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DIGITAL DIGEST - A Snapshot of the Digital Imaging Market

Les Brener
A Digital Imaging Perspective

Issue 41: September 2005
Page: 1 of 1 Author's Profile | Send to a Friend | Printer Version

Editor's Note: Les Brener from the PMA has put together a "Digital Digest" of all that is happening in the digital imaging world. This fascinating market has been expanding exponentially over the past two years and shows astounding growth.
Pharmacy has traditionally held a sizable market share of traditional photofinishing and the savvy marketers have been busily building on this strength to claim a major equivalent share of the digital imaging market.
It is one of the brightest stars on the pharmacy horizon.

PMA INTERNATIONAL has offices in 12 countries and member organisations in close to 100 countries.
The PMA Australian office headed by its Director Terry Rimmer is situated in Rosebery NSW and has committees in each state. 
There many pharmacists as members and a PMA Pharmacy group has been established, which meets annually at the PMA Australian Convention and Photoworld trade exhibition.
PMA is offering readers of i2P a trial membership for only $50 (Normally $135)
Contact the writer at lesbrener@pmai.org  or PMA office at pmaaustralia@pmai.org for a trial membership form.

The Australian Journal of Pharmacy has produced the first issue of its photographic magazine supplement entitled Pharmacy Photographics. 
This issue  (August/September) covered the state of the industry to date including the historical role of pharmacy in photography… a case study (including facts and figures) by pharmacist Terry Herfort on the features, costs, profits and the success of a photo kiosk in his own pharmacy….  Technological advances and an excellent minilab buyers guide featuring virtually all the minilabs available in Australia.
The October/November issue will feature an in depth look at photo kiosks as well as a photo kiosk buyers guide.

Most pharmacists recognise the importance of trade shows and seminars and we are pleased to advise that PMA and PICA (Photo Imaging Council of Australia representing distributors) will be holding the Photo Imaging Road Show at major cities throughout Australia from September to November as detailed below.

The "Big Issue is the theme of these seminars and senior executives of leading companies in the imaging fields will be the presenters and form an expert panel which will include traditional imaging and new players from mobile imaging.
In Australia the photo imagining business is booming- over 12 million pieces of equipment able to take a photo will enter the Australian market this year.

  • But where is this taking the industry?
  • How will these images be stored or printed?
  • Where are the opportunities for the retailers?
  • What are the pitfalls and how can they be avoided?

To answer these questions and many more PICA and PMA are bringing together on the one stage the leaders of the chief protagonists in the photo imaging industry to give the retailer an up-front and personal view.
Representing retailers will be PMA Australian Director Terry Rimmer. The panel will also answer questions from the floor.

I2P is pleased to invite readers to attend these free seminars, which will have the following format.

  • 2.30- 6pm: Mini trades show - you can come along at any time during the afternoon   to inspect at your leisure the latest offerings from key suppliers.
  • 6.00 pm: Free drinks and nibbles.
  • 6.30-7.30 pm: The Future of Imaging – panellists present their vision of the future.
  • 7.30 pm: Fifteen minutes of questions and statements from the floor.

Venues and Dates:

         Townsville:  Tuesday       6th September

          Perth:          Tuesday       4th October

          Adelaide:    Wednesday   5th October

          Melbourne: Tuesday       18th October

          Hobart:        Wednesday 19th October

          Sydney:        Tuesday      15th November

All retailers with an interest in the booming photo imaging industry are urged to attend this free event.
To ensure adequate catering please pre-register on line at www.photoimaging.com.au or fax  (02) 9418-6269 with details of attendees name(s), Company, Address, email, Telephone , which City attending? What date attending? Number of attendees.

As well as the usual methods of advertising I would suggest that you use your local suburban press by feeding them with articles about your store and articles that you can feature as being associated with your pharmacy or minilab or digital lab. By the term “digital lab” I include stores with digital kiosks as well as minilabs.
PMA International has created a data base of copyright free articles for tits members and as well as printing the list we are including the contents of one or two of the articles as examples including an important one on on-line printing, which is showing very large growth both here and worldwide.
As you will see these services are available to you for your customers and may be preferable to dealing directly with a wholesale lab.
Wholesale labs however still give you the service they have provided for years as well as collection and delivery of memory cards and CD’s.
From recent PMA International Data it has been shown that printing from digital cameras is making immense strides and that while home printing (which initially was the most popular) is still growing, printing at digital labs and kiosks is really zooming ahead and you should be taking advantage of this trend.
For others it is possible to tie up with online services such as those provided by Agfa, Fuji, Kodak and Onpix  where your customer can have their camera or CD images downloaded to the service which will then print the photos and deliver them to you store for collection and payment.

Two examples of articles from the PMA Editorial Bank of Copyright Free articles are illustrated.I have specifically modified the article on online printing to suit Australian conditions.

1. Digital Imaging Made Easy
It used to be that digital imaging was not for the faint of heart.
Today, everyone is doing it!

by D. J. Herda
There was a time--back in the pre-Internet days, of course--when sending photographic images from one computer to another wasn't merely difficult; it was impossible. Even so short a period as ten years ago, capturing images from the Internet, saving them to a file, pulling them out of storage, and attaching them to an e-document was tedious and imprecise work.
   Today, things are different. Capturing images from the Internet is as easy as could be. In fact, creating images for Internet distribution is now a piece of cake. You do need the right equipment, of course, or access to a service with the right equipment-both the proper hardware and software--to send your images hurdling through cyberspace. But once you have acquired that and learn a few tricks of the trade, you'll wonder why you never did it before.

Creating your own images
This is the fun part. If you already own a digital camera (or a camera of any type, for that matter), you're practically home free. Check it out. With a digital camera, you can point and shoot and see the results within seconds on the camera's self-contained LCD screen. There you will see, in living color, the shot you just took. If you like what you see, turn off the camera and head for the computer. If not, just take the shot again ... and again ... and again, until you're satisfied that you have the best image possible.
   If you don't own a digital camera, relax. You can still go digital. Just use your conventional camera to take the shots you want to send out over the Internet. Then, take the exposed film to your local photo dealer for processing. Instruct him to process the film into conventional prints, as well as to convert the images to digital images, stored on either a 3.5-inch disk or a CD.

Downloading images from a disk
Once your disk or CD comes back from processing, slip it into your computer's drive. The media contains its own basic photo viewing and manipulation software that allows you to download the images into a holding file for computer manipulation and, eventually, permanent storage. Basic software (let's call it generic, or Brand-X) usually allows you to rotate an image left or right, reverse the image (called a "mirror" image, ideal for transferring an image onto fabric and other surfaces), and perform minor color corrections. It may also allow you to sharpen or blur the image (depending upon your mood and the quality of the original image), to crop the image, and to increase or decrease its size.
   While generic software has creative limitations, it is generally suited well enough for sending decent quality digital snapshots to loved ones or for sending digital images of cars, houses, etc., to prospective buyers.
   For additional photo manipulation or enhancement possibilities, you will need to invest in a digital imaging software package that offers greater manipulation and correction options. Adobe, Corel, and other manufacturers make very reliable, comprehensive image-enhancing products suited to either home (that is, creative) or business use. Some of this software contains creative projects and various things to do with your images, such as image-viewing enhancements (like adding a digital picture frame to your images), blanks to use to create picture postcards or calendars, and templates for creating picture stationery, banners, posters, place cards, etc.

Downloading images from a scanner
If you have a pre-existing print or slide that you would like to digitalize for distribution via the Internet, you can do that, as well. Simply take the print, slide, or negative to your nearest photo dealer and ask to have it scanned onto a disk or CD. It will cost you a few dollars per scan, but that is a small price to pay to meet your burgeoning electronic-imaging needs.
   Of course, if you have a flatbed scanner, you can do the work yourself and pocket the savings. Just position a conventional print on the bed of the scanner, hit the "scan" button, and wait for the message screen to pop up on your computer's monitor. Tell the computer where you would like the scanned image to be stored--a good collect-all for your images is a file folder you create and entitle "My Photos," or something to that effect. After the image has been scanned and downloaded onto your computer, simply call it up onto your monitor and utilize your image-enhancing software to resize it, correct color, add special effects, etc.

Downloading images from a digital camera
The easiest and least costly way (after your initial investment) of downloading an image into your computer is to use a digital camera. The camera comes with its own image-enhancing software, usually quite a bit more flexible and comprehensive than generic software. It also comes with a standard cable for connecting the camera to your computer's port. The instruction booklet that accompanies the camera will guide you step-by-step through the downloading process, which is relatively simple and takes only a few seconds per image. Once downloaded, you can call up the images on your monitor and manipulate them to your heart's content, just as with any downloaded images.

Sending digital images by e-mail
When you are ready to share your images with someone over the Internet, it's as simple as sending an e-mail. Just click on your e-mail host server, click on "new mail" or "compose message," and write whatever message you wish. Before sending it, click on the "attach" symbol. That will bring up a dialogue box, listing all of your computer files. Find the file marked "My Photos" (or whichever file to which you saved your digital images), double click on the particular image or images you want to attach to your e-mail, and then hit "ok."
Before sending the e-mail with digital image attachment, double click on the symbol in the e-mail "attachment" box to bring the digital image up for review. Make sure it's the one you
want to send and the way you want to send it. (Remember, there's no "unsending" a digital image once it's on its way.) If the image is too large or too small, go back to your image enhancing software, call up the image, and make whatever size adjustments are necessary. Don't forget to save the image in its new size. Repeat the process above to attach the newly sized image or images to your outgoing e-mail.
   Then just click on "send," sit back, and wait, confident in the fact that your images are flying successfully through cyberspace.

2. Cost, convenience, service are virtues of digital printmaking,

 says Photo Marketing Association International (PMA®)

JACKSON, Mich. – Most digital photographers quickly come to the conclusion that they do not want to spend their own precious time making hundreds of snapshot-size prints. It is far less expensive, particularly if you include the labour involved, to turn the job of making 4-by-6-inch prints over to professional digital photofinishers.

The virtues include cost savings, convenience, and custom results, depending upon the type of photofinishing service you select. For example, the per-print cost can be as low as 20 cents each when ordering online, while one-hour labs and stores are charging 40-50 cents per print from digital files. Many photo retailers with in-store facilities, one-hour labs are promoting 4-by-6-inch prints at a cost of 30 to 60 cents each.

“But cost alone doesn’t tell the whole story,” according to Alfred DeBat, senior editor of prints-are-memories.com, the photo information website from Photo Marketing Association International®. “You may find greater convenience by taking your memory card to a local one-hour digital lab, or uploading the images online to your favourite camera store for pickup at the mall. You have to work out some of your own priorities when it is time to make prints.”

Here are a number of up-to-date options, according to DeBat:
Online finishers are offering to upload your digital images online, and the completed prints are mailed back to you. The competitive price is boosted a bit by taxes and shipping, which will depend upon order size, turn-around time, and location.

However in Australia many online finishers are working with retailers and minilabs to offer an online service whereby the consumer emails the files to the finisher who then sends the finished order to a retailer for collection and payment. Examples are services by Agfa, Kodak, Fuji and Onpics.

Photo retailers can offer a service whereby you can upload your images online and pick up 4-by-6-inch prints from a designated store. This could be a way to send photos for store pickup to far-flung relatives during a single ordering session. The same store chains also promote in-store printing of 4-by-6-inch prints from digital media.

Useful links to other PMA articles:

PMA Editorial Bank

Series Index || Main Index 

copyright free contents

Cost, convenience, service are virtues of digital printmaking, says Photo Marketing Association International (PMA®)
(July 2005)


Correct White Balance Makes Better Photos
(May 2005)

Make Better Photographs Using Camera Icons
By Alfred DeBat

How many photos can my digital camera take?
(By Alfred DeBat - March 2005)

If Your Pride and Joy Matter, Great Pictures Matter!
Look No Further Than Your Own Pride and Joy for Precious Photo Memories

Tips on Flash Photography
by Alfred DeBat

SLR or Compact Digital Camera: Which is right for you?
(September 2004)

Help! My photos vanished from the memory card
(By Alfred DeBat (August 2004)

What’s your digital photo personality?
By Alfred DeBat (August 2004)

Shooting for Sharp Shots How to Take ’em, How to Create ’em
(July 2004)

Recipe for Successful Photographs
(June 2004)

Are you taking enough pictures of your family?

E-mailing pictures the right way

"Must-know" digital camera info

E-Photos Are E-asy
(ASCII text file / Word Count: 243)

Give Your Kids a Photo Boost
(ASCII text file / Word Count: 238)

Photo Software Ads Spark to Your Pix
(ASCII text file / Word Count: 258)

Digital Imaging Made Easy
(ASCII text file / Word Count: 1,146)

Photos for Home Decorating
(ASCII text file / Word Count: 254)

Organizing a Photo Scavenger Hunt
(ASCII text file / Word Count: 236)

Digital Photo Imaging: Do it Yourself. . . or Have Your Photo Lab Help
(ASCII text file / word count 5,032)

Poster Party Favorites
ASCII text file /Word Count: 235)

Bringing Out the Hidden Artist
(ASCII text file / word count 285)

Making a "Living" Album
(ASCII text file / word count 262)

Creating a Photo "Storyboard"
(ASCII text file / word count 245)

Creating a Pet Portrait
(ASCII text file / word count 252)

Picture Protection Could Save Plenty
(ASCII text file / word count 268)

Updating the Family Tree
(ASCII text file / word count 237)

Fellow Workers Worth Second Look
(ASCII text file / word count 237)

Selling Your Home … with Photos
(ASCII text file / word count 268)

Make Your Own PhotoMat
(ASCII text file / word count 262)

Cameras and Water Do Mix!
(ASCII text file / word count 258)






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