Saturday, February 09, 2008

Polaroid: R.I.P. Instant Camera

Long before the first digital camera had an integrated LCD, Polaroid pioneered taking instant pictures at parties and family events. Their invention was so game-changing that it took the world by storm, and it is likely not many of us born before 1980 did NOT own a Polaroid at some point. But now, facing the Perfect Storm of the digital revolution Polaroid has announced the end of the instant camera along with over 450 jobs.

Global sales of traditional camera film have been dropping about 25 percent to 30 percent per year, "and I've got to believe instant film has been falling as fast if not faster," said Ed Lee, a digital photography analyst at the research firm InfoTrends Inc.

"At some point in time, it had to reach the point where it was going to be uneconomical to keep producing instant film," Lee said.

Privately held Polaroid doesn't disclose financial details about its instant film business.

Polaroid instant film will be available in stores through next year, the company said - after which, Lee said, Japan's Fujifilm will be the only major maker of instant film.
I will miss the simplicity and utility of the Polaroid cameras, but with LCD previews and portable printers, it definitely is time to say goodbye.

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