Wednesday 27 March 2024 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Wednesday. 27/3/2024

The Monocle Minute

The Opinion

Image: Fujifilm

Technology / David Phelan

Camera ready

In 2020, Fujifilm launched the X100V, a fixed-lens, premium digital camera with a determinedly classic design. This technical and style triumph was soon adopted by a new generation, who discovered that looking through a lens-finder was cool. As people posted images of themselves on social media with their new gear, waiting lists lengthened and resale prices grew. Now, Fujifilm has announced the launch of the new X100VI model, which replicates the former design in most ways but upgrades the sensor to about 40 megapixels.

It has been well received by critics and many shops have already sold their stock even though the public won’t be able to get their hands on the cameras until tomorrow. Fujifilm also plans to release 1,934 limited-edition models to celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2024. In the UK, where the price will be £1,934 (€2,255), these will only be available to people who enter a ballot.

At a time when many of us take high pixel counts and slick features for granted on our smartphones, a move towards a more considered way of shooting photographs can only be a good thing. No smartphone can match a camera for sensor size; bigger pixels are better for drawing in more light and reducing image noise. Add in the supreme ergonomics of a camera compared to a smartphone’s slim slab of metal and glass, and you are ideally equipped for taking better photos.

As a champion of photography, Monocle is pleased to witness the revival of the camera as a must-have for a new generation of cool creatives – even if they have to wait in line.

David Phelan is Monocle’s technology correspondent. For more opinion, analysis and insight, subscribe to Monocle today.

The Briefings

Image: Getty Images

Defence / France & Brazil

Looking beneath the surface

Emmanuel Macron has embarked on a three-day visit to Brazil to meet the country’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. It’s a rare sign of diplomatic rapprochement between the two leaders, whose countries haven’t historically found much common ground. Today, Macron and Lula will launch the third Scorpene-class diesel-powered submarine built in Brazil with French technology at Rio de Janeiro’s Itaguaí shipyard.

The launch is part of a $10bn (€9.2bn) programme that will build Brazil’s first nuclear-powered submarine by the end of the decade. Though France and Brazil hold different approaches to Russia over its war in Ukraine, establishing a presence in South America might help to keep France’s technology industry out of choppy waters.

Inside scoop: Tao Bin CTO Thomas Morrison and CEO Watanya Amatanon

Image: Natthawut Taeja

Business / Thailand

Serves them right

Thailand’s ice-cream market is next in line for the Tao Bin treatment. Fresh from shaking up the vending-machine industry, the Bangkok-based engineering company recently debuted its first soft-serve ice-cream machine at a shopping mall in the Bang Kapi district of the Thai capital.

The idea to tackle ice cream emerged from the research undertaken to make the perfect ice cubes for Tao Bin’s popular drinks machines, which have become a common site in public places and office lobbies across Thailand. Thomas Morrison, Tao Bin’s chief technology officer, will be joining Monocle at The Chiefs conference in Hong Kong tomorrow. As he shares news of the company’s international rollout, delegates can expect a few extra scoops.

Aviation / USA

Course correction

Boeing’s CEO, Dave Calhoun, has announced that he will step down by the end of the year. The move is part of a management reshuffle intended to address Boeing’s public-safety crisis. Calhoun described January’s Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 – where a rear-door lug blew out mid-flight – as a watershed moment. “While there are many competent people within the company, their voices, sadly, have not been heard and Boeing will be looking to hire an outsider to quickly rebuild trust,” Paul Charles, founder and CEO of The PC Agency and former communications director of Virgin Atlantic and Eurostar, tells Monocle Radio’s The Globalist. “After the news of the reshuffle, the company’s shares went up, which is a positive sign from investors that this was the right move, but Boeing has a lot of catching up to do.”

Beyond the Headlines

The List / Hong Kong

Living for the city

The Chiefs, Monocle’s conference dedicated to improving leadership and livelihood, kicks off in Hong Kong today. Top CEOs and founders will share their lessons on building better businesses and offer advice on how to succeed. Plus, dynamic entrepreneurs and brand innovators will offer their inspirational stories. If you are joining us in Hong Kong this week, here are three recommendations of where to eat, drink and shop.

Widely considered to be the best restaurant in Hong Kong, The Chairman has become a go-to thanks to chef-restaurateur Danny Yip’s knack for world-beating Cantonese cuisine. For lunch, visit Bengal Brothers, whose signature kathi rolls (a popular street food from Kolkata) are a local favourite. Tanvir Bhasin and Vidur Yadav, both originally from India, upgraded the colourful Wan Chai restaurant in 2023, adding dinner service, cocktails and new dishes inspired by the Parsi cafés of Mumbai and toddy stalls of Kerala.;

Sheung Wan’s Bar Leone pays homage to Rome, the hometown of founder Lorenzo Antinori, from its sandy-pink exterior and red-marble bar top to the vintage Campari ads and film posters that adorn its wood-panelled walls. Antinori’s yuzu negronis and olive-oil sours are two great twists on the classics.

Salvo’s colourful boutique in Wan Chai’s Starstreet Precinct is an ideal destination for any man who has packed for a business trip to Hong Kong only to realise soon after landing that this subtropical city, flanked by beautiful beaches, invites plenty of boat trips. Staple brands stocked here range from Brava Fabrics and Corridor to Alex Crane. Salvo is also the first and only stockist of clothes by Fields outside the South African label’s Cape Town home. A sunny selection of bold prints, tropical shirts and casual trousers began as the personal preferences of Salvo’s Scottish founder, Hamish Peddie, who quit his career in management consulting and ventured into retail in 2021. Salvo’s edit has since evolved into anything that makes customers look good – as long as it’s fun.

Image: Harvey Pearson

Monocle Radio / Monocle on Culture

The Staves

Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor, the sisters behind English indie-folk band The Staves, join Robert Bound in the studio. Their John Congleton-produced fifth LP, All Now, is lyrically rich and full of moments of euphoria. They discuss how to work with your siblings, finding the confidence to make bold decisions and why they always return to an early influence: Sister Act.


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