Eastman Kodak Company

'Going Digital' Builds Business: Three Out of Five of Professional Photographers in U.S. Say Digital Cameras Create New Opportunities

Kodak Professional Survey Indicates Photographers Benefit Immediately with Digital

LAS VEGAS, February 3 -- For three out of five professional photographers in the U.S., digital photography is creating new business opportunities that they did not enjoy when they were shooting exclusively with film, according to a pollsurvey conducted by Kodak Professional, a division of Eastman Kodak Company. Of those generating new revenue through digital photography, 61 percent said growth occurred immediately, and another 31 percent said they reaped benefits within the first 12 months.

Distributed nationally late last year via the Internet to more than 5,000 professional photographers, the pollis part of a Kodak Professional initiative to gain insights into how digital technologies are changing the art and business of photography. The results were released today in conjunction with the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International trade show here.

A total of 881 photographers replied to the 10-question online survey—a very high response rate that strengthens the reliability of the results. Most respondents said they work in the portrait or wedding segments, while 137 respondents work in commercial or other segments. Responses to particular questions, however, were not markedly different across the various segments.

Because the survey was conducted online, respondents might be expected to be more savvy than the overall population of professional photographers and, therefore, the results might overstate a preference for digital vs. film-based photography. All the same, the positive impacts on photographers who are digitalseem evident.

“Photographers love to pursue their art, but they need to pursue and support a sound business as well," said Madhav Mehra, General Manager, Digital Cameras, Kodak Professional. "Our survey shows that, while film remains popular, adding digital photography almost certainly will improve the fundamentals of a healthy photo business through new revenue and reduced costs."

Nearly three out of four respondents to the online survey—72 percent—said they take at least some images using a digital camera. More than half of those using a digital camera said they take more than half of their images digitally, and fully 26 percent take more than three-fourths of their images with a digital camera. The rest of these photographers' images are captured on film.

Professionals who are digital indicate that digital photography helps generate new revenue in a number of ways. Asked to choose digital's single greatest impact, nearly two out of five respondents—38 percent—said digital allows them to shoot more images and to be more flexible and opportunistic. One in four—25 percent—cited their ability to produce a greater variety of products for customers. Another 14 percent said digital broadens their customer base and the types of jobs they can do, and 11 percent said digital allows them to finish projects more quickly and, therefore, book more jobs.

Among the respondents that have embraced digital imaging to some degree, more than 75 percent said digital photography saves them money by cutting into studio costs. Not surprisingly, two-thirds said they're saving money on film and processing, while 10 percent said their digital imaging workflow saves them time in the studio.

Achieving good business results involves some adaptation on the part of the photographer. Respondents—including some that do not now shoot with a digital camera—cited learning curve(34 percent) and investment in equipment (28 percent) as the greatest impediments to digital imaging. One-fifth of respondents said technical glitches can be a challenge. Around 7 percent said they experience no significant challenges at all with digital imaging.

Consistent with a variety of other studies, the Kodak Professional poll confirms that most professional photographers shoot a combination of digital and film. Nearly three in 10—28 percent—shoot exclusively with film. Around 11 percent of respondents said they always prefer the image quality of film regardless of the application.

The survey results do indicate, however, continued rapid adoption of digital camera systems. Of those professional photographers who don't yet use a digital camera, 76 percent said they plan to try one within two years, the survey found, while fewer than 1 percent said they will never use a digital camera.

For information about Kodak Professional's photography and imaging solutions, customers may call 1-800-235-6325 or visit our Web site at www.kodak.com/go/professional.

Eastman Kodak Company and infoimaging

Kodak is the leader in helping people take, share, enhance, preserve, print and enjoy pictures—for memories, for information, for entertainment. The company is a major participant in $385 billion industry composed of devices (digital cameras and PDAs), infrastructure (online networks and delivery systems for images) and services & media (software, film and paper enabling people to access, analyze and print images). Kodak harnesses its technology, market reach and a host of industry partnerships to provide innovative products and services for customers who need the information-rich content that images contain. The company, with sales last year of $12.8 billion, is organized into four major businesses: Photography, providing consumers, professionals and cinematographers with digital and traditional products and services; Commercial Imaging, offering image capture, output and storage products and services to businesses and government; Components, delivering flat-panel displays, optics and sensors to original equipment manufacturers; and Health, supplying the healthcare industry with traditional and digital image capture and output products and services.