September 15, 2014, 09:01:57 PM

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Messages - Efka76

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EOS Bodies / Re: More Images of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
« on: September 13, 2014, 04:46:21 PM »
I am looking at Canon 7D MKII specs and I am quite surprised that Canon who is a leader in image making made such a poor job. The reasoning is as follows:

1) MKII version is released after 5 years!!!! This is extremely long period of time for technology makers.
2) 7D at release date was the best APS-C camera which was using breaktrough technology, however, looking at current 7D MkII specs I do not see any INOVATIONS.
3) Looking at current 7D MK II specs I see very little effort from Canon side:
 a) Practically the same body design - no efforts in this area. I like this design but I am a bit surprised that Canon goes such way
 b) 2 DIGIC 6 processors - it is very simple to replace DIGIC 4 processors with current DIGIC 6 processors. Absolutely no efforts required. I would have expected DIGIC 7 processors. Of course dual DIGIC 6 will bu much better than older processors.
 c) AF technology form 1DX and dual pixel technology - no efforts from Canon side. They just simply included very good autofocus in this camera. I expected a bit more from them.
4) Sensor - everybody expected to see a new technology in this area, which would put Canon and Nikon sensors on the same plate. Now it is very big disappointment from Canon side.

By all means,  the new 7D MkII will be extremely good camera with much better autofocus, better battery, GPS (personnaly GPS and WiFi are not needed features for me but RT technology would be useful). Canon could release such camera at least 2-3 years ago as we see that it just implemented a current technology in this camera but it lacks innovations which we see especially in Sony.

Will I buy this camera? Definitely not :) That's because my current 7D is very good camera, I am happy with AF abilities (mainly shoot weddings and studio) and have intentions to buy FF camera (5D MKIII or MK IV) :)

Lenses / Re: What New Lens are You Most Excited About?
« on: September 12, 2014, 04:51:38 PM »
Guys, maybe it is a stupid question but I wanted to ask the following: If I put EF lenses on my crop camera (7D), I know that 24 mm lens will be equivalent of 38 mm. lens. However, if I put EF-S lenses of 24 mm, will I have 24 mm on crop camera or that will be 38 mm equivalent.

Once more time, sorry for such question but I really want to know the answer.

Jrista, you can not make valid conclusions due to the following:

1) Data is not complete. You are analysing US Amazon sales only. This data is not sufficient even for analysing US marker as there are many more internet and standard sales channels in US.
2) In order to make valid conclusions about dominance in the global market you should include all Amazon shops (US, UK, FR, etc.), B&H, retail stores and many others. Practically it is impossible to gather exact data as you will definitely will not include all sales channels.
3) It would be more reliable to gather data from Financial statements or management reports, bank analyst reports on Canon, Nikon, Olympus, etc. However, here we encounter a problem that even segment reporting data is too aggregated. These companies are involved in many businesses (e.g. Sony, Canon, etc.) and do not provide in financial statements very detailed data about some particular business segment (in our case that would be specific camara data). Of course it would be very interesting for us to see what are Canon global sales of specific cameras in different markets, what is profitability of specific products (we would see that 1Dx, 5D MarkIII are the most profitable models... by the way, it is my assumption :) ). However, such data would be very interesting to competitors and everybody is trying to disclose required information according to various accounting standard requirements (US GAAP, IFRS) and aggregate data in such way in order not to disclose its strengths and real position in the market to competitors. The Bank analysts are obtaining more specific data during various press releases, conf call, etc. (however that data is not audited and nobody can place 100% reliance on it). For example, if you take market position (in percentages) from different companies (I am talking about their own assessments), add everything together I am almost sure that you get more than 100% :D

I am writing this as I was an Audit director for many years in BIG4 and know such things :)

Greetings to everyone from Vilnius, Lithuania! I guess there are not many Lithuanians in this forum :) By the way, if you do not know where Lithuania is located, you can find 3 small Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) in near Baltic sea, Poland and Russia.

Of course, everybody has spare > 10,000 USD, which can spend on Canon 600 mm lenses :) Think thirst before you write :)

From specs it seems that these lenses will be in direct competition with very popular Tamron lenses. Real pros will be using expensive Canon lenses, but general public will be satisfied with affordable and very high quality lenses. Currently Tamron and Sigma are stealing show.... Canon is sleeping....

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: And what does Canon do?
« on: September 05, 2014, 04:22:04 AM »
Red Dragon, Phase One, Hasselblad, medium format, cine lenses, etc. are the names, which most of us see only on internet screen :) These products are currently extremely expensive, however they show what technological achievements are possible in the future for standard consumers.

Neuro always advocates Canon by saying that Canon financial results are better than Nikon or other, that 5D Mark III outsells RED in thousands of times :) However, by looking at technological achievements during the last 20 years we can see how technology (especially computers) became so advanced, very cheap (compare 90's supercomputer abilities and price with simple current computer and price.... today even phone processor abilities are much more advanced than 90s' supercomputer).

Many years photography quality was related to optics only as it was quite hard to make significant and visible improvements in analog camera, however, with introduction of digital cameras everything has changed. Cameras are no different from computers, however, I do not see significant improvements in this area for years (especially from Canon side). My reasoning is the following:

1) The 2 main components in digital camera are sensors and processing chip. When computer processors became extremely powerful and quite cheap camera's processor advancement pace is much slower.

Sensor technology - I still can not understand why sensors are still so expensive. e.g. Canon using the same sensors for many years, R&D costs are already written-off few years ago, production facilities already paid-off also few years ago. As far as I understand initial sensor production costs were quite high, that's why smaller APS-C sensors were used (they were cheaper), however, today everybody should be producing FF sensors for fractional costs comparing to costs few years ago.

2) From Canon (industry leader, profitable company) I would expect significant R&D in sensor technology in order to fortify its leadership in the future as well. However, what we see: the same sensor is used for many years, 7D is not updated for 5 years. And we are living in technology years. For example, if Apply would sell their computers with 5 year old processors they would be bankrupt already.

Also, we see that Sony makes quite significant breakthroughs in sensor technology as their sensors have higher DR, better noise performance, investing in curved sensors and etc. This is how technology company's should behave.

3) Currently Canon has a very big number of different  camera models, which seems stopping their technological advancement as Canon has to think quite hard how not to make good camera, i.e. not to include same features in newer camera models which are considered in lower level cameras. For example, Canon 6D was made a really cripled camera with old autofocus system in order not to canibalise 5D III.

Few years ago  Steve Jobs get rid of many Apply products and concentrated company's effors on few models of compputers and 1 phone and made these products really superb. Canon also should revise their product portfolio. IMHO the following products cameras could be produced:

a) Pro level - Canon 1Dx (FF)
b) Semi pro - Canon 5D Mark III
c) Consumer - Canon 7D
d) Forget all Rebels and P&S cameras.

Also, camera prices should be at least 2 times less comparing to current prices, In such case much higher volume of cameras could be sold.

4) If Canon is not willing  / able to produce good sensors it can buy sensors from Sony. In computer market there is Intel and AMD processor manufacturers. In sensor market also there is no need to have many sensor manufacturers.

5) Lenses - for many years Canon was considered as a real leader in manufacturing quality lenses, however, currently it started to significantly lose competition to Sigma and Tamron due to the following factors:

1) Canon does not update many of its popular lenses for many many years (e.g. Canon 50 1.4 is produced since 199X). Come on, guys, you can not expect that you can compete with Sigma 50 1.4 Art, which are produced by using the current technology comparing with 20 year old technology.

2) Canon does not listen to customer needs. E.g. 100-400 lens update many loyal customers are waiting for many years.

3) Price: just compare Canons 24-70 2.8 L with Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC. Tamron is twice cheaper, has vibration control and just only fractionally lower quality. Many customers are happy by paying twice less and getting superb product. Another case Canon 600 mm lens comparison with Tamron 150-600. Of course, Tamron quality is worse but not 10 times comparing to their price difference.

This shows that Canon is either ripping its customers or is not controlling its costs and not able to produce quality products cheaper.

There is a misconception than Apple production does not need calibration :) The truth is that you have to calibrate all monitors if you need accurate colours. Also, this calibration should be performed on a monthly basis due to shift in colours. Generall laptop monitors (even with IPS) are worse than normal monitors. My suggestion for you would be simple: buy calibrator (x-rite i1 display pro or Spyder) and calibrate your monitor. I bought x-rite i1 display pro and i am very happy with it. I was surprised when I saw a really huge difference in colors after my laptop calibration. Also, x-rite i1 display pro has an ability of assessing ambient light in calibration process.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« on: July 31, 2014, 02:21:02 AM »
I really do not expect from Canon something super new or super mega new technology :) Take a look back to history: I remember all big expectations related to 6D. There were many wishlists but in reality Canon produced significantly crippled FF camera, which AF does not even match old 7D :)

Now I really expect that after 5 years Canon will launch 7DII, which will have 70D sensor, slightly more megapixels (expect 24 MP), slightly higher FPS, GPS and WiFi. That's it :) Do not expect significant revolutions in sensor. If there were such revolutions, there would be a leak of information already. For example, Sony announced curved sensor technology, which will be implemented in their future models.

Canon made revolution  few years ago. Currently it is a stagnant company, which still focuses significant aattention to dying P&S market. Product cycle for semi-pro and pro products is very long and shows that Canon does not sufficiently invest in R&D as other companies. Canon started loosing in the following areas:

1) Mirrorless market - they loose to Fuji, Olympus, Sony;
2) Sensor technology - loosing to Sony;
3) Lenses - starting to loose to Sigma and Tamron as these 2 companies started producing high quality lenses, which match or in some cases exceed qulity of Canon lenses (e.g. Sigma 50 mm 1.4 Art, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC) for affordable price.

From financial perspective Canon is doing quite OK, even better than other companies, as they still have big loyal customer base, however, in technology companies if you loose momentum you can loos all business very soon.


Lighting / Re: Have you used Honl gold/silver reflector/snoot?
« on: June 20, 2014, 06:12:01 PM »
Surapon, very nice pictures!

Canon camera sales are mainly dropping due to these main reasons:

1) Smartphones are killing P&S market. What is Canon's response: do the same thing as every year, i.e. issue  new model P&S cameras. I would think that Canon should abandon this dying P&S market and concentrate on more advanced cameras.

2) There are practically no news in advanced DSLR area and market became saturated. Canon is still milking DSLR market by manufacturing the same products and customers do not have any options even if they want to upgrade their current camera into new one. e.g. I have Canon 7D and waiting for 7D II for long time. It's a real shame to milk the same dying cow for so many years. Canon has all required money for R&D but we see only limited inventions from its side. One invention (dual pixel technology) is really not ground braking.

3) Canon is losing and will loose significant market to the third party lens manufacturers such as Sigma and Canon. We see significantly improved quality in both these firms and quite significant increase in their lens sales. Of course, Canon is still a king in fixed focal length lenses (tele), but their price is enormous and not affordable to many consumers. From other side, its is really a shame for Canon not to upgrade the most popular lenses  (e.g. 50 mm., which is produced for more than 20 years). Come on, Canon, you can really do better. If the same trend continues Canon will lose very significant lenses market to competitors.

4) Lack of innovations: when I look around I here when people talk about Tamron and Sigma lenses, Sony, Fuji, Olympus mirrorless cameras, Pentax medium format cameras, etc. Canon is currently leading company with biggest profits and very significant loyal customer base (loyalty is due to expensive lenses, which were bought some time ago). If you do not introduce new and expensive technology and still produce large quantities of goods, your R&D costs are recovered long time ago. Canon is really able to reduce prices for APS-C and full frame cameras but they are still milking the same old cow :)

Also, I see other trends that many newspapers and mass media are laying off photographers o even suggesting to journalists to make pictures with iPhones. I see the trend that in the nearest future only serious hobbyists will buy DSLR cameras, however, number of such people is constantly decreasing.

Lenses / Re: Lens Advise for Europe Vacation
« on: March 11, 2014, 07:16:39 AM »
Hi, all lenses that you own are very good and, of course, you would be able to apply all of them in order to make beautiful pictures. However, my advice to you would be to limit your weight as much as possible and to take Canon 24-70 mm lenses only. These lenses are fast, there is a zoom which is useful for portraitures and landscapes. Last year I spent one week in Rome and understood one thing: camera + 1 lenses become quite heavy if you spent the whole day on foot. I am really strong and sporty guy but I felt all the weight on my neck. If you take 70-200 and other lenses you will be tired quite soon and will not see less Paris as you could. Also, I imagine vacation when you enjoy your time, walk with with In beautiful city but not carrying 10 kg or more on your shoulders and dreaming to sit on the bench to rest. One thing when you are going to Paris for work purposes (e.g. to shoot buildings, landscapes and etc. and you are paid for this job) and when you go for vacation.

I suggest you to relax, take as less gear as possible and enjoy that beautiful city together with your wife :)

Street & City / Re: Neon Bright Stockholm
« on: March 04, 2014, 11:24:10 AM »
DKN, I like your photos very much. Very good composition and really interesting and not ordinary post-processing. Could you please describe in more detail what post-processing was done on these photos. Did you use some Lightroom presets?

Neuro, thank you very much for your comments! I really appreciate that!

Few comments:

Regarding setup of light: of course I know that more light is better :) However, that was a maximum that I could get today. In summer I will try to do testing during sunny day and will see what kind of results I will get.

Thanks for valuable advices on Canon 50 mm 1.4 calibration! Deep in my mind I felt that insufficient light and vibration could cause such issues with testing ;)

Dear colleagues,

shortly I will describe my experience in lens calibration. I hope that this story will be useful to someone who wants to calibrate lenses but never done that before.

1-2 years ago I bought Canon 7d and number of lenses. My shots seems quite Ok for me. I did not notice any back / front focus issues. But that was due to the fact that I did not have  a knowledge how to notice such things. But after spending some time in Canon rumours and reading various things about lens calibration I finally decided to try that.

My setup was following:

1) For lens calibration i bought Reikan Focal plus. Of course, Pro version is better but I thought that Plus version is sufficient as it allows fully automatic and semi-automatic calibation as well calibration target validation. Pro version is almost twice expensive as Plus version.

2) Photo studio - if you have option to do testing in bigger space, do that. My studio was almos 6 m long and of course it would be better to have bigger in order to test 200 mm lenses at x50 focal length. I selected studio for testing as it is controllable environment (light, no wind, it is easy to put calibration target on a wall.

3) Cheap tripod - it was not very convenient but for testing purposes this tripod was quite ok. During testing I target was not lost due to movements in tripod head. If you have good and expensive tripod it will be easier.

4) Calibration target  - printed on laser jet on standard (lightweight) paper (Focal manual recommends using Matte Heavyweight paper, print should be performed on Inkjet). My target worked really ok in testing but if you have ability do everything as manual says :)

5) Camera settings: AV mode, eye piece covered, etc. as indicated in manual.

6) Light level in all cased was higher than EV 8 (during my testing it was EV 8.2 - 8.9). For lighting I used halogen lights, background was lit by natural light from window and fluorescence lights. Of course such mix of lights was not very good but I tried to achieve higher EV. Light in terms of Kelvin was 5200.

The testing:

1) Target validation  - it was quite easy with all lenses; I just followed visual instructions and fixed tripod head when there was ok sign on computer screen. You just have to make sure that tripod  / head / target are not moved during testing.

2) Canon 70-200 mm 2.8L II IS USM: very good test results achieved. Based on Neuro advice I tested zoom lenses at various focal lenghts (FL). The following FL were used: 70 mm., 100 mm, 140 mm and 200 mm. Focal Plus calculated the following AFMA adjustments for the above FL: +1 ; +3 ; +1 ; -1. Testing results show really very good quality of lenses. Due to the fact that only one AFMA value can be entered into Canon 7D i left AFMA as -1 but currently thinking to change it to 0 (mid value between min and max FL).

3) Tamron SP 24-70 2.8 VC. I really like these lenses, they are my walkaround lenses and I thought that they are quite sharp. Test results were the following: 24 mm (AFMA +1), 35 mm (AFMA +9), 50 mm (AFMA +13), 70 mm (AFMA +6). In camera AFMA +6 was written. Despite the fact that difference between both FL is only 5 I was unpleasantly surprised that in between of min and max FL sharpness is reduced quite dramatically :( However, I now know what defficiency such lenses have and AFMA +6 at least will help me to have sharper images comparing to previous shots before calibration.

4) Canon 100 mm 2.8L IS Macro - I did 2 testings: @ x25 FL AFMA +7 and @x50 FL (recomended by manual) AFMA + 4. I entered +4 into camera. I was a bit surprised that i got 2 different AFMA values at different distances.

5) Canon EF-S 18-135. Due to the fact that thes lenses ar kit lenses I did not expect great results :) Results are following: 18 mm (AFMA +13) and 135 mm (AFMA +6). In camera I entered AFMA +9. In testing it was very obvious that after AFMA adjustment images were much sharper.

6) Canon 50 mm 1.4: I was really struggling with these lenses testing. At x25 FL distance I got AFMA +3, however, when I wanted to do testing @ x50 FL Reikan Focal Plus had issues: it performed many shots, however, was not able to collect reliable data for exact AFMA determination (indicator was red). I then tried test few more times at different distances from target. In few cases software was not able to collect reliable data, in one case I've got AFMA +4 (indicator was yellow, not green). I am wandering how to interpret such testing results. Does that indicate issues with my lenses or due to the fact that lenses are 1.4 it is much harder to obtain reliable results (light conditions were very good in all cases, EV 8.9). From testing I saw that AFMA values were in range of 3-5, accordingly I left AFMA +3 in camera.

Anyway, I have intentions to sell Canon 50 mm 1.4 and buy a new Sigma 1.4 Art series, when it is released. I really hope that Sigma will be much better than old design Canon lenses.

I hope that this my story will be helpful to some future testers :) Also, I would appreciate if someone knowledgeable could comment on Canon 50 mm 1.4 testing results interpretation.


Dear colleagues, I just recently acquired Reikan Focal Plus software for lens calibration. It is perfectly clear how to calibrate fixed focal length lenses, however I need your advice on zoom lenses calibration. If I understand correctly there are these options:

1) Full manual calibration - to make a lot of manual shots on both end of the zoom and import all such data in Reikan focal. Then software will show what AFMA numbers are for both ends of zoom lenses. I do not like this method as it is very time consuming and there might be some differences due to manual shots.

2) To run full automatic calibration 2 times (for minimum and maximum focal length of zoom lenses). In this case I will get 2 AFMA values. Then there is a question which value should i input into the camera? Its a pity but my camera (canon 7d) does not support input of 2 AFMA values for zoom lenses.

In my opinion, are the following options:

a) to input AFMA value, which is determined based on long end of zoom lenses (such advice I found in Focal testing guide.

b) To input mid value of both AFMA numbers

c) to run additional test in mid of the zoom and input that value into the camera.

I would really appreciate your advice as tomorrow I will be performing that testing and your advice would be very helpful to me.

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