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Author Topic: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?  (Read 29814 times)

UrbanVoyeur

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #75 on: May 01, 2012, 05:05:08 PM »
Wow, there are just so many misassumptions there that I'm not even sure where to begin.  You don't, by any chance, do cost analyses for the US government, do you?   :o

No I don't :-). But I have been buying and using the Canon EOS system for over 20 years. I still own several EOS film cameras, and I can match them just about feature for feature with their their digital counterparts.  Build quality, lens mount quality, sealing, shutter MTF, % VF, auto-focus points, metering, etc.

I've come to know how much of a price increase there was when Canon "improved weather sealing", "added metering modes", "increased VF %" or "increased the number or AF points" between one model year and the next. Answer: essentially $0.

I also know what each of the film cameras cost new, and in many cases, what it cost to have all or parts of the film transport replaced or repaired. I've been pretty hard on some of these cameras.

So when I look at a Canon digital camera, I also look at it's nearest film sibling.  The difference in price between the two, minus the retail parts cost of replacing the film transport, is the "digital premium" Canon is charging me for that camera.  I am not talking about what it costs Canon to make the camera. I don't know and I don't care. I am only concerned with what Canon is charging me for the digital features.

So if the Canon EOS 3 ($800 new) and the 5MkIII ($3500 new) are nearly identical in build and features. And I was charged $275 in parts for replacing a destroyed film transport, then retail price of the non-digital parts of and EOS 3 type body I can assume is $500. NOT what it cost Canon, but what they are charging me for it.

Likewise, if an EOS 3 body is like a 5MkIII body, then the digital premium - what Canon is charging me for the sensors, chips and software - on the 5 MkIII is $3000. ($3500-$500)

Do the same analysis for  the Nikon D800. It has a film sibling that sold for around 800-900. Assume the film transport price is the same. The Nikon digital premium is $2500, for 36 MP and near medium format performance.

So the question for me becomes, is that $3000 Canon digital premium worth it. My answer, in this case, is no, not when compared to the MkII and not when compared to the value offered by Nikon.

The analysis would be just as valid if I took off nothing for the film transport. The digital premium would still be there, and Canon would still be offering less value than Nikon, and an insignificant improvement over the MkII

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #75 on: May 01, 2012, 05:05:08 PM »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #76 on: May 01, 2012, 05:28:22 PM »
Canon's takeaway, such as it is, from the D800 vs. 5DIII debate will come 99.5% from relative sales figures/estimates, and 0.5% from everything else.

I was personally interested in whether or not there was a consensus in favor of DR or resolution and I'm pleased to see that there seems to be more consensus in favor of DR then I had expected.

Except that there's sampling bias in your straw poll, like a poll about an upcoming US presidential election where you call only Democrats and surprise, surprise, the Democratic candidate comes out on top.  Lots of people in this thread are lamenting the fact that there has been no improvement in the DR of Canon's CMOS sensors for several years and for all of those years, Canon has lagged well behind Nikon in sensor DR.  Canon's sales of CMOS-contaning cameras has steadily increased over that same period, at the expense of Nikon's market share.  Canon's camera division exists to sell cameras, period.  Conclusion = DR is irrelevant to camera sales, and thus DR is irrelevant to Canon.  True story.

That's wayyy too simplified of a conclusion there.

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #77 on: May 01, 2012, 05:31:59 PM »
I think customer feedback can make a difference whether it is in forums or reviews or blog posts or where ever, V8Beast.   I can give you another example.  I think of Syl Arena's blog post several years back on Canon's Speedlite system.  It resonated with people and Canon let him know they had read the post and was monitoring the responses.  Several years later a vastly improved new flash system update is introduced that closely conforms to Syl's original wishlist.  I'm not saying that Syl spec'd the new system but Syl's post and the big response helped crystallize and confirm what users were looking for.

I agree that listening to all feedback is important, but like all companies Canon has to weed out the fanatics from the serious users. Translation: all feedback is welcome, but feedback from people who are willing to spend the money and contribute to a company's quarterly earnings are much more important. On the internet, you get people that talk a lot of trash, but don't put their money where there mouths are :)


Actually forum posters seem to have more high end stuff, more money put into it, than the average user from what I see. You see a lot more talk of people owning super-tele, T&S, fast L primes, etc. on forums.

pdirestajr

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #78 on: May 01, 2012, 05:37:31 PM »
A solution for increased dynamic range on the sensor is to learn how to light properly.

A solution to increased performance in low light is to add a bit of light.

A fix for the light leak controversy of 2012 is to take pictures with the lens cap off.

I see a trend here, web-forum-complaining-photographers need to invest more time in lighting, and finding the light.

After all, photography is actually about making exposures WITH LIGHT.

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #79 on: May 01, 2012, 05:42:51 PM »
A solution for increased dynamic range on the sensor is to learn how to light properly.

A solution to increased performance in low light is to add a bit of light.


yeah whatever you say

Kernuak

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #80 on: May 01, 2012, 05:43:09 PM »
I feel that most of the DR would be wasted anyway in terms of professional use. Currently, the main markets for selling images are as fine art prints (either as true fine art portraits/landscapes etc or as wedding/event prints) and the various forms of stock. Most professional printers and paper has less dynamic range than can be produced by DSLRs, so having more dynamic range would be pointless in my view. Likewise, most stock photographic licences are purchased for printing, either in a magazine/newspaper etc. or on a billboard, again, the DR is wasted. There are more images being licenced for web use, but again, viewing on most browsers gives limited DR.

I appreciate your thoughts on this.  (Not just the quoted section but all of it.)  Having said that, I have to disagree with you when you talk about wasted dynamic range and its limited value with certain media.  I can understand that for someone who doesn't like to post process images, having more post-processing flexibility is not that exciting.  But for me, that increased dynamic range is a hugely useful tool regardless of the final medium—monitor or print. 

Having the ability to pull clean detail out of shadows doesn't mean you have to use it.  But having the option is extraordinarily useful.  We already adjust the appearance of our images with levels and curves to match (i.e., tone map) the dynamic range of the image to whatever medium it will be displayed on.  Greater DR just provides more flexibility to do so.  And having greater DR capabilities on a sensor doesn't necessarily mean the image has to look any different coming out of the camera.

You mentioned bird photography.  I would use this as an example.  I was out in the desert photographing sage-grouse a couple weekends ago.  http://blog.tlinn.com/2012/04/sage-grouse/  I wanted it bright and sunny at sunrise to capture the tail feathers glowing with light.  But I also wanted to be able to pull out details from the shadows so that the tail feathers didn't look like they were attached to a black blob.  There is no question that the ability to do this will benefit my images on screen and in print.
My comments about DR and processing weren't entirely about what can be pulled out. I think you may have missed my main point, in that a large number of professionals aren't that interested in DR compared to other factors, which they would consider more important (e.g. improved AF/frame rate among other things). Probably much of the design is driven towards their target market.
Whether or not you make use of the DR, I still feel that more DR can result in a flatter unprocessed image, while it is a relatively simple processing step, it is something that many professionals would prefer not to do if they can get away with it. Many wildlife pros in particular, have very little knowledge of advanced Photoshop, as a large number of them come from the film days and expect more natural looking images, so it is an alien concept to them.

Theses images had a similar concept to tours, in that I wanted to capture the woodpeckers in directional light at dawn, the difference is, I had the sun at a different angle, and wasn't looking for any rim lighting. I would have liked a little more detail in the white feathers, but I feel it's a small compromise, considering the image overall.


Male Great Spotted Woodpecker Feeding. by Kernuak, on Flickr

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker at Nest. by Kernuak, on Flickr

In constrast, this backlit image was taken in late evening and I didn't have any real problems with lack of shadow detail, although admittedly, I didn't have the problem of black feathers.

http://ps.avalonlightphotoart.co.uk/image/I0000VuB2wc_ccGg
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neuroanatomist

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #81 on: May 01, 2012, 06:17:40 PM »
If they look at the overwhelmingly positive response to the D800, I'm hoping they don't say, "More megapixels is what we need."

Unfortunately for you, I don't think there is any possible way Canon would interpret such a situation in any other way than, "More megapixels is what we need."  If the D800 outsells the 5DIII by a wide margin, what differentiates it?  For the recent past, Canon has been out front in the 'megapixel war', and behind in DR.  The D800 represents a reversal in the megapixel situation with Nikon surpassing Canon, and no change in the DR situation, with Nikon still out front.  How else could Canon interpret that?  Canon will assume the problem is MP, revert to their former more-is-better strategy, and we'll see a high MP body with no greater (or perhaps even less) DR.

I am not talking about what it costs Canon to make the camera. I don't know and I don't care. I am only concerned with what Canon is charging me for the digital features

I see a lot of dollar values in your analyses.  Did you account for the fact that Canon doesn't count dollars to determine profit, but that they count yen instead?  That means exchange rates are a huge factor in pricing (the strong yen accounts for much of the recent price hikes, for both Canon and Nikon), and also the ever-shifting landscape of trade tariffs, luxury goods import duties, etc., play a major role (which is why Canon gear appears to cost more in the EU, on a dollar for euro comparison).

But sure, we can reduce it to a 'digital premium' and agree that Canon is screwing us all by charging for the air inside digital cameras, or something.  It's irrelevent.  If you want the camera, you pay the cost.  If the cost is too high, you don't buy the camera.  I guess on a personal level, it's pretty simple after all.
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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #81 on: May 01, 2012, 06:17:40 PM »

UrbanVoyeur

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #82 on: May 01, 2012, 06:43:23 PM »
The D800 represents a reversal in the megapixel situation with Nikon surpassing Canon, and no change in the DR situation, with Nikon still out front.  How else could Canon interpret that?  Canon will assume the problem is MP, revert to their former more-is-better strategy, and we'll see a high MP body with no greater (or perhaps even less) DR.
I wish that Canon would take up the challenge and push past Nikon in MP count, DR and noise, but I agree with you - Canon will probabley stick to the MP count. It's easier.

Did you account for the fact that Canon doesn't count dollars to determine profit, but that they count yen instead?  That means exchange rates are a huge factor in pricing (the strong yen accounts for much of the recent price hikes, for both Canon and Nikon), and also the ever-shifting landscape of trade tariffs, luxury goods import duties, etc., play a major role (which is why Canon gear appears to cost more in the EU, on a dollar for euro comparison).
Nope, didn't consider it at all, as it is irrelevant. I don't care what the camera costs to produce or how much profit Canon makes. I only know what Canon chooses to charge me in dollars and how that stacks up to the previous version and the competition.

The absolute price isn't an issue for me in this case. At issue is whether the Mk3 offers enough features to justify the price of the upgrade compared to what is possible (Nikon) and what Canon has offered in the past (Mk2). It does not.

If the Mk3 offered the same MP, DR, and low noise as the current tech leader, Nikon, the Mk3 would be worth the upgrade. I'll wait until what Canon is offering @$3500 is more in line with what is possible, the D800 @ $3000.

If you want the camera, you pay the cost.  If the cost is too high, you don't buy the camera.  I guess on a personal level, it's pretty simple after all.
That about sums it up.

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #83 on: May 01, 2012, 06:53:53 PM »

pdirestajr

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #84 on: May 01, 2012, 07:46:54 PM »
I really just don't get it. Photography is a form of art and creative expression- from a pro photographer to a parent photographing their kids. It has also always been about creative problem solving, that's what makes it so intriguing. You will always find yourself in a unique lighting scenario with a lens that has limits and a film or sensor with limits. If you had Iso 100 Velvia loaded into your camera and only one lens, you'd have to make situational adjustments to make the best possible exposure, and so on.

I see a lot of pissy people that just sit around reading spec sheets and lab reports and complain that their thousands of dollars worth of gear can't accomplish a simple task.

V8Beast

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #85 on: May 01, 2012, 10:59:53 PM »
I think customer feedback can make a difference whether it is in forums or reviews or blog posts or where ever, V8Beast.   I can give you another example.  I think of Syl Arena's blog post several years back on Canon's Speedlite system.  It resonated with people and Canon let him know they had read the post and was monitoring the responses.  Several years later a vastly improved new flash system update is introduced that closely conforms to Syl's original wishlist.  I'm not saying that Syl spec'd the new system but Syl's post and the big response helped crystallize and confirm what users were looking for.

I agree that listening to all feedback is important, but like all companies Canon has to weed out the fanatics from the serious users. Translation: all feedback is welcome, but feedback from people who are willing to spend the money and contribute to a company's quarterly earnings are much more important. On the internet, you get people that talk a lot of trash, but don't put their money where there mouths are :)


Actually forum posters seem to have more high end stuff, more money put into it, than the average user from what I see. You see a lot more talk of people owning super-tele, T&S, fast L primes, etc. on forums.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Many hobbyists I see online have nicer gear than a lot of pros I work with. This makes sense, as photography is rarely a lucrative profession :) You can get by and make a decent living, but I don't know many wealthy pro photographers, and that has nothing to do with talent.

That said, these forum posters that you speak of with all this money, how much of the market do you think they represent? I'd venture to say it's quite small.  Likewise, what do you figure the ratio is of whiners vs. people that actually went out a purchased the gear they debated about online? Me thinks the ratio favors the whiners by a substantial margin, because if people put their money where their mouths and bought new gear, they'd be out shooting with it instead of perpetuating the online whine fest.

Out of curiosity, do the words "14 stops of DR, bey-otch!" or "DxO rating of 95, recognize mofos!" appear anywhere on Nikon's marketing literature for the D800? You'd think that if it was such a big deal and such a great marketing tool, Nikon would be taking advantage of it.

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #86 on: May 02, 2012, 12:21:56 AM »
I think customer feedback can make a difference whether it is in forums or reviews or blog posts or where ever, V8Beast.   I can give you another example.  I think of Syl Arena's blog post several years back on Canon's Speedlite system.  It resonated with people and Canon let him know they had read the post and was monitoring the responses.  Several years later a vastly improved new flash system update is introduced that closely conforms to Syl's original wishlist.  I'm not saying that Syl spec'd the new system but Syl's post and the big response helped crystallize and confirm what users were looking for.

I agree that listening to all feedback is important, but like all companies Canon has to weed out the fanatics from the serious users. Translation: all feedback is welcome, but feedback from people who are willing to spend the money and contribute to a company's quarterly earnings are much more important. On the internet, you get people that talk a lot of trash, but don't put their money where there mouths are :)


Actually forum posters seem to have more high end stuff, more money put into it, than the average user from what I see. You see a lot more talk of people owning super-tele, T&S, fast L primes, etc. on forums.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Many hobbyists I see online have nicer gear than a lot of pros I work with. This makes sense, as photography is rarely a lucrative profession :) You can get by and make a decent living, but I don't know many wealthy pro photographers, and that has nothing to do with talent.

Yes and the collapse of newspapers and magazines has made the PJ job fortunes meeker than ever. Some salary figures I've seen recently have been really scary (so scary they kinda scared me back into my original game plan for a living). The sort where a grad student might look like Donald Trump in comparison. :D  :'(

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That said, these forum posters that you speak of with all this money, how much of the market do you think they represent? I'd venture to say it's quite small.

Probably not a lot compared to all of the rebel and some of the xxD users.

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  Likewise, what do you figure the ratio is of whiners vs. people that actually went out a purchased the gear they debated about online? Me thinks the ratio favors the whiners by a substantial margin, because if people put their money where their mouths and bought new gear, they'd be out shooting with it instead of perpetuating the online whine fest.

I don't think so. The whiners seem to have a lot of equipment on average, although I have hardly done a careful tally. I can say that I myself have a super-tele, some L zooms and medium and short primes, two bodies, TCs, etc. etc.

And some of the AF whiners have insane equipment sets with super-tele galore. (the 5D3 and 1DX may quiet this group right up, the 1D4 already did to some decent extent and even the 1D3 after the fixes to a lesser and hardly universal extent and the 7D to some extent among the more amateur and more forgiving of that set, Canon may have finally answered the loud cries of this set)

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Out of curiosity, do the words "14 stops of DR, bey-otch!" or "DxO rating of 95, recognize mofos!" appear anywhere on Nikon's marketing literature for the D800? You'd think that if it was such a big deal and such a great marketing tool, Nikon would be taking advantage of it.

They do appear in some of Sony's. :D They definitely brag on the Exmor DR.

Nikon may have been wary to play up DR too much in press since their flagship D3s and D4 have less DR than some of their consumer APS-C and their D800 and the heavily Sony-aided sensors outdo the ones they made without much Sony help.

And anyway DxO and all do it for them.

To be honest I don't know what they drum up since I haven't looked at Nikon marketing too much (other than all of the Ashton commercials on TV for point and shoots which can't be avoided).

Anyway most of the 5D3 they did get right.

The low ISO stuff is a bit lame after 5 years and all the bragging they did about how they are so far ahead they don't even need to try. I just hope they take DR seriously for the 5D4 round.

The grass isn't entire green on Nikon's side so I will stick around for the 5D3 it does fix a lot of body performance stuff I had been hoping would get fixed for years with the 5D series.

That said if the sensor is way behind again 5D4/D900 round I'd sadly have to decide to switch to Nikon after years and years of Canon shooting.

I seriously thought about for the first time this time, but it doesn't quite make sense to switch yet, taking ALL about the 5D3 and other factors such as $ and lenses and UI and video into account, but if the are left in the dust for dynamic range and such next time, I'm afraid it will be a switch (and with canon lenses becoming more expensive and my super-tele getting old, etc. it might not be that much of a $ factor to switch by then either).

And you have to admit Canon has become the king of silly little crippling's of their bodies, more than any of the other makers at this point in time. Although they finally stopped crippling AF in a big way this time at least. That was awesome.

I do know so more purely landscape guys who are switching to Nikon now and might not have had the 5D3 simply had even just D4-levels of dynamic range, MP left at 22 as is. (Of course I do know a few Nikon landscape guys who couldn't afford the superior D3x and nabbed a 5D2 the last round)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 12:45:48 AM by LetTheRightLensIn »

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #87 on: May 02, 2012, 01:12:41 AM »


I do know so more purely landscape guys who are switching to Nikon now and might not have had the 5D3 simply had even just D4-levels of dynamic range, MP left at 22 as is. (Of course I do know a few Nikon landscape guys who couldn't afford the superior D3x and nabbed a 5D2 the last round)

Welp, landscapes is one of those disciplines where Nikon's superior DR is a huge advantage. Canon shooters should admit this rather than living in denial. That said, everyone seems to be a landscape shooter these days ;D

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #87 on: May 02, 2012, 01:12:41 AM »

the-ninth

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #88 on: May 02, 2012, 06:25:15 AM »
A solution for increased dynamic range on the sensor is to learn how to light properly.
[...]
After all, photography is actually about making exposures WITH LIGHT.

I have to agree here. Owned a 30D before, now have a 5D3. I don't see how the increase in dynamic range between the two has improved my photography and neither believe any further increase would do so.

If your subject is well-lit, the DR of any recent DSLR should suffice. If light gets too harsh outdoors, then it is time to stop anyway, because you'll have other quality issues than DR. And even in those cases where light is good but uneven, e. g. indoors with sun-beams falling in, I never thought a few burned spots hurt a photo that is good otherwise. Here is an example: http://www.the-ninth.com/index.php?mode=display&area=gallery&aid=27&page=2&pid=593.

Cheers, Robert

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #89 on: May 02, 2012, 07:28:40 AM »
The advantage of digital medium format has traditionally been higher dynamic range and higher resolution, the disadvantage - an astronomic cost, still many professionals pay what it costs to gain that little extra quality. Now the D800 provides medium-format-like DR (perhaps even better DR) and resolution at an attractive price. A 35mm camera that crosses over into medium format territory, I think it is truly fantastic. The D800 sets a new standard of what can be achieved with a 35mm digital system. Great for fine art, landscape and studio photographers. Wouldn't it be great if Canon had a similar offer?

In medium format circles the D800 is now discussed as a serious alternative/complement to expensive MF cameras. Canon 5D mark III isn't even discussed at all. It should be said that the MF community is quite small though, so for total market sales it is not too important. But if Nikon gets known as the 35mm digital that can do it all, and Canon is mainly for journalism, sports and wildlife, many more beginning photographers that don't know for sure what they will do will rather invest in Nikon.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 07:41:53 AM by torger »

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Re: D800 v. 5D3 threads: What should Canon's takeaway be?
« Reply #89 on: May 02, 2012, 07:28:40 AM »