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Messages - traveller

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I don't think you can call Sony a "big manufacturer of medium format sensors" when they've only just release their first!  ???

 There could be a market for a medium format mirrorless system, but there are still the issues of shutter vibration and heat generation on the sensor when generating a live view feed.

Lloyd Chambers (http://diglloyd.com/blog/2014/20140325_1-Sony-MF-CMOS.html) has suggested a fixed lens compact MF camera; possibly the best plan for Sony if they did want to push into MF, given their reticence with lenses for their existing mounts!

Lenses / Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« on: March 06, 2014, 08:16:42 AM »
This Tamron is looking like a great lens, if used within its limitations. I think that Canon is going to have a battle on its hands to persuade me to buy a $2300 (£1900) replacement for the 100-400L (price based upon Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f4.5-5.6G ED VR).

To be honest, for that sort of money I would want an EF 100-500mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, with superior AF performance and the sort of resolution that this Tamron has at 300-400mm across most of its focal length range. Too tall an order Canon?  :D

EOS Bodies / Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2013?
« on: March 06, 2014, 05:56:09 AM »
What happened? Market saturation.

Along with those that are already established not seeing anything in new products (from 2012 - 2013) as being worthwhile upgrades.


The camera industry until recently still had a growth mindset. I think that this last year or so has brought it home to them that the good times are over. The global recession has killed growth, but I don't think that we'll see a return to the growth levels of the "noughties" even after full economic recovery.

I think that we're at the end of the era after the film to digital transition. The new realities are:

  • The market is now saturated, many buyers already own a DSLR
  • CMOS sensor performance seems to have plateaued in that the rate of improvement in sensor performance is slowing down.
  • This has forced manufacturers to make improvements to other specifications in order to sell upgrades
  • DSLR manufacturers are now maxing out on improvements to other "key" specifications
  • They are now looking for new ways to sell cameras (think small and retro)

This is actually starting to look like a return to normality in the camera market, having been in a consumer electronics phase. Maybe the pace of releases will speed up again when the next truly disruptive technology comes along; I'm not sure that mirrorless is that disruption.

EOS Bodies / Re: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2013?
« on: March 06, 2014, 04:55:58 AM »
I think a good question is what happened to the upper/pro-sumer/pro Canon dSLR & lens market - in which probably the greater population of the site visitors here encompass? There doesn't appear to be any stagnant slowing of product releases from rivals like Nikon/Sony and third party lens like Sigma and Tamron.

One dual pixal innovation on a 70d with a whole collective of marginal "innovations" of rebels, kit lens upgrades (basically slapping the STM label on), and garbage powershots aren't cutting it for this past year+.

If Canon is keeping tight its R&D spending on marginal rebel/kit upgrades why is it blowing $$$ on releasing lenses like the 24-70 f/4 is L, 24 2.8 IS, and 28 2.8 is? I blame part of the drop in those graphs/numbers on failed business decisions from Canon.

Since 2012-today, the only worthwhile "pro-sumer/pro" lenses have been the 24-70 2.8 II and 200-400 f4 1.4x.

One can only hope with Canon these past few years, that they enter the medium format market or do something more dramatic.

I don't think that it's just Canon, I would accuse Nikon of doing similar. The only manufacturers that have been churning out the camera and lens releases over the past few have been Sony (E & FE-mount only), Fuji and m4/3rds. Of course, these manufacturers have needed to build there systems from scratch, whereas Canon and Nikon have a comprehensive system built up over years. Of course, one could make the "look where it's got them" argument: Sony are in the red, Olympus are all but bankrupt with shareholders demanding divestment of the camera division, and Panasonic stills cameras are effectively in the "last chance saloon" with their new Chief Executive threatening to sell any under-performing business unit.

I would tend to agree with Thom Hogan that where the "big two" are weak is in their support for their APS-C lines. Unless they are planning to release full frame bodies at "Rebel" prices (which isn't going to happen any time soon, if ever), their EF-S/DX lens line-up is seriously weak at the wide angle end. I can only think that they hope this drives "serious" users to go full frame, but the danger is that they go mirrorless instead; this is especially so because the sort of user that wants fast wide glass (where X-mount and m4/3rds excel), is also the sort of user that can live without phase detect af.

The other danger is the third party lens makers are starting to encroach upon their turf with higher end enthusiast and professional lenses; these have traditionally been a good profit generator for Canon and Nikon.

Canon General / Re: Interview With Canon Executives
« on: March 05, 2014, 02:13:55 PM »
How about this for a missed question:  It's been two Olympics and still no 100-400 mark 2?
LOL ;D.  I'm getting really annoyed with my ancient 24-70 2.8 II, 70-200 2.8 II, and 300 2.8 II IS.  The "upgrade" money is really burning a hole in my pocket and if they don't upgrade all of these this year, I'm switching to Nikon  ;) ;) ;)

Is anyone who wants a new 100-400mm still waiting, or have they just gone out and bought the Tamron 150-600? Just another area where Canon are under pressure... anyone desperate for a 35mm f/1.4L update, or hace they just bought the Sigma 35mm f/ 1.4 Art?

Canon General / Re: Interview With Canon Executives
« on: March 04, 2014, 11:18:42 AM »
Most interesting to me was the clear statement that the EOS-M was an "experiment..."

This got me thinking about the complexities of modern manufacturing. Today's market research tools allow companies to hone in on specific audiences for products. No longer do they need a one-size-fits-all approach. Modern manufacturing systems also allow for greater customization and cost-efficient production of products for sub-markets and even sub-sub-markets.

On the other hand, the worldwide communications of the internet and social media make it impossible to market a product in one region or country without the rest of the world knowing about it. And, it is a given that some percentage of the customer case outside of the targeted region is going to want a product that isn't available and feel "cheated" by not getting it, even if there isn't much of a market for it in their region.

In the old days, international companies could produce country-specific products and about the only way anyone knew about them was if they actually visited that country. Not the case anymore. Not trying to make any particular point about the EOS-M, just an observation about manufacturing and marketing in general.

The counter argument is that the people who are informed enough to care that the product line is not available in their market can always use the internet to import it for themselves. Not that I would advocate this strategy!

It strikes me that Canon has yet to decide whether it's a multinational or a global company. Currently, it seems that head office are happy for each territory to market whichever part of the product line sells locally. This (possibly) helps to make the company responsive to local conditions, but hardly sits well with creating a global brand.

Canon General / Re: Interview With Canon Executives
« on: March 04, 2014, 06:38:04 AM »
Woohoo! Time to play the "take a Japanese Executive's comments out of context game"!!!

Round 1:

"...looking to the future one thing I can say for sure is that the camera has to outperform the human eye... "increasing resolution, sensitivity, dynamic range (my italics, bold and underlining -to prove to doubters that it is coming!) and so on..."...unlimited resolution, unlimited sensitivity and unlimited dynamic range you can take photos of anything that exists on this earth." [Ken-Ichi Shimbori DPReview's CP+ 2014 Canon Interview. Edits have been made for structure and clarity]

Wow, it looks like Canon are working on a new uber-camera that will out perform anything currently available! Never mind these silly wishes of forum members: 36 megapixels? Pah! Put "unlimited" megapixels in your pipe and smoke it! A mere finite ISO 409,600 Nikon? Don't make me laugh. 14.8 Ev dynamic range RED? This new Canon will be able to simultaneously take a picture of the midday sun and the inside a black hole!  :P

EOS Bodies / Re: UPDATE: EOS M2 Not Coming to North America
« on: March 03, 2014, 12:37:37 PM »
Yes Canon is very sucessfull and know what they are doing. Thats why they dominate. Why would they come out with a really good mirrorless and I know they have the technology already. It will canabilize their sales on the DSLR market specially the Rebels.

Why? Because otherwise Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Olympus and all others will cannibalize their Rebels and all of their other DSLRs with the possible exception of action-oiented models (1D-X)?  ;D

They haven't so far and growth in mirrorless in at least two major markets has reversed.

That's not to say that there's no future for mirrorless, nor that mirrorless isn't the future, just that it doesn't seem to be the present. Why would Canon and Nikon risk undermining their supremacy by bringing out 'pro' mirrorless cameras? Isn't that effectively endorsing their competitors' efforts? If Canon and Nikon dump their legacy mounts, what competitive advantage do they have over the likes of Sony or Fujifilm?

I think that's the crux of Canon's current dilemma. They didn't want to rock the boat by developing mirrorless, but evidently elements in their hierarchy felt the need to enter what was a growing market (hence EOS-M and Nikon 1). Now that the growth has died, so has Canon and Nikon's enthusiasm for their mirrorless systems.

Who knows how this will end up, maybe EOS-M will develop into a fully fledged system (especially if there is room for a full frame sensor in the specification), or the EF mount may start to evolve towards going mirrorless. I suspect that this isn't fully decided at Canon and will depend on what happens in the market this year. 

EOS Bodies / Re: UPDATE: EOS M2 Not Coming to North America
« on: March 03, 2014, 08:22:29 AM »
Not necessarily, once you've dumped the mirror, there's a lot of room inside a legacy mount body where you could put lens elements. I suspect that this is what Canon and Nikon are thinking; why throw away your biggest advantage over your competitors by changing your lens mount? Sony has nothing to lose, the Alpha mount was a distant third place also-ran.

This already exists, it's called EF-S, and the cameras are as big as a fullframe 6D f.e..

Probably because the difference is about 4mm, versus 26mm between EF and EF-M (measured slightly differently -i.e. flange back), and last time I looked the 100D was substantailly smaller than the 6D  :D

EOS Bodies / Re: UPDATE: EOS M2 Not Coming to North America
« on: March 02, 2014, 02:29:18 PM »
The only plus for mirrorless cams is the size, but with the existing Nikon- or Canonbayonett the advantage is gone. And new systems? Why? But I agree, if the ships turns and the mirrorless systems are getting better and better, the big two could fall down very deep.

Not necessarily, once you've dumped the mirror, there's a lot of room inside a legacy mount body where you could put lens elements. I suspect that this is what Canon and Nikon are thinking; why throw away your biggest advantage over your competitors by changing your lens mount? Sony has nothing to lose, the Alpha mount was a distant third place also-ran.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Announcement in Q2 of 2014 [CR1]
« on: February 28, 2014, 05:32:13 AM »
People seem to be suggesting (not just on this forum) that Canon are scratching their heads over the potential specifications of a 7D Mk II. I'd have thought that it was pretty obvious -an APS-C sensor version of the 5D Mk III with a higher frame rate (i.e. 8-12fps).

The elephant in the room is whether the 20MP sensor from the 70D is good enough for their "flagship APS-C camera" or whether Canon are waiting to launch a new generation of sensors in the 7D Mk II. The more time passes from the 70D's introduction, the more likely I think the 7D Mk II will be the launch vehicle for the new generation of sensor; I would therefore expect any announcement to be just prior to Photokina. [Sod's law they will announce it next month and make this prediction wrong!  ::)]

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Announcement in Q2 of 2014 [CR1]
« on: February 28, 2014, 05:23:42 AM »
Seeing as the D4s is coming with a 'new' 16 mp sensor, I'm going to be brave and guess the 7DII will also be 16 mp, aps class leading low light performance, very fast and no pop up flash. See you in the second quarter.
Please God hear our prayers. Only 16 megapixel camera with ISO 3200 without noise bothering, costing less than $ 2000.

I'd rather have 24, 32 or even 72MP.  More resolution and less noise that way.

That's a misconception. If you account for noise as a factor of total sensor area, it doesn't really matter how large or small your pixel are. The expectation is that you are downsampling any and all of those sensors to some common output size...i.e. the same magnification.

Otherwise, smaller pixels are always going to have more noise at the pixel level. Any technology you might apply to smaller pixels is applicable to larger pixels. Any potential technological gains you might have that allow smaller pixels are only going to make bigger pixels better. In no way can smaller pixels be less noisy than larger pixels. They may resolve more detail, but assuming Q.E. remains roughly the same, that detail WILL be noisier.

All else being equal, if you have 6 micron pixels and 3 micron pixels, the 3 micron pixels are going to have 1/4 the FWC. A 6 micron pixel might have 60,000e- max charge at ISO 100, where as a 3 micron pixel is going to have 15,000e- max charge. Since noise is the square root of the signal, you have 244e- noise with 6 micron pixels, and 122e- noise with 3 micron pixels. In other words, you have a 244:1 SNR with 6 micron pixels, and a 122:1 SNR with 3 micron pixels.

The only way to make those smaller pixels equal to the larger pixels is to downsample by a factor of two.

What's the problem with having a high resolution sensor that allows detailed images at low ISO and then downsampling to reduce noise when you need to used higher ISOs?

I'm asking because you seem to know your stuff and I'd like to get this cleared up once and for all!

Lenses / Re: Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*
« on: February 26, 2014, 03:54:55 PM »
For me, the elephant in the room with fast primes is focus. It's easy to get you're point of focus wrong with these lenses and that's assuming that the phase detect AF system in your camera is up to the job. If the AF misses, it's difficult to see in the viewfinder, because they're all optimised for slower zoom lenses and don't show the full depth of field below f/2.8. This also makes manual focus tough, especially as even the replacement (courser grained) screens available for some cameras (but not mine :( ) don't often have micro-prism or split image focus aids (unless you go for a third party design and accept your meter being disrupted).

To be honest, most people can't achieve as accurate focus as AF systems even with in-viewfinder aids , which is why AF cameras now dominate the market. This is the huge advantage of mirrorless cameras with EVFs, you can easily toggle a variety of manual focusing aids depending upon the situation.

I can't help agreeing with Lloyd Chambers [http://diglloyd.com/blog/2013/20130306_2-why-electronic-viewfinder-matters.html] that the next development in DSLRs should be hybrid OVF/EVFs (like the X-Pro 1). Imagine that on your 1D Xs or 5D Mk4: a nice bright OVF for when you want to track moving targets with the PDAF system, which can be swapped over to a high resolution EVF at the flick of a switch when critical focus on slow moving or static subjects is required....

Lenses / Re: Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*
« on: February 26, 2014, 07:33:54 AM »
I don't regret one second buying it…. it really is that good. I did a test against some other lenses we had lying around and while some of them were ok in the center at 2.8 Most of them were crap in the corners.

The so-called great value for money 50 1.8 looks terrible compared to the Otus… really down right terrible, and it feels equally as terrible operating. I never understood why people were so hyped over this Canon 50 1.8, but I guess that is needed when all you can afford is that.

I'll be picking up every Otus lens as they come out… as simple as that. But I fully acknowledge that some people are depending on AF to get the job done. I'm not… and if I am I'd still choose expensive L lenses over cheap non-L.

The thing is…. I shoot a lot of video. Actually video has become my main business by now. So I need something that operates well for video and even L lenses dont do that. The throw is too short and the sharpness fall off looks ugly, often the bokeh as well.

There's a reason that most major cinema releases, heck even Sundance and Cannes short films are shot on Arri Master / Ultra Primes or Cooke lenses. Because even though they are completely manual, the operate better, they are consistent in look and light transmission and that nice long throw for pulling focus.



Actually, I can never understand all this hype around mere 35mm cameras in any case, everyone who truly appreciates quality is already using medium format. I don't understand these people that rely on manual focus either; everyone that's anybody simply employs a man to do that for them! Next, these plebs will be suggesting that it is acceptable to carry ones own kit, instead of employing a Nepalese Sherpa.

What is the world coming to? Ra, ra, what, what!  :P

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« on: February 19, 2014, 12:06:49 PM »
Yes, it's likely that the next camera is launched T6i. I just hope it has the same sensor 70D.

Canon is shrewd when it comes to milking profits from sensors.  Consider that the T5i/700D did not get the latest version of the 18 MP APS-C sensor.  The T5i's sensor has Hybrid CMOS AF (same sensor as the T4i and the EOS M), whereas the sensor used in the SL1/100D and the EOS M2 has Hybrid CMOS II AF (where the phase AF area covers 80% of the frame vs. just the central portion).  That allows Canon to release another T#i-series body with a 'new' (to the line) sensor (but not the 70D's sensor).  Put Digic 6 in there, and they're good to go with the T6i/750D.

I was being factious because of my frustration with Canon.  In truth I think 2014 will be a good year for new hardware.  I know that Canon has cited the 5DIII as one of their current success stories so I don't expect much there.  This might be the 1DX going to 24MP or it might finally be the first of the new sensors.
 I'm probably wrong but I think that the Nikon 800e caught Canon flat footed.  Their sensors ruled the roost for a long time and the 800 was  the point where they knew their current sensors could not continue to compete with the Sony's. Perhaps they were working a new line for a while but the Nikon's with Sony sensors really got their attention.  I'm sure that it takes years and years before a sensor goes from design to profitable production.  Hopefully, Canon is near then end of that cycle and we will see some significant new sensor technology.  Canon has made real improvements everywhere but in sensors. Fortunately, they have held their market share but that can't last forever.  Sony probably has another generation in the pipeline already.

Canon's sensor advantage came from their early adoption of the CMOS type sensor; they have fallen behind as other manufacturers also adopted this technology. Canon fabricate their own (large) sensors, which represents a considerable capital investment, and are therefore understandably keen to recapture the maximum value back from this. I think that Sony has an advantage here, because they sell so many sensors to other camera manufacturers, they can afford to move their sensors forward a fabrication generation more often than Canon. As much as I understand Canon's reluctance to invest in new fabrication technology at a time of recession and market contraction, I think that they've reached the end of the road with what they can squeeze out of their current technology. Either they will have to change their fabrication foundries over to newer sub-0.18 micron (or even sub-0.11 micron) process generation architectures, or they'll have to start subcontracting the manufacture of their sensor out to a third party foundry partner.

Sony does seem to have established itself as the dominant player in CMOS sensors at the moment, but it doesn't have the field all to itself; apart from Canon, Aptina have shown they can produce and Toshiba sensors have found their way into the Nikon line-up. Even the vaunted Olympus EM1, which everyone thought had a Sony sensor, turns out to be using a Panasonic sensor -another manufacturer that people were starting to question.

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