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Re: [AV Media Matters] A new obsolete format - Hardly!


"The mass market consumer now wants everything digital." 
I agree, however, the mass market also wants a family photograph of a
newborn taken today to be around when the person is 90 or 130 years old,
if the current life span predictions prove to be correct.
Of course that can be accomplished by printing the digital photo using a
printer that provides prints with 100 life expectancy. Epson, and I'm
sure other manufacturers, have such a printer. 
It can also be accomplished by preserving photographs on color film.
Color slides or film strips. These same color photographic
can be converted to digital today OR to any, yet to be invented, IT /
telecommunication technology in use 100 years from now. Anyone want to
place bets if it will be digital??

Jeff Rothenberg's now famous quote may apply here: "Digital lasts
forever, or five years which ever comes first".

How many people are preserving newborn photos on a CD Rom, thinking it
will be accessible in 130 years???

Eastman Kodak is the largest of only a handful of companies that has all
of the necessary technology to provide a cost effective 100+ year
photographic system. 

Why don't they do it? One big reason is Wall St. The analysts are
photographic film the 2003 buggy whip. Of course, the typical financial
analyst could care less what happens in five years. But the price of
Kodak stock, next quarter, ah now that's important. I'm sure they give a
lot of thought to preserving a photo of a newborn. Their knowledge of
"Long term preservation of human works" is non existent.

What Kodak needs is a "Long term vision", AND the people to sell that
vision to their current and potential investors.

Russ Burkel 

On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 11:37:45 -0400 stephen.e.cohen@yale.edu writes:
> I am not surprised by Kodak's announcement, in fact I am surprised 
> it
> was 
> not made earlier. The company has a long history of discontinuing
> products 
> so that they may usher in new ones. Kodak's primary audience (in 
> their 
> eyes) is the mass market consumer. And the mass market consumer now
> wants 
> everything digital. Kodak's new products all involve digital imaging 
> technology such as digital cameras, the APX film system ( a hybrid
> product 
> that is quickly becoming obsolete) and software applications for 
> digital
> imaging. Go to their web site - the home page is almost entirely 
> devoted
> to 
> digital photography - the same is true for their sections on 
> medicine, 
> professional photography, cinematography, and government.
> The demise of the slide projector does not mean the end of 
> projectors - 
> surely other companies will still make them so long as there is 
> demand. 
> Kodak is now one step closer to supporting digital imaging and one 
> step 
> farther from traditional photography...which is what made Kodak the 
> film
> giant it is/was. Kodak maintains a number of other older industrial 
> products like microfilms, photographic chemistry and papers which I
> believe 
> will someday soon go the way of the slide projector.
> As a photographer, Kodak's decisions to discontinue certain film
> products 
> that do not appeal to the mass consumer frustrate me. Consequently, 
> I no
> longer purchase their products except for Kodachrome film, arguably 
> one
> of 
> two of Kodak's greatest contribution to the world of photography. 
> (The 
> other would be the box camera which enabled everyone and anyone to 
> be a 
> photographer).
> For the long term, I think their decision not to manufacture and 
> support
> slide projectors will have little impact. Kodak is not the leader 
> it
> once 
> was and we have so many choices today for projectors and other
> photographic 
> equipment. 40 years ago, when Kodak and Bell & Howell were about 
> the
> only 
> major US manufacturers, there would be dire consequences. Not today 
> - 
> Rollei, Leica, and Vivitar continue to make slide projectors, some 
> are
> even 
> better than  Kodak's models. Aside from periodically changing a 
> bulb,
> they 
> need very little maintenance.
> I could keep going on criticizing Kodak for it's decision making 
> skills,
> but it's not worth it. If anything happens, it will give people and 
> institutions the opportunity to rely on other (and sometimes better) 
> manufacturers.
> Stephen Cohen
> Yale University

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