Toronto. Member and ex membership secretary Dennis Cannon, sent a note to me and editor Bob Lansdale with a link to Kodak and their announcement of a new smartphone.
Surprisingly, the smartphone is called a Kodak Ektra. Not surprisingly the camera in this smartphone is emphasized, not the cell phone. This smartphone is uncannily like Ed Warner’s tongue in cheek “camera with a cell phone inside” at the last Show and Tell December 2015. In fact, many of the ever ready cases for this smartphone are typical camera cases and rather inconvenient for a phone. However, the design of the camera is much like that of a modern smartphone – a thin hand sized rectangle with a lens in front and a large “gorilla glass” high resolution screen on the back.
An Android app from Google (Snapseed) allows each photo to be adjusted. Other apps allow images to be posted to social media sites or sent to Kodak to be printed or even prepared in book format (book format is a future feature).
I read various reviews such as this on TechCrunch. The camera seems to be rather modest in spite of its 21 MP and f/2.0 criteria plus a second 13 MP front facing camera and a video camera. The camera operates on the Android platform and its maker promises to keep the OS current (a new version of Android has already been released since the camera specs were announced). This smartphone is made by Bullitt in the UK (Kodak sold its camera operations three years ago). The Ektra smartphone will initially be sold in Europe – a good choice since Apple’s iPhone has the lion’s share of the American market – and world wide profits.
I thought the choice of the name Ektra was odd. My late friend and past president of the PHSC, Bill Belier, once mentioned to me that it was rare to find an original 1940s Ektra, and rarer still to find one in working order since the cameras were notorious for faulty shutters. On the other hand, the original Ektra camera out featured anything available from Leitz or Zeiss at the time.