Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's a hard ol' digital world out there

Holy Cow! Konica Minolta are withdrawing from the photographic business. Some of the digital SLR assets will be transferring to Sony, but that's it for the rest: compact cameras, films and paper, minilabs. It does appear that Konica Minolta will continue to work in partnership to develop the Sony badged DSLR but it looks like the production assets will move to Sony. The Minolta lens mount will also become an asset of Sony, so at least any new lenses developed will be compatible with current Konica Minolta DSLRs. I've never been a fan of Minolta's SLR cameras (there has been some ingenious design in their recent digital compacts) but their lenses have always been highly rated, especially for portraiture. I'm sure they will be sorely missed by many professional and amateur photographers alike. So how long will it be before the Sony badged DSLRs will have MemoryStick storage and a Walkman badge on the front, oh, and the most incomprehensible nomenclature possible? So two more famous photographic names bite the dust, sure the company will (or might) survive, but not in the camera bag or the photo album. 2006 will be the year we can finally put a wreath on the grave of silver-halide film.

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