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Messages - unfocused

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You are missing the most important and obvious option:

High-quality video features drive up consumer demand, resulting in more sales and reducing the per unit price to still photographers.

Unfocused, I'm basically on your side, and I did not miss that argument: I was just re-iterating my understanding of the viewpoints of the "yes" camp.  One one hand, more sales drive down per-unit cost by spreading fixed costs across a larger number of units.  On the other hand, end-user price *could* hypothetically go up if demand exceeds supply, resulting in higher per-unit profit.  E.g. iPads.  Does it actually do this?  I don't know, and I doubt we have access to data to prove one way or another.  We only know that per-unit production cost goes down with increased sales.

My main argument against the "yes it does" camp is that there is no reason to believe that video adds significantly to the R&D and manufacturing costs.  Any price increase would be due to market forces, and you can't expect any company to forgo extra profit to accommodate a minority of purists.

Personally, I believe the 5D3 was designed as a wedding/event camera, and it hits that spot pretty nicely. 

In the end, we just don't know the answer, so it's not worth fretting over.

Oh yeah, I realize that you get it. Wasn't trying to imply otherwise. And, like you, I agree the "cost" of video  isn't worth bothering with. I just have a hard time getting past my compulsion to correct things when I see people getting something wrong on the internet. :)

And yes, I absolutely agree with you that the 5DIII was designed with a very specific market in mind and seems to be succeeding quite nicely with that market.

This poll is fundamentally flawed because the correct answer is not included:

Would you pay more (30-50%) for a stills-only camera?

Trying to be patient here. I've explained this in another thread. Video makes cameras cheaper, not more expensive.

I know that's hard for some people to wrap their head around, but so long as the marginal cost of adding video is less than the increased profits from added sales due to video, the price is less for a video-enabled camera than for one that is not video-enabled.

If you want to debate whether or not video optimization introduces compromises to still image quality, that's a different issue. But, as far as cost goes, you are not "paying" anything for video.

Apparently we've got three lines of reasoning:

1. Basic video features increase the cost to produce the camera enough to affect end-user price.  This one is likely false, but ultimately unknowable.  (marginal cost to add basic video is low, and overall sales would suffer without video)

2. High-quality video features alter design decisions, resulting in compromise of still features.  Maybe, but it's Canon's game and they can do what they want.  The market will sort this out.

3. High-quality video features drive up consumer demand, resulting in higher end-user prices.  If true, this is music to Canon's ears, and this would be a great business decision.  Like it or hate it, we're stuck with it.

For high-end bodies (5 and up) it's possible that high-quality video increases price through consumer demand.  If so, there's nothing to be done but vote with your wallet.

For consumer-level bodies (7D, XXd and below) video is a requirement of this market segment, but the quality is not high enough to pull in serious video enthusiasts, so body price is not affected.

These are just opinions and speculations, I have no hard data.

You are missing the most important and obvious option:

High-quality video features drive up consumer demand, resulting in more sales and reducing the per unit price to still photographers.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D3 vs D800 sales numbers
« on: May 14, 2012, 01:01:57 PM »
...I doubt canon really cares about which camera, the 5d3 or D800 sales more...  Most companies such as this properly has a sale projection target...  If it passes that target, in their eyes, it's a success. If it doesn't, it fails.  If it's close enough to the mark, it's on track.  Where exactly nikons sales matters to their projection is irrelevant...

Exactly. This is not a war, a race or a political campaign. There is no end point where a winner gets declared. In fact, it's even more complicated because there isn't even a single product. For all we know, Canon could sell half as many 5DIIIs as Nikon sells D800s and it could still be a a tremendous success if that was what their business plan calls for.

The horse race is entertainment for brand partisans and I enjoy it as much as anyone, but I'm under no illusions that comparative sales figures offer any sort of definitive evidence of the success of a particular product in their lineup, much less of any company overall.

This is ridiculous. Video doesn't increases the cost of cameras, it reduces it.

Cameras are a mass produced object. It's not like your 5DIII is being handcrafted and each feature must be individually installed. It's a mass production item.

Let me explain. Manufacturer "A" makes $100 profit on each unit they sell of Product "B." They have a goal of $10,000 profit. They sell 100 units, they make $10,000. But, if they add feature "C" to the product, it will reduce their per unit profits by $10.

But at the same time, they know that adding feature "C" will boost their sales by 30%, so when they sell Product "B" at $90 profit, they actually net $11,700, exceeding their sales goal. So, instead of selling Product "B" at $90 profit, because they have increased their sales volume, they decide to cut the price by $3 and sell it at $87 profit. The company still surpasses their sales goals and consumers get a product at less cost, but with more features.

As long as the ratio between the increased sales due to video exceeds the marginal cost of including the feature, the per unit cost (which is what we consumers should be concerned with) is actually lower with video than without.  This is what is called the "industrial revolution" and it happened about 150 years ago.

Canon General / Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« on: May 13, 2012, 12:11:30 AM »
I hope you have a second career in mind because posting that picture of your customer was one of the most boneheaded things I've ever seen. That was a customer you just humiliated.

Well, I actually have both. Maybe seems a little crazy but they are very different lenses in my opinion. If your main interest is wildlife and birds, then the 100-400 is definitely the best choice. For an all-around long zoom that you can keep in your bag at all times, a 70-300mm is much more practical.

I wouldn't want to carry around the 100-400 all day, every day. The 70-300, while a substantial lens, is much easier to manage. So, as with most advice, it depends on what you intend to use the lens for.

EOS Bodies / Re: For those interested in 7D2
« on: May 11, 2012, 12:44:54 PM »
Like others here, I'm afraid I don't see the point of the poll and so I didn't participate in it.

Biggest problem with the poll, I think, is that it equates earning money with whether or not a person is a serious photographer. I don't earn a living from photography but my interest is more than "just for fun" as well. For me, it is primarily a form of personal expression, primarily through documentation of the world, its people and my journey through life.

Ultimate success for me would be to leave behind a legacy that lasts long after any profits have been spent.

As far as the potential cost of a 7DII, well that's a personal decision that everyone must make. It will be driven by budget, interests, desires, etc. When you read that people are willing to spend nearly $1,000 more than the current street price of the 7D you have to realize a few things.

No one wants the camera to cost any more than is necessary. But, it is a testament to the quality of the 7D that many owners (myself included) are willing to consider paying a premium for a new body that is even better than what we consider to be an excellent camera right now. I think people are trying to be realistic about pricing and preparing for the worst, having seen the price inflation of the 5DIII.

For everyone, there comes a point where the perceived value is not enough to justify the cost. I think people are just trying to articulate where that price point might be for them.

What I find interesting is that most 7D owners on this forum are pretty consistent in what they want. If you were to draw a graph of expressed desires, the bell of the curve would congregate around improved sensor performance and modest upgrades to what is already very good autofocus and build quality. In contrast, higher resolution appears to be somewhere on the toe of the curve.  Most 7D owners expressing an opinion on this site seem to be saying they would not object to higher resolution, but only if it doesn't come at the expense of overall sensor quality.

I am an optimist. I think competitive pressures will keep the 7DII within a few hundred dollars of the original 7D's price at introduction. I also have in my mind a pretty good idea of what it will take in terms of features for me to upgrade and how much I might be willing to pay for those features. My belief is that I am a fairly typical 7D owner and that since Canon wants our money they will deliver.

If they don't, well, I still have a great camera in the 7D.

Canon General / Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« on: May 10, 2012, 12:59:44 PM »
Guys, stop drifting away from the bigger picture.

Exactly, this is about your business not about you. You need to make decisions and take actions that will protect your reputation for future clients. They may be unreasonable, they may not be, but the fact is you have to do what you can to minimize the damage they can do to your career. Behave like a professional and take all emotion out of the transaction.

If you can turn them into satisfied customers, great. It may be the only thing you can do is appease them. But that is still better for your business than having angry, dissatisfied customers.

Canon General / Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« on: May 10, 2012, 10:37:02 AM »
The most important thing is to make this as a business decision, NOT as a personal decision. You have to do what is best for your future business, which probably means giving them most, but not all, that they want.

I certainly wouldn't hand over 1,600 unedited RAW files to anyone, just as I would never show someone contact sheets in the film days. People will hone in on every frame, looking for the mistakes and then bad mouth you to everyone they know.

If they are rational and not angry, I'd try to meet with them in person and get a better idea of what they want. If you feel you can deliver, then try to do that. If not, then politely decline and offer an alternative: which might include giving them the files for the 726 pictures you picked out but in a form that won't embarrass you should they simply send them to Walgreens to have prints made.

There's a part of me that says, call them and say: Sure, come on over.  How many hours do you really think they'd sit there watching you edit 1,600 photos? But, that's the devil in me talking. :)

All you guys who are saying that Canon could release a body with these specs forget what just happened with the 5D. This forum almost ripped itself apart when we found out what the new 5D offered and how much they wanted for it. Nothing wrong with dreaming, just don't get your hopes up.

Key difference #1: 5DIII is targeted at a very specific professional audience (wedding and event photographers). Most of the complaining on the forum is from people who don't fit that niche and thought they were going to get a mass market camera at a bargain price. 7D is marketed to a much broader and more diverse audience. Canon focuses on its markets and makes cameras that will sell to their target audience;

Key difference #2: Price competition is much more important at the 7D level. More competition, less brand loyalty, less investment in the system;

Key difference #3: 5DII was very dated in some areas (autofocus). Professionals who rely on a 5D could not afford to skip a generation and wait for the 5DIV. 7D is much less dated (still the best APS-C camera made three years into its life). Only minor upgrades are needed. It will be much easier for 7D owners to skip a generation if the next model isn't to their liking.

Key difference #4 (an offshoot of above): The DSLR market has matured and will not grow anywhere near the pace it has grown in the past decade. Manufacturers must shift from concentrating on adding new customers to enticing existing customers to upgrade. Given the high customer satisfaction with the current 7D they have a challenge ahead of themselves to come up with something that will cause current owners to upgrade.

Key difference #5 (also related to 3&4): Upgraders fall into two main categories. The potential 60D user who wants something a bit more robust than the Rebel line but is unlikely to ever buy an "L" lens. These are customers satisfied with a good quality camera that they can use for stills and video and maybe a couple of lenses. Category two are the folks who have decided to get into photography in a big way and have a reasonable amount of disposable income to do so (the classic "enthusiast" or "prosumer.") These are folks who shoot at a high skill level, are prepared to invest in equipment but have no interest or desire to spend $3,000 on a camera. Second category also includes those who practice photography as an offshoot of another hobby (birders, for example).

Key difference #6: The demise of APS-H gives Canon an opportunity to greatly expand the 7D pool at little cost and with small changes. (Comparable sensor quality, modest improvements in build and autofocus). I'm still thinking we could see a 7Dx offered as an option with an integrated grip and other professional features.

In short, Canon is under much more pressure to deliver a 7D II at reasonable cost and their path is much more clear given that the camera doesn't need to be anywhere near as great of an upgrade as the 5DIII was to the 5DII.

And, I promise this. If they don't deliver, I won't be threatening to leave Canon or complaining about how they don't know what they are doing, or how the 7DII is just crap compared to the Nikon. Instead, I'll just keep on using my 7D, maybe buy a second body, and wait for the next generation.

The 7D NEEDS an update, I think it would be quite silly of Canon to either not replace it or take it slightly down market.  There needs to be an APS-C flagship if Canon is serious about staying with the format.

To be a proper APS-C flagship, the 7DII needs:

  • 100% viewfinder
  • Dual Digic V
  • The same 18MP sensor with improved DR
  • Clean ISO 12,800
  • 10 fps with a decently sized buffer
  • 61 pt AF from the 5DIII
  • The usual video improvements
  • I'd even consider a builtin portrait grip like the 1 series bodies
It would be a dream camera for those who can't afford the 1 series or need the extra reach of APS-C.  Charge $2-$2.5K and you have a winner. :)

Those are pretty attractive specs, but your$2-$2.5k idea is nothing more than a pipe dream. Do you really think they'd sell a body for $2k with those specs, especially after how they priced the 5D mark III?...

Stone's price point is not unrealistic. Instead of comparing these specs to what is in the 5DIII and the 1DX, which are completely different formats, a more apt comparison is between these specs and what is already in the 7D.

Competitive pressures are greater on the 7D because it has to appeal to a broader, more competitive and more price sensitive market than either the 5D or the 1Dx. Plus R&D costs on APS-C sensors are spread out over a much more massive customer base than the costs of full frame sensor development. These and other factors work to hold the price down.

Actual details may vary, but Stone's specs are simple and fairly modest evolutionary steps in a model that sold for $1,700 at introduction. Clean ISO to 12,800 may be a bit optimistic, but I guess it depends on whose definition of "clean" you use. I expect to see 1D IV sensor performance in the next 7D and think most people would be happy with an APS-C sensor that performs as well as the previous generation of APS-H. Similarly, autofocus improvements don't have to match the 1Dx, but since the 7D already has strong autofocus, a few improvements to make it more intuitive with modest performance improvements shouldn't be out of the question.

I know a lot of 5D owners are still suffering from sticker shock, but the feature gap between the 5DII and 5DIII is quite massive. The gap between the 7D and 7DII need not be as great, because the 7D was great to begin with and there isn't that much that needs improving.

Since Canon took the time to deliver the 60Da, I was hoping for a 7Dn  n for nature.   

As a bird photographer, the 7d is almost perfect.     Almost every bird shot is 50% or greater cropped, and the 7D with 18MP density and fast focusing system is key...

The ONLY issue I have with the 7d is the buffer when shooting raw.  I often run use the 16 frames in 2 seconds and miss shots waiting...   

So the 7D is near perfect for me, so I hope they don't screw anything up with the next model.

really? Your timing is so bad you need more than 2 full seconds of a moment?? Maybe you should just stick to video recording and picking frames out of it. 720 @60fps should give you 1 you like, no?

That's quite rude. How do you know what Dalepa is shooting and what his/her needs might be?

Just one more reason to mourn the end of Karma.

Lenses / Re: Suggestions for making my gear uglier
« on: May 09, 2012, 12:50:25 PM »
you could try this less invasive kind of stealth conversion for a white lens using neoprene


Anybody have a source for these? Are these sleeves cut from sport wear?

After the last year, nothing Canon may do will surprise me.

Still, I'm having a hard time buying the idea that Canon will merge the 60D and 7D. They fit two very different niche markets and I can't see them conceding either to Nikon and others. Especially since the "prosumer" market is one of the most lucrative.

The real problem for the 60D is that it is too closely sized and spec'd to the Rebels, not to the 7D. Lots of room to move the 7D up in price with better sensor, better autofocus, better weathersealing and possibly even an integrated grip.

I have no interest in a full-frame body. Like I've said before, I'd rather have a top end mid-size car than a stripped-down full-sized version. If I'm honest with myself, I don't really need anything that the 7D doesn't already give me. I could be lured by better sensor, autofocus and weathersealing, but if Canon doesn't deliver this time around, I'll just buy a second 7D body from the refurbished store and wait them out. After all, if they are serious about new bodies every 6-8 weeks, I'm sure they'll come around soon enough.

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