It’s no major secret that traditional consumer-grade photography brands are in a precarious position as the industry has been upended by the smartphone and social media. But that hasn’t stopped some of the more savvy digital imaging manufacturers in the space from finding creative ways to remain relevant while also producing some really unique and fun-to-use products. C+A Global, the brand licensee of KODAK is a perfect example of one of those brands.
At CE Week 2019, hosted in the Javits Convention Center in New York City, C+A, under its KODAK banner, presented a variety of products that displayed how the company is able to balance some old-school photography technology with some of the latest tech trends around. Two products in particular stand out from their booth: The KODAK SMILE Instant Printer and SCANZA Digital Film Scanner.
The KODAK SMILE Instant Printer (pictured below) does exactly what it sounds like, and that’s print photos instantly. Using another C+A brand, ZINK, the printer requires no ink cartridges and simply needs to be loaded with ZINK Photo Paper to work. The printer can handle small 2-inch by 3-inch photos, which can be uploaded to the camera from any digital photo library you have—including social media accounts—via the company’s free KODAK SMILE app. The app has a ton of built in editing features that let users add borders, color filters, freehand drawings, text, and more. And, bringing in some present-day technology, you can add AR effects to still photos that allow you to “embed” videos right on top of the image. Anyone with the KODAK SMILE app can hover over the photo and view the video that the user chose to embed. A unique example use case would be printing a small happy birthday image and then creating a video message that you could then embed on top of the photo, bringing another layer of personalization to the printed photo.
On the opposite end of the tech spectrum, KODAK displayed the SCANZA Digital Film Scanner, which, again, does exactly what its name suggests. Consumers who have old school negatives lying around now have a much cheaper option when it comes to converting those memories into digital files. The top-of-the-line SCANZA device runs $170 and gives the user the ability to convert anything from old 35mm fild, 126, 110 super 8, and 8mm negatives and slides to JPEG digital files. What’s cool about the product though, is that a large format digital display allows you to view what that image will look like once it’s converted into the digital file. Or, if you’re just looking to blow those images up for your viewing pleasure, the HDMI port on the device let’s you project those files digitally onto a TV or HDMI-supporting laptop or computer.
KODAK and C+A had a number of additional products on display at CE Week, but the SMILE Instant Printer and SCANZA Digital Film Scanner certainly stood out.