Frustration with Sony

That’s it! I’m declaring Sony Japan institutionally racist. I don’t know about other parts of the Sony company, but Sony Japan has got to change. The new Sony A77 and A65 cameras were announced on the 11th August 2011 (Sony A65, DPReview.Com), and yet the Sony Store and all other electronic and camera stores in Nagoya Japan do not provide these digital cameras with multilingual options nor overseas models. In other countries, the cameras that are exported are multilingual, and the menu language can be changed, so French people living in China are well catered for. However, the models sold in Japan are Japanese language only. I do have a Sony Bloggie, but I had to pay extra for “the overseas model”, that is, the model with multilingual menu settings. However, it seems that now there is only one multilingual Sony product available inside of Japan, the Sony Reader.

In 2005 Sony took over the Konica Minolta camera division, and so Sony inherited millions of SLR camera users like me. The picture below on the left is the Konica Minolta Alpha Sweet I bought in Japan in 2005. It was exported to North America as the Maxxum 5d and all other parts of the world as the Dynax 5d (DPReview.Com). These models in Japan included multilingual settings. The camera on the right is the Sony A200 sold in Japan, and just like the current models the menus are only available in Japanese.

The Minolta digital camera on the left provides multilingual options, but not Sony cameras sold in Japan.

The Minolta digital camera on the left provides multilingual options, but not Sony cameras sold in Japan.

In contrast to Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm, and other camera makers do provide in Japan a menu setting to allow the user to set their choice of language. I do have some reading ability in Japanese, but there are some menu options I just cannot understand, and there are some information displays that are beyond me. Also, if consumers pay as much as ¥140,000 (USD$1,700) for the Sony A77 or Nex-7, they would surly feel at least slightly disappointed in not being able to make full use of all of the features of the camera. Wouldn’t some feel at least slightly insulted? Otherwise, I’m sure they would just buy a Nikon or Canon instead. Well, why am I with Sony? I didn’t intend to be with Sony, I started with Minolta, and stayed with the Minolta system when the camera division was handed to Sony, and therefore I had to take on the Sony system. How do I feel now? Well, Nikon is looking like a good option, but they often use Sony sensors in their digital cameras, and I don’t particularly want my money going to Sony right now.

The Sony Store in Nagoya, Japan.

The Sony Store in Nagoya, Japan.

2 comments

  1. 修二君 says:

    If you have some reading ability in Japanese, you could try reading the documentation that goes along with those menu options you don’t understand.

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks for your reply. I can read some Japanese, and I’ve learnt more Chinese characters from trying to use my Sony A200. However, I’m not making the most of that camera because I still have limits on what I can read. Also, thinking of buying one of those new Nex cameras with those terrible menus will be a nightmare! Thanks for the suggestion.

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