Lately I’ve been interested in buying a video camera. I’ve never owned one before, and I thought it might be fun. Japan being the home to many great electronics companies, I thought it would be relatively easy to get a great one. I was totally wrong. It seems that some Japanese companies don’t like to make it easy for anybody except for Japanese people. Namely Sony and Sanyo. They nicely decided to not include any languages on their cameras except Japanese. This not only makes them extremely hard to use for some one who isn’t Japanese, but is extremely frustrating considering that the exact same cameras are available in other countries with several languages (including Japanese). I’m glad the clerk told me, I almost bought them.   Does that mean Sony and Sanyo don’t care about the roughly 2 million non-Japanese living here. Maybe. At least some companies are forward thinking, like Canon, who has tons of languages on their cameras. Sometimes living in Japan is extremely frustrating.



Filed under Japan, Shopping, Tech

12 responses to “Marginalized

  1. Ku Ri Su

    I bought a panasonic camera while I was there. When I asked about an English manual, the clerk pointed out the address to Panasonic. When I called the company they mailed me a manual in two days.

    I am sure if you get Yurie to call Sony they could sell you an international model. But I agree it is frustrating that companies only think of the local market.

    • Yeah then Sony would charge me the full price. It was 40000 yen cheaper at the store. I just fired off an angry letter to them instead.

  2. Not defending Sony (although I do own several Sony products), but we bought a Sony Playstation 3 in Japan and the console supports English (and all other international languages). Also bought an Apple iTouch in Japan, and again, you can easily switch to English.

    PS. I brought my Sony video camera (old model, not HD and still uses tapes, ugh) from Canada but I seem to be using my digital camera for recording short videos more (and upload to YouTube).

    • An interesting thing to notice is that for Japanese Blurays most of the western movies have English menus if if English is selected in the PS3 options. Except for the ones put out by Sony pictures.

      I use my digital camera sometimes for videos , but I feel very restricted on it. I want something more flexible and easy to take videos with.

  3. Actually, if I buy electronics with the option of an English menu (such as my digital-camera, cell-phone, cam-corder, etc), I keep the language setting on 日本語 (Japanese) on all of them.

    Helps me practice reading Japanese.

    • I would never feel comfortable doing that. It would drive me crazy.

      • The internet is the only English I read and write usually.
        Other than that I try to keep it to Japanese.

        Maybe it’s cuz when I first came to Japan, nothing was written in English…it was sink or swim.

  4. When I was looking at Sony DSLRs I ran into the same problem – no English support. I could probably fumble around, but as a first DSLR I think I would need guidance. I passed.

    • I completely agree. If it was a simple device, like a point and shoot camera, maybe it would be OK, but a complicated device with lots of options. I would hate to have to ask my wife every time I was wondering about a setting.

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