Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sony: What's that word for "copycat" in Japanese?

Not long ago, pictures of a 3D camcorder from Sony that's nearly a copy of Panasonic's AG-3DA1 leaked out, and today, Engadget is covering a preannouncement from Sony about a new camcorder that uses the same sensor and interchangeable lenses as its forthcoming NEX3 and NEX5 digital cameras, as well as its Alpha DSLRs. This new product is largely a clone of Panasonic's AG-AF100 camcorder that's based on that company's Micro Four-Thirds DSLRs. Neither of Sony's products was shown or even rumored at the NAB conference just a few weeks ago, so it's clear that Sony is playing "fast follower".

Many years ago, Matsushita Electric, the original name for Panasonic, was accused of copying designs from Sony and other companies. In fact, Matsushita was sometimes derisively referred to as "mohousha", or copycat. Now, Sony seems to be the "mohousha", copying designs and ideas from Panasonic, Nintendo and others.
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