Sony USA’s Mark Weir honored with admission into Sony ‘Samurai’ Society

by Dave Etchells

posted Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 11:46 AM EDT

Here at IR, we don't normally take note of routine promotions and job changes in the camera industry, but this particular one is unusual enough, and the individual involved so clearly deserving of the honor, that we were moved to comment.

Mark Weir, senior technology manager at Sony Digital Imaging, was just recently inducted into the Sony Samurai Society -- the most prestigious honor that a Sony employee can be awarded. Mark's a pretty self-effacing guy, so I first heard of his admission into the Samurai Society through a Facebook post by his wife Diana Loweiski. This is no small thing: It's both very unusual and very significant for a Japanese company to recognize an individual like this. In Sony's words, this accolade is reserved for those who "demonstrate exceptional leadership, inspire others, and show an ongoing commitment to the company and to the brand."

Longtime readers will recognize Mark's name as a frequent interviewee of ours at numerous trade shows over the years. Besides his encyclopedic knowledge of essentially every Sony digital imaging product ever made, Mark has always impressed me as one of the deeper thinkers of the industry; there are very few in the business who spend as much time thinking about what works for photography and photographers in the digital age than him, and he's had a deep and positive influence on Sony's product development and direction over the years.

Besides his relentless efforts to further the Sony brand in general and its Digital Imaging Division in particular, Mark was also honored for his mentor role towards many other Sony employees as well as his contributions to customer support. People who were mentored by Mark in their early days in digital imaging include some of Sony's current top executives.

Here's what Sony had to say about him:

A true and dedicated expert in his category, he has launched many of the products that were Sony’s entry into the digital world of imaging … categories such as CD Mavica, Cybershot and our Alpha cameras. He has an unprecedented passion not just for our products, but for sharing our great Sony technology every chance he gets. He’s probably loaned many of us a camera or lens in our lifetime. He continually serves as a mentor to many of our employees – providing D.I. education on its technology and history, and consistently leading Sony into battle at every trade show to ensure our latest message is carried through to the end-user.

This inductee brings new meaning to the words “customer focus,” tirelessly walking our customers through any support they may need at any time – nights and weekends typical. He is known as “the face of Sony Digital Imaging,” and the “Professor” to many of us, constantly driving to bring the best possible DI products to our U.S. market. He has also played pivotal roles in the launch and success of unique programs that bring Sony’s DSLR to the next level, including the Premium Service Program and the Artisans of Imagery program. In addition, this inductee is an architect helping to develop the first-ever consumer 4K video shooting eco system to ensure Sony excels at each and every touch point the way only Sony can do.

He is undeniably the ultimate Sony ambassador and industry leader …

All of us at Imaging Resource congratulate Mark for being inducted into Sony's "hall of fame" and for his achievements as the senior technology manager of the U.S. division's Digital Imaging branch in San Diego. We'd also like to thank him for his continued availability for our sometimes very extensive interviews, and for the incredible volume of technical information he's provided us over the years. Hat's off to Mark, it's great to see excellence and dedication rewarded like this.