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albin Jan 26, 2003 6:52 PM

Finepix Range - Changing Language???
Is it possible to change the language settings on the menu of Finepix digital cameras.

I'm trying to buy a Finepix F401 in Japan, but it appears that there is no "Change language" setting in the menu. I find this hard to believe as I have been able to find this feature on cameras made by pretty much every other manafacturer.

Does anyone have a US or UK model that has this feature. Or should I look around for something else to buy??? (Or, improve my Japanese).

Does anyone know of any US companies that offer cheap delivery rates overseas??????


MentorRon Jan 26, 2003 8:34 PM

FinePixes for sale in Canada allow a choice of English or French only.
I've heard you can get them in the USA with English or Spanish, but I can't confirm that.
If it's true then they ship specific models to a particular market where the chosen languages are prevalent.

Lauren Jan 26, 2003 11:10 PM

I've got an F601 here in Japan and it too doesn't have any language selection menu option. :?

Brushing up on your Japanese isn't such a bad thing, though. :)

voxmagna Jan 27, 2003 7:41 AM

There was an owner here who got his cam into a Japanese test menu somehow, with colour bars, but didn't know how to recover his cam!

So I suspect there may be some button press combinations to do other things.

albin Jan 28, 2003 7:01 PM

Thanks for the replies!

We'll, I went back to the shop and pressed pretty much every button combination....but there is definitley no English in there!

Although I know I could have (and maybe should have), bought one in an effort to improve my Nihon-go; in the end I knew I wouldn't get full use out of it.

It's a pity really that Fujifilm have adopted this approach to their language options. Is it really that difficult to have multiple language options??? Like I said, pretty much every other manafacturer appears to be able to do this. So, in the end I decided to buy a camera from one of these other manafacturers. Oh well!! :roll:

Lauren Jan 28, 2003 9:23 PM

I can't say for certain of course, but the choice not to include multiple language support in their cameras is because it adds extra complexity to the device which in turn adds to the testing time required.

It seems like they are releasing these language-crippled versions first in Japan and then releasing multi-language cameras elsewhere (it has been mentioned before that multiple European languages are supported on certain cameras). It's too bad they don't roll those updates back in the Japanese firmware with Japanese libraries selected as default. It doesn't seem like such a difficult thing to do.

albin Jan 29, 2003 12:44 AM

Sounds a little too simple for Japan!! :wink:

However if this is the case I wonder why only Fuji are not updating their Japanese models??? I ended up buying a Casio QVR4 which includes 6 different language settings, others had far more than that.

I still feel that the F401 was the right camera and I would have definitley bought it had it not been for this feature (or lack of it)!

Lauren Jan 29, 2003 4:11 AM

I totally hear you. Slim, easy controls, great performance at a decent price, the 401 almost selects itself.

But I wouldn't know nowadays. I've been banned from Yodobashi because of a small coffee mishap. I thought the S2 would have been a little more water-resistant...

voxmagna Jan 29, 2003 10:33 AM

The subtle question behind these threads, must be, if all the cams are the same, how is the firmware programmed for language? is it done outside the cam, and is this the upgrade function we all want provided?

Lauren Jan 29, 2003 8:10 PM


Originally Posted by voxmagna
The subtle question behind these threads, must be, if all the cams are the same, how is the firmware programmed for language? is it done outside the cam, and is this the upgrade function we all want provided?

I'm not a digital camera programmer (though I'm desperately trying to find a position at a Japanese camera company. You hear me, Canon??), but I am an embedded systems engineer.

The answer to the first is that there are different versions of the firmware for devices in different sales regions. The basic functionality of the camera is the same across the board except that some region cameras have language selectability. They likely have an easily replaceable module that provides the labels, but it must be compiled into the firmware image.

They probably have a handful of images named F401J, F401A, F401E, etc. Each one corresponds to a sales region and each one has its own language pack. If the hardware itself is identical (usually a safe bet), then it should be a simple matter of reflashing the ROM with the desired bootloader and OS image. You couldn't just add the language functionality separately, you'd have to erase your current firmware and replace it completely.

On the other hand, we know that it's possible to switch between languages, because some images have that functionality. However each language library must take up some amount of space in memory. It may be possible that the Japanese character set is too large to allow for multiple languages on the same firmware.

I'd love to see a language upgrade provided as a feature, it couldn't take more than 15 minutes to perform at any certified repair shop. However, I think I'd expect to pay for the service.

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