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Kodak to Kill Off Its Camera Business
PETAPIXEL ^ | Feb 10, 2012 | swampsniper

Posted on 02/09/2012 10:22:06 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER

Shocking news: Kodak, the company that invented the first digital camera back in 1975, announced today that it is pulling out of the camera market entirely. The phasing out of digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and digital picture frames will likely happen by the end of June. Instead, the company will be focusing on licensing out its patents and brand name

(Excerpt) Read more at petapixel.com ...


TOPICS: Arts/Photography; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: camera; kodak
Not surprising. Kodak camera quality hasn't been competitive and they stopped innovating a long time ago.
1 posted on 02/09/2012 10:22:13 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

Well, if you have nothing left to sell...


2 posted on 02/09/2012 10:30:13 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Jonty30

The market has been there, Kodak just didn’t read it right. They labeled enough junk to get a bad quality rep and then it was too late to recover. They marketed some really pitiful stuff.


3 posted on 02/09/2012 10:37:29 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
You have to admit, that first digital camera was probably a nightmare for the people in the marketing department...


4 posted on 02/09/2012 10:38:50 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

Even if Kodak didn’t have all the other problems they have they would be smart to do this since they only sell low and mid range cameras.

That market is dead, thanks to cameras being standard equipment in most phones these days.


5 posted on 02/09/2012 10:40:45 PM PST by Nik Naym (It's not my fault... I have compulsive smartass disorder.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

There are things they could probably still do.

Not everybody wants to spend a lifetime on Photoshop, for example, going over every single detail in photographs to get things right.

Kodak could probably offer after-photo services that many people would probably pay for.


6 posted on 02/09/2012 10:46:02 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Nik Naym

It will be a long time before the phone cameras replace a serious DSLR, or even a good “bridge” camera, if great photos are your goal.


7 posted on 02/09/2012 10:48:30 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: Nik Naym

“That market is dead, thanks to cameras being standard equipment in most phones these days.”
________________________________________________

I had no idea that Kodak even made a camera since my
old box camera of the early 50s.

It is amazing how digital photography has become so common.
We take pics with the cellphone every day, and they have fantastic resolution.


8 posted on 02/09/2012 11:05:30 PM PST by AlexW
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
Didn't they start off as a chemical company? And the camera stuff was a way to sell chemicals?

It's been 40 years since I read their story in some 60s magazine.

/johnny

9 posted on 02/09/2012 11:11:29 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
Typical company that got so big it spent most of its time running the enterprise and they forgot what they did for a living.

Xerox, IBM, Sears, etc. The company took over the business and it's products.

They couldn't transition from the old style management and products as fast as new blood. It's literally teaching an old dog new tricks.

Xerox gave away what is now Windows and Apple. Gave it away because their old thinking couldn't see the application and thus thought it was a tool they couldn't use. No insight to the future.

You'd think men that grew up before air flight and space flight could see the potential for the computer. But, alas, many like Xerox only saw giant machines for single purposes and couldn't really envision one on your desk or in your hand.

10 posted on 02/09/2012 11:23:08 PM PST by Fledermaus (I can't fiddle so I'll just open a cold beer as I watch America burn.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

This is what happens to corporations that are managed to maximize “stock value” instead of striving to gain and keep customers through service and innovation.

They cut costs, outsource, sell crappy products and then wonder why nobody buys their crap and the stock value plummets anyway.

Cart. Before. Horse.


11 posted on 02/09/2012 11:25:29 PM PST by Valpal1
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To: JRandomFreeper

Yeah, a lot of chemicals are used in film developing. The cameras were just the cheap hardware, the money was always in developing and printing the pictures off the film.

If you can’t see your business model dying, you aren’t going to continue.

Spent most of my career in luxury hotel accounting. We used to make good money off phone calls through rooms and pay phones and long distance service charges. Business travelers didn’t care how much it was back then. Now with cell phones etc. that revenue stream dried up.


12 posted on 02/09/2012 11:27:07 PM PST by Fledermaus (I can't fiddle so I'll just open a cold beer as I watch America burn.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

Here’s to the Eastman Kodak company and the thousands of engineers, technicians, etc. who brought joy to our lives. One day our hard drives will all be fried but we’ll still have that old shoebox filled with pictures, and we’ll still kneel down and cry when we look at the handwriting, the date, and that Kodak name on the back.

I do not believe you can keep such people down. Rochester NY has been a hot-bed of industry and innovation in many sectors (some related) as Kodak has lost steam, and there may be hope yet for the company as it reconfigures retirement and benefits packages and jettisons dangerous weight.


13 posted on 02/09/2012 11:29:39 PM PST by golux
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

“It will be a long time before the phone cameras replace a serious DSLR, or even a good “bridge” camera, if great photos are your goal.”

Which has absolutely nothing to do with my point which is that Kodak doesn’t MAKE a serious DSLR, so they have nothing to offer that isn’t being killed by cell phone cameras.

Like it or not, cell phones are the new “point-n-shoot” cameras. And “point-n-shoot” cameras are what Kodak has made for decades, regardless of format.

(I’m old school, my phone has a camera and I never even THINK of it, even when I see one of those “gee, I wish I had a camera” scenes. )


14 posted on 02/09/2012 11:49:03 PM PST by Nik Naym (It's not my fault... I have compulsive smartass disorder.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

The camera you have is better than any camera you don’t. I agree that the DSLR’s take wonderful pictures, but for most purposes my iPhone is just as good, and it’s almost never more than three feet away from me.


15 posted on 02/10/2012 12:13:50 AM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
IMO Kodaks' mistake in the digital camera era was making all of their system proprietary. Their stuff was good, not great, but once you bought the camera all the accessories had to be Kodak.
If they had made their docking/transfer stations open to all brands that would have gone a long way in getting their stuff more widely accepted and distributed.
They had some good ideas - just too locked into their brand only.

Just my opinion.
16 posted on 02/10/2012 1:21:58 AM PST by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: Tainan
I had a Kodak P850 with the Easy share gimmick. It was only fair, the pics were overprocessed to cope with sensor noise. I would get going on a series of shots and accidentally bump the stupid easy share button. I lost some good shots that way.
17 posted on 02/10/2012 2:45:38 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: Valpal1

Excellent points.

A deadly, highly infectious business disease often transmitted by MBA programs.

Frequently caused by over-focus on quarterly results. Giving short term thinking priority kills your business in the long run.


18 posted on 02/10/2012 2:52:25 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan; Valpal1

This is what happens to corporations that are managed to maximize “stock value” instead of striving to gain and keep customers through service and innovation.

They cut costs, outsource, sell crappy products and then wonder why nobody buys their crap and the stock value plummets anyway.

Cart. Before. Horse.


Excellent points.

A deadly, highly infectious business disease often transmitted by MBA programs.

Frequently caused by over-focus on quarterly results. Giving short term thinking priority kills your business in the long run.


This CANNOT be over-emphasized. In many ways this way of thinking is destroying America because it infects both business and the public sector. Short-term thinking is nearly always detrimental to long-term results.

In business the short-term goal is quarterly profits in Politics it’s votes. And as we see, Obama and company thinks putting as many formerly working people onto the Government teat means an increase in votes for the short-term. The long-term results are a failing economy and soon the inability to pay those new voters to see on the butts collecting the dole extorted from the remaining workers.

The end results from bad management practices concentrating on the short-term to the detriment of the long-term means both will soon be out of business.


19 posted on 02/10/2012 3:47:21 AM PST by The Working Man (The mantra for BO's reign...."No Child Left a Dime")
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

So, is the stock a buy right now? Most bankrupt company stocks bounce back up to around $1.00, don’t they? Or not...?


20 posted on 02/10/2012 4:11:03 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
Instead, the company will be focusing on licensing out its patents and brand name

Patents have a limited term. Then what?

Sorry to see Kodak fade into the sunset, though. The old Tri-X pan was my favorite b/w film. Must've hand-processed 100s of rolls of that back when I still had access to a lab.

21 posted on 02/10/2012 4:56:23 AM PST by Moltke (Always retaliate first.)
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To: Jonty30

A company once called Applied Science Fiction, of Austin, Texas, sold image correction and enhancement software that got bundled with many film scanners. They called their products “Digital ICE” and “Digital GEM.”

Kodak bought them in 2003.

The main motivation behind the purchase was not the image-correcting software, but rather a do-it-yourself while-you-wait film processor of which the small company had prototypes out in the field.

The customer would come into the store, drop their 35 mm or APS film cassette into a slot, and the machine would develop the film and scan it on the spot...took about 5 minutes. (As you might imagine, the machine internally was an electromechanical marvel.)

The customer could order prints immediately from the built-in printer, or get a CD of the images, or just leave them on the internal hard drive, where they would be available for return visits up to a few weeks later.

The original film was processed in a way that destroyed it; the chemical process left the film unfixed, so the image would go completely black in just a few minutes. The machine simply spooled the still-damp film onto a waste reel which would be unloaded every few days by a technician, who would send it off for silver reclamation.

Kodak bought the company already knowing that consumer film was becoming obsolete, but they figured that this technology might extend the life of their film products a couple of years. Soon, they decided they had miscalculated the market, and they shut the whole operation down.

I presume that Kodak still does something commercial with A.S.F’s original image-fixing products.


22 posted on 02/10/2012 5:01:10 AM PST by Erasmus (Able was I ere I saw this crappy little island.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Dig the storage medium.


23 posted on 02/10/2012 5:01:53 AM PST by Erasmus (Able was I ere I saw this crappy little island.)
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To: Nik Naym
"I’m old school, my phone has a camera and I never even THINK of it..."

No, I'M old school...I don't have a cell phone.

24 posted on 02/10/2012 5:12:23 AM PST by Mr Rogers ("they found themselves made strangers in their own country")
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To: Nik Naym
Which has absolutely nothing to do with my point which is that Kodak doesn’t MAKE a serious DSLR, so they have nothing to offer that isn’t being killed by cell phone cameras.

Interestingly, Kodak did make the first serious DSLRs, one each based on Nikon and Canon bodies, respectively. Kodak supplied the sensor and the electronics.

But N and C soon went their own ways, investing heavily in the technology to produce their own DSLRs. Canon went so far as to fab their own sensors. (Both companies sell or have sold photo steppers to the integrated circuit industry.)

Nowadays, of course, N and C battle it out for the top spot in the DSLR market; but even here, you have tremendously motivated upstarts with deep pockets challenging them at every turn: Sony, Panasonic, and Pentax, to name the principals.

The point-and-shoot market is even larger, and the same companies compete in the wide range of cameras in this category. Here, the competition and market share is more evenly distributed among many players.

The low end of the point-and-shoot market has undoubtedly been eroded by smartphones. But image quality will always be dependent on square millimeters of sensor, and the phones are at the bottom of this heap, with DSLRs at the top, and point-n-shoots in between.

25 posted on 02/10/2012 5:16:25 AM PST by Erasmus (Able was I ere I saw this crappy little island.)
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To: Moltke
Dad used Plus-X and Super-Double-X when I was learning photograpy and darkroom from him. When Tri-X came out, I went, "Cool!"

Well, in those days, nobody actually "went" anything. We "said" it.

≤}B^)

26 posted on 02/10/2012 5:23:17 AM PST by Erasmus (Able was I ere I saw this crappy little island.)
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To: Tainan
They had some good ideas - just too locked into their brand only.

Like IBM, Personak Computers (PCs) and PS/2 Microchannel Architecture (MCA) -- the best in the world -- for maybe 10 years -- until you fixate on obscene profit margins, proprietary means, and patented mechanisms.

Just my opinion.

A very valid opinion -- seen by Seagram's Distilleries when they sneaked into DuPont and basically sold off the assets while it still was viable. Left it crippled and begging.

27 posted on 02/10/2012 5:33:37 AM PST by imardmd1 (How to make money in the stock market -- novel way: buy low, sell high)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

This is the other side of capitalism: when executive management fails over 5 decades. How can so many smart people be so stupid? It happens all the time in the marketplace.


28 posted on 02/10/2012 5:48:32 AM PST by SC_Pete
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
They labeled enough junk to get a bad quality rep and then it was too late to recover. They marketed some really pitiful stuff.
Your comment is based on what - personal experience, inside info, you're in the business, etc? How about some examples.
29 posted on 02/10/2012 6:45:53 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Valpal1
This is what happens to corporations that are managed to maximize “stock value” instead of striving to gain and keep customers through service and innovation. They cut costs, outsource, sell crappy products and then wonder why nobody buys their crap and the stock value plummets anyway. Cart. Before. Horse.

Amen. I've worked for a couple of good companies that nearly did themselves in this way.

30 posted on 02/10/2012 8:16:55 AM PST by Roses0508
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To: oh8eleven

I probably spend more time with a camera in my hand than most professional photographers. There are 10 or 12 cameras in this room with me, right now, from 40 years old to digital.


31 posted on 02/10/2012 10:12:38 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
There are 10 or 12 cameras in this room with me, right now ...
So what? How were Kodak digital cameras "pitiful" and which ones?
32 posted on 02/10/2012 10:41:19 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Erasmus

I used Plus-X on occasion as well - less grainy, obviously, but overall I liked the quality of the prints from my Tri-X shots better. Difficult to explain fully with few words but with the developer (Agfa Rodinal) and paper (Agfa Record Rapid) I used mostly, the best prints I made had a sort of luminosity that just didn’t come out that way with all the other combinations of film, developer (Ilford etc.) and papers (again, Ilford etc.) I used. And then came the PE/RC (plastic based) printing papers which were slightly easier to process but never even got close to the baryta (fiber based) papers in image quality (much less silver content).

Super-Double-X must have been way before my time - never even heard of it, best as I can remember. Kudos to your dad for teaching you lab techniques. I had to go the autodidactic route (not that it’s rocket science...)


33 posted on 02/10/2012 12:57:06 PM PST by Moltke (Always retaliate first.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

What a waste of a good name! Coca Cola, Ford, Kodak, etc, known and respected throughout the world.

Compare the paths of Kodak and Sony in the past 50 years.

Mamma, don’t take my Kodachrome away!


34 posted on 02/10/2012 1:08:05 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

At the key moment, Kodak was more interested in keeping existing retailers happy with the 3-visit model of film sales than keeping end-user button-pushing picture-taking customers happy. Retailers liked customers coming in once to buy film, once to drop it off, and once to pick up prints - and doing that just a few dozen pictures at a time; once customers are in the door they tend to buy things, even if there just for pictures. Facing the onset of digital photography, retailers threatened to drop Kodak product entirely if that 3-visit model was threatened by Kodak shifting focus to digital (few, if any, visits and taking hundreds of pictures per cycle) ... that scared management over short-term sales figures. They were planning for a transition to digital, but couldn’t stomach the need for such a fast switch by end users.

I tried suggesting a “push the button, we do the rest - your pictures will show up in the mail” digital product, but being a mere peon that went nowhere. So did the company for not doing it.


35 posted on 02/10/2012 1:17:35 PM PST by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Moltke
You got into the fine points of B&W printing beyond where I got.

I had to go the autodidactic route (not that it’s rocket science...)

It may not be rocket surgery, but it is alchemy.

36 posted on 02/10/2012 1:53:22 PM PST by Erasmus (Able was I ere I saw this crappy little island.)
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To: Erasmus
You got into the fine points of B&W printing beyond where I got.

Still a topic dear to my heart, I guess. I went at it with a Howard Roark-like passion/stringency for a while. Then I chickened out and turned to a more conventional career, and have applied myself to that. I'll go back to the lab when I retire...

37 posted on 02/10/2012 2:55:07 PM PST by Moltke (Always retaliate first.)
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To: oh8eleven

The most recent disaster was the P850 I got conned into buying.


38 posted on 02/10/2012 3:08:08 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
The most recent disaster was the P850 I got conned into buying.
As I thought, a sample of one. You even blame someone else for "conning" you into buying it.
BTW - most recent? That model is over six years old.

39 posted on 02/10/2012 3:48:06 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

>> “Not surprising. Kodak camera quality hasn’t been competitive and they stopped innovating a long time ago.” <<

.
You’re obviously speaking of something you’ve never used.

Image quality of Kodak digitals is the best in the industry.


40 posted on 02/10/2012 4:09:27 PM PST by editor-surveyor (No Federal Sales Tax - No Way!)
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To: Mr Rogers

“”I’m old school, my phone has a camera and I never even THINK of it...”

No, I’M old school...I don’t have a cell phone. “

I’m still employed, I am REQUIRED to carry a cell phone.


41 posted on 02/10/2012 8:22:16 PM PST by Nik Naym (It's not my fault... I have compulsive smartass disorder.)
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To: TXBubba

Ping to post 22, re Austin’s ASF.


42 posted on 02/10/2012 8:46:04 PM PST by TheSarce (Reject Socialism. Champion Liberty.)
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