October 20, 2014, 05:04:46 AM

Poll

If Canon would offer to unlock firmware features for money...

I'd consider it if the basic body is cheaper
15 (37.5%)
I want a complete camera out of the box
19 (47.5%)
I'd buy a Nikon
6 (15%)

Total Members Voted: 40

Voting closed: September 30, 2012, 03:03:02 PM

Author Topic: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?  (Read 2836 times)

Marsu42

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POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« on: September 20, 2012, 03:03:02 PM »
I recon Canon keeps the natural order of camera bodies not only by saving on hardware, but by enabling or disabling firmware features. Examples: afma on the 60d, 1/180s x-sync & 1/4000 shutter on the 6d, 7x hdr 5d3/6d vs 3x hdr on 5d2, af spot metering on 5d3, deeper buffer on the 7d (enabled in 2.0), video on the 5d2 (enabled in 2.0)... the list might get quite long.

Unfortunately Magic Lantern can only intercept keys and control the camera mostly in live-view. More interesting stuff has to be done in the core firmware - and Canon is very conservative here. This is strange since Canon is usually quite creative to grab money, and the way ahead imho is software-driven like "camera apps".

Question: Would you consider paying money for firmware features that extend the out of the box feature set (like no video, 1/2000 shutter, 1/125 x-sync) if the basic camera body would be cheaper in return?
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 03:33:55 PM by Marsu42 »

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POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« on: September 20, 2012, 03:03:02 PM »

facedodge

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 03:11:44 PM »
Interesting, but I would think that it would be reserved for only the specialty items. Things like zebra or focus peaking on video... In Camera HDR maybe....

It's like buying an iPhone... it comes with the basics, but you have to buy iphoto and pages.

The problem would be that Canon would have a hard time keeping people from swapping firmware upgrades.

Marsu42

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 03:23:26 PM »
Interesting, but I would think that it would be reserved for only the specialty items.

Well, I'm always reading some people aren't interested in video. And I'd certainly pay some bucks if they'd re-enable afma on my 60d. I don't see why only special features would be accepted as "optional".

The problem would be that Canon would have a hard time keeping people from swapping firmware upgrades.

I expected this question ... this is really no problem: They just have to tie a firmware upgrade to the camera serial number, just like Microsoft with Windows 8 and the oem activation to specific, individual computers. If you digitally sign the stuff with a asymmetric cipher (rsa, dsa, ...) and there's no way to "root" the firmware this is nearly fool-proof.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 04:09:52 PM »
This question seems to get posted every few months.  I'm not sure why you are asking, Canon has not charged for firmware upgrades and I've seen no serious possibility that they will.
However, to answer the question.  If there were a feature that I had to pay to unlock, and I thought it was worth the price, I'd pay.  However, I can't think of a firmware feature that I'm really that interested in that I would buy.
The Magic Lantern firmware is free, and I don't bother to download it. If they get it going for the 5D Mark III, I might try the focus stacking.  Being able to run it from the SD card slot while capturing to the CF card seems interesting.

Marsu42

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 04:17:36 PM »
This question seems to get posted every few months. I'm not sure why you are asking

... because I guess that the 1/180 x-sync and 1/4000 shutter limitations on the 6d are not hardware limitations, but put there by marketing to set every spec in the sheet below the 5d3. And because I am still annoyed by the missing afma on my 60d.

Canon has not charged for firmware upgrades and I've seen no serious possibility that they will.

That's because all were minor upgrades or they had no choice to revive a camera line (5d2, 7d). They certainly aren't in the habit of continuing firmware development after release, but if they'd introduce a modular system that brought them revenue they might. If I was a Canon exec I'd introduce it, can't get worse than now :-)

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 04:51:06 PM »
This question seems to get posted every few months. I'm not sure why you are asking

... because I guess that the 1/180 x-sync and 1/4000 shutter limitations on the 6d are not hardware limitations, but put there by marketing to set every spec in the sheet below the 5d3. And because I am still annoyed by the missing afma on my 60d.

Canon has not charged for firmware upgrades and I've seen no serious possibility that they will.

That's because all were minor upgrades or they had no choice to revive a camera line (5d2, 7d). They certainly aren't in the habit of continuing firmware development after release, but if they'd introduce a modular system that brought them revenue they might. If I was a Canon exec I'd introduce it, can't get worse than now :-)
While its possible that the 1/180 synch and 1/4000 shutter are firmware related, they are appropriate for the intended customers, those upgrading from Rebels. 
I'd certainly not pay to change them.  Not having any info about the design of the shutter, its entirely possible and likely even that its life would be reduced by 75% going to 1/8000 sec.
I did a check of my 40K images just now and found 61 images using shutter speeds over 1/4000 sec.  Thats .0017 of them, Then, I viewed all 61 of them, none really needed that high speed, they were shot letting the camera pick the shutter speed and mostly user error.
Most buying into a entry level body are not going to need the high shutter speed.
 

Marsu42

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 05:45:43 PM »
While its possible that the 1/180 synch and 1/4000 shutter are firmware related, they are appropriate for the intended customers, those upgrading from Rebels. 

Imho shutter speed: yes, but x-sync: no - 1/180s is esp. confusing for people upgrading from the 1/250s on crop, and the recent posts I've read convinced me that the crippled x-sync is an issue for outdoor flash where hss cannot be used or where freeze-motion flash is required.

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 05:45:43 PM »

akiskev

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 05:53:06 PM »
Basic firmware in my book: What Canon provides now.
Firmware I'd pay for (actually I did donate 10$ for it) : Magic Lantern.
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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2012, 06:29:31 PM »
With Canon admitting that the 1Dc = 1DX + firmware update to enable 4K video recording (see EOSHD) for twice the price :o and now with camera owners wanting bespoke software (a la carte), it is only a matter of time before MTV + some Eastern European Hackers (they study Visual C++ in high school in Bulgaria/Romania/Hungary ???) get together and produce a new TV series entitled PIMP MY DSLR!

bdunbar79

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 06:30:29 PM »
With Canon admitting that the 1Dc = 1DX + firmware update to enable 4K video recording (see EOSHD) for twice the price :o and now with camera owners wanting bespoke software (a la carte), it is only a matter of time before MTV + some Eastern European Hackers (they study Visual C++ in high school in Bulgaria/Romania/Hungary ???) get together and produce a new TV series entitled PIMP MY DSLR!

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cliffwang

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2012, 07:14:54 PM »
Basic firmware in my book: What Canon provides now.
Firmware I'd pay for (actually I did donate 10$ for it) : Magic Lantern.

Did same thing.  However, I don't own 5D2 anymore.  The 5D3.113.Alpha1 is not so useful yet.  Hopefully Alex will give us some surprise end of this year.
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cliffwang

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2012, 07:20:49 PM »
That's the idea we see for some high end computer hardware and software.  Using private key to limit/release features.  However, it wouldn't really work for camera.  The camera user base is too big, that attract hackers to find the way to open all features on a camera.  And that will cause a big loss for Canon.
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TrumpetPower!

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 08:01:00 PM »
This question seems to get posted every few months. I'm not sure why you are asking

... because I guess that the 1/180 x-sync and 1/4000 shutter limitations on the 6d are not hardware limitations, but put there by marketing to set every spec in the sheet below the 5d3.

Eh, no. Not at all.

The 6D also has a much shorter life expectancy for the shutter.

Put it all together, and it's clear that it's an entirely physically different shutter from the 5DIII -- one that's slower and less durable, and obviously cheaper.

We can surmise that the shutter doesn't move as fast because the maximum shutter speed is slower. That means that it takes longer for the first curtain to clear the sensor, which also accounts for the slower sync speed.

No firmware in the world will ever get those shutter curtains to move faster, unless there's something in the firmware that controls the voltage to the shutter actuators, which I rather doubt. Even if it exists, it'd probably blow up your shutter right quick.

And, as for missing AFMA? Considering the 6D has a brand-new bottom-of-the-line autofocus system, I wouldn't at all be surprised if AFMA relies on some of the circuitry in said autofocus system. Considering that it's the autofocus system that drives the lens and that that might not be controlled by firmware...well, if so, you won't be getting AFMA on the 6D.

Really, I don't think Canon is in the business of crippling products with firmware. I think most of the "crippling" has much more to do with manufacturing practices, design tolerances, and that sort of thing. That is, the camera is cheaper because it's more cheaply made with cheaper parts assembled to lower standards. It's still a great camera, but it's not as highly refined as the 5DIII.

And isn't that exactly what everybody has been asking for? A no-frills, cut-all-the-corners, consumer-oriented full-frame camera?

Cheers,

b&

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 08:01:00 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2012, 08:02:41 PM »
With Canon admitting that the 1Dc = 1DX + firmware update to enable 4K video recording (see EOSHD) for twice the price :o and now with camera owners wanting bespoke software (a la carte), it is only a matter of time before MTV + some Eastern European Hackers (they study Visual C++ in high school in Bulgaria/Romania/Hungary ??? ) get together and produce a new TV series entitled PIMP MY DSLR!
Show us the Canon article.  Or maybe its one of those saying my Canon man confirmed bla bla bla.  Just like the Canon man recently confirming the 24-70mmL delay until after October.
 

Marsu42

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2012, 08:28:29 PM »
Show us the Canon article.

I don't know about 4k, but at least the different compression codecs in the 1dc are simply an extended firmware over the 1dx - at least the Magic Lantern devs think so, got it from their forum. Canon is very unlikely to confirm this of course, it might enrage users, though there is no reason for it - selling better software is absolutely ok, thus the thread.

Put it all together, and it's clear that it's an entirely physically different shutter from the 5DIII -- one that's slower and less durable, and obviously cheaper.

Well, obviously I cannot prove it, but the 1/180s x-sync still seems like a software limitation to me... as for the durability and max shutter speed you *might* be correct.

And, as for missing AFMA? Considering the 6D has a brand-new bottom-of-the-line autofocus system, I wouldn't at all be surprised if AFMA relies on some of the circuitry in said autofocus system.

The 6d has the afma from the 5d3, I was talking of my *60d* - and afaik afma has nothing to do with hardware, but is a simple software hack that remembers the data per lens and adds/substracts this value from the values it's getting from the phase af.

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Re: POLL: Would you pay for firmware feature upgrades?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2012, 08:28:29 PM »