Monday, October 27, 2008

Pentax K-m/K2000 Special Japanese Site Has Sample Photos

Pentax Japan launched a product specific website for the K-m (K2000 in the U.S.), www.pentax-k-m.jp/, nicknaming the DSLR "Mama's First Camera" (seen below). I really like the retro drawings of the happy little mother and her kids, although I hope you won't confuse this with Cooking Mama. The site features examples of how a mom can integrate a small DSLR into her life. If this isn't you, you'll be interested to see how easy the camera is to use, and to get an idea of the variety of compositions the K-m delivers with various lenses (which is what we love about DSLR cameras).

Having played with the K-m (K2000) at PDN Photo Plus Expo in New York last week, I feel it's important to reiterate that this camera isn't just a slimmed down K200D. The ergonomics and user interface have been totally reconsidered to make the camera much more intuitive for people who've never had a background with any SLR before. That doesn't mean it's a glorified point-and-shoot. For those of us who know and love DSLRS, the automatic operation is much less involved for those times when you really need your concentration elsewhere: everything fits one handed use. If you have one child impatiently posing and another is pulling on your non-camera hand, you can still keep your wits about you. None of the DSLR functionality has been compromised, but you have a new way of working.

Above, a K-m photo taken with the DA L 18-55mm lens, from the gallery.

Unfortunately, there are lots of maternal marketing stereotypes to sift through at the site (photos of babies, cats, and close-ups of flowers - but this is also amateur photo fodder for every other demographic). Admittedly, I'm not predisposed to "cute" advertising and I question whether rehashing feminine stereotypes are ultimately inclusive to women or if they might be interpreted as demeaning. It's a tough balancing act, because gender specific campaigns contain codes that aren't always what they seem at face value. Sites like Geeksugar demonstrate every day that women have a keen interest in technology, and they try to do so without the "empowered consumer" context being undermined by gender bias. But insultingly sexist advertising that panders to girls by portraying products as "pretty and trendy" or "so easy a girl could use it" is still endemic even after 40 years of critical appeals. Should we believe women are less capable with technology and need products that are dumbed down? No. Anytime a gadget tries to appeal to women with decoration, you need to have your guard up: the advertisers are re-enforcing the awful gender role that women should be more concerned with fashion and simplicity rather than with substance, with cheerleading rather than science. However, I'm glad that a previously ignored gadget-loving segment of the population (moms) is now being addressed directly by Pentax. I know for a fact moms love Pentax (well, my mom loves her Pentax DSLR, and that's close enough for government work).

3 comments:

Miserere said...

Is it so easy to use even a caveman could do it?

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I share your opinions on gender marketing. I do believe men and women have different outlooks and approaches to life and everything in it, but I wonder if targeting mums is going to alienate insecure male users.

robin said...

The world has become so post-feminist -- and doesn't that just mean sexist most of the time? Thanks for taking me back to an era when people cared about gender equality.

Nice article. Nice blog. And nice cameras!

roentarre said...

I would love the totally snow white version of this camera. Very cute in deed!

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