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June 7, 2005- With the recent approval of the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Kodak is readying to move forward with the acquisition of Creo Inc., Canadian manufacturer of the Leaf series of wireless, touch screen digital backs.
While the Kodak move has received the go-ahead from the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, as well as the Creo board of directors and shareholders, regulatory officials in Canada, the European Union and Israel, the transaction cannot be completed until South African regulatory officials meet later this month. The South African decision is expected on June 24 and should they give the green light to Kodak, the final corporate move is expected soon after.
Kodak came to an agreement with the Creo board and shareholders in January of this year to take over the company via a stock purchase equivalent of $980 million (USD).
Kodak has already shown its belief in similar technology in the form of the soon-to-be-released EasyShare One, a wireless, touch screen digital camera.
Creo produces the Bluetooth enabled Leaf Valeo 22Wi and 17Wi and the Leaf Aptus model 22 and 17 digital camera backs. Creo was also the company to produce the first digital camera back, the Leaf DCB, in 1992.
The Leaf Aptus model 22 and Model 17--22 and 17 megapixels respectively--are touch screen digital backs that turn traditional analog cameras digital--much like Leica’s Modul R and a Hasselblad series of indigenous digital backs. The Leaf series digital backs attach to a number of traditional cameras and effectively convert film systems into digital cameras.
The Leaf Aptus series works on Hasselblad H1 and V series; Mamiya: 645AFD, RZ67, RB67; Contax: 645AFD; Fuji GX680; Bronica SQA/ETRS. Additionally, the Creo Leaf Aptus works with models made by Sinar, Toyo, Cambo, Linhof, Horseman, and the Rollei X-Act.
The Leaf Aptus series is capable of shooting up to 1,000 frames without interruption at a speed of 1.2 seconds per frame. Images in the Aptus can be stored in standard CompactFlash cards, as well as the Creo-made 20GB and 30GB Leaf Digital Magazine, which holds over 1000 lossless RAW files. A portable FireWire® disk can also be used with the Aptus, or the digital back can be tethered directly to a computer. Images can be viewed on the camera's large 3.5-inch 211,680 pixel LCD screen.
The Leaf Valeo 22Wi and 17Wi are wireless variations on Aptus digital back technology. Images are transmitted to a Leaf DP-67 handheld PC via built-in Bluetooth wireless technology. The DP-67, based on the HP iPAQ pocket PC, has a 3.5-inch touch screen display and control unit. The DP-67 acts as both a "digital proof" and a personal digital assistant. The 22Wi has a resolution of 22 megapixels and the 17Wi is equipped with a 17 megapixel sensor.