Having the Edge

No matter how hard i try, sometimes i just can’t understand the attitudes of certain photo bloggers. Take today for instance.

In the news with have the launch of the Nikon D4 and the rumbles of what looks like the end of that once mighty photo leviathan called Kodak. Both stories reflect how quickly the photo industry can change, It wasn’t that long ago that Nikon was seen as lagging some way behind Canon in the digital technology stakes. Now Nikon seem to have the edge.

Kodak’s demise is sad though. I’ve never been a huge user of Kodak products, but for a time i was a dedicated fan of their TMAX range of products – i still (though for how much longer is anyone’s guess) use their TMAX developer. I certainly won’t shrug off the demise of a company that has helped me take photographs over the years. Some others seem less bothered. Photography, for me at least, does not just mean digital imaging.

One of the more popular photography blogs had a post that enthused about the ‘end of the film age‘. Personally i believe that film will last for some time to come, but like in many industry sectors, only a small number of film manufacturing companies will survive or remain in that sector. In the film sector, companies like Fuji and Ilford may remain the only big players, especially if Kodak does go down. I do hope that film remains available. Film offers the user a different picture taking experience to digital. That should be encouraged. If the Impossible Project can make Polaroid film sales viable – surely 35mm, 120 and 5×4 film can have a place too.

Final thought: The decline of our high street photography shops can be linked to online competition, but a massive factor was the switch to digital. The market for photographic materials just vanished. After buying a camera and a memory card, why go back to the store? A lens? A bag maybe. Not regular items you’d go and purchase often though.

Digital changed the business model for the camera store on the high street, as much as it changed the photography industry itself. We have gained much from the digital imaging revolution, but that gain comes at a price. Those that can’t keep up will fall. Kodak, sadly appears to be one of those falling.