Sony (1945)

February 14, 2014

The history of Sony begins in the distant post-war 1946, when Japan had already surrendered, and the peaceful formation of the current high-tech power began.

Careful, a lot of letters! (instead of introduction)

Two Japanese men, Masaru Ibuka (1908-1997) and Akio Morita (1921-1999) met after the war, thanks to a publication in the Masaru newspaper in which he mentioned Akio's name. Having met, Masaru Ibuka invited Akio to do what they had been doing before the war, but in a more peaceful way. Ibuka and Akio were military engineers.

In 1945, Ibuka and his team founded the Tokyo Telecommunications Company (Totsuko), which included the equipment and employees of the factory where Masaru worked during the war. The new company was located in a department store that barely survived the war, which closed only in 1999. At first they had practically nothing - some of the missing equipment (including converters, mini-power plants, improvised means and tools) was produced on the knee. The registered capital was small by today's standards, 87500 yen, which included donations from Masaru's parents, whose sake business had fallen into disrepair. Since the company did not have much money for its existence, it was necessary to do something. In post-war Japan, information (along with traditional) hunger reigned, and the first thing that the company produced was an addition to the old receivers, which allowed them to receive radio in a previously inaccessible range (those receivers that remained were shortwave, and were turned off by the police in order to avoid propaganda). The demand for radios and this device has increased so much that they even wrote about it in a column of one of the newspapers, thanks to which, in fact, the founders of Sony met.

In parallel with the release of the radio, for the needs of the population, Masaru Ibuka's company worked on a rice cooker. The device was rather primitive, and consumed a lot of electricity, but nevertheless, it was in demand, since there was no analogue at that time. The rice cooker was a wooden bucket with aluminum electrodes installed on its bottom. Due to the fact that in Japan military factories ceased to function, it was possible to use this surplus of electricity by these devices. In general, at that time, the consumer qualities of the resulting electric drawing cooker were very outstanding. True, Ibuka was not satisfied with the quality of the product, - the rice turned out to be undercooked, then overcooked, and therefore, an electric stove was bought on the black market, which, after research, was launched into production. At the same time, comrade Tachikawa, a distant relative of Ibuka, came to the company, taking responsibility for solving financial issues.

You can't go far on rice cookers. The company took on the production of vacuum tubes and voltmeters, which were obtained of very decent quality, and were in demand for scientific purposes by government agencies.

Failure befell the company when the team started producing electric heating pads. Ibuka's desire to warm people on winter evenings was not very well realized. The heating pad could not be rolled up, since it used a nichrome wire, and, moreover, it could fail if the voltage in the mains was exceeded. There were many complaints about the product, so it was withdrawn from the market. Unlike heating pads, the company's "dictaphones" were good. Users have rated the quality of this product for the clear sound it records. Despite the fact that such things were prohibited in everyday life, companies did not hesitate to produce and sell them.

Soon, the Ibuka company entered into a major contract with NHK, and was engaged in the restoration of the broadcasting network. This project was quite complex, since it was necessary to negotiate at the government level for the supply of transmitters - after all, transmitters of a similar plan were only at the disposal of the defense department. In the end, agreements were reached, but at the same time, the question arises of relocating the main production facilities of the company. The first office in the department store was very small, so Ibuka with the bulk of the company's equipment and staff moved to the factory to an acquaintance. After a while, the acquaintance panicked, as, most likely, he was afraid that the activities of Ibuka (and his employees worked day and night) would adversely affect the limitations of his own production. After a long search, Ibuka and Morito finally found and rented a warehouse for Nippon Carburetor Co., Ltd., which Sony still maintains. The warehouse was so huge that it could accommodate all the company's employees and all its offices in one place.

Sony Magnetic Cases

For a long time, Masaru Ibuka wanted to create something for the general public that could be of great benefit. Small difficulties arose with this - the masses themselves have consumer needs that are radically different from government institutions and corporations. While working on the magnetic sound recording, Ibuka did not forget about this. Since radio by that time was already widespread almost everywhere, the idea looked very good, both in consumer and business terms. An employee of the NEC corporation helped in the implementation, providing a wire tape recorder, used in the army units of Japan, to be torn apart. Around the same time, Morito's friends in the United States sent him a Webster tape recorder set that used magnetic recording on stainless steel wire.

Here you can see posters and advertising brochures of audio equipment from the 50s. One of the staff who worked on the tape recorder for Ibuka was his student at Waseda University. When he came for an interview with the company, his resume said "I can make shortwave receivers, amplifiers and tube generators." With a specialization in mechanical engineering, the man caused a little confusion, however, most likely because of this, and was hired.

While researching these tape recorders, Ibuka had already heard that a reel-to-reel tape recorder had already been invented somewhere, and one day, while at the headquarters of NHK, with which the company continued to cooperate, he was shown this tape recorder.

Thus, the wired (on a metal wire) dictaphone-tape recorder was forgotten, and the used developments were sent to research related to recording sound on tape. “This is what we have to produce. It has great potential, ”Ibuka said about what he saw. For further research and production, a huge sum of three hundred thousand yen was needed, and Comrade Tachikawa, being the company's financier, was dumbfounded by such a request. Subsequently, Tachikawa was convinced by Ibuka and secured funds.

Engineers, meanwhile, were looking for ways to apply magnetic powder to the tape. In one article, they found a couple of reagents that could be used for their own purposes, and went in search of them. The first powder needed for research was obtained by frying those very reagents in a pan. Later it turned out that such a coarse powder was not suitable for sound reproduction, and Morito went in search of an opportunity to grind it into dust. As the saying goes, "who seeks, he will find." A suitable solution was eventually found, and the engineers proceeded to design and assemble prototypes. Before the first Totsuko reel-to-reel tape recorder was released, several prototypes were assembled. All the solutions implemented in them were subsequently embodied in the serial Type-G tape recorder.

Together with him, the Soni-tape was introduced, and the Tapecorder trademark was registered. On March 15, 1950, an announcement was published, which said that the time for the sale of tape recorders would soon come, on "talking paper" (the first tape was made of paper covered with ferrite dust). It took one year to do all the research since Ibuka saw the tape recorder at NHK. But the device, due to its high cost, did not find application. 50 pieces, which Masao Kurahashi, who came from a wealthy family, took for resale, could not find their use. The Ibuka factory sold 50 units of tape recorders at a price of 120000 yen, and after being put up for sale at 168000, not a single unit was sold. Affected by the high cost, size and weight (about 36 kilograms). The machine, except for the exclamations of "ah, what an interesting device" even among the rich of that time, did not cause anything else.

Norio Oga (an acquaintance of Kurahashi), being a student at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, was familiar with some aspects of overseas production of tape recorders, and insisted on meeting Ibuka that these devices would be indispensable in Japan's new school curriculum. Several units were sold to universities, and showed good results compared to other devices of the time. True, they were suitable only for recording colloquial speech. Oga prepared a stat changelog and offered it to Ibuka through Kurahashi. Ibuka and the development team decided that the design needed to be made to improve the quality of the tape recorder.

At the same time, Morito and Kurahashi started (as we can say now) marketing market research. It turned out that such a technique was quite in demand, but with reduced dimensions, price, and weight. In a hotel room rented specifically for this purpose, and completely isolated from distractions, the development team led by engineer Kihara spent several days pondering the idea of ​​releasing a portable version of the Type-G. The result was the Type-H.

The presentation of the recording devices was carried out under the guise of a "new policy of the Japanese Ministry of Education", which adhered to the need for the use of audio-visual devices in schools and higher educational institutions. Kurahashi traveled around Japan, demonstrating devices manufactured by Totsuko, talking about the advantages of using audio technology in training programs. In the course of communication with teachers and teachers, Kurahashi received invaluable information on the use of such devices in practice. In fact, if he just walked around and asked to buy recording devices, no one would have bought anything. These were the first marketing lessons for the new business of the future Sony company. Kurahashi was appointed to a post in the company and was responsible for conducting educational work with the public in schools and other educational institutions. The demand for audio devices has correspondingly increased.

The company's entry into the international market was due to the fact that for some time the prefecture in Japan, which was engaged in coal mining, became the main consumer. Sales were so good that it was the only constant source of income. When coal production stopped, sales dropped and the company faced bankruptcy. Miraculously avoiding such a fate, Morito came to the conclusion that such a policy of dependence on a single prefecture is destructive, and suggested "to depend on the whole world", so that if something happens, not to reduce production and not be at the level of the collapse of the company.

The next "marketing" surprise awaited the company when the license for the monopolistic release of recorders came to an end. Information has been received that Matsushita Electric is going to launch his reel-to-reel recorder on the Japanese market. However, Totsuko's sales only increased and orders for new products continued to increase. The company's management concluded that healthy competition never hurts. Totsuko equipment was of a higher quality than comparable products from Matsushita. Thanks to this, Morito concluded that the markets will always be stimulated by the emergence of new companies, and the monopoly is actually destructive, and as long as the quality of Totsuko equipment is at an appropriate level, then they have nothing to fear.

This was followed by shocking news from the United States, from Bell Labs. Can anyone remember what the scientists did from Bell Labs? MMmmmeeeeeeee ... They invented the polarized transistor. A subsidiary of Bell Labs, Western Electric offered all companies, for a certain amount of deductions (25 thousand dollars), to organize the release of new items at home. Ibuka only a little later, when the company went through all the circles of hell for agreement, decisions and search for finances, suggested using the novelty for the production of radio. In the bank, which was supposed to approve the loan, Morito had to give a whole lecture on the usefulness of the novelty (after all, in fact, it is still believed that replacing something with an analogue is an inevitable deterioration in consumer properties and product quality). But the transistor possessed truly valuable qualities - in terms of characteristics and properties close to vacuum tubes, it had a much lighter weight, dimensions and better reliability.

In 1953, one of the universities in Tokyo produced a ferrite material that could be quite viable when used as a carrier on magnetic tapes. Some time later, Totsuko received a proposal to use this development, and since the development department in the company itself had long puzzled over the invention of a similar material, the proposal was accepted with a bang. Totsuko continued to improve their tape recorders. The new plant was temporarily established in a rural area, with a small number of staff - only 6 people. Soon, the plant began work on a prototype of a transistor radio receiver. The very same germanium semiconductor unijunction transistor manufactured by Totsuko was announced to the public at a meeting in Tokyo Kaikan. The name of the transistor in the catalog became "seki" ("stone", by analogy with a clock) after a short discussion within the team. The trasistor and the first transistor radios were put up for sale later, in October, in one of the major department stores in Tokyo. The most expensive ones cost 4000 yen (Type 2T-14).

Portable radio

In order to surprise the audience, it was necessary not to repeat what had been done earlier, but to bring something new to the market. This product was supposed to be a portable radio. The release of Totsuko was a little late (thanks to bureaucratic red tape) - in the United States, the first TR-1 4-transistor receiver, Regency, was sold at the Christmas market in December 1954. At that time, Totsuko were only negotiating with suppliers of radio components, literally persuading them to produce small and efficient radio elements. It was possible to release its version of the portable radio only in 1955, at the same time Totsuken was renamed Sony. Initially, the management wanted to see an abbreviated name similar to NHK, but had to stay with a four-letter name to avoid confusion. Sony is a product of the words SONUS (sound) and English SONNY (sonny). Now Ibuka has his own brand.

The first attempt to export Sony products to America failed miserably - retailers offered them, like all Japanese factories that were producing at that time, an order for one hundred thousand copies, but under a different brand. Sony was never as famous as Nikon or Canon, and the "Made in Japan" label meant "junk" to most consumers. Sony abandoned the deal, and for good reason - portable radio cases have lost their appearance from the rise in temperature due to the change of the season. After a while, other models of portable radios were exported to the United States under the Sony brand, and caused a stir. The excitement was so great that some of the copies were imported back into Japan by third parties for re-release under their own labels. This success was preceded by several advertising campaigns in Japan, and the very quality of the radios, plus a matter of chance. About 4000 Sony receivers were stolen from a warehouse in America. Newspapers wrote about it on the front pages, calling it "the most daring robbery of the century." This brought the corporation itself an additional order for 4000 radios, and, in addition, advertised the brand in a new market.

Subsequent events

The company soon developed its first condenser microphone, followed by a VCR, and a television. All of these products were greeted with pleasure by the general public, because Sony is already a global brand. VCRs of the first models could take up an entire room - they were reel-to-reel. Before the VHS models, there were only 20 years left.

In 1957, Leon Esaki, investigating the reason for the inoperability of a new high-speed transistor within the walls of the company, stumbles upon the effect of electron tunneling, and produces a new type of negative resistance diode, for which he receives the Nobel Prize in 1973.

In 1960, Sony builds a new laboratory and transistor manufacturing plant and opens a subsidiary in America.

Among the products of the Sony Company, there are many different devices. These are the phones cameras, game consoles, industrial equipment, video cameras, cassettes, disks, microcircuits, matrices, radio components.

SONY is among the first Japanese corporations to break into the global market. The projects conceived by Akio Morita often provoked distrust among the team members and contradicted market research. But Morito did not believe the research results, and convinced his colleagues that the development was promising. Considering that supply creates demand, he defined the company's course as innovative for a long time. Just what is the idea of ​​a personal calculator, color TV, custom video camera. And when creating the first portable player Walkman in 1979, he was the only one who believed in the success of his project, and as a result, more than one hundred million audio players were sold worldwide, becoming a truly bestseller of the early 80s.

In 1989, in collaboration with IBM, the company markets a 3,5-inch floppy disk drive. Sony's first CD hit the market in the early 90s as well. Morito also had a hand in the creation of this carrier. And in 1993, Sony launched the Playstation on the market, having bought licenses from Nintendo.

The first Sony video camera, with close to modern data storage methods, was the Sony Mavica, a trial version of which appeared in 1984. It was a video camera that recorded still images on special floppy disks.

This was a fairly popular lineup among television people, before the advent of digital photography. “The prototype was an analog single-matrix video camera that recorded still images of the NTSC standard on two-inch Mavipack floppy disks, later distributed under the name“ Video Floppy ”. The camera is made according to the scheme of a single-lens reflex camera with interchangeable lensmi "- this is what Wikipedia says about her.

Modern photographic equipment Sony

Sony's modern photographic equipment dates back to 1996, when the Cyber-Shot Digital Still Camera (SDC) entered the market. Since then, the company has firmly established itself in the low-cost entry-class camera market. Overtaking Samsung, Panasonic and Kodak in this segment. It is worth noting that Zeiss optics are installed in all digital works of Sony's consumer art, which, in principle, distinguishes the company's devices from competitors (moreover, the company manages to keep the price tag at the level of cheap digital washing from other manufacturers).

There are several series of entry-level cameras that have the prefix D, F, G, H, L, M, N, P, R, S, T, U, V and W. Sony cameras do not have a movable mirror, which is familiar to DSLRs, but have a translucent fixed (pseudo mirrors) but good performance. Some users find it inconvenient to use an electronic viewfinder in them. Minolta, once known in Japan, sold its photographic division to Sony in 2006. Since 2005, Minolta, under an agreement with Sony, has been producing cameras Sony Alpha, the first of which was the Sony Alpha DSLR-A100.

Alpha 55, model release of 2010, was marked by Time magazine as "the greatest invention" - a shooting speed of 10 frames per second, fast phase detection autofocus in video mode. Competitors Canon and Nikon still have not seen this in the segment of amateur DSLRs. By the way, Sony is the third most popular company on the photo market.

Sony Alpha devices were created on the basis of the Minolta models, therefore, they have almost 90% backward compatibility (in terms of landing mounts). Bayonet Sony Alpha (A) = bayonetfrom Minolta AF. NEX series cameras released in 2010 have bayonet E.

For those who have scrolled to the end of the article

From the very beginning of its existence, Sony's policy has combined certain Japanese features - thoughtfulness, centralization, exactingness, perseverance, and a non-standard approach to solving problems. Despite all this, the corporate policy of "innovation" played a cruel joke - Sony laptops are expensive to repair, having a non-standard matrix size, backlit keyboards, making Apple only in the prevalence of the software used on them. Cooperation with Ericsson brought nothing interesting - Nokia and Samsung were able to snatch the initiative from the hands of this giant.

At the moment, the Sony Xperia smartphone is on the market rather as an echo of the past, since the Android operating system has equalized most smartphones in functionality, leaving only room for reliability and quality of the case. Today's consumers are not what they used to be - they are not told about anything by the name of the brand, they need “everything, and cheaper”. Those who still remember old Jobs with his apples go to him, receiving glitch-free perfection for a highly specialized range of tasks. It may well be that in the future, Sony will regain the title of innovator, but for this new Akio Morito and Masaru Ibuka should appear in the company.

  1. Sony A7 Mark II
  2. Sony DSC-S730

Sony cameras full-frame digital, (F) E-mount

  • Sony A7
  • Sony A7II
  • sony a7 III
  • sony a7r
  • Sony A7R II
  • Sony a7r III
  • Sony a7r IIIA
  • Sony a7r IV
  • Sony a7r IVA
  • Sony a7s, Sony a7s II
  • Sony a7s III
  • sony a7c
  • sony fx3
  • Sony a9
  • Sony a9II
  • Sony a1

Sony FE lenses for these cameras

  • Sony FE 14mm F / 1.8 GM
  • Sony FE 20mm F / 1.8 G
  • Sony FE 24mm F / 1.4 GM
  • Sony FE 24mm F / 2.8 G
  • Sony FE 28mm F / 2.0
  • Sony FE 35mm F / 1.4 GM
  • Sony FE 35mm F / 1.4 ZA
  • Sony FE 35 1.8
  • Sony FE 35mm F / 2.8 ZA
  • Sony FE 40mm F / 2.5 G
  • Sony FE 50mm F / 1.2 GM
  • Sony FE 50mm F / 1.4 ZA
  • Sony FE 50mm F / 1.8
  • Sony FE 50mm f / 2.8 Macro
  • Sony FE 50mm F / 2.5 G
  • Sony FE 55mm F / 1.8 ZA
  • Sony FE 85mm F / 1.4 GM
  • Sony FE 85 1.8
  • Sony FE 90mm F / 2.8 Macro G OSS
  • Sony FE 100mm F / 2.8 STF GM OSS
  • Sony FE 135mm F / 1.8 GM
  • Sony FE 400mm F / 2.8 GM OSS
  • Sony FE 600mm F / 4 GM OSS
  • Sony FE 12-24mm F / 2.8 GM
  • Sony FE 12-24mm F / 4 G
  • Sony FE 16-35mm F / 2.8 GM
  • Sony FE 16-35mm T / 3.1 PZ GC
  • Sony FE 16-35mm F / 4 ZA OSS
  • Sony FE 24-70mm F / 2.8 GM
  • Sony FE 24-70mm F / 4 ZA OSS
  • Sony FE 24-105mm F / 4 G OSS
  • Sony FE 24-240mm F / 3.5-6.3 OSS
  • Sony FE 28-60mm F / 4-5.6
  • Sony FE 28-70 3.5-5.6
  • Sony FE 28-135mm F / 4 G PZ OSS
  • Sony FE 70-200mm F / 2.8 GM OSS
  • Sony FE 70-200mm F / 4 G OSS
  • Sony FE 70-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 G OSS
  • Sony FE 100-400mm F / 4.5-5.6 GM OSS
  • Sony FE 200-600mm F / 5.6-6.3 G OSS

Sony E-mount cameras with APS-C sensor (kf-1,5)

  • NEX-3
  • Sony NEX-C3
  • NEX-F3
  • NEX-3N
  • Sony NEX-5
  • NEX-5N
  • NEX-5R
  • NEX-5T
  • NEX-6
  • NEX-7
  • a3000
  • a3500
  • a5000
  • a5100
  • a6000
  • a6100
  • a6300
  • a6400
  • a6500
  • a6600
  • ZV-E10
  • QX1
  • Hasselblad lunar

Sony E Lenses for APS-C

  • Sony E 16 2.8
  • 20mm f / 2.8 (black / silver)
  • 24mm f / 1.8 ZEISS ZA
  • 30mm f / 3.5 Macro
  • 35mm f / 1.8 OSS
  • 50mm f / 1.8 OSS (black / silver)
  • 10-18mm f / 4 OSS
  • Sony 16-50mm f / 3.5-5.6 OSS E PZ
  • 16-55mm f / 2.8 G
  • 16-70mm f / 4 OSS ZEISS ZA
  • 18-50mm f / 4-5.6
  • Sony E 18-55 3.5-5.6 (black / silver, Japan / Thailand)
  • 18-105mm f / 4 G PZ OSS
  • 18-110mm f / 4 G PZ OSS
  • 18-135mm f / 3.5-5.6 OSS
  • 18-200mm f / 3.5-6.3 OSS
  • 18-200mm f / 3.5-6.3 OSS LE
  • 18-200mm f / 3.5-6.3 PZ OSS
  • 55-210mm f / 4.5-6.3 OSS (Black / Silver)
  • 70-350mm f / 4.5–6.3 G OSS

Third party

  • Zeiss Touit 12 / 2.8
  • Zeiss Touit 32 / 1.8
  • Zeiss Touit 50 / 2.8 Macro
  • Hasselblad E 3.5-5.6 / 18-55 OSS LF
  • Hasselblad E 3.5-6.3 / 18-200 OSS LF
  • Hasselblad E 2.8 / 16 LF
  • Sigma C 16 / 1.4
  • Sigma A 19 / 2.8
  • Sigma EX 19 / 2.8
  • Sigma C 30 / 1.4
  • Sigma EX 30 / 2.8
  • Sigma A 30 / 2.8
  • Sigma C 56 / 1.4
  • Sigma A 60 / 2.8
  • Tamron 11-20 / 2.8
  • Tamron 17-70 / 2.8 VC
  • Tamron 18-200 / 3.5-6.3 VC
  • Tamron 18-300 / 3.5-6.3 VC
  • Viltrox 23 / 1.4
  • Viltrox 33 / 1.4
  • Viltrox 56 / 1.4
  • Samyang 12 / 2
  • Yongnuo 50 / 1.8

The following companies also produce Sony-E mount lenses: 7Artisans, TTartisan, Meike, Neewer, PerGear, Kamlan, Brightin Star, Mitakon Zhongyi, Venus Laowa, Andoer, Kaxinda, Lightdow, Risespray, Zenit


Adapters for cameras and lenses

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