Thursday, January 19, 2006

Konica Minolta pulls out of photo business

2006 is shaping up to be a really historic year in the field of photography. Already this year we've had Nikon dumping most of its 35mm film business and Kodak changing its 70 year old logo. Now Konica Minolta has announced that it is to pull out of the photo market completely. Not only are their film based products being stopped, but digital as well.

I've never used their cameras, but a friend of mine has and likes them. It seems a shame to see another company pull out of the market. The fewer companies the less innovation there will be. I do think it was a little cynical, if understandable, for them to pull out of the market straight away after Christmas. I'm sure there are people out there with brand new Konica Minolta cameras who are a little worried about the future regarding lenses and tech support. Sony is going to purchase their digital camera business so perhaps they will keep the range, or bring out their own brand of digital SLRs.

Konica Minolta said the market had become too competitive, and added it would sell its digital camera business to Japanese electronics giant Sony.

There are still other small companies in the market, I own a Sigma 35mm SLR. I wonder what they are planning. They have a Digital SLR on the market but their core market is still producing lenses for other brands. It would be a shame to see the market reduced to Canon, Nikon and a bunch of computer focused companies.

Of course we should remember that the real people hurt by this are the staff of Konica Minolta.
Konica Minolta is planning to cut 3,700 jobs, or 11% of its workforce, by 2007 as part of a restructuring drive.

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