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Disabling phone camera shutter sound

Hong Kong, China
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36 posts
Disabling phone camera shutter sound
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Hi all

I will be flying to Tokyo next week for a brief vacation. Based on my previous trip to Japan and what I gathered afterwards, it appears that using data-only SIM cards in Japan will activate and prevent you from disabling the phone camera shutter sound as mandated by law. However, I've read online that some people didn't experience this.

1. Are there any known data-only SIM cards which don't have this problem?

2. Will using a portable WiFi router (where the Japan data-only SIM card will be in, instead of my phone) avoid this problem?

I am aware that other solutions include rooting and downloading silent camera apps, but the former isn't available for me (I just bought a Samsung Note 8) and the latter will have a lot of camera features and options missing (very eager to test my dual cameras on my Note 8 during the trip).

Kobe, Japan
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6,947 posts
14 reviews
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1. Re: Disabling phone camera shutter sound
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Why do you want to turn off the sound? I don't think that it's a good idea to discuss on a public travel board about how to break the law.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka, Tokyo
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75,084 posts
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2. Re: Disabling phone camera shutter sound
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I have never heard of data SIM only cards having an effect on the shutter sound selection. My Android phone's shutter sound is always turned off, including when I insert a prepaid Japanese SIM into the device. It might be something device-specific at your end. My understanding was some Samsung device had camera shutter sounds that could not be deactivated regardless. I don't know about newer Samsung devices since I don't use their products anymore.

With all that said, I know nothing about the law in this matter.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Disabling phone camera shutter sound
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I think the OP was asking about disabling his shutter sound to be in COMPLIANCE with the law. He/she is afraid that the Note 8 will not allow them to accomplish this.

Level Contributor
736 posts
4. Re: Disabling phone camera shutter sound
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It's not forced by law, just voluntary restraints by telecommunication industry.

Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Disabling phone camera shutter sound
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If you put your phone in Airplane mode, the sound should be disabled.

Malmo, Sweden
1 post
6. Re: Disabling phone camera shutter sound
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Guys, the camera shutter sound thing is not a law in Japan per se, just some self regulation rules set by the mobile phone companies and carriers themselves, voluntarily. To stop upskirting (taking photo of a woman's "under the skirt" especially popular in crowded trains and escalator rides) - they chose to disable camera shutter sound mute, instead of having proper education and respect for women taught to men/boys (because all men were boys once).

So, it is not a law, and it's not breaking the law. Besides, having a cheap small "soap-box" camera can do the same, and it has an option to mute camera shutter sound, so that's is another point I dub their decision against education, in favour of basic restriction, dubious at best.

I can say that me, living in Japan, using Japanese regular contract SIM card, prevents my outside-of-Japan-bought smartphone from muting built-in camera sound. Even in the airplane mode. But, with this choice gone, so went my outdated notions about modesty - I am not shy anymore to take a photo or a selfie, while my phone announces to the world that I did it.

The words to say if anyone complains - horitsu jya nai - it's not a law. You're not breaking laws taking pics without camera shutter sound. You'd be breaking laws if the content of your pics would be deemed to do so. (Seeming from the first comment, perhaps not even some Japanese people from Japan know that it's not a law. But it's ok, I don't know all of my country's laws either, and I don't need to know them all especially if don't have a problem in that area.)

Tokyo, Japan
1 post
7. Re: Disabling phone camera shutter sound
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I am hoping it goes the other way around as well. I have a Softbank phone that is unlocked and I want to give it to my son in the US and let him use a US SIM card on it. I hope the sound will go away when we put the US SIM card in.

Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
9,010 posts
8. Re: Disabling phone camera shutter sound
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All cell phones for use in Japan have shutter sounds. Loud ones. You can make it "quieter" when it's in the HDR mode, but it's nowhere near silent. I have yet to be able to turn my off, even with it in airplane mode and using in another country. Apple says they can't change it. Then again, my phone isn't sim free, so it's set to Japanese standards.

Oh, well.........

Melbourne, Australia
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1,346 posts
144 reviews
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9. Re: Disabling phone camera shutter sound
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To answer question 2, yes having portable wifi instead of a sim would avoid the problem.

10. Re: Disabling phone camera shutter sound

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