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"No camera at all - just mind power" is the long-term ideal camera of Maitani. It is based on the concept of detecting, measuring and recording the electrical circuitry of the human brain.

"While sitting in your study you may visualise a beautiful landscape : that is memory, or perhaps imagination. But no technology of today will allow us to record pictures by the same mechanism!"

Although his ideal camera may never be realized. He has not abandoned his dream. "The view of life should be an eternal one, for if we cease to look for progress then life has no meaning."

"A photographerís duty is to improve and increase his techniques! For knowledge of technique is the only tool for ensuring that the camera may be used to its maximum capability. So many photographers overestimate the function of the camera by itself - but Iím afraid a cook who relies on nothing but a sharp knife has no guarantee of producing excellent dishes."

"The object of photography is to express what is in your heart and mind. Technique is nothing more than an intermediary of that expression. No matter how automated we make cameras, automation will not place limits on the photographerís activities. Rather, it will expand them."

"The film, or the tape or the plate or whatever may be used, has always been an intermediate step in communicating the image from the photographer to viewer, and it always will be. There is nothing sacred about silver film, and it matters little to me whether it continues in use or gives way to other materials for reasons of efficiency or cost."

"As far as camera design is concerned, I have never given too much thought to what the mechanical nut wants."

"Almost all large corporations create products based on marketing data. We donít rely on that kind of research very much because the data obtained is often superficial."

"A camera is just a tool for taking pictures. As a designer, I want to design a camera that becomes an inseparable part of the photographer, a camera that dose not get in the way. But I take pictures too and I have come to realize that because the contemporary camera is at its state-of-the-art limits, surpassing those limits is a problem that the photographer will have to solve by himself."

"We have a saying in Japanese that fire and water are good servants, but bad masters. Although the camera should be an inseparable part of the photographer, it is still a tool. It can be a help or hindrance depending on how itís used."

"You canít make a truly outstanding product unless you develop it from the userís point of view."

"It is easy to design something. But itís a whole lot harder to design something that will sell."

Maitani recognizes that the cameras our predecessors left are part of a technological world heritage. He believes that there is no need to make the same thing twice.

Maitani's basic camera design philosophy originates from the desire to take a photograph. He will not design a camera that is already available. Many people think that the cameras of Maitani are unique, he says he just makes cameras that he needs but not exists anywhere.

Some of his ideas are just his personal opinion on what a camera should be. They are not accepted by the market yet. This gives Maitani a hard time persuading the management of Olympus to accept his proposal.

"In the future I believe all those who want to leave a record will be photographers of some kind. Our concept of a photographer will broaden. It will include everything from those in the area of scientific recording to those who use it to record everything in the household. And there will be many who would hold exhibitions and publish photographic collections as a means of personal expression. In that world of the future there will also be people who use photographs, rather than words, in an attempt to change society."

"Photography has many different roles and education is one of its most important. The photograph is valuable in conveying what only you can see and therefore, understand. The photographís value is in its ability to act as an extension of the human eye. There will always be a need for photographs as long as people use their eyes."

"Every form of human communication starts as a pure thought in the brain but passes through the hand or mouth which act as a filter. Even if a person is extremely sensitive, if they are not skilled in the use of speech or body language, their meaning may not be conveyed effectively. Since the photographic medium affords faithful recordability, images are made without those filters. There is a spontaneous, pure expression that is unique to photography."

"Its apparent ease frequently causes people to overshoot, to take pictures of things they really donít want to photograph. Thatís when youíd like to have that filter. Thatís a fact to always keep in mind when picking up a camera."

The history of Maitani is part of the history of Olympus.

Since its early beginnings, Olympus has a corporate culture of creating innovative products. Although Maitani has not been taught about this culture, Maitani thinks he is an Olympus person.

Maitani has developed many cameras with the unique Olympus style. This is simply because he is trying to make things that you cannot buy anywhere.

Although Maitani has the determination to create cameras that have never existed before. Yet he think that everything is in the hand of Olympus.

"Deciding which products to make is the same as deciding how to live your life. What matters most is your vision. You must have a vision, a dream, a philosophy, for the course of your future will change depending on whether or not you have a vision. You can't simply drift through life aimlessly; the first step is to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life."

"Even after you've made that decision, the rest of the world is unlikely to move according to your plans. Eventually you will run into opposition or obstacles. I believe there are two barriers: the technology barrier and the barrier of accepted wisdom. You can't achieve anything until you break through both of these barriers."

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Last updated on 28 December, 2008
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