Magazine Article


Albuming Becomes More Than a Cliché
Taking Center Stage at PMA Show

A Kodak Photobook
A Kodak Photobook

Bing emphasized that Fuji was committed to working with the dealers to generate their sales rather than connecting directly to the consumer.

Lucidiom felt it had a great show and Lisa Fasold, its media relations executive, said that sales at the show were three times greater than the cost for the booth, hotels, air travel, etc. This year's booth, was almost double last year's and the plan is to go even larger next year.

She said that the expansion of the Luci software into the standard Lucidiom APM kiosk was attractive to many dealers. The firm unveiled eight new products and the package was enhanced by the incorporation of Photo Finale software which Lucidiom acquired during the year, giving dealers the opportunity to receive uploads directly from home PC's.

Roger Christian, University Camera and Imaging, Iowa City, said he "did not spend one cent on the bandits" but did open his checkbook to buy Lucidiom. "I realize the HP system grabbed…a lot of people, but with the 'open' setup of Lucidiom, the experience we've had with them in the past year and a half…I feel good about my decision."

Photo-Me, according to Kevin Donohue, president and CEO of Digital Portal, it's USA operation, survived an onslaught of traffic for those looking to check out the PhotoBook system, an album solution unique to itself. Though announced pre-show at a $25,000 list, it was reduced to $15,900 as a show special, according to Kevin, as "we wanted to get some units onto the retail floor so that we could see what happened when the rubber met the road." It goes back to $20K list.

He said that "a few dozen" were sold and installation began in late April. While it's designed to take a customer's prints and convert them into an album in just a few minutes, he noted that Duane Reade, the New York pharmacy chain, was planning to experiment with pre-made albums of New York images to sell to the tourist trade.

Not all were entranced by the available albuming solutions. One bestphotolist message to me was sent by Ken Sutton, K-Ellis Photocenter, N. Dartmouth, MA. Ken said: "I did not buy the HP or the Lucidiom. Despite what the 'experts' claim, I do not buy the 'if you offer it, they will come' philosophy that surrounds these devices. Like APS…a small percentage of dealers…will do very well with it, another percentage will do just OK, the rest will wonder why it didn't work. Might books and digital scrapbooking be the New Coke of the photo industry?"

One more cliché: To each his own.