with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

End of Camera Making Era for Kodak

The Times Online reports “Kodak to Finish Camera Making”, news that Eastman Kodak will stop making cameras.

Eastman Kodak is to stop making cameras, marking the end of an era for the manufacturing business started more than a century ago by George Eastman, the photography pioneer.

The troubled photographic equipment maker is to outsource its remaining camera making businesses to Flextronics, a hi-tech designer and manufacturer, as Kodak continues to struggle in the digital arena.

Flextronics will manufacture and distribute Kodak consumer digital cameras, while Kodak will continue to control high-level system design and advanced research and development.

George Eastman mass produced his first Kodak cameras in 1887 and quickly saw a market for the “average person” to embrace the camera and open up a huge money-making marketplace by creating cheap and easy-to-use cameras. Many credit this moment with the “photographic age”, the beginning of putting a camera in the hands of every human being, young and old.

Unfortunately, the digital market caught Kodak off guard and they have been slow to change and embrace the new, fast growing technology. Their businesses losses are reflected in massive layoffs and restructuring. News of the announcement also dropped their shares on Wall Street over 13 percent. Ouch.

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