Smile Tomorrow's Camera Is Coming

It has been in the works for years. And on Feb. 8, five photo heavyweights announced they had reached an accord on a common design for a new film and camera format that could make today's gear look clunky. It will be at least two years before the new system reaches consumers. And the five partners--Eastman Kodak, Fuji, Canon, Nikon, and Minolta--are keeping mum about details. But sources say the format will be built around a new, pop-in film cartridge about the size of an AA battery, using a new ultrathin polyester material instead of acetate. Analyst Peter Enderlin at Smith Barney Shearson figures the format could stimulate film sales by one to two percentage points a year.

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