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Click here for full coverage of new products announced at this years PhotoPlus Expo in New York.

Major News Out of Kodak

A number of news items came out of Kodak this month as the imaging giant feels the pressure of a radically changing marketplace, making it increasingly difficult to satisfy consumers and investors.

A Radical Change in Direction
In light of recent developments, Kodak is changing its focus, moving away from its roots in the shrinking chemical photography market and toward a future based on digital imaging and printing. 

Over the next three years, the company plans to invest up to $3 billion in investments and acquisitions to broaden its portfolio of digital products and services, while ending significant long-term investments in consumer film. 

"This is probably the biggest turning point in our recent history, certainly a major turning point for a 120-year-old-plus company," CEO Dan Carp told investors at a meeting in New York. 

To help finance the transition, Kodak also will cut its generous $1.80-per-share dividend down to 50 cents. News of the changes left investors wary of the fuzzy future, and Kodak shares took a battering in the market.

Investor Pressure
As if further proof of the market's nervousness about Kodak's new direction were needed a group of investors led by Providence Capital's Herbert Denton have asked Kodak to open the books on its $3 billion strategy shift into digital markets following a gathering of Kodak investors in New York.

Around 90 people stuffed into Providence 's Manhattan office and Denton said 50 more listened to the meeting on the phone. After the gathering, attendees said Providence made a presentation about Kodak's risky, acquisition-based strategy, but said no alternative plans were put on the table.

Denton said he will communicate to Kodak that a significant group of shareholders are concerned about the company's plans, hoping that Kodak will offer specifics about its plan of action, as well as listen to investors' thoughts.

"If they (Kodak) say 'no,' my instinct is to go around to the shareholders and see their reaction," he said. "If they are really upset, that will lead us down one course, and if they are not that upset, then there is nothing for us to do."

Dan Carp, Kodak's chief executive, said he was aware of some shareholders' concerns and admitted Kodak "could have done a better job ... of explaining our plans in a number of areas."

In an interview with Reuters he said: "We will continue to stay focused on our strategy because we believe it is right, and we continue to talk to a whole range of investors about the strategy going forward."

Kodak, Lucky Film Finalize Agreement
Kodak USA and China Lucky Film Corp. have finalized a 20-year agreement under which they will work together to expand each company's market opportunities.

As part of the final contract signed in Beijing , Kodak will acquire 20 percent of Lucky Film Co., in exchange for cash and other assets.

The contract, which requires final approval from relevant departments of the Chinese government, formally established a strategic partnership between the companies. The signing of the contract follows the announcement made by Kodak and Lucky on Oct. 22 that they would work together to build the photography market in Asia .

The agreement anticipates Lucky will strengthen its position in the markets it serves, while Kodak will expand its market presence in China and other parts of Asia . Kodak will do so by leveraging Lucky's position as the largest maker of photographic film headquartered in China , with its nationwide sales network and cultural and geographic advantages.

As previously announced, Kodak will, over time, provide to Lucky technical support, equipment upgrades as well as training. Lucky will pay Kodak for the use of selected technologies, and will pay dividends on the shares Kodak owns.

Kodak estimates that the cost of the transaction, when fully implemented, will total approximately $100 million in cash plus other assets. The majority of the cash outlay will occur in 2004.

Epson introduces three new Stylus Photo printers

Epson introduced three new Stylus Photo printers. The Epson Stylus Photo R300 and R300M provide digital photos with or without a PC. The Epson Stylus Photo RX500 is an all-in-one device for photo printing, scanning and copying.

Both the Epson Stylus R300 and R300M offer a maximum resolution up to 5760-by-1440 dpi and provide built-in memory card slots for CompactFlash Type I & II, Microdrive, SmartMedia, Secure Digital, MultiMedia Card, xD Picture Card, Sony Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro and Memory Stick Duo.

The also provide borderless printing 4-by-6, 5-by-7, 8-by-10, letter (8.5-by-11) and panoramic sizes. These printers can print a 4-by-6 photo in 37 seconds and an 8-by-10 photo in 78 seconds. They also include built-in CD/DVD printing capabilities for printing directly onto inkjet printable CDs or DVDs using the included EPSON CD Print software and CD tray. The USB host port in the front of the printers saves photos directly from a memory card to external CDR or ZIP drives and for connecting PictBridge or USB DP (Direct Print)-compatible digital cameras for printing photos directly from the camera.

The Epson Stylus Photo R300M additionally features a 2.5-inch TFT preview monitor for photo viewing and image selection before printing. The Epson Stylus Photo R300 sells for an estimated $179; the Stylus R300M sells for $229.

The Epson Stylus Photo RX500 provides users with an all-in-one home photo solution, providing a combination of six-color photo-quality printing, photo-quality scanning and copying capabilities. It includes a built-in film strip adapter for scanning slides, negatives, reflectives, and documents. Pictures can be scanned to a memory card.

The Stylus Photo RX500 produces standalone black and color copies along with border free printing of 4-by-6, 5-by-7, 8-by-10, and letter sizes. The Stylus Photo RX500 has a seven-in-one media card slot, and offers Epson Easy Photo Fix software technology for color restoration of old, faded or discolored photos. The Epson Stylus Photo RX500 sells for an estimated $249.

Sony Introduces Slim 5.0 Megapixel Camera

Sony unveiled the Cyber-shot DSC-T1 5 megapixel camera, featuring a 2.5-inch LCD viewfinder and 3X optical zoom. The $550 camera is 0.8 inches thin and 2.4 inches tall, and takes Memory Stick Duo removable media.

Sony also debuted the $200 Cyber-shot U-40 2 megapixel camera, which also takes Memory Stick Duo media.

Apple Lowers eMac Prices

Apple Computer lowered prices on its eMac desktop computer, making the eMac the most affordable SuperDrive-equipped Mac starting at $799. Featuring a 17-inch flat CRT in a compact design, the eMac includes Mac OS X version 10.3 "Panther" pre-installed. eMac also offers Apple's iLife integrated suite of applications for digital music, photography, moviemaking and DVD creation.

Offering a fast 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, eMac comes with either a Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive for watching DVD movies and burning CDs or Apple's revolutionary SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW), which adds the ability to burn DVDs that play in most consumer DVD players. eMac includes built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and 56K V.92 modem allowing customers to connect to the Internet n various ways. With five USB ports, and two FireWire ports located on the side of the system, eMac desktops offer easy plug-and-play connections for digital video camcorders, iPod, digital still cameras, printers and scanners.

The eMac line is available through, at Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers in two standard configurations. The 17-inch flat CRT eMac includes a 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 128MB of system memory, a 32x Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW optical drive, ATI Radeon 7500 with 32MB video memory, and a 40GB ATA hard drive. It sells for a suggested $799. The other 17-inch flat CRT eMac that includes a 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 256MB of system memory a 4x SuperDrive DVD-R/CD-RW optical drive, ATI Radeon 7500 with 32MB video memory, and an 80GB ATA hard drive. It sells for a suggested $1,099.

Photoflex Introduces Kits for LiteDome & 
OctoDome3 Softboxes

Photoflex introduced two new kits, the LiteDome and OctoDome3 softboxes, that provide more effective studio and location use of strobe lights.

The Medium LiteDome Kit features a medium LiteDome softbox (24-by-32-by-17 inches/61-by-81-by-43 cm), Strobe Connector, LiteStand 2218 and casters, 40-degree Softbox Grid, Transpac Outbound travel bag, and instructional CD. LiteDome softboxes provide even, natural lighting while eliminating extreme highlights and hotspots thanks to an internal diffusion baffle. The Medium LiteDome Kit retails for $415.95, which totals a 33-percent savings over buying the components separately. Without the Transpac Outbound travel bag, the kit retails for $343.95.

The 3-foot OctoDome3 Kit includes a small (3-foot/91-cm diameter) OctoDome3 softbox, Strobe Connector, LiteStand 2218 and casters, 40-degree Softbox Grid, Transpac Outbound travel bag, and instructional CD. The eight-sided shape of OctoDome3 softboxes produce a soft yet brilliant wraparound light ideal for fashion photography and portraiture. A graduated baffle maintains even light spread and eliminates hotspots. The 3' OctoDome3 Kit retails for $566.95, which totals a 32-percent savings over separate purchase of the components. Without the Transpac Outbound travel bag, the kit retails for $494.95. For more information, visit


Graphics-chip maker Nvidia announced its new nForce3 chipset to support the Athlon 64 as well as a new graphics chip for handheld devices under the GoForce brand. 

AMD says the chip will provide PDAs and cell phones support for 1.3 megapixel image capture, accelerated graphics for gaming, motion JPEG capture and playback while extending battery life.


The Toronto Guild for Colour Photography will be presenting a seminar with National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting "Every Picture Tells a Story: A Conceptual Approach to Nature Photography" on November 15th at the University of Toronto's Medical Arts Auditorium. 

The seminar will cover "new ways to look at the natural world and how to photograph it as well as how to conceptualize images to express unique editorial, ecological or aesthetic ideas, which can be applied to landscape, wildlife, close-up and environmental photography, both close to home and far afield."

For tickets and additional information, please contact: Bronwyn Salmon. Email: or go to their Website at


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