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Messages - jrista

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1
Also, when you get into these extremes, you need to be shooting in cold, clean alpine air, or humidity and other environmental conditions will wreck your image.

Depends on what your shooting. I have no need to shoot wildlife at 1200mm, 600mm is actually more than plenty. Sometimes deer and the like get so close out of curiosity that I can't even get a shot.

With waders and other larger, shy birds, that might be a problem. Depends on whether where you live is humid or not. I live in Colorado. We've had some hot years, but most of the time it's not blistering (80 degrees or cooler) and it's pretty dry up here in general. The only time I've had problems with water vapor being a problem was when the temperature was near or over 100 degrees...then it's a problem even at 600mm.

The real benefit of 1200mm comes into play when your photographing small birds. With just the 600mm, even at a relatively close distance, with a full frame, they are quite small. Moving to 1200mm with passerines isn't because they are far away...it's just to increase their size relative to the frame, but your still relatively close. More than close enough that water vapor in the air isn't going to be a problem between lens and subject (it might wreck your background boke...but that's a whole different deal.)

2
For me, the maximum focal length that still allows autofocus is important.
I have the 600 II with a 5D3 so can use autofocus at 1200mm at f/8 with a 2x extender. The 800mm f/5.6 can only autofocus with the 1.4 extender (1120 mm at f/8). All things considered, I like the flexibility offered by the 600 f/4 versus the 800 f/5.6.

Same here, I like being able to use 1200mm f/8 when I need to, and for a lot of the birds I shoot, it's necessary.

However, I do suspect that the 800/5.6 + 1.4x will produce better IQ than the 600/4 + 2x...and for some people, having that extra bit of IQ is everything. I know of some bird photographers who refuse to use teleconverters, ever, period, because they don't like how it affects their sharpness.

3

These lenses, now that they are so light, are eminently hand holdable. I hand hold my 600/4 II all the time, with and without a 1.4x TC. The IS is invaluable for hand-held work like that. Even when used on a tripod, there are things, like vibrations caused by wind, that IS is still useful for.

I thought all the whites version II had an detection inside to find out if they are used on a tripod, and if that's the case then IS would be switched off. Or am I wrong ?

The "tripod sensing" really just checks for a certain minimal mount of vertical shake, and if the shake is below that threshold, it throttles IS. If you have wind vibrating the lens, that usually pushes the shake above that threshold, and IS will still operate. Personally, I just use IS Mode 3, and I've never changed it. It works when I need it to, and that's all that matters.

4
What sense does it make to put IS on such a big lens that would likely always be mounted on a tripod where IS is not needed? Or even not recommended?  Is use of a monopod assumed to be the most frequent user choice?   Certainly hand-held, where IS would be most helpful, doesn't seem practical because of quick fatigue with such a big lens.

These lenses, now that they are so light, are eminently hand holdable. I hand hold my 600/4 II all the time, with and without a 1.4x TC. The IS is invaluable for hand-held work like that. Even when used on a tripod, there are things, like vibrations caused by wind, that IS is still useful for.

5
Canon General / Re: A Rundown of EOS 7D Mark II Information
« on: August 19, 2014, 10:29:28 PM »
But they have even made statements, on video tape and shown on youtube and such, where they have been caught saying stuff like why in the world do we need to bother putting out a high performance FF body, sure we can we are kings, but we are kings so we have no need, Nikon doesn't even have a FF so why do we need to bother, we will sit, we have no need. I mean they obviously could've charged forward back some years ago and just made Nikon look beyond silly, but they played conservative instead (maybe it's just as well though as Nikon might have been barely around by now and maybe with little pressure it would be ages for Canon to ever think about improving DR and such).

Your going to have to actually back that up with some links to those actual videos. There is no way Canon would have that stance in any official capacity. I could understand some idiot boneheaded employee voicing his own personal opinion, but Canon officially having that stance sounds ludicrous to me.

That's the same as your "Some random Canon rep at some random conference said such and such." That's just hearsay, and it's highly doubtful the rep's opinion reflect's Canon's actual business plan.

i am saying that I don't think it was the engineers who wanted to put in silly little limits on min auto iso shutter speeds and so on and so forth, it's the other guys who tend to order that kinda stuff to be done and in some cases the other also do tell them to sit on stuff so they can milk the current stuff more (it's all a balance, don't sit long enough leave a bit of money on the table, sit way too long and totally blow it long or even semi-short term)

I'm a software engineer myself. I've been doing this job for two decades. I've worked for a lot of companies, big, small, highly ambitious and just plain stupid. The one consistent theme from all of them? THEY ALL ASK FOR WAY TOO MUCH!! :P Management people at competitive companies always have endless lists of things they want their engineers to do. It's a never ending parade of "Why isn't this done yet? We demanded that feature six months ago?! And where is the one from six months before that?!?!?" All the while, most of these corporations, all but those with the most ingenious and clever people in management who know how to actually manage and get things done, the management at these companies fails to realize that the continual overload of demands is what ultimately mucks up the works. One week Item A is the top priority, it absolutely without question MUST get done! Of course, the next week, Item B is the top priority, completely trumping Item A, and of course, it absolutely without question MUST get done! And so on, and so forth, week after week, month after month, year after year, companies that can't quite manage their goals, their demands, their production flow...never actually get anything done. Hmm...Atari? Amiga? Kodak? Nokia?

Canon, on the other hand, does get S___ done. They are not a fast paced company, but they do achieve their goals. So does Nikon, actually, although at a faster...and in my opinion, more schizophrenic manner...and in a manner that has NOT improved their bottom line. But why do Canon and Nikon get things done? Because they know where to cut. Because they know where to stop or hold back or slow down. These are ESSENTIAL traits of successful companies...ones that don't crumble from the inside by sheer overload, not an indication of some evil executive mentality that just want's to milk their customers dry. They know where to say no. They know when they are tapped out, and cannot add any more load to teams of engineers, designers, manufacture, whoever, that are already working at capacity.

In Canon's case, it's slow and steady, the tried and true. They are a more conservative company, so one shouldn't expect them to crank out new high end camera models every year. As far as Canon is concerned, from what I can gather about them via their public business practices, they don't like to shake things up that are working. Neither should they...things are working! A content beast is a beast slow to move.

Nikon also knows the same thing. Just like Canon, they know where to cut. Nikon just cut different things. Instead of allocating their internal resources to the features and functionality of their products they deem most critical to their success, like Canon has likely done with say Auto ISO on lower end cameras...Nikon chose to cut out entire business processes like sensor manufacture and farm the bulk of that out to third parties. Nikon's business approach is quick and dirty...keep iterating on products and keep cranking em out. Of course...that's quick...and dirty. As evidenced by common themes that keep arising with Nikon's DSLRs....oil spots on the sensor, white spots on the D810, AF problems with the D800, etc. (Often many of these issues went unrecognized and unsupported by Nikon for months on end.)

Nikon's approach certainly gave them an edge in the short term. The real question is who's will maintain and grow revenues in the long term? Canon's policy has been very successful for the long term...however the one thing you've said that I agree with: They seem to be sitting on patents. SEEM being the operative word there...maybe they aren't, maybe it's just Canon's slower cycle that makes it seem that way. However if that doesn't change, then long term I think Canon could indeed face the same fate as Nokia and Kodak (at least in the photographic division...Canon has a lot of other lucrative businesses in the imaging world).

Still, back to the same old point...just because Canon has not actually implemented some of the patented technology they own does not mean they are doing it for the express purpose of trying to hold back features to keep customers coming back for more in future product releases. I think that's a ludicrous concept, and given how the management at all the various diverse companies I've worked for are always constantly shoving ideas and goals and plans and new features and new products down their engineers faces on a continuous basis, I think most companies would find it ludicrous as well. In the case of an innovative company like Canon, some technology proves to be too expensive to implement with current manufacturing capabilities and capacities. Some technology simply isn't viable. Some technology may be sound, but not necessarily competitive. I don't even believe Nokia or Kodak did that. Those companies had major internal communications disconnects. The left hand wasn't talking to the right...or worse, the left hand did not WANT to talk to the right. Internal turf wars and political battles are really what killed Nokia. All the while, while those turf wars and petty political games were going on, certain divisions just kept on plugging away....R&D centers just kept on innovating. They created some amazing technology, but because of their pettyness, higher level management was either blind to the powerful patent library they actually had, or were too deadlocked or distracted or just plain dumb to put it to good use.

I don't think Canon is that kind of company. They innovate and produce products with their innovation...it's just at a slower pace than some of their competitors. At least, so it has seemed for a while now. I'm hoping that's still the case, that the 7D II and 5D IV (or whatever is next, maybe a BigMP camera) will be game changers for Canon. I hope Don is right about Canon winding down fabrication capacity on their better, newer fabs for point and shoot camera sensors, and reallocating it for APS-C and FF sensors. The next year or so will tell us what Canon has up their sleeve, and whether they bring more of the technology in their patent library to bear or not.

6
Canon General / Re: A Rundown of EOS 7D Mark II Information
« on: August 19, 2014, 08:34:21 PM »
Does anyone else have a full sensor full of dual-pixel phase-detection capable pixels?

Not yet. However, based on some of the patents and other announcements of technology that have floated through the imagesensorsworld blog, Omnivision and Sony, and I think maybe Fuji, all seem to have competition for DPAF in the works.

I think most of that stuff is for small form factor sensors, and a lot of those sensors are now being directed towards the automotive market (high res, wide field, rear-view video cameras have suddenly become booming business and everyone wants a piece of it), but one of them, maybe Omni?, was saying they were making a larger format sensor with a form of dual-pixel technology.

Massively competitive market out there...

7
Canon General / Re: A Rundown of EOS 7D Mark II Information
« on: August 19, 2014, 08:29:59 PM »
Image stabilization ... no Canon invention.

"The Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM (Japan)[255] of 1995 was the first interchangeable lens with built-in image stabilization"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_photographic_lens_design#The_image_stabilized_lens

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Ultrasonic AF drive .. no Canon invention.

"Canon was the first camera maker to successfully commercialise the USM technology."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EF_lens_mount#Ultrasonic_motor_drive

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Hi-def video in DSLRs .. hardly much of an innovation.

It practically created a whole industry over night.

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Those who need it shall buy proper video cams. Should not be forced on regular DSLR buyers.

Show me a full-frame video camera at the cost of the 5DII when it was released.  Forcing it on regular DSLR buyers reduces the cost of the bodies substantially.

And, diffractive optics.


Totally agree. Canon has been a highly innovative company for decades. The simple fact that they were successful in making a diffractive optics lens is an amazing feat, given that they were pretty much a laughing stock among high end optics companies for even trying.

Even where Canon was not the first to innovate something, or the first to use it in SLR/DSLR/digital camera equipment, they were very often the first to make features viable and bring them to the masses at reasonable cost (i.e. AF with EOS.)

It's pretty amazing how one single thing, not having two additional stops of low ISO sensor DR, is all it took for everyone to forget all the other innovations, technological advancements, and general leadership in the industry Canon has made throughout their history as a photography company.  ::)

8
Lenses / Re: Development Announcement of a New 800mm f/5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: August 19, 2014, 04:21:37 PM »
...dreaming that Canon will come out with:

800mm 5.6 L IS II
- Build in extender (possibly 1.4x)...
- MFD 5m
- Weight around the 600mm IS II
- pricewise close to the new Nikon 800mm

You WANT the new 800 to be more expensive? The Nikon is like $18,000...Canon's is currently $13,500. If the price hit around the same as Nikon's new 800mm, that would be a 33% increase in price. I'd hope they would keep any cost increase down to at most 20%...which would mean a price around $16,200.

9
Lenses / Re: Development Announcement of a New 800mm f/5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: August 19, 2014, 04:07:22 PM »
Yay !  Another opportunity to push the price up by 25%

What exactly is up with the currently massively priced lens that's just 6 years old ?

It's been one-upped by both Nikon's new 800/5.6 and Canon's own 600/4 L II? :P

Fundamentally, I think Canon wants to get all their great white L series telephotos on the same playing field...the 800 introduced the large fluorite elements, but it is a bit behind the rest of the lineup in terms of all the other build factors and overall IQ.

10
Lenses / Re: Development Announcement of a New 800mm f/5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: August 19, 2014, 03:15:29 PM »
Is there any big performance gain to be had, or is it a question of it being half a kilogram lighter and two thousand dollars more expensive? Don't get me wrong though, the weight savings is surely worth it for some.

Jim

I'm not sure if there will be a significant weight difference. I think the 800 f/5.6 L was the first to use the fluorite lens design, although I don't know that it's barrel design used the lighter/stronger materials. If there is any weight reduction, I think it would be small.

There was quite a significant difference in IQ, particularly in the corners, between the old and new Mark II lenses for the 300 through 600 lenses, though. They are amazingly sharp, even with teleconverters attached. The 600/4 II with a 1.4xIII TC is on par with, if not better than, the old 800/5.6, so I would expect the IQ improvement on the 800/5.6 II to surpass the quality of the 600/4II+1.4xIII.

And who knows, maybe Canon will find a way to reduce weight even more. They have competition from Nikon on that front now as well, so they may have something up their sleeve.

It appears the 800mm has a protective front element, as did the previous versions of the 500, 600, etc. Removal of this in the mark IIs decreased weight - per Brian at TDP. That plus a little off the barrel/different materials could shave off 500g, taking it to 4kg. That would be reasonable, I'd say.

Ah, yeah, removal of the protective meniscus would reduce weight. And a 500g savings would be pretty significant overall, given how light the first 800/5.6 was.

11
Canon General / Re: A Rundown of EOS 7D Mark II Information
« on: August 19, 2014, 03:13:11 PM »
You seem to have only "heard", I am guessing third hand, about these "things" that "must" occur in companies like Canon.

Wrong. First and second hand as well as third hand.


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Your throwing FAR too broad a net over "marketers" if your definition is that broad.

As I said I did cast a pretty wide net with the term.
And many who are not strictly in some official marketing department make marketing-type decisions all the time.





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There isn't some evil force at a company like Canon snickering in a corner office somewhere, saying: "Meheheheeee. Let's....REMOVE AFMA from the 40D! Yeah! That'll keep em coming back to the 50D!! Yeah! That'll sell us some more cammies!! MEEEHEHEHEHEHEEEE!"

actually there can be and no it is not ludicrous

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That kind of thinking is BAD for business.

it can be in the long run, many are too driven by the short term, or make calculations and decide they can weather this and that and despite negative reactions it won't hurt in the end etc.

companies are far from always perfectly and ideally run, big players become small players, companies disappear




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I don't believe anyone at Canon is purposely forcing engineers to "muck it all up", forcing them to delay features, etc.

Stuff like that has happened at Lucent at times. It happened at Atari and CBM and on and on and on and on. (specifically being careful to mention companies that are no longer around or not in any remote form as they used to be just to keep it safe)
You must be kidding if you think management never tells engineering to sit on stuff and hold off.


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Canon may have certain rules about features that they intend to keep "premium", such as AF-point linked metering. That's a simple business decision, not some evil plot to milk their customers for all they are worth,

it depends upon the specifics and how you see it

The only time I've ever heard management ever tell an engineering team to hold off on anything, was when a scheduled production or RTM date was in jeopardy. Most of the time, it's the other way around, management is always pushing for more, better, faster, better! It's a hypercompetitive world out there, not just on a domestic scale but now on a global scale. Any company, particularly one in a position like Canon, would be suicidal to purposefully limit the functionality of any product FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF "trying to keep their customers coming back for more in future models."

That's what I'm arguing against...the notion that Canon is holding back features to attract customers to future product releases. That is what I find excessively naive. There may be LEGITIMATE business reasons why Canon might delay a feature. The largest of those, in my humble yet educated opinion, is when a product release date may slip. It's one thing to hold off on tertiary features to make a release, and another thing to hold off on critical or essential features. The 1D X was delayed not because they were specially adding AF-linked metering to it...it was delayed because they were working on the AF system, a fundamentally critical system of the camera. Ultimately, if getting the AF system working period in a reasonable timeframe after their "paper announcement" meant holding off on making AF-linked metering to work, I'm sure Canon would have made that decision. But that would be a BUSINESS decision, one that affects the health of the company and their reputation in general...it wouldn't be some snivling underhanded attempt to pre-garner future sales on the 1D X II. That's just a ludicrous, backwards way of thinking about things.

Now, can management teams make bad decisions? Certainly! You named a few companies that had plain and simple bad management, little foresight, a poor competitive edge, and ultimately failed because of it. Amiga is an excellent example of a company that just had crappy management...people who did not know how to formulate a product line that would compete in a changing market. At least, they didn't figure it out until much too late in the game. A significant part of that problem was developing the AmigaOS...there were difficulties in developing that for the RISC platform, which lead to very long development cycles, ultimately resulting in AmigaOS falling far behind Windows on the PC. The other problem with Amiga was the simple fact that it WAS built on RISC processors...Motorola RISC processors specifically. When Motorola left that market, Amiga was left high and dry. The only other real option a the time was PA-RISC, but given the difficulties in developing AmigaOS in the first place, a move to PA-RISC ultimately never occurred. Amiga management missed their window of opportunity, their product was selling extremely well in Europe until the bottom simply fell out, and they never really got a solid foothold in the US. Amiga management did not take the PC competition seriously until it was too late, then they were too inflexible, because of processor architecture, poor product design, etc. to be able to compete with the lightning pace at which the PC evolved from the late 80's/early 90's through the early 2000's.

However, failing to be competitive because you built a rigid system architecture and did not really recognize your most significant threat until it was too late, is different than purposely gimping your products to "bring your customers back for more in the 'next release' of Product X". The former is just bad management...and that does happen. The latter is just plain idiotic and terribly bad economic and business practice, and is GUARANTEED to ruin your company. It would take the most incompetent of management staff to come up with an idea like that, to purposely withhold features in a COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE with the unproven hope that you'll somehow keep your current customers and bring them, as well as new customers, back for more with the next round of releases. In reality, the exact opposite is going to happen...a competitor is going to leverage your idiocy for their own benefit, and steal all your customers away.

To be strait up, I DO NOT believe that Canon management is incompetent on that level. If they were, they wouldn't be the world's top digital camera seller, and they wouldn't be raking in billions in revenue every year. I have no doubt that Canon knows what their primary competitive weaknesses are, and I have hopes that they have already addressed them, and I know for a fact that if they have not, they ARE addressing them (the multi-layered sensor patents, for example, are a good solid indication that Canon is innovating in the sensor market.) I think Canon is smart enough to know where they should be investing their resources, and I think they are smart enough to know what features they CAN "hold hostage" to a premium product model without losing customers over it. In that respect, clearly, AF-linked metering is one of the features that Canon currently believes they can keep as a premium feature only on the 1D line. That could very well change...Canon certainly changed their stance on f/8 AF by putting it in the 5D III...but there was a very vocal call for that first. I heard far more about getting f/8 AF on the 5D III than I've ever heard about people demanding AF-point linked metering.

As an action shooter who relies on the AF system heavily, I personally have never actually found a need for it, however I learned how to shoot from the pros....like Art Morris, Alan Murphy, etc. and when it comes to exposure, I control it. A couple very simple techniques make it a lot easier to nail exposure every time such that a meter isn't even necessary. In a context like sports in a stadium, you can just figure out your baseline and simply compensate from there, since artificial lighting illuminates the playing field from pretty much every angle. You can always reset to the same baseline, and adjust aperture/shutter as necessary for the DOF you want.

Canon isn't a petty corporation. They are not a corporation utterly driven by the short term (if they were, they wouldn't be one of THE MOST innovative companies in the world.)

I am pretty sure Canon knows what the competition is doing and where the competition is winning. The only question is WHEN will they address it. The 7D II will be the first major indicator of that, and after that, the 5D IV will be the final indicator. If Canon hasn't started competing on the sensor IQ front by the time the 5D IV hits...then I'll have to reevaluate my opinion of their management, because sensor IQ is by far, by orders of magnitude, more important to their customers than AF-linked metering or Auto ISO functionality. It is the single most verbalized issue with Canon's photographic products. Canon will either listen to their customer's collective voice (and they have done just that on many occasions in the past)...or they will ignore it. I don't think Canon is another Amiga...Amiga really had terrible management. However Canon may be too comfortable, they may just be riding the wave of past success...and that could be a problem. (However, that STILL doesn't mean Canon's management is sitting in their corner offices plotting ways they can keep their customers coming back for more by withholding features...that would be SUICIDE for them in the current market environment!)

12
Lenses / Re: Development Announcement of a New 800mm f/5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: August 19, 2014, 02:37:34 PM »
Which year was current 800mm f/5.6 lens released? Probably don't long ago. If so, do you think will be soon announcement of new shorter big whites like 300, 400,...

I'm just curious. Don't have money at the moment for neither of them. ;)

The 300/2.8, 400/2.8, 500/4, and 600/4 have all been updated over the last couple of years. They ARE new, and they are all using current, cutting edge optical technology. Given that the prior versions lasted for over half a decade at least, and if you go back to the original optical design before IS was added, over a decade...I don't think we'll be seeing any more new great white after the 800 is updated for quite some time.

If you want a 300 or 400, you'll just have to shell out the cash. They are truly pheonomenal lenses, and I don't think I've ever seen a sharper lens than the 300 f/2.8 L II...that sucker will make you bleed! :P

13
Lenses / Re: Development Announcement of a New 800mm f/5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: August 19, 2014, 02:35:05 PM »
Is there any big performance gain to be had, or is it a question of it being half a kilogram lighter and two thousand dollars more expensive? Don't get me wrong though, the weight savings is surely worth it for some.

Jim

I'm not sure if there will be a significant weight difference. I think the 800 f/5.6 L was the first to use the fluorite lens design, although I don't know that it's barrel design used the lighter/stronger materials. If there is any weight reduction, I think it would be small.

There was quite a significant difference in IQ, particularly in the corners, between the old and new Mark II lenses for the 300 through 600 lenses, though. They are amazingly sharp, even with teleconverters attached. The 600/4 II with a 1.4xIII TC is on par with, if not better than, the old 800/5.6, so I would expect the IQ improvement on the 800/5.6 II to surpass the quality of the 600/4II+1.4xIII.

And who knows, maybe Canon will find a way to reduce weight even more. They have competition from Nikon on that front now as well, so they may have something up their sleeve.

14
Canon General / Re: A Rundown of EOS 7D Mark II Information
« on: August 19, 2014, 12:02:31 AM »
What concrete evidence do you have that the Canon marketing department had "them" do anything? That makes no logical sense. I've worked for a number of very large companies, and dealt with marketing people. NOT ONCE has a marketing person EVER told me what to do. The politics in most large companies simply won't allow that kind of thing to happen. Such a demand would have to go through umpteen channels, up then down then up again when the demand steps on someone elses turf and gets kicked back.

Well it depends upon what exactly you mean by the marketing term.
I just mean as opposed to the engineers.
I seriously doubt any engineer would think oh gee I better remove this MFA I just spent this time perfecting from the 40D. Or gee I better make sure to limit the fast min shutter speed in the 5D3 AutoISO Av shutter speed to happen to be just low enough to not really be useful even though it would have taken, if anything a few seconds less time, to have not put the limit in at all.

I seen and heard tale of all too many times where the whole MBA/manager/marketing types just come in and force the engineers to muck it all up. Or keep saying, no not yet, not yet, not yet, gotta milk more, gotta milk more.

And they do come up with all sort of schemes to calculate how they can minimize what they give without quite pushing people over the edge of leaving, which can be very annoying to those trying to push tech forward.

It's a totally different mindset.



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From what I've found and read about MFA in older cameras (40D, 30D), it was something that may have been designed just for service center use. Assuming that's the case, then the functionality was included in the 40D, but not as a consumer function. As someone who has used BackyardEOS, an astrophotography software tool, for about six months now, I can attest to the fact that Canon includes a LOT of functionality in their firmware that is not directly accessible by menu options in the camera. When you dig into the Canon APIs, you learn that a whole range of awesome things are possible using it.

from what I heard it didn't seem to be that sort of thing at all, but basically what they put in the higher level cam and later the 50D


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You can hook into that functionality via the API and do cool things...but then your on your own, as you rightly should be. So sorry, don't buy and never will buy the line that Canon Marketing is the sole reason that certain features of their cameras are disabled. That kind of thinking steps from a mentality steeped in anticoproration crap, and I honestly cannot stand that sort of thing. It's naive. Go work in a large company  like Canon for a year...the politics and turf and dominions wars will make your ears and eyes bleed...

How is it naive, as you just said, it will make your ears and eyes bleed (at least if you are in engineering).

Maybe you are reading too much into my use of marketing, thinking I mean a single person who is preparing some ad campaign or a few reps who go to trade shows. I was casting a very, very wide net with how I was using the term.

You seem to have only "heard", I am guessing third hand, about these "things" that "must" occur in companies like Canon. I've worked for some very large corporations in the past, and no one guy or no one group in one division has ultimate veto power over another division. You don't have a marketing group (and, BTW, most major companies have exactly that, a marketing group that puts together the companies entire public image) trumping the engineering group for ANY reason. The management team of the engineering group simply wouldn't allow it. Your throwing FAR too broad a net over "marketers" if your definition is that broad. You seem to simply mean "business people", and that is just plain and simply too general to be meaningful, and I am guessing that's the intent.

"Marketers" don't rule Canon. They aren't dictating to the engineers what to or not to put into or take out of a product. Product engineers are going to decide that, and they will usually be part of the overarching engineering teams, R&D, etc. In my experience, higher ups, upper management and executive types, don't want to know all the specific little nuanced details about the work that is being done. They often don't want to know the details at all. They want to know that they have a solid product that will sell. Those executives rely on other levels of management to manage all the details, who they themselves will usually rely on other levels of management to handle different groups of details, and they in turn will usually rely on other levels of management to actually handle the people making the details happen. There isn't some evil force at a company like Canon snickering in a corner office somewhere, saying: "Meheheheeee. Let's....REMOVE AFMA from the 40D! Yeah! That'll keep em coming back to the 50D!! Yeah! That'll sell us some more cammies!! MEEEHEHEHEHEHEEEE!"

Sorry...that's just ludicrous. It's backasswards economics. It's backasswards marketing. It's backasswards management. It's just plain backasswards period. That's not how the organisms that are big companies think. That kind of thinking is BAD for business. Maybe that kind of thing worked a few decades ago, but customers are savvy people these days. Corporate juggernaughts like Google can't even slip by clever snaky wording in their EULA's any more, because you have EULA hawks EVERYWHERE picking those things apart. You can't accidentally serve a hair in a salad at any high end restaurant and hope to survive anymore, because you have scathing eaterie reviewers out there who hunt around for just that kind of thing. And all of these people blog, or are journalists, or something...the majority have twitter, and they all use those internet outlets to call out companies when they are REALLY caught doing something nasty like that. Companies aren't going to pull the wool over their customers eyes anymore. The internet has changed the game, customers have far more power today to stop underhanded tactics like that, simply by being vocal, and secondarily by voting with their wallets when people at large are vocal about something particularly underhanded done by one company or another.

So sorry, but nah. Office politics PREVENT some unit, say "marketers", from dominating the rest of the company. The management staff of an R&D unit or other engineering unit aren't just going to lay down and say "Aww, oh, ok, fine."...they FIGHT! I've seen some crazy office politics and hardcore inter-departmental fights in my time. Everyone has their domain, their turf, and they don't just let people walk all over it for no good reason. I don't believe anyone at Canon is purposely forcing engineers to "muck it all up", forcing them to delay features, etc. Canon may have certain rules about features that they intend to keep "premium", such as AF-point linked metering. That's a simple business decision, not some evil plot to milk their customers for all they are worth, based on the simple fact that, given it's been over a decade, and people buying Rebels and xxD's plain and simply don't seem to care. Owners of the 7D and 5D lines have been a little vocal about getting that feature, however I only know of a handful of people who complain about it a lot. AF-point linked metering falls into like 12th place after a long line of other things people would prefer Canon improve (including, apparently, the addition of a touch ui to all pro-grade DSLRs), all of which come after improved sensor IQ. Maybe someday Canon implements better metering...but my suspicion is the first thing they are going to invest time and money into is the thing people ask for most by a significant margin. If Canon was purposely gimping features for some underhanded purpose, either in an effort to be anticompetitive or somehow "keep customers coming back for more" (although how that would possibly work, when the digital camera market place is chock full of heated competition meaning most consumers, who are the vast bulk of the bottom line, can just jump ship and move to another brand on a moments notice when a bunch of reviewers tell them to...I don't know), someone would have gathered up a bunch of evidence and outed them by now. I mean, for christ sake, your saying Canon has purposely been withholding features for the express purpose of milking their customers for all their worth...for a decade. The internet would have destroyed them for that by now, if it was actually indeed occurring.

15
Canon General / Re: A Rundown of EOS 7D Mark II Information
« on: August 18, 2014, 07:52:34 PM »
In the first case it's a direct quote from a Canon guy at a show in Europe.

I'm not doubting that a Canon employee at a trade show might say something like that. I just doubt that he would have any access to the information to justify such a statement. Canon has never been enthusiastic about AFMA. I think they see it as a way for customers to really screw up their camera settings and create extra work for their service centers. I think they dropped it from the 60D because they viewed it as a consumer product and didn't want the headaches. I suspect they took so much grief for doing that they they decided with the 70D to just bite and bullet and include it.

This seems far more logical to me than some kind of secret conspiracy at Canon to keep their customers buying upgraded cameras. I honestly cannot see Canon purposefully screwing their customers over for an extra buck. Historically, that has the opposite effect...you piss your customers off, and they go elsewhere for their needs.

And yet 40D MFA code got disabled.
Marketing had them cripple the min shutter speed for AutoISO Av on the 5D3 for no sane reason.
etc.

What concrete evidence do you have that the Canon marketing department had "them" do anything? That makes no logical sense. I've worked for a number of very large companies, and dealt with marketing people. NOT ONCE has a marketing person EVER told me what to do. The politics in most large companies simply won't allow that kind of thing to happen. Such a demand would have to go through umpteen channels, up then down then up again when the demand steps on someone elses turf and gets kicked back.

Sorry, but I find the whole notion that Canon Marketing is making demands of the engineering or product development side of Canon to be laughable.

From what I've found and read about MFA in older cameras (40D, 30D), it was something that may have been designed just for service center use. Assuming that's the case, then the functionality was included in the 40D, but not as a consumer function. As someone who has used BackyardEOS, an astrophotography software tool, for about six months now, I can attest to the fact that Canon includes a LOT of functionality in their firmware that is not directly accessible by menu options in the camera. When you dig into the Canon APIs, you learn that a whole range of awesome things are possible using it.

It does indeed seem as though there are a number of features included that may be explicitly intended for service center use. I don't know why they are restricted, but Canon certainly has their reasons...and I am HIGHLY skeptical that the reason is simply: The marketing department somehow thinks that purposely gimping cameras is going to attract more customers. A lot of that functionality probably support's Canon's testing and diagnostic utilities that are used when you send a camera in for repair, and a lot of that functionality should probably NOT be accessible by consumers using the menu system of the camera.

You can hook into that functionality via the API and do cool things...but then your on your own, as you rightly should be. So sorry, don't buy and never will buy the line that Canon Marketing is the sole reason that certain features of their cameras are disabled. That kind of thinking steps from a mentality steeped in anticoproration crap, and I honestly cannot stand that sort of thing. It's naive. Go work in a large company  like Canon for a year...the politics and turf and dominions wars will make your ears and eyes bleed...

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