What do you think if everyone here started emailing Canon, started hitting up their booths at conventions, and started loudly demanding better sensor IQ?
Of all the things that I have read of yours on CR that is the most extraordinary to date.
Demanding better IQ. Have you actually used a camera with the Sony Exmor sensor ? I know nothing about astrophotography, or whatever it's called; perhaps there is a benefit there, but to 'demand better IQ' with the exceptional sensors we now have........
I don't believe the sensors we have now are "exceptional". I believe they are "good", but relative to what's possible, they are not exceptional. They may have been exceptional five years ago...but, that was five years ago. Things change. Things ARE relative. And as I said (which you did not quote)...I'm not just speaking about low ISO DR. It's possible to have more high ISO DR, it's possible to have all this, both improved low and high ISO DR, WITH MORE PIXELS.
It's a simple question. Do you NOT want to have better IQ across the board? Truly? I mean, technology PROGRESSES. So, if you are honestly telling me that you do NOT want better top to bottom sensor IQ....
Then that is one of the most extraordinary comments I've ever read on these forums to date.
I think I got lost in fighting against DXO and defending Canon all these years, and forgot that I DO WANT BETTER! I WANT BETTER! I WANT MORE! I KNOW IT'S POSSIBLE, TOO. I honestly cannot think that I am ALONE on that front. I plain and simply don't even believe it. I think people here will only say they don't want more and better simply to continue defending their preferred brand. It's fine to prefer Canon. I do. I have many reasons for preferring them. However...that is no reason not to demand they give us more. I want D800 level low ISO IQ strait out of camera. I want ML-level high ISO DR strait out of camera. I want 70-80% Q.E. I want 50 megapixels. I can USE every single one of those sensor IQ improvements.
So...honestly...what's wrong with getting vocal about that TO CANON. You don't have to give a crap about any other brand...the point is to stand up and get vocal about your wants TO CANON, so your preferred brand will improve, will start offering you more capability.
I can understand your frustration. You want better sensor from Canon and you don’t see it happening anytime soon. You even fear that Canon might become history if they don’t improve their sensors soon.
I see things a bit differently. I try to understand why Canon is not doing what some of us expect them to do? There could be several reasons.
1. Technological limitations.
2. Lack of market demand.
3. Cost benefit analysis mandate that they stay with their current tech for now. Technology:
None of us really know what Canon is capable of at this point. But we know that they have not lost focus. They are exploring various options including on chip ADC, dual scale ADC, stacked layer sensor, microlens with higher refractive index, better implementation of BSI etc. There is also a myth that Canon has done nothing to improve their sensors. This graph would show that the opposite is true.http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3619420
So, I see no reason to lose hope in Canon’s attention to sensor.Market:
Canon listens to market no less than any other camera company. Market demand varies depending on the market segment; but they can be broadly categorized as follows: a) easy operation and handling b) reasonable price c) durable product and reliable service d) functionality and efficiency matching camera class e) efficient and reasonably priced accessories including lenses f) IQ matching the camera class.
No one argues that Canon delivers as good as or better than competition in each of these categories with the exception of few who believe that Canon lags behind in IQ. This is a myth held by few who analyses pictures by graphs and numbers. If we take two modern cameras of the same class, one from Canon and one from Nikon/Sony; and we put up 100 pictures 50 from each, no one will be able to tell the difference, no one will go ‘WOW, this one has better IQ so it must have been shot by a Nikon’. As a matter of fact there is high likelihood that most will prefer Canon because of its so called ‘Canon color’.
I shoot with both Canon (DR 11-12) and Nikon (DR 14). Sometimes I shoot the same scene with Canon and Nikon. And if I am not looking at the file name the only way I can tell the difference is by the presence or absence of greenish tint. 14 stops of DR doesn’t show up as you open the files except in rare situations where shadows will be slightly lighter in Nikon files, although that doesn’t automatically give a better looking picture. The advantage of low read noise comes during processing when dealing with shadows. With Nikon files you will need less NR in shadows. It has the potential to give you better shadow detail and color fidelity. But so much depends on other factors, such as the quality of the lens, technique or processing skill, that the difference is almost non-existent. Exmor DR/processing latitude is better, but it is still not as good as proper techniques such as fill flash, filter or multiple exposure blending.
So, there is a reason why low read noise hasn’t made any significant impact. People see pictures (not numbers). People don’t see any difference between Canon or Nikon. IQ of a given scene still depends vastly on the capability of the photographer, his technique, his processing skill and the lenses used.
What else is important in the market? #1 would be image of a brand. Those white lenses in the World Cup are more important in creating customer demand than any number DXO churns out. A lot of people do look at reviews before they buy a camera. Let’s take 70D for example.
Dpreview: Gold award
Camera labs: Highly recommended
Expert Review: 5 star
Tech Radar: 5 star
Photographyblog: 5 star
IR: Dave’s Pick
I am sure Canon understands that they need to improve read noise. But it is understandable why they don’t see any urgency in it. Their priority has been high ISO noise and in this respect they are very competitive. My guess would be that their next target is higher MP. We are likely to see higher MP cameras from Canon in a year.Cost/benefit:
We can only make guesses here. World economy hasn’t recovered. Cellphone is threatening the existence of camera and it has already replaced camera as the dominant photo taking tool. It makes every sense if Canon wants to remain as profitable as they can now so that they are better prepared to deal with the uncertainties of the future.
As a dual system user, Canon cameras along with lenses such as 24-70/II, 70-200/II, 135mm/2, 85mm/1,2, 17 and 90mm TS etc. remain my favorite photo taking tool, I use them more than 90% of the time. I only wish that they come up with 100-400 MKII soon.
And DR? I will wait till they address it. I won’t jump ship. I may actually sell my Nikon gears.
But yeah, I agree that we should make more noise about read noise in between times when we are not busy having fun with our Canon gears.