Canon is Japan's biggest camera maker and has a wide support network. I visited the Canon Service Center in Tokyo's Ginza district today, as my camera had developed a problem with lens retraction.
The service center is on the second floor of a facility that includes the Canon Gallery and the Canon Showroom.
|Canon Service Center lobby, Ginza, Tokyo|
My problem was noted and documented, I was asked how I would like the camera returned (I selected courier) and, because it was still under guarantee, that was it. He said I would get the camera back, with a replaced lens, by the 21st, i.e., two weeks from now.
|Waiting room and reception, Canon Service Center, Ginza|
I still had plenty of time on my hands, so wandered down to the showroom I had seen on my way there. The Canon showroom in Ginza is a large space dominated by an encompassing circular arrangement. In the center is a platform of variously shaped and colored objects that serve as the focal point for people testing out the scores of cameras on the bench around the circumference.
|Canon Showroom, Ginza, Tokyo|
|Inside the Canon Showroom, Ginza, Tokyo|
Whereas the most expensive Canon camera body at the moment, the EOS-1D X, costs around USD5,000, the most expensive lens, the EF 800 mm f/5.6L IS USM. costs USD13,000!
|Camera lenses, Canon Showroom, Ginza, Tokyo|
It was interesting for someone like me who has only ever owned compact cameras to try putting a digital single-lens reflex camera through its paces. A nice thing about Canon is that if you've used one model, the control layout is close enough on all models to make figuring out the basics not too difficult. The arrangement in the middle of the room made for a great focal point on which to try the various lenses, functions and viewfinders, as I zoomed in on them bigger, faster and more clearly than I'd ever experienced before, and enjoyed the sophisticated sensation of shutter buttons capable of multiple shots per second.
Finally I browsed the wall display of example photobooks that people had created via the Canon Photopresso service. This is a social networking cum sales service for getting followers, creating photobooks from your own photos and making them available for sale to the general public. Any sales generated, via the Photopresso website, earn royalties for the photographer. They were glossy, nicely finished, and definitely more fun and memorable than browsing an online slideshow.
|Canon Gallery, Ginza, Tokyo|
Like any gallery, the exhibition changes regularly, and this time it featured the work of Ken Tsurusaki, who is a keen fisherman and, as such, takes aquatic photographs. This exhibition was called Tamagawa: Nature in Tokyo, with scenes both above and below water, of the Tamagawa River that runs through Tokyo's Ota ward, and the wildlife in and around it.
|"Tamagawa" exhibition, Canon Gallery, Tokyo|
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