Kodak kiosk comes up short for snapshooters

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Pete Smith, May 26, 2012.

  1. Pete Smith

    Pete Smith Guest

    Kodak kiosks are popular in drugstores and Walmart.

    The machine forces the camera image, regardless of its native
    aspect ratio, onto standard print sizes,4x6, 5x7 or 8x10. The
    result is image stretching or compression and an unflattering
    distorted messSterpiece. Also, the image is cropped along the
    edges of the borderless prints. A clerk told me customers
    complain and it kills repeat business. Its a shame because these
    kiosks could be real profit makers with improved firmware:

    The machine should automatically sense the native aspect ratio
    of the image to be printed and place it in its entirety on the
    print media, leaving a white border as needed to fill in the
    excess area. The customer can then trim the print.

    Until updated, it is possible to work around this major
    shortcoming:

    Example for 4x6 print, 4x3 image. Size "3" side to 3.75";
    preserve aspect ratio. The "4" side will adjust to 5" then
    create a canvas of 4x6 with the image in the center block. The
    resultant print will be uncropped, undistorted. The penalty, of
    course, is a smaller image, the time involved in calculating and
    having to trim the white borders.

    Some images are not critical for small cropping along the edges.
    That simplifies the calculation. For the above example, size the
    "3" side to 4", the "4" side will size to 5.33 and make the
    canvas 4x6, with the image in the upper block. Just trim away
    one edge of the print for a perfect edge to edge print.

    Pete Smith, L.A. DJ, (KDAY)
    Pete Smith, May 26, 2012
    #1
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  2. Pete Smith

    RichA Guest

    On May 25, 10:01 pm, Pete Smith <> wrote:
    > Kodak kiosks are popular in drugstores and Walmart.
    >
    > The machine forces the camera image, regardless of its native
    > aspect ratio, onto standard print sizes,4x6, 5x7 or 8x10. The
    > result is image stretching or compression and an unflattering
    > distorted messSterpiece. Also, the image is cropped along the
    > edges of the borderless prints. A clerk told me customers
    > complain and it kills repeat business.


    Are they even working more than half the time anyway?
    RichA, May 26, 2012
    #2
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  3. Pete Smith

    Bruce Guest

    RichA <> wrote:

    >On May 25, 10:01 pm, Pete Smith <> wrote:
    >> Kodak kiosks are popular in drugstores and Walmart.
    >>
    >> The machine forces the camera image, regardless of its native
    >> aspect ratio, onto standard print sizes,4x6, 5x7 or 8x10. The
    >> result is image stretching or compression and an unflattering
    >> distorted messSterpiece. Also, the image is cropped along the
    >> edges of the borderless prints. A clerk told me customers
    >> complain and it kills repeat business.

    >
    >Are they even working more than half the time anyway?



    They seem very unreliable. Perhaps the kiosks are mainly cosmetic?
    They do give the impression that a store is still offering photo
    printing services following closure of minilabs.

    My partner is a close friend of a senior manager in a large UK retail
    chain which has recently stripped out all its minilabs and replaced
    them with self-serve kiosks, I think mostly from Hewlett Packard. They
    are expensive to use, horribly unreliable and deliver very poor
    quality prints. Basically, they are totally unsatisfactory.

    So when she and her husband (another senior manager with the same
    store chain) came over for dinner I asked how she felt about the poor
    photo printing service they offered. She said she didn't care,
    because the kiosks were only installed to deflect criticism from
    customers when the minilabs closed. She expected them to be very
    poorly used, and they are. Sales are low and dropping, so she
    believes that few customers are going to complain when they are taken
    out and the store chain no longer offers any photo printing at all.

    When I asked what would happen then, she said "We will sell them
    inkjet printers". Cynical or what?

    It is no wonder so few people bother printing anything. Facebook has
    to a great extent replaced photo prints for the mass market.
    Bruce, May 26, 2012
    #3
  4. Pete Smith

    Mort Guest

    Pete Smith wrote:
    > Kodak kiosks are popular in drugstores and Walmart.
    >
    > The machine forces the camera image, regardless of its native
    > aspect ratio, onto standard print sizes,4x6, 5x7 or 8x10. The
    > result is image stretching or compression and an unflattering
    > distorted messSterpiece. Also, the image is cropped along the
    > edges of the borderless prints. A clerk told me customers
    > complain and it kills repeat business. Its a shame because these
    > kiosks could be real profit makers with improved firmware:
    >
    > The machine should automatically sense the native aspect ratio
    > of the image to be printed and place it in its entirety on the
    > print media, leaving a white border as needed to fill in the
    > excess area. The customer can then trim the print.
    >
    > Until updated, it is possible to work around this major
    > shortcoming:
    >
    > Example for 4x6 print, 4x3 image. Size "3" side to 3.75";
    > preserve aspect ratio. The "4" side will adjust to 5" then
    > create a canvas of 4x6 with the image in the center block. The
    > resultant print will be uncropped, undistorted. The penalty, of
    > course, is a smaller image, the time involved in calculating and
    > having to trim the white borders.
    >
    > Some images are not critical for small cropping along the edges.
    > That simplifies the calculation. For the above example, size the
    > "3" side to 4", the "4" side will size to 5.33 and make the
    > canvas 4x6, with the image in the upper block. Just trim away
    > one edge of the print for a perfect edge to edge print.
    >
    > Pete Smith, L.A. DJ, (KDAY)
    >
    >
    >

    Have you tried the Sony kiosks at FedEx/Kinko USA stores? They seem to
    be much better than the Kodak ones, albeit not to everyone's taste. They
    serve their purpose for a quick print or copy.

    Mort Linder
    Mort, May 26, 2012
    #4
  5. Pete Smith

    Bruce Guest

    Rich <> wrote:
    >Bruce <> wrote in
    >news::
    >> RichA <> wrote:
    >>>On May 25, 10:01 pm, Pete Smith <> wrote:
    >>>> Kodak kiosks are popular in drugstores and Walmart.
    >>>>
    >>>> The machine forces the camera image, regardless of its native
    >>>> aspect ratio, onto standard print sizes,4x6, 5x7 or 8x10. The
    >>>> result is image stretching or compression and an unflattering
    >>>> distorted messSterpiece. Also, the image is cropped along the
    >>>> edges of the borderless prints. A clerk told me customers
    >>>> complain and it kills repeat business.
    >>>
    >>>Are they even working more than half the time anyway?

    >>
    >>
    >> They seem very unreliable. Perhaps the kiosks are mainly cosmetic?
    >> They do give the impression that a store is still offering photo
    >> printing services following closure of minilabs.
    >>
    >> My partner is a close friend of a senior manager in a large UK retail
    >> chain which has recently stripped out all its minilabs and replaced
    >> them with self-serve kiosks, I think mostly from Hewlett Packard. They
    >> are expensive to use, horribly unreliable and deliver very poor
    >> quality prints. Basically, they are totally unsatisfactory.
    >>
    >> So when she and her husband (another senior manager with the same
    >> store chain) came over for dinner I asked how she felt about the poor
    >> photo printing service they offered. She said she didn't care,
    >> because the kiosks were only installed to deflect criticism from
    >> customers when the minilabs closed. She expected them to be very
    >> poorly used, and they are. Sales are low and dropping, so she
    >> believes that few customers are going to complain when they are taken
    >> out and the store chain no longer offers any photo printing at all.
    >>
    >> When I asked what would happen then, she said "We will sell them
    >> inkjet printers". Cynical or what?
    >>
    >> It is no wonder so few people bother printing anything. Facebook has
    >> to a great extent replaced photo prints for the mass market.
    >>
    >>

    >
    >And they'll be crappy inkjet printers to boot.



    Some of the latest minilabs use inkjet. They are ideal for stores
    that don't want the hassle of changing chemicals. We will be
    investing on one new minilab this year, but we will stick to printing
    on Crystal Archive paper.


    >I pity people who equate Facebook with a decent print.



    I don't think people equate the two. It's just a lot easier to share
    snaps with friends and family on Facebook.

    More serious shooters will use Flickr and the like. But even in that
    sector of the market, printing (whether at home, in the store or mail
    order) seems to be dying out. Sales of inkjet printers and ink are
    steeply down and stores are seeing a big drop in print sales - those
    dreadful kiosks certainly can't help.

    The mail order lab I use has seen volumes drop by 30% from last year,
    and that was a 15% drop from the year before. Some of that will be
    down to the weather - N Europe has seen some record cold spells in May
    - and some will be down to the recession, which has hit all retail
    sales and especially luxury items. But the long term trend is still
    sharply downwards.
    Bruce, May 27, 2012
    #5
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