Kodak Ready to Bridge Film and Digital? - I
By Thor Olavsrud
For the past few years, the rising tide of digital photography has seemingly threatened to turn the traditional photography world upside down, marginalizing venerable giants like Eastman Kodak (Quote, Company Info) in favor of device manufacturers, software vendors and printer OEMs as digital technology cannibalizes the film base.
Analysts and investors have spent the past year turning away from Kodak due to assumptions about digital cannibalization and price pressure from film rival Fuji.
But with the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) approaching next week, Deutsche Bank Securities analyst Peter Ausnit called those assumptions into question, noting that new technology from Kodak is finally lining up to allow the company to link film and digital strategies with powerful synergies.
The technology has nothing to do with digital cameras, which Ausnit considers a losing proposition for the company. Instead, he said the great hope for the company is its new Perfect Touch (PT) processing software, which can correct common problems like weak flash, opaque shadows, washed out highlights and inaccurate film tones by scanning film negatives and then digitally correcting and laser printing on traditional photo paper.