Looks like we may get some idea of the 'competition' sooner than we thought: NR looks set to scoop some D800 images!
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Mindful also of the age of the 21mpx FF sensor, I'm of the view that the 18mpx FF sensor will be pushed into a cheaper body, but also that some photographers are also very keen to see a higher pixel count. My current view is as follows...
1Dx - FF 18mpx Sports and photojournalist
5DIII - FF 35-40mpx studio / landscape camera - 2013 launch perhaps
7DII - APS-C 28-32mpx top end crop - 2013 launch perhaps
9D - FF entry level 18mpx - helps keep cost of 1Dx sensor down - early 2012 launch
70D - APS-C 28-32mpx prosmer small body - 2 year cycle 2012 launch
650D - APS-C stick with current 18mpx crop sensor, pushing up a few mpx with the 700D and so on
1100D as is now, 1200D drops on whichever sensor canon deems cheap to manufacture, 15mpx, perhaps even 18mpx
G1x APS-C mirror less solution using EF-S lenses - 2012 perhaps
G100x compact mirror less solution using bespoke EF-G lenses, 1/1.6" perhaps ? - 2013 perhaps
G1000x compact mirror less solution using fixed zoom lens
Partner with a phone manufacturer for Canon lens/sensor on a phone - 2012/2013 ?
I was wondering if Canon would ever do such a thing or would the 1Dx sensor make more sense? Economies of scale already tells Canon to make the same APS-C sensor for every crop body, so why should the FF camp be the exception to the rule?
The FF camp is the exception to the rule because the number of sensors they get from each wafer is substantially smaller than the number of APS-C sensors. And that's just the raw numbers. Then you've got to allow for fabrication errors, meaning that you will never have a 100% yield.
So whilst the R&D for the sensor may evaporate over time, the actual manufacturing cost does not. Originally the machines they used to "print" the sensors on wafers (steppers) needed to do two passes for FF sensors but only one for APS-C (another source of increased manufacturing cost relative to APS-C.) I'm not sure if this has yet changed.
What market are we talking about here? Is Canon really competing with Nikon or Sony at this level? How many people jump into dSLR photography by buying a camera costing >$2K? The 'competition' is in the P&S and entry-level dSLR arena. At the higher levels, for the most part, buyers are already invested in a system. High profile 'defections' notwithstanding, there's a lot of inertia to changing brands when you have lenses, flashes, etc. So, I contend that for a 5DIII, Canon's greatest need for differentiation is from their own lines, not Nikon/Sony/etc. That's why the 5DII got the same AF as the 5D (given the alignment of release dates for 5DII and D700, Canon surely 'knew'. That's why they had no problem eliminating f/8 AF from the 'awesome' AF system of the 1D X - no doubt they knew it would piss off a lot of current 1-series users, and they didn't care. When they gift it back with a 1D X Mark II, the 'awesomer-ness' of the update will be another method of internal differentiation.
Put another way, Nikon has been offering more AF points in comparable bodies for years...and yet from 2007 to 2010, Canon went from 40% to 45% dSLR market share while Nikon fell from 41% to 30%. Canon has no reason to change...so, they'll keep using AF for inter-line differentiation, and hobble the 5DIII's AF.
There's my organ grinding for the night...
I think a formal announcement has to be made in order to qualify as vaporware. Has Nikon said anything about the D800 yet?
I wouldn't be so confident about "knowing" what Canon is doing. I just watched a great presentation about Kodak (link can be found on another "rumors" site) and disruptive technology. I was struck by the parallels between what happened to film over the past 10-15 years and what is now happening to the camera market with cell phones.
I have also heard elsewhere that we wonâ€™t see anything DSLR related announced until March 2012.
The last thing I was told, is weâ€™d see a larger megapixel full frame camera available by the summer of 2012.
'"'Looking forward to it. Don't care if the 5Diii won't materialize in 2012. ""
Yeah same here. I don't mind at all if the 5D III or renamed equivalent that I have been waiting for doesn't come out until late '12 or early/mid '13, I'm ready to buy it whenever it launches.