BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Technology  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 07:35 GMT 08:35 UK
Digital snapshot of the future
Leica 1 prototype, AP
Cameras have come a long way since the 1920s
Digital cameras and the net are radically changing the way that people think of and use images, the head of photography firm Kodak has said.

Talking to BBC News Online, Kodak boss Dan Carp said the company is being forced to rapidly adapt to consumers' new habits, at the same time as it helps them get to grips with new technology.

Mr Carp said that film is proving remarkable resilient because so many people are familiar with it and already own still cameras.

It will be decades before people stop using film altogether, he added.

Developing image

Photography is not what it used to be. The net and the advent of cheap digital cameras means the numbers of people snapping shots, storing and sharing them is growing rapidly.

"The internet explodes the number of people that have access to pictures," said Mr Carp, speaking from the Photokina trade show in Cologne.


Quite frankly people do not want films or digital cameras they just want pictures

Dan Carp, Kodak CEO
It is a change that companies such as Kodak simply cannot afford to ignore.

Most estimates put a value on the photography industry of around $80 billion.

But Mr Carp told News Online that the "info-imaging" industry, which involves digital cameras, memory cards for them, online photo storage and print services, will soon be worth $385 billion.

Share and store

Central to this are online services which let people upload images and choose which ones they want made into high-quality prints.

Dan Carp, Kodak CEO, Kodak
Carp: Film is not going to go away
It also makes it easier for people to get access to the images and order their own.

In the past wedding photographers may have provided a set of snaps for the couple getting wed and their in-laws.

If the images are put online, many more guests and relations are likely to have a look and order a few for themselves.

The difficulty of getting pictures from a camera to a computer, on to the web and then printed out is holding back this move to digital imagery.

"We have to make it easier to get pictures from digital cameras," said Mr Carp. "You can do it online and that is not bad but it is not as immediate as a one-hour lab."

Kodak is working on ways to make it easier to get prints of digital snaps by creating services that let people download images to a local photo shop that prints them out quickly.

Film future

It is also working with rivals on standard ways of formatting images so they can be shared and put online easily.

Wedding chapel in Los Angeles, BBC
Easier to share snaps of your big day
It is perhaps film's convenience that is helping it survive, that and the fact that most people have a camera that uses film rather than memory cards.

"Unlike some innovations, such as the CD replacing the LP, digital does not jump over the benefits of film far enough to create the kind of transformation that CDs did to records," he said.

"Film is not going to go away because it is the best way to get a print. We have to get to that point with digital."

People also seem to use digital and film cameras in very different ways.

Kodak research shows that people typically take a lot of pictures with a digital camera and do their editing afterwards. With film they try to make every one count.

The fact that cameras are starting to appear in mobile phones and in tiny packages is only going to drive this revolution towards greater use of images.

"Quite frankly people do not want films or digital cameras they just want pictures," he said.

"If you go back in time images were the best tool for communication and are still the best way to communicate across cultures and age groups."

See also:

01 Feb 02 | Science/Nature
24 Jan 02 | Business
21 Jun 00 | Business
30 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
22 May 02 | Science/Nature
11 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
22 Jul 02 | dot life
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Technology stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Technology stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes