The Story Behind the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone
The Kodak Ektra design
Kodak Ektra is not just another smartphone with a camera. It’s a smartphone whose heart and soul beats photography, and it’s one that draws deeply from Kodak’s rich heritage in photography and creativity. In design terms, it pays subtle homage to Kodak while its features offer a unique level of creativity for people who are passionate about their imagery.
The leatherette finish on the back? It’s similar to the material used on Kodak cameras over the past 50 years. The Kodak shutter button? It half-presses to focus like an SLR’s shutter. Notice the ridge around the metal trim? That ensures that if you ever place an Ektra face down on a table, its camera lens will never touch the surface. And then there’s that signature lens. It’s an obvious calling card for photographers, but it’s not just cosmetic – it actually allows more light to reach the sensor.
Meanwhile, on the inside, an extraordinary level of thinking has gone into integrating a range of editing features for creators. For example, Kodak Ektra is the first phone to integrate Google’s Snapseed™ within the camera itself. The device also enables you to shoot 4k video and add a range of retro Kodak film filters, like Super 8 or vintage grains. Or being able to order Kodak prints with ease.
And because we’re all passionate about photography it means listening to photographers and integrating your feedback. Recent updates include an ability to disable scene assessment, which speeds up the camera, and a setting to shoot in RAW.
There are other smartphones with strong photography credentials, but none that have fully embraced creative mobile photography the way Kodak Ektra has.
Take photos that matter
Putting cameras into the hands of everyone hasn’t always achieved world-changing results or a higher art form. The selfie? The POV shot of your feet at the beach? Taking photos of the Mona Lisa instead of looking at it? Really? And since when did it become normal to take pictures of your lunch?
There is a digital landfill out there and it’s full to bursting with millions of throwaway shots we’re all guilty of taking. Capturing everything, but feeling nothing. We’d like to change that. We’d like to encourage you to take photos that matter – and that’s what the Kodak Ektra smartphone is really about.
Many of the 20th century’s most iconic shots were taken on Kodak film, from man on the moon to the actress Faye Dunaway lounging by a pool after an Oscars party; from women’s rights marches to war and famine. That’s our heritage and it’s also our call to arms.
The world has never been so challenging. We want you to take moments that matter of the world around you – it could be a memory to cherish, a child being born or a gathering of friends. Or they could be moments that matter in the wider world, a scene of social change, a protest march or environmental reportage. Sometimes, a photo really can make a difference. If the world can see, the world can change.
Meet the genius behind Kodak
If George Eastman could see today’s fast-changing digital world, we suspect he’d feel right at home, and not just because hipster beards are back. The Kodak founder was a visionary way ahead of his day; an entrepreneur who was more responsible than anyone else for putting affordable cameras in the hands of ordinary citizens.
Before he came along, taking a set of images could cost up to three years’ salary and you’d need porters to carry all the gear. He challenged himself to come up with something for a dollar. The result was the Brownie camera, originally intended for children but hugely popular among the wider population.
His determination is the stuff of legend. In the early days he worked in a bank by day and tested photographic equipment at night, once blowing up his mother’s kitchen while experimenting with processing chemicals.
His passion was to make photography available to everybody, not just professionals, and not just men, but women as well – a new idea back then. So he would totally understand the power of putting a camera into a smartphone, a device that everyone always carries. The best camera after all, is the one you have with you.
“You push the button, we do the rest,” was his famous slogan. You’d shoot your roll of film and Kodak would do all the processing. Today the Kodak Ektra smartphone lets you do it all in the palm of your hand, with creative possibilities unimaginable in Eastman’s day. We think he’d be its biggest fan.