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Written by Oflife

January 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm

A Kodak Moment

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It is common to read an article in the media and sense as someone experienced in the field* that the author is not that familiar with the subject they are writing about.

Today, the papers have been analysing what lead to Kodak filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Headlines scream to the effect, “Kodak killed by the digital photography revolution!”

Not quite. A few facts:

Kodak invented the DIGITAL camera. In 1975.

Kodak were one of the first to market with a digital camera practical for use by businesses and real estate professionals. (My employer was kindly loaned one to help with an award winning project by Logitech who branded some of the early Kodak models.)

Lake Tahoe, taken by the author in 1995 with a Logitech branded early Kodak digital camera
(The original image was 768 x 640 pixels at max resolution – huge back then!)

Kodak were the first to market with digital cameras that took good pictures. And they should know, having a background that lends them to color theory and other photography essentials – not just fancy hardware.

Kodak were one of the first to market with innovative digital cameras, such as the LS633, the first device of any type with a high resolution (even by today’s standards) OLED display, in this case on the back of the camera for previewing photos with almost (printed) photorealistic quality. They too loaned my employer a camera to evaluate for a (hardware) project requiring next generation display technology.

Circle Line from High St Ken to Notting Hill Gate

Taken by the author in 2004 with a Kodak LS633 that featured a high res
OLED display that made checking photos in camera more reliable

© 2004 Taikitso

Kodak continued to design and launch innovative cameras – including the first high quality consumer compact with a flip out display allowing you to take a photo of you good looking – without first seeking a tourist to hold the camera.

Kodak cameras are very well built and feature excellent ergonomics and control placement and labelling – unlike most others on the market that require one to be an expert in the art of finger juggling. (When you are in a hurry to capture that split second – moment – such things matter.)

So, Mr. Blogger chap, why did Kodak get into difficulties?

Unlike Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony, Panasonic (Lumix), Samsung and others, Kodak ceased producing high end cameras such as DSLRS, ‘focusing’ instead on compact cameras.

Whoops.

With the advent of mobile phones featuring cameras whose image quality matches and in some cases exceeds compact digital cameras, Kodak had no alternative product line to rely upon for revenue.
(Note, they did/do make excellent sensors, although Foveon, Fuji, Sony and Canon are now competitors. DYK that Sony make the sensors used in Nikon DSLRS?)

All the aforementioned brands (and others) produce large sensor interchangeable lens cameras that thanks to optical zooms, shot to shot speed, pro image quality, manual controls and fits like a glove ergonomics, will always be one step ahead of the best phone camera.

Very sad to see Kodak go this way, however, Chapter 11 is not the end. For in America, you get a second chance.

*Farmer?

Update (20 Jan 2012) – There continue to be terrible bugs in WordPress (the whole entity, from the hosted service to the iOS app) has been full of mission critical failures. For example, this Kodak post has randomly changed without my input. The title vanished (I just had to re-enter it!) and parts of older versions of the post re-appear. It seems that the content management system is broken. This is embarrassing as it makes it look as though we are not editing our posts properly. It is free (although I pay for their self hosting version for work) so complaining is probably unfair, but you would think by now these long term bugs would have been fixed.

Written by Oflife

January 20, 2012 at 12:13 am

Half empty

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On my return from the US in 2000, it became increasingly obvious that the UK was tragically importing the worst of American culture, rather than the best that otherwise great country has to offer. Whether junk food, dumbed down (mainstream) TV or a lawsuit mentality, we almost had it all, and now, we’ve completed our collection – mass murder.

One of the subjects discussed within a dedicated page at Vision Aforethought > On > Gun Crime was a blunt analysis of why there are so many mass shootings in the US – NOT to be confused with gang shootings and single victim crimes.

It has little to do with the guns being easy to acquire, nor poverty, or family arguments, or drugs, or alcohol – even if those trigger and ‘lubricate’ the perpetrators behaviour.

* * * I N T E R M I S S I O N * * *

Horrors like this appear to be becoming more common in the UK, validating my observation that lack of inherent internal cultural restraint (BEING SPOILED!) and a me first attitude can lead to such behaviour.

Beyond the general dumbing down, what makes things even worse here is that for all the flaws in US culture, due to the history of the country, mature Americans do not go about life with the appalling sense of bitter entitlement that X-Factor, Big Brother, reality TV ‘business’ shows, social media and other sources of instant schadenfreude, gossip, false success and superficial mass ‘friendship’ generate.

(Irony of ironies, we are now EXPORTING our poop to the USA!)

People born into and living this muck are going to become, to quote, “Seriously f*cked up” and seriously f*ck up other people on their way down.

To make things even worse, one of the people responsible for turning British television into a bastion of trash received a dong from the Queen. Despair!

Sadly, the perpetrators and victims of all this are innocently unaware of their station.

How long before the tide turns and the people responsible for creating the contemporary British underclass are put on trial for abusing and damaging at least a generation with all the consequences?

“You Sir are charged with ruination of a nation. What say you?”

Fight back club: Comment with your ideas below. I’ve run out of oomph and have work to do.

What’s does INTERMISSION mean in the context of this blog? Indicates that there is a link just above referencing related content for your optional consumption before continuing with the post.

Written by Oflife

January 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm

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