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Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Eastman Kodak Company and Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. form Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS) group

Defines picture and video parameters to optimise future consumer use; input sought on version 1.0 specification

Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Eastman Kodak Company and Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc, today announced an agreement to develop jointly a set of open standards for the consumer imaging and electronics industries, aimed at the preservation of digital photos and motion images on CDs, DVDs and other media.

As information storage technologies advance, the Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS) group’s intention is to enable digital file compatibility with future playback devices, preserving the satisfying ‘photo experience’ that consumers have enjoyed for decades.

The group intends that the new standard will:

* define the requirements of digital media authoring/archival, playback and print enablement for a new generation of products and services;
* provide interoperability for pictures, motion images, audio and related content among such future systems;
* utilise and unify multiple existing standards, to meet the consumer’s desire to store, organise, print and share easily for generations to come.

Fujifilm, Kodak and Konica Minolta have previously worked together on standards to make traditional photofinishing ubiquitous. In much the same way that today’s consumer can have nearly any brand of film processed at any location, the PASS group wants to ensure that digital images can be retrieved from any digital device or storage medium.

Hisatoyo Kato, director, senior vice president, general manager, Business Development Division, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., said, “We’re looking at this from a consumer’s perspective. People need to be confident that their pictures and videos will be readily available to enjoy and share in future decades. With all the different devices and systems that touch those digital files, and with the speed of technological change, creating a standard focused on such future interoperability is critical.”
Ben Gibson, chief technical officer, Digital & Film Imaging Systems, Eastman Kodak Company, said, “It’s really quite simple - we want to make it easy for people to enjoy their pictures not only today, but also in the future. With the incredible growth of consumer digital photography; the intersection of the imaging, consumer electronics and computer industries; and the myriad of existing specifications, a more clear-cut standards pathway is needed to ensure long-term customer satisfaction.”

Tsuyoshi Miyachi, president and chief executive officer, Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc., said, “The standard created by the PASS group will not only satisfy consumers by simplifying picture and video experiences through device interoperability, it will also benefit benefit the entire digital imaging industry. For instance, retail photofinishers and consumer electronics companies, such as manufacturers of DVD players, will be able to utilise the standard for expanded business opportunities.”

The companies encourage industry input, and are currently developing a formal process to solicit feedback from interested parties. Version 1.0 of the specification and the software development kit are expected to be available early next year. For further information, please contact Tatsuo Heki of Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. (thfpf@tokyo.fujifilm.co.jp), Mike Graham of Eastman Kodak Company (michael.graham@kodak.com) or Yutaka Ueda of Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. (ytk.kmpi@konicaminolta.jp).

Notes to Editors
For further information in the UK, please contact:

Jenny Hodge
Fujifilm UK
+44 (0)20 7465 5852
jhodge@fuji.co.uk

About Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.

Fujifilm is a leading global provider of imaging, information and document-related products and services. In the year ending 31 March 2004, it had global revenues of more than $24 billion, and employs 73,164 people worldwide. Its Imaging Solution business includes digital cameras featuring its FinePix series as well as colour film and film cameras, colour paper and photofinishing services. Its lab equipment includes the renowned Frontier digital Minilab series with its outstanding print quality based on Image Intelligence, Fujifilm's exclusive digital image-processing software technologies. The company's Information Solution segment includes graphic arts, medical imaging and information systems, and recording media. It also is a leader in the LCD materials essential in Flat Panel Display manufacturing. Its FUJITAC protective film for Polarisers and WV Film for broadening LCD viewing angles are based on proprietary coating technology and other leading-edge technologies accumul
ated over many decades of experience in silver-halide photography operations. As a global company with a reputation for the highest quality and reliability, Fujifilm aims to make innovative use of the most advanced technologies to meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of its customers around the world.

About Eastman Kodak Company and infoimaging

Kodak is the leader in helping people take, share, print and view images - for memories, for information, for entertainment. The company is a major participant in infoimaging, a $385 billion industry composed of devices (digital cameras and flat-panel displays), infrastructure (online networks and delivery systems for images) and services & media (software, film and paper enabling people to access, analyse and print images). With sales of $13.3 billion in 2003, the company comprises several businesses: Health, supplying the healthcare industry with traditional and digital image capture and output products and services; Graphic Communications Group, offering on-demand colour printing and networking publishing systems consisting of three wholly owned subsidiaries: Encad, Inc., NexPress Solutions, and Kodak Versamark; Commercial Imaging, offering image capture, output and storage products and services to businesses and government; Display & Components, which designs and manuf
actures state-of-the-art organic light-emitting diode displays as well as other speciailty materials, and delivers imaging sensors to original equipment manufacturers; and Digital & Film Imaging Systems, providing consumers, professionals and cinematographers with digital and traditional products and services.

About Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc.

Konica Minolta Group's business domain spans from imaging input through output. The Group offers diverse products and services which realise new digital imaging environments in a wide range of fields, from those targeting consumers to their business-oriented counterparts, including medical and graphic sectors. Its largest office equipment business sector consecutively offers advanced network document solutions, taking advantage of its strengths in high-speed, colour and networking technologies. Konica Minolta Opto is the world’s pioneer in successfully commercialising aspherical plastic lenses for optical pickup purposes, which are used in all types of optical disk drives and players, and it continues to enjoy leading share in this market. Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. provides a wide array of products and services in the consumer photography field, including film, photographic paper, inkjet paper, minilab systems and ID photo system. Konica Minolta has been directing i
ts efforts in digital camera prints especially in recent years, following the diversification of ways to enjoy photography, driven by the spread of digital cameras and mobile phones with camera functions, and at the same time, meeting people's diverse needs in combination with silver-halide films, which have retained its popularity consistently worldwide.

© 2004, Fuji Photo Film (UK) Ltd.

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