Canon PowerShot E1: We will build the woman-proof camera

canon_powershot-560x564.jpg

Women. Inexplicable creatures. Though their flesh is dimpled and perky, and though their bowel movements have the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls, they are as dangerous and intractable an element as fire and lightning, striking but once and razing the ground upon which they — goddess-like — tread. Unfortunately, this tread ground often includes the gadgetological. How many fairer sexed, stooping to conquer, have left the gizmo-spooled guts of a gadget in their wake as they blindly fiddle with buttons and settings… technology as far beyond their ken as advanced space-time theory is to the butterfly? Brian Lam wept.

Canon knows all this. Employing a Spartan armada of man’s man tech designers, sucking meat off t-bones and slugging down whiskey, they realized the difficulty in making technology impervious to the blind meddling of the electronically unsophisticated human female. The Canon PowerShot E1, therefore, is specifically made for women: a cyborg-like construct of vat grown unicorn meat, fueled by radioactive sugar and spice. Knowing the inherent foolishness of the double X chromosome, Canon even brags that their cameras can be operated by even the loveliest, most dollsome sub-human intelligence: they left out “all unnecessary buttons,” including the hidden self-destruct button that women somehow never fail but to trigger on the most expensive devices.

Fun meta game: is Brownlee JUST JOKING, snickering internally at the inherent absurdity of a “women’s camera” in a modern, post-60s world, yet playing it all as straight as a tongue firmly in cheek would allow? Or is this post one long ode to his own deeply rooted well of misognyism and — heck, let’s just face it — deeply repressed orientation? To the comments with you, o ye players!

Poweshot E1 Canons Women Only Digital Camera [Crunchgear]

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29 Responses to Canon PowerShot E1: We will build the woman-proof camera

  1. DCE says:

    While the marketing behind this is a bit questionable, I’ve long wanted an Oxo “good grips” type digital camera. Not for me, but for my mom.

    While she’s plenty intelligent enough to figure out what all those little buttons do, her eyesight isn’t the best and she lacks the patience to learn about features she’s never going to use.

    What she needs is a camera with an on/off switch, a shutter button, a big screen, and two arrows for browsing photographs (maybe a delete button). All of them big and clearly labeled.

    That’s it! No zoom, no ISO settings or arcane menu items, just a literal point and shoot – something like the Kodak Brownies of old. While this Canon doesn’t quite fit the bill, it’s come closer than anything else I’ve seen.

  2. SamSam says:

    Wait wait wait… What?

    I call shenanigans, or something. Who says this is “designed for women”? Just Crunchgear, which says it’s “specifically made for women,” which makes it sound like it’s an official statement, and now it’s repeated here, where people comment as if it’s true.

    The Canon product page actually says that it’s “targeted to the teen and tween markets.” But “Canon will build tween-proof camera” wouldn’t get nearly as much interest, I guess…

    I don’t think that taking off the “unnecessary buttons” from a tween-targeted camera is the stuff of sexist horrors….

  3. felsby says:

    If it sells, I guess it´s OK. Although a male gadget-freak, I wouldn´t mind flashing the white model….

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is made for my mother. She is what I call a “selective technophobe.”

    She has no problems operating the most complex sewing machines or dedicated word processors (late 70s/early 80s models). But ask her to turn on the stereo, the VCR or use the Canon AE-1 and all you would hear is “I can’t. It’s too hard.”

  5. John Brownlee says:

    I’m going to answer before the rest of you do: I’m just joking. The idea of selling a “woman’s camera” with “no extra buttons” is just totally offensive in today’s day and age. That said, the sexism behind the concept is absolutely hysterical.

  6. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Not touchin’ it. I think my wife stalks me here.
    HI HONEY!!

  7. Brookie3000 says:

    Hey, give me convenience or give me death.
    I’m a girl, and what do girls use cameras for? Pretending to be “photographers” with DSLRs they can barely use, taking photos of wet parking lots and club photos of their shitheel friends. I’d rather carry this with me than have to drag a remote flash everywhere I go.

  8. Felix Mitchell says:

    The real joke is that it looks just as complex as any other point-and-shoot digital camera.

    If Canon were to design a really simple camera that’d be a challenge and a nice product. Doesn’t have to be aimed at women either. Case in point: the simple interface of the ipod is a big attraction.

  9. Enochrewt says:

    You know what’s really upsetting about this? That it’ll probably sell real well.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Exactly what I was thinking, SAMSAM.

    This is coming just in time for Christmas and is hitting the perfect teen/tween audience at just the right price point. It is also being marketed in Japan, where these pastel colors will appeal to a large portion of their culture — not just the female audience.

    That being said, I have been in the market for a simple point-and-shoot that I can stick in my bag or pocket and take with me places when I don’t feel like lugging my Digital Rebel and lenses around. I actually like the look of this camera with its curves and solid pastel options as a better alternative to the colored brushed-metal boxy look, and it has all of the basic features I need, a good image sensor, and the price is within my relatively low budget. I might just buy it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s always worth trying the old reverse the genders technique to test for subversive sexism… let’s take a shot at that Ms Brownlee:
    Canon knows all this. Employing an Amazonian armada of woman’s woman tech designers, licking juice from figs and slurping chai, they realized the difficulty in making technology impervious to the blind meddling of the electronically unsophisticated human male. The Canon PowerShot E1, therefore, is specifically made for men: a box-like construct of free-range dog soy, fueled by solarpowered puppydog tails. Knowing the inherent foolishness of the XY chromosome, Canon even brags that their cameras can be operated by even the ugliest, most macho sub-human intelligence: they left out “all (ummm…) necessary buttons,” including the hidden pre-set button that men somehow never trigger on the most expensive devices.

  12. DragonVPM says:

    Eh, I think they’re just trying to take advantage of the fact that there is a segment of the camera-buying population that would like a relatively simple camera that is more visually appealing than the standard silver/black models generally available.

    Even as a guy (who apparently isn’t supposed to care about how my gadgets look) I’ve often wondered why more gadget manufacturers don’t design their wares with more colors in mind (and this despite the fact that I tend to prefer black so I actually have some choices as opposed to someone who might like various shades of pastel).

    I couldn’t read the actual Japanese site, so I’ll withhold my judgment until I see how they’re marketed here (if at all). I wouldn’t see anything wrong with a marketing campaign that highlights ease of use AND lots of “cool” colors so long as it doesn’t talk down to anyone. I could see these appealing to kids, older folks, someone who doesn’t want a plain square silver camera, etc… I think they might be on to something.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It’s presumptious to assume that the color or rounded design is “aimed at women”.

    Why is grey/black and boxy considered a default configuration that everyone should want unless they’re being girly?

  14. the_boy says:

    Women – they hate appliances colored black almost as much as they hate the black void of space, and they hate it for similar reasons: science-y mumbo-jumbo.

    Jesus. In a sane world, this would lead to a boycott of Canon, or at the very least the death of periwinkle and baby blue.

  15. Clay says:

    “I think you’ve been watching too much Mad Men!”

    “Oh, don’t worry your pretty little head, sweetheart.”

  16. Tony Moore says:

    This would be great for parents and grandparents– types who used to let the VCR blink 12:00 until you came to visit.

  17. celia says:

    I guess this explains why you don’t have anyone to share your SIM card with. :)

  18. mightymouse1584 says:

    i cant wait for the Canon E15

  19. Skwid says:

    Celia, FTW!

  20. Enochrewt says:

    Oooooh massive burn by Celia!!!

  21. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    I have a couple of inexpensive digitals that I use a lot. I almost always use the same 5 functions, completely ignoring the majority of the capabilities documented in their 68 page manuals. I’m fairly accomplished at what I do and I would definitely buy a simple camera that was durable, had long battery life and a usable zoom. Keep the fancy stuff that I don’t need.

  22. gilowyn says:

    Actually, except for the color, this looks like a camera for my mother. But I tried giving her an easy digital one before, and it just confused her.

    That said, being a girl, I have so far worked without a glitch with my Digital Rebel… and no, haven’t found the self-destruct button either.

  23. kerry says:

    I’m a little sad to admit that if this had hello kitty plastered on it somewhere I would seriously consider buying it. I have a canon dslr but sometimes consider getting a small pocket camera to carry around when I don’t have room for the big camera and my giant lens (oh, but how I make the boys jealous with that thing). The super tiny cameras have super tiny crappy lenses, something around this size would maybe be good. But, really, don’t know what I would do without the self-destruct button.

  24. dakinijoy says:

    Ah, the gaze. That’s a good name for a button.

  25. dakinijoy says:

    It’s always worth trying the old reverse the genders technique to test for subversive sexism… let’s take a shot at that … Ms Brownlee:

    Canon knows all this. Employing an Amazonian armada of woman’s woman tech designers, licking juice from figs and slurping chai, they realized the difficulty in making technology impervious to the blind meddling of the electronically unsophisticated human male. The Canon PowerShot E1, therefore, is specifically made for men: a box-like construct of free-range dog soy, fueled by solarpowered puppydog tails. Knowing the inherent foolishness of the XY chromosome, Canon even brags that their cameras can be operated by even the ugliest, most macho sub-human intelligence: they left out “all (ummm…) necessary buttons,” including the hidden pre-set button that men somehow never trigger on the most expensive devices.

  26. Halloween Jack says:

    John Brownlee, o John Brownlee, your bloggerary effulgence has swollen to Joseph Merrick-like proportions; it’s immeasurably grotesque, yet I cannot tear my gaze away.

    Sexist? Didn’t know ist! Oh, wait, that doesn’t work. Heh.

  27. Trilln451 says:

    From ROSSINDETROIT “Not touchin’ it. I think my wife stalks me here.
    HI HONEY!!”

    I DO NOW (insert Jaws theme here)

  28. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t this type of camera best suited for older demographics (ie those who didn’t grow up with gadgets) than perfectly capable females? I laugh in the face of the marketing squad!

  29. Anonymous says:

    I already bought it. Compact and cute enough to carry around. The photos also great. I’m loving it.
    See test shot here http://flickr.com/photos/chixx6/3007037369/

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