Want your next camera made in Japan?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by richard_anderson|9, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. The choice could be there for Canon users. While Nikon, Olympus and Pentax gear has headed off to production in China or Vietnam, your next Canon might come from Japan. Imagine that. The only DSLR (except for top models) I know of that is built in Japan still is the Panasonic G1/GH1.
    http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/Canon_revives_DSLR_factory_as_demand_surges_news_284006.html
     
  2. ? My current Canons were built in Japan. Imagine What?
     
  3. Both my XT and 40D were made in Japan. The XT was bought 10 months after it had been released. I really don't mind where my camera is made, as long as it has the same standard and quality.
     
  4. Is there a reason to care?
     
  5. A similarly xenophobic, borderline racist thread popped up on Fredmiranda recently...
     
  6. I prefert the camera to be made somewhere in Africa. It will reduce cost and help a developping country.
     
  7. If you buy a nice Argus C-3 you will be able to satisfy all your desires and have a camera built in the good old USA.
    WTF is this all about?
     
  8. My 40D is made in Japan and as Sinh said - as long as it has the same standard and quality, I dont care.
     
  9. All Canon SLRs and lenses I've owned since 1990 have been made in Japan, including my newest camera, EOS 50D (bought 9/08). My 2006 430EX Speedlite is made in China as are some of the body and lens caps.
    Is there a reason to care?​
    I don't care where it's made as long as it's top quality and the country has a good human rights record and practices fair trade. China is iffy in those areas but has improved a little. Only time will tell. Their treatment of Tibetans, Christians, Buddhists and opposing political parties hasn't been stellar.
    I must say I've been impressed with the electronic and optical workmanship in products from Thailand.
     
  10. Maybe this helps explain the shortage of lenses...
     
  11. Would it matter to you Mr. Richard Anderson if the Panasonic G1/GH1 was made on the moon by hard working Chinese or Vietnamese workers? Three decades ago, people in general used to bash items made in Japan. So, respectfully, let's stop bashing China and Vietnam. Can't we all just get along?
     
  12. Three decades ago, people in general used to bash items made in Japan.​
    Maybe that was true 4 or 5 decades ago in the USA, but not in 1979! Sheesh by then Sony had conquered consumer electronics, Japan cameras had pretty much whipped Germany, Japanese pianos and motorcycles were seriously popular and Datsun, Honda, Toyota and Mazda were giving Detroit formidable competition. I got my first SLR in the late 1960s and heard Japanese cameras like the Nikon F, Miranda F, Mamiya, Pentax, etc., were among the best. I wanted a Nikon or a Pentax but had to settle for a Miranda F. In 1969 nobody I knew even considered buying anything but a Nikon or Canon.
     
  13. Concerns about where a product is made can operate in unexpected ways. For example, there are folks who won't buy a BMW X5 because they are not made in Germany ...*
    AFAIK Canon's XXD, 5D/5DII, and 1D-series bodies are made in the Oita factory, although some production will presumably be moved to Nagasaki when it comes on stream. Don't know about XXXD/XXXXD DSLRs and P&S cameras. I think all L-series lenses are still made in the Utsunomiya factory, but in addition to non-critical bits and pieces like lens caps, some lenses are made in Taiwan, including the EF-S 60/2.8, which is a very high-quality product.
    * ... but in the USA.
     
  14. Currently I prefer my camera to be made in Japan for two reasons - they have a better human rights and working conditions and they quality on fine tolerence devices is generally very good. On the second issue I suspect that China will catch up but a number of ski manufacturers have moved thier low and mid range ski production to China and the quality has suffered as the skis are generally not well matched (skis are still matched into pairs as the wood cores can have different flex). The second issue is more significant I spent a period of time working in China in the mid 1990s and workers were treated very badly. My worst experience was visiting a watch factory were young women were working 6.5 days per week hand assembling watches. When their eyesight failed they were fired. I would not want to purchase equipment that promoted these types of conditions and would rather pay more.
     
  15. Sheesh by then Sony had conquered consumer electronics, Japan cameras had pretty much whipped Germany, Japanese pianos and motorcycles were seriously popular and Datsun, Honda, Toyota and Mazda were giving Detroit formidable competition.​
    Which proves beyond any debate that there is no inherent, intrinsic reason that workers in Country A would be less capable of throwing together the components that constitute a camera than those in Country B...
     
  16. Do you wear Nike "sneakers" or the like, Philip?
    Most of the "brand" clothes we wear will likely have been made in sweatshops somewhere in the Far East, India/neighbouring countries or central Europe...
    Besides (and while I agree with the principle of your sentiments) the components that go into Japanese-manufactured equipment will almost certainly have been sourced from elsewhere, made in facilities using cheap labour and - possibly - environmentally dubious manufacturing techniques.

    That's what capitalism is all about, after all.
     
  17. It's funny that while people (not here, it's gratifying to see) are whining about the supposed inferior quality of products built elsewhere than in Japan, many Nikon bodies (you know - the "much better-built than Canon" Nikons) are made in Thailand - my D200s (which were built like tanks) certainly were, and so is the D300...
     
  18. One day the doubters will realise that we live in the 2000's. Global manufacturing by a single company is a successful reality. Quality standards are equal at different manufacturing sites. I know, and I talk from 1st hand experience, not some made up opinion!
     
  19. Why does eveyone go on and on and on about a stupid, poorly written, so-called question? Strange behavior here.
     
  20. Because everybody loves a troll. Gives free rein to vent!
     
  21. Why does eveyone go on and on and on about a stupid, poorly written, so-called question? Strange behavior here.​
    Because to ignore crap like this - and what underpins it - is tacitly to sanction it.
    Pretty obvious really...
    Besides, speaking for myself, I'm fairly sure that the choice of what threads I'll respond to is for me to make, not you. The fact that you were the first to respond doesn't automatically make subsequent comments less worth making...
     
  22. Actually I want my next camera to be made in Switzerland, thats why im buying a Sinar. My DSLR was made in Japan.
     
  23. I have no problem with sending my film to a developing country.
     
  24. I prefer my cameras to be made with child labor, so I'm rather hoping not Japan. It adds to my photographic experience to think that some little just weaned tike getting no sleep and barely enough food, tiny hands now worn to nubs, slaved to create the magnificent camera which I hold. Even better to think that the water which they drink is probably laced with the slowly poisoning detritus of the very factory which they work. Now there is irony!
    Ah, the thought is so satisfying...
    I jest of course. This thread is silly, though it is sadly true that these things are "off shored" to avoid paying fair wages, reasonable labor laws, and environmental regulation. "off shored" being further and further away these days, until some day undoubtedly it comes round as our jobs, benefits, and regulations are slowly stripped away to "compete", and we shall return to the 3rd world and will be suffering the same miserable indignities. Now there really is irony (and perhaps karmic comeuppance)!
    I also imagine this will be another reason to insist that Canons are better than Nikons. Have at it for all I care. You will have to strip my Nikons (and Fujis) from my cold dead hands I say!
    ;-)
     
  25. Philip, You have a very good heart, but your logic is in question. When one buys a product made by a developing country, one may actually help the workers there to keep their job and to improve their life (and eventually improve human rights). On the other hand, the Mexican workers down the south don’t work 8 hours/day, 5 days/week. If one of them can’t carry a basket of oranges, he won’t be able to come to work next day either. Should we stop eating vegetable/fruits? Further, because many French work 32-35hours/week, should we prefer buying French products instead of ones made-in-US?
    In terms of quality, I just read this (from a Boston Consulting Group's report: New Challenges for 'Made in China'):
    “… David Lee, partner and managing director in BCG's Beijing office, and a supply chain and procurement specialist. He recalls executives at a Chinese ball bearing company offering three prices: top quality at high prices, "acceptable quality" at lower prices, and, at the lowest price, "something that will turn and not freeze by the time the customer gets it."” It appears Apple pays a higher price and your ski company pays a lower price. On the other hand, BYD, a Chinese company makes almost half of worldwide batteries, has no recall so far (Buffett wanted to buy half of the company and got only some%). Guess what, both Sony and Toshiba had a few.
     
  26. Geez, if I want to get all country-of-origin elitist, I'll just shoot my made in Germany Leica MP.
    Michael J Hoffman
     
  27. My Leica R4 was made in Japan :p
    My M5 was made in Germany tho
     
  28. I noticed that Richard has not posted since the original post. Probably because he now realizes that Canon already has a factory in Japan and they're putting up another one, despite the "global" economic downturn. Anyhow, I just spot checked all of my canon equipment, including my point & shoots... yep, all made in Japan. Guess he made me look...
     
  29. Okay, I peeked. My Canon PowerShot A620 is made in China . Strange how this point and shoot (my first digital camera ever) won only an honorary award in a local photo contest in 2007. Doh! I should have purchased a made in Japan Panasonic G1/GH1! Might have even won 1st prize instead. Right, Mr. Anderson?
     
  30. Several posters have suggested that any qualms about products made in China are possibly the result of racism. I would point out the extraordinary number of recent cases of tainted baby formula, pharmaceuticals and other products from China, not to mention their total disregard for intellectual property and individual human rights. A little less political correctness, and a bit more common sense, are in order.
     
  31. Philip, You have a very good heart, but your logic is in question. When one buys a product made by a developing country, one may actually help the workers there to keep their job and to improve their life (and eventually improve human rights).
    This is very romantic, but unfortunately a little removed from reality. The only reason to make any product in a developing country is to save costs and therefore increase profits. Unfortunately, the bulk of those profits aren't going into the workers' pockets, it's going into the pockets of the factory owners, and into the pockets of government officials who accept highest-bid bribes to approve the necessary paperwork, permits and licenses for such business deals to even exist - and this is especially true of China, one of the most corrupt countries on the face of the earth.
    As long as certain people are so drunk on profits that they are willing to sacrifice the health of their own children in the name of cost-cutting, I'll be buying my products elsewhere.
     
  32. Whats with the "made in Japan" thing. So what if it is?...So what if it isn't?
    eg. The Thailand-built Hondas exceed Honda's own QA and are better than the Japanese ones.
    We live in a global economy. In Australia we never really had a big manufacturing sector, so we have had decades of importing, and thus discerning the differences in quality between other countries' manufacturing capability and quality. We don't get hung up on provincial prejudice...we judge on quality outcomes.
    In 1988 I was a senior executive at Hitachi and based in Tokyo. It was the time of the first colour LCD computer screens. We looked at all Hitachi's plants around the world, including Japan, Germany and the US, to base this crucial component's construction. Taiwan won out, based on quality.
    As for cameras ...The issues are not simple. Like, why do Cosina go from strength to strength making bodies and lenses for others? The answer is because they can do it a bit cheaper and maintain the agreed quality...just ask Zeiss and Hasselblad. Do the Germans and Swiss care? No. But is a Japanese made Nikkor (or a Canon) better than a Leitz?...Sometimes, sometimes not. It depends on the quality parameters that are agreed to in the manufacturing spec, not the capability. The same laser automated lens cutting machine does not know where it is plugged in. It obeys the computer controlled design, no matter where it is located.
    So get over it. And bear in mind why GM is now broke, Chrysler is now Fiat, and Ford puts Jaguar and German ZF components (rear suspensions & transmission components) into its mid sized US sedans to keep them alive.
    Lastly, anyone who is a car racing nut knows the 9" Ford Diff. Yes? It's been the best diff for racing since the 50s. Most hot rodders replace the standard gear set with "Richmond" components....Like most of NASCAR. Guess what? Those sought-after 9" crown wheel and pinion sets are made in China. Yes indeedy. Why? They are actually more expensive than the old VA plant product. But they are better quality, and don't break, that's why. The Chinese can afford to use more expensive steel and keep the FOB price competitive.
    The sooner we understand the seismic shift in global manufacturing and related quality, the better we can adjust. We had to do it in the 60s and 70s, and took the pain back then. Now we are the best performing 1st world economy in this recession. In fact, last week our Reserve Bank announced that we have now gone back into positive growth.
    That's my rant, but I feel strongly about this.
     
  33. Several posters have suggested that any qualms about products made in China are possibly the result of racism.​
    Just in case I'm counted among that number...
    My comments are about the idea that it is possible to infer the likely quality of a product from any given country simply because it comes from that country as if there exists an intrinsic racial or cultural "dysfunction" in the populace of that country which would render them inherently unable to produce quality.
    Conclusions of that sort are racist - or at the very least, pig-ignorant racial stereotyping.
    I have a problem with that, always have had, and will continue rail against it.
     
  34. everytime we talk about where camera are made, someone has to bring up the old Ford 9" diff arguement............:)
    In WWII, Leica setup a factory in Canada and went mostly Jews to work there stating that their skills were need. There are those who are quite happy to pay $9000 for a standard 50mm prime lens made in Canada rather than Wetzlar or Solms.
     
  35. 1. The posting is an example of first class no(n)sense.
    2. Any reply (even this one ;-) ) is useless.
     
  36. All that really matters is how they treat their workers - have a look at this link:
    http://www.dannychoo.com/detail/mac/eng/image/19639/Canon+Electronics.html
     
  37. How something is made is a lot more important than where.
     
  38. All that really matters is how they treat their workers - have a look at this link... <SNIP>​
    Old news, Anatole - and even that "article" proves nothing: http://www.photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00TWCn
     
  39. @Keith
    I suppose in of itself it proves nothing, but saying it "proves nothing" doesn't make it go away. What have you to counter it? It seems to paint Canon in a pretty negative light...
     
  40. [t]he bulk of those profits aren't going into the workers' pockets... into the pockets of government officials who accept highest-bid bribes...and this is especially true of China, one of the most corrupt countries on the face of the earth.
    As long as certain people are so drunk on profits...I'll be buying my products elsewhere.​
    Hugh J.: It happens in North America also. I've seen it.
     
  41. Don't much care where they make it as long as they do a good, careful job. But the fact is it WILL be made in Japan, because it will either be an Ebony (I collect Ebonys) or a Canon 5DII.
     
  42. A similarly xenophobic, borderline racist thread popped up on Fredmiranda recently...
    Now it's racist to be concerned about the average quality control coming out of certain nations?
    Sorry, but China's reputation of late has been so poor that I would honestly be concerned if Canon moved manufacturing there. My guess is that over time China will improve, but right now they can't produce drywall, children's toys, or steel without major, and in some cases life threatening, failures. Just to touch on three of the most widely known problem areas.
    I have friends in construction and the auto parts industry. You really, truly don't want to know about the less publicized Chinese product failures.
    I know the source of the problem has nothing to do with race. But whatever the source, it is a national problem. Maybe it's law, maybe it's working conditions, I don't know. But nobody who points it out is racist for doing so. It needs to be widely discussed so China is forced to improve, or forced to bow out to competitors.
     
  43. A similarly xenophobic, borderline racist thread popped up on Fredmiranda recently...
    Now it's racist to be concerned about the average quality control coming out of certain nations?​
    Yes it is, in my book, if you try to generalize. What the hell does drywall or children's toys in China (which was an issue of lead being in the paint) have to do with the quality of the Nikon plant in Thailand?!? That's quite a big leap in (the utter lack of) logic.
    I am not aware of any quality issues with Nikon cameras coming out of Thailand i.e. D300, D90.
     
  44. Daniel, Apparently, you didn't click the link I posted above. I cut and paste one sentense for you and rest of readers:
    "Our analysis of toy recalls in the USA between 1988 and 2007 revealed that the vast majority of recalls were due to flaws in product designs, conducted in the corporate headquarters of toy companies, rather than to poor manufacturing by factories in Asian countries."
    BTW About 200m iPods have been sold worldwide, which are made in China. Media usually don't talk about iPod's quality.
     
  45. No, automatically assuming the slant on this outlook is "racist" is insulting to those holding that outlook! And usually, those accusing others of being "xenophobic" are part of a movement with an agenda. All such accusations are hype to back people down so they can carry through with their program.
    The ISSUE that HAS been raised is obviously that Japan has long had a reputation of producing good workmanship. It has a long history as an industrial nation.
    The idea of "racism" here is nonsense. Anyone who took high school biology in my generation, when high schools were worth something, knows that the people of Japan and China, as well as Taiwan, etc. are of the same "race". China has developed a deserved reputation for their companies and government having very relaxed controls (if any) for production standards of anything from toys to tires. I don't see why we should not expect that the same might apply to cameras.
    Industrial countries like Japan and the US have had a long established base of production, and a work force trained in such a culture for generations. Moving operations to countries whose people have generations of history as primarily agricultural cultures, and still expect the same level of overall operational expertise, may not always match up to past standards.
    The "free-trade" globalization as now being exercised by corporations is about cheap labor. The relaxation of borders with foreign intrusion into various countries is about cheap labor. It undermines the middle class of developed nations. It is also a danger politically, and socio-economically to cultures who have worked hard to achieve their culture and their standard of living.
     
  46. My 35mm Minolta Dynax 7 was made in Malaysia and has served me well for several years. It shares lenses now with my new Sony Alpha 700 - made in Japan. On a recent trip to Madrid I chose to take the Dynax and shot more transparency film in four days than I have ever shot on fortnight-long holidays in the past.
     
  47. Actually Michael Kuhne, they aren't of the same "race". High school biology would have shown that biologically we're all the same race.
    I think the issue of build quality isn't so much about race as it is more about the political situation of the country. Certain countries tend to not have the same worker's rights and environmental care and manufacturing standards than other countries.
     
  48. So many good comments here...what a lively debate!
    However, just a thought on the "racism" that has been proposed. I cannot believe that concern over a country's manufacturing track record constitutes "racism." If a statement was phrased as, “X people are inherently incapable of producing quality products,” then yes, that is racist.
    Personally, I question the ability of U.S. automakers to create a competitive product with acceptable quality control. I buy Japanese and would laugh at anyone who says that this is “racist.”
     
  49. I realize that some of you do not understand the complexity of industrial production in various countries. By all means I do not claim to be an expert in the area. This problem, however, has to be viewed with deeper understanding of structures involved.
    Spectrum of agreements include:
    -simple outsourcing, where company is having separate deal with local authorities in a third world country. For example, China. This is a very old model of capitalist system and China has been the target since England established this model more than a century ago. It is linked with abuse of workers, lack of proper compensation, lack of health care, terrible pollution and other environmental consequences. This model is also related to corruption of local authorities, "buying the laws and rights restricted to the poorer ones", and has nothing to do with helping undeveloped nations. As far as I know there is no capitalist owner of a company who is establishing production in a given country for the purpose of helping some people. Do you have any doubts about that?
    -international cooperations with controlling quality by specializing in given area of production and respecting all human rights and concerns of the environment. This was a Western European model OEEC since 1948 and communist response to that, the RWPG or so called Comecon since 1949. Currently, the new European Union, the EC, is continuing on the pathway of the previous OEEC.
    As you can realize, simple outsourcing is a model that is driven mainly by profit to the owner. If sales are down, the factory is closed and who cares about the workers and their families and the environment. Apparently, treating workers in a just way cost money. Whatever is cheap but still good in quality is not the final answer to the question if all the other elements related to employment and production were met to our satisfaction. We have so many individual opinions that there is no simple way to settle on unified agreement. In other words we are very much divided in our opinions and there are reasons to keep it this way.
    So, when somebody makes a statement about equipment being produced in some countries, I always wonder what that person has in mind. We always look at the cost and quality. These are our main determinants to make decisions about purchasing. I doubt that we customers can make any impact on those other issues that are so important to the people making those items. We are not coordinated enough to do anything. Mass media can spread some rumors and expose some issues but the are not to be trusted fully as well. They do not have concerns of long standing quality controls and human rights etc. They thrive on sensations and affairs and striking developments. That how news media are.
    I hope this helps a little to understand this complex issue.
    Andrzej Maciejewski
     
  50. In the West, there was a huge struggle that had to be won before the formation of a middle class could take place. At least we had a democracy and rule of law by that time that could be utilized for justice. China does not have these things, not even a free press, and their internet is censored... Dissent has severe penalties there, often including jail. The relative economic prosperity they have achieved (and I agree with the previous poster that a very strong case could be made that it is at least largely, at our expense) has only strengthened the current regime’s policies, not brought about reform, as was hoped for by many.
    Consider what it must be like for virtually any manufacturer in the West operating under relatively very progressive labor and environmental laws, to compete with the firms in China that are “unburdened” by these things, and which also have the benefit of a government that practices currency manipulation to give even further competitive advantage…
    And it is no accident that China is the world’s dirtiest nation. While we celebrate cleaner waterways here in the States due to environmental laws largely enacted decades ago, and often strengthened since, what do you think is going on in China? “Dirt being swept under the rug...”? Global warming?
    I completely agree with the posters that have said it is all about profit, and would add: shortsighted profit. And of course, with no regard to the Golden Rule, environment, human rights, or rule of law so long as it is to these corporations' advantage to do so... I am not racist nor making an issue of quality. It is simply an immoral and unfair playing field that this vitally important game is being played out upon, with far too many losers, and very, very few winners.
    If this playing field were leveled by international governmental action, everyone would be much better off in every sense, and that is what needs to happen, in my view.
    In the mean time, especially given our government’s inability to act (witness the recent position collapses on Chinese human rights abuses by two of our major political figures, after both had extensive histories of speaking up, because China now has so much economic clout), it is up to the individual to follow their conscience on this. I look at every label.
     
  51. This is not a racial issue as people from both China and Japan are Asian. I believe that people dislike China because of the long standing, American tradition of hating communism.
    Having friend from both countries I can tell you that from an environmntal point of view, nature is thanking canon. While china's environmental laws have been described to me as "nonexistant," those form Japan have reported that the government and the people both work very hard to keep the nation (besides Tokyo, they try but with so many people its hard) clean from polution.
     
  52. Most of my cameras, save a few digital ones, were made in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, by peace-loving workers who were carefully and tenderly looked after by representatives of the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit. They were also shielded by the Antifaschist Protection Wall. So what could possibly be nicer?
    BTW, I know Asians who are definitely prejudiced against Asians of different nationality.
    Americans love China, by the way, they just had trouble figuring out where it was. The People's Republic of the Korean War was just a momentary blip in a long Sino-American love fest (admittedly, mostly better called lust for such a huge market on the part of American capitalists, but still...). Pearl Buck and Madame Chiang, and even John Birch, you know.
    -
    Note: yes, it is late and I am in kind of a strange mood. Perhaps it was the braunschweiger I had for lunch...
     
  53. It is a matter of trust. For example, Swiss craftsmanship established itself decades ago worldwide, as being of the best quality. If a Swiss company of long standing decided to move its production to Taiwan, Viet Nam or Australia, it would certainly risk a reduction in confidence by its customers!
    Actually, Al V, high school biology of the 1930's 40's and 50's taught that we are all of the same species, not all of the same race. Race is not specifically of nationality or ethnicity, but a biological set of dominant physical characteristics having evolved in various climates for adaptation. There are sub-strata under the main divisions- as in Europe there are both the nordic and the southern caucasians. The subsequent dumbing down and ridiculous kissing up to politically correct nonsense has led to confusion of these matters now being taught, as well as of much else. Students of today don't even know what penmanship is- can't actually write, instead printing like chicken scratch and relying on the computer.
    I agree with Jeff Z. and much of what Andrezej have said. Pride in workmanship is in danger of taking a back seat to cheap labor and more profit.
     
  54. I would like to caution folks that the overheated rhetoric is not helping at all. REAL racism and REAL xenophobia are REALLY bad things. Attempting to discuss whether manufacturing practices may vary from country to country is neither racist nor xenophobic and the more we dilute these terms the more trivial they become.
    Though companies like Nikon and Canon have every reason to maintain high standards there are always compromises in business. It is absurd to maintain that every country can produce every product to the same standards. There are always trade-offs. Manufacturing methods and practices in one country may be superior to another but the multi-national making the business decision to use one factory over another may choose "good enough" over better for economic reasons.
    I am old enough to remember when 'made in Japan' was a joke in the US. I have also come to very much respect Japan's state-of-the-art factories, exceptional manufacturing practices and dedicated work force. So when I see 'Made in Japan" on a product now it gives me confidence in its initial quality. I feel the same way about Germany, Switzerland and the USA (and a few others) as well. I will concede that one could argue these beliefs but my experience will probably argue more persuasively on a personal level.
    So if the new camera were made in Japan rather than Thailand or China this would tend to inspire in me confidence in its quality. And I am far from alone.
    I will leave the child labor and human rights arguments to others. It would be hypocritical of me to base a camera purchase on human rights issues while filling my Prius with Saudi oil. (you know Saudi Arabia....that bastion of womens rights and universal sufferage.) So I will let others natter on about that stuff. But come on folks. It is time we reserved the term racist for racists.
     
  55. This model is also related to corruption of local authorities, "buying the laws and rights restricted to the poorer ones", and has nothing to do with helping undeveloped nations.​
    Andrzej - you make some valid points, but I think you are overly pessimistic. Yes, virtually all firms are driven by a profit motive, and the act of outsourcing is entirely linked with this. However, the governments generally attempt to maximise the welfare of their citizens. This can be seen in the Western world, but is also the case in many undeveloped countries. The fact is, China realises that its main potential for GDP growth is through developing its export market. It therefore has more relaxed regulation, etc. in order to maintain lower costs for firms, and entice them to outsource their production to China. This aim, in the long term, will be the most beneficial for China's citizens; for income per capita will grow, and the quality of life will go up. You cannot expect developing countries to purely follow a route for welfare maximisation, for such a view is very short sighted. Also, relating directly to the above quote, corruption is hardly a problem for China: recently, a senior government official was executed due to corruption charges. It is their government policy which is more shocking than anything, but I still believe that the aim of welfare maximisation (in the long run) remains the Chinese government's priority.
    And it is no accident that China is the world’s dirtiest nation. While we celebrate cleaner waterways here in the States due to environmental laws largely enacted decades ago, and often strengthened since, what do you think is going on in China? “Dirt being swept under the rug...”? Global warming?​
    Jeff - you realise that America remains the largest polluter in the world? On a per capita basis, China pollutes about 1/20th of what each American pollutes; therefore, the title of "world's dirtiest nation" still belongs to the Americans.
     
  56. What the hell does drywall or children's toys in China (which was an issue of lead being in the paint) have to do with the quality of the Nikon plant in Thailand?!? That's quite a big leap in (the utter lack of) logic.​
    It's as illogical as me thinking all Americans are loud and arrogant just because I met a couple like that once.
     
  57. Anatole - thx for reading my memo. By all means, I do not pretend to be an expert in political and economic matters. I only express my concerns and ideas. I am 54 now and I think I have seen quite a bit of history in various regions of this planet. Plus I am an avid reader of history. Unfortunately this forum is no good place to elaborate about modern politics. It is a photographic forum and it should remain such. My pessimism is substantiated by number of observations in this day and age of our civilization. I will only address two things to show my concerns.
    - election of politicians to our governments. It is well known that, and I mean it, the size of budget of election candidates relates to their success in given election. And who do you think contributes the most of monies for this purpose? The middle class members, the poor ones or the banks and corporations? And why would they give so much money if there was no profit to be hoped for later on? Isn't this a form of buying laws and rights for specifically small and selected groups of people? Isn't this a mechanism to start wars that would be beneficial to certain people at cost of killing so many others. Consider Henry Kissinger and his Nobel Price for Peace in Vietnam. Isn't this a joke? This man actually caused the war to be prolonged and decided on massive bombing innocent civilians in Cambodia and further disasters in this region. Study this problem on your own and you will realize the truth. If you think that the governments are independent of rich supporters you are living in Utopia. The truth is that our governments are controlled by rich and super rich individuals. And why there is such a fear of communism or socialism? Have you asked yourself about this? If there is a poor and corrupted system, inferior to our capitalism then we should not be afraid of that system, right. Everybody can see for himself/herself what this system gives. On the other hand, existence of a competitive system would give us, the middle class and poor ones better conditions of life. This is quite natural. So why to go to war with them? Why to kill people and eliminate the competition? The answer is only one. We are told to remove competition, before we even understand what it means, so our situation will be worse and we become subject of manipulation and have no other option.
    - our legal system. Many of readers would already admit, that yes, we have a problem here. Yet the justice is our utmost hope for solving our problems. And we are deprived from that hope as well. If you don't believe me, go ahead and write about this issue and you may get overwhelmed with evidence that you may be wrong. Or may be our photographic community is somehow immune to legal issues.
    Someone may say, Andrzej is crazy. What Canon or Nikon has to do with politics? I will only add one thing. The success of modern powers e.g. Great Britain, USA is strictly related to industrialization. And everything possible was done to make sure that competition would be eliminated so the powers can grow and control more and more. If you don't agree I would be happy to read what you have to say.
     
  58. There is only one question for me: Do you want your camera to be more expensive? If you do, I have nothing to say. My D300 is not made in Japan, but produces a great photo.
     
  59. Jeff - you realise that America remains the largest polluter in the world? On a per capita basis, China pollutes about 1/20th of what each American pollutes; therefore, the title of "world's dirtiest nation" still belongs to the Americans.​
    Anatole, Where did you get the information from which you derive this statement? If you’re talking about emissions from motor vehicles, and power plants perhaps you are correct in absolute terms, I really don’t know. I’m talking about air quality in terms of it actually being blatantly hazardous to one’s health, which it clearly is, in Bejing and the industrial area. Extensive ground water pollution, to the extent that cancer rates for those unfortunate enough to live in those areas, are off the charts…
    And I’m talking about how the West has been slowly but surely cleaning up… I can think of no current example in the U.S. that compares with the magnitude of innumerable examples in China. And as mentioned, no democratic framework in place to help speed the remediation. It is a complex issue, no doubt about that as far as a solution. You might find this article of interest on the front page of today’s NY Times:
    “WASHINGTON — For months the United States and China, by far the world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, have been warily circling each other in hopes of breaking a long impasse on global warming policy…”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/world/08treaty.html?hp

    There is only one question for me: Do you want your camera to be more expensive? If you do, I have nothing to say. My D300 is not made in Japan, but produces a great photo.​
    Un-Soon Choi, I think the whole point of many of our responses is that "cheap" actually comes at a high ultimate cost.
     
  60. Michael K, I'd agree with you about what the books taught back in the days when race was strictly about similarities in physical description, and not very accurate either. If you were to use your definition of race and apply it to say, China or Japan, you'd find that there are many different races there, and not just generalizations on eyelid overlaps or skin shade or hair type or width of nostrils.
     
  61. My point from a few days ago is more than proven, thanks! Dumbest thread ever (to a pointless & dubious "question") and more Long Hot Air replies than I've ever seen in EOS Forum.
    Every heard of Politics.Net ? Go there, not here. I remain proud to sticking to the topic.
     
  62. Andrew Gale,
    "This is not a racial issue as people from both China and Japan are Asian. I believe that people dislike China because of the long standing, American tradition of hating communism."
    I am not sure how your argument counter-argues the previous assumption. Jews and Germans are both Europeans. Therefore, not a racial issue? However, i agree with you in that it is different from a racial issue.
    Jeff Z,
    Whatever I said above included some sarcasm. In other words, I don't understand producing in Japan makes any difference. I am not sure how my D300 and other high-end cameras of Nikon (including D3, D700 and etc) comes at a high ultimate cost. (My D300 is made in Thailand btw.) I know there is something called reliability. But knowing that Nikon (at least) gives me a product that is reliable, I don't care where it comes from. (Of course, there are some exceptions such as inhumane work environment and so forth. In this case, those are not the cases.)
     
  63. Further, because many French work 32-35hours/week, should we prefer buying French products instead of ones made-in-US?​
    We already do! Gitzo and DxO!
     
  64. It doesn't strike me as xenophobic to demand that my Breitling be made in Switzerland.
    Does the same go for my Canons and Panasonics? Well, kind of.
    For reasons known only to Canon and Panasonic both companies do tend to have their higher end gear made in the country that originated their brand. I can't say exactly why this is true for those two companies. I can say that manufacturing does become more complex and problematic as the centers of design move further from the point of manufacture.
    I'm pretty sure that someday Canon L lenses will be made in locales other than Japan but also that there are likely good reasons why that isn't true today.
     
  65. "A similarly xenophobic, borderline racist thread ...................."
    You've GOT to be kidding me!
     
  66. Questioning where something is made doesn't make someone racist. I don't see that the original post made any disparaging remarks about one person or another, so why does anyone else have to escalate it to that?
    Fact is, some countries have better manufacturing than others, depending on what they're making.
    That said, why would anyone guess that Canon or whomever would allow their products to be made sub-standard (whether they make them in Japan, Australia, Botswana, or the North Pole)?
    P.S. I didn't make that North Pole joke because I have a problem with little people who happen to be kind enough to help Santa out with his production or delivery pipeline, so please don't call me a bigot.
     
  67. I live on mainland Chins for the last 8 years. Work as an interpreter for multinationals manufacturing here. My job takes me to great many factories. Because of my job I'm privy to a lot of closed issues related to manufacturing.
    First thought. Chinese themselves, rich, professionals, prefer to buy Japanese camera gear. It's a matter of admiration here. They all hate Japan for WW2, but still use their electronics & are paying sometimes double of what's it worth for the import duties.
    Second thought. There is no manufacturing culture here. Madame Mao made sure that it was eradicated. Chinese have to build it from scratch. They can built & create perfect masterpieces but only if the management is qualified & ensures that every tiniest part of the process is controlled & people are happy and paid well.
    One example - the second biggest factory in the coastal area where I live. Built from scratch & managed by an American of Persian descent. immaculate, perfect, blameless production. And he's the only foreigner on site for the last 15 years. A different example was my own brand new latest Cannon scanner I bought to work with my film which burned the first 3 times and the fourth one had greasy fingerprints underneath the glass....
    Basically, don't bash China, they can manufacture wonderful things if managed right, but invest in Japanese if you have the money.....
     
  68. My brand new 430 EXII is made in china.
     
  69. Fact is, some countries have better manufacturing than others, depending on what they're making.​
    That's far too much of a generalisation. In any country, UK, US, China, Japan, etc. there will be good and bad manufacturers. It's all down to quality control and training. Location has nothing to do with it.
     
  70. "A similarly xenophobic, borderline racist thread ..."
    You've GOT to be kidding me!
    No I'm bloody not - though it is no surprise to me that you don't "get it", Walter. No surprise at all.
     
  71. Questioning where something is made doesn't make someone racist. I don't see that the original post made any disparaging remarks about one person or another, so why does anyone else have to escalate it to that?​
    Because racism always "starts small".
    If we agree - and clearly, many of us do - that where a product is made will have no de facto bearing on its quality, then it is perfectly legitimate to question the motives of a post suggesting that the country of origin has some sort of inherent - and implicitly negative - relevance.
     
  72. I think that the injection of charges of "racism" and "xenophobia" into this discussion are blatant red herrings.
    Michael Kuhne stated this well in the first paragraph of one of his posts:
    "No, automatically assuming the slant on this outlook is "racist" is insulting to those holding that outlook! And usually, those accusing others of being "xenophobic" are part of a movement with an agenda. All such accusations are hype to back people down so they can carry through with their program."
     
  73. Steve,
    It's not really about location but location is part of it. For example, the biotech capital of the world is the San Francisco Bay Area in California. There's biotech all over the place, but that area has the highest concentration of biotech companies per capita in the world. You could start a biotech company anywhere, of course, and recruit people from wherever you want, but the fact is, if you start in the SF Bay Area you'll have a bigger pool of talent, people who know the biz, people with a good set of hands in the lab, managers who know how to get things done, an extraordinary number of venture capitalists that know the business and have been around the block, etc. There's nothing magic about the Bay Area, true enough, but then again, that's about the easiest place to get started.
    Yes, you can start a biotech company anywhere, but the Bay Area has certain advantages (human and otherwise) that aren't readily duplicated elsewhere. Note that many of the biotech folks in the bay area immigrated here for the education (Stanford, Berkeley, etc) and went on to start or join their own companies. Many are asked by their countrymen/women in the country where they originated to move back and start a company there (ie a Vietnamese entrepreneur is constantly being asked by colleagues in VN to start a company there and not in the US) but it's really hard to start biotech in VN. You don't have much infrastructure (relatively) or the same pool or experience and talent. It's also hard to recruit people to move there. No offense to VN, I think it's an up and coming economy and I enjoyed visiting there, but as a a place to go into biotech manufacturing... it's NOT GOOD.
    There are some places in the world with better manufacturing capacity, quality, and potential than others. I'm not suggesting anything magical about a particular place on the map, but for sure some areas have developed critical mass of talent and infrastructure for certain industries. I don't see how that's refutable.
     
  74. My point from a few days ago is more than proven, thanks! Dumbest thread ever (to a pointless & dubious "question") and more Long Hot Air replies than I've ever seen in EOS Forum.​
    Ken. you've just GOT to lighten up. While the original post was "dubious" at best, and certainly marginally racist in tone, the subsequent discussion has been entertaining. I will grant it has wandered about like a thread in the philosophy forum, but as I said at the beginning: "WTF"
     
  75. Keith Reeder, lighten up a bit. While insinuating that the Chinese are less capable than the Japanese may be a small bit of "racism", insinuating that China is less capable of high quality production than is Japan is more a question of institutions and culture rather than race or ethnicity. I think you are missing the big picture here and unfairly brandishing a sword of political correctness to silence your foes. What we have here is "place-ism" not racism.
    For example of place-ism, consider Germany. Pre-war german manufacturing quality was rather homogenous, as were political insitutions, race and culture. However, in post-war Germany, two different political institutions were implemented (both different from the initial state pre-war state) and strong quality differential emerged. With the merging of the German state, the quality differential has eased, though it has taken time. While China, Japan, Thailand, etc... are not as juxtaposed as East and West Germany, there are substantial differences in law, regulation, etc... that we can expect to lead to quality differentials. I for one have given up on Chinese derived food due to an utter lack of regulation by the Chinese state, not because thet average Chinese citizen is somehow less intelligent or less concerned with quality than the average American citizen. While I am sure that Canon and Nikon are ruthlessly concerned with their quality control (and I would readily buy their products regardless if where they are manufactured) I am less convinced about Chinese-owned companies as some of my experiences have been good, others less than satisfactory.
    I also object to China for my own political reasons and would prefer to buy my products elsewhere so I do not enrich a despotic regime... however, that is completely off-topic but provides even more evidence that a strong preference for a country of origin can hardly be construed as "racist." But, if you must continue to dilute the word... feel free.
     
  76. I don't care where my cameras are manufactured, but I have to admit I do have a certain feeling of superiority knowing my Scion is made in Japan while most Toyotas are manufactured elseware.
     
  77. Well, my former, but beloved, Mazda 626 was made in Hiroshima by workers who likely knew it was headed to the US of A.
    There's fertile ground for paranoia! I mean, they wouldn't do anything, would they....?
     
  78. Who knows, I had driven beliked 626 and MPV too.
    Just to make a 80th post.
     
  79. You can buy a rolex watch made in china and it will keep time just as good as any other watch. You can get a nice irish knit sweater from china to and it will keep you just as warm as any other sweater but you cannot get a nikon dslr made in japan.I wonder why
     
  80. In the West, there was a huge struggle that had to be won before the formation of a middle class could take place. At least we had a democracy and rule of law by that time that could be utilized for justice.​
    Memories...of the way...we were...scattered pictures...etc...etc...

     
  81. Mainly for cars and electronics, if the prices are similar, I too prefer a Japan-made product over other countries of origin because of attention to detail and tight tolerances made inherent in japanese manufacturing culture.

    Here is why I still prefer this even in the face of globalization. I recently bought my first dslr, a Nikon D90. It did not upset me that much that it was made in Thailand since I was reassured by many places online that the plant has strict QC and management.

    However, when I received my camera all was well except for one minor misalignment of the popup flash. I'm a very detail oriented guy and can find minor misalignments in manufacturing and it really annoyed me since it was the most I have ever spent on a camera. I checked out other similar units at local stores and most of them did not have the issue. I also ordered another unit from the online store I bought it from and it had the same misalignment, so I chalk it up to a bad batch or the same worker or machine that part.

    What this tells me is that Nikon QC was willing to let this go. Sure in economic terms, it is better to let it go and have the .01% of anal retentive manufacturing-tolerance guys like me complain about it or return the unit, than to send back all those units and fix the problem in the first place for better quality. Most people probably wouldn't even care it and complain anyway. So it probably made economic sense at the Thai factory.

    However, I just cannot imagine this scenario happening at a Japanese plant. If I could spot it, then i'm sure the QC worker in charge of that should have spotted it after seeing millions of similar units and I"m sure it would have gone back for readjustment or discarded. I'm basing this on the fact that all the point and shoots (Canons and Panasonics) I have owned were made in Japan and have not had a single problem like this ever. They were all under $300. I figured a $1000 purchase would have offered me better quality. The only differences were their places of manufacture.

    Did my unit work fine and do I love the camera? Absolutely. But did that one small issue bother me and cost me time? Absolutely.

    I'm still convinced that japanese manufacturing of electronics is the best in the world for however longer it will stay on top. It's amazing that Canon is able to still manufacture in Japan and keep their prices competitive as well. People who prefer made in Japan usually have a story or anecdote to back up the reason for why they feel that way.
     
  82. I have learned I have little to say in the world except with my vote and where I spend my money. Things like human rights, environment and jobs are important to me. Mostly I buy used gear anyway as I prefer shooting film. But I buy Domke camera bags, Tiffen filters and Kodak film. All American companies providing jobs for Americans. When I shop for a product whatever it is I always look at the options available, the country of manufacture, human rights, environment and price and shop accordingly. If I were going to buy a brand new camera I would want one made in Japan or Germany. However if I ever buy another camera it will be a used camera probably from KEH.com as they offer lots of good choices and warranty. The money from that camera sale will stay in America. However it's not possible to live like that for everything for me but I do the best that I can.
     

Share This Page