Kodak to enter the DSLR gutter

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by RichA, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    With "5 and dime" marketer Vivitar. How's a $200 DSLR with a 2/3"
    sensor sound?

    Plans for Kodak-branded SLR unveiled


    + » Plans for Kodak-branded 35mm film-based SLR camera
    unveiled; Vivitar signs two-year deal to make Kodak film cameras

    Thursday 6th March 2008
    Chris Cheesman
    Vivitar statement

    Kodak-branded film compacts will continue for least another two years
    after the firm signed a new licensing deal with Vivitar which is also
    planning to manufacture a Kodak-branded 35mm SLR camera.

    'Vivitar has plans to develop a Kodak SLR camera similar to the
    Vivitar V3000s,' said Vivitar UK CEO Abbas Bhanji who added: 'The
    planned KV100 is, at the moment, at the development stages and once
    released will be aimed at educational institutes who specialise in
    traditional photography.'

    In a statement (pictured) Bhanji continued: 'The 35mm camera may be
    rare to come across, as major Tier 1 manufacturers are exiting this
    shrinking market.

    'Vivitars' agreement means it can continue to grow sales and have a
    unique niche in the market for point and shoot cameras which are
    proving to be very popular with developing countries.'

    A spokesperson for Kodak was not immediately available for comment at
    the time of writing.

    In this month's Amateur Photographer Informer magazine supplement we
    reported how Kodak consumer print film has been saved from digital
    demolition thanks, in part, to a burgeoning market in India, according
    to Kodak.

    Initial predictions of the death of film have been somewhat premature,
    according to Joel Proegler, general manager of Film Capture at Eastman
    Kodak who told us: 'Kodak has focused on the digital message for the
    past four years. As we come out of that transition, one thing is very
    clear: film is a very profitable part of the business'.

    Having achieved success in India, Kodak is now planning to exploit the
    growing economy in China.
     
    RichA, Mar 6, 2008
    #1
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  2. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Oh God, I just realized! They mean SLR!!!! The Vivitar 3000 was a
    piece of JUNK! Film camera. Kodak scraping the bottom of the barrel.
     
    RichA, Mar 6, 2008
    #2
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  3. RichA

    Mark Sieving Guest

    The article is about a 35mm film based SLR. No digital.

    Apparently, film is still popular in India.
     
    Mark Sieving, Mar 6, 2008
    #3
  4. RichA

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    But, aren't they "servicing an emerging market in developing countries"?

    I wonder if that translates to "we're not going to sell any cheap digital
    cameras in India..."
     
    Dudley Hanks, Mar 6, 2008
    #4
  5. RichA

    Pete D Guest

    As you would expect, not many households can afford to have a PC to look at
    their digital snaps but the local photo shop can process a film for a small
    cost.
     
    Pete D, Mar 6, 2008
    #5
  6. RichA

    TRoss Guest


    It ain't up to Sidd Finch standards, but....

    I suspect Amateur Photographer meant to sit on this story for three
    weeks. Either that, or Chris Cheesman should be a shoo-in for a Hook,
    Line and Sinker Award.

    If this turns out to be true, it raises soooo many questions.

    Why does Kodak need Vivitar? If Why not deal directly with Cosina?
    (IINM, Cosina manufactures Vivitar's SLRs.)

    In 2003 Kodak singed a 20-year agreement with China Lucky Film and
    paid $45M for a 20% stake in the company. In 2007 Kodak ended the
    agreement and sold its stake for $35M. If the film market in China is
    so robust, why did Kodak run away from its 20-year agreement with
    China Lucky Film?


    TR
     
    TRoss, Mar 7, 2008
    #6
  7. RichA

    Tony Polson Guest


    Vivitar is just a brand. The company that owns the Vivitar brand is
    Cosina of Japan. Cosina SLRs are, or have been, sold under Nikon,
    Pentax and Olympus brands as well as Vivitar.

    So you can be assured that Kodak *IS* dealing directly with Cosina.
     
    Tony Polson, Mar 7, 2008
    #7
  8. RichA

    Doug Jewell Guest

    I find this quite interesting. A couple of weeks ago I was
    talking to the purchasing officer for one of the large local
    private schools. This school was one of the first local
    schools to go digital in their photography department,
    getting a bunch of D70's a few years ago.

    Anyway, he was saying they've just put out a tender for 60
    manual film SLRs. I thought that was curious so queried him
    further. Over the course of quite a long chat, I gleaned the
    following reasons from him:

    1 - education. They felt that the quality of education was
    lower with digital. The kids would just snap until they got
    it right and delete the ones they didn't. With film they get
    the good and the bad, and then can analyse the bad with the
    teacher to become better. Plus, even though their DSLRs have
    full manual controls, it is too easy for them to just switch
    to full auto. With a fully manual FSLR, it forces them to
    think about aperture and shutter, and hence they learn about
    exposure better.

    2 - cost. He said that one of their motivations for going
    digital was to cut the cost of film, chemicals, processing
    etc. But in the few years since they did, they have been
    spending much more than they ever did. Being used by
    teenagers, the cameras tended to get treated badly. A drop
    that a film camera survives with nothing more than a chip on
    the paint, will be enough to kill a digital, and the repair
    is expensive. Their D70's have a little over 3 years on
    them now, and they are now starting to see mass failure of
    them. The FSLRs they had in the past needed nothing more
    than a CLA every now and then, whereas the DSLRs are looking
    like they will need to be replaced every 3-5 years.

    3 - continuity of models. Basic manual FSLRs have remained
    basically unchanged for the last 30 odd years. If they did
    need to add more, or replace some, it didn't matter if some
    students were using older cameras and some were using newer
    cameras - the operation was basically the same. With digital
    though, some of the D70's have been replaced with D80's, and
    that is enough change to make it difficult in the classroom
    environment.

    It was certainly interesting to get his views on the
    situation. I doubt film will make a huge comeback, but it is
    certainly interesting to see a situation where digital
    wasn't all it was cracked up to be and film has proven to be
    a better solution.
     
    Doug Jewell, Mar 7, 2008
    #8
  9. Another application for open firmware in Canon DSLRs. You could cook up a
    "student" mode that made it act like a film camera (no deletes), and have
    the teach seal the memory card door.
     
    Richard J Kinch, Mar 7, 2008
    #9
  10. TRoss wrote:
    []
    Three weeks time. Exactly my thought.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Mar 7, 2008
    #10
  11. RichA

    TRoss Guest

    Syntax-Brillian owns Vivitar. To the best of my knowledge Cosina never
    owned any part of Vivitar, Ponder & Best, or Hanimex. Cosina
    manufactured the Vivitar SLRs, and these cameras were available under
    the Cosina brand. The same body was also used for several other
    brands.
    Sorry, but I still think this story is a hoax. The only thing that
    will convince me otherwise is an announcement from Kodak or an actual
    product.


    TR
     
    TRoss, Mar 7, 2008
    #11
  12. RichA

    RichA Guest

    You have no idea how much money certain camera stores make from
    schools. They sell old Pentax K1000 bodies for $200+ to students. It
    is almost pure profit compared to the pittance they make on each cheap
    DSLR sale.
     
    RichA, Mar 7, 2008
    #12
  13. RichA

    RichA Guest

    I think they had some kind of letter printed from Kodak on the story
    page, but I saw nothing on the Kodak website.
     
    RichA, Mar 7, 2008
    #13
  14. RichA

    Pete D Guest

    And as we know there is an endless supply of 35 year old Pentax K1000s for
    them to sell..................
     
    Pete D, Mar 7, 2008
    #14
  15. RichA

    TRoss Guest

    "Some kind of letter" is one thing you you can say about the statement
    in the story that is accurate; another is that it's a low-res jpeg.
    Not a link to the Vivitar or Kodak websites, not a PDF, not even a
    picture that is legible enough so it can be read.

    It doesn't take much time or effort to fake a "press release" like
    this.

    What I find suspicious is it doesn't even use the current Kodak logo.
    It does, however, use the logo that was current when Kodak and Vivitar
    signed a two-year agreement (2005-2006) for Vivitar to manufacture
    Kodak branded cameras.

    TR
     
    TRoss, Mar 7, 2008
    #15
  16. RichA

    RichA Guest

    There are tons of them out there. It was one of the biggest selling
    SLRs because it's body cost was about $125 when a Nikon FM was
    $300.00.
     
    RichA, Mar 7, 2008
    #16
  17. RichA

    frederick Guest

    This isn't a "film vs digital" point so much as a feature rich vs mainly
    manual situation. I seriously doubt that a feature rich, but mid
    consumer level Nikon film slr (N70?) is any more rugged, or any less
    problem prone that a D70. What doesn't exist (and perhaps many people
    would like) is a DSLR built like a Nikon Fm or Fe, including feature
    set. I don't think it will happen.
    I do think that a student would take 1000 frames on an outing with a D70
    without thinking. Perhaps a firmware "fix" to lock out automatic
    features, and prevent deletion of files from CF cards in-camera would
    solve a problem. Perhaps it can be done if there is a market, as it
    seems there is. I doubt that it would be a huge technical challenge.
    IMO the teacher needs to shift his views. Regardless of what he thinks,
    the 3-5 year life for dslrs in that situation should be considered in
    context of the real world, where most of the students will have bought
    and disposed of many "essential" devices - cell phones, mp3 players, etc
    over that period.

    Teaching the intricacies and foibles of working with film is an
    anachronism when it is certain that by the time they graduate, it's use
    will be more of a rarity than now. Denying them the opportunity to
    learn new technology for the sake of some nostalgic sentiment for old
    technology is not a good idea IMHO.
     
    frederick, Mar 8, 2008
    #17
  18. RichA

    Doug Jewell Guest

    It won't happen, because a great part of the cost of the
    DSLR is the sensor, image processor, screen etc, which would
    have to remain even in a basic DSLR. Taking out many of the
    functions would merely be a firmware change, not a matter of
    leaving out expensive components.
    That would solve some issues related to education, but
    wouldn't solve the cost issues.
    Cameras like the K1000 etc were practically indestructible.
    Even in a school environment they lasted for ages. They are
    tough, and with very few functions there is little to go
    wrong. Occasionally they would need seals replaced, or a
    CLA, but that is needed infrequently, and costs a pittance
    compared to doing anything on a DSLR.
    Yeah, electronic products are disposable. But they are not
    cheap. Think about purchasing 60 DSLRs every 3-5 years to
    replace the ones that wear out, plus the repair/replacement
    costs of the ones that are dropped etc.
    Compare that to the cost of B&W film, paper, and a few
    chemicals.
    Money isn't an unlimited resource, and that money could be
    spent on other resources.
    It's not a nostalgic sentiment for old technology, it is an
    economic decision, and a teaching decision. The techniques
    learnt with film translate very well to digital.
    Understanding aperture, shutter, exposure, focal length,
    composition etc, is almost exactly the same with digital as
    it is with film. It is not important what recording medium
    the camera uses, what is important is that it allows them to
    learn these aspects of photography. For this, film is just
    as good to learn with as digital is.
    Sure, with digital you can shoot, check, adjust, reshoot,
    whereas with film the idea is to get it right first time.
    The instant feedback could have advantages, but at the same
    time, having the skill to get it right first time is still
    valuable even if you are shooting with digital - not every
    situation gives you long enough to chimp.
     
    Doug Jewell, Mar 8, 2008
    #18
  19. RichA

    frederick Guest

    Sure, but are you sure that the cost of film etc isn't underestimated
    here? The cost of a basic but probably perfectly adequate quality dslr
    body is only about the same cost as 100 rolls of film. Do the film slrs
    shoot less than that over 3-5 years? How can a student learn
    photography if limited to a few rolls of film?
    I disagree. The ability to gain immediate feedback by "chimping" or
    viewing on screen without delay, combined with the availability of
    shooting settings in the metadata of digital files should be a massive
    help in teaching. In fact, I'd suggest that if you want to learn how to
    shoot film, learn the techniques with use a dslr (perhaps locked to ISO
    100) before you waste masses of expensive celluloid.
     
    frederick, Mar 8, 2008
    #19
  20. Those are what it *should* be!
    The question is not if they translate, but are they
    better? They are *not* better for teaching, and the
    economics are not better either.
    Exposure is not the same, and using/teaching typical
    film techniques for exposure causes more problems that
    probably any other single mistake.
    That is correct.

    But the question is if one is a more effective teaching
    tool, not just if it will work as a teaching tool.
    That is not correct.

    With digital a student can, within the time allocated
    for a 1 hour lab or class, take *many* images, review
    each, and then base the next one on what was learned
    from the last one. It is a very tight feedback loop,
    and that makes if extremely effective for teaching.

    With film that is not possible. By the time the student
    can review the results (next week?) it's hard to even
    remember what the images were!
    That is *not* the idea for students. Who knows what
    "right" is??? Students are learning what the effects
    are from varying different parameters. There is no
    "right" the first time!
    Getting a desired effect is a skill. Knowing which
    effect is desired is not a skill though, it is simply
    making use of a knowledge base which allows one to know
    what is possible.

    With film it takes years to get the same amount of
    experience to develop the knowledge base that can be
    obtained with digital in weeks or even days. The
    feedback loop is too long and too loose.
    You are confusing production with education.

    You also failed to even discuss the economics. Instead
    you've talked about the cost of only the cameras, but
    the total operating cost is where the bottom line is
    at. In one year a digital camera will save more than its
    price by eliminating the cost of film and processing.

    Those DSLR's that are lasting 2-3+ years they are an
    economic windfall!
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Mar 8, 2008
    #20
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