Kodak to enter the DSLR gutter

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

  1. I went to the graduation exhibition of a local photographic college. I
    was very impressed with their work, and interested to note that all
    except two were using digital cameras amd printers for their exhbition
    work, both DSLR and medium format. I asked the students whether it was
    possible to do a degree purely in digital photography. They told me
    that the national professional photography organisations had insisted
    that in order to be recognised as a proper professional qualification
    that the college degree contained no more than some rather small
    percentage of digital work, but hastened to assure me that most of the
    lecturers and tutors realised how silly this was and actually gave a
    lot more tuition in digital than they were supposed to.

    Given the typical conservative inertia of the good old boys who prop
    up the bar at the professional organisation headquarters we'll be
    lucky if they manage to drop wet film technology from the curriculum
    requirements before manufacturers actually stop making it. They'll
    probably end up claiming that like learning ancient Latin and Greek it
    improves the mind.
    Chris Malcolm, Mar 8, 2008
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  2. RichA

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Nope, as I said in my first post, the economics are a major
    reason why they are changing back to film. In the approx 3
    years since they changed to digital, their expenditure has
    been far higher than it ever was when they were film based.
    The cost of repairing/replacing damaged cameras, plus the
    cost of the camera spread over it's short life, far exceeded
    the cost of film, chemicals, and maintaining their film

    They initially changed to digital partly because of the lure
    of lower running costs - no more film and processing. But
    they found that in the classroom environment, where
    mistreatment was commonplace, the digitals didn't stand up
    to it as well as the film cameras. One drop and it would be
    curtains for the camera, time to shell out for a
    repair/replace. And now that their cameras are about 3 years
    old they are starting to die with a sickening regularity.
    Doug Jewell, Mar 8, 2008
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  3. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Since students have to shell out thousands on textbooks, make them
    buy their own cameras.
    RichA, Mar 8, 2008
  4. Frankly, I don't think you can demonstrate any of that
    to be true.

    If the cameras are actually being used, the cost savings
    with digital would pay for *new* cameras every year.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Mar 8, 2008
  5. RichA

    frederick Guest

    Knowing how schools (private and state) are run in this country, a guess
    of how it might be true is that parents are asked for "donations" (state
    schools), but just sent an invoice (private schools) for materials.
    Film and processing chemicals is probably accepted by parents as fair
    enough, but a more abstract "wear & tear" figure for use of digital
    would create a hornet's nest.
    frederick, Mar 8, 2008
  6. RichA

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Pretty easy. The biggest education photographic supplier in
    Australia is a company called Vanbar. Their education
    pricelist happens to be on the web. www.vanbar.com.au/bts. I
    would assume that this is where this school would be buying.
    If not, I would assume they would be buying at similar prices.

    From the prices on their website - If you buy B&W film and
    chemistry in bulk, as a school would, the cost per frame
    comes down to a fraction over 6c for the film, and a
    fraction under 1c for the chemistry, so 7c per frame.
    Compared to a D80 body at $1272, and the digital has to take
    about 18,000 valid frames (ie excluding the ones where the
    kids are playing, deleting etc, because they wouldn't do
    that with film) to pay for itself.
    When my wife did a similar course in highschool, they used
    the cameras for 1 lesson per week (although not every week).
    The other lessons they did theory, developing, analysis,
    etc. My wife's school (which was fairly large) had 1
    photography class. The school in question is a bit bigger so
    lets assume they have 3 classes. 3 classes x 1 hour x 30
    weeks = 90 hours per year that the cameras get used, so the
    camera would have to take 200 frames in that hour to be
    cheaper than film. Not going to happen.

    If it's useful life is 3 years, it still has to take 66
    frames in the hour, to be cheaper than film. This doesn't
    include paying for any repairs (which will be more expensive
    than a similar repair to a film camera) that it may need.
    Again, not likely that they would take 66 valid frames in an
    hour. A smaller school with fewer classes using the same
    camera would need to take even more frames per camera for
    the costs to even out.

    The only way to get it's cost viable, would be to
    restructure the timetable to give more, but smaller,
    classes. This would increase the utilisation of each camera,
    but doing so would also mean more teachers, running the
    costs up again.
    Doug Jewell, Mar 9, 2008
  7. RichA

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Well, of course film is going to be cheaper if you don't include the cost of
    the film camera in your calculations, nor the cost of paper and chemicals
    for paper, but you do include the cost of a more advanced camera than is
    necessary for digital.

    Why not go with a digital camera that costs about a tenth of the D80. That
    would lower the required shots per camera per class down to about 6 or
    twenty, depending on how you calculate things. I think that's achievable.

    Also, you need to include the cost of all the darkroom equipment into your
    equation as well, which is going to be quite a bit higher than an inkjet
    printer. If we really want to get a cost per picture comparison, why not
    include all the costs?

    My son just took a photography course. The cameras being used were
    inexpensive point-and-shoots. Some were older some were fairly new. But
    none compared with the D80, but the basics were covered anyway.

    His particular instructor didn't care if the students were deleting the bad
    shots. It simply demonstrated that the students had learned what
    constituted a bad picture, and the pictures presented at the end of the
    class were of a higher calibre, meaning that the students had a better
    chance to play around and learn than they would have had they been limited
    to one roll of film. Also, while we're talking about cost per camera, it
    should be noted that the type of additional experience gained by digital
    cameras would raise the cost of the film based system if the same level of
    experience is to be obtained.

    While one or two schools may be converting back to film because digital
    wasn't quite as cheap as administrators had anticipated, I think that the
    vast majority of institutions use digital, and that says quite a bit.

    I know from my own point of view, the point of view of a fellow who loves
    film and who has a complete colour darkroom (complete with automated
    processors, etc) sitting in his basement, but who has opted for digital
    because the cost per picture is way cheaper can't be easily discounted --
    especially when it jives nicely with the economic experiences of the
    majority of educational institutions.

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Mar 9, 2008
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