Kodak will not rule out future entry into the consumer digital SLR arena. But the company admits that it has so far stayed out of this market because it does not make the lenses necessary to make enough profit.
Eastman Kodak vice president John O?Grady told Amateur Photographer (AP) that the firm thought long and hard about making a consumer DSLR but explained that it is in a different position to companies such as Nikon and Canon which make their own lenses.
In an interview with AP, Kodak?s marketing director for Digital Capture and Devices, Philip H Scott, added: ?The decision to stay out of the digital SLR market is primarily driven by a business model that doesn?t necessarily lend itself to a company that?s not going to be in the glass, lens part of the business. All the profits? are in the lens part of the business.?
Asked whether Kodak will ever enter the consumer DSLR market Scott replied: ?I would never say ?never?. Things change. We can say right now there are no current plans.?
Scott stressed that Kodak is focusing on the ?post-capture? side of the photography business, making products such as the newly launched HD camera dock, printers and wireless pictures frames – now capable of receiving images by ‘Picture Mail’.
However, he insisted that Kodak is not neglecting picture taking – the business for which it became famous – telling us that digital compact cameras currently account for a quarter of the company?s business, in terms of revenue.
?We are going to continue to participate in the bridge products that get you right up to the level of a digital SLR – sometimes giving you all the features and more in a smaller, [more] compact body than an SLR gives you, at consumer price points.?
He said Kodak is concentrating on making ‘mass consumer? cameras which it can sell for between 99-299 Euros.
Speaking at an earlier Kodak business strategy presentation – in Barcelona, Spain – Scott said: ?You shouldn?t have to be a photo technician to take great pictures.?
According to Kodak?s research, more than 70% of pictures taken with a digital SLR are captured using the ?auto? exposure mode.
NEWS UPDATE: Kodak’s UK boss told us that film will be here for some time.