Grey genie out of the bottle

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					                                                          Grey genie
'Live View'best innovation
  The Live View function on the Olympus E-
330 Digital SLR has received the 2006
Technical Image Press Association (TIPA)
                                                          out of the bottle
Award for BestImaging Innovation.                                                                                                                                     Photo Direct
   The Technical Image Press Association                                                      ,BU"M"_               u:II~"]111                                   raised eyebrows
 is an independent association of writers                                                     / ::::.,            I......                                      and perhaps a few
                                                                                          ,    (8   1IIi:IIJo;Q
and editors representing 31 publications in                                                                                                                        Kodak and Fuji
 12 European nations and annually                                                         b:-~-;;:~-m~1                                                          hackles at Photo
presents awards honouring products and                                                                                                                       Imaging World when
technologies of special merit in the fields of                                                                                                        .          it displayedthis
photography and imaging.
                                                                                                                                                     .-      graphic on its stand.
   The E-330is the first interchangeable-Iens-
type AF digital SLRin the world to offer full-
time Live View subject framing via a rear-
mounted LCDmonitor.




                                                          Independent photo retailers struggling with                               "Ask Fuji what Harvey Norman is
                                                          low margins and fierce price competition                               paying for paper," challenged Graeme
                                                          from other channels are increasingly turning                           Nash, owner-manager of Beachside Photos
                                                          to second-tier and "grey market" suppliers                             & Cameras in Mornington, Victoria.
                                                          to keep their businesses viable.                                          Independent Photo Supplies, the leading
                                                             The demise of AgfaPhoto and then Konica                             "second tier" supplier, has recently added
                                                          Minolta in quick succession compelled                                  Fuji paper to its product portfolio in
The 'Perfect Product'?                                    literally hundreds of Australian retailers to                          response to demand from its customers, and
Camera _         repair/warranty             specialist   seek out alternative suppliers, and then word                          to augment supply from its main paper
Phototechnical       is pitching      its extended        of mouth regarding the significant cost                                supplier, Tura.
camera warranties as "the perfect product".               savings available accelerated the process.                               Managing director Stuart Holmes said this
  "Some products        are pretty good sellers              The change in the paper and chemistry                               has "taken us a little by surprise", adding
but have low margins and others have great                supply situation in the last 12 months is                              that it wasn't what IPS had planned for.
margins but poor sales," says Phototechnical              nothing short of dramatic, with long-term                                He felt that there was still a feeling - from
managing director, Rod McKnight.                          supply contracts with Kodak and Fujifilmfast                           retail customers   rather     than consumers    -
  "But, have you ever thought                of what      becoming a thing of the past, and most                                 that a back-printed paper was desirable, but
features the perfect      product     for a retailer      independent retailers shopping around                                  that retailers "just don't want to deal with
would have?"                                              among one or more of the alternate suppliers.                          the remaining two any more."
  He offered the following list:                             One retailer we spoke to said that while a                            In another response to the demand for a
  1. No investment in stock.                              large Melbourne pro lab was paying $180 a                              brand ("any brand!") IPS is importing "Tura
  2. It takes up no space                                 roll for Fuji photo paper, it was being                                Lift;", a branded version of its Tura paper.
  3. It needs no additional    staff or expertise         supplied by International Photo Supplies,                                Holmes downplayed the role of grey
  4. It returns     an above       average     margin     one of the larger grey suppliers, to relatively                        marketers like International Photo Supplies,
versus cost price                                         small accounts for just $105.                                          saying there had always been people
   5. You receive the cash from              the   sale      Retailers at a recent Just Picture It! buying                       bringing in a container load or two and
before you receive a monthly          invoice on a        group workshop described Fujifilm's pricing                            "selling it out of the back of a car."
30 day trade account                                      as "ludicrous" and "ridiculous".                                         He said that his company had always
   "Forget ROI, this is RBI - Return BEFORE
Investment!" he said.
  According      to McKnight, the repair service
delivers a 20 percent margin while there is                              "Ask Fuji what Harvey                                                            Norman
up to a 300 percent margin on warranties.
  Contact: 1800 63 43 22
                                                                          is paying for paper,"
                                                                  >                    r{(,}Oj
                                                                            (i;;W;l:"ffir;! ,:


  6    I PHOTO & IMAGING               I
                               NEWS JULY 2006
                                                                                                                       SONY

 identified the major suppliers as its direct         Sharp said that the existence             of
 competition, rather than grey marketers.          alternative sources of supply would help
    The IPS "value proposition" is to offer        Kodak focus on delivering better value to its
 temperature-controlled product at a saving       customer base. He said grey marketing
 of 20 percent against the Kodak and Fuji         wasn't restricted to Australia, but was a
 alternative, and in addition provide quality     worldwide challenge for the industry.
 monitoring, "something neither Kodak nor             "You get what you pay for. We have to
 Fuji are doing any more."                        make sure we are giving great value to our
    IPS sells a roll of Tura paper for betw~en    customers. If you want cheap and cheerful
 $128 - 138 depending on the size of i:he         it's there, but you may not get all the other      Cyber-shot
 account, but is aware of rolls of Kodak and
 Fuji paper on offer for around $100.
                                                  aspects of support."
                                                     He warned that with alternative suppliers
                                                                                                     with Double
    He said that the cost of paper and            the customer didn't know "how, where or            Anti-Blur.
 chemistry from Fuji and Kodak to make a          for how long" paper and chemistry had
 4x6-inch print was 12 - 13 cents, while the      been stored, and this may lead to warranty         Sony's new Double Anti-Blur
 cost of a print using CPAC chemicals and         issues with processing equipment.                  technology     addresses     the two
Tura paper was 9 cents.                               Sharp estimated there was currently            main causes      of blurred pictures:
    In the era of the 15 cent Fuji prints         anything up to 10 second-tier/grey market
 irregularly offered by Harvey Norman, the                                                           movement      of the camera,       and
                                                  companies operating in Australia. Others
 few cents saved per print takes on massive       we spoke to put the figure at six or seven.        movement      of the subject. This is
 significance to the independents' ability to         "It's had a little bit of an effect on our     done by means of a highly sensitive
 continue to compete.                             sales," conceded Sharp.                            CCD sensor, which alloV;;s faster
    Holmes speculated that we may see 10              "Grey market suppliers are coming in at        shutter speeds.     Thi.$ captures     a
cent print offers from Big W or Harvey            less than half the top price (of Kodak and         shorter   moment     in time, greatly
Norman in spring promotions.                      Fuji)," said Just Picture It! buying group
    As reported briefly in last issue, Photo                                                         reducing   the risk of blurry photos.
                                                  managing director, Rob Heim. "The average
Direct is now supplying both Kodak and            price is a saving of about 50 percent.
Fujifilm paper and chemistry, sourced from           "It's here to stay. The horse has bolted
major shareholder Photo Me International.         and you'll never get it back."
Photo Direct approached both majors                  Rob Gately, co-owner of Beau Photos in
to establish a local sub-distributor              the south-east Melbourne suburb of




                                                  -.
arrangement but both declined.                    Beaumaris, bought and warehoused a large
    Photo Direct bristles at the tag "grey        supply of Agfa consumables in the post-
marketer" as it went through the process of       liquidation "fire sale", and says it's highly
seeking supply from                                                       unlikely he will deal
the official Australian                                                   with Kodak or Fuji         Without Double Anti-Blur   With Double Anti-Blur
distributors         and                                 - ..-                                        in low light conditions   in low light conditions
                                                  .       .               after those supplies
when that proved
unsuccessful,           it
                                                         -. -             are exhausted.
                                            --I      a . a.. a               "Last time I spoke
sourced       from an                                                     to Fuji is was,'that's
"official" overseas                                                       the price, take it or
source.                                                                   leave it'. We are a
    "There's an official                                                  fairly large user, so
distributor,         and     Beau Photo's
                             Rob Gately.                          .:g I we would expect
that's           Kodak                                                    some consideration. It
Australia,"         said                                                  just reminded me of        Without Double Anti-Blur   With Double Anti-Blur
Kodak general manager, Bryn Sharp. "We            how it used to be with Kodak Express."             with subject movement      with subject movement
did not want to set them up as a distributor         He said he was already doing some
to sell to our existing customers. "              business with Photo Direct.                        In Sony's T-series,     the Optical
                                                                                                     Image Stabiliser doubles      this
                                                                                                     protection    by compensating       for
                                                                                                     camera-shake.      State of the art
Prestige paper distributor                                                                           noise reduction     further minimises
                                                                                                     the likelihood of blurred or grainy
DES has been appointed as exclusive               archival quality and a brilliant white
Australian distributor of the new Innova          finish. The microporous gloss coated               images.    In fact, if you want a
FibaPrint Gloss, winner of the prestigious        surface and a special acid inhibiting layer        fuzzy picture, you might have
TIP A Best Independent      Inkjet Paper          combined with FibaPrint's ultra smooth
                                                                                                     to find a fuzzy subject.
2006 Award.                                       glossy surface and brilliant white colour
                                                                                                     For more information,      visit
   DES debuted the Innova paper at Photo          make it a prestige fibre-based alternative.
Imaging World in late April. Modelled on          It is available exclusively from DES, in           www.sony.com.au/cybershot
traditional fibre-based glossy papers,            rolls and cut sheets in a wide range of
Innova FibaPrint Gloss claims a wide              sizes. For more information,          visit
colour gamut, great colour accuracy,              www.des-pl.com.au.


                                                       JULY20061 PHOTO & IMAGING NEWS    1   7

				
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