Kodak gives up the bottle, holds down a new job
By James Grahame
I've been worried about my old friend Eastman Kodak recently. His products aren't selling as well as they used to, he tossed all the hard work he put into Kodachrome, and I was saddened to see that he recently bailed out of the cutthroat digital camera market. Rumor has it he developed a taste for single malt scotch to drown his sorrows. Thankfully, his German buddies at Leica banded together to offer a little work to help get him back on his feet.
The Leica M8 is a stunning meld of new and old world technology. It's a high-end digital rangefinder that's fully compatible with the classic Leica M lens system (according to Leica, even vintage lenses from the 1950s look stunning in digital). And -- get this -- its 10.3 Megafloople CCD sensor was developed by our old friend Kodak. The Kodak KAF10500 supports ISO 160 through ISO 2500 speed settings, offering what Leica terms "a greater wealth of detail than can be achieved with analog film."
Given the M8's stratospheric $4795 price tag, I suspect the product will do more for Kodak's reputation than their bottom line. Just don't be surprised to see Kodak sensors popping up in a broader range of cameras as time goes on. It's good to have you back, Eastman old fellow.
Leica M8 details (photokina-show.com)