GW-305 -- The Hottest Gizmos and Gadgets from Japan

Japan Inc Magazine Presents:

The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Issue No. 305 Friday July 11, 2008
Subscribers: 9467
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SONY alpha DSLR-A300 camera tackles live preview problems

Name: SONY alpha DSLR-A300
Category: digital SLR
Price: Open price (about JPY70,000 for body, 80,000 for
DSLR-A300K with DT-18-70mm lens)
Release date in Japan: July 17, 2008

Carrying on from its predecessors the A100 and A200, the new
SONY DSLR-A300 employs a new trick called 'Quick AF Live
Preview'. In the company's own words: 'In Live Preview mode, the
camera bypasses the optical pentaprism mirror to create a live
'eye-to-eye' view of loved ones, children, pets and
fast-changing scenes.'

To expand on that a bit: Typically, a SLR camera bounces the
subject image off a mirror hiding the main image sensor, and up
on into the viewfinder so you can frame the shot. When you snap
the photo, the mirror lifts up to instead let the image strike
the film or main image sensor. (In that instant, you no longer
see anything through the viewfinder.)

Recently, some DSLR (digital SLR) cameras have added a 'live
preview' mode. Choose that option, and instead of reflecting the
incoming scene to the viewfinder, the camera holds the mirror
lifted to expose the main image sensor, which then relays the
image to the camera's back-panel monitor so you can compose the
shot there. In short, it lets you use the SLR camera like a
little point-and-shoot digital camera.

But so far, live preview has had its drawbacks in DSLRs. Some
models require that the reflecting mirror be down for autofocus
to work, meaning live preview and autofocus interfere with each
other. The switch from live preview to actual shooting can
involve a delay just long enough to annoy professional SLR
photogs. Continuous use can also cause the main image sensor to
heat up.

SONY's Quick AF Live Preview mode doesn't send the image to the
main image sensor for previews; rather, it keeps the mirror in
place and lets the image head for the viewfinder housing as
usual. But from there, it subtly tilts a mirror in the
viewfinder housing to send the image to a small second sensor
sitting above the eyepiece. That sensor then generates the live
preview, which, SONY says, shows a real-time image without the
above drawbacks. The result: a DSLR that allows easy live
previews like a point-and-shoot, but maintains the speed and
responsiveness of a true SLR. (Another pro touch: choosing Live
Preview mode completely closes the optical viewfinder,
preventing stray light from entering it and affecting either the
preview or the actual shooting.)

So, that's the headline technology in this camera. It also
sports a 2.7' LCD monitor that tilts forward or back and even
folds out like a camping table; with that and Quick AF Live
Preview, you can compose shots with the camera held at just
about any height or angle. Other features of note include
10.2-megapixel CCD sensor with Bionz image processor, ISO up to
3200, Super SteadyShot image stabilization, pop-up flash, and
continuous shooting speeds of 3 frames per second (2 using Live

More info:
A300/index.html (Japanese)
=8198552921665345641 (English)

-------------------- ICA Event - July 16 -----------------

Speaker: Charles Nikiel
Vice President of Marketing,

Topic: Innovation not Infrastructure:
A New Model for Business Success

Details: Complete event details at
(RSVP Required)
Date: Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Time: 6:30 Doors open includes open bar and light buffet
Cost: 4,000 yen (members), 6,000 yen (non-members)

Open to all-venue is The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan


DOCOMO SO706i aids English, Chinese conversation

Category: mobile phone
Price: Open price (about JPY40,000)
Release date in Japan: July 4, 2008

Just in time for the coming Beijing Olympics, NTT DOCOMO's new
FOMA SO706i is all about features and applications for the world
traveler. The SONY-Ericsson-made unit works with DOCOMO's 'WORLD
WING (3G+GSM)' service, offering voice and email connectivity in
159 countries and regions. To help out owners in face-to-face
communication overseas there's 'TalkMan Flash', a Flash-based
version of the PlayStation Portable conversation program. Learn
classic phrases like 'I'd like a wake-up call' in English and
Chinese, or play the phrases out loud to your listener.

When the travels are done, the SO706i would like to help you
stay in touch with your new international friends, via mail
templates (such as birthday greetings) in eight languages.

Beyond that, 'travel' features venture into the
less-than-useful. 'Style Up Panels' to pretty-up the phone are
available in a new 'Panel Travel' series, with names like
'Beijing Bloom' and 'Tokyo Rail', but that's just decoration.
More interestingly, as its standby screen, the phone will
display informative info pages taken from TBS's 'World Heritage'
program and the beloved 'Sekai no Arukikata' travel guidebook
series - but as random pages, not as searchable e-books. Expect
to be served an overview of the Belgian Cat Parade while you
explore Beijing's Forbidden City.

Finally, note that this phone is for travelers who know where
they're going: in a surprising omission, there's no GPS.

Other specs: One-seg TV tuner, 2.8-inch display, 2-megapixel
camera, DCMX e-wallet, PDF/document viewer, 98g. Pink Gold,
Platinum White, or Onyx Black.

More info:

---------- Metropolis and Party --------------

July 26, 2008 - Hundreds of party people out for a good time
@ Alife, Nishi-Azabu. Alcohol, food and music!

What you get:
All-you-can drink
Live Shows
Prizes: **Trip for two to Macau courtesy of Viva Macau**
+ Single people

Nearest stn: Roppongi.


----------------------------------------------------------- survey reveals huge potential for iPhone 3G?

Sure, the iPhone 3G is getting all the attention and the
slobbering raves from gadget hounds (and regular people) around
the world. But just what are the chances that this blend of
Apple gadget and SoftBank Mobile service will displace many of
the feature-packed, slick mobile phones offered by Japan's other
carriers, especially the entrenched DOCOMO?

Pretty good, maybe.

Japanese gadget price-tracking site surveyed nearly
8000 of its online members on their inclination to just talk
about the iPhone versus actually buy one. The results may point
to an unpleasant surprise for DOCOMO, au, and WILLCOM.

Jumping right to the big findings: Among all respondents, 18%
say they've ordered or plan to buy an iPhone. Another 33% are
'considering' purchase. That's over 50% of all respondents
claiming to be confirmed or potential buyers!

Looking at only the non-SoftBank carriers, 46% of respondents
plan to buy or are considering an iPhone. Of these, 36% have it
in mind as a second phone; 64% are mulling it as their one and
only. What that means for DOCOMO, au and WILLCOM: to the extent
that survey results are meaningful, nearly 30% of their existing
customers are at least considering wholesale defection to
SoftBank, all for this one device. That's got to be a hot topic
for hastily-called meetings in the carriers' citadels.

Those potential buyers do have their concerns, of course.
Pricing was the biggest, though that doesn't tell us much;
SoftBank announced its pricing details just as the survey was
almost finished. More relevantly, the iPhone's lack of Felica
e-wallet, swappable battery, and One-seg TV hit a sore spot with
some, while others are nervous about contracting with relative
newcomer SoftBank Mobile. Even though the mobile number
portability system will let switchers carry their old phone
number over to the iPhone, contract cancellation charges and
other switching fees are also a concern.

Still,'s survey found many Japanese appreciate the
iPhone's features, design, and interface, and are eager to put
the gadget to work playing media and browsing web sites.
(Interest was lower in its more mundane role as a phone; many
excited purchasers are no doubt reading 'iPhone' as 'iPod +
Internet'.) In the end, sees the makings of bombshell
falling on the Japanese mobile scene.

So, are the survey's predictions of an iPhone frenzy believable?
One never knows; with an online poll of this nature, people with
an existing interest in the survey topic no doubt respond
disproportionately, skewing the results. So take it all with
some salt.

In any case, the device hits streets around the world on July
11, most likely the day you read this. So from today just keep
an eye on the daily news, your local SoftBank Mobile shop, and
the phone-clutching crowds on Japan's streets to get the real

(You won't get a hands-on report from me, though, at least not
for a while. My local SoftBank Mobile shop is pre-sold out, and
tells me to get in line and wait with the rest of the crowds.)

Lots more detail from the survey: (English)

---------- International Business Awards Japan ------------

**J@pan Inc is pleased to announce the opening of nominations
for the International Business Awards Japan 2008**

Is your CEO or company worthy of recognition? The J@pan Inc
International Business Awards 2008 gives you the opportunity
to nominate business people and corporations you feel deserve
to win an award



Short items

Spotted elsewhere in the news:

1) SoftBank Mobile announced that it's shutting down its 2G
mobile services, which have been in operation since April 1994,
on March 31, 2010. The company will focus all resources on its
3G services that began in December, 2002. Existing 2G users will
receive notices on what they need to do to upgrade.
index.html (Japanese)

2) Gifu-based Plus Gain Inc. has released the VOLX Palette U-MP3
Player 2GB, a USB thumb drive-style audio player (MP3 and WMA)
weighing a scant 7 grams - half the weight of an iPod shuffle
and a lot cheaper to boot, claims the company. 'iTunes not
required!' is another sales boast (if one that perhaps
misunderstands a strength of the competition). Choose from
black, white, blue, pink, or the interestingly-named 'apple
green'. Includes strap and earphones. JPY2980.

3) Introducing the HELLO KITTY Digital Broadcast Hi-Vision LCD
TV, also known as the TL19TX1 over at Uniden. ('HELLO TL19TX1!'
Naw, that's not working.) It's a 19-inch (1440x810) all-digital
(no analog receiver) TV with HDMI interface, Electronic Program
Guide, lots of image/sound-enhancing technologies with fancy
names, and Kitty silhouettes gracing the front grille. In
black/red or (of course) white/pink. Yours for JPY69,800 (and
stop pretending you don't want it).


J@pan Inc - Managing Editor/Entrepreneur

J@pan Inc magazine, the publication for foreign entrepreneurs
and businesspeople in Japan is seeking a Managing Editor with
strong entrepreneurial instincts. Not your run-of-the-mill
editing position, we require someone with strong editorial and
management experience to both manage an editorial and production
team to turn out Japan's largest English-language business
monthly. The successful candidate would also be expected to
shape the magazine to become a proactive player in the foreign
business community. Think content involving the world's largest
companies and business development involving some of Japan's
most enterprising businesses -- an unlikely combination but an
exciting opportunity to make your mark in Japan.

Remuneration will be industry competitive and prospects

To apply, please send your resume, covering letter and
any relevant clippings to:


Written by: Timm Tuttle
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Hi there I have one of these tvs there really cool, however, does anyone know how to configure the lan card so I can see my pc files, I read you can do this to watch movies from you pc. is this correct. please help if there is any docs in english.