Nobody ever mentions this, but c'mon, everybody knows Canons are for women, Nikons are for men, right? Canon always advertised its cameras using hunky sports stars. To appeal to the ladies, of course.
This Andre Agassi ad featured beefcake poses (click!) and a shirt-toss, even. Think of it for a sec...who's doing the shooting there? Clearly designed to appeal to teenybopper girls (or maybe gay guys).
And remember what the Rebel is called in Japan.
Ume Kayo's EOS 5. From John Sypal's Tokyo Camera Style (thanks to
Dean Johnston [no relation]).
In Japan, gender marketing has always been a bit more...forthright. If you're a guy, and you see a white Japanese camera, here's a hint...that's not for you. The old Contax Aria was marketed in Japan for women. Not in the U.S., where "discrimination" is bad. But, guys? If something is called an "Aria," here's a hint—that's right. Not for you.
I actually loved the Aria. (Not going there.) The camera I just bought, however (redeeming myself?) is probably the ultimate guy camera. Unfashionable name. Utilitarian. Weatherproof. Styling? Solid "generic camera," nuthin' special. When you need to shop for new footwear, do you think of Farm & Fleet? The K-5 is the camera equivalent of the faithful 17-year-old Toyota pickup that you refuse to give up but that your wife refuses ride in, or the comfortable pair of running shoes your girlfriend has tried to give to Goodwill not once but four times, requiring rescues from the donate pile and future vigilance on your part. The K-5 is for people who like...hammers. And for whom a "good name brand" means Miller or Walther or DeWalt.
In fact, DeWalt should make the K-5. That would suit. I love my DeWalt drill (really. I do).
It's not actually a brand thing across the board. Only eight females so far have ever bought a 1D Mark IV. That camera might as well come with a fat stogie and a sideline pass to a football game. And the K-x in rainbow colors? I don't have to spell that out, do I? They make a pink K-x in Japan. (I'm secure, but not that secure.)
Women love the Panasonic LX5. It's cute, sleek, smart, and sharp. It practically goes with Manolo Blahnik shoes and Louis Vuitton bags. And you can even get it with just the right brand name—for more money, which is perfect.
Speaking of Leica, the M9.... Not saying men don't buy and use them...secure men. But women love the M9. It's the ultimate chick camera, no question. Simple to use, ever so expensive, and the ultimate in fashionableness.
Seriously, is there a more fashionable camera made anywhere? It's not just the breathtakingly expensive designer dress at the Oscars—it's the breathtakingly expensive designer dress at the Oscars that the celebrity press swoons over and no one dares make fun of. (Real men, on the other hand, shoot the S2.)
If you want to score serious points with your photographer wife or girlfriend this holiday season, guys, you know what to do.
(Thanks to O.G.)
(P.S. Just having a little fun this morning. It does go without saying no one should take this post too seriously, right? Um...right?)
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Andre: "Point of fact: Audrey Tautou holding a Leica M is absolutely the sexiest thing that has ever happened anywhere. I just can't imagine that particular marketing ploy being aimed at women. Talk about camera lust!"
Featured Reader Picture:
Featured Comment by Rana: "It's not the marketing that makes me dislike the Nikons—it's the size. While I'm a Pentax gal (and have been one since my first film SLR), I did look briefly at Nikons and Canons to see what the competition had to offer.
"Nearly every Nikon DSLR about broke my wrist; Canons did not. (Nor did Pentax.)
"As for pink cameras, I like the dark ones because they're less likely to show up if shooting a reflective surface, and I dislike anything branded pink because I have issues with several pink-based marketing campaigns for other products. (The only compelling reason I ever heard about getting something pink came from a female construction worker; she liked her pink hammer because it was the only one what was never "borrowed" by her co-workers.)
"I agree with Marion's take [see the Comments section —Ed.]—and want to add that one of the things that keeps your site in my bloglist is the absence of the usual hoo-rah machismo too often in evidence at other photo sites."
Mike replies: Yes, I'm not long on hoo-rah machismo. Heck, I'm a "Mr. Mom," remember—I raised a kid from infancy. Few men have changed as many diapers as I have. Not saying I'd want to do a lot more of that, though.
Funny story about the pink hammer. I worked with a guy who used to be a shop teacher. He told me that a lot of boys in his classes were taking advantage of the bathroom break, so he took an 8x20-inch piece of steel plate, chained the bathroom key to it, and painted it day-glo pink. Suddenly, no more boys had to go to the bathroom during his classes.
Featured Comment by Will: "I hate myself for even opening this can of worms, but I cannot help myself...
"As an enthusiast-photographer-reader-of-this-blog that makes his living as a cinematographer, you've used the wrong terminology when you claim in your caption that the Chanel spot was 'shot' by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Jeunet directed the spot, and rather aptly. But as was the case with Amelie; A Very Long Engagement; the Coen Brothers' segment in Paris, je t'aime; Across the Universe; and the 6th Harry Potter film, the Chanel spot was 'shot' by the immensely talented Bruno Delbonnel. I'd forgive most outlets this transgression, but for a blog about photography, credit should be due to the man most responsible for photographing that Chanel spot so beautifully. When you see a gorgeous photograph from a fashion shoot, do you credit the art director or the photographer? Not a perfect analogue, but useful enough. Give Bruno his (hard-earned) due."
Mike replies: Done. Thanks, Will.