Do you know the first selfie stick launched in the world? In 1983, Minolta Camera (now KONICA MINOLTA) launched the “DISC7” camera and simultaneously sold a stick to attach to the camera as an accessory.
The DISC7 was a unique camera that used selfies as a selling factor, which was unusual at the time. The front of the camera had a small mirror attached so that they could see how they looked. However, the selfies taken with this camera would not have turned out as people had hoped. The front mirror was a convex mirror that just captured a wide-angle view, so the actual picture would have been different, and the camera with no image stabilizer function at the end of the stick would have shaken more than it does now. It wasn’t a big deal in Japan, and the rest of the world thought of it as “one of the weird inventions the Japanese came up with.”
Later, digital cameras took the place of film cameras. In 1995, CASIO introduced the “QV-10.” This was the first camera in the world to have an LCD screen, allowing the photographer to view photos before they were developed. In addition, the lens portion of this camera could be rotated and used like the current front and rear camera systems. Taking selfies became simpler at this point.
Even with the invention of cameras with selfie features, the practice of taking selfies did not become very popular in Japan. Perhaps the reason was that Japanese people were shy and did not feel comfortable taking pictures of themselves. The selfie stick actually became popular in Japan in the early 2010s. By that time, smartphones were widely used, and the Japanese accepted taking selfies. And then Japanese people saw foreigners who came to Japan with selfie sticks in their hands. The selfie stick had spread independently in other countries. We noticed the popularity of selfie sticks overseas when we saw Chinese tourists flooding into Japan in large numbers and taking selfies with them.
Now, on the contrary, the chances of seeing selfie sticks are decreasing. This is because of the dramatic improvement in camera performance. With more and more smartphones being able to take wide-angle pictures of the background with just one tap, we can now take a satisfactory picture without having to put the camera so far away. Even if a wide-angle shot fails, it can be easily corrected with an application or software.
And there are little drones that can take selfies. An expert on the history of the camera said, “The drone can be considered a tripod with ultra-high performance that allows for any height and distance.” The universe of selfies is expanding together with the advancement of camera accessories.