Monday, August 20, 2007

The Importance of Local Knowledge

One of the big banking groups runs an advertising campaign that stresses how important knowledge of local customs and idioms is when doing business globally

A good example of that kind of awareness is manufacturers avoiding the use of the number '4' in naming their products because that number is associated with Death in China and Japan

Hence, no BMW 4 series

Anyway, Canon have just announced their latest line-up of new camera models, including the successor to its G7 compact camera...

The G9

There has been some talk on camera fanboy sites today discussing why there will be no G8 model and I have just seen this credible explanation...

I am a Chinese from Hong Kong. I speak Mandarin as well.

In Mandarin, G8 reads as ji-ba, which is a slang for Penis.


jībā (Simplified Chinese: 鸡巴; Traditional Chinese: 雞巴/鷄巴, IM abbreviation: G8) = cock (used as early as the Yuan Dynasty)

...which is not to be confused with the French slang word for penis, 'bite', or the memory of me talking to some French people once about computers only to have them burst out laughing when I started referring to mega-penises

None which has ever made its way onto a HSBC advert

Group photo from the annual economic summit of the world's largest penises

Still, I may never be able to get my hands on a shiny new Canon G8 but there will always be the Fuji Big Job



Alexander Fear said...

Brilliant. Well spotted.

Merkin said...

'Fuji Big Job' - can i have cheese on that one, too.
And Salad, even.

I taught the staff of American Restaurants Co.
They owned Kentucky and Pizza Hut.

They knew I was a 'once a year' customer when sufficiently pissed.

One day i posed a question for the class.
I said to them 'Last week I was in a Mac place and bought the special'
'It looked totally different from the poster'

I have a bright idea.
Let's do a 'letter of complaint'
I want you all to write a letter from ME
The text to be something like 'I am a teacher in a position of importance and me students ask me Which I should recommend Macs or BuggerOff Kings'
Plus, i said to them, if you get it right you will all be eating free burgers for ever.
Obviously, i was not a wonderful teacher - but I will still get free Pizza Hut stuff wherever I go.

SteveW said...

I wondered if I could pick your brains on photography..
Do you still use a film camera Stef,or are you purely digital now?
Has the general switch to digital brought the price of SLR lenses down?
Have you ever used Infra-red film-is it expensive to get processed?
Could you reccommend a lens that would give me nice clear pictures of aircraft high up in the sky?
Alternatively,could you giz a linky to a website catering for absolute camera noobs?Cheers

Stef said...


Do you still use a film camera Stef,or are you purely digital now?

I've still got loads of film gear knocking around but I don't use it. More than anything it's a cost thing. I still like film but when I'm looking at the best part of a tenner to get 36 shots processed I don't like it that much

Has the general switch to digital brought the price of SLR lenses down?

Not really. Digital SLRs have got much cheaper, and more popular, in the last couple of years and most film SLR lenses fit digital SLRs


Stef said...

Have you ever used Infra-red film-is it expensive to get processed?

Yes, and not particularly

Digital photography has made IR photography much easier

Digital cameras are naturally very sensitive to IR and actually have to have blocking filters built into them to cut their IR sensitivity down

Amusingly, cheap digital cameras don't have very good IR blocking filters built into them and so make better IR cameras than expensive ones. You need to hold or stick an 'R72' filter in front of them to cut all the other light out though

Stef said...

Could you reccommend a lens that would give me nice clear pictures of aircraft high up in the sky?

The longest practical lens for stuff like that will have a focal length of 300-400mm in 35mm format

Anything stronger than that will be huge, impossible to hold steady and will start to be affected by haze/ atmospheric effects

You could pick up a 2nd hand 35mm body and a 70-300mm zoom for that kind of shot

Personally, I'd recommend going digital

Because digital chips are often much smaller than 35mm negs the lenses are correspondingly smaller and easier to manage.

Many digital cameras also now come with vibration correction (aka image stabilisation) which basically helps correct for hand shake, which is very useful when using telephoto lenses

I'd suggest searching for and looking at what are called 'superzoom' digital compacts

The best makers for that kind of camera are Canon and Panasonic and you can pick something new up for between £150-£250

I'd start reading up on...

Panasonic FZ8
Panasonic FZ50
Canon S3is
Canon S5is

The Fuji S6500 has just been discontinued and is going for a good price new or refurb'ed...


but doesn't have stablisation so you'll have to work at holding it steadier than the Canon's or the Panasonics

Stef said...

Sadly, there are no noobie photographic sites I can recommend.

And all the most popular forums are populated by losers just gagging to rip into anyone who says anything remotely daft

Ken Rockwell amuses me because he is such an opinionated SOB...

but his appeal is probably restricted to people who know a bit about cameras

you could sign up to flickr with a freebie account and join its airshow group and poke around and ask questions of the people posting pictures there...

Stef said...

OK, I've shot my wad now

If you have anything else in mind don't mind asking

Stef said...

PS I've just looked at Flcikr air shows and this is the first pic I opened

the notes underneath are something else

SteveW said...

Cheers mate..thanks for keeping it simple-my eyes didn't glaze over at all!
My dad used to like going to car boot sales till diabetes chewed one of his legs off.he picked up an old "Zenit EM" camera for me for a tenner about 15 years ago,with a "helios 44M" lens on hot shoe on it though.Decent camera or piece of crap,do you reckon?
(just noticed its loaded with a half used film-I can't remember what the hell I shot,I wonder what those pics will be like after all this time!)

Stef said...

I once saved up for months to buy a Zenit 12 (ever so slightly more lush than an EM) with an Helios 44

Ah, the memories

Unless you're into specialist photography (and picking planes out from a distance counts) the camera you use doesn't matter much at all.

Provided nothing's broke you could take excellent pictures with a Zenit - and build up your upper body strength at the same time

SteveW said...

Picks up camera-*grunts* yeh man-feel the burn!
sound bombing..nice.You'd think after almost being wiped off the face of the earth 60-odd years ago,they would spend their time embracing life,not trying to snuff it out.
I remember a "60 minutes" programme on the YF16 back in the 80s.General Dynamics charged the gov.$60,000 for developing a "special tool" used in the construction.Turned out it was an adjustible spanner.The first models to come off the production line had crucial wiring/cables badly routed-they tended to rub on the airframe,and eventually fail,turning the jet into a brick.
Time to eject.However,pilots found out the hard way that they had to make sure their legs were positioned 'just so',or they would smash their kneecaps exiting the cockpit.If I remember correctly, they had a pilots widow who faught tooth and nail to get Gen Dynamics to admit liability.
/end lecture.