Kodak to stop making digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames

Kodak to stop making digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames

Summary: It's the end of an era: Kodak announces that it will phase out its dedicated capture devices business in the first half of 2012.

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It's no big surprise given Kodak's ongoing financial woes, but it still marks the end of an era: After some increasingly desperate measures, Kodak announced yesterday that it plans to phase out its dedicated capture devices business in the first half of this year. This means all Kodak cameras, its popular line of pocket camcorders, and its digital photo frames—including new products announced last month at CES—will all be discontinued. The company will continue offering tech support and service to the discontinued products (and honor all product warranties).

It's a move that makes sense, given that after dragging its feet in the transition to digital (despite the fact that the digital camera was invented at Kodak), the company was never really able to catch up to its competitors who embraced the new medium earlier. Though its pocket camcorder line gave the market-creating Flip camcorder a run for its money...well, you know what happened to the Flip. And there haven't been many real stand-out digital cameras from Kodak, though I used to favor them for folks like my parents for their press-here-dummy ease of use, and I really did like the innovative, but short-lived dual-lens V series cameras that combined a fixed wide-angle lens and a zoom (and turned out to be too expensive to make for the company to keep on the market). Nowadays, there are plenty of even easier to use budget shooters and compact megazooms with wide-angle lenses are a dime a dozen.

Kodak Brownie 2 image by HÃ¥kan Svensson, CC 3.0

Kodak Brownie 2 image by HÃ¥kan Svensson, CC 3.0

This is not to say you won't be seeing any cameras with the Kodak name on them anymore—the company plans to expand its current brand licensing program, so you'll likely see more cameras (but of course the likelihood of these being any better than past Kodak cameras is pretty slim). Kodak will continue to produce inkjet printers and camera accessories, and its online and retail photo printing business will live on for now (including the Kodak Gallery online photo printing and sharing service). Plus, Kodak has a number of commercial businesses, focused on printing, graphics, and commercial film as well.

Yeah, it's been a while coming, but considering that the company was making consumer cameras since the 1800's (including the famous Kodak Brownie that sold for $1) it still makes me a little sad, kinda like this day did.

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11 comments
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  • RE: Kodak to stop making digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames

    That made me say WoW out loud.
    MoeFugger
    • RE: Kodak to stop making digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames

      @MoeFugger

      What does WoW have to do with any of this?
      ScorpioBlue
  • RE: Kodak to stop making digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames

    If Samsung can sell B grade cameras, and turn them popular, I am not sure why Kodak can't sell digital cameras. Also what about lenses?
    ShqTth
  • Kodak was still selling cameras?

    I can't recall the last time I saw a Kodak camera. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Casio, Olympus, Fuji, etc are all cameras that come to mind when I hear digital camera. Kodak? Not at all. About the only thing that comes to mind when I hear Kodak is "Kodak moment"...and that's how old now?

    Perhaps it was a marketing failure?
    ye
  • RE: Kodak to stop making digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames

    Kodak digital cameras are unintuitive. The competition was much better. Yet another great icon dies.
    What a disgrace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    akear
    • Serves Kodak right

      @akear They were led by incompetent management for years. They got lazy while their competitors worked harder.

      It's not a disgrace, it's how things are supposed to work.
      otaddy
  • RE: Kodak to stop making digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames

    Kodak, Xerox and Polaroid, HP, all the icons of America are down. Why? Poor strategy, incompetent management, lack of vision, and will to compete and win. Complacency. Not knowing how to please customer. Poor marketing.

    Back in year 2000, when Kodak finally got seemingly serious about going digital, I bought there DC 290 digital camera, which I still have. I did a lot of research. In more recent years, in researching and buying other cameras, for myself and others, Kodak always came up as an affordable alternative, and reviewed by many as having good picture quality. But reviews also complained about many issues, and Kodak does not address them.

    I wanted to buy the Z981 when it came out, but hesitated due to issues raised by customers. Why not fix the issues? Kodak had potential, but they wasted it.

    Years ago, bought a cheap Kodak scanner and picture printer. Both had potential, but Kodak had poor customer service, did not provide device dirvers for new OS's, and became non viable.

    If they get out of digital cameras, what is their credibility in being an imaging company? Just running kiosks is not much of a business.

    What a waste in potential. They should merge with Xerox, the other has been.
    Backbutton
  • RE: Kodak to stop making digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames

    Kodak, Xerox and Polaroid, HP, all the icons of America are down. Why? Poor strategy, incompetent management, lack of vision, and will to compete and win. Complacency. Not knowing how to please customer. Poor marketing.

    Back in year 2000, when Kodak finally got seemingly serious about going digital, I bought there DC 290 digital camera, which I still have. I did a lot of research. In more recent years, in researching and buying other cameras, for myself and others, Kodak always came up as an affordable alternative, and reviewed by many as having good picture quality. But reviews also complained about many issues, and Kodak does not address them.

    I wanted to buy the Z981 when it came out, but hesitated due to issues raised by customers. Why not fix the issues? Kodak had potential, but they wasted it.

    Years ago, bought a cheap Kodak scanner and picture printer. Both had potential, but Kodak had poor customer service, did not provide device dirvers for new OS's, and became non viable.

    If they get out of digital cameras, what is their credibility in being an imaging company? Just running kiosks is not much of a business.

    What a waste in potential. They should merge with Xerox, the other has been.
    Backbutton
  • RE: Kodak to stop making digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames

    Jeez, this is bad. I was suppose to get an early production model of the Zi12, which was due out in a few weeks, but now.... I've been using a Zi8 with a Sony ECM-DS70P mic for a couple of years now as a pocket camcorder kit, and that blew away anything short of a DLSR, especially for concerts and such (go check how much Zi8's are now going for on eBay, bearing in mind their original list price was $179). I has some reservations about the Zi12, especially in regards to how it looked like you would have to hold it awkwardly sideways, like an iPhone, to do normal HD instead of upright like the Zi8, but the video was suppose to show 2 yrs plus of advancements. In any case, that could have been a killer product even if it had been a modest advancement over the Zi8, and only the Nikon P7100 would have been any sort of real competition (that's the only sub-DLSR with a mic-in jack like the Zi8), but much bulkier and with a much higher price. Kodak, oh Kodak, what have you done?

    In the meantime, little GoPro with its video cams is getting it own stands at Best Buy's, mocking the stumbling ineptness of both Cisco and now Kodak.
    JustCallMeBC
  • RE: Kodak to stop making digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames

    Hard to believe, Janice, that Kodak would discontinue making cameras ??? a core part of its business from the beginning. Doc took his first images on a simple Kodak Brownie he got as a Cub Scout. Lots of good memories of that camera and the times it captured on film. I hope Kodak finds its place in the modern business world ??? it would be a shame to see a venerable old brand go away. But then the times have changed, and we now have new brand leaders in the digital camera market. But even those may change as more and more people use their phones for photography. It's an ever-changing marketplace, that's for sure.
    DocuMentor (Doc)
  • RE: Kodak to stop making digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames

    It is usually a mistake to argue with a beautiful woman, but Janice, I don't think I could disagree with you more. We have had, between my wife, #2 daughter, and myself, three (z710, 912, 950) I don't think we could have asked more of them. My wife has had to sign waivers several times because the developer thought they were a pro's work.
    lawrence1l