Japan Tag

The daughter has just returned from a trip to Japan. It was a short visit, but as she speaks a little of the language, an enjoyable one for her. As it was a quick decision affair, I grabbed one of the spare cameras to send her off with - a dear old Fujifilm X10 that has been serving since 2012. You've seen weblog pictures taken with it years ago here on your screen. My first worry as I sent her off with it was the battery supply - the camera batteries were small in those days and these have aged. But the Fujifilm charger could be configured for the Japanese 117V system and I figured out of five of them, at least two should work. As it happened, they all did, and there was never a time when electricity wasn't available. The second concern was the settings that the camera would shoot with. I dialled up RAW and jpeg initially and then saw that it would eat up a great deal of memory. So I opted for large fine jpeg and then...

We've been showing the Fujifilm Instax cameras for some time now - the ones with the coloured bodies, textured cases, slippy shapes, etc.  They are prime candidates for styling and promotion - both because of the moulded design of the camera bodies, and the nature of their prime market; the younger Japanese social shooters. They are attuned to colour, shape, cartoons, entertainment, and fashion. They value fun things. They're not afraid to show it - they tote the cameras in bags decorated with animé characters with glee. So where does the camera in the heading image fit into the Instax scene? A large central circle on a copper-coloured square bezel. With a dot on one corner. Now where have you seen that one before...

Are we allowed to use the word ' oriental ' any more? Probably not, if someone somewhere wants to make a fuss. But they are probably busy right now writing savage political memes for Facebook so I'll just go ahead and use it.The object under scrutiny is a packet of twenty sample papers from the Awagami Factory in Tokushima, on the island of Shikoku in Japan. About as oriental as you get...

I was in Bic Camera in Tokyo, in Japan. In spring, in a quandary.I had been sent there by Camera Electronic to represent us at a Panasonic Lumix G7 tour and I was sent off with strict instructions not to run naked through the streets and not to deal with any other manufacturer's camera equipment. I was able to comply with one of those strictures...

Tamron is a bit of a dark horse to me - I have never owned one of their lenses, though we have sold hundreds through the shop. Golly - you could probably make that thousands if you look back over the decades - the firm appears as far back as I can trace in the Photo Equipment Directories that used to be the mainstay of the trade.And they were an imaginative and innovative lot even way back in the 60's. There are lenses and components still sitting in the Camera Electronic spare parts drawers that Tamron made with an eye to converting one design to fit many mounts. It looks as though you could purchase a basic lens structure and then switch it over if you changed cameras. The mechanical linkages at the time are complex and I wonder if it was all that good an idea...

Never mind building models of the Taj Mahal or Neuschwannstein. If you're reading this column you really want to build one of these!Brought back from Japan by our managers and assembled with great precision and his tongue stuck out of the corner of his mouth by Domenic, this little Nanoblock camera has the familiar shape of a...

We sometimes poo poo the programs that major Japanese manufacturers put into their consumer-oriented cameras. You know - the miniature effect or the star filters or the forced HDR. Kid stuff, Mum and Dad concepts, nowhere near as sophisticated as we hot shot iconic international superstar mentor legends can be before breakfast. Poo. Poo.Well, I have decided to keep my poo to myself in the future. I was given a Panasonic Lumix GX-7 camera to use for a recent trip to Japan - also courtesy of the Panasonic people. We went up on a Wednesday evening to the top of the Roppongi Hills Tower to see Tokyo at sunset. Fortunately it was clear - heavy weather set in the next day and the heading image shot would have been impossible.The windows are big - wide and tall - and crowded with tourists looking to see that last flash of sun and the "blue moment" just as it sets. They are packed all along the windows of the observation deck. Fortunately they are small people and I am tall. And I...