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REPEAT/NEW KODAK ADVANTIX CAMERAS, FILM MEET WIDE RANGE OF CONSUMER NEEDS; Extensive Consumer Research Underscores Benefits of New System.

its new Advantix line of products, based on the Advanced Photo System, Eastman Kodak Company surveyed consumers across the globe to pinpoint their wants and desires from photography. This extensive undertaking is in all likelihood the most comprehensive effort ever to probe consumers about photography.

About the System

More than 40 Kodak market research projects, involving more than 22,000 consumers in 11 countries, revealed demand for a new photographic system that could deliver a broad range of picture-taking benefits. More than 90 percent of those surveyed said the system is better than their current one. More than 70 percent believe they would take better pictures with Advantix products, and be more satisfied with their results.

Kodak joined with four other companies -- Canon, Fuji, Minolta and Nikon -- to develop standards for a new system. These companies and others (more than 40 have licensed Advanced Photo System technology) will be offering system products and services, all of which will be compatible from the outset.

The system is based on a new film format, smaller than 35 mm (and incompatible with it), contained in a sealed cassette that frees consumers from ever having to handle their film. A thin layer of invisible magnetic particles is coated over the full surface of the film, enabling information exchange (IX) among people, cameras, film and photofinishing equipment. It can record information from the camera -- such as lighting conditions, subject distance, time and date of exposure -- plus personal information (notes, titles, etc.) -- digitally on the film.

The film and cassette are central to delivering the system features that help consumers take and get better pictures:

o Improved print quality is provided in large part by IX

technology -- which communicates picture-taking information

automatically between consumers, cameras, film and

photofinishing equipment.

o Drop-in loading of film cassettes inspires consumer

confidence by eliminating film handling difficulties and

lost exposures.

o Three print formats let consumers select different print

sizes, without changing cameras or film, to better compose

their pictures.

o Negative return in cassette means negatives will always

be keyed to the images on the photo file index print, and

won't become cut, scattered, or lost. The consumer will

never need to handle negatives again.

o More portable cameras are made possible by a smaller

format negative than 35 mm film.

o Mid-roll change, available on some system cameras, lets

people remove and re-load partially exposed film cassettes.

This lets users move from one film to another, to change

film speeds or match scene requirements.

o A photo file index print, returned with each cassette of

processed film, displays a thumbnail-sized picture of each

frame, making reprints and enlargements easier to order

(while keeping consumers confident they know where to find

their originals). The index print can be used as a

reference when changing print formats. Since the negatives

and frames are numerically matched, it's easy to order

enlargements.

o Enhanced back-printing automatically records the frame

number, film cassette number and date (plus additional

information from some cameras) on each print -- enabling

better photo organization and recall.

Future Implications

The benefits of the new format are not limited to the features and products announced today. The ability to record digital information across each frame of film opens dozens of potential applications for manufacturers, photofinishers and consumers. Each frame becomes an individual digital record on which any information could be encoded and retrieved.

The technology is, in effect, a new photographic platform with what designers call standard interfaces and open architecture. The standard interfaces mean that all Advanced Photo System products will be compatible. Open architecture means that new applications can be developed in full confidence that they will work with products and systems now in use.

Kodak Advantix Products

At news conferences on three continents, Kodak today showed its new family of Advanced Photo System films, cameras, photofinishing equipment and related products.

Films. Kodak CEO George M.C. Fisher described new Kodak Advantix films as "the finest family of consumer films we have ever manufactured." They employ new Kodak emulsions, chemical and coating technologies on the system's new thinner, stronger film base. The company will offer consumers 100-, 200- and 400-speed Kodak Advantix films, packaged in cassettes of 15, 25 or 40 exposures.

Cameras. The company also introduced nine new Kodak Advantix cameras, ranging from a one-time-use model and a $99.95 entry-level camera (U.S. list price) to a sophisticated auto-focus model with a 4x zoom lens.

Virtually all the cameras fit easily into a shirt pocket and share easy-to-use features developed through interactive consumer research. Drop-in loading will keep consumers confident that their pictures will turn out right. The viewfinders adjust with the flick of a switch, displaying the precise scene consumers will capture using any of the three print formats. LCD panels are positioned where people can see them easily (often on the camera's back). Exposure counters display the number of pictures remaining so that users don't have to calculate how many are left.

Photofinishing Equipment. In October 1995, Kodak announced the world's most productive scanner and printer for the Advanced Photo System.

Photofinishing Services. Consumers will find it easy to get their Advanced Photo System prints. Tens of thousands of U.S. retailers and most minilabs that accept consumer film for processing today will handle Advanced Photo System orders as the products become available.

Consumers can look for a photofinishing service certification logo to identify locations that accept the new film for processing and provide the system's full benefits. For the additional assurance that their prints will be on Kodak paper using Kodak process chemistry, consumers should look for Kodak identification with the certification mark. The company recently introduced Kodak Ektacolor Edge 5 and Kodak Royal V papers, which produce excellent results from any Advanced Photo System film and are specially designed to match the new emulsions in Kodak Advantix films.

Storage and Display. Kodak will complement its picture- taking products with Advanced Photo System frames, albums and related products to help people share and enjoy their pictures. Chief among these is the Kodak Advantix Memory Keeper, which takes advantage of the fact that Advanced Photo System users will never see a film negative.

Resembling a box that holds videocassettes, the Memory Keeper will secure up to 12 Advanced Photo System film cassettes, along with the accompanying photo file index prints. With hundreds of their film originals neatly organized in one spot, consumers can "find their memories" easily to order reprints and enlargements, or to re-use their pictures in other ways.

Fisher concluded that the Kodak Advantix products being introduced today will spark renewed enthusiasm for consumer photography.

"We cannot overstate our commitment to the Advanced Photo System and our confidence in its potential," he said. "By developing the system in direct response to consumer needs, we are able to introduce Kodak Advantix products today that will help consumers take more and better pictures than ever before. Tomorrow, as the system evolves, it will enable people to do more with their pictures than they ever thought possible." -0- Editor's note: For additional information about Kodak and the Advanced Photo System, visit our web site on the Internet at: http://www.kodak.com/

(Note: Kodak, Advantix, Instamatic, Brownie, Ektacolor, Royal, and Take Pictures. Further are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company.)

Editors: Please see other releases in the Advanced Photo System news kit for details on Kodak Advantix films, cameras, photofinishing, storage and display products, marketing support, industry support, consumer research and future system capabilities.

CONTACT: Eastman Kodak Company

Media Contacts:

Jim Blamphin Terence McArdle

Corporate Media Relations Consumer Imaging

Ph: 716/724-5036 Ph: 716/724-1004

Fax: 716/724-0964 Fax: 716/724-1502
COPYRIGHT 1996 Business Wire
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Date:Feb 1, 1996
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