Konica Minolta Withdrawal From Camera Business

One of the big names in the photography world, Konica Minolta has officially announced its withdrawal from the camera and photo business. Not too long ago, Konica merged with Minolta to form Konica Minolta to improve its competitiveness in the digital age of photography. I guess things just didn’t quite work out for Konica Minolta in the digital age despite having a couple of impressive digital cameras in its portfolio.

…in today’s era of digital cameras, where image sensor technologies such as CCD is indispensable, it became difficult to timely provide competitive products even with our top optical, mechanical and electronics technologies.
- Press Release

I think digital cameras have been evolving a little too fast for the past few years. It seems like new models with new features are being introduced every year (or less) by all the major players in the business. A pace which could easily be compared to the computer electronics industry.

Furthermore, the list of new features in some of the newer models are starting to feel a little too “saturated” in its significance to the user. For example, the further increase in the CCD capturing capability from 5 megapixels and beyond no longer bring much significance to the average point-and-shoot user as most of us will only develop the pictures into 4R sized photo (or 8R photo at most). Furthermore, our organic eyes could no longer see the additional pixels captured. Other additional features which I personally feel insignificant is the addition of photo editing or photo management features into the cameras, as it merely drives the battery flat sooner. Task like photo editing or management should be left for the computers, cameras should stay focus at capturing ‘the moment‘ at its best quality and having a good battery life is essential as nobody would like to have a flat battery when we wish to capture that special moment.

Back to the topic, I guess Konica Minolta, being a traditional player in the camera and photo business for more than a century have been left out in this fast paced digital era. Perhaps other traditional names in the camera business may also end up in Konica Minolta’s footstep in the next few years. Perhaps, if I would to speculate a little, Pentax or Ricoh may be next. On the other hand, Kodak is one good example of one of that have kept abreast with the changes of the digital era and have been doing relatively well.

One Response

  1. Kenny Lee 25 January, 2006