Is this innovation in Photography?

What do you mean with innovation? This is the second example where we look at Photography and what the consumer want to archive.

I would like to share moments with my friends. 

A Kodak moment was a special image that you wanted to share with your friends, but what happened to Kodak and the other players in the photo industry?

Lets see how innovation changed the photography business.

I  bought my first SLR when I was eighteen. I loaded the camera with a roll of Kodachrome or Tri-X and carefully shot 36 exposures before developing the film. Everything was manual control; exposure, aperture and focus. You could also buy SLR’s with possibility for automatics exposure, but they were more expensive.

The next step in innovation in SLR cameras were in mid 80´s when they added auto-focus to capability in the camera and lenses. This was a traditional type of product improvement where you add more features to existing products. Some brands disappeared as the cost for development got higher, but the major brands; Canon, Nikon, Minolta survived the transition.

As a photographer it became easier to take the same photo, but not easier to share your moments with your friends.

The transition from film to digital sensors was a bigger shift for the photo industri. Gradually, traditional film became irrelevant for both consumers and professionals, but the classic Japanse camera manufactures sustained their business and got even more profitable than before. So from a SLR-camera business perspective, digital was an improvement compared to film, but it was completely disruptive for Kodak.

When the first Nokia phone arrived with a camera, the question was why you need a camera in a mobile phone.

Today, if you are using a digital camera, people around you ask if you don’t have a smartphone. When you want to share moments with your friends, you take a picture with your phone and share it via Instagram, Facebook or some other social media. The combination of smartphones with good enough cameras together with social media is definitively disruptive to traditional camera makers.  

It has never been so easy to take a good picture as today and the number of pictures taken have never been so huge. Technology made it much easier to capture those moments and share it with your friends.

To summary innovation in photography industry

  • Auto-focus was improving innovation
  • Digital sensors were improving innovation for the camera manufactures, but a new type of product for those companies making film
  • Adding camera to a mobile was as it solved another problem than the mobile did before
  • Publishing images via a smartphone on social media is about improving how you share your moments, i.e. techniques & tools. 

"don't take my Kodachrome away"