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1051
Canon General / Re: Black Friday Deals
« on: November 02, 2012, 10:17:32 AM »
The short answer is "no."

Black Friday is all about mass retailing. It's an opportunity for retailers to lure customers into stores with great deals on products that have broad appeal. There is no reason for any retailer to cut the price of a high end luxury item because 1) the market is too small, and 2) the customer base is not price sensitive.

1052
Canon General / EOS-M kicking butt in Japan
« on: November 02, 2012, 09:51:01 AM »
BCN Ranking, via Photo Rumors, reports that Canon's EOS-M is in the #3 slot in Mirrorless Camera Sales in Japan for the first nine months of the year. That's pretty incredible considering the camera wasn't even announced until July.

Just goes to show how out of touch many on this forum are. And, I admit, I was (and still am) underwhelmed by the EOS-M. But, once again, Canon proves they knows how to sell them cameras.

1053
Canon General / Re: Canon Can't Even Make a Billion Dollars Anymore
« on: November 01, 2012, 12:48:58 PM »
Companies get in trouble when they fail to adapt to changing market conditions (Kodak). Those that anticipate and adjust succeed (Fuji).

Seriously, Canon is a cash flush company that just made a bit short of Billion dollars in one quarter. Now they are in trouble?

What is it about the Internet that makes people incapable of reading an entire post and instead simply pull a small quote out of context so they can write silly drive-by comments.

1054
Canon General / Re: Canon's MAP Pricing Goes Into Full Effect Today
« on: November 01, 2012, 12:41:34 PM »
People are mixing apples and oranges here.

Apples: Canon's retail prices.

Oranges: Canon's minimum advertised price policies.

On the "apples" side: legitimate questions can be made and debated about whether or not Canon is charging too much for some products in relation to either market demand or perceived value. That's a constant subject of debate on this forum with opinions ranging from the delusional and paranoid to those who have no financial constraints and would buy anything with a Canon brand on it. Regardless of what you think the "proper" price should be, that really has no relevance to MAP pricing policies.

On the "oranges" side: Canon is moving to enforce its Minimum Advertised Price policies, which exist to bring price uniformity to its dealer network. On a related thread, another individual posted a link to a Wikipedia article that explains the legal history of MAP pretty well. No point in repeating that. They are legal and they are used by many manufacturers. The simplest summary might be to say that manufacturers cannot tell a retailer what price to actually charge for a product – which is a private transaction between the buyer and seller. But, they can say what price the retailer can advertise the product for sale at.

MAP, as others have pointed out, has absolutely no bearing on Canon's own profit margin. The price that Canon charges its resellers is not being increased.

Why have MAP? To level the playing field between retailers. It is not in the best interests of either the manufacturer or the consumer to allow a single large retailer to undercut all other sellers to the point that they drive the other sellers out of business and create a monopolistic situation where the manufacturer and customer are both totally depending on the whims of one retailer.

Using the 5DIII as an example, we can all see how the lax enforcement of MAP has impacted pricing and the market over the past several months. Canon's MSRP has never changed, but the "street price" has fluctuated wildly. Great news for individual buyers, but a real problem for the network because retailers have no assurance that when they play by the rules they won't be undercut by someone who is gaming the system.

Canon has a dilemma here. If they turn a blind eye to the violators, they risk alienating their dealer network and undercutting their own ability to compete in the marketplace. So, they have moved to enforce what they view as the "real" and "correct" prices for their products.

Which brings us all back to the "apples." The recent "bargain" pricing of the 5DIII seems to show that the "correct" price may be out of line with the marketplace. If that is the case, it will correct itself over time and there is little that either Canon or its dealer network can do to stop that.

Let the marketplace sort it out. If Canon's prices are too high, demand will drop. Canon will be forced to adjust the price and retailers will find new ways around MAP.

1055
Simplified version of my workflow:

Based on Scott Kelby's "double processing."

I use Adobe RAW to make adjustments in RAW, then open as a smart object in Photoshop. Make a new Smart Object layer (not a duplicate layer) and then open that layer in RAW to make adjustments to other areas of the image. Do this as many times as needed to tweak all the areas. Use layer masks and the paintbrush tool to reveal or cover up portions that I want/don't want in each layer.

I tend to save all my layers in Photoshop (psd) in case I ever need/want to go back and tweak the image.

I'll save a final copy as a JPEG (often two copies, one for printing and one for the web).  I end up having the original RAW file, one PSD file and one or more JPEG files. (A small one for the web, a large one for printing)  Probably not the most space efficient, but it gives me flexibility. I know I can always go back to the original RAW file and start over, or I can pick up in the middle with the PSD file if I want to try a different look.


1056
EOS Bodies / Re: Where the heck is the 70D or 7D mkII?
« on: October 31, 2012, 02:54:32 PM »
The 7D II will be released either in the spring or within one month of the Nikon D300 replacement.

The 70D will be released six to nine months after the 7DII or within one month of the D7000 replacement.

Yes, the 7D is getting a little long in the tooth, but with the firmware upgrade it is still very competitive. By comparison, the 12 mp D300 looks like a dinosaur. I don't know how Nikon manages to sell any of them (or if they do).

As digital technology matures and improvements with each generation become more marginal, expect the refresh cycles for various bodies to extend. What was once a two-year cycle in the 2000s, has become a three-year-plus cycle now. By the end of the decade, it may be four years or more. 

1057
Early 1960s: got a bakelight plastic Agfa box camera handed down from my Granddad;

Mid 1960s: Started borrowing my Dad's cameras. I remember a Twin Lens Reflex, a Tesina and a Minox, but there were others as well. Started developing and printing pictures with my Dad.

Late 1960s: Bought my first SLR, a Konica. First SLR ever with autoexposure. Eventually got a 20mm, 135mm and 300mm. All cheap off-brands. Most used a pre-set aperture ring.

Mid-1970s: Got a job at a small daily newspaper and bought a Canon F1, AT-1 as second body and Canon 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 135mm and Vivitar 100-300 zoom. Eventually bought a Canon 200 mm 2.8. Kept that kit through three kids, two marriages and several career changes. Lack of a darkroom, raising kids and job responsibilities meant little photography other than trips and birthdays.

2000s: Got divorced for second time, bought a Rebel xTi as first digital camera.

Got married again. Bought 7D shortly after it came out. Accumulated a variety of lenses and other equipment since then. 

1058
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70 f/4L IS Coming [CR3]
« on: October 30, 2012, 05:04:27 PM »
Seems like the perfect kit lens for the 6D. Don't know why this is a surprise. If you are going to offer an "entry-level" full frame camera, you've got to give people a decent and affordable kit lens to go with it.

Yes, it has to be priced under the 24-105. Doing so would enable Canon to offer a 6D with lens combination in the neighborhood of $2,600.

I do question the "L" designation, but that's just marketing anyway. Slap a red ring and $20 worth of weather-sealing on it and call it good.

1059
Animal Kingdom / Re: Wildlife of the Kruger National Park
« on: October 29, 2012, 05:06:31 PM »
Ivan,

Some very nice images here and on your blog. I'm curious. Many of your city shots seem to be using HDR, but in a very appealing subtle way, instead of "hit 'em over the head with a 2x4."  Also, since they are street shots, I assume you aren't able to bracket exposures. Are you willing to enlighten us on some of your techniques.

Thanks.

1060
Canon General / Re: Canon Can't Even Make a Billion Dollars Anymore
« on: October 29, 2012, 01:05:18 PM »
Read a little further: "As for compact digital cameras, while highly functional PowerShot-series models contributed to healthy sales, unit sales for the third quarter declined from the corresponding period of the previous year due to sluggish market demand."

Also: "Demand for compact digital cameras is anticipated to increase for models offering high functionality and high added value."

Canon is acknowledging sluggish demand for compact digital cameras and targeting higher end models (In particular the G1X and EOS-M). So, yes, they recognize that the traditional low-price consumer PowerShot models are not doing well and they are targeting the higher end.

This is a problem for all camera manufacturers, not just Canon. For years, profits from low-end consumer models have provided a foundation for manufacturers to build off of. DSLR sales remain strong and profitable, but will there ever be sufficient demand to replace the revenues lost from compact digital sales? I doubt it. It would not surprise me to see Canon's imaging business unit (cameras) and similar units within Nikon, Sony, Fuji and others all shrink considerably in the coming years. Bad news for employees who work on the production lines for compact digital cameras. But, since the ultimate success of a company is based more on return on investment rather than gross sales, a smaller, leaner imaging business unit doesn't necessarily spell doom.

Companies get in trouble when they fail to adapt to changing market conditions (Kodak). Those that anticipate and adjust succeed (Fuji).

Part of Canon's (and Nikon's) strategy seems to be to diversify the DSLR product line: maintaining a full range of APS-C models while expanding their Full Frame offerings. But, the DSLR market is fairly mature, so they also need to capture new customers with the high-end compacts. Manufacturers must navigate generational and cultural differences and the high-end compact offerings are part of that strategy.

There is absolutely NOTHING in the report that supports many of the posts on this thread. It might be fun and personally satisfying to misread this report to confirm pre-conceived ideas of what Canon's pricing strategy should be for a product that a forum participant happens to think costs too much, but the financials simply don't support any of that wishful thinking.

1061
Canon General / Re: Canon Can't Even Make a Billion Dollars Anymore
« on: October 26, 2012, 04:16:09 PM »
Please read the !@#$% report!

http://www.canon.com/ir/results/2012/rslt2012q3e.pdf

"Demand for interchangeable-lens digital cameras continued to realize robust growth in all regions while the market for compact digital cameras shrunk due to the stagnation of the global economy."

"Within the Imaging System Business Unit, despite efforts to achieve sales growth with the competitively priced EOS Digital Rebel series along with the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 60D advanced-amateur models, sales volumes of interchangeable-lens digital cameras decreased from the year-ago period due to a delayed new-product launch."

Why would anyone want to waste their time reading the report, when they can spend it writing uninformed comments that bear no relation to the facts?

1062
EOS Bodies / Re: Is 22Mpx Really Enough?!!!
« on: October 25, 2012, 02:08:16 PM »
Why is it that so many people act as though Ansel Adams is the standard that all photography should be judged by?

Yes, he made many great images, but that was 70-80 years ago. There is nothing wrong with trying to emulate an artist from the 1930s and 40s, but you do yourself an injustice if you don't progress beyond that. So much has happened in the photographic world since.

Do yourself a favor. Go to a library and take a look at what has been happening in the past half century. You are cheating yourselves if you don't know anything about Frank, Arbus, Cartier-Bresson, Shore, Friedlander, Meyerowitz, Gowin, Eggleston, Winogrand, Uelsmann, Christianberry. After you've spent some time with these masters, start exploring what some contemporary photographers are doing.

Ansel Adams was great, but really, who wants to live in the past? (And, frankly, Edward Weston was better)

1063
Lenses / Re: EF-S 15-85mm
« on: October 25, 2012, 09:56:20 AM »
I'm always curious what people mean by "L Build Quality." I have three "L" lenses (70-300, 100-400, and 100 macro) and I have rented two others (300 f4 & 400 f5.6). I'm hard pressed to see any consistent or practical difference in the build quality between these lenses and the 15-85 EF-S.

First of all, Canon has no consistent standard for its L lenses (other than price) so I'm not sure what defines "L Build Quality." Second, I have the 15-85 on my 7D about 90 percent of the time and it gets a fair amount of banging around with no noticeable effect. It is a heavy, very robust lens. Certainly handles and feels no different than any of the "L" lenses I am familiar with. (Yes, it does have that "self-zooming" feature that can be annoying, but I consider that just a characteristic of this particular lens). 

So, what is this supposed build quality that "L" lenses all have that the 15-85 lacks and is it practical or theoretical?

1064
Canon General / Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« on: October 23, 2012, 04:12:59 PM »
Lots of confusion parading as truth on this thread, in part because people are mixing MSRP and MAP. Two different things. 

Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price is the price the manufacturer recommends that a product sell at. Traditionally, in photo equipment there has been wide variation between MSRP and street price (actual price generally paid). The difference has narrowed in recent years. Purpose of MSRP is to give retailers an idea of what the product should be selling for, according to the manufacturer. Depending on the manufacturer this could be accurate or a total fiction. Sigma, for example, tends to set an unrealistic MSRP on their lenses, that almost no retailer honors.

MSRP is just as the title says: "suggested."  My understanding is that in the U.S. at least, there are legal restrictions that prevent manufacturers from enforcing the MSRP as a firm rule. Thus, the growth of MAP or Minimum Advertised Price. MAP says the retailer cannot advertise a price below a certain number.

MAP is designed to help smaller retailers compete. I don't know the specifics of either Canon's or Nikon's dealer agreements, but it appears they enforce the MAP during rebate times (which have become almost year round). No retailer can advertise an item for sell at less than the MAP and still participate in the rebate program.

The issue, of course, is what constitutes an "advertised price." Again, not knowing the specifics of the agreement between the manufacturer and the retailer, I can't say for certain. But, it appears that there are some exceptions. As the OP suggested, it appears that MAP does not, in some cases, apply to auction sites. Similarly, it appears that there are exceptions for direct links from websites. For example, both Canon Rumors and Canon Price Watch have occasionally offered special links for discounted prices from either B&H or Adorama. In those cases, if you follow the website link, you receive a lower price than if you go directly to the merchant's web page.

I don't know if these special deals and auctions violate the MAP agreement, but I suspect that the big merchants like B&H and Adorama wouldn't use them if the did – too much at risk.

Is MAP price-fixing? I doubt it. Again, not knowing the specifics of the agreement, makes it hard to know. But, from what I understand, MAP is linked to a benefit given the retailer. For example, if you want to participate in the rebate program, you have to adhere to MAP. The retailer has the choice, they could turn down the rebate program (of course no one would do that), so it's voluntary and not mandatory. Similarly, most manufacturers offer "co-op" programs for advertisements (If you advertise their product, using their suggested marketing materials, they compensate you in some way) Again, it is not coercive, but it is a strong incentive to adhere to the agreement.

The voluntary nature of the agreement probably keeps it legal. If there would be a successful legal challenge, I suspect it would require proving that the agreement is not truly voluntary, but is so coercive that it is in fact price-fixing.  However, one thing the manufacturers have going for them is that they are clearly in a competitive market. Canon is not colluding with Nikon or Sony to fix prices, they are simply using incentives to keep their prices consistent among retailers.

The above is based on my understanding of typical retail practices and isn't meant to imply I have first hand knowledge of the specifics of the agreements between Canon and its retailers. Nor do I pretend to be a trade attorney (although I did stay at a Holiday Inn recently).

1065
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EF Lens Speculation [CR1]
« on: October 23, 2012, 12:56:34 PM »
I would hope that if the 135mm gets an update, that the 200mm 2.8 would also be in line.
The beauty of the 135L is amazing IQ, very nice reach for a lot of situations, and an already-awesome f/2 max aperture, all in a very portable & affordable package.
See, the thing is, the major advantage to the 135L and the 200mm f/2.8 right now is that they are dirt cheap compared to their quality. You can get 70-200L level results from each for <1/2 the price. Once you update both, especially if there is IS, the price moves a lot closer to the 70-200L. Especially for the 200mm f/2.8, when its street price is <$800, I can't see anyone buying the updated IS version for $1500 or so.

I can see the 135L getting that update, because the f/2 is an advantage...the 200mm I hope doesn't get updated, because that means there is always that cheaper option around
Well obviously I disagree. I don't have much interest in a zoom at 200mm or less. So a light, small 2.8 prime with IS would interest me much more. Even at double the current price I'd be interested. Different strokes.

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