Kodak cameras come back to life

The company is in bankruptcy, but it licensed its brand name to consumer electronics maker JK Imaging.

By Kim Peterson Jan 11, 2013 4:45PM
Kodak FunSaver single use camera on a box of Kodak inkjet paper (Mark Lennihan/AP Photo)Kodak (EDKDQ) may be bankrupt, but its cameras are coming back from the dead.

The company has agreed to license its name to JK Imaging, a personal electronics company in Los Angeles. Executives there plan to unveil the new Kodak camera sometime between April and June.

Eventually, we may see the Kodak name on other devices as well, such as pocket video cameras and portable projectors, USA Today reports.

Friday, a judge approved Kodak's plan to sell some of its digital-imaging patents to a number of technology companies, including Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG). (Microsoft owns and publishes moneyNOW, an MSN Money site.) The sale, for $527 million, is much less than the $2 billion Kodak originally thought it could get, according to Dow Jones newswires.

The sale should still satisfy Kodak's bondholders, who loaned the company $830 million on the condition that the patents would sell for at least $500 million.

Kodak has turned its world upside-down since filing for bankruptcy last January. It's trying to survive and emerge from bankruptcy, and in the process has sold off its consumer-printer segment and other businesses. It's still trying to sell its photo kiosk, scanning and film businesses, Dow Jones reports.

The company has struggled to make high-quality digital cameras over the years. "The last few generations of Kodak cameras ranged from mediocre to awful, leaving a once-proud company's reputation in tatters as they staggered into the digital age," writes the website DigitalCameraInfo. But the cameras could still be a hit, some observers say, especially with older consumers who remember the days when Kodak was a giant in the film industry.

"There were a lot of facets to the Kodak brand that made people choose it specifically, because it was Kodak," branding specialist and author Rob Frankel told USA Today. "Every generation grew up knowing Kodak. Because it's a legacy, multigenerational brand, the older the consumer the better it's going to do."

More on Money Now


27Comments
Jan 11, 2013 6:52PM
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First camera of my life was Kodak Brownie Starflash. Film and bulbs have not been made in decades. I still have it, and it is like an old friend. The pictures are in photo albums. I feel sorry for folks who have all the pictures in electronic storage.
Jan 11, 2013 9:17PM
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Another good brand dead. Like RCA and so many others the name live on, but the quality of the product is gone.
Jan 12, 2013 3:30AM
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GREAT !     Maybe now we can get one of them to start doing KODACHROME PROCESSING  again !   I just LOVE kodachrome 64 iso speed film !   I wasn't able to get all of mine processed before they stopped doing it !!!!
Jan 14, 2013 7:01AM
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film pictures still give more accurate and clearer results than digital photos if one wishes to enlarge certain portions of a photo. I don't think that the film industry should give up on older film -picture taking since the enlarging quality of the fine grain film are so much better than even the best digital enlarged photos.
Jan 12, 2013 12:24PM
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Sorry to say, BUT I think Kodak is their own WORST ENEMY....

 

And did not capitalize on their own Corporation and Ideas.....Very sad...IMO

Jan 12, 2013 12:28AM
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This is what kids only need.  This way they can't upload questionable pictures.
Jan 11, 2013 7:36PM
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old song 'kodachrome' from 70s isnt the same anymore either.still using a kodak printer,not the best but holds up better inclass to me then the other guys.also,my mom used an old 126 till mid or late 80s and for a b/w it wasnt bad.
Jan 14, 2013 12:56PM
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nothing beats film and vinyl.  digital cameras and CDs are convenient but quality suffers.
Jan 14, 2013 11:32AM
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Kodak was awesome.  I used to buy a color film from them that I used exclusively called "EKTAR", and it had the most brilliant of colors I have seen anywhere period.  I have not seen anything since then.
Jan 14, 2013 12:57PM
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I have been collecting Kodak cameras for years. The collection has been displayed locally under the name 'Bellows, Boxes and Bakelite....The Kodaks that Captured Our Lives". I used one to capture the transit of Venus across the sun last year. The local lab had to my rolls away to be developed, scanned and printed. All my friends asked how many megapixels my camera was...LOL.....I said it's call film.....one said Wow...that's really old school. No it's good photography. Plan your shot, plan your exposure, Take your shot, don't waste film. I have great pictures while the world slowly drowns in the electronic detritus of digital camera/phone crap. My pics will live on long after the hard drive with your pics on it has long since crashed. You want to learn real photography...check out    http://johncoffer.com/  .
Jan 14, 2013 12:38PM
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Good. Can we bring back Polaroid film now? My seven year old daughter found one of my old cameras. Thinking it would be a fun toy for her, I looked up the film online. It goes for $60 a pack on ebay. The camera is worth about $1, the film is basically unattainable.
Jan 12, 2013 3:20PM
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Having a few cameras, Argus C-3, Nikon w/ Photomic, a Brownie box, and maybe another Kodak...?

We also have some Instas, but can't find any 110 film anymore...

In fact hard to find Kodak throwaways....Last time she went with a Fuji.

Kids are forcing me/us into digital with an 8meg. with those little cartridges..

I've even taken some "accidental" photos with my phone...Now I know how to use it ?

 

Guess it would give you insight to what World, We are living in...But, "back in the day....."

Jan 12, 2013 12:30AM
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Hey, I still have two  Kodak Brownie's, that still work and I use.  Film is still around for them and you know, black and whites  pictures are good.
Jan 11, 2013 7:50PM
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correction, saw post below and it's brownie's w/ r kodaks.  just got em so cut me some slack!!  lol!
Jan 14, 2013 3:23PM
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I have digital cameras, one of which is a Kodak and it works great! It' traveled from Hawaii to Israel and a lot of places in-between. It's never missed a shot and produced great pictures.

That said , I prefer 35mm film. True you can't see what you shot right away but it makes you compose the picture with more care, make sure the settings are correct and if you bracket you will certainly

get Excellent photos. Besides this I have never seen a negative or a slide "crash" like a hard drive. Digital and film, the best of two worlds,each has it's place..

 Vinyl is still top in sound. Much warmer sound. I see that attempts are being made to "print" records using a 3-D printer. The sound from them is easily surpassed by T. Edison's first recordings. Why are they trying to re-invent the wheel or in this case the record?? Because they (think) they can?

Jan 14, 2013 1:38PM
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What a wonderful company-KODAK. Spent 30 years with them only to to get royally screwed. We have lost our health insurance and everything we contributed to long term care and life insurance. What a wonderful company-KODAK. Wouldn't give a damn if they went belly up completely!!!
Jan 14, 2013 12:18PM
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Bought an Easyshare DX6490 7 years ago. Still works great!
Jan 24, 2013 8:11PM
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I think this is Kodak's big chance.  Time for them to make cameras that can rival the big boys, just like they used to!  I'd like to see Kodak a household word again.

Jan 14, 2013 1:20PM
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I have a kodak share and it came with the printer tp print out my pictures,you use to be able to buy thefilm cartridge in the store but the last time I orded it from kodak just as they were going bankrupt now I don't know what to do.

 

Jan 12, 2013 2:09AM
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Kodak cameras have always been cheap and just this side of terrible. But, they were easy to use and you could usually get a "readable" print back from the drug store each time you clicked the shutter. With Kodak, it was ALWAYS about the film...from day one. They would "give" you a functional camera if you would just keep making your snapshots on Kodak film. The concept didn’t translate to digital very well even though the company saw the transition coming and reacted in plenty of time. They just couldn’t figure out how to sell film with the new technology!

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