jmeyersnv: Don't blame the current management for Kodak's demise. Back in the early 2000's, when I was an active technology investment banker at one of the leading securities firms, I proposed to Kodak's management that their company acquire Lexar Media -- a company I had then recently helped take public.
They turned my detailed proposal down cold, articulating the position at that time that digital photography would always be a small derivative of the well-established, film-based market. Instead, Kodak half-heartedly did a licensing deal with Lexar, which clearly evidenced its disdain for solid state film.
The rest is history.
I agree and disagree with you. I agree that the current management isn't completely to blame but I disagree in that they still should shoulder the shame of killing Kodak.
I wholeheartedly agree that the historical management of Kodak was lacking. As a camera store manager back in the '70s, I would see Kodak make continual idiotic marketing decisions. They followed a similar formula to that of Disney. Come out with a good product and then, instead of continuing to innovate, milk that product to death leaving consumers completely dissatisfied. They constantly drove business away to other brands all the while ignoring the begging and pleading from their dealers and consumers.
So the UK Pension Plan folks have acquired a large piece of the consumer film business. That information was announced months ago but there is nothing to be found on the Internet about the new business. If they are going to continue on and be profitable for their pensioners, they better get their act together now and start marketing and transitioning aggressively. They may have already let this languish too long.
If you are looking for a CEO to get things moving, contact me or just about anybody else on the planet other than Antonio Perez.
As a recent purchaser of the price-dropped GX1s, I am very impressed with the Panasonic cameras. I would buy this model without hesitation. The GX1 is an excellent camera so I expect this replacement for it to be a winner, too. The Panasonic line is clearly designed by folks who are photographers and want a functional camera that has advanced features where you need them.
The built-n shake reduction will be a big selling point for me since I use several old Nikon lenses with an adapter.
Unfortunately, this is business as usual for Japan. If it were a Japanese CEO that had blown the whistle, there might have been a change. Since it was an outsider, not a chance. I was amazed that they had placed a foreigner as CEO as it was. That is very out of character for them.
Kodak management is stuck in a downward spiral. They have never known how to deal with competition in a tough marketplace. They should be getting rid of their old business structure at firesale prices in order to invest and innovate as a digital leader.
More so than waterproof is the advantage of having a camera that is more environment-proof. Shooting in a desert, on the prairie, or at the beach is a more likely scenario than standing in pouring rain. Keeping dust, sand, and salt out of delicate mechanical and electronic components is a more real-life benefit.
"surface tension just won't let water fall through a hairline crack." You must not have heard of capillary action. A hairline crack will actually draw in water under the right circumstances.
This looks like it was designed by someone who actually uses a camera. Bravo!
Ricoh had such a terrible reputation for quality during its earlier SLR days that they would be smart to retain the Pentax brand and drop Ricoh entirely.