Private and Jon,
I have the greatest respect for your knowledge, experience and opinions. I just happen to agree with AvTvM on this one issue and I don't get why it is so hard to accept that he may have a point or at least a fair perspective on one issue.
I don't necessarily disagree with the core kernel of real-world issue AvTvM brought up. It's all the extra...junk...that he wrapped around that core kernel that comes off as a bit childish...the dumb, greedy Canon "evil corporation" kind of stuff. That really just muddies up the issue, clearly, as it's what people (including myself) have been noticing most.
As I said, if you don't want to spend money on Canon's new 600-RT flash for a legitimate reason, and wish they would add another product, more power to you. Be vocal about it. But being vocal while badmouthing Canon as a dumb greedy corporation that just simply doesn't get it...well that's no help to anyone. Including yourselves.
This is not a lens. This is not a camera body. This is a case where the top-of-the-line accessory was replaced by another top-of-the-line accessory and Canon made a business decision not to offer a simple and inexpensive component that would have allowed buyers of their previous generation of top of the line Speedlites to have full or partial functionality of this new feature (radio triggering).
Aye. I understand that part.
I simply think that was a bad business decision. Assuming such a business decision was made. That's not necessarily the case.
Sometimes it takes more time to develop a complete ecosystem when you develop something new. Especially when you first release it...you don't necessarily know if people will actually latch onto it and love it, or whether they will stick with what they already have. I guess I see the 600-RT as sort of Canon testing the waters. Remember, they are a conservative company. They don't just go balls to the walls and crank out any and every crazy-ass idea they have (like, *cough*Nikon*cough*Df*ahem*).
I bet if you give Canon the benefit of the doubt, rather than trolling through CR calling them greedy and just another dumb corporation, you might be surprised. If you guys have thought of it, and think it would be a goldmine for Canon to create radio transmitters that can be used with their older flash gear...you have to figure the innovative machine that Canon is has thought of it as well. Even if they have thought of it and are not sure whether to release it, you could be CONSTRUCTIVE about it all...contact them, officially, and let them know that you guys want such a thing. Demonizing Canon here on a forum is unlikely to really attract their attention, at least not in the way you guys want to attract it. (I can see it now...Canon's R&D team for flash: "Good grief! Those two guys over on CR forums are at it again. Callin us a bunch of greedy nitwits. Let's sit on this technology for juuust a little longer, see how long they last. *chuckle*" Would YOU want to deliver a new product to a bunch of guys who think your just a greedy idiot? I wouldn't! I'd have just a little spiteful fun at first, before I finally took your money. ;P)
Having some long years of experience with product planing for software projects, when you go into a big fishbowl of a meeting room to start talking about the potential features of a brand new product, you initially throw out ideas like ideas themselves are pure gold. You hash them out, refine them, log it all, sort it all, filter it all, and rank each idea according to feasibility, applicability, market demographics, and project phase. Not every idea makes it, and certainly not every idea makes the cut for the first phase of product development, testing, and release. Some ideas, even if they are excellent ideas, have to be ranked according to what the company can do within the deadlines they must set for themselves. Even if an excellent idea does make it to the top and ends up originally slated for development and release with the first phase, once the true scope and cost of a project is better understood, many things will bet pushed to the backburner for implementation in a later phase of the project.
To me, it isn't so much a bad business decision, as potentially a business decision yet to be made
, or simply a product feature that didn't quite make the cut for Canon's first round
of radio-triggered flash accessories for the EOS line. It's too short sighted to think the concept hasn't even crossed Canon's collective mind, and premature to assume it was a "bad" business decision that has so far
prevented it's production and release.
I'm not mad. I'm not pouting. I like Canon. I have been a loyal Canon customer since the days of the F1. I would never consider buying another brand of interchangeable lens camera. (I do own a Fuji X20).
But, in this one instance, it seems that Canon had a very inexpensive option available that would have offered the buyers of its top-of-the-line strobe an upgrade path. Ironically, they could have done so in a way that I believe would have increased their profits. The ST-E3-RT sells for $300. Yongnuo 622-C transceivers sell for about $45 each. It's certainly rational to believe that Canon could offer a Canon brand receiver or transceiver for two, three or even four times that amount and still make a healthy profit. It's also very likely that offering such a receiver would have actually boosted sales of the 600 RT.
Again, you guys talk as though the opportunity has come and gone, never to be an opportunity again. To me, I don't see why Canon couldn't take advantage of this opportunity at any time and rake in the cash from the cow, or cows, as it were, in the event that receivers/transceivers sell like hotcakes and the 600-RT benefits all the more from them as well. I don't see any reason why the window of opportunity has passed, or that it even "can" pass. As has been mentioned, this is a closed system for Canon cameras. Whatever Nikon or Sony might do, they can only do it for Nikon and Sony. Their system would be meaningless for Canon shooters. And as much as people like to talk about switching brands, I think in reality it is a very rare breed of individual who actually dumps one brand to jump ship to another. At worst, some people might add Nikon to their extended kit. In general, I think most people will just stick with Canon and use what they have, and buy what's available. If at some point in the future transceivers for older Canon flash units become available, I'm sure people will jump on them just as enthusiastically then as they would now. Even if third parties swoop in and somehow fill in the gap in the interim, it seems clear that people are more than happy to jump ship to Canon's official gear when it arrives...so I'm not sure third-party alternatives are really a huge concern for Canon.
You like to use the example of FD lenses. But in that case, Canon did everything they possibly could have until they finally and reluctantly came to the conclusion that they had to change to mount in order to remain technologically competitive. This would only be an analogous situation if Canon had available at the time a $35 adapter that would have allowed all FD lenses to autofocus and access the full functionality of new bodies and then made a conscious decision not to implement it.
However if Canon DID make a conscious decision not to implement it, they had very good technical or business reasons for doing so. The development of EOS and one of the first AF sensors was a pretty massive undertaking back in the 80's. The ultimate outcome of that undertaking was that they needed a whole new mount to support their long term goals. The other outcome of that undertaking was a hefty R&D bill. It isn't surprising that for EOS, Canon NEEDED to push people into the new lens system first and recoup some of those upfront costs, before even thinking about attempting to make an adapter to support focus confirm. (BTW, as far as I know, there are only four FD lenses that actually had autofocus...so were really talking about enabling focus confirm with FD lenses, not autofocus, since most weren't autofocus.)
FD had a 42mm registration distance, where as EOS has a 44mm registration distance. That means any FD to EF adapter would require optics to maintain infinity focus. That means greater potential for a loss in IQ, potential for incompatibilities, etc. It would have been a bad
technical and business decision to try and support FD focus confirm, and in the case of those four FD AC lenses, full AF, right out the gate with EOS and EF. That would be adding interoperability for a legacy system to a brand spankin new system. The potential for conflicts and other issues would be high. Releasing an FD to EF adapter right out the gate is one of those situations where your potentially just asking for a massive rash of problems that flood your support centers...and for a LEGACY product, no less!
Sorry, but I don't really agree that your FD example actually supports your argument. LOL, on the contrary, I think it supports my argument. Canon is a conservative company. They bite off what they KNOW they can chew, and they never take really big bites. They are careful, methodical, and ordered to the way they do things. I think FD to EOS/EF is a much more complicated endeavor than bringing radio transceivers to existing EOS flashes. There were hundreds of FD lenses, all of which would have had to have been tested for compatibility before any such adapter could have been released. There are, what, barely more than half a dozen EOS flashes on the market right now? That's a much simpler feat, to create an adapter and test it with all half dozen and some flash units.
Canon is a great company. But, sometimes even great companies make shortsighted decisions. Unfortunately, they've done this before with their speedlites (crippling the 5D3 so that it cannot work with the Yongnuo ST-E2).
First, again with the assumption that a decision was made. We don't know that a decision has been made
, at least not anything beyond the fact that legacy flash adapters for RT have not YET been released. Canon could be cooking them up in a back room right now, as we...type.
As for the Yongnuo ST-E2 incompatibility, again I think your approaching the problem from the wrong angle. Canon updated their internal specifications to support enhanced functionality with the 5D III. The Yongnui ST-E2 did not support the new protocols, hence the incompatibility. Canon has a right to do whatever they deem necessary to progress THEIR technology. If that breaks third party products, and the third party makes the decision to not update their product, that's on the third party. (BTW, I looked, but only found hearsay that Canon supposedly "did not allow Yongnuo to use the new specs"...however there was no actual concrete information that was the case...when there was mention that someone contacted Yongnuo and THAT company did say they
were choosing not to update their ST-E2 for compatibility.)
When push comes to shove, it's CANON'S ecosystem. Canon has the right to do whatever they feel is necessary to advance their own technology
. It isn't their prerogative to make sure that every third parties products built to support their ecosystem works every time they need to make changes to support Canon's progress. That would be an impossible task and delay products indefinitely (have you EVER tried to work with the third party guy? I have, as a web service integration guy or public API guy...working with the third party is an endless NIGHTMARE...they are never around, or they don't understand, or they don't have the time and refuse to update, or they decided to make changes that weren't compatible without telling you, they have to get authorization from that guy who is perpetually on vacation in some god forsaken scab of the earth forever out of contact...ugh, NIGHTMARE!!!)
Ever since I first started doing photography with a DSLR, the first piece of advice I was given still rings true:
"Always go with the brand! If you go with a third-party, your never guaranteed those products will work when the brand makes a change!"
I took that to heart. I own only Canon brand equipment for my DSLR, with the exception of my cable release (it's apparently just a pair of control wires for a switch...power on & ground, and it's been that way for decades, and it seems to be a rather universal approach amongst DSLR manufacturers). I don't have any fear that someday, suddenly, my third-party lens or flash will stop working...because I heeded good advice and stayed within the brand's ecosystem. Anyone who choses NOT to heed that advice, and buys outside of the brand, implicitly accepts the potential risks. That's on the customer and the third-party...not on the brand.
Now, I don't demand that you agree. I simply suggest that you might want to at least acknowledge that there can be a valid perspective different from your own, even if it comes from AvTvM.
I acknowledge that there can be a valid perspective different from my own. I don't yet conceed that I've found that alternative valid perspective yet.