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Messages - jrista

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1621
EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 11, 2014, 12:03:22 AM »

Of those low ISO images, for how many did you have to blow highlights or block shadows to preserve the other end AND you had a difference of not more than 2-stops such that the greater low ISO DR of the Sony/Nikon sensor would have solved the problem AND of that subset, how many of those shots were rendered unusable by the lost detail in the shadows or highlights? 


You could apply this logic to every facet of image taking when arguing against technological improvements:


"Of all your high ISO shots, how many were so truly noisy that you simply couldn't use the image?"

"Of all those shots of grizzly bears, how many were truly ruined by using only a 2-stop IS system?"
 
etc....

The point is that Canon addressed those issues. We no longer rely on 2-stop IS systems, we have 4- to 5-stop IS systems. We no longer have to worry about noise at ISO 3200 or even ISO 6400, with the 1D X, 5D III, and 6D, they are amazingly clean.

Canon addressed the most vocal demands of their customers. Solving the problems you listed above were at the top of the customer demand list. Does no one remember what all the pros were literally demanding from Canon before the D800 hit the streets? Fewer megapixels! Better high ISO! An AF system that doesn't suck like the 1D III's did! Canon delivered what their customers asked for...so no, we no longer have to deal with the issues you listed.

I also believe Canon will deliver on the DR front. Why? Because its what the largest and most vocal group of Canon users are screaming for now. Canon users weren't calling for more dynamic range before the D800...they were all largely satisfied with what they had. It's only SINCE the D800 that the customer demand has changed...which indicates it is more a result of "Hey, that other guy over there has more DR than I do! I want more DR, too!" syndrome (all while concurrently ignoring that they already have better AF, faster frame rate, better frame buffer handling, better glass options, better...), than the all-encompassing, singularly important, most absolutely critical factor for IQ that photographers thing it is. I mean...no one complained about it when 11-12 stops was "all" ANY camera offered, including $60,000 MFD systems (which, ironically, is what they are STILL limited to...an yet no one complains!)...

Anyway...this is the same old thing that always crops up. Yeah, more DR == good. DR != Single Most Important IQ Factor (SMIIQF...pronounced like a "squeaky chick fart"). I'm out! Peace out!  8)

1622
EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 10, 2014, 11:52:04 PM »
I'm quite content with the DR of my 5D3 ;D



I've always loved your cars! Great stuff!

1623
EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 10, 2014, 11:42:06 PM »

Statistically, higher ISO settings are used more frequently these days than lower ISO settings...so it really baffles me that this is such a broad and ubiquitous issue. I am not saying that better low ISO DR is a bad thing, of course it's good...but it is still only one IQ factor out of many. Given how well the D800 has sold, I wouldn't go so far as to say Canon is now playing "catchup" in the low ISO DR arena yet.

Which statistic?  Can you point to the result of a scientific study?

And what exactly do you mean by “higher ISO settings”? Higher than 100, 400, 800, 1600…?

I buy into a camera system and the sensor is just one part of the system, but I would love to have the low iso DR of the D800 in my 5DIII.
It’s the one area Canon is really outperformed by just about all other manufacturers. I think they should address that for the next generation and they probably will.
All manufacturers are playing catchup in some way, because none of them are the best at everything.

High ISO...I'd call that ISO 800 or above. ISO 100, 200, and 400 I consider low ISO, although ISO 400 is kind of in the middle there, and others might have a different opinion.

I don't have a specific study. It's a simple observation, however on that I have been making over the last four years or so. (FYI, I've moderated photo.stackexchange.com since 2010, and have encountered and chatted with quite a number of photographers over the last four years from a wide range of photographic endeavors.) How many white Canon lenses do you see at pretty much every sporting event around the globe? Hundreds to thousands at each and every event. Canon dominates sports, hands down, no question. They really dominate action, not just sports. I spend a lot of time out in nature, and meet a fair number of nature photographers. The very vast majority of the people I've met out in the wilderness, including both wildlife and bird photographers as well as landscape photographers, overwhelmingly have Canon equipment. Canon 1D IV, Canon 5D III, and Canon 1D X are becoming almost ubiquitous in the wildlife and bird world. Canon great white lenses, 300s, 500s, and 600s, are extremely common (particularly the 500 Mark Is...lot of wildlifers and birders use that lens, guess it's at a sweet spot of weight and cost). I've met a few who have Nikon equipment, two of whom use D800's for bird photography. I know of one (now a good friend) who uses Pentax and Nikon. I also know and have encountered/chatted with a decent number of wedding & portrait photographers. Most use the Canon 5D II. A few still use the 5DC (they don't seem to care about resolution). Some use the 5D III (and all of the 5D line wedding photographers had one consistent complaint before the 5D III: Sucky AF.) I know of several wedding photographers who use Nikon and other brands (some have gone to mirrorless as of late, with a variety of brands.) I know two wedding and portrait photographers who use Nikon exclusively. One uses a D800 and D3, the other uses a D7000, with a D800 planned for very soon. I would say that Nikon seems to have a growing following in the strait portraiture arena...not so much for DR, but for the sheer amount of detail the D800 or D600 bring to the table...seems that ridiculous, razor-sharp detail that brings out every single pore is really "in" right now, and there is no question that the D800 offers that in spades.

So, sorry, I don't have an official study for you, but it really isn't a difficult observation to make. Just look around.  It's a very well-educated guess. The number of cameras and lenses that you can spot in the world that say "Canon" on them vastly outnumber  any other brand. Of those, the biggest group that uses the most cohesive set of camera features are the action shooters. Sports/Olympics, Wildlife, Birds...and you can throw in car racing, air shows (know a few guys who do this, damn good at it too), kayaking, boat racing, pretty much anything you could remotely call a sport, or has moving subjects...the camera is going to be at a higher ISO setting, and is probably a 5D III or a 1D X. The next two biggest groups would be Wedding & Portrait, and Landscapes. Not sure which is bigger...seems pretty evenly split here in Colorado, but if you hit larger metropolitan areas, I would make the educated guess that Wedding and Portrait photographers would end up significantly out-pacing the Landscape photographers (and I mean real landscape photographers...I know more people than I can count who use entry level cameras, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, everything...and call themselves landscape photographers, but their work wouldn't land on anyones walls (no offense to anyone like this, but)...blown clouds, random people in the frame, lack of interesting composition, effectively point-and-shoot mountain peaks and a few scattered rocks or stubby evergreen trees here and there, never any post processing, thrown up on Imgur, PhotoBucket, or Facebook.)

I honestly don't have all that much knowledge about studio photographers. I can't really say how big a customer segment studio photographers might be for Canon...but I guess big enough for them to create the 1Ds line in the past. What I DO know about studio photography, it seems to lean medium format (or maybe Leica S-system) a lot more than it leans Canon, Nikon or Sony. Phase One also seems to be the brand I hear about most from the studio photogs I do know or have crossed paths with.

1624
EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 10, 2014, 11:17:07 PM »
This is interesting. I've never tested it in pictures, but I know in video that ISO noise is non-linear. So technically 160 is better than 100, and 320 is better than 200 or 250, so on and so forth. Wouldn't it be the same in terms of pictures?

This is a Canon quirk. It's actually one of the very few things I hate about my Canon cameras. Canon doesn't have native third-stop ISO settings. Unlike Nikon and Sony (and probably others) who use electronic gain to boost the signal on-sensor for all ISO settings (up to a certain point, like ISO 1600 or 3200, after which more complex means are usually employed to boost the signal), Canon uses a downstream secondary amplifier to additionally adjust for third-stop ISO settings.

This is also where the "ISO 160 base ISO" MYTH for Canon cameras comes from. Canon's native base ISO is literally ISO 100, no question. Canon employs a full stop gain for ISO 200. For ISO 160, Canon does a downstream third-stop "push" for ISO 125, which actually COSTS you a third of a stop of dynamic range (clipping highlights). Since it is a post-read push, it also amplifies read noise by a third of a stop (not much, but if you do end up having to push shadows around a LOT, you notice it.) For ISO 160, Canon does a downstream third-stop "pull", which again costs you a third of a stop dynamic range (crushing blacks). Since it is a post-read push, it reduces read noise by a third of a stop (hence, the notion that ISO 160 is "cleaner" than ISO 100...it is, by a minuscule amount.)

The push pattern is used for all third-stop settings just above full stops (125, 250, 500, etc.) The pull pattern is used for all third-stop settings just below full stops (160, 320, 640, etc.) Depending on the camera, this pattern is abandoned at higher ISO. It used to be that all Canon cameras employed this push/pull third-stop pattern up through ISO 1600, after which a different and more complicated approach was used. With the 5D III and 6D, I believe the pattern is employed up through ISO 6400, beyond which their more complicated approach is used. The 1D X does not seem to exhibit the same differences in noise and DR for third stops as all the rest of Canon's cameras. I am not sure why, but for whatever reason, the 1D X third stops are much better and more linear overall, and therefor much more usable (with no loss of DR.)

1625
EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 10, 2014, 11:08:12 PM »
When approaching the conversation with intellectual honesty, one cannot dispute that low ISO IQ is an important aspect of photography....especially for nature photographers.

AN important aspect of photography. Not THE important aspect of photography. You made my point for me.

Yes, it is important, I said as much. It is no where near as important as a growing number of photographers seem to think. It is AN important factor of IQ, but by no means the singular most important one. You are also missing part of my point. Canon has dynamic range, quite a lot of it in the grand scheme of things. The argument I was debating was that Canon so utterly and desperately needed more low ISO DR.

I levy the question again...how many of your shots are at ISO 100, and more importantly, of those ISO 100 shots, in how many did you desperately NEED to push shadows more than two or three stops?

Privatebydesign offered part of the answer:

That is an interesting question that illustrates why there are so many diverse opinions about th same piece of equipment, we all use them differently.

As for me I took a look, of my last 19,500 images, 9,000 were at 100iso, 7,500 at 200iso, 2,000 at 400 iso and 1,500 at 800 and other random intermediate iso stops.

I'd like higher low iso image quality. But I am not going to spit my dummy out waiting for it.

We know how many he takes at low ISO. He takes a lot, but that doesn't address my actual question, and the question that actually pertains to having more than 12 stops of DR at ISO 100: How many of those 9000 ISO 100 images needed to be pushed by four, five, or six stops? I would guess VERY FEW. Practically none, unless PBD shoots exceptionally difficult scenes with massive dynamic range on a regular basis/for a living. If that is the case, then hell, I highly recommend a D800 for him. In the grand scheme of things, though, I doubt most photographers even think about pushing shadows that much (or could even find a legitimate reason to.)

Personally, I've taken about 55,000 photos at ISO 800 - 3200. I've taken about 15,000 at ISO 400, and less than 10,000 at ISO 100 and 200. Of the ISO 100 photos, I have needed more dynamic range than my 7D offers in about 2000 shots, however I am usually short by maybe one stop (and that is more because of the 7D pixel size...if I had a 5D III, I would have what I need for pretty much everything I've shot before.) In the cases where slight vertical banding noise did show up in the shadows (maybe a couple hundred at most)...I used Topaz DeNoise 5, and was not only able to remove the banding, but I also gained more dynamic range (that's what happens when you reduce noise anyway...you gain DR, but Topaz has a feature that attempts to further recover DR that was lost to shadow noise due to a loss of tonal fidelity, which gains me even more.)

I use GND filtration for my landscape photography, so dynamic range is actually something I have a lot of control over in the field. I would actually greatly appreciate more native sensor DR, as it would reduce my need to use GND filters. It would also help me avoid that unsightly GND artifact where mountaintops end up dark or even black when you need to use more than two to three stops of filtration. That is the single situation where I think having more dynamic range would actually be the most important factor for IQ...ONE situation. I also suspect that tonemapping 14 stops into 8-10 stops without ending up with quirky shifts in contrast and color fidelity would still be very challenging, and I highly doubt I would stop using GND filters even if I had a D800. I still doubt I would push shadows around more than 2-3 stops....but it would be 2-3 stops along with fewer GND filters, which still makes the job easier in the end.

Again, I am not saying more DR is bad. Certainly not. I would just like to know, given how many people have started complaining about it since the release of the D800, how many of them actually have a real-world USE for more DR. Of PBD's 9000 ISO 100 shots...in how many did he actually push shadows around more than 2 stops? That's the real indicator of how much dynamic range we NEED, vs. how much more dynamic range we just WANT because, well, you know...the other guy has it.

Personally, I know the use cases I would love to have more DR for. It's a small fraction of my work. I also know that the kind of photography I do most is in line with the majority of DSLR users...action. Action photographers are what make the Canon Photography world go round. There are far more action shooters than any other kind of shooter, when you factor in sports, air shows, car races, bike races, watersports, wildlive, birds, and all those little children running around dimly lit houses. I want more DR, but I also know it isn't the singular most important IQ factor that so many forum talkers seem to think it is. If more people would honestly answer the question: "How often do you NEED to lift ISO 100 shadows more than 2-3 stops?" I think people might get a clearer picture of how important more dynamic range actually is to their work.

1626
EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 10, 2014, 06:33:20 PM »

Canon is not the one playing catch up here.

In terms of low ISO IQ they most certainly are.

Low ISO IQ is a tiny factor out of hundreds that affect image quality. I find it so incredibly ironic that low ISO IQ is apparently the single most important thing for so many "photographers". How many of you who complain about low ISO IQ actually use low ISO all that often? And for those of you who do use low ISO, how often is it that you actually need to lift your shadows more than a few stops? Canon's current crop of cameras is quite capable of being lifted 2-3 stops without issues at low ISO...it is only when you get into the realm of lifting 4-6 stops (or, if you are a true psycho, 8-10 stops by using Lightroom's exposure brush!!)...but lifting any photo's shadows by that much inevitably results in other issues...funky contrast transitions as you move from bright midtones to shadows, strange noise and color fidelity gradients, etc. I would honestly be extremely surprised if as many people who complain about low ISO performance actually lift shadows 4+ stops on a consistent basis.

Statistically, higher ISO settings are used more frequently these days than lower ISO settings...so it really baffles me that this is such a broad and ubiquitous issue. I am not saying that better low ISO DR is a bad thing, of course it's good...but it is still only one IQ factor out of many. Given how well the D800 has sold, I wouldn't go so far as to say Canon is now playing "catchup" in the low ISO DR arena yet.

1627
EOS Bodies / Re: Where are Canons innovation?
« on: January 10, 2014, 06:28:26 PM »

I think Nikon could probably fabricate their own sensors. They used to in years past. Their management thought it would be more profitable to stop investing money in their own fabrication, and buy their sensors and the like third party. I don't think that decision really changed the fundamentals for Nikon.

I think they could too, but it takes time to ramp up to speed, plus, who actually owns the design for the sensor???

What happens if a Chinese company decides to get into DSLR's and gets their financial hands on Sony? Poof! They now have sensors and a fabrication facility... and with this, away goes the Nikon supply.

A lot of camera components are fairly easy to manufacture and there are numerous facilities around the world that you can contract out to fairly easily, but the two killers are large sensors (lots of competition for p/s fabrication) and large optical elements. That's probably why Canon keeps it's fluorite lens facility "close to home"

And back to the topic about where are Canon's innovations... you have to look at lenses... fluorite glass, nano-coatings, lightweight materials, focusing motors and algorithms, diffractive optics, and slip-in teleconverters. You can't tell the difference between a series one and a series two "big white" by looking at them from the outside, but pick them up and use them.... lighter, faster and better focusing, stellar image quality... it had to come from somewhere.

And going back to camera bodies, look at the Digic chips.... go back to the not so distant past and pick up a 5D2 with it's Digic4 processor. Then we went to dual Digic4 (2X faster), the Digic5 (6X faster), then Digic5+ (17X faster), and the 1DX with dual Digic5+ (34X faster). With 34 times the computing power of a 5D2, you can bet that there has been a lot of work and innovation on the processing algorithms, and what is to come? Digic 6 is out in p/s cameras and I would not be surprised to see dual Digic6 in the rumoured 7D2... will it have the computing power to track and focus on that bird in flight, recognizing which part of the image is the bird and which part to ignore?

All good points, and I agree with all of them.

I actually find it a bit sad that Nikon is the company they are. I actually kind of wish they were a bit more conservative, and able to put up more of a fight against Canon and Sony. Over the long term, I actually wonder if Nikon will still be here in ten years as the second major photography company, or whether Sony will have taken over. All things being equal, I still consider Nikon equipment to be superior to Sony, and losing them as a major competitor would actually be a huge negative for Canon users...it would eliminate a key competitor, and that would only mean Canon's conservative nature (which is currently their strength) would assert itself with a vengeance (which would still be good for Canon, but might actually end up being bad for the consumer and professional in the long run.)

1628
EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 10, 2014, 06:22:43 PM »
I rented  a d800 and two  good  lenses .  My test  shoots with  my own  5dmk3 and D800 shows that Canon are far behind in digital imaging , resolution , color depth and dynamic range.
Sony 36Mp together with my Canon lenses  will be next  rental try fom my  side
A Swedish Winnie the Poo (Nalle Puh)... Post 1, love anything but Canon, concerned with DR ... Give us a break  ::)

Swedish Winnie the Poo also ignores the empirical facts. Even DXO, the organization much loathed by Canon users, demonstrates that a 5D III with most L-series lenses (usually on the longer end) is actually BETTER than the D800 with Nikon's best glass from a resolution standpoint. All those extra megapixels on the D800 are only enough to bring it up to par with the 5D III on longer glass. Canon still suffers on the wide angle end of things, but hopefully 2014 will be the year that changes that.

1629
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 10, 2014, 05:05:34 PM »
One more Duck near Hopetoun Falls, Otway Ranges, Cumberland River, Victoria, Australia

Boy, he's a beauty!

1630
EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 10, 2014, 05:05:07 PM »
Canon hasn't answered the D800/E yet.

Why is that an issue? Why is it necessary for Canon to "answer" ANYTHING from the competition? I feel like I just answered this in another thread...Canon has never directly competed model for model with their competition. Instead, Canon produces what their customers ask for, and so far, given their track record, they WILL release compelling products that Canon customers want in the years to come.

1631
EOS Bodies / Re: Where are Canons innovation?
« on: January 10, 2014, 05:03:21 PM »
Nikon doesn't make a fraction of the revenue Canon does on their photography division. That doesn't bode well for future Nikon innovation. As it stands, the bulk of the innovation in Nikon's most recent camera bodies came from other companies, like Sony. That is a precarious position to be in...relying on other companies so much. If any one of them faltered or failed, Nikon could be dragged right down with them.
This is a point so important that it is staggering! There are not a lot of companies out there producing large quantities of imaging sensors that could go into DSLR's... What happens if Sony fails, or at the least, gets rid of the portion of it's business that makes the sensors for Nikon? Hopefully, someone will buy that division and the production will continue, but if it doesn't, Nikon will be out of business until someone else can set up a production line and get up to speed... a process that will take years....

I think Nikon could probably fabricate their own sensors. They used to in years past. Their management thought it would be more profitable to stop investing money in their own fabrication, and buy their sensors and the like third party. I don't think that decision really changed the fundamentals for Nikon.

I don't think sensor IQ has been nearly as much of a boon for Nikon as it should have been...and I think the reason why is Nikon doesn't have nearly the production pipeline consistency and quality that Canon does. I never noticed it when I was first in the market for a camera...I was only looking at the low end, comparing Canon and Nikon entry level bodies. But in recent years, I've been completely baffled by Nikon's model naming scheme. It doesn't make any sense, which to me indicates some more fundamental underlying issue at Nikon that is giving rise to the naming issue.

Additionally, Nikon seems to expend a lot of effort on things that really aren't going to change their status quo. The Df is one of those things. I understand the mentality behind it...Nikon management probably feels the need to set themselves apart on a product by product basis, and the Df is an intriguing release in that it is supposedly "stills only focused". But the Df still demonstrates the same underlying attention-deficit that Nikon's naming scheme does...it was rushed onto the market, and clearly demonstrates a major debacle on the control front.

We can't forget all the misshaps with recent camera releases as well. Poor ergonomics and bad choices for button placements. The yellow-green LCD issue with the D800. The AF point issues with the D800. The oil spots issue with the D600. The choice to RENAME the "bugfix" for the D600 issue by calling the camera the D6100. Not to mention the customer support nightmare that it was for Nikon users who actually encountered these issues, and ended up getting the runaround for a couple months before Nikon support SLOWLY started to SPORADICALLY acknowledge the issue actually did exist, and finally start fixing it (which still often took multiple round trips, on the customers dime for shipping cost).

Alliances or no, Nikon has some other kind of fundamental issue internally that is the core of their problem. They demonstrate a kind of corporate schizophrenia, like different parts of the company have different voices telling them to do odd things...

1632
EOS Bodies / Re: Where are Canons innovation?
« on: January 10, 2014, 04:15:14 PM »
Dont get me wrong, I do like my canon dslr, and as several people has pointed out, they are very very good at lenses. My 70-200 F4L IS is absolutely fantastic!!! In a couple of years, when I´m gonna change camera, I probably will stick with canon. My only reason to jump to Sony is to be able to share accessories/lenses with my wifes nex.

Well, have fun with Sony. Sony makes a lot of products...but since the late 1980's when I first started using Sony products, I have to say, I've never been as impressed with Sony anything as I have been with other brands. Some aspects of Sony technologies intrigue me, but their final end products always seem lacking and lackluster. The A7r, for example, while an intriguing product with a great sensor (an aspect of the technology) just doesn't seem to impress "overall". I seriously considered getting one myself, but the whole package just isn't there...not on the same level as a Canon. I would honestly rather get an EOS-M, and have a well thought out full package, than get the A7r..."just for it's sensor". I'd be frustrated with all the rest...all the time.

1633
EOS Bodies / Re: Where are Canons innovation?
« on: January 10, 2014, 04:15:03 PM »
I was just wondering about where Canons innovation has gone? Sure, they put a touch screen on a dslr, but that is not really innovative. We´ve had this on smart phones for a long time (yes, they are caneras as well), but that is about it. WiFi? They have offered WiFi for a long time as well, but as an add on feature. Integrating it is more of an evolution, the same as with the touch screen.

The reason I ask this question, "where are the innovation" is because I recently bought my wife a Sony NEX-6, anf my poor 550D looked really really ancient next to it!! Dont get me wrong, I do enjoy shooting my canon, and I have solid lenses, but it really was a huge gap between the Canon and the Sony.

I do think that Canon produces very good, solid performing cameras, no doubt. The 5D3 and the 1DX really dont have true competition. They are not the best at everything, but as a whole, perhaps the best tools avaliable for the professionals. However, I´m not a professional, though quite enthustiastic :)
Where is Canons equivalent to the Sony A7/R or the Nikon DF? Where is the downloadable apps for the Camera, motion sensors etc.? The EOS M? Never tried it, but from what I understand, a good, solid performer (after the FW update), but not very innovative.

The thing is, the people at Canon are not stupid, I am sure they have all the technology in the world to make super innovative cameras (yes, even fix the DR-problem that really isn´t a problem), but why dont they show us, or just give us some hints? Where are Canon at the CES?

I am not the type that want the latest and greatest technology at the moment it is released. But, I am gonna upgrade my equipment in a couple of years. Hopefully I can stick to Canon and not feel I´m buying an old relic.

First off, check patent filings. Canon innovated almost 3200 times last year. Thats a lot of innovation, and from a patent count standpoint, Canon actually innovated more than Sony, and a hell of a lot more than Nikon.

Second, adding a touch screen to a camera could be considered innovative. They did not innovate touch screens, but they have produced some innovative ways of accessing and managing camera settings and configuration.

Third, are you seriously forgetting all the innovations Canon has included in their most recent cameras? The 1D X alone is PACKED with innovation, several in the AF system, several more in their metering system, the way their meter and AF system is linked with a dedicated processor is innovative, they innovated with their new shutter and mirror assembly that broke the 12fps barrier, they innovated Dual Pixel AF.

Don't forget, photography is as much about the lens as it is about the sensor and the camera. Canon has even more innovations packed into their newest lenses, and they have a whole host of additional lens releases slated for 2014.

I think your being naive if you think that simply responding to your competitors is innovative. On the contrary, being a copy-cat "me too!" company is actually about the farthest thing from innovative as you can get. Nikon is actually not a very innovative company. Nikon is a company of alliances...they ally themselves with counterbodies like Sony, then buy and sometimes share their own technology in order to produce a product. Nikon does not have a cohesive approach to producing cameras...just look at their camera model naming scheme, and the only thing you'll see is schizophrenia. Nikon camera names are chaotic, confusing, and even potentially conflicting. Nikon, since they don't innovate critical technology, has some extra time to produce fancy little tidbits such as 24karat gold plated cameras, the Nikon Df, and a whole host of other random, one-off, and frequently quirky little devices that...for a SHORT time...make fans rave, but over the long run do NOTHING to make them a better company.

Canon, on the other hand, is most assuredly innovative. Canon, given their track record, doesn't give a flying rat's ass about "the competition." Canon rarely produces cameras that "directly" compete with anything their primary competition has to offer...which is why we don't often see things like a Canon SomethingD with 36mp, or a full frame mirrorless to "directly compete with" the Sony A7r. We probably WON'T see such things either. Canon is not a copycat "me too!" company. They are an innovative company. Canon, as it stands, is actually a company that really seems to listen to their customers, is diligent about filtering the noise from the critical customer demands, careful and conservative in their development, testing, and refinement of their products, and will deliver when they believe they have found a product that TRULY answers THEIR, CANON'S, CUSTOMER DEMANDS. Whatever Canon releases in the coming years, I highly doubt anything but the 1D X will have any "direct" competition from either Sony or Nikon. Whatever Canon releases, it will rather pointedly service Canon customer needs.

Canon hasn't stopped innovating. They just aren't rushing. (Oh, and they have no reason to "hype" by dropping pointless little rumorbombs all over the place to get peoples hopes up about technology that isn't ready yet.)

I am not denying that Canon is not innovating, they are, how else would they be market leader! They have an enormous R&D department, not only for photography, but also medical imaging (I use large Canon x-ray detectors at work, they are very good!).

The wording of your title and body seem to indicate otherwise, but perhapse I misread.

However they dont listen too much at customers.

Before I dive in and counter your statements, this is so fundamentally wrong, its laughable. You have to remember that it takes YEARS for a new camera to be developed. Today, people are screaming for more DR and more megapixels. Four years ago, five and six years ago...do you remember what people were most loudly screaming about? I mean, LOUDLY screaming about? FEWER MEGAPIXELS!! BETTER HIGH ISO!! BETTER AF SYSTEM!!

How many years did it take for them to implement Auto ISO in M-mode? Oh, and only in the 1DX, which cost way too much for most people. Do they even have spot metering linked to the chosen focus point? Fokus peaking? Zebra? Intervallometer? No!! They dont listen too much.

Those are all customer requests...but are they the MOST DEMANDED customer requests? I hear people asking for Auto ISO only after they hear that Nikon has it. And then, it is only a few people who really consistently ask for it. Intervalometer? If you say that word to any random but sufficient sampling of photographers, most will go: "Intervawat?"As for focus peaking and zebras...they aren't that useful in a DSLR, where you spend the vast majority of your time looking through an OPTICAL view finder. They might be interesting little features that get some limited use for live view junkies...but overall, they are FAR from the most significant customer demand that Canon MUST respond to.

There are a few critically important things that are truly critical to Canon's core, loyalist customers. Canon's most important group of customers is not the average Rebel buyer...no. Canon's most important group of customers are the pros, semi-pros, and hard core avid enthusiasts who regularly spend thousands of dollars on their most coveted products...the 1D series, the 5D series, L-series lenses. Overall image quality is one of the single most important factors that Canon MUST address. Focus peaking/Zeebras in live view? Sorry, that just DOES NOT make the cut when you have much bigger fish to fry...such as designing a radical new AF unit that completely trounces anything Canon, or for that matter any of their competitors, has ever released. Auto ISO? Doesn't matter a whit when you have to invest immense amounts of money designing a sensor and readout system that can offer the cleanest and highest native high ISO settings at 14fps. (Auto ISO also doesn't matter a wit when a significant amount of pro photographers just don't care about it...they either use full manual because they insist on total control, or they simply go Av/Tv and forget the rest.)

Canon isn't arrogant. It is not arrogant to not care about the competition, and instead listen to and actually address the most vocal outcry of YOUR OWN customers. It is BETTER to listen to your customers and deliver what they demand, and that is exactly what Canon did. There were three primary demands from Canon's customers regarding the 1D and 5D lines (the two lines that are really the most important for Canon):
 1. Stop increasing megapixels without making them better.
 2. Improve high ISO performance by A LOT.
 3. Release an AF system that does not have the problems the 1D III had & put a MUCH better AF system in the 5D III.

Sports and action photographers, who probably make up the single largest segment of loyal Canon customers, were extremely clear about their demand for a better AF system (especially after the fiasco with the 1D III AF system) and much better high ISO performance. Sports photogs, which includes Olympics photogs, are a MASSIVE group, and account for a significant amount of revenue for Canon's photography division. They care less about megapixels, and far more about having lots of clean, low noise frames per second at high ISO. Canon delivered EXACTLY what that large, vocal group demanded.

Wedding/portrait photographers make up another significant segment of loyal Canon customers. The 5D and 5D II have been staples for wedding photographers for years. The single biggest complaint from them? The AF system. The 5D II 9pt AF system, while not "bad", was FAR from as capable as necessary for wedding and portrait photographers. So it is no surprise that Canon put the 61pt AF system in the 5D III. Again, Canon delivered EXACTLY what a very vocal and profitable group of customers demanded.

Neither of those three critical improvements were cheap to achieve, either. Canon has a large R&D budget, but it gets spread around. They develop medical imaging, printing, CMOS fabrication and other optical technologies in addition to photography. They don't have their full R&D budget to dedicate solely to photography improvements every year. I think Canon responded very well to their customers, all things considered, with the 1D X and 5D III. The 6D, while it doesn't compete directly with the D600, is certainly no slouch either. The 6D demonstrated one even FURTHER improvement in high ISO performance, as it has some of the cleanest, lowest noise high ISO output I've seen (it has practically zero color noise, and very low luma noise, once you get to ISO 1600 and beyond.)

So sorry, but Canon most certainly DOES listen to their customers. They just don't have the option of actually RESPONDING to EVERY SINGLE customer demand. Rebel and xxD buyers are at the bottom of the list, and rightly so. Those are consumer-level products, and in the grand scheme of things, they really don't matter. That doesn't make Canon arrogant, it simply makes them business savvy. They put their money where it TRULY matters.

They are a business, and in it to make money, and that they do well. Canon make a camera, not to be as good as it can be, but to fit a gap in the market. Reasonable, but not exciting. As you put it, "Canon, given their track record, doesn't give a flying rat's ass about "the competition." This is very arrogant, and is sure gonna cost them customers. We saw a little about this in the 50D -> 60D, more or less gimping the camera. In the 70D, they redeemd themself.

I think the 60D was a mistake, but contrary to your opinion...they actually WERE listening to their customers. One of the frequent requests from consumers is for lighter weight entry level bodies. The Rebel series and xxD line are not pro-level lines, they are consumer lines. The 60D's use of a plastic body was an attempt to respond to customer demand for a lighter weight body. Canon DOES listen to their customers. Problem is, the most vocal group, and the loudest demand, changes over time. It seems clear, given the outcry about the 60D's loss of a metal body, that Canon listened to the wrong group. They did indeed "correct" the mistake with the 70D, and brought in more semi-pro features from the 7D to make it a more viable product again. But that doesn't mean Canon wasn't listening. They DO listen...but it can be difficult to filter the noise from the legitimate needs. The demand for smaller, lighter DSLRs from consumers has not stopped, by any means. Canon is STILL responding to that demand...just look at the SL1. It's the smallest and lightest DSLR on the market right now.

I think your misinterpreting a lot of things from Canon, and unfairly judging their reactions to what customers want. You also fail to properly rank the requests that crop up on internet forms with more vocal and critical requests from very large bodies of Canon's key revenue-generating customer groups. Fancy firmware features for live view, and things like Auto ISO, are trivial fluff in the grand scheme of things. It is unsurprising that Canon does not dedicate a lot of resources to those features, because they aren't really what will keep their important customers happy and returning for more. Sorry if that brushes off the low-end consumer, but the low-end consumer isn't what Canon's photography division is really about.

Comparing the old 550D with the rather new nex-6 is not fair, but how did the rebel series develop? Sensor, pretty much the same from 550D to 700D (minor tweaks). 550D -> 600D, added wireless flash control. 600D -> 650D, touch screen and articulated screen, also upped the AF (?), 650D -> 700D Changed the knob to go all the way around... Small steps, carefull evolution, nothing big. Though, they are entry level cameras, they could have done more, not keeping at a minimum all the time. But then again, as tools they are good, steady cameras. No denying!

Your still talking about entry-level stuff. The entry-level doesn't really matter all that much. Consumers are fickle, they jump ship, then jump back on the ship, on a moments whim. Satisfying the consumer is an endless and generally fruitless endeavor. It is NOT surprising that Canon just keeps plugging away with what's working. Why shouldn't they?

I mean, seriously...would you rather Canon actually be like Nikon from a business standpoint? Nikon has struggles for years. They are barely innovative, they can't seem to get all their ducks in a row, they have had consistent problems maintaining supply chain and actually keeping product on the shelves, they often dedicate considerable resources to developing things that DO NOT actually make them much money in the long run (i.e. a $12,000 24 karat gold plated DSLR with real lizard-skin grip...I mean, seriously? It's an INTERESTING product, but it is a complete and total WASTE of time, effort, and money!!) Nikon is a flagging company...they don't seem to have consistent direction. They PACK in as many features as they possibly can because they MUST in order to get the sales they do, and yet, on more than a few occasions, packing in the features caused them problems. Nikon has had numerous problems listening to their customers as well. Ergonomically, Nikon bodies have gone through a couple changes that resulted in some significant backlash, not the least of which were some of the recent button and dial changes on the D800 and other newer Nikon cameras.

Nikon doesn't make a fraction of the revenue Canon does on their photography division. That doesn't bode well for future Nikon innovation. As it stands, the bulk of the innovation in Nikon's most recent camera bodies came from other companies, like Sony. That is a precarious position to be in...relying on other companies so much. If any one of them faltered or failed, Nikon could be dragged right down with them.

Canon, on the other hand, is a business run like a business. Yes, they are in it to make money. That is a GOOD thing. It means they will still be here in ten years. It means they will continue to have revenue to innovate, which means in the long run, they will continue to be able to respond to their customer's key demands.

As Neuroanatomist asked earlier, if I really find the Nikon DF innovative? Well, no, not innovative in the common sense, but it is a very bold move! Not regarding the Leicas (rangefinders), it is probably the second FF mirrorless camera with ICL (Sony A7/R as the first). Anyway, they are early on. It also has no video, which is bold, and it is ugly as hell! Would Canon launch this? No, they wouldn´t. But they also wouldn´t launch something like the Nikon 1 AW 1.

The problem with the Df is not that it's an intriguing and interesting little camera. Nikon has no problem with intriguing and interesting. Like I said, 24karat Gold Plated Lizard Skin DSLR. :P The problem with the Df, is Nikon didn't put in the proper effort. It doesn't sell not because it's got a "retro" design. It doesn't sell because it probably has one of THE WORST control designs on the face of the planet. Stacked dials? Seriously? That's about the most useless control mechanism I can think of. Nikon rushed the Df to market. Again, probably because they felt they had to, in order to attract more interest in a niche line, because...well a) that's what they do, and b) they are having a hard time selling things like the D800 (it's total sales volume is a fraction of the 5D III.)

If Canon put their mind to releasing a retro-styled DSLR, I would bet good money that not only would they do it, they would do it right, do it on their own time table, and when it finally hit the shelves, it would sell well. Why? Because it wouldn't be impossible to control, and people would know that it had that Canon guarantee of quality behind it. It would have been thoroughly and properly tested and field vetted before it hit the streets. It would have Canon's superb and superior customer service backing it up.

Will Canon do it? Well, probably not. I'm sure some people are demanding it, but again...Canon responds to the most critical demands first and foremost, and they only have so much money to spend on R&D.


1634
EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 10, 2014, 03:34:35 PM »
I wonder if the D800 sales might be pointing them in another direction...

I think the fact that Canon has not rushed a 36mp camera to market is further anecdotal evidence that the D800 series have not been an out and out winner for Nikon.

A high mp FF camera seems to fall into two very different camps. On the one hand you have a few serious photographers who really will be able to use that potential resolution in their work, and then on the other hand the casual user who gets most pleasure by drooling over the size of images at 100% on the computer screen. Pleasure may turn to disappointment when they find they have to use the finest glass, stop down a couple, mount on a rock solid tripod, crop out the edges of the frame etc, etc.

My guess is that when Canon do introduce their high mp offering it will be a very high end camera. Then when the consumer is educated enough to understand why a 18 mp 1Dx is five times more expensive than a 40mp 9D we might see a high mp 'budget' camera.

The great thing about the 5DIII and 1Dx is their image quality and frame rate. If we have a camera with a higher MP count, then the frame rate will drop. The current throughput for Dual Digic 5 is 225mb/s. This gives us a throughput which can be cut several ways, 12fps @ 18.1mp = 217mb/s. If we assume the same Dual Digic 5 chip set, 225mp / 5 fps 45 mp. If you want the higher MP chip then there's only one way the fps can go.
If the Canon develops Digic 6, generally a gain of 1.5x according to past upgrades, we get a potential figures of 340 mb/s, 12fps @ 28mp (nice) or 5fps @ 67.5 mp or 7.5fps @ 45mp.

Your math here is wrong. The DIGIC5+ is 250mb/s throughput. The full sensor pixel count is 19.1mp, because you have to account for the masked off border pixels as well as the 18mp of actual light gathering pixels. You also have to account for the mirror-locked up 14fps maximum frame rate, rather than 12fps. Canon's full data throughput on the 1D X is 500mb/s.

1635
EOS Bodies / Re: Where are Canons innovation?
« on: January 09, 2014, 11:45:36 PM »
I was just wondering about where Canons innovation has gone? Sure, they put a touch screen on a dslr, but that is not really innovative. We´ve had this on smart phones for a long time (yes, they are caneras as well), but that is about it. WiFi? They have offered WiFi for a long time as well, but as an add on feature. Integrating it is more of an evolution, the same as with the touch screen.

The reason I ask this question, "where are the innovation" is because I recently bought my wife a Sony NEX-6, anf my poor 550D looked really really ancient next to it!! Dont get me wrong, I do enjoy shooting my canon, and I have solid lenses, but it really was a huge gap between the Canon and the Sony.

I do think that Canon produces very good, solid performing cameras, no doubt. The 5D3 and the 1DX really dont have true competition. They are not the best at everything, but as a whole, perhaps the best tools avaliable for the professionals. However, I´m not a professional, though quite enthustiastic :)
Where is Canons equivalent to the Sony A7/R or the Nikon DF? Where is the downloadable apps for the Camera, motion sensors etc.? The EOS M? Never tried it, but from what I understand, a good, solid performer (after the FW update), but not very innovative.

The thing is, the people at Canon are not stupid, I am sure they have all the technology in the world to make super innovative cameras (yes, even fix the DR-problem that really isn´t a problem), but why dont they show us, or just give us some hints? Where are Canon at the CES?

I am not the type that want the latest and greatest technology at the moment it is released. But, I am gonna upgrade my equipment in a couple of years. Hopefully I can stick to Canon and not feel I´m buying an old relic.

First off, check patent filings. Canon innovated almost 3200 times last year. Thats a lot of innovation, and from a patent count standpoint, Canon actually innovated more than Sony, and a hell of a lot more than Nikon.

Second, adding a touch screen to a camera could be considered innovative. They did not innovate touch screens, but they have produced some innovative ways of accessing and managing camera settings and configuration.

Third, are you seriously forgetting all the innovations Canon has included in their most recent cameras? The 1D X alone is PACKED with innovation, several in the AF system, several more in their metering system, the way their meter and AF system is linked with a dedicated processor is innovative, they innovated with their new shutter and mirror assembly that broke the 12fps barrier, they innovated Dual Pixel AF.

Don't forget, photography is as much about the lens as it is about the sensor and the camera. Canon has even more innovations packed into their newest lenses, and they have a whole host of additional lens releases slated for 2014.

I think your being naive if you think that simply responding to your competitors is innovative. On the contrary, being a copy-cat "me too!" company is actually about the farthest thing from innovative as you can get. Nikon is actually not a very innovative company. Nikon is a company of alliances...they ally themselves with counterbodies like Sony, then buy and sometimes share their own technology in order to produce a product. Nikon does not have a cohesive approach to producing cameras...just look at their camera model naming scheme, and the only thing you'll see is schizophrenia. Nikon camera names are chaotic, confusing, and even potentially conflicting. Nikon, since they don't innovate critical technology, has some extra time to produce fancy little tidbits such as 24karat gold plated cameras, the Nikon Df, and a whole host of other random, one-off, and frequently quirky little devices that...for a SHORT time...make fans rave, but over the long run do NOTHING to make them a better company.

Canon, on the other hand, is most assuredly innovative. Canon, given their track record, doesn't give a flying rat's ass about "the competition." Canon rarely produces cameras that "directly" compete with anything their primary competition has to offer...which is why we don't often see things like a Canon SomethingD with 36mp, or a full frame mirrorless to "directly compete with" the Sony A7r. We probably WON'T see such things either. Canon is not a copycat "me too!" company. They are an innovative company. Canon, as it stands, is actually a company that really seems to listen to their customers, is diligent about filtering the noise from the critical customer demands, careful and conservative in their development, testing, and refinement of their products, and will deliver when they believe they have found a product that TRULY answers THEIR, CANON'S, CUSTOMER DEMANDS. Whatever Canon releases in the coming years, I highly doubt anything but the 1D X will have any "direct" competition from either Sony or Nikon. Whatever Canon releases, it will rather pointedly service Canon customer needs.

Canon hasn't stopped innovating. They just aren't rushing. (Oh, and they have no reason to "hype" by dropping pointless little rumorbombs all over the place to get peoples hopes up about technology that isn't ready yet.)

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