It's been seen as a late move but the full impact of Eastman Kodak's move to total digital camera manufacture in the US and Europe was unveiled, as it revealed that its own APS camera will also be conspired to history.
35mm camera manufacture will be scaled back in favour of a purely digital move in the West, although they will carry on selling them to Far Eastern territories. In a move reflecting the inkjet market, Kodak will still sell its world-famous film. It wouldn't make business sense to ditch a century-old brand and consumables still bring in a pleasing profit.
The Advanced Photo System (APS) added Panoramic picture choices and other flexibility to photography, as a filler format between 35mm and digital. It's unclear whether Far Eastern camera manufacturers will continue to support the format in their own ranges at present, but they are already well established in digital manufacture.
Its similarly profitable disposable camera range, which has diversified into quality models using the same Ektanar lenses as its digital models, will also continue to sell to snappers who balk at taking a digicam on a night out, to the beach or anywhere else a more advanced camera could get lost, stolen or damaged.
This move is set to help Kodak recover from a drop in share price of 18% last September when other companies attacked its market share (not to mention filmmakers choosing Fuji celluloid or colour-matched Digital Video to make their movies). The recovery began with a 1.3% rise upon the announcement.
Since 12.5 million digicams were sold versus 12.1 film cameras in the US last year, the public have spoken and there is still growth in the digital development market when it's time to get a tangible copy of those digital prints. Digicams have their own hassles regarding battery life and memory card standards but from the feedback sent to this site, the public appreciate the benefits of deleting unsuitable images rather than paying for them at development time.
This makes Digicams the present as well as the future of photography. Like music lovers championing vinyl alongside CD, There will always be a place for film.