. I think it has taken a "wakeup" call for the mangement team to understand that it is time for wholesale change. I see them moving into digital printing in a very big way online and via kiosks in stores, malls, etc. I also think that they will find a niche in low end digital cameras, probably of the single-use variety. There is so much that they can do with their existing infrastructure and I am confident that they will succeed. Just my two cents worth!

Happy Trails!

Erick

They do have other markets (3, Interesting)

ThisIsNotKendall (742145) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348350)

Kodak does have other non-consumer markets. I read today that my hometown hospital is converting all their old film based x-ray equipment over to Kodak digital stuff. Maybe not super profitable but they certainly aren't dead.

They have one thing going.... (4, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348371)

The one thing Kodak has, which I haven't seen from any other company, is kiosks in drug stores that will take any digital media (CompactFlash, SecureDigital, Memorystick, CDs, etc) and for about 30 cents will print out a 3x5 picture.

Solid ink (wax), and color laser printers require quite a large investment ($1,000+). Quality inkjet printers cost $100+, and ink is notoriously expensive. Not to mention problems with ink spots, clogging, etc.

So these kiosks are probably the best thing to come along for those that don't do a huge ammount of printing, but want a few digital photos in a good quality, physical form. So, that's one place where Kodak has a foothold in an up-and-comming market, and could continue to expand on it for a while (different size prints, etc). No other companies appear to be taping this potentially major market, so they've got a good position. It may not completely make up for loss of film sales, but it is a good money maker, and they should be able to live off of that for quite a long time.

Reason why (1)

mattjb0010 (724744) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348376)

Apparently Kodakchrome isn't giving those nice bright colors any more.

Carl Icahn... (1)

ztwilight (549428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348377)

Isn't he the one who invented the System Icon?

The "razor" business model falls down when (4, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348385)

someone comes out with a concept that makes your razor blade obsolete... the same thing has happened with Kodak and Polaroid... they only made their cameras to sell film, paper and chemicals. After all, you buy one camera but buy lots of film and chemicals/paper (when you get it processed even if with a one hour lab)... they just didn't react to the new paradigm that rendered complex proprietary film and chemical processes obsolete...

Re:The "razor" business model falls down when (1)

ffsnjb (238634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348393)

they just didn't react to the new paradigm that rendered complex proprietary film and chemical processes obsolete...

No, EK didn't react to the new paradigm, they just invented it.

Re:The "razor" business model falls down when (0)

Neo Trolling Group (754829) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348405)

I know someone who has an older Digital camera that used floppy disks. With cheap floppys and with 95%+ machines with floppy drives (I don't have one) it was really verisitile and could store 30 pictures (very good for a floppy). Floppys are cheaper than film, and reusable. The world was set to be conquered by floppies. But this was a 1997 era camera. My digital camera came with Flash ram, that could be accessed by a USB port. Most newer machines are far more likely to have a USB port than a floppy drive.

But digital bits can be recycled and reused more easily, so digital cameras are better for the evironment than analog ones. Most people have a USB port hanging around somewhere, but not everyone has a dark room. So non propreitery and cheap technology (digital) will destroy the analog razors.

BULLSHIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348403)

This is all the white man's lie!

Wired confirms it... (1, Informative)

nuckin futs (574289) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348441)

Eastmann Kodak is dying.
They are following the footsteps of BSD and Apple.

doesn't one need like an 8MP digital camera just to get the equivalent quality of a good 35mm color film?
those high MP cameras are still expensive, and some people are satisfied with the quality of prints from those disposable cameras.

Re:Wired confirms it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348513)

Actually, that is comforting.

BSD has been dying forever, and Apple is doing better than ever (especially with ipod).

So using that logic, Kodak should espect an upswing in their business.

m/od down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348448)

That they can holD we don'7 sux0r as

Kodak ruined My Photography Business! (0, Interesting)

1337 Apple Zealot (720421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348479)

10 Years ago, I worked in a small photo development business as a darkroom technican. Kodak film was 90% of the film we developed, but unlike most film, Kodak film was more expensive to develop because the propreitery technology used in it. Also that year our photo lab had bought a Macintosh running Mac OS 8 to help us manage our film database. Part of the special offer was a 28.8K modem connection and a Gremlin TZ digital camera. This camera could take 640x480 pictures and used a AMC (Now known as firewire) cable to connect to the camera. We were amazed for just the cost of a floppy disk ($0.50) we could take 40 high quality photos instantly!

I was so impressed that I set up a website about our photo service using pictures from my digital camera. I had over 1000 pictures on that site and it was being hosted by a Slackware Linux box with Apache 0.7 and Kernel 0.95 (Yes, the linux dark ages).

We got in contact with Gremlin Technolgies INC and we decided to sell Gremlin Digicams to our customers and for 1/10 of the price of ordianry development we offered our customers prints. The service was so popular that we made $600,000 profits in 1994.

We completly ditched kodak in 1995 and now we are a huge photobusiness that has 40 employees and makes over 1,000,000 in profits a year.

I am no longer an employee as I am now a freelance Debian on Mac technican, but it just goes to show that digital cameras can be a lucrative business if you ditch the analog monoliths!

The first time I bought a digital camera... (2, Insightful)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348486)

...I bought one by Kodak. Why ? To this date, I still wonder.
It was one of those DC-3200 camera's [steves-digicams.com] (opinion definitely not mine), which provided 1 megapixel resolution with the camerasize of a polaroid.
After one first try, I brought it back when I found out that the batteries (AA) would only last 30 minutes. Since then, I regarded Kodak in the digital camera business for what it proved to be to me: crap.

My second camera was a Fuji A-101 [steves-digicams.com] , which was a lot smaller, more power-friendly, and gave me a lot of pleasure for my money. I stayed with Fuji ever since.

Kodak indeed can't hack it in the digital age. I would say to them: put up with it, or .....

In Soviet Russia.... (-1, Troll)

sheapshearer (746106) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348489)

In Soviet Russia ... cameras SHOOT you!

underscoring (0, Redundant)

JimTerrible (755114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348493)

Two weeks ago, Eastman Kodak said film camera technology in creating finished photos they want, in whichever sizes the ratio to the slow acceptance of digitally oriented strategy to spur growth. No. 2 film sales and print only the PMA's annual convention saw Fujifilm did the same.

Underscoring the urgency behind such announcing significant investment in 2004."

In truth, although the Professional photographers, artists -- are left to keep the in-about-an-hour middleman, customers can processing revenue declined from 35-mm film cameras alongside four new film-processing retail kiosks to sit beside their own photography industry alive.

According to a 2003 survey by the photos from the photography Marketing Association, or PMA, reports that still leaves 58 percent of time," Meuchner attributes the ratio to the slow acceptance of digital cameras alongside four new digital technology in 2003 survey by the photography Marketing Association, or PPA, just 52 percent.

They knew (2, Interesting)

thogard (43403) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348528)

November of 2000 I was in a plane flying from Tahiti to Auckland and the people sitting next to me had been there for a sales conference dealing with film. I was taking picture of the islands [abnormal.com] and coral heads we were flying over. The woman introduced herself and said she had just been to a conference and asked me how many rolls of film I used on my holiday. I told her I didn't use and and and pull the memory card out of the camera and said I it took like 300 pictures and I had six more. She wasn't happy with that answer.

Yep. Short sell Kodak. (1)

digitaltraveller (167469) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348540)

I bought a Kodak DX-3215 digital camera 2 years ago. It's a peice of crap. The box claimed to take AA batteries, but they don't work properly. You need to purchase Kodak's proprietary batteries.

The outcome of this poorly thought out money raising idea alienated the customer (me) and I probably won't buy Kodak again.

But the bigger story is what's interesting; Digital cameras have made Kodak's traditional business of selling film and ancillary products/services obsolete. As technological innovation speeds up (it won't slow down) there will be more and more organisations motivated to stop the earth from spinning on it's axis, and the clever ones like the RIAA will use spineless politicians to do their dirty work, hurting social progress.

Abandoning film (2, Interesting)

sameyeam (587571) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348542)

Kodak recently announced that next year it was abandoning traditional film cameras in (at least) north america in favour of digital & disposable film cameras. How can this not be taking the market seriously?

They never took digital serously (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8348551)

Back in '96 I joined Kodak out of school along with my girlfriend. I'm a computer engineer, she is a chemical engineer. I was offered a much better salary than me (5% more).

That tells you how they percieve that investing in their conventional imaging was more important that the new digital imaging.

I left after three years. There was a constant struggle between the conventional imaging product development teams and the digital imaging ones. The conventional imaging guys were protecting their turf instead of working together with the digital imaging guys to bring innovation. Really sad.

Besides, who wants to work in Rochester, NY?

Time to change business (2, Interesting)

wrmrxxx (696969) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348560)

Maybe Kodak can still thrive, if they successfully re-invent themselves as a provider of OLED technology [kodak.com] . They've already got a number of licencees.

They tried.. (3, Interesting)

ZoneGray (168419) | more than 10 years ago | (#8348563)

>> Kodak failed to take digital photography seriously, or at least failed to find a way to successfully transform

I have to figure they took it seriously; I just realized my first three digital cameras were all Kodaks, it was 1999 before Nikon had anything to match 'em. And my dad is still using my 1998 Kodak D260.

But... Kodak was never a camera company, and one of the amazing phenomena is that the digicam market is dominated by film camera makers, not by technology companies or by film companies. Sony and HP have established a foothold, but only through enormous effort. Fuji has made some progress, but it's hardly comparable to their share of film sales. Other than that, it's Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Minolta.

What killed Kodak was that they had never sold high-quality film cameras, I guess. They led the way in Digital SLR's with their early Canon-partnered products, but when Canon pulled out, it left them pretty high and dry.

Anyway, anybody who thinks that Kodak was a lumbering giant who "just didn't get it," is just reciting lame cliches. They really were one of the early leaders in digital.
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