PhotoHistory 2005

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Chronological history of photography in Japan in 2005 (Heisei 17)

Researched and compiled by Philbert Ono

Jan. 15 - The Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery opens the Moriyama Shinjuku Araki photo exhibition featuring 900 photos of Shinjuku, Tokyo taken by Daido Moriyama and Nobuyoshi Araki one day in Aug. 2004.

Mar. 1 - New company Leica Camera Japan is established to sell Leica equipment in Japan. Leica thereby ended its contract with Siber Hegner Japan which used to be Leica's longtime distributor in Japan.

Mar. - Kyocera-Contax announces that it will not have a booth at the Photo Imaging Expo 2005 in Tokyo during March 17-20. It also did not participate at the PMA 2005 in Orlando, Florida in Feb. This is the first time since 1983 that Kyocera will be absent from the camera show in Japan.

Photo Imaging Expo Mar. 17-20 The new, gigantic Photo Imaging Expo (PIE 2005) is held at Tokyo Big Sight in Koto Ward, Tokyo. For the first time, the show combines the former Photo Expo for small-format cameras and accessories, International Professional Photo Fair (IPPF) featuring large-format and professional equipment, and the Lab System Show for minilabs. Previously, these three trade shows were separately on different dates.

There were about 1,000 booths by 160 companies. Asia's largest photo trade show was attended by over 105,000 people.

Canon EOS Kiss Digital N Mar. 17 - Canon sells the new EOS Kiss Digital N (EOS 350D or Digital Rebel XT), the successor to the Kiss Digital (300D) single-lens reflex camera. Major improvements over the old Kiss Digital include an 8-megapixel CMOS sensor (up from 6 megapixels), instantaneous startup time of 0.2 sec. (the old Kiss D took 2 to 3 sec.), and a smaller and lighter body. Silver and black models are offered.

Mar. 18 - Nikon reproduces 2500 units of its famed Nikon SP camera (originally sold in 1957) and accepted advance orders in Feb. for delivery on March 18. The camera is almost the same as the original model except for a few modern improvements like the revamped ISO speed dial and frame counter to suit today's available films. The lenses also have multi-coating. Comes only in black. Price: 724,500 yen

April 12 - Kyocera Corporation announces that it will terminate its famed Contax-branded camera business. Production of Contax camera equipment was terminated at the end of March 2005, and shipment of most Contax camera equipment is to end by Sept. 2005. The reason given for the pullout was Kyocera's inability to keep up with rapid market changes. Kyocera will continue to provide servicing of Contax equipment for up to 10 years. It will also continue operating Contax Club and the Contax Salon photo gallery for the time being.

May - zoom Japan, the Japanese version of Italy's Zoom magazine, publishes it first (May) issue. This is the second time that a Japanese version of Zoom is being published. (The first attempt about 10 years before ended in failure after only a few issues.) The magazine's publisher in Japan is an NPO called "International Photographic Cultural Organization."

Ishiuchi Miyako at Venice Biennale June 12 - The Venice Art Biennale (51st International Art Exhibition) opens in Venice, Italy with photographer ISHIUCHI Miyako</a> holding a solo show at the Japan Pavilion titled, "mother's 2000-2005--traces of the future." Photos of her deceased mother's personal belongings are displayed. It has been almost 30 years since the last time in 1976 when a photographer held a solo show at the Japan Pavilion for the Venice Biennale. It runs until Nov. 6, 2005. (More Biennale photos here.)

Sept. 16 - Yodobashi Camera opens a huge new store in Akihabara, Tokyo called "Multimedia Akiba." The store sees over 1 million shoppers during the first four days, and more than 3.5 million during its first month in business. (Disneyland sees an average of about 2 million per month.)

Canon EOS 5D Sept. 28 - Canon markets the EOS 5D, another landmark camera featuring a full-frame 35mm CMOS sensor with 12.8 megapixels. With a street price of about 340,000 yen (body only), it is the cheapest full-frame digital SLR ever and positioned as an upper middle-class model in Canon's EOS digital camera lineup.

Sept. 30 - Olympus and Pentax close a few of their camera repair centers in cities such as Nagoya, Sendai, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, and Sapporo.

Oct. - Tamron announces the termination of their Bronica medium-format business with the discontinuation of the Bronica RF645 6x4.5 camera and its interchangeable lenses and accessories. The decision was made due to the shift to digital cameras by wedding and portrait photographers who formed the main core of the Bronica market. The Bronica brand is now history.

Oct. - Nov. - Major camera manufacturers such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, FujiFilm, Olympus, Konica-Minolta, Ricoh, and Kyocera report problems with the Sony-made CCDs in their compact digital cameras.

Dec. 16 - At long last and 3 years after the D100, Nikon markets the D200 digital SLR camera featuring a 10.2 megapixel CCD sensor measuring 23.6 x 15.8 mm. The price is around 200,000 yen for the body.

Dec. 24 - Past Rays Yokohama, a fine-art photo gallery in Yokohama, goes out of business after 17 years. It was one of Japan's few galleries specializing in the display and sale of fine-art photography.

Next: PhotoHistory 2006

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