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Konica Minolta Quits Photography Market 239

halenger writes "Japanese photographic equipment maker Konica Minolta has announced plans to withdraw from the camera business. Konica Minolta said the market had become too competitive, and added it would sell its digital camera business to Japanese electronics giant Sony." From the article: "Its decision to ditch the camera business altogether includes the cessation of its colour film and photo paper business, in which it has trailed Eastman Kodak of the US and Japan's Fuji Photo Film. Instead, it plans to focus on products such as colour office photocopiers and medical imaging equipment." We just recently reported on the decision by Nikon to go completely digital.
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Konica Minolta Quits Photography Market

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  • by Noordijk ( 319866 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:02AM (#14509215)
    KM will be making DSLRs and glass for Sony (they've been working together since last summer, apparently the first ones will simply be rebranded KM), their consumer point&shoot cameras do indeed appear dead. However, I think the real news here is that Sony may suddenly be a DSLR player. With KM expertise (the 7D and 5D are quite good) in making cameras (and their in-camera anti-shake patents) coupled with Sony's sensor experience (Sony makes the ccds for everybody save Canon), Sony will suddenly have a vertically integrated DSLR business, with proven and well known lens availability (a big barrier to acceptance of new DSLR by pros and prosumers). Canon is the only other company that matches this. That said, keep the -expletive deleted- memory stick out of 'em!
  • by CallistoLion ( 651747 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:16AM (#14509345)
    Zonk, your editorial comment "We just recently reported on the decision by Nikon to go completely digital." is wrong.

    Nikon continues to make their top of the line F6. It's hard to imagine a better 35mm SLR. They will also continue to market the entry level FM10 (made for them by Cosina).

    Having said that, the writing's on the wall. I suspect they can only still make the F6 since it shares much with their top of the line DSLR.
  • by BigCheese ( 47608 ) <> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:23AM (#14509416) Homepage Journal
    Just to go off topic for a bit. My wife just recently bought a Konica-Minolta Magicolor 2430-DL printer. Great printer, great price, reasonable priced consumables. The built in ethernet print server supports OSX and Linux out of the box.
    I didn't even know they made printers. Much less good ones.
    You can get them for $350 (if I remember correctly) at Costco. It's a much better deal then the inkjet ripoff.
  • Re:proof? (Score:4, Informative)

    by coult ( 200316 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:45AM (#14509625)
    8 bits of brightness per subpixel which is fine for most situations ... but duplicating nature can require about 20 bits

    I'm not buying it. Where's the proof?

    Check out []...the Light Value scale is logarithmic, each additional Light Value is twice the intensity of light of the previous value. The highest LV you'd see is about 20, the lowest about -15, but those wouldn't be in the same scene. Since LV 20 is basically looking straight into the sun, and LV 1 is typical outdoor scene at night, probably 20 bits is an exaggeration.

    On the other hand, my Nikon D50 has 12 bits of dynamic range and it certainly is possible to both blow out highlights and underexpose shadows in the same scene.

    Of course, this all gets more complicated by the fact that one usually applies some sort of non-linear gamma curve to remap the intensity levels to something more closely approximating the human eye's response, which means that 8-bit intensity coding using a gamma curve can almost capture the 12 bits of "linear" response of the Nikon sensor (I put "linear" in quotes because it seems more like an exponential to me, but whatever).

  • It's British. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Roydd McWilson ( 730636 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @12:08PM (#14509881) Journal
    It's British.
  • Best film (Score:3, Informative)

    by ChrisMaple ( 607946 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @03:49PM (#14512279)
    The highest resolution color negative film available the last time I bought film was Konica Impresa 50. When this is gone, the best available film quality gets one step worse, again.

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