Girl Power

Ricoh showed its first lens mount unit for the GXR. It incorporates an ‘APS-C’ sensor and a focal plane shutter and accepts Leica M-bayonet lenses. The display GXR was fitted with a Leica 28mm f2.8 Elmarit prime lens (which has an effective focal length of 42 mm).

Girls, girls, girls… young women in short skirts pretty much come with the territory when it comes to spruiking products at Japanese consumer shows.

What the CP+ show lacked in presentation compared to the Australian event (which is undoubtedly slicker overall), it more than made up for in sheer energy. All the big brands had shooting stages or were hosting presentations by photographers who use their equipment. It was also something of a contest to see which brand had young female spruikers with the shortest skirts or briefest hotpants.

Interestingly, however, the visitors also appeared to include a lot of young women as well, highlighting a growing phenomenon in Japan called ‘camera girl’. It’s one of the reasons the Japanese manufacturers favour coloured cameras and why compact system cameras (CSCs) account for over 30 per cent of the local market. Even more interestingly, the newsstands are full of magazines and books created by the ‘camera girls’ (as well as online galleries) who show off their favourite cameras as well as the things they like to photograph. While they may be buying new cameras, on the streets of Tokyo we spotted quite a number of ‘camera girls’ using classics such as Nikkormats and Pentax Spotmatics.

A shade under 50,000 visitors attended CP+ over its four days, a number helped by the fact that the Friday was a public holiday in Japan (and, of course, the fact that Tokyo-Yokohama area has a population of around 14 million). The organisers say this year’s visitor numbers represents a healthy 20 per cent increase over the 2010 show.

In the centre of the exhibition hall at CP+ was a fascinating exhibition of landmark and historical digital cameras (yes, we’re there already), starting with the first still video types from the Sony Mavica onward. It provided a fascinating journey up the technological dead-end that was analogue electronic imaging and then the first forays into digital capture. These cameras are part of the JCII (Japan Camera And Optical Instruments Testing Institute) museum’s huge collection which is otherwise housed in a permanent facility in Tokyo (visit

ProPhoto travelled to the CP+ show courtesy of Canon Australia.