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Messages - gmrza

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EOS Bodies / Re: Nikon unveils V1 and J1 Mirrorless Cameras
« on: September 21, 2011, 07:57:32 PM »
The lower end of the market could probably not care less about interchangeable lenses - they are perfectly happy with a compact. 

The higher end of the market insists on image quality - these users already have DSLRs and need a pocketable camera.
I agree with you.  I just don't see the market here.  And here we have a brand-new sensor and brand-new line of lenses.  Chances are, if this thing doesn't sell like hotcakes (probably won't) then prices won't come down in a hurry.  Olympus PEN hasn't exactly taken the market by storm.

I think if you look at it as a point-n-shoot with higher image quality than its 1/1.7" brethren plus the ability to change lenses, well then it's kinda interesting.  The price kills it though.

If you look at it as a mirrorless DSLR system with a miniature sensor and the same price as a proper APSC cam, then forget it.

what an epic fail....  i only hope canon will do it right.

Epic fail... I say probably, likely.

I sure hope canon gets a mirrorless system going with its APSC chips and an EF-S lens mount.  Why manufacture a whole new line, no upgrade path?  I just don't get it.  Why not use components already being manufactured?

The challenge is that these products are playing in the market segment between the G12 and the 1100D.  What is likely to happen is that you land up with a product which is rather like a motorbike with a sidecar - it inherits the disadvantages of a motorbike combined with the disadvantages of a car, and only satisfies a small market segment.  (Let's not try to pick apart my analogy - it is not perfect.)

This is a segment where I believe there is first mover disadvantage.  (OK Nikon are not the first mover.)

Hopefully Canon will take a serious look at what the strengths of the G12 and the 1100D are, and come up with a product that carries the strengths of both of them, and which fits into the price bracket.  That will be a tall order.  This kind of product is trying to satisfy the high end of the compact market and the low end of the DSLR market - i.e. the most demanding users in the compact segment and the least demanding users in the DSLR segment.  That is a marketing nightmare.

What does seem to be a promising development is the availability of phase detect autofocus in a mirrorless camera.  That development may open the way to some more useful products.

EOS Bodies / Re: Nikon unveils V1 and J1 Mirrorless Cameras
« on: September 21, 2011, 07:16:20 AM »
what an epic fail....

i only hope canon will do it right.

I think it is difficult to put a foot right in this segment.  It seems that CSCs have only really caught on in the Japanese market, while the rest of the world has so far been sitting on the fence.

The lower end of the market could probably not care less about interchangeable lenses - they are perfectly happy with a compact.  The higher end of the market insists on image quality - these users already have DSLRs and need a pocketable camera.  Until something really good comes along they will probably rather stick with a G12 (or similar).  That leaves a small group in the middle who probably see current EVIL offerings as good option.

I think a challenge here as well is that the market for users who want a large sensor and fast lenses is an extremely small niche.  That makes it difficult for manufacturers to put anything decent in the market.

For myself, I would be interested in something with an APS-C sensor, a selection of fast prime wide angles and a proper accessory hotshoe (so that I can use my existing speedlites or off-camera flash).  The problem is that the mass market is demanding zooms with the biggest possible zoom ratio.  Most of us reading these forums shudder at the thought of the knock that image quality takes with a 10x zoom.  But we are a minority.

If I want a light system with interchangeable lenses, right now I am still probably best off dusting off my 350D, or getting my act together getting my Zeiss Ikon overhauled... (OK the Zeiss is not that light.)

In a way, I feel for the camera manufacturers - this is a market segment where whatever they do, they seem bound to get it wrong. 

PowerShot Cameras / Re: Canon Announces the PowerShot S100
« on: September 15, 2011, 08:29:47 PM »
IMO, definitely a worthwhile upgrade for my S95.  I'll be ordering one when they become available!

What it does raise an interesting question about is a G13 - The S and G series have after all shared sensors.

What I am also wondering about is whether we will see built in GPS coming to more Canon cameras.  That will be interesting to see.

EOS Bodies / Re: A Week in Rumors
« on: September 11, 2011, 07:33:57 PM »
"It was suggested this was to make sure Canon could meet the production demands that the Christmas and holiday  seasons require"

What demand? There is a big xmas demand for the 1DmkIV? 5DmkII? I think these products are all on the downslope of their sales...there is no large demand. Canon would be foolish to push their releases into early next year if indeed they make higher sales at xmas time.

Christmas sales are all about xx0D and 1x00D models.  The 1100D, 550D, 600D and maybe some 60Ds will be the main thrust of Christmas sales.  It would make sense for Canon not to want to distract themselves from the entry-level DSLR market for Christmas, as that is where the sales are.  Given the knock they have taken from the earthquake and tsunami, they need to be very careful about where they allocate resources.

Given the price reductions on the 5DII, I have to admit though that it seems like there is a replacement for it in the pipeline somewhere. 

EOS Bodies / Re: Advice on purchasing a new APS-C body
« on: September 11, 2011, 07:20:48 AM »
Get a room, you two!   :D   Killswitch, I agree with other posters that unless you have some need for what the 7d offers over the 60d or the Rebel line, I'd buy a less expensive body and put the balance into some more glass.  Maybe an EF-S 60mm macro or a 35mm f/2?  A telephoto zoom like the 55-250mm would be good buy as well.  Enjoy your new purchases!

Lol, ya I am most likely going to go for the 60D (better body and weight than the 600D)...and really need a telephoto zoom. Confused whether to go for the 70-200 f4L IS or the 70-200 f2.8L non IS. Also if not the L lens, which one is better in terms of sharpness, the 55-250mm or the 70-300mm?

Hi Kill,

I would go for the 70-200 f/4 L IS. Its light, very sharp, and simply fun to use. The 2.8 version is much heavier, and you might find not useful with no IS. The IS version mark 2, which is superb, will cost you 2.5 k and is probably a huge overkill.

Don't underestimate the weight factor.  My wife has just finished a week of shooting mainly with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II, and she actually has stiff shoulders.  Thing was she needed f/2.8, otherwise the f/4L IS would have done.  Apart from the factor of how tiring it is working for hours with a 1.5kg lens, especially handheld, you need to carry the thing around with you in your bag.  If I just want a 70-200 that I might use, I'll pack the f/4.  You need to think about whether you actually have to be able to open up to f/2.8.  If you are shooting events for a living, yes, if you are having fun it is less likely that you need 1.5kg of metal and glass.

United States / Re: Traveling abroad with photography equipment
« on: September 08, 2011, 10:42:21 PM »
I've flown around with lots of gear, and customs agents are actually less likely to ask questions when they see equipment laid out in travel luggage designed for photography, as it is logically very unlikely that you flew to another country and then suddenly decided to invest several grand into not only camera equipment but all the accessories that go with it as well (cleaning kits, remote, filters, etc.).  it's good to see that folks in transportation security still do use some basic common sense when screening.

The only case where you might get quizzed is if you live in a country where it is very expensive to buy gear.

I remember, many years ago, pricing some prime lenses while I was still living in South Africa, and it would have been cheaper to buy an air ticket to Hong Kong and buy the lenses there than to buy in a South African retailer.  So you could have a holiday in Hong Kong, plus buy your lenses for the price of what they would have cost in SA, and then possibly even have some spare change.  Customs were of course wise to this, and you did stand a good chance of your camera gear getting inspected, especially if you were carrying a SLR.  In fact, my entire film SLR kit was sourced overseas - I only bought equipment when I or a family member was traveling.

I think globalisation has seen much more levelling of prices between different countries, so you are less likely to see a premium of a multiple being charged in countries like South Africa any more.

More recently I spoke to a customs agent in SA while registering my gear, and at the time he indicated that they weren't really concerned as long as you were within the limits of 2 mobile phones, 1 laptop and 1 camera.  (That was somewhere around 2005.)

United States / Re: Why a shutter curtain?
« on: September 08, 2011, 06:57:19 PM »
The short version while you can 'turn on' a sensor to start a capture, when you turn it off you have to read the photons out as electrons.  That process takes a finite amount of time, and if photons are still hitting the sensor during that time, your exposure is not what you think it's going to be.  So, an electronic first curtain is possible, but shutterless is technically challenging.  In fact, the higher-end dSLRs with a silent shooting mode use an electronic first curtain.  The time it takes to read out the sensor also impacts the max shutter speed - it's faster to shut off the light with a second curtain than read out and clear the photosites over the same area.  P&S cameras have a shutter that is analogous to the second curtain of a dSLR shutter, so the sensor can read out in darkness - and that's with the faster readout time of a CCD sensor (which are read row by row, instead of pixel by pixel for CMOS).  So, bottom line, if you like your fast shutter speeds like 1/4000 or 1/8000 s, you need at least one curtain.

The 1D (mark I) did also have an electronic shutter, but that still required a physical shutter (2nd curtain) in order to leave the sensor in darkness for readout.  the 1D did also have a CCD sensor, unlike the 1DmkII which had a CMOS sensor.

Another concern is that the electronics for an electronic shutter take up real estate on the sensor, using up space which could otherwise be used for photosites - i.e. higher noise.

I suspect we may eventually see fully electronic shutters on a CMOS sensor, but that is a long way off, and a lot of development work would be required.

EOS Bodies / Re: Having Multiple Camera Systems
« on: September 06, 2011, 11:37:40 PM »

Depends on proximity to the stage, I suppose, but I'd say the 135L is probably best suited for stage action (or the 200/2L if money is no object, yeah, right...), assuming you want to capture an individual or two.  The 35L does very well for an ensemble, wide enough FOV that even wide open, DoF is not too thin from that distance.

What I was thinking, if you want to go a little wider than the 135L, the 85 f/1.2L may be a problem due to the slow autofocus - geared down for precision.  Would the 85 f/1.8 be a better bet in your view?

EOS Bodies / Re: Having Multiple Camera Systems
« on: September 06, 2011, 10:44:30 PM »

85mm f/1.8 - great for portraits of family, great for low light. Why not the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II?  I have that lens and love it...on my 5DII. On APS-C, it's too long indoors, and for stage performances, f/2.8 just isn't fast enough. IS doesn't help much with action, you need a wide aperture to stop action in low light. The 135mm f/2L is also great for that, but much more expensive and too long for convenient portraits on APS-C.  For $75 more, you could get the 100mm f/2 instead, almost a twin but I'd recommend the 85mm.

Out of interest, which lenses would you recommend as the ideal ones for stage action? 

Funnily, I've hit a creative limitation with the 430EX (we have the original version) in that when working in portrait orientation you cannot bounce the flash behind you because the head won't rotate past 90 degrees.  Admittedly that is starting to become an esoteric requirement, but a lot of photographers rely on being able to bounce their flash behind them.  This may or may not be an issue, and the 580EXII is considerably more expensive.

EOS Bodies / Re: will there ever be CFast in DSLRs?
« on: September 03, 2011, 07:11:37 PM »
film size is not relevant, grain would be ASA / ISO to same and still misses the point -- film is inherently many times better resolution than digital and will be for a very very long time

If you don't understand this - get an enlarger, enlarge a 35mm film negative out to 3 ft by 4 ft - then try doing the same for digital at 9600 dpi -- you could kind of stitch this together with a gigapan but that gives the game away; to do this in digital you have to take many many shots and stitch them together
Please can you back this statement up with some quantitative analysis of the subject.

While a lot of criticism has been levelled at the comparison between the 1Ds and Pentax medium format on the Luminous Lanscape (, some other comparisons have shown a slight edge on the part of the "next size up" film format.  For instance, read which compares medium format digital with large format film.  In this instance, the large format film had a slight edge, but it wasn't large.

Digital cameras are and always were convenience cameras; that is their reason for existence (raispn d'etre)

Yes there are people selling digital images - printed at 300 dpi on special papers and inks so they last more than a few years; no these really do not match a similar film picture in quality but that isn't the point

Please back this up with facts.

Yes film sees 10 - 11 f stops while digital sees only 4 (which is why we have HDR programs to fake more by combining pictures)
It is pointless getting into a debate about the usable dynamic range of film vs digital, but this is one of the last areas where film still wins over digital by a clear margin.  Digital cameras just do not have the dynamic range of film.  This is not proving a major impediment, although it would very useful to have better DR available in digital.


What all this is getting to is this: digital is not for professionals if you are looking for quality but so few are (think! The iPhone is the most widely used "camera" these days, smart phones with cameras vastly outweigh all other cameras. But this is NOT about popularity, it is about quality)

Yet again - back this up with some facts please.  Show us some verifiable statistics about the percentages of professional photographers who use film vs digital.
Off the top of my head, the main area I can think of, not backed up by facts, where film is still king is in large format landscape photography.  The likes of Ken Duncan just have no choice but to use film for that kind of work.

If you can't come back with some verifiable facts, I will just have to assume you are trolling.

Canon General / Re: An article Canon should read.
« on: August 30, 2011, 07:56:12 PM »

If in the future, Nikon or Sony even had 1/2 the vision of Apple (which I doubt they ever will), Canon in all their conservatism would fall like a house of cards, just like what Apple has done to their numerous competitors.

Time to play devil's advocate...

  • With the AE-1 Canon led the charge to mass-market adoption of SLRs.  Supposedly the AE-1 was the first camera with an embedded microcontroller.
  • Canon introduced the world's first inkjet printer.
  • Didn't Canon lead the market to the adoption of a full electronic lens interface?  (EOS 650 and EF lens mount in 1987)
  • Canon led the market for full frame studio professional DSLRs with the 1Ds.  (It wasn't the first full frame pro DSLR, but it was a major departure in terms of utility.)
  • Wasn't Canon the first company to market an enthusiast-level full frame DSLR?  (5D Classic)
  • Wasn't Canon the first to release HD video in a full frame DSLR? (5D mkII)
  • Wasn't Canon the first major camera manufacturer to launch a 70-200mm image stabilised lens?

Canon has made some daring bets -
  • abandoning the FD lens mount and unseating Nikon as the undisputed leader in the pro SLR segment in the process.
  • Cannibalising the market for the 1DsIII with the introduction of the 5DII
I'm sure I have missed a few.

Canon may be managed conservatively, but I don't think we can accuse Canon of not having vision.

Canon has made some innovations which have fallen flat - like the use of a pellicle mirror, or eye-controlled auto-focus.  But Canon has also led some ground-breaking market changes - the AE-1, EOS 650, EOS 300D and EOS 350D immediately come to mind.

I will grant that Canon have not introduced any tectonic shifts in the market place lately, so time will tell whether they might lose the edge on innovation.
As for Canon and Nikon being non-entrants or late entrants (Nikon) into the CSC market - I would contend that that is a market which has not proven itself to have given customers a great product yet.  Nikon seems to be entering that market reluctantly - Canon may too.  Time will tell whether either of them can introduce the "iPad" of that market - to tell the truth, most products in that market at the moment are the equivalent of the Apple Newton.

... Time to don the flame-retardant suit...  ;)

Canon General / Re: Post a cool B/W!
« on: August 30, 2011, 03:04:50 AM »
Some fun with the old EOS 650: on Flickr

Canon EOS 650, Kodak Tmax 100, 50mm f/1.4, Speedlite 430EZ

If the 5DIII and 1DsIV will use the same sensor and the 5DIII improves substantially on the 5DII's shotrcomings (mainly AF), I would bet the 5DIII will be released a year or so after a 1DsIV, so the two will be differentiated by time.  If they are temporally close, or the 5DIII is released first, there will have to be a BIG feature gap, and I suspect that will mean a crippled 5DIII rather than a super-enhanced 1DsIV. 

So, which would people rather have?

1) A 5DIII that uses the same sensor as the 1DsIV and has a much better AF system than the 5DII, but is not released for over a year after the 1DsIV?


2) A 5DIII that offers a couple more megapixels than the 5DII, a slightly better AF system, and maybe 0.5 more fps, and is otherwise the same in most respects as the 5DII, but comes out this year?

While I agree with most points you all have made I think these are the central points.

Canon's issue is that they will absolutely sell more 5DIII bodies and cannot afford to lose them. At the same time they cannot further mess up their market segments. As noted, Canon also still needs to find a reason to make someone pay $8k for the flagship.

I agree the 1D(s) bodies will be first, but they will lose all the market momentum especially if Nikon drops the D800 soon. The D700 was stiff competition for the 5DII already with regard to pure stills. The 5DII sold as well as it did because of video. I think if Nikon adds nice video in the short term, then Canon may well lose many sales.

We seen to all be making the assumption that Canon needs to sell lots of 1Ds bodies.  That may indeed not be the case.

Another view of things may be that Canon needs a flagship studio body that satisfies a small niche and provides bragging rights, and a popular full frame body that makes all the profits.  5Dx bodies sell many times more than the volumes of 1Dsy bodies.  Canon needs to sell lots of 5Dx bodies in order to make a profit.  Canon needs to sell a small number of 1Dsy bodies in order to hold a small number of leading light photographers who influence the masses and a small number of busy pros who have very demanding needs.

I don't think a lack of differentiation between the 5Dx and 1Dsy necessarily hurts Canon.  It could even all be part of Canon's plan. After all, the 1DsIII has proved to be a niche product and the 5DII a huge money spinner.  That has been a success recipe for Canon.

Maybe Canon does not need or want to sell large volumes of 1Ds bodies - which would especially be the case if the margins are low.  Even if Canon could sell a few times as many 1DsIIIs as they are, they would still not approach anything near the volumes of 5DIIs sold.  I would thus suspect that the margins on the 1DsIII are much lower.  (Here I mean the margins for Canon, not for the channel.)  Thus, it may make a lot more sense for Canon to focus on making the 5D series a success, even at the expense of 1Ds sales - which would especially be the case if the margin on the 5DII is better.  Given volumes and the lower tolerances and build quality of the 5DII, I suspect that is the case.

We are all quick to assume that Canon are kicking themselves for cannibalising 1DsIII sales with the 5DII.  We may be wrong.  Canon may have achieved exactly what they set out to do.

There is no way the 5D3 will be as delayed as end of 2012…

Now, that statement smells to me as coming from some poor soul longing for a 5DIII.

I have never bought into the idea that Canon will release a 5DIII before a 1DsIV.  The latter is older, more in need of an upgrade, and will likely be released first.  If (a big IF) we se an announcement for a 1DsIV coming out soon, that puts the 1Ds line on a 4-year replacement, so if that gap trickles down to the 5D line, late 2012 makes perfect sense.

I think also, if Canon could have their way, they would probably like to put a year's gap between the 1DsIV and the 5DIII.  That would be a simple way to maximise 1DsIV sales before the 5DIII comes out.  In a competitive market, however, Canon may not be able to afford to do that.  Back in 2007/2008 Canon was leading the full frame enthusiast segment by a country mile.  That is no longer the case.  Canon will need to take much more account of what Nikon and Sony do.

argh!  why are these lenses so expensive??  I recently installed a new engine in a friends S10.  We paid $2100 for a brand new GM 2.2L engine, NEW, from the local GM dealership.  Think of how much metal, engineering, etc is in an engine.  For the price of ONE lens, we could buy three new engines!

I do not understand :-/  The time to precision-grind glass?   Umm...

LOL, I still want one!

Optical glass (high clarity glass) is not a cheap thing, and there's a lot of glass in these things!

Soon we will see lenses being sold by weight by karats if this glass will keep getting so expensive... or maybe this are the signs of something called monopoly, price fixing between very few players?

The economics of the markets for super-telephoto lenses and car engines are very different.
I suspect that there is not much demand elasticity in the market for super-telephoto lenses - the people who buy them are, mostly, people who have to have them for their work, pretty much regardless of price.  That means that if Canon decreased the price, there would be no corresponding increase in demand.  Similarly, if Canon increase the price, there is little or no decrease in demand.

As you also imply, Nikon is literally the only other game in town, so there is no real competition.  For most users of super-telephoto lenses, jumping ship from Canon to Nikon or Nikon to Canon is not really an option, so Canon and Nikon don't really represent competition to each other.  The only potential for real competition is from Sigma and friends, who haven't yet convinced professionals of the quality of their lenses.

Thus, there is no pressure on Canon to price competitively.  In fact, there is a lot of incentive for Canon and Nikon to mirror each other's behaviour - notice that I did not say "collude".  Even without active behind-the-scenes collusion, Canon and Nikon will closely track each other's behaviour and will only make a break when there is a real strategic advantage to be gained.  It's a bit like the tactics employed in cycle racing.

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