Minolta yesterday announced that it will halt production and development of APS cameras in favour of attacking the ever expanding digital camera market. This comes as no surprise to dpreview as we have observed the dramatic shift in market share (and production) between 35 mm, APS and digital over the last two years. "Investors welcomed the news, sending shares in Minolta up 8.39 percent to 155 yen on Wednesday morning. The Nikkei average dipped 0.1 percent."

Minolta Halts Development of APS Cameras

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Minolta Co Ltd said on Wednesday it had halted new product development for APS (advanced photo system) cameras and would focus its resources on the fast-growing market for digital cameras.

The shift in business strategy is part of the camera and copier maker's effort to right itself by cutting costs and jobs after forecasting a group net loss of $160.4 million for the year through March.

Minolta lost 3.1 billion yen last year.

Investors welcomed the news, sending shares in Minolta up 8.39 percent to 155 yen on Wednesday morning. The Nikkei average dipped 0.1 percent.

APS standards were jointly developed by five camera makers -- Minolta, Nikon Corp, Canon Inc, Fuji Photo Film Co Ltd and Eastman Kodak Co

APS cameras were introduced in 1996 but the market for such products has been shrinking because of stiff competition from digital cameras.

A spokesman for Minolta said the firm, which entered the digital camera market in July, planned to expand its market share by assigning its APS researchers to digital cameras.