Canon isn't ignoring their minority customer base. I think they have heard loud and clear, they simply need time to produce a compelling product.
Bear in mind that they led the sensor race by a country mile a while back.
Is that not exactly what I was saying?
They have just been ignoring that side of things and are now paying the price. Lets just hope the lesson sticks. Canon is paying a price? What price?
They are the world's top camera seller, top in DSLRs. They make more money on camera sales than any other company, including Nikon and Sony. What lesson has Canon learned?
That sticking to their guns in a tough economy where garnering sales growth is difficult, and banking their money for more prosperous times (such as, oh, I dunno...2013 where markets are clearly recovering?) is a financially sound decision and has kept them in a profitable position, while many of their competitors, including Sony, are deeply in debt?
Canon is doing exceptionally well, all things considered. A double-dip recession, multiple ecological disasters, slowing growth in the DSLR market at large, etc. etc. And they are STILL making bank! Canon is not paying any price, and if they have learned any lesson, it's that what they are doing works from a business standpoint, and IS satisfying the vast majority of their customers.
It is only the wild notions of the crazy wackos on sites like CR, DPR, FR, etc. who insist that low-ISO IQ is the SOLE factor in total camera quality that could possibly indicate that Canon is doing anything wrong, that they are paying any kind of price, and that they have lessons to learn for their "bad" behavior. Get your head out of your hole, poke it above the horizon, and look around...Canon is kicking ass on nearly every front.
What Sony and Nikon have found is obviously not the end of it, we are only seeing the first stage of what I hope will be ever improving quality. I just hope that when Canon do eventually offer us something it will not just be more of what we have been offered recently.
I've been trying hard to follow the science behind the high ISO noise / low ISO noise difference that seems to be the key to this. It seems that Canon have been chasing the high ISO dream which would never be my choice.
It may never be your
choice, however there are statistically many more photographers who need higher shutter speeds at lower light levels than those who need perfect low-ISO IQ. The only real fields of photography where ISO 100 is the staple of their photography are landscape and architectural photographers, who are able to pop their camera on top of a super-sturdy tripod, pop in a remote shutter release, carefully compose and focus their scene, then sit back and open the shutter. Nearly every other field of photography requires either hand-holding a camera with wider-angle lenses, or using extremely long supertelephoto lenses on or off tripods, where very high shutter speeds are essential to getting the shot, which in turn requires high ISO. Reducing noise at high ISO, and expanding the range of high ISO settings, is what the majority of photographers need, what they asked for, and what Canon gave them.
I don't deny Canon could certainly improve their low ISO IQ. Their banding noise has become their bane at low ISO. A move to a smaller fabrication process will give them the die space they need to slap on some additional circuitry and solve that problem, so the real question is whether Canon IS going to move to a smaller process. Chipworks recently showed some photos of a Canon 180nm process that used copper interlinks and lightpipe technology, so it is clear that Canon is at the very least WORKING on moving to a new process. Whether they do, and whether doing so allows Canon to continue offering the things their customers really need, remains to be seen.