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Innovation And Technology Management Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 4444 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Ever since cameras were developed, it had evolved into many different types. This report will be focusing on the improvement of different types of camera, from film to digital used by consumers. A few case studies of camera makers will also be included to show how innovation affects each company.

A camera is a device that captures images and the images were stored in the device or transmitted to another location. These images may be still or moving images. Still images means photograph while moving images can be videos or movies. The term camera was from the word camera obscura which was an early mechanism used to project images.

Camera obscura is an optical device which can project surrounding image on a screen and used in drawing and for entertainment. Camera obscura consists of a box with an opening in one side. The light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside causing an image of the scene being reproduced but was turned upside down, with the color and perspective being preserved. The image will then be projected onto a piece of paper and traced which produced a highly accurate representation of the scene.


Figure 1: Drawing of camera obscura

A camera may work with the light of the visible spectrum or with other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It generally consists of an enclosed hollow box with an opening in one side for external light to pass through and a recording or viewing surface for capturing the light at the other side. Most of the cameras will have a lens being placed at the front of the camera’s opening which is used to gather the incoming light and focus all or part of the image to the recording or viewing surface. The sizes of the opening are mostly controlled by using a diaphragm mechanism but some of them will use a fixed size opening. Most of the cameras today use an electronic image sensor for storing photographs on flash memory. Before that, from the 20th century, photographic films were used

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For a typical still camera, it takes a photo at a time when the user presses the shutter button unless the user uses continuous fire mode. As for a typical movie camera, it continuously takes 24 film frames per second when the shutter is pressed and holds on until the shutter is released. Some movie camera works by pressing the shutter button once and the second time will stop it.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcThEehclSMeXPhA1DEisnDoFw1w5_YCT5-6TFcNfv5q30kXSs-p-g http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTxh6ovUrXMGAZPP7tlsthvgrJ5jiMvKJD8swHykuo80AdRgOGT

Figure 2: Digital still camera Figure 3: Digital movie camera

Until today, cameras has evolved from the camera obscura and continued to change through many generations of photographic technology, including daguerreotypes, calotypes, dry plates, film and different types of digital cameras.


In the past, camera obscura was used by people for drawing or viewing purposes. In 1827, the first permanent photograph was made using a sliding wooden box camera which used the concept of camera obscura to build. Although camera obscura was already available before 1827, there was no way to preserve the images produced by it apart from manually tracing the images. The preservation of the images was made possible after the invention of photographic lapel processes. These preserved images were then being called as photographs. The earliest cameras were of room sized, which were able to accommodate one or more people inside.

By Niepce’s time, the camera technology had gradually evolved. Cameras became more compact, making portable handheld cameras which were suitable for photography possible.

Although cameras technology had been keep improving, a camera in its barest form is still simply a light tight container that used a lens with iris, a shutter that has variable speeds and contains a sensitive piece of media. The media is either film or a digital sensor.


Figure 4: sliding wooden box camera

Types of cameras

Currently there are different types of camera in the market.

The different types of consumers’ cameras are as following:

Digital camera, a camera that takes video or still photographs by recording images on an electronic image sensor

Remote camera, a camera placed by a photographer in areas where the photographer generally cannot be

Movie camera, a type of photographic camera which takes a rapid sequence of photographs on strips of film

Pocket instamatic camera, a series of inexpensive, easy-to-load camera

Single-lens reflex camera, a camera that typically uses a mirror and prism system that permits the photographer to view through the lens and see exactly what will be captured

Twin-lens reflex camera, a type of camera with two objective lenses of the same focal length.

Video camera, a camera used for electronic motion picture acquisition

Camera phone, a mobile phone which is able to capture still photographs and video

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera, a type of digital system cameras equipped with an interchangeable lens.

Technology Developments

Film Camera

When the first camera was invented, it used an engraving which was placed onto a metal plate coated in bitumen and then exposed it to light. The shadowy areas of the engraving will block the light while the whiter areas allowed the light to react with the chemicals on the plate. When the metal plate was placed into a solvent, an image will appear. The photograph required eight hours of light exposure to create and after appearing, it would soon fade away.

In 1839, a more convenient and effective method of photography was developed. Daguerre’s process ‘fixed’ the image onto a sheet of silver plated copper. The silver surface was polished and coated in iodine to create a surface that was sensitive to light. The plate was then putted in a camera and exposed for a few minutes. After the image was painted by light, the plate was bathed in a solution of silver chloride. This process created a lasting image which would not change even if exposed to light. With this process, daguerreotype cameras were created. The cameras used in the daguerreotype process were made by opticians and instrument makers. The camera had a sliding box design with lens placed in the front box and a smaller box was slid into the back of the larger box. The focus was controlled by sliding the rear box forward or backwards. When the sensitized plate was placed in the camera, the lens cap would be removed to start the exposure.

In 1879, the dry plate consisting of a glass negative plate with a dried gelatin emulsion was invented. The dry plates could be stored for a period of time. With this dry processes, hand held camera was now possible as it absorbed light very quickly. In 1888 the box camera which uses dry plate was introduced. The box camera was a wooden, lighted tight box with a simple lens and shutter that was factory filled with film which allows for 100 shots. The photographer pushed the shutter to produce a negative. Once the film was used up, the camera with the film still in it was mailed to the factory where the film was removed from the camera, processed and printed. The camera was then reloaded with film and returned.

In 1889 flexible roll film was invented. The film has a base that was flexible, unbreakable and could be rolled. Emulsions coated on a cellulose nitrate film base made the mass produced box camera a reality. In the mid-1914, 35 mm camera was invented. The camera used 35 mm roll film which was developed based on the flexible roll films.

In the early 1940s, color films were brought to the market. These films used the modern technology of dye-coupled colors in which a chemical process connects the three dye layers together to create an apparent color image.

In 1948, the first Polaroid camera was sold to the public. The camera allows the photographer to create an instant photograph.

The disposable camera was introduced in 1986. It was a single use camera which allowed the photographer to take photo until the film was used up. After which the photographer will send the film for processing and the camera would be disposed.

Digital Camera

Need to group into sub sections of ‘point and shoot’ (or known as compact digital cameras), Video cams, digital SLR and include camera phones here. For each section, show examples through the use of pictures.

In 1981, the first consumer camera was produced by Sony. It takes still photographs by recording image on an electronic image sensor. Digital and film cameras shared an optical system, typically using a lens with a variable diaphragm to focus light onto an image.

In 1986, the first sensor used to detect megapixels was invented by Kodak. In the same year, a prototype for an analog electronic SLR camera which was able to store images digitally was created by Nikon.

In early 2000, the first digital SLR directed at consumers was released by Fujifilm.

In 2008, mirrorless interchangeable lens camera emerged. Unlike a digital SLR, it does not have a mirror based optical viewfinder.


Figure 4: Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera

Camera Handphone

In 2000, the first camera phone was developed by Sharp. The phone had 0.1 megapixels sensor and 256 color display.

In 2003, Samsung introduced the first 1 megapixels camera phone. In the same year, Casio introduces the first 2 megapixels phone.

In 2004, Samsung introduced the first 3.2 and 5 megapixels phone.

In 2005, Samsung introduced the first 7 megapixels phone.

In 2006, Samsung introduces the first infrared camera phone and the first 10 megapixels camera phone. At this time, more than 50% of the world handphone had camera in it.


Figure 5: Samsung 10 megapixels phone

In 2007, the first 5 megapixels camera phone with 3x optical zoom was introduced by Samsung.

In 2008, Digital Imaging Systems announced first 9 megapixels camera phone and Samsung introduced first 8 megapixels camera phone.

In 2009, Samsung introduced first 8 megapixels camera phone with touchscreen and LG launched the slimmest 8 megapixels camera phone. In the same year, Samsung also introduced first 12 megapixels camera phone with 3x optical zoom.

In 2010, the first 14 megapixels camera phone was introduced by Altek and Sony ericsson introduced the first 16 megapixels camera phone. At this time, more than 81% of the world’s cell phone had camera in it.

In 2012, Nokia introduced the first 41 megapixels camera phone.

Nokia 808 Pureview

Figure 6: Nokia 41 megapixels camera phone

Cases Studies


The purpose of this section is to clearly illustrate that having good innovation and technology strategy management techniques are of paramount importance to sustaining any business.

The authors will analyze how major companies such as Canon remain prosperous in the market, while also analyzing the fall of a once hugely successful giant in the imaging business, Kodak.

Case study of Kodak’s Rise and Fall

Rise of Kodak:

Kodak was one of the major leading brands and pioneers of the camera making business. Founded in 1880, its rise to dominance of the imaging industry came after its introduction of color films and Instamatic camera to the market in the 1960s.The company’s near monopoly of film businesses continued in the 1970s as sales skyrocketed to a point where it had 90% of film and 85% of camera sales in the United States of America according to a 2005 case study for Harvard Business School. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jan/22/john-naughton-kodak-lessons).

Fall of Kodak:

By the 1980s, the emergence of a serious competitor in Fujifilm and Kodak’s dominance in the US market was undermine after Fujifilm gained a share of the market by offering lower-priced film and supplies as well as adopting very aggressive marketing which included winning sponsorship rights to be the official film of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, an opportunity which Kodak ironically passed up.

During the 1990s, although Kodak tried to maintain itself as a healthy business by diversifying to other areas of business (including medical ,pharmaceutical (http://www.csub.edu/kej/documents/economic_rsch/2012-04-23.pdf),printers for both consumer and commercial use as well as chemical manufacturing.), these businesses were all ‘bought’ and not developed in-house leading to income being shared (http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2012/01/how-fujifilm-survived).

Eventually when sales from film developing and printing went into sharp decline nearing year 2000,earnings from these additional businesses simply do not scale up to the revenue gained from its core business which relied on film.

In addition to the above, the development of digital photography technology and Kodak’s own hesitancy of making the switch from film photography to digital photography proved to be one of the major causes of its eventual demise. This is clearly depicted as even though Kodak was a pioneer of digital cameras (Kodak first introduced it in 1975), the product was dropped as there was fear that it would threaten its core photographic film business which was hugely successful then.

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Sales and revenue soon begun to go into a decline with the arrival of the digital age and a change in core business model was made ultimately. Kodak soon introduced a range of digital cameras, inkjet printers as well as became one of the first to launch a photosharing website (www.ofoto.com) between the 1990s and 2000s to cope with the need to transform with the digital age.

While efforts were made to transform and keep up with the digital photography, its business model and technology strategy was still flawed as Kodak still revolved around the idea of printing photos.

For instance, in spite of being pioneers of photosharing online, Kodak’s website merely served as a vessel for providing a service for online ordering of prints. (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505143_162-57363629/why-kodak-failed-and-how-to-avoid-the-same-fate/)

In addition, the authors observed that despite innovating in the correct direction enjoying huge success with its line of digital cameras in the early 2000s, Kodak failed to anticipate the dynamics of digital photography and had no alternatives when consumers are no longer interested in photo printing but, sharing photos online in social media websites such as ‘Flickr’, ‘Instagram’ and ‘Facebook’.

Kodak being overly diversified, adopted the wrong technology strategy and did not exploit and capitalize early on a core digital camera technology Kodak pioneered, while investing heavily in developing technology for taking pictures in mobile phones and other digital devices.

As a result, this allowed other companies such as Canon, Nikon and Sony to overtake and innovate further to produce hugely successful lines of digital cameras which eventually dominate the digital photography market.

Furthermore, Kodak’s success with digital cameras was short-lived towards 2010 when smartphones technology advanced and begun to include powerful cameras which are just as capable as the pocket digital cameras that Kodak was manufacturing.

The following figure illustrates how camera phones such as the ‘iPhone’ have gained a strong foothold in the market share of most popular cameras amongst consumers.


In a nut shell while aligning our observations to the concepts of technology management, there were multiple reasons contributing to the downfall of the once powerful giant in imaging market, Kodak.

But this cannot be attributed entirely to the failure of incorrect technology forecasting or a lack of innovation. In fact, a report did circulate among the leaders of Kodak depicting the eventual permanent shift from film to digital by 2010 in 1979. It can also be observed from the earlier part of this chapter that Kodak was not at a shortage in the area of innovation.

Consequently, the authors believe that it was not doing the correct technology road mapping which allowed other brands of digital cameras and camera phones to overtake them in the imaging market, leading to its ultimate demise and bankruptcy.

This can be broken down into following:

-The over reliance on a single product for revenue (film)

-Lack of in-house expertise when diversifying into other areas of business

-Slow transition from film to digital age

-Despite early success, failed to forecast that digital cameras would eventually have low profit margins as more companies entered the market in mid-2000s, along with the emergence of camera phones

-Slow transformation from a then overly diversified chemical manufacturer to a company mainly focused on imaging

Had Kodak been able to identify and develop technology alternatives before making a better technological investment decision such as perhaps investing in SLR technology or social media websites which allows photosharing such as ‘Flickr’, Kodak might have been able to avoid their present predicament.

This therefore emphasizes the importance of technology road mapping, as not having alternatives for a set product needs within different timeframes can have detrimental effects on businesses overtime.

Case study of Canon


In this section the authors will analyze how Canon, a company much like Kodak in terms of innovation and diversification of businesses, manage to still stay as one of the major leaders imaging market while facing the same challenges of having to make the switch from film to digital photography and decline of photo printing.

Technology Strategy and Forecasting

Canon introduced Japan’s first ever 35-mm focal-plane-shutter camera at a time when all high-quality cameras originated form the Europe, in 1935. Immediately after its founding and similarly to Kodak, it saw the importance of diversification and acted promptly with the introduction of Japan’s first indirect X-ray cameras, office equipment (calculators) and notably Japan’s first plain paper copying machine in 1970.

As a result, the company adopted the management slogan of “cameras in the right hand, business machines in the left” and by then the company had already globalized (branches were set up in Europe and New York) successfully as exports took up 50 % of the total sales.

Unlike Kodak, Canon continued to emphasize on the importance of in-house expertise by unceasing innovation of technology with the aim of becoming the best in all major business areas, be it in imaging (both medical and consumer) or multifunctional copiers technologies. This is achieved through constant innovation efforts such as setting up collaboration with Kyoto University in joint research projects.

Shortly in 1976, Canon introduced the world’s first SLR with embedded micro-computer (AE-1), delivering powerful performance and along with its good ergonomics, propelled it into worldwide popularity among amateur and professional photographers alike, marking the start of its strong foothold in the share of the imaging market besides other current majors such as Nikon and Sony up till now.

Besides being a leader in imaging industry, Canon also invested greatly on innovation in the technology of printers for both business and personal use. Its multifunctional copier division was notably very successful enabling it to hold the highest market share in the industry for the last 2 decades.


While Kodak had started to slip into decline because of its over reliance on film, Canon adopted good technology strategy and demonstrated good technology road mapping by making the best technology investment decisions with focused, continual innovation on camera technology (notably SLRs) and multifunctional copier technology. Hence Canon embraced the decline of films, photoprinting and the gradual replacement of compact digital cameras by smartphones through gaining a strong position in market areas of amateur and professional photography with their innovation in digital SLRs. The figure above shows its dominance in digital photography alone with smartphones.

Along with ever changing times, Canon continued to strengthen product competitiveness in major business areas which also includes multifunctional copiers.

In conclusion, while Canon had many business areas, Canon were not over-diversified like Kodak and one major difference leading to Canon’s success in diversification was because of the in-house expertise and technology management Canon had in dedicated business areas, an implication that income would not be shared with other companies as these business areas were not bought.


Future predictions of camera industry

Global Camera Industry

The world photographic products market has generated sales of over $55 billion in 2010, according to MarketLine. Cameras are leading the market with a sale close to $35 billion which is more than 60% of the overall market. Growth is expected to be accelerating at a rate of more than 3% every year, bringing the whole market up to over $65 billion by 2015. This consists of cameras, optical instruments, video cameras and other photogenic equipment. Digital photography continues to take over the sales of traditional cameras and films. And this is expected with the upcoming future of the industry

Market Outlook

However, with technological advances companies will need to continue investing in research and development of new technologies to stay in industry’s cutting edge. There will be demands of new technologies of the consumers.

As mentioned previously, Canon embraced the decline of films and photoprinting by the innovation of digital cameras. With online photo sharing/storing websites like Flickr, Google Plus or even Facebook, the generation of films and photoprinting is almost over proven by what has happened to Kodak.

However smart phone cameras are slowly replacing the digital cameras. (Many often people are taking photos with their iPhone or Samsung’s smartphone.) The percentage of photos taken with cameras and smartphones are declining and rising individually. Smartphones now have cameras of great qualities and functionalities in terms of programs known as apps and they will slowly continue to eat into the camera market. This has been shown by the appearance of smartphone picture uploading apps or social media like Instagram, Path, Facebook and many others more.

But this may not necessarily remove digital cameras totally off the market. With constant technological advances, cameras with high performance capacity will become cheaper to produce. It will become a cycle that what used to be expensive and high-end products becomes the old technology and is cheaper to produce due to the advances. So “low end” cameras is becoming something with more advanced features.

The consumer video camera market too is declining. Consumers are using their smart phones or DSLR to shoot videos. The video camera market will only move in the higher end markets (video producers, film makers) in the near future.


From our case studies above, it shows how Kodak and Canon tried applying technology management in their company to produce innovative product to the consumer market. However economic and social factors too play a part in innovation. By looking at Canon, few reasons why they were successful in the imaging market were because of their constant innovation on SLRs , coupled with the fact they were always targeting the market share of photography hobbyists, both in entry levels and professional level photography.

However even though incorporating technology and innovative management into a organization does not guarantee 100% success. It depends on many factors such as the society, economic, the current market situation or even any other external factors. Kodak had tried displaying technology and innovation management in the corporation, however they have failed. Their over reliance on a single product for revenue (film), the lack of in-house expertise when diversifying into other areas of business and their slow transition from film to digital age these were the few factors that has caused their downfall of today.

Our predications for the next 10 years:

â- 3D still and moving pictures will become standard in the next 5 years

• Cameras will have more “on-board” processing software that perfects the final

image without the need for a computer

• Images to be printed on and saved to wafer-thin electronic paper called e-paper.

Recently showcased by LG this flexible, full colour display is the wave of the future,

and could be used in so many different products including e-readers.

• Immediate upload of your image once taken to your favourite internet site with

Bluetooth connection for cameras


Figure 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_obscura

Figure 2 & 3: http://www.sony.com

Figure 4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirrorless_interchangeable-lens_camera

Figure 5: http://www.unwiredview.com/2007/01/09/10-megapixel-samsung-sch-b600-phone-nears-worldwide-launch/

Figure 6: http://www.nokia.com/global/products/phone/808pureview/specifications/


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