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.
As Kodak fades, FujiFilm embodies a new generation of photographic technology driven by genuine innovation rather than strict adherence to marketing formulas. A powerful lesson is hidden in this story.
Kodak just filed for bankruptcy in the US. This was almost expected as business has been declining over the years, being unable to make a come back from the decline of film.
The film division, still profitable after a reduction of costs, simplification of the product line like abandoning Kodachrome development isn’t big enough to sustain the rest. After deciding in November 2011 to sell their image sensor division to an equity firm, it sounded obvious that Kodak management didn’t know where to go.
Now several concerns:
First, what will happen to the film division? I’m sure that this is part of what they will try to offload for cheap. It is not growing anymore, quite the opposite, but they still have good film products and it would be a great loss to lose them.
Second, their patent pool is like a nuclear warhead that they are gonna sell to the highest bidder who will use it for patent warfare. Kodak has been known to litigate in the past to try to bring in some cash, unsuccessfully.
It is sad to see this happening, but ever falling sales of film made the enterprise even less viable. I just wish there was a company that was able to manufacture and process a Kodachrome-like film in the future, as it was the best color slide film, with unbelievable archival quality, unrivaled by the E-6 chemistry based slide films.
I just regret to not have shot enough of it, none of them in America.