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Kodak to exit consumer photography, while tech giants gang-up to buy patents

By dpreview staff on Aug 24, 2012 at 18:02 GMT

Kodak has announced it will sell its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging business units, to focus on 'commercial, packaging and functional printing solutions and enterprise services,' ending Kodak's role as a consumer-facing photographic company. The Personalized Imaging business includes print kiosks and consumer film, while the Document Imaging business includes scanners and commercial document management. In the meantime, the company stresses that products and support will be available and both businesses will be sold as going concerns.

Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal has reported that many of the world's biggest technology companies, including Samsung, Apple and Google, have formed a consortium to bid for Kodak's digital imaging patents. Kodak was hoping the sale of its patents would raise over $2.2bn which would help the remains of the company emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The newspaper reports that the consortium is looking to pay as little as $500m for the patents which cover Kodak's many fundamental inventions in the digital field.

Kodak will continue to make film for the movie industry, along with its 'Specialist Film' division, which makes large-format films for aerial and industrial photography. It will also continue to run its Consumer Inkjet division as one of its last public-facing businesses.


Press Release

Kodak Takes Next Steps toward Successful Emergence

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--BUSINESS WIRE--Eastman Kodak Company today outlined its next steps toward a successful emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization as a company primarily focused on commercial, packaging and functional printing solutions and enterprise services. Accordingly, the company has initiated sale processes for its market-leading Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses.

“In addition, we continue our initiatives to reduce our cost structure and streamline our operating models in an effort to return the company to profitability.”

Kodak believes that the sale of these assets, as well as continued cost-reduction initiatives, curtailment of its legacy liabilities, and the monetization of the company’s digital imaging patent portfolio, will be significant milestones toward completing the company’s reorganization and emergence from Chapter 11 during 2013.

“The initiation of a process to sell the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses is an important step in our company’s reorganization to focus our business on the commercial markets and enable Kodak to accelerate its momentum toward emergence,” said Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, we continue our initiatives to reduce our cost structure and streamline our operating models in an effort to return the company to profitability.”

“We are reshaping Kodak. We continue to rebalance our company toward commercial, packaging and functional printing – in which we have the broadest portfolio solutions – and enterprise services. These businesses have substantial long-term growth prospects worldwide and are core to the future of Kodak. We are confident that our competitive advantages in materials science and deposition technologies, as well as our know-how in digital imaging, will enable us to capitalize on those opportunities and extend our leadership in key growth markets.”

Kodak noted that in addition to the commercial, packaging and functional printing and enterprise services businesses, it also continues to own and operate the Consumer Inkjet, Entertainment Imaging, Commercial Film and Specialty Chemicals businesses, given the company’s expertise, capabilities and strong customer relationships in these markets, as well as their combined cash-generating capability.

The Personalized Imaging business consists of Retail Systems Solutions (RSS), Paper & Output Systems (P&OS) and Event Imaging Solutions (EIS). RSS is the worldwide leader in retail print solutions with a global footprint of 105,000 KODAK Picture Kiosks; P&OS includes the broadest portfolio of traditional photographic paper and still camera film products; and EIS provides souvenir photo products at theme parks and other venues. The Document Imaging business provides a leading and comprehensive portfolio of scanners, capture software and services to enterprise customers.

“Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging are valuable businesses that enjoy leading market positions as a result of superior products and service offerings. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our customers, and we will work to ensure that they continue to receive the exceptional levels of quality and service they have come to expect from Kodak. Customers remain the top priority of all our businesses – those we intend to sell and those that will remain part of Kodak,” Perez said.

Kodak said it would move forward as quickly as possible and has targeted completing these transactions in the first half of 2013. Lazard is adviser to Kodak in the sale process.

In accordance with its prior announcement, the company is continuing discussions with parties with respect to the potential sale of its digital imaging patent portfolio. The company reiterates that it has made no decision to sell the portfolio and Kodak may, in consultation with creditors, retain the portfolio as an alternative source of recovery for creditors.

“As we move forward with the Chapter 11 process, we are focused on delivering the highest value to our creditors so that we can emerge as a sustainable, profitable company that continues to meet the needs of our customers,” Perez concluded.

Comments

Total comments: 267
12
Larry Winters
By Larry Winters (Aug 25, 2012)

I can't beieve the CEO of Kodak Antonio Perez is still there AND getting paid as he is personally responsible for much of Kodaks demise.

The news has conveniently forgot to mention that Kodak was offered a couple billion several years ago for their patents but the CEO Perez thought they were worth far more, so declined the offer. Now he thought they were still going to get a premium in Bankruptcy? The guy is flat out incompetent. Not to mention he failed to understand that film really was next to dead. He also failed to hire people to implement those patents into viable products which would have been worth MUCH more.

The Kodak demise would make a perfect book on what not to do as a CEO. And to think this moron Perez is going to someday get a golden parachute retirement when he does leave. All while the common shareholders get screwed. The American way as they say.

13 upvotes
sar12611
By sar12611 (Aug 25, 2012)

I agree 110.. % with your comment. Couldnt have said it better myself. I was questioning this ceo's decisions for few years. Yes the american way....

1 upvote
benmlee
By benmlee (Aug 30, 2012)

Unfortunately, look across the industries, other CEOs are no better. Seems like the more they are paid the less they do. They are more concerned about making the year end bonus than well being of the company. Irony is so many people still worship these CEO, and think they "earned" their money with their "talent"

0 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 25, 2012)

OK I'm not from the US, but Kodak has not had the market significance outside the US that is has domestically. It's demise will cause hardly a ripple in Europe. A handful will mourn the passing of TriX but that's about it.

Perhaps that's the root of the problem. They have an impressive technology portfolio but never managed to monetise any of it. Poor management? Partly, but also a bunch of shareholders and creditors who were unwilling to accept the medium term financial hit of the major restructuring required.

Welcome to short termist ecomonomics. It killed more companies than Kodak.

5 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 25, 2012)

"Welcome to short termist ecomonomics. It killed more companies than Kodak." = the word(s) of the day. For sure modern managers who inherited famous companies trashed a lot of them as surely as they will never be able to build any new one.

Trust in experience and talent, not in diploma !

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Aug 25, 2012)

Being from Europe, remember when the once high-flying photographic and motion picture company AGFA had collapsed, seemingly overnight? If it were not for the Americans, British, and Japanese, you could not get any photo or MP film stock on Continental Europe. Wow....

0 upvotes
Michel Aristegui
By Michel Aristegui (Aug 26, 2012)

Portra films are used worldwide. And are recent technology. But, yes, I acknowledge that digital enabled any idiot to take good family pictures and occasionally good pictures.

0 upvotes
FRANCISCO ARAGAO
By FRANCISCO ARAGAO (Aug 25, 2012)

Wow, Apple BUYING patents, this is already a progress.

4 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 25, 2012)

Ouch :)

2 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Aug 25, 2012)

Unfortunately I don't think so. Apple, he company that stole its name from Apple Corps, has successfully sued Samsung for 'stealing' standard tablet interfaces. I will not buy a single product from this obnoxious American company.

4 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 25, 2012)

Apple did not stole its name from the Beattles company, that's plain error to think so. Apple Corps. didn't made a single computer, and Apple Computers did not produced music. The apple that was "used" by the Beattles was obviously the Adam's one, the symbol of original sin. The apple used by Apple Computers is a mix of the same one (which has been in the public domain for some centuries, that said) and the McIntosh apple (cf: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McIntosh_%28apple%29 ) taken as a symbol of spreading vastely from a single tree.

Don't tell nonesense if you want to be taken seriously my friend. For the rest, I like you stay away from Apple products for many reasons that I think are all founded.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Aug 25, 2012)

"Apple Freaks of the World, Unite!"

0 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Aug 25, 2012)

WilliamJ, you need a little lesson in history. Here's the story of how Apple Computers was sued successfully more than once by Apple Corps.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v_Apple_Computer

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 25, 2012)

I give you facts and you answer by "Apple comp. have been sued". Nonsense ! Anyone can sue anybody, it doesn't mean this anyone is right, at least until he wins in a court of justice. Did Apple Corp. ever win against Apple Computers ? Never. It always ended by a settlement which can be reach each time a company finds a long trial can cause its brandmark more damage than paying some cash. Does it prove anything ? Nothing.

Think again to Michael Jackson who had to pay a huge settlement to a boy who accused him of paedophilia... yet the boy said later he lied.

Besides, what's the problem, honestly, having the same brand based on a simple common name, especially when the two companies are not in the same business ? Apple Corp. has found a good way to milk Apple Comp. money, that's that overall.

0 upvotes
Turbguy1
By Turbguy1 (Aug 25, 2012)

What REALLY is going to happen, is Kodak's R&D on improvement to analog photography will cease. Film will still be available at ever increasing cost, but things certainly ain't gonna get much better from here on out. And production quality will probably suffer in the hands of a new owner.

Meanwhile, digital photography will keep advancing, and we really haven't seen anything yet!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 39 seconds after posting
1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 25, 2012)

According to Turbguy1 also known as Nostradamus mkII !

0 upvotes
sar12611
By sar12611 (Aug 25, 2012)

I think the gentleman with antimosity against Apple has possible issues related to America as a nation..and is projecting his isdues at Apple an easy target. Psych eval. May help and offer assessment and plan.

0 upvotes
wchutt
By wchutt (Aug 25, 2012)

My understanding is the only reason Kodak is still making film stock is to fulfill an obligation to the motion picture industry. I believe the motion picture film is part of a court ordered settlement involving their bankruptcy.

Kodak is under no obligation to produce still-camera film which is why they are trying to find a buyer. It could be the real crisis, with regard to Kodk film stock, will come after the court-ordered motion picture contract period is over.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Aug 25, 2012)

Why don't you just shoot on Fujifilm stock, wchutt? It's pretty good, you know.

0 upvotes
DotCom Editor
By DotCom Editor (Aug 25, 2012)

This company deserved to fail. Kodak's long line of head-in-the-sand executives have no one to blame but themselves. This is fully and wholly self-inflicted.

6 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Aug 25, 2012)

hmmmm

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 25, 2012)

Some of us think because they were born with a tongue, what they say is obviously meaningful. Really, DotCom, are you sure you have enough informations about what was going on in Kodak to be so affirmative ? I fear you belong to these guys who not so long ago loved to get upset, then found a bunch of dudes like them to linch somebody with no clue in hand.

0 upvotes
DotCom Editor
By DotCom Editor (Aug 27, 2012)

Hey WilliamJ Start here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2011/10/02/what-i-saw-as-kodak-crumbled/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2011/10/02/the-entrepreneurial-failure-of-eastman-kodak/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/business/kodak-loses-patent-lawsuit-against-apple-and-rim.html?ref=eastmankodakcompany

http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/a-century-on-film-how-kodak-succumbed-to-the-digital-age-a-815488.html

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Aug 24, 2012)

Everyone that grew up in the 60s or earlier had a Kokak at some point. My first camera was Kodak Starlet, that used 127 film rolls (4x4cm), I got it for my 11th bd back in 1967. recently got one used to complete the set of cameras I ever used. For my whole b&w film period, 1974-2006, I used Kodak stuff.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 25, 2012)

I did for sure ! As a child, my first "compact camera" was a Kodak one (cf: http://filmphotographyproject.com/sites/default/files/uploads/content/store/110_camera/KodakInstamatic20/KodakPocketInstamatic20_cropWeb.jpg ) and later, my analog Nikon was always stuffed with a Kodak film, never another brand one... Besides, even when I shot with an empty tank, I did it thinking I was loading my masterpieces on a Kodak film (and the fail was on my fault, never on Kodak one obviously).

I did considered Kodak more like a partner, it really breaks my heart considering how it ended.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Aug 25, 2012)

Used Kodak or Eastman stock maybe a few times. Otherwise -- Agfa, Fuji, ORWO, Sochi, and 3M's Ferraria.

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 25, 2012)

Nobody ever mentions Konica. Poor old blue brand, more than died, totally forgotten ?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (Aug 24, 2012)

It's just bad news after more bad news for Kodak.

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 25, 2012)

Funny how the USA let a world reknown company like Kodak go to trash, when there were no much efforts done to save at high price bank(sters) and some car makers. What's the two standards justification ?

1 upvote
JosephScha
By JosephScha (Aug 25, 2012)

That really is a good question. I suggest you read the latest book by Joseph Steiglitz, "The Price of Inequality". I think it answers your question and the answer is not one that the US can be proud of. Part of the answer is banks have lots of money and lobbyists, and politicians here need desperately to raise funds. This gave the banks political clout. The banks deserved to be put in conservancy, and all stock holders and bond holders should have lost their money because the banks took risks that made it lose so much money it could not operate. Instead, the government recapitalized the banks, preserving the stock and bondholders investments but doing nothing for those who had been convinced to take a mortgage they could not afford, and were about to face foreclosure because of the malfeasance of those banks and investment houses - who should NEVER have granted mortgages that they new could not be repaid. About money: 2 years to raise $2M for the next campaign ... work it out.

1 upvote
Justin Francis
By Justin Francis (Aug 24, 2012)

They should let Kodak die with some dignity

0 upvotes
Devendra
By Devendra (Aug 24, 2012)

too bad - i only enjoyed fuji as film.

but sad to see a pioneer disappear after lasting for almost a century. their digital p&s's were cheap and affordable though. Seemed very featureful and of good image output, yet they could not survive.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Aug 24, 2012)

The sharks are combining forces to transform themselves into a behemoth that will carve up and slice up the Kodak cake.

The natural way of things...

The Kodak amoeba just didn't see the virus coming... unlike the other players who had better antibodies.

.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
tbnl
By tbnl (Aug 24, 2012)

So... I should be stockpiling film like the seeds in Svalbard?

Good night, sweet prints, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
QuarterToDoom
By QuarterToDoom (Aug 24, 2012)

Great, Apple buying patents, we won't see them stifle innovation and competition with them on nothing like that.

4 upvotes
tdptdp
By tdptdp (Aug 24, 2012)

Ilford is having Champagne Friday today, with only little Fuji to keep them honest.

2 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Aug 25, 2012)

Not for long. Sad really, there is nothing like the dynamic range of Kodak film. It's the one reason I haven't moved to digital. It looks like it may be a few years yet before my kind of portraiture will be possible in digital.

4 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (Aug 24, 2012)

It is super disappointing, Kodak is SUCH an iconic name in photography and they just let it die, just like that!

They MUST have imbeciles in charge, who are efing milking the last money!

4 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 24, 2012)

Right ! But I think beyond that point we can see the hand of the ones who advocate the so-called "Global division of labour". It's clear that the photography field has been granted to Japan, while Japan itself is loosing its grip on the TV market (Hitatchi has sold its patents to a turkish company, Sharp to a taiwaneese company, Panasonic has given up plasma, and no japanese TV maker can compete against Samsung when it comes to OLED) that has been granted to "emerging nations".

The big Monopoly's walking...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Octane
By Octane (Aug 25, 2012)

Kodak is only a big name in terms of photography to aging adults. The current generation has no clue who the heck Kodak is. When they think of photography they think of iPhone and Instagram, then maybe Nikon and Canon.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Aug 25, 2012)

Whatever you're fuming about, Dear Octane.

0 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Aug 24, 2012)

assuming they can even find a buyer for a dying film business. May just sell the techonology to China and shutter the operations elsewhere.

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Aug 24, 2012)

I read about this like a week ago on MacRumors.com. The article said Kodak was looking for $2.2-2.6 billion, while the big group is only going to offer $500 million, and Kodak threatened to not sell them if they didn't get their price.

0 upvotes
jm67
By jm67 (Aug 24, 2012)

I remember when "Kodak" was a synonym for "photography/film/camera/vacation snap/and so on". How some things stay the same and how they change. And what a change.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Aug 24, 2012)

The consumer photo business began with convenience and for Kodak, ended with convenience. Things took off with "You push the button, we do the rest" (you returned the camera to Rochester and everything was done for you, right down to loading a fresh roll). And it ended with digital photography which took off, initially, not because of quality but because you got to see your results instantly and for free.

Of course, there will always be enthusiasts. But mostly, the camera business revolves around convenience. If your digital camera doesn't perform well at ISO 6400, that's considered a real inconvenience. Macro focus should touch the lens' front element. Exposure is bracketed, lenses are stabilized, focus is (usually) lightning fast, and of course, automatic. In short, you push the button, your camera does the rest. You choose the best shot from dozens or hundreds taken at no cost and that's why the best photos on Flickr are as good as anything from a "professional".

3 upvotes
fmian
By fmian (Aug 24, 2012)

These are my sentiments exactly.
Digital photography in this day and age is giving people a false sense of accomplishment, making it seem as if no effort or knowledge has to be put in to produce a good, compelling image.
The value and quality of photography as an industry has dropped as a result of this. Educational institutes, training providers, print output device manufacturers, and professional photography in general now follows a 'that's good enough/most people won't notice the difference' attitude towards image making. While the majority of the population now is content in viewing their images on ~72dpi screens without even realising that a good percentage of what they are looking at is actually dot pitch, and not image information. It's a visual medium folks, yet visual acuity has been pushed aside from a desire to rush in learning and producing images.
I can only hope the masters and their knowledge rise to the top again one day, after this glut is over.

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Aug 25, 2012)

@ fmian: Photographers have only to blame themselves for that. They demand to be the owner of the copyright of every photo they ever take. The "little people" don't particularly like that.

0 upvotes
fmian
By fmian (Aug 26, 2012)

@ Francis
While I usually enjoy reading your posts, I don't understand what copyright has to do with the matter at hand. It's just as relevant in film photography as it is in digital.
The only thing I have noticed is that photographers these days tend to me awfully willing to give all their hi res shots to the client so they can easily print it elsewhere, rather than making them go back to the source to get prints.
I see and print so many crappy wedding photos these days, if I was shooting that bad I'd only want to print them myself so I can make sure I fix my mistakes.

0 upvotes
wetracy
By wetracy (Aug 24, 2012)

What is a "consumer-facing photographic company"?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 24, 2012)

It's a company that sells photographic goods to the public, as opposed to a business-to-business one that doesn't.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Aug 25, 2012)

Not that it matters a whole lot but Kodak's inkjet business will go, too. I interviewed for a job marketing their printers, and between Epson/Canon on the quality end of things and HP/Lexmark low prices at the other end, it was obvious Kodak was going nowhere in this market.

1 upvote
gsum
By gsum (Aug 25, 2012)

It's acluistic, cross-pollinating organisationability that displays a high degree of customer intimacy. This hopefully enables the company to gain traction and enhance it's W-cube capabilities going forward.

1 upvote
Dan Nikon
By Dan Nikon (Aug 24, 2012)

Both still and motion stocks are made in Building 38 so how can they separate them? Well, who is to say that Kodak is not selling both lines to the still film buyer only to lease the line back when needing to make motion stock? And who is to say that a big, big player in the motion picture industry is not going to buy the stills division and then make, sell and distribute both motion and still stock, even if for a few more years until MP film is no longer viable.

There is still good profit to be made on Kodak film, even the still version. A lot of pros like my self have re-employed the use of it in niche projects and especially fine art where the price of a real silver gelatin print from real talent just keeps going up and up. I have personally invested over 30K in film, paper and chemistry in the past few years because after using digital for 20 years, I can not live in a world where that is the only choice of medium I have to use.

This is not over yet, lets see what happens..

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 58 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Aug 24, 2012)

Would still like to be able to buy 4x5, 5x7 sheet film. And better stock up on Tri-X 120!

2 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Aug 24, 2012)

I should think the motion picture film biz will be sold off too as there is no reason for anyone to buy the unit otherwise. I'm afraid the roll film niche is so small that it's not viable without raising film prices astronomically. The factory costs money to operate and it's all about 'economy of scale'. Using the factory at 5% capacity (or whatever little demand is left) just means the fixed operating costs that have to be attached to the sales price will rise 2000% and I assume the value of the plastic stock and cardboard box are not the majority of the cost.

0 upvotes
KitHB
By KitHB (Aug 24, 2012)

Hope Kodak material stays in production. I saw the Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition in London yesterday, 16x20" colour prints. The content was excellent, well worth a visit, but the technical quality of large prints from digital was shockingly bad. Poor colour, contrast, edge artefacts, various optical aberrations and all with much lower resolution than Kodak film. These were shot with top-end cameras and lenses, Canon full-frame mostly (why do Canon pics have a grey cast?), a few Nikons in FX and DX sizes and the odd Sony alpha. The Hasselblad H2 wasn't much better. Honestly, an Olympus OM2 with the 35mm and 85mm f2 Zuiko lenses and a pocketful of Ektachrome did better large prints for travel and landscapes. A 180mm for "long" shots - could always crop from that later. That setup probably weighed less than a DSLR too, and it still worked in sub-zero temperatures. Have we really gone so far backwards on quality in the name of "convenience" and "automation"?

5 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 25, 2012)

Dan, it's over.

1 upvote
gear1box
By gear1box (Aug 25, 2012)

Kit -- The poor quality of digital exhibition prints is, frankly, to me an absolute cipher, yet i concur that it seems to be the case. I see, if anything, more "photographic" images displayed these days than ever, yet the quality is often self-evidently bad. Leave the aesthetics out of it for a moment (well, the photographers certainly do . . .): poor exposure, contrast control, white balance, and sharpening artifacts are the order of the day. They look like, say, an Ansel Adams print represented in a newspaper . . . BUT there is no technical reason for it that i can ascertain. I get 20x30s from my APSC dSLR that clearly exceed what, at least i, modestly, could do in 35mm, and quite seriously approach medium format back in the day. So why the poor skills? It seems to me that the *cost* of making large prints has dropped so sharply, that *everyone* focuses on that -- the size of the image -- as the objective. Just my 2 cents . . .

1 upvote
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Aug 26, 2012)

Kit, that has nothing to do with the cameras. They have more than enough resolution and dynamic range to record images that look great printed at that size. The printers can also do a great job, though that does seem to be a fussy business and most photographers aren't experts at printing, if they even try. I keep expecting improvements, for printing to become easier and more predictable, so a photographer can get decent results without having to become a printing expert. Or maybe I'm dreaming.

0 upvotes
DrugaRunda
By DrugaRunda (Aug 24, 2012)

sad, but not suprising

0 upvotes
davidkachel
By davidkachel (Aug 24, 2012)

WOW!
T-Rex is dead!
Does this mean all Kodak camera films are done? I guess so.
This may go down in history as the biggest mismanagement case ever.
After all, photography is not dead, just Kodak.

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 24, 2012)

The film division is to be sold as a going concern. The films should remain available, it's just that Kodak won't make them.

1 upvote
KitHB
By KitHB (Aug 24, 2012)

It was Tri-X not T-Rex, but I like your name for that classic mono film much better :-)

0 upvotes
mtnredhed
By mtnredhed (Aug 25, 2012)

T-Rex is TMAX I suspect

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 24, 2012)

Bankruptcy... where a good MBA as CEO can lead an engineering company.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 24, 2012)

Technically this isn't bankruptcy - it's a court-protected state to avoid the need for bankruptcy.

0 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Aug 24, 2012)

> emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Chapter 11 *is* bankruptcy. Not the same as Chapter 7, but bankruptcy nonetheless.

2 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Aug 25, 2012)

It's always a good idea for a CEO to have some knowledge of the business they are supposed to be running. - but that's certainly not always the case.
However, the CEO will probably walk away with a golden handshake and get immediate re-employment to do the same all over again.
The technically competent employees will probably have to go out and market their knowledge at discounted prices into a frail economy.

4 upvotes
Greg999
By Greg999 (Aug 26, 2012)

Proof... Harley hired a guy that didn't posses a license to drive a cycle until he was kind of forced by the users to get one and start riding. The Harley die-hards would never buy another thing from a CEO that didn't also ride.

But as stated the Kodak CEO will probably get a bonus when "he" brings the company out of chapter 11, just like all the bank executives did.

0 upvotes
Atlasman
By Atlasman (Aug 24, 2012)

We live in a time of rapid change—and time waits for no one.

1 upvote
dmurphey
By dmurphey (Aug 24, 2012)

Sorry to see Kodak go. +1 to missing Kodachrome.

9 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Aug 24, 2012)

Kodak will be like Westinghouse. Licensing name only and makes nothing.

2 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Aug 24, 2012)

Polaroid too

2 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Aug 24, 2012)

And RCA, Fisher, Zenith.......

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 25, 2012)

Almost all American high-tech industry is destroyed. Every time by "professional managers" who could not run a lemonade stand.

4 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 25, 2012)

100% agree with peevee1, who could have said the same for a good part of the europeen industry too. The time has come to question (1) the reality of "competences" acquired by diplomas, and (2) the plans that stood behind the "technology transfer" move that led western countries to give away technologies that took them centuries to develop for free or so.

3 upvotes
drumsultan
By drumsultan (Aug 24, 2012)

I miss Kodachrome. How Kodak was mismanaged I don't know. But, they should have been dominant in digital photography as I believe they were making the first digital cameras. Shame. Kodak did so much for photography.

14 upvotes
GabrielZ
By GabrielZ (Aug 24, 2012)

Absolutely correct, a great shame.

1 upvote
Doug Pardee
By Doug Pardee (Aug 24, 2012)

Kodak *was* dominant in digital photography. By the turn of the millennium, Kodak's DSLRs were the best of the best. At pro prices, of course. Their digicams were super-high-tech enthusiast models (and expensive), too. But Kodak didn't see a future as a premium camera supplier, and began emphasizing low-cost digicams.

By early 2005, Kodak was the #1 manufacturer of consumer digicams in the world. But they were still losing money, and it looked like "a race to the bottom" was in the offing. Nobody could figure out how to make consumer digicams profitable enough to support a company the size of Kodak, especially in the longer term, so they switched to home photo-printers.

Kodak wasn't the first digital-camera maker to give it up, and they won't be the last. There still isn't room for all of the manufacturers we have left, even after the exit of Kodak. Canon and Nikon are profitable. The rest... not.

2 upvotes
jm67
By jm67 (Aug 24, 2012)

My understanding (could be wrong) was that they had a conflict of interest...digital vs. film and couldn't figure out how to travel two seemingly competing roads at the same time. Regardless, in the end we know which road they're on and that's the one to nowhere. Rip Kodak.

0 upvotes
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Aug 24, 2012)

To be fair, Kodak wasn't *making* pro digital cameras as much as they were adapting existing film cameras. There's only so much quantity discount you can get on F5s or F6s. Nikon's decision to produce its own Nikon-branded DSLRs made Kodak's DSLR business model non-viable (and did a similar favor for Fuji) since, as expensive as the Nikons were, there was still a Gillette element to what Nikon was doing -- sell the cameras at a minimum profit, and they'll keep coming back for lenses and flash. (The price of the D3200, by the way, seems to be an acknowledgement on Nikon's part that most entry-level buyers never take the kit lens off of the camera unless it's to upgrade to a better all-in-one lens.)

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Aug 25, 2012)

@ Stan: no clue, really, what you are talking about here. How does Nikon, Fuji, and Gillette as companies come into the scene of Eastman Kodak's corporate mismanagement?

0 upvotes
Gregm61
By Gregm61 (Aug 24, 2012)

Successful emergence? As what?

1 upvote
marcuz
By marcuz (Aug 24, 2012)

Core business in finance... that's sad.

3 upvotes
Earthlight
By Earthlight (Aug 24, 2012)

Good bye Kodak. It was fun while it lasted.

3 upvotes
liquidsquid
By liquidsquid (Aug 24, 2012)

I sincerely hope they keep the patent portfolio in light of these bozos trying to get it on the cheap. Keep them Kodak, and jack up the licensing fees for those who are trying to rip you off.

8 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Aug 24, 2012)

Expect it to go the way of Motorola, from an electronics giant to a small unit (Motorola Solutions) selling two way radios and cell infrastructure.
Kodak has not been able to sue anyone for patent infringement, sell any patent licenses, or the patents themselves so good luck on that initiative. Kodak will become a remnant selling inkjet printers and IP (if anyone wants it).
And the film division is just movie film.

1 upvote
Cogburn
By Cogburn (Aug 24, 2012)

Samsung, Google, and Apple can Shove their collective bidding power up their collective bum-holes... They don't want one bit of Kodak's photographic heritage... they just want ammunition to litigate and needle each other over their crappy smart-phones, the likes of which they intend to dominate the consumer photography market. Happy little consumers, snapping away with their smart phones... all the while the mothership is collecting gps data on where the photo's are taken so they can sell you an ad for laser hair reduction as you walk by the new "Hair-Off- While-you Wait" Kiosk in your favorite mall... or worse!!

15 upvotes
aardvark7
By aardvark7 (Aug 24, 2012)

Not quite the words I'd have chosen, but very lucid and completely on the button I fear!

It's strange how we have lived through the most extraordinary of times and now face the most worrying.

Technology has changed and will continue to change the world beyond recognition and it's not a world I think I will enjoy. Perhaps it is good that I am past the majority of years so maybe wave it goodbye before it gets too unpleasant...??

4 upvotes
jm67
By jm67 (Aug 24, 2012)

Got that right! Although I don't think they intend to end their world domination with the photography market.

0 upvotes
RPJG
By RPJG (Aug 25, 2012)

Paranoid much?

And why the anti-phone-camera snobbery? Photography can be for fun and memories, as well as art - and for that, phones are fantastic (and getting better all the time).

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Aug 25, 2012)

RPJG, do you know what a "phone" is used for? It is to make telephone calls with. Seriously.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Aug 24, 2012)

What is going to be left from Kodak when the film devision will be gone - and much more import - who will buy it? What is going to happen to those great products like Tri-X, Portra or Ektar?

C'mon Kodak!

2 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Aug 24, 2012)

Kodak has spent decades developing CCD camera technology. They just put sensors on Mars. Hopefully, whom ever steps up to the actual challenge of continued CCD development will see forward far enough understand what Kodak has done and how it should be continued. ... Not including shortsighted cell phone camera development in the name of market share grabbing potential.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 24, 2012)

The sensor division has already gone - it's now called Truesense Imaging:

http://www.truesenseimaging.com/

3 upvotes
MisterBG
By MisterBG (Aug 25, 2012)

Kodak may have image sensors on Mars, but that's a very small market at present.

1 upvote
george4908
By george4908 (Aug 25, 2012)

>>the technical quality of large prints from digital was shockingly bad. Poor colour, contrast, edge artefacts, various optical aberrations and all with much lower resolution than Kodak film.

The same thing happened in music reproduction when CDs first came out. The sound was dry and overcompressed, with poor dynamic range. Then as CDs eventualy got better, music switched over to MP3s and the sound was evn worse. The final nail in the coffin -- most listeners today hear their music through tiny earbuds. There will be no recovering from that one, but most people simply don't care. Vinyl through full size speakers has becomethe domain of a few cranks, but at least you could feel the music in your chest.

>>an Olympus OM2 with the 35mm and 85mm f2 Zuiko lenses and a pocketful of Ektachrome did better large prints for travel and landscapes.

Still have my OM2. What a beautiful little machine. I should make a point to use while I still can. RIP, Kodak. Sic transit and all that.

2 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Aug 25, 2012)

To the new replies:

(m)R. Butler - thank you for the link, sir.

MisterBG - agreed, but at $20,000/hammer prices all it will take is a few! All joking aside, NASA doesn't pay that much for stuff. Though, I can't name all of the companies out there, Kodak has produced numerous Mono and Color sensors for the Astrophotography market for years. It's really hitting home at this point. RIP, Kodak.

george4908: I completely agree with you on the music side of things although, I will never be convinced that no matter how far it comes, digital will ever reach the true 1:1 ratio of the Analog. Not to mention, it just feels ultimately satisfying to either develop your own rolls of film or drop stuff off in anticipation of what turned out and what didn't. I miss that and never wanted it to go away. I feel as though film is far from dead but as for Kodak, I've heard it was more financial misdirection than any thing. So now they're gone and I shoot Ilford.

0 upvotes
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