[Interview] Casio: There Is No Need for Camera Shutter [Part 2]

Feb 8, 2008
Tomohiro Ootsuki, Nikkei Electronics

Why did Casio develop a digital camera "EX-F1"? I interviewed Jin Nakayama, general manager for QV Unit of Planning Department, who is a representative trend setter in the camera industry and has been leading the company's product planning since "QV-10." (Interviewer: Tomohiro Ootsuki)

Is there no need for EVF, either?

- Of the specifications of the EX-F1, the capability of the EVF (Electronic View Finder) drew my attention. Its pixel count is 200,000, as few as other companies' cameras that are less expensive than the EX-F1.

The size (13cm thick) and weight (671g without a battery) may not be problems because "those who appreciate the difference" use the camera. However, I think they demand a picture quality of finder equivalent to optical viewfinders of SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras. Didn't you consider using the pixel count of about one million (half HD)?

How often do you use an EVF? Though other manufactures might think differently, we no longer equip an eyepiece finder with compact cameras. I think users of the EX-F1 use an LCD monitor instead of an EVF in most cases. That's why we chose an EVF with minimum capabilities. To tell the truth, we did not plan to equip an EVF with the EX-F1 at the earliest stages of the development.

- Oh, really?

Yes. After the development proceeded further, we changed our minds thinking some people might say, "If there is no EVF, I won't buy the EX-F1." We do not get attached to EVFs because users' behavioral patterns have changed after about 13 years since the debut of the QV-10.

In the past, they used to look for a finder when they are given the QV-10 without any explanation. But now, they take pictures watching an LCD monitor on a routine basis, using either a camera or mobile-phone. I even saw a person holding an "Utsurun-des" (disposable camera) and looking for an LCD monitor.

I do not think cameras will no longer be equipped with a finder, but I think only a few SLR cameras will have a finder in the future.

- But, if a user has a skill to look through a finder with the right eye and look the movements outside the frame with the left eye, it is easy to take good pictures.

No, no. Why do users who just want to enjoy taking still pictures and movies have to learn such a skill? It is because the capabilities of the camera are insufficient. We have to develop technologies that spare users the need of learning skills that they do not need to learn.