Today I flew from Tokyo to Matsuyama; a flight I have made several times on the same airline. Most recently was last year. The flight is less than 2 hours with some good views so I often get a window seat where I can watch and sometimes take photos. The planes are new and the windows are pristine.
A few minutes after takeoff today I was about to take a photo with my Canon S95, but was stopped by a flight attendant. He told me that photos are not allowed!?! I and others have taken photos out the window in the past. People all over the world routinely do this. Later in the flight when we were high and mostly looking at clouds he came by and told me that photos were now allowed. I asked why, but couldn't quite catch all he said (we were speaking Japanese), but from what I gathered they now consider cameras like mobile phones, computers, etc. I suspect it is because of the recent trend to put wifi in the cameras. Well, a very unfortunate, unintended consequence is that in the 20 minutes at the beginning and again at the end of the flight (the best and often only interesting times) you can't turn on your camera -- even if like mine it doesn't have wifi.
I don't know if it is only this airline or only Japan. Anyone else had this experience?