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Re: [OM] IMG: A Kodak Capture

Subject: Re: [OM] IMG: A Kodak Capture
From: Ken Norton <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2020 23:11:35 -0900
> Perhaps the quest for higher and higher ISO values led to the death of
> both CCD and Kodak.

I totally agree. Prior to Canon's highly successful CMOS development,
the image quality was always on the side of CCD. Canon just happened
to hit upon a design formula that actually worked!. Everybody believed
that it had to do with CMOS vs. CCD, when it was really just Canon vs.
the world. There were other CCD developments along the way that proved
that high ISO performance wasn't just a CMOS trait. However, there are
other advantages to CMOS that eventually proved the end to CCD as a
viable offering in the consumer space. The biggest advantage is being
able to build into your imaging sensor most of the support electronics
that would otherwise need to be in additional chips.

Contrary to popular belief, Kodak did not misread digital. They knew
full well that digital was coming and would replace film. That was
never a question. The problem was that Kodak had projected the main
transition to last about 10 years (which it did), but with a
relatively linear transition. What they didn't project was a bulk
switch over three years with the tail-off lasting the 10. They didn't
expect the abruptness of the transition. Had they realized what would
really have happened, they would have run with a sense of urgency and
been far more aggressive with product development and would have never
let Canon get the leap on the industry.

> We'll never know. We don't know how much research on sensors was being done 
> by Kodak...

Actually, we do have a pretty good handle on how much research and
development Kodak had done. You can't throw a stone into the USPTO
database without hitting a Kodak patent. They are everywhere.
Unfortunately, when times got tough, Kodak sold off the bulk of their
digital imaging IP.

> But we do know that Kodak did bury their digital camera to protect their film 
> business.. Brilliant business decision.

They definitely misread the timing of the market and then managed to
kill off the cameras that did sell. Unfortunately, this is what
happens when your middle and upper management are all "lifers" of the
company and your success and advancement is to never upstage your
bosses, and never take unnecessary risks. And the ones who were not
"lifers" came from other companies like GM.

AG Schnozz
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