How Kodak can remain competitive in today's changing photo world

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by richardsfault, May 22, 2004.

  1. Kodak holds a special place in my heart because I got into 35mm
    photography back during my college years in Rochester, NY, where they
    were a big part of the local economy and identity.

    I could always count on Kodak processing being the best, and am very
    grateful that they processed much of the film that I shot 25 years ago
    and am scanning now. Many of the slides and negatives that were
    non-Kodak film and/or non-Kodak processed did not hold up as well.

    Kodak cannot compete in the digital hardware arena with cameras,
    scanners, printers, etc. There are other players that do much better
    with this. The same holds true with film cameras, where they were
    never a serious player in the high-end SLR market.

    Where they can most definitely compete is the area film-to-digital
    scanning. They are off to a good strart with the Photo CD / Perfect
    Touch system, but there is some room for improvement:

    1. There should be a "no print" option at reduced cost. I would
    imagine that many who use the photo CD service resent paying for
    unwanted prints, and this becomes more the case as the photographer
    becomes more serious. The cost should be 1/2 to 2/3 of the single
    print option, i.e., 6 to 9 dollars for a 24-exp C-41 roll.

    2. The photos online options should offer larger images sizes than
    600x800 as is done on the CD's

    3. There should be a minimal CD option where just JPG's or TIF's are
    stored without all the amateur-level software packages. Along with
    that should be an option to have multiple rolls on one CD to reduce
    cost and storage volume.

    4. Services should be expanded and aggressively marketd to include
    previously exposed films. There is a huge untapped market of legacy
    negatives and slides just waiting for a service like this.

    Some of my own legacy film scanning efforts can be seen here:
    http://www.richardsfault.com/Rochester81.html

    There is a huge amount of great stuff like this out there just waiting
    to be scanned and shared. I believe that Kodak could become a leader
    in this area. An "update and share old memories" promotion is what is
    needed.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame, but I think it's all...

    Richard's fault!

    Visit the Sounds of the cul-de-sac at www.richardsfault.com
     
    richardsfault, May 22, 2004
    #1
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  2. richardsfault

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: How Kodak can remain competitive in today's changing photo world
    Why not write Kodak an email and share these/your thoughts with them where it
    will do actual good? Just talking about it is nice, but...
     
    Lewis Lang, May 22, 2004
    #2
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  3. richardsfault

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Kodak has offered that exact thing, but in the mostly professional oriented Pro
    Photo CD services. The consumer level version offers lower maximum resolution
    images, but is also lower cost.
    Also, Pro Photo CD has always been above that resolution.
    Again, possible with Pro Photo CD. I think cost and their desire to not have that
    service compete with the consumer product is what limits the consumer product.
    The last part I do agree with, and I am surprised that Fuji and AGFA have not
    tried to get into that aspect of the market. Perhaps when the economy picks up a
    little we will see something like this.
     
    Gordon Moat, May 22, 2004
    #3
  4. richardsfault

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    I agree, and am originally from upstate NY myself (just not Rochester).

    However I think it's over for Kodak, and when the corporate historians
    look back, it will be recognized that the Fuji Frontier killed Kodak.
    Kodak ceded the minilab business to Noritsu and Gretag, choosing to
    concentrate on maxilabs like Qualex (I guess). The Frontier is best
    in class, and supports digital cameras as well as could be hoped.
    Noritsu and Gretag introduced digital minilabs, without much success.
    Eventually (soon?) Frontiers will displace other minilab equipment.
    And Frontiers work best with Fuji film, which will cause people to
    stop buying Kodak film (if they can detect quality differences).
    Meanwhile one large chain after another switches to Frontier.
    Kodak digicams sell very well, and their market share is increasing.
    I have no idea how profitable digicam are for Kodak.

    Aside from PhotoCD scanners, Kodak never made scanners (they OEMed
    from Pacific Image) so it's hard to know about the scanner question
    given that Kodak never tried to compete there. Kodak does make a
    successful(?) line of dye sublimation and in-store kiosk printers.
    Epson dominates the home market, with Canon making inroads. Kodak
    has tried to enter the most-profitable segment of the inkjet market
    by providing paper, but AFAIK not yet ink cartridges.
     
    Bill Tuthill, May 24, 2004
    #4
  5. I think that Kodak killed their own products. Their (color negative) film
    offerings to the general public are just for people with cheap P&S cameras.
    I fail to understand why professional films should be different from
    consumer films. Of course handling and quality control can be different.
    The regular Gold is quite bad. They had good films, but somehow didn't
    want to sell them to avarage consumers.

    And then, make things worse, the Kodak lab in .nl could make decent prints.
    But they 'improved' to process in a direction I don't like (again probably to
    improve things for the P&S people). And then, they don't want to just
    develop color negative film either.

    If Fuji offers what I want, they can get my money.
     
    Philip Homburg, May 24, 2004
    #5
  6. richardsfault

    Alan Browne Guest

    Bill Tuthill wrote:

    http://tinyurl.com/3e9bu

    Agfa d-lab.2 is best per Chasseur D'Images, as I sumarised last year.
    Noritsu is bottom of the heap.
     
    Alan Browne, May 24, 2004
    #6
  7. richardsfault

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Much the same situation with AGFA in European markets, in that they have
    eaten into the film and image processing market share of Kodak.
    I have actually had great results from putting Kodak film through Fuji
    Frontier equipment. Of course, that could just be the lab I use. However,
    I can see your point that many would want to match the gear to the film.
    Many pro labs have gone Fuji, though I see drug stores and department
    stores with Kodak gear (not that I would use them). I think Kodak is
    hitting middle America (rural) and department stores, though I doubt they
    can regain market share from Fuji in the US.
    Going buy their SEC filings, it seems that the chip production for others
    has good profits, though obviously film is still more profitable. The
    largest consumer level product profits and revenues are from one-time-use
    camera sales. The largest sector revenue and profits are actually
    commercial markets, including medical imaging, printing industry,
    government contracts, et al, though largely these endeavours are very
    transparent to the general public. Most of their digital profits are low,
    though apparently their hope is that future increased market share will
    eventually yield better profits. Lots of information to read, though if
    one is willing to dig through the papers, a true picture appears of Kodak.
    Actually, they do, but only at a more commercial level. Kodak bought Encad
    only a couple years ago, though they are a large format inkjet printer
    specialist. The quality is quite good, but they have never aimed at the
    desktop/home user market with Encad products.
     
    Gordon Moat, May 24, 2004
    #7
  8. I think they are #2 in U.S. market share right now.
    Ah, you really *are* ignorant. For a while, Kodak was the *entire*
    digital SLR market. And lots of people still use them. Check used
    prices for, say, a DCS720x or DCS760.
    Google for "Applied Science Fiction". Kodak acquired them for just
    that function: their technology scans film in high quality without
    conventional development.

    <snip>
     
    Stephen H. Westin, May 25, 2004
    #8
  9. richardsfault

    Sander Vesik Guest

    It depends on the film - but fuji labs do give best results with fuji film
    and by some reports totaly mangle some other films (konica). It would
    be rather odd if they were not at least partially tuned to what fuji
    does.

    [snip]
     
    Sander Vesik, May 25, 2004
    #9
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