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Kodak: Simplicity and Features over Megapixels

Apr 10, 2000 at 04:00 GMT

Kodak Defines Need to Drive Mass-Market Acceptance of Digital Photography. In a keynote to a group of leading industry executives at the "Advance Digital Photography Forum 2000", Daniel A. Carp (Kodak CEO) talks about consumers and mass-market acceptance of digital cameras.

Press Release:

Kodak Defines Need to Drive Mass-Market Acceptance of Digital Photography

Simplicity and Features Trump Megapixel Every Time

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 10, 2000--Eastman Kodak Company President and CEO Daniel A. Carp today described how Kodak and the industry need to better promote the consumer benefits of digital pictures rather than the number of pixels in a digital camera.

During a keynote address to a group of leading industry executives at the Advancing Digital Photography Forum 2000, presented by Lyra Research, Inc., Carp described how the industry and Wall Street treat digital as a ``magic'' word, while consumers are far more interested in features and benefits rather than the pixel count of a CCD image sensor. He emphasized that the word digital does not provide consumers with a compelling enough reason to change their picture-taking habits.

``We know very well what digital means to us...and to industry analysts...and to Wall Street,'' Carp said. ``But what does it really mean to the public? To consumers, the word 'digital' does not always mean better. For example, expensive fashion watches are analog; less expensive watches are almost always digital.

``Kodak is convinced that there has never been a better time to be in the picture business. And not just because digital has created some new excitement. What's more intriguing is how digital can change the way people take and use pictures. Suddenly, there are no boundaries to how often you can take pictures, because film cost or availability is no longer an issue. There are no boundaries limiting when you can take pictures, because digital cameras have conveniently become hooked into everything, from telephones to the new Kodak PalmPix camera that attaches to your Palm organizer.

Carp went on to describe a watershed moment in modern photography, the introduction of the Brownie camera by Kodak founder George Eastman. The Brownie camera, introduced in 1900, is widely viewed as the product that transformed photography from a technically challenging, costly, professional activity to an easy, inexpensive and mass-market one.

``George Eastman's new technology was far more economical and convenient than anything that preceded it. All he lacked was a mass market for this new system of picture taking. If Eastman were a product of the Internet age, he might have been tempted to sell his new system as a glamorous piece of new technology, with ads and press releases hyping the wonders of 'nitrocellulose roll film photography'.

``Of course, he didn't. Instead, he showed people how simple and fun it was to take pictures,'' Carp continued. ``He suggested when and where people should take pictures; he provided guidance on who should take pictures; he gave people plenty of reasons why they should take pictures. And he left no doubt about the modest cost of taking pictures. All things the industry should be doing today to drive mass-market acceptance of digital photography products and services.

``These days, though, it will take more than one company to change a century of consumer habits and perception. With the participation of the entire industry, I am confident that we can lead the way toward a more picture-rich era, and that, together, we can break through the technical and marketing challenges facing our industry.''

A full transcript of Carp's speech is available at Kodak's website www.kodak.com.

Presented by Lyra Research, the Advancing Digital Photography Forum conference brings together, in an open and constructive environment, hundreds of top executives from virtually every corner of the digital photo industry to hear and discuss analyses of the near-term future of digital photography, technology and markets. More information about Lyra Research is available at www.lyra.com.