Kodak to abandon cameras

After inventing the digital camera in 1975, and resisting it heavily, now Kodak is abandoning the digital camera market all together during their bankruptcy, to reorganize, refocus in order to exit as smaller company. They won’t stop making disposable film cameras though, which is part of the film division.

Source Kodak press release and C|Net.

While this seems to be saddening, it is the reality of the business, and I understand this one.

Kodak was in the low-end of the market, their camera weren’t really great, albeit sufficient in the consumer market. But with the declining market for consumer compact digital camera, totally taken over by cell-phones, it seems to be the logical decision. Even the Japanese makers saw a serious fall this year, but most have a higher-end product line to sustain the business.

My only hope is that they don’t end up getting out of the film business ; the current press release does clearly state they continue. The end of Kodachrome was an unfortunate decision they had to make, and consolidating their film product line seemed to be sane ; they still make good products and it would be very sad if they discontinued them.

We’ll see.

Kodachrome 2010

A small documentary “Kodachrome 2010” by Xander Robin, with an interview of Dwayne’s Photo lab manager and how it came to an end.

The video was taken down on YouTube due to a copyright claim.

Robert Cohen found his last roll of Kodachrome and went to the Missouri fair to shoot it ; then drove down to Dwayne’s to get it processed, anxiously waiting to see if the film had any picture on it.

My biggest regret is to not have shot Kodachrome more often. I think that the 3 weeks turn around in France was part of what turned me off.

Olympus OM-D

This is just out, Olympus officially announced the long rumored OM-D (or E-M5), their new high-end m4/3 camera.

Quick hands-on by DPReview:

Longer presentation by Photography Review, with a size comparison with the E-P3:

The short specs (from DPReview):

  • 16Mpix m4/3 sensor
  • EVF 1.44M dot
  • Swivel LCD touch screen
  • 5 axis IS
  • High ISO 25600 – whether it will be good or not is a different question
  • Supposedly fast everything
  • Weather sealed

As the DPReview preview shows, it looks like the same size as a Panasonic G, slightly bigger than the E-P3.
There is also an optional grip.

The price will be $999.

Olympus also announced a 75mm f1.8, a 60mm f2.8 Macro 1:1 and a flash. They are really getting more serious, and it is a prelude to the death of the Four-Third standard as m4/3 is taking over.

Olympus OM-D website.

Update (Feb 9): OM-D is the product line, like Pen Digital, and E-M5 is the camera name. It seems clear that they might have more OM-D cameras.