Call it a sign of the times. With the intention of expanding its digital-picture business, Eastman-Kodak recently reached agreements with several Internet film and photo processors to use Kodak’s laboratories and technicians to process photographs. The companies – including IFilm, Snapfish.com, BET.com, PhotoPoint.com, MyFamily.com, PicServe.com, ememories.com PhotoAccess.com, NuWave Technologies, and Weave Innovations – will also have links to Kodak’s website.
As reported in the New York Times, Kodak chief exec Daniel A. Carp conceded that the faster digital technologies invade the world of photography, the slower Kodak’s profits will grow – which explains why Kodak is investing 65% of its research budget into developing its own digital technologies.
It is currently working on ways to capture additional information on digital images that might make it easier to locate photos from an electronic archive. The creation of Oled, a light emitting diode, provides sharper images on digital devices used to display games, movies, or text information. Kodak and Hewlett-Packard have also introduced a mini photography lab that allows photo processors to make prints from digital cameras.
With regard motion picture photography, Bob Gibbons, director of communications for Eastman-Kodak’s entertainment imaging division in L.A., says the company is looking into improving compression and conversion technologies. ‘We’re working on a digital cinema system that delivers images digitally at a better quality,’ he says.
Eric Rodli, COO of entertainment imaging, explains that Kodak is interested in digital capture technology for moving picture photography, but predicts it won’t replace film any time soon. ‘The current technology is pretty good, but it’s not as good as 35mm,’ he says. ‘Film is very robust. We have to come up with something pretty good to create consumer benefits. It’s the last step, and the bar is pretty high.’