April 19, 2014, 07:13:34 PM

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Messages - unfocused

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1
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Samyang Teases Some New Lenses
« on: April 18, 2014, 01:08:55 PM »
When is someone going to make a wide angle lens (16 - 35 or there abouts) for Canon EF mount that doesn't suck, doesn't cost the earth and has auto-focus?
Tokina makes a 16-28mm F2.8 quite interesting, which costs $629.

The Tokina 16-28/2.8 is an EF-S lens, not EF.

No it isn't. The 11-16/2.8 is EF-S (But mounts on full frame). The 16-28 f2.8 is full frame.

2
EOS Bodies / Re: 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 17, 2014, 11:37:24 PM »
My take away: Technology marches on. Physics not so much.

The headroom that is available for technological improvements is getting ever closer to the ceiling set by physics. So, from a practical standpoint, we may see some slight improvements in ISO performance from the next generation of 7D, but it won't match the performance of the last APS-H sensor Canon made.

Now, let me back up and say that we should all acknowledge just how good all the modern sensors are. If you can't take a great picture with any Canon or Nikon DSLR it is due to your own shortcomings, not the camera's.

It should be stipulated that this discussion, like almost all on this forum, is dealing with the margins. Small differences that won't affect most of us under most conditions. That's important because every once and awhile someone will assert that this or that camera or sensor is worthless. It's also important because we may refer to a particular camera as a "sports" camera, a "low-light" camera, a "high resolution" camera etc. etc., but that merely describes one characteristic of the camera and should not imply that it in any way limits its usability for other applications.

I started this thread because of curiosity about the upper limits of what could be expected out of a new 7DII sensor. We won't know the specifics until something is announced, but frankly, knowing what the limits are should help us set reasonable expectations and provide a basis for informed speculation about what such a camera might look like – until, of course, we actually see one announced.
Since I am now a 5DIII owner, I suppose I should not care. But I do. I still have a tremendous fondness for the 7D, but more importantly, I can still see it as a very useful option. I know my own financial limits and I seriously doubt those limits will allow me to own any Canon beyond 400mm. I may purchase the Tamron 600mm zoom, but no $4,000 lenses are in my future.
 
Also, not likely to be going on any $10,000 safaris pretty much assures me that I am likely to be distance limited under most circumstances. So, the reach of a good APS-C sensor inside of an excellent 7DII body with great autofocus, etc., etc., has its appeal.
...but I think you might be overlooking an important consideration for market differentiation-- video. That could surely influence sensor strategy as well.
You are correct. This has been a very "stills-centric" discussion and one of the unknowns is just how much emphasis Canon will place on video in the 7DII. That could totally upset the speculative apple cart.


3
EOS Bodies / Re: 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 17, 2014, 05:14:47 PM »

Finally, there is the one caveat that actually does give smaller sensors the edge. Or rather, to be more accurate, the caveat that gives smaller pixels the edge. Reach. The much-vaunted reach factor. The only case where a smaller sensor can give you a performance edge is when you are literally reach limited. You cannot use a longer lens, and you cannot physically move closer. You are either blocked by some active barrier, at the shore of a body of water, or moving closer would scare away your subject.

Yes, and this is exactly where I see the path dividing in the woods, so to speak.

I used to be an advocate for keeping the pixel density of the 7D at or about where it is currently and trying to score slight improvements in noise performance, etc. But your posts have convinced me that there simply isn't that much headroom available.

So, lately, I've been speculating about the possibility that Canon might return to the megapixel race in the next 7D (or at least match their competition).

Why? Because wildlife/bird/sports etc. photographers are often distance limited and, as you say, reach is an advantage for crop sensors.

Here is where I think it boils down to market research. Canon will release a sensor with the pixel density determined primarily by which they think will sell more 7DIIs -- not exactly a brilliant insight, I know.

But, they can't produce a sensor that violates the laws of physics – even if that is the sensor most of us want. 

So, I thought it worthwhile (and possibly entertaining) to contemplate what those technological limits might be and how that might influence the next round of flagship crop bodies to come out (both Canon and Nikon).
Jon, do you see a market for the 7DII except for those high-end shooters looking for reach?
If they want quality they have the 3 FF cameras.
If they are looking for value they have the 70D.

If Canon wants to replace the 1D (and IMO that's the only reason for 7DII to exist), Canon will try to replicate the IQ as close as possible. And that will mean lower MPs.
Note that Canon was pretty conservative with increasing megapixels on their 1D line.
They must have noticed people who want reach are wiling to sacrifice resolution for light sensitivity.
Mind you, the difference between APS-H and C isn't as much as with FF, so innovation in sensor light-sensitivity might well allow the newer APS-Cs (maybe not 7D though, if it still has the 70D sensor) to trounce the 1D line.

Interesting. I think we are following similar logic, but I'm seeing more megapixels and you are seeing less (which I would actually prefer, but don't think is likely)

4
EOS Bodies / Re: 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 17, 2014, 02:13:15 PM »
Thanks, Jon Rista for trying to put this back on track.

Apparently some don't get why this matters. If physics really does limit how well an APS-C sensor can perform at higher ISOs (and I have no reason to doubt you on that), then the direction Canon decides to go with the 7DII sensor will tell us much about what the company thinks about the future of high-end crop sensor DSLRs.

If Canon were to release a 16mp 7DII, they are saying something quite different than if they release a 22-24 mp 7DII.

The relevant question for Canon is most likely to be – which one will generate more demand in the marketplace?

Many would say the 16mp sensor, which should have better high ISO performance than the current 18mp sensor. In effect, Canon would be following the same path with its flagship APS-C body that both they and Nikon have followed with their flagship full-frame bodies.

But, what really would be the demand for such a body – a good, maybe even great all-purpose crop body, but still not as good as the almost identically priced 6D in terms of high ISO performance. The 6D would be a better all-purpose body; and would there be sufficient differentiation between the two in the marketplace?

Or Canon could go the other way and release a 24mp crop sensor body -- essentially conceding the high ISO niche to full frame. Would this camera find a bigger market?

While the relative advantages of a crop sensor for reach have been much debated, almost everyone concedes that in cases where the shooter is distance limited and significant cropping is required, pixel density does matter. You will always reach some point where there simply aren't enough pixels to give you a usable image.

So, why the reference to the 1D IV? Because that was the point at which Canon abandoned the sensor that many argue passionately was the ideal compromise between size and reach.  We can't assess or intelligently speculate without first knowing what the constraints are.

If the ISO performance of the APS-H sensor can never be achieved with the smaller APS-C sensor, then Canon must decide which path to go down.

So, unlike the many, many threads where individuals focus solely on what they want and assign human motives to a large corporation (Canon doesn't care...Canon doesn't listen...Canon had better do this...) this is simply an effort to explore what the reasonable expectations may be, so that it gives us a better idea of what choices Canon is facing and, when they announce their decision, we have a better idea of where the market is going.

5
Canon General / Re: "MAP" pricing....How long will it last????
« on: April 16, 2014, 11:04:22 PM »
...I see the downside to massive internet retailers like Amazon, that have little to no investment in the community. They don't pay the taxes that support schools, roads, police, etc. etc.

On the other hand, like most consumers, I am interested in maximizing my purchasing power.

To the extent that sales taxes support community services, Amazon is now collecting them on behalf of many states (mine included).   Even without that, consumers in most states are obligated to pay use tax on items purchased from another state and intended for use in the home state.  I'm sure all law-abiding citizens declare such purchases on their state tax returns...  ::)

Amazon started collecting California sales tax last year.  I would think that states where Amazon has distribution centers are paying state and local taxes as well.

Actually, I wasn't referring to sales taxes, but to the whole investment in the community that brick and mortar stores have.

Even national retailers like Best Buy or Barnes and Noble contribute far more to local economies than Amazon. Through their network of local stores, they hire local workers, pay salaries, payroll taxes, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, etc., Their stores pay local property taxes, which support local schools.

The local payroll circulates through the local economy, helping other local businesses, including photographers, stay in business.

Sales taxes are paid by the consumer and are only collected by the stores. The individual still owes the taxes, regardless of whether or not the retailer collected the, so those taxes aren't really relevant.

As I said, I'm conflicted because, like most consumers, I'm short-sighted enough to go for the best price whenever possible. But, that doesn't make me blind to the downsides of an internet-based economy.

6
EOS Bodies / Re: 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 16, 2014, 10:52:12 PM »
Well, aren't we all being jerks today.

Nevermind.

7
EOS Bodies / 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 16, 2014, 06:19:55 PM »
Okay, I know one is discontinued and the other is non-existent, but this is mostly for fun and a bit of learning.

Do the experts here think that the overall image quality of the 7DII will match or at least come close to the APS-H 1D IV? Why or why not?

8
Pricewatch Deals / Re: Calumet Store Closing Sale
« on: April 16, 2014, 02:30:49 PM »
.
Given what I read here, I don't know that I'd be hurrying off to a store immediately:

http://blogs.wsj.com/bankruptcy/2014/04/08/calumet-photographic-finds-a-buyer/


If I'm reading this correctly Calumet Sale Motion the offer is for the Oak Brook (IL), Goose Island (Chicago), Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. stores. I notice none of those are on the sale ad.

9
Canon General / Re: "MAP" pricing....How long will it last????
« on: April 15, 2014, 05:36:35 PM »
I think I understand why they try to enforce MAP pricing. They are trying to protect their dealer network; not necessarily the large retailers, but the smaller shops that can't compete on volume and can't stay in business on the small margins that internet dealers accept.

Intellectually, I am sympathetic because I see the downside to massive internet retailers like Amazon, that have little to no investment in the community. They don't pay the taxes that support schools, roads, police, etc. etc.

On the other hand, like most consumers, I am interested in maximizing my purchasing power.

So, I am conflicted.

Two points though to keep in mind.

First, MAP pricing does not affect the manufacturer's price to the retailer. When Canon or Nikon or Sony enforce MAP pricing, they aren't earning any additional profit, the higher margin goes to the retailer. They continue to sell the product to the retailer at the price they've always sold it.

Second, MAP enforcement never works. Ultimately, the market sets the price regardless of  MAP.

10
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: April 14, 2014, 10:28:39 PM »
Shows up in black on Internet Explorer. Doesn't show up in Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari.

11
EOS-M / Re: Canon EOS M3 in Q3 of 2014?
« on: April 14, 2014, 04:23:27 PM »
LEICA is always the ol' rusty nail that deflates the whole argument against the profitability of niche markets, aren't they?

Who's arguing that niche markets are unprofitable?  They can be quite profitable, if managed (aka exploited) properly.  The 1-series bodies are a niche market, the 1D C even more so – and they're priced for Canon to profit from them.

I was about to respond to this, but you said it better and more succinctly than I could.

One additional thought though: people shouldn't confuse niche market profitability with large company sustainability. The 1-series bodies may be very profitable for Canon (I really don't know if they are or if they are a marketing loss-leader), but they couldn't possibly sustain the entire company because there just aren't enough buyers.

The Rebels, on the other hand, may be a small profit item, but I suspect the t3i contributes more to the overall bottom line than all the 1-series put together.

Point being -- large companies must pick and choose which niche markets to enter and sustain. Canon and Nikon remain in the flagship DSLR market in part because it aligns well with their prosumer, enthusiast, consumer and entry-level marketing.

Neither Canon nor Nikon have ever shown much interest in medium format cameras. I suspect it is because the small dollars available won't allow sufficient return to justify the investment and they can put those dollars to better use in other niche markets that align better with their overall mission – cinema DSLRs for example.

You should care: mirrorless is the future of Canon's camera business; more to the point, it's the future profit of Canon's camera business.

It's amazing how people keep saying things like this even though the mirrorless market has failed to materialize in the U.S. and Europe, and is still a side market in Japan.

Additionally, the jury is still out on whether the Japanese and other Asian markets are the leading edge or the trailing edge. Just because mirrorless currently seems to be doing well in Asia, too many people assume that's the future.

But, the evidence can be read in just the opposite way – mirrorless might be just a temporary infatuation for a market that could ultimately end up following Europe and the Americas into the DSLR love affair.

Okay, I know it's very risky to combine the Japanese market with the rest of Asia. Japan is a mature market and mirrorless seems primarily focused on generational and gender-based preferences in Japan.

But, China is an emerging market and ultimately may be a much more important one at that. As the middle- and upper-classes expand in China, they may find DSLRs just as appealing as their European and American counterparts.

So my point remains -- we really don't know if mirrorless is the wave of the future or not, even in Asia.

Side Note: Looks like the HTML might be screwed up on this post. Can't find a way to get in to it to see what the problem might be. My apologies.

12
EOS-M / Re: Canon EOS M3 in Q3 of 2014?
« on: April 14, 2014, 10:42:58 AM »
...Yes, the reflex mirror will go away at some point, some time after the point where performance of EVFs meets or exceeds that of OVFs (that's a ways off), and image sensor AF performance meets or exceeds that of a dedicated phase AF sensor for both static and moving subjects (we're getting closer to that)...
...Cameras that are similar in size to today's dSLRs, but don't have a reflex mirror, will come along eventually.  We won't be able to call them dSLRs (technically), but they won't fit today's definition of "mirrorless" either...

I don't disagree with the essence of what you are saying. Although I do think the jury is still out on whether or not EVFs will ever outperform and replace OVFs.

It seems to me the Optical View Finder is a pretty elegant solution that's been around for a long time (over 100 years in some form or another and well over 50 as the dominant format for 35mm). It relies on physics, not electronics, and has lots of advantages.

When people complain about Optical View Finders, they generally focus on the mirror movement and size. The slapping of the mirror is one of those things like dynamic range, shadow detail, etc. that a few people fixate on, but which has little practical effect for most users.

It's true that a camera without a mirror should be smaller than one with. But, it's also true that size is only a factor in modest focal lengths. Get beyond the edges of the normal range and lens size quickly trumps camera size. Interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras are the height of irony -- small form factor but then, let's carry around multiple lenses. What sense does that make?

Canon has demonstrated with the SL1 that DSLRs can be small too, and still retain all the advantages of an optical mirror.

Not taking issue with you, Neuro, because you get it. Rather just with the mindset that electronic viewfinders will inevitably replace optical simply because they are the latest thing.

Which may be why I'm skeptical about the future of interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras.

13
EOS Bodies / Re: DP Review's 10 most popular camera list
« on: April 09, 2014, 12:59:53 PM »
No worries. Just go to Amazon's best seller's list to see what people are actually buying, not what they are reading about.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Camera-Photo-Digital-SLR-Cameras/zgbs/photo/3017941

As of this a.m. 14 of the top 20 are Canon and Canon has three full frame configurations in the top 20 while Nikon has one.

14
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS sensors, and technology
« on: April 08, 2014, 11:43:26 PM »
Unfocused...What does it mean "OK, here we go again" ?  Is it maybe that this voice is getting louder? Maybe?

No. It means exactly what I wrote in my post. Someone convinces themselves that there is some feature that they absolutely have to have and then they make the leap that if they don't get it, Canon is making a huge and costly mistake. So they start a thread on this forum to whine about it.

You are fixated on the AA filter.

This same thread gets repeated over and over again with the only difference being the obscure feature that the individual has fixated on -- dynamic range, shadow banding, sensor size, number of megapixels, the list goes on and on.

The only voices getting louder are the imaginary ones in people's heads.

Canon is a business. A very successful business. There isn't anything anyone on this forum can come with that Canon has not considered and researched in far greater detail.

If it comes to a point where a business case can be made for changing the AA filter, they will change it. But, starting a forum thread and shouting "Hurry up Canon" isn't going to change anything.

15
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS sensors, and technology
« on: April 08, 2014, 06:20:00 PM »
CANON!!! Please come up with a 28+mp AA FREE CAMERA!!! How long do we have to wait? ...DO IT NOW!!(in my best Arnold voice).

Okay. Here we go again.

People get upset when told this, but the truth is, it all boils down to economics.

You believe there is a market for the product you want. But, is that market large enough and sufficiently competitive to justify Canon to take the action you request? The only one who knows for sure would be Canon and they are not talking.

No company can survive going after 100% of potential customers. There are always customers that have to be left on the table because it just isn't possible to serve them and make sufficient profit – the people who want to buy a 5DIII at $1,200; those who want a Medium Format body at half the price of current competitors; etc. etc.

Companies have limited resources and a responsibility to put those resources where they will offer the best return. Canon has emphasized cinema in recent years. They obviously have determined that the market justifies their investment. That may be why they haven't released a high megapixel camera yet...the market may not justify the investment.

The hard truth is this: What we as individuals want is irrelevant. What we in the aggregate, comprising tens of thousands or even millions of like-minded consumers want is all-important.

Killing off the AA filter just isn't important enough to enough consumers to justify it at this point, regardless of whether or not it might improve image quality.

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