DigitalCameraReview.com
Digital Camera News: Nikon Encryption Updates, Kodak Financials, Women Prefer Kodak, Target Yahoo! Photos Site, Nikon D50 Drawing
by Ben Stafford -  4/23/2005

Nikon Encryption News Update (Reverse-Engineered and Nikon "Clarification")

This saga continues...  the author of the Dcraw utility, Dave Coffin, announced that he has reverse-engineered Nikon's white balance data encryption, reported earlier this week.  Also Bibble Labs has also decrypted the data in the latest version of their imaging software.

Nikon has also offered a "clarification" that really isn't much of a clarification.  To see the full text of the statement from Nikon, check this article at Photography Blog.  To me, the statement seems to say that since the NEF format has always been "propietary", Nikon can do whatever they want with the format.  Nikon also clarified that the NEF format (along with their software) was developed as part of a sytem that: "faithfully saved image files that represent the camera settings made manually or automatically by the photographer at the time a picture was taken."  Also, Nikon has stressed that they make an SDK available for free (after an application) that allows third party developers to handle NEF files.

Kodak First Quarter Financial News

The Eastman Kodak Company has reported a first quarter net loss of 50 cents per share on a revenue decrease of 3%.

"While the first quarter's performance was disappointing, such short-term volatility is to be expected as we transform Kodak into a digital company," said Kodak Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel A. Carp. "We remain committed to increasing the value of the company over the long-term by delivering on our annual plans. We expect to do that in 2005 and beyond."

From the press release:  "Digital & Film Imaging Systems segment sales totaled $1.801 billion, down 9%. Earnings from operations for the segment were $4 million, compared with $25 million a year ago. Included in the 2005 earnings is a non-recurring charge of $16 million to terminate a consumer photofinishing contract. Highlights for the quarter include a 68% increase in the sales of KODAK Picture Maker kiosks and related media; a 42% increase in KODAK Printer Docks and related media; and a 24% increase in consumer digital capture sales, which includes the KODAK EASYSHARE line of cameras. On the traditional side, Kodak's sales of consumer film to dealers fell 29% worldwide and 17% in the U.S., reflecting temporary inventory reductions among retailers, especially in China. The company's view of the industrywide consumer film decline in 2005, on a volume basis, remains 20% worldwide and 30% in the U.S. Sales of motion-picture origination and print film grew 6%."

Full press release

Kodak Brand Preferred by Women

Survey results from Lyra Research showed that more than 20% of women that owned a digital camera owned the Kodak brand, while only 10% of male digital camera owners owned the same brand.  The survey showed that men prefer the Canon brand.

The primary goal of the survey was to examine the photo-printing behavior of a representative sample of digital camera users in the US.  Some other differences between genders:

Full press release

Target Yahoo! Photos - Online Photo Service

Target arnd Yahoo! have introduced a new digital photo resource called Target Yahoo! Photos, affirming again the high growth of digital printing.  The service will allow customers to upload an unlimited number of photos to store, print, and share photos from digital cameras and camera phones.

Users can choose to order prints online and have them delivered to various recipients, but can also choose to pick up the pictures within a few hours from a local Target store.  The Target Yahoo! Photos service will allow albums to be shared via a public website, and also in real-time using Yahoo! Messenger or a mobile phone.

Target Yahoo! Photos will also offer a variety of products including mugs, aprons and magnets.

For more information, please visit: http://www.target.com/yahoophotos

Nikon D50 Contest for UK and Ireland

Nikon UK is holding a drawing for the recently announced Nikon D50.  The drawing is open to residents of the UK and the Republic of Ireland who answer a very simple question correctly.  The entry form is open until May 31, 2005 and you can only enter once.

Entry form