They say that when it rains it pours, and nowhere is that more evident than with the troubled, once-great photography company Kodak. After filing for bankruptcy, narrowing its focus to printers, and selling the Kodak Gallery for pennys on the dollar, we sort of hoped the company would start to see some rays of sunshine break through their perpetual cloud cover. Unfortunately, their quarter’s earnings report is anything but sunny.
Early last month we reported that Shutterfly had agreed to buy Kodak Gallery for a meager $23.8 million. The process, done by way of a “stalking horse bid,” meant that another company was allowed to make a competing bid for the gallery by April 20th.
Some might say that the city of Rochester, New York is struggling; others might say that it’s evolving. One thing’s for sure though: Rochester — nicknamed The World’s Image Centre — is changing. Because of this, and because of the city’s rich photographical history (think Kodak), ten of Magnum Photos’ photographers have chosen Rochester as one of three locations currently being documented across the United States.
Kodak is asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for permission to pay $13.5 million in bonuses to roughly 300 executives and employees in order to convince them to stay with the company as it struggles to reinvent itself. Though the beleaguered company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, it believes that the money would help to retain employees that have knowledge and skills that would be difficult to replace if they were to leave. The current headcount at the company stands at around 7,600.
Here’s your mind-boggling fact of the day: the $1 billion Facebook is shelling out to acquire Instagram is enough to purchase Kodak more than 12 times over!
Image credit: Kodak Building in Rochester, NY by Viktor Nagornyy
If you ever turn to eBay to purchase film, you should purchase from sellers that have both a high feedback rating and a country of origin that you trust. Reader Dallas Houghton recently purchased what he thought was 10 rolls of Fujicolor Superia 200 for $28 from a seller based in ShenZhen, China. After the film arrived, he noticed a tiny bit of yellow on the roll. When he gave it a closer look, he discovered that the “Superia” branding on the outside was actually a sticker. Once the sticker was removed the film turned out to be a roll of Kodak 400. He peeled the sticker off another roll and that one turned out to be an older Kodak Kodacolor 100 roll. Caveat emptor.
Kodak’s film business just can’t seem to catch a break. One week the company announced the death of its entire slide film lineup, Kodak announced today that it is increasing the price of all the surviving films by 15%, stating,
We have to contend with further increases in energy and raw material costs, and higher costs associated with lower volumes.
Therefore, to remain a sustainable, viable business, the company is implementing a price increase for consumer and professional films.
(via Amateur Photographer via Photo Rumors)
Image credit: film by ka_tate
Back in November of last year, we reported that Kodak had put its Kodak Gallery service up for sale and was hoping to offload it for “hundreds of millions of dollars”. A couple months later Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and now the company has finally found a buyer for the photo sharing and printing service: Shutterfly. The sale price? Only $23.8 million. If the sale gets approved by the US Bankruptcy Court in March, Kodak Gallery’s 75 million users will be transferred over to Shutterfly unless they opt out.
Kodak announced today that it has decided to discontinue its color reversal (AKA slide) films due to a steady decrease in sales and usage. The films discontinued are Ektachrome E100G/E100VS and Elite Chrome Extra Color 100. The company estimates that based on current sales pace, you’ll still be able to purchase the discontinued films for about six to nine months. If you were a loyal Kodak slide film shooter, it’ll soon be time to switch over to negative film or to Fujifilm color reversal films.
(via Kodak via PhotographyBLOG)
Image credit: Kodak Slide Film – 1967 by Nesster
It wasn’t too long ago that Kodak filed multiple patent infringement lawsuits against Apple in a scramble for life-giving cash, but now the tables have turned. Less than a month after Kodak filed for bankruptcy and announced the end of its camera business, Apple is reportedly in the process of asking the court for permission to sue bankrupt Kodak for infringing on Apple’s patents in its printers, digital cameras, and digital picture frames. This back and forth IP fight is one that Kodak might not be in for long: the company is still trying to sell off its portfolio of roughly 1,100 imaging patents.
(via Bloomberg via Ars Technica)
Image credit: Knockout by What What
Shocking news: Kodak, the company that invented the first digital camera back in 1975, announced today that it is pulling out of the camera market entirely. The phasing out of digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and digital picture frames will likely happen by the end of June. Instead, the company will be focusing on licensing out its patents and brand name (much like Polaroid does), and on inkjet photo printing. Although Kodak wasn’t a big player in the digital camera space, it was once a dominant camera maker in the days of film. The original Kodak Brownie helped popularize consumer photography and introduced the concept of the snapshot.
(via Kodak via CNET)
Image credit: Vest Pocket Autographic Kodak Camera by Capt Kodak, Anniversary Kodak Camera by Capt Kodak, First Digital Camera by Brett Jordan, Kodak EasyShare C533 Digital Camera by Capt Kodak