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Digital Photography Goes Green

Digital photography is going green, but in more than one way. This morning Syntax-Brillian announced that it had completed the acquisition of Vivitar Corp, makers of digital cameras and optics equipment and after the close of trading yesterday, Itronics, Inc. released its third-quarter results showing a 22 percent increase in sales - thanks to the digital photography trade.

While the Vivitar deal opens new opportunities for Syntax-Brillian, it's banking on Vivitar's brand name in digital cameras, film cameras, lenses, flashes and tripods to expand its market.

Just minutes ago, Xerox reported that it expects earnings to grow in 2007, thanks in large part to its iGen3, the centerpiece of the company's strategy in the digital high-volume printing market. Xerox noted that Shutterfly, an Internet-based personal publishing service that focuses on consumer photographs, chose the iGen3. Shutterfly recently went public and had been supplying its waste photochemicals to Itronics, though the Reno-based recycler of photochemicals ended its agreement last year due to transportation costs.

Itronics noted in its earnings release that "the use of silver halide photochemistry to make photographic prints is continuing to grow asis the use of returnable 35 mm cameras."

For Itronics, photochemical waste is the core of its recycling business, in which environmental constraints are putting greater pressure on companies that process film to arrange suitable disposal of the hazardous chemicals due to the heavy metals and other chemicals. The company has developed a process to remove the silver and mint its own 5-oz pure silver bar, with sales having risen 161% in the last nine months. But the Company's main product is an environmentally friendly liquid fertilizer made from the remaining photochemical waste liquids that is marketed under the GOLD'n GRO brand, which saw a 30% increase in the same period.

Supply constraints held back Itronics until recently, when the Reno-based company added several photochemical raw material suppliers in order to meet demand. That should add to Itronics forward development, with the Company calling 2006 a "pivotal year" in relation to the photographic industry.

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