February 06, 2004

PMA 2004 News Digest

News from PMA: Fuji, 8GB Compact Flash, Kodak Film Kiosks

-- Additionally, Kodak with its retail partners is migrating its 24,000 installed KODAK Picture Makers in the U.S. to the latest KODAK Picture Maker "G3" model because of strong consumer acceptance of kiosks and rising digital camera sales. Nearly half will be upgraded to the G3--which prints pictures in as little as 5 seconds--by this spring, solidifying Kodak's No. 1 position as the largest supplier of photo imaging kiosks at retail.

Kodak plans self-service kiosks for film

Associated Press
ROCHESTER - The latest advance in old-fashioned photography is coming soon: a self-service kiosk that can convert a roll of 35mm film into prints in as little as seven minutes.

Eastman Kodak Co.'s Picture Maker film-processing stations will be test-marketed in Detroit this month, with a full-scale rollout set for later this year in pharmacies, supermarkets and photo-specialty shops across the United States and Europe.

Last fall, the world's largest maker of photographic film unveiled an ambitious new strategy to accelerate its push into new digital markets. At the same time, it acknowledged that its traditional photography businesses - a century-old cash cow - were in irreversible decline.

The kiosks appear designed to plug a gap between photography's old and new ways of creating images and perhaps even slow the faster-than-expected migration of shutterbugs to digital cameras.

"It is very easy to believe that this could change the trajectory in the decline of film," said Kent McNeley, general manager of Kodak's consumer output operations.

The kiosks will allow customers to preview, crop, enlarge and tidy up their snapshots, then print only those they want - a benefit that digital camera users already enjoy. Instead of negatives, the machines also will store the photos on a digital CD.

Digital cameras outsold film cameras for the first time in the United States in 2003, the Jackson, Mich.-based Photo Marketing Association said. As a result, 200 million fewer rolls of film were processed last year compared with a peak of 781 million in 2000, it said.

Photography analysts scoffed at Kodak's notion that film kiosks might alter those trends.

"It would be nice if it happens but I wouldn't bet on it," said Ulysses Yannas of Buckman, Buckman & Reid in New York.

Nonetheless, with tens of millions of film cameras still in use, "there is and there will continue to be a very big market for film," particularly in developing markets in Asia and Latin America, Yannas said.

Kodak revealed last month it is cutting 12,000 to 15,000 more jobs - or nearly a quarter of its work force - over the next three years.

Kodak is hoping the film kiosk's relatively low price tag - $30,000 to $40,000 - will lure retailers who might balk at installing a digital mini-lab, which can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000.

The photo kiosk business has become increasingly competitive - Japanese rivals led by Sony Corp. are winning customers such as Kinko's, the self-service copying chain - but Kodak still dominates the U.S. market with Picture Maker kiosks in some 24,000 locations.

Fujifilm. Picture Your Solutions; Digital Imaging Leader to Introduce Advanced End-to-End Solutions at PMA 2004

PMA 2004 February 12 - 15, 2004

VALHALLA, NY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 5, 2004--Fujifilm will exhibit a broad range of imaging and information technologies and products at PMA 2004 under the theme, "Fujifilm. Picture Your Solutions". This theme emphasizes that Fujifilm is the leader in providing total solutions to its customers - professional and retail - with its wide range of digital and analog products and services in the full imaging spectrum, from capturing to printing.

"This theme underscores Fujifilm's strong leadership position in the industry and acknowledges that through our solutions-based approach we stand ready to deliver on the promise of high-quality images -- meeting the changing and varied needs of consumers, professionals, retailers and labs," said Yasuo "George" Tanaka, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. "We understand our retail partners' needs by recognizing that solutions are not one-size-fits-all. From cameras and film to entry-level print solutions to complete in-store labs with on-line capabilities, Fujifilm's range of products and services cover the variety of customer needs."

At PMA 2004, Fujifilm will unveil new consumer and professional digital cameras, new 35mm and APS film camera models - and the latest advances in printing solutions - underscoring the company's commitment to providing the best choices to its customers.

"The basic needs of the picture-taker are still the same. People want photos to capture memories in hard copy form as keepsakes for themselves and for sharing with others. The bottom line is the technology has changed, but the underlying consumer motivation hasn't," said Stanley E. Freimuth, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. "We strive to be the best business partner to our customers by providing them with the choice of technologies they need to succeed in today's marketplace."

More About Fujifilm at PMA 2004

Visitors to the Fujifilm Booth #E2 in South Hall #1 of the Las Vegas Convention Center will find physical representation of the breadth and flexibility of Fujifilm's imaging solutions. Acrobats from Cirque du Soleil will provide an artistic accent to the full line-up of Fujifilm's solutions, including:

Picture Your Solutions at Retail: Fujifilm will spotlight its market-leading Digital Camera Developing solutions, led by the newest extensions to its world-renowned flagship Frontier digital minilab line, the standard in retail photofinishing. The Frontier 355/375 offer state-of-the-art scanners which eliminate scratch and dust defects while providing easy-to-use icon-based interfaces, automatic red-eye reduction software, 135/IX240 automatic film carriers for simplified film loading, and most importantly, the overall best print quality the market expects from Fujifilm. The company's groundbreaking Frontier, which features a solid-state blue laser, creates a unique depth of color and image clarity in pictures printed at retail from both analog and digital sources. Combined with the company's proprietary Image Intelligence technologies, prints made from Fujifilm's line of digital minilabs are automatically enhanced to the best-possible quality. Fujifilm continues to focus on enhanced print quality and performance, as well as improved workflow solutions for the retailer, through its new Frontier Manager system.

Also introduced will be the Digital Photo Center Express (DPCE), an extremely compact digital camera developing print solution for retailers seeking additional kiosk capacity and improved traffic flow at a reasonable price point. The DPCE provides additional workflow capabilities by increasing the number of images viewed on screen at a given time, and will also be wireless enabled and will make prints from camera phones equipped with Bluetooth(R) and infrared functionality.

Fujifilm will also add the Printpix Digital Photo Printer CX-550 to its full line of digital camera developing options for busy retailers. The compact, desktop-sized printer creates quality ID prints from any digital image. This new printing solution will allow retailers to quickly and easily enter the ID and Passport photo business.

Picture Your Solutions in Digital: Fujifilm will showcase four additions to its line of award-winning FinePix digital cameras at the show. Fujifilm adds two sleek new entry-level models, the FinePix A330, that offers 3.2 million effective pixels and a 3x optical zoom to capture bright, vivid images; and the FinePix A340, that offers picture-takers 4.0 million effective pixels, combined with a 3x optical zoom, for printed images that look as real as life. Both cameras offer streamlined menu navigation, a quick play-back mode and a slide-powered boot-up in sleek bodies.

In the professional category, the small form factor combined with the 6.2 megapixel Super CCD SR sensor technology of the FinePix S20 Pro, a new compact SLR-type digital camera for professional photographers, makes it an ideal component in an imaging system that meets the needs of school portrait and social photography as well as specialty segments, such as medical, dental and scientific. Fujifilm also unveils one of its most eagerly anticipated products, the FinePix S3 Pro. This professional SLR-type camera features one-of-a-kind Super CCD SR sensor technology, designed specifically for professional photography. This proprietary technology creates a wider dynamic range to produce images that approach true photographic quality. As a result, the FinePix S3 Pro will capture highlight and shadow detail often lost by digital cameras in high contrast scenes.

Picture Your Solutions Online: Fujifilm's Get the Picture Online service lets retailers provide consumers with an easy way to place digital print orders online. The service is the latest offering in Fujifilm's Digital Camera Developing initiative, which educates consumers on how simple it is to get prints from their digital camera. More information is available on www.digitalcameradeveloping.com .

The company's Get the Picture Mobile service allows camera phone users to upload their digital images from their cell phone to an online album on www.fujifilm.net where they can view their album from their cell phone. Fujifilm will also share new developments in the company's mobile imaging retail solutions and technologies that allow easy picture sharing and printing anytime, anywhere.

Fujifilm also recently underscored its ongoing commitment to providing consumers with a choice of cameras across formats with the announcement of three new 35mm film cameras, a new APS film camera and a new one-time-use camera. Making their debut at PMA 2004, all of these new products incorporate new technologies that will help consumers take better pictures and continue to make picture taking easy and fun.

The QuickSnap Smart Flash one-time-use camera, is "smart" enough to provide sharp, brilliant color photos in all conditions. With just a flip of a switch, Smart Flash's unique dual-flash system and its premium 2-element lens capture brighter backgrounds when shooting at night or indoors. Smart Flash not only features this flash breakthrough, but also comes preloaded with Superia X-TRA 800 speed film to produce the accurate true-to-life colors consumers have come to expect from Fujifilm.

The new Zoom Date 60W features a wide-angle zoom lens, while the new Zoom Date 120V and Zoom Date 135V offer new drop-in film loading for an even easier picture-taking experience.

The fashionable, fun Q1 Zoom APS camera features a 2x zoom lens (22-44mm) and is offered in two color combinations: silver with black or silver with blue. In addition, the Q1 Zoom offers fully automatic features such as auto focus, auto flash and auto winding, while using APS film.

Fujifilm's presence at PMA will be visible in the air with the flight of the Fujifilm Blimp over the Las Vegas strip throughout the week. On the ground, the Fujifilm Digital Tour Truck will be located at The Beach across from the Las Vegas Convention Center. The truck offers a fully interactive experience with Fujifilm's latest consumer digital cameras and self-service digital printing kiosks.

About Fujifilm

Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. is a subsidiary of Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. and delivers technology solutions to meet the imaging and information needs of retailers, consumers, professionals and business customers. As a global leader in digital imaging, Fujifilm pioneered the development of digital X-ray systems, and today is the leader in digital minilab systems. The company was ranked in the top ten for U.S. patents granted during the last decade, employs 72,500 people worldwide and in the year ending March 31, 2003, had global revenues of more than $20 billion.

In the U.S., Fujifilm employs over 10,000 people. The company is a leader in delivering high quality, easy-to-use imaging and information solutions in the following categories: Digital Imaging Systems, Recording/Storage Media, Film and Imaging Systems, Motion Picture Film, Graphic Arts and Printing Systems and Medical Imaging and Diagnostics Systems. Fujifilm is committed to being an environmentally friendly, humane enterprise and an exemplary corporate citizen.

For more information on Fujifilm products, consumers can call 800-800-FUJI or access the Fujifilm USA Web site at www.fujifilm.com.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.


Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc.
Adam Yates, 914-789-8220
[email protected]
Text 100 Public Relations
Nicole Ramirez, 212-871-4081
[email protected]

SimpleTech Announces Industry's Highest Capacity 8 GB CompactFlash Card With 10MB/sec Write Speed;

New 8 GB Card Utilizes Company's Patented IC Tower Stacking Technology

SANTA ANA, Calif., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SimpleTech, Inc.
(Nasdaq: STEC), a designer, manufacturer and marketer of custom and
open-standard memory solutions based on Flash memory and DRAM technologies,
today announced the industry's highest capacity CompactFlash with an 8 GB Type
II card using the Company's patented stacking technology. The Company also
announced 2, 4 and 5 GB Type I cards and a significant increase to the write
speed of its entire ProX line of CompactFlash cards. The products will be
unveiled at the PMA (Photo Marketing Association) trade show held at the Las
Vegas Convention Center from February 12-15, 2004. SimpleTech will exhibit in
booth N-64.
"We combined the latest silicon with our patented IC Tower stacking
technology and produced the highest density CompactFlash card available in the
world," said Ken Roberts, director of product marketing at SimpleTech. "This
card also uses a high speed controller with 10 MB/sec write speed -- the
fastest on the market today."
SimpleTech's IC Tower(TM) stacking technology allows multiple NAND Flash
components to be stacked together to provide increased memory and storage
densities that provide enhanced capacity in its 5 mm Type II cards.
Delivering a breakthrough write speed of up to 10MB/second, SimpleTech's
ProX CompactFlash cards enable images to be saved faster to the CompactFlash
card and significantly reduces the wait time between digital photography
ProX CompactFlash cards incorporate Xcell(TM) technology, with a new
advanced controller that provides an exponential increase in throughput for
writing the picture file, delivering fast, accurate recording of
high-resolution images and outstanding reliability.
SimpleTech customers are offered a free trial of PhotoRescue software.
Customers can download the photo recovery software onto their computer, and
either insert the Flash card into a reader, or dock their camera, and view
thumbnail images of their pictures. If one of the images on the card is
corrupted, the rescue software allows the image to be recovered.
All SimpleTech CompactFlash cards come with a one-year warranty backed by
SimpleTech's reputation for quality and support.

Pricing and Availability
Manufacturers suggested retail pricing for ProX CompactFlash cards ranges
from $89.99 to $5,999 to meet budget and performance requirements. Samples of
the new ProX CompactFlash Type I cards in 2, 4 and 5 GB capacities and the
8 GB type II cards are expected to ship during the first quarter of 2004, with
production anticipated during the second quarter of 2004.

About SimpleTech
SimpleTech, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets custom and
open-standard memory solutions based on Flash and DRAM memory technologies.
Headquartered in Santa Ana, California, the company offers a comprehensive
line of more than 2,500 products and specializes in developing high-density
memory modules, memory cards and storage devices. For more information, visit
the company's Web site at http://www.simpletech.com .

Posted by Craig at February 6, 2004 09:30 PM