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Andrew Reid

Canon - the REAL technical and political reasons behind the lack of decent video

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In 2009 Canon introduced a disruptive technology. His name was the 5D Mark II and it was the devil incarnate. At the time they had a pro line-up of video camcorders like the XL2 which were used by filmmakers all over the world. Canon's 60+ year old management probably thought they'd just killed an entire business, by accident, with a consumer DSLR.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony Cameras

Online polls are outliers. There are too many ways to fix the poll. I could go there all afternoon and vote a hundred times by clearing out my cookies. Too many people can vote who would never ever buy a Canon no matter what the features were. Way too many variables to sway the poll. 

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To add to the mystery, there is the possibility that someone within Canon leaked the possibility of 10 and 12-bit RAW video the ML forum.  That effort had been dead-as-a-door-nail for a long time.  If it wasn't for that anonymous tip, which is VERY technical in nature, we'd never know that Canon cameras can essentially record a kind of compressed RAW video; that is, much less than the current 4 gig a minute.  Even without 12-bit RAW, I don't understand why Canon doesn't  allow 4-minute RAW recording on their 5Ds.  The only real worry is temperature and they can easily fix that with a limit.  Bottom line, Canon could put 12-bit RAW on their cameras today.  The ML devs have recently proven that.

As for the C100/300/200 line, I no longer see a threat from their consumer cameras even if they had 4K.  The cinema sensors are built for cinema, that is, video resolution with large pixels, so you wouldn't get the same low-light video with your 80D 4K, say, that you would from the C100.  Then, of course, all the buttons, XLR, etc.  I've never bought the argument that Canon would hurt their cinema business no matter how powerful they made their consumer cameras.  Of course, that might not be the case in Canon.

In fairness to Canon, Sony can't seem to do 4K in-camera downscaling to 1080 well (at least in my 6300).  However, I can't see how they can't output 4K in teh 6D II and let those who are inclined, downscale on their PC.  So I see some merit in the argument that Canon is very dismissive of enthusiast video users.  They seem to take the position that unless it can be done in camera, they're not interested in what happens to video downstream.  

The 4K coming out of the A6300 and A6500 is incredible, to me.  And they're great cameras, period.  Sony keeps releasing more lenses.  Once you look at 4K out of those cameras next to Canon video it's hard not to see the difference. 

 

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3 minutes ago, maxotics said:

To add to the mystery, there is the possibility that someone within Canon leaked the possibility of 10 and 12-bit RAW video the ML forum.

Don't be silly. It didn't happen, and you have no proof.

3 minutes ago, maxotics said:

That effort had been dead-as-a-door-nail for a long time.

This is so incredibly incorrect. Magic Lantern raw video has been a steady stream of development and it was never 'dead'.

22 minutes ago, Timotheus said:

@Andrew Reid Just wanna say I am enjoying your current editorial output...on a roll man.

Thank you!

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Don't start dragging this one off topic as well.

My opinion of the 80D is irrelevant beyond the fact it shoots really quite terrible 1080.

The ergonomics are good and Dual Pixel AF is great, which makes it all the more a shame that the stuff I am talking about in the article applies to this camera 100%.

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Step back and take a breath.

Canon product development aren't stupid. Neither are they at Nikon. And Nikon is barely at the hybrid video/stills party.

So what's at play?

Pure business strategy.

You touched on it.

Camera companies could care less what Andrew Reid or I have on a wishlist.

Why bother compete with Sony/Panasonic?

We sometimes forget that Japanese manufacturing operates as a giant consortium, with players 'accommodating' each other in support of the bigger picture.

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I feel that if any of the other camera makers is able to create a autofocusing system that can compete with DPAF, it's going to be it for the non-cinema EOS line for videos. 

Most people that get consumer/prosumer Canons for video (including me) are either people that don't know a lot about it, or that really need DPAF. It's still the only acceptable autofocusing system that's constantly reliable. 

Sony is definitely getting there with the a6300/a6500 and their 4D focus technology. Maybe a few more iterations and they'll crack it. 

All I want in a camera is stellar autofocus that doesn't turn into poop when the light is not optimal, top notch 1080p and a flip-out touch screen that goes to the side. 

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2 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Don't be silly. It didn't happen, and you have no proof.

This is so incredibly incorrect. Magic Lantern raw video has been a steady stream of development and it was never 'dead'.

Thank you!

I wasn't trying to prove anything.  What's silly about it?  Who would join ML, then give a very specific technical hint beyond the knowledge of most people, then disappear?  Also, I wasn't saying RAW development was dead, seriously?  I said "that effort" and meant the effort to do 10 and 12-bit RAW.  

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Canon has decided that they are not interested in the DSLR video market. They put limited video features in their mirrorless, point and shoot, and SLRs but it's just for low-end use. (Perhaps with the exception of the 5D4.) It's pretty clear that they divide their product range: if you want high quality video, you're directed to the Cinema EOS line. I don't think that any amount of complaining on Internet forums is going to change this as apparantly it seems to have been a good strategy for Canon. 

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Went to ML forum to get more specifics, to flesh out my memory.  Until 2013 there was a lot of discussion about 10/12-bit RAW, then things went dead.  On May 11, 2016, A1ex, one of the lead devs posts some findings based on an "@d".  He refers to the raw_twk thread which itself dies in 2014, but picks up again in 2016.  I assumed "@d", came and went in 2016, but he was active in 2013, only made 6 posts, then disappeared.  So it looks like he had a good insight into 10/12 bit video, back in 2013, but it  forgotten until A1ex re-visited it in 2016.  "d's" future game-changer post is here: http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=5601.msg38946#msg38946   Maybe he re-signed onto ML using a different name and is active today.  I don't know.  I shouldn't have speculated he was a Canon insider because it doesn't look like I can have any fun here :confused:  The main point is that Canon cameras can do a lot more than they do from the factory and that 10/12 bit RAW is more evidence of that.  I was supporting the argument of the original story.

 

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1 hour ago, bertholddiederich said:

Canon has decided that they are not interested in the DSLR video market. They put limited video features in their mirrorless, point and shoot, and SLRs but it's just for low-end use. (Perhaps with the exception of the 5D4.) It's pretty clear that they divide their product range: if you want high quality video, you're directed to the Cinema EOS line. I don't think that any amount of complaining on Internet forums is going to change this as apparantly it seems to have been a good strategy for Canon. 

I think it does merit pointing out how Canon is intentionally crippling their cameras year after year. And how can anyone seriously claim that omitting 4K in a usable codec in their DSLRs is a good strategy for any company in the year 2017? 

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It's pretty disingenuous to use Panasonic as an example considering their sensor sizes are literally half that of the Canon. Use Sony's A7 series (which only the most recent iteration of included internal 4k, by the way - though sure they at least offered 4k externally before that), and a6000 series - sure. They've been able to make 4k internal happen in a much smaller body, though they still took longer than Panasonic. 

There's significantly more data to process on a full frame sensor in 4k vs an m4/3 sensor. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Video shooters are not a huge market for Canon DSLRs and mirrorless. That's why the compromise you talk about has come at the costs of video. That's why they're attempting to develop better photo feartures first. Does that mean they couldn't have developed the technology to do everything you want? Course not. But obviously their focus is and always has been still shooters in the DSLR line-up. That's why they have a Cinema EOS line-up to cater for video shooters.

Sony and Panasonic don't/didn't have the established customer base and were/are much more able to be nimble and take bigger risks. That's why they were able to make such a dent.
 

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21 minutes ago, jax_rox said:

It's pretty disingenuous to use Panasonic as an example considering their sensor sizes are literally half that of the Canon. Use Sony's A7 series (which only the most recent iteration of included internal 4k, by the way - though sure they at least offered 4k externally before that), and a6000 series - sure. They've been able to make 4k internal happen in a much smaller body, though they still took longer than Panasonic. 

There's significantly more data to process on a full frame sensor in 4k vs an m4/3 sensor. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Video shooters are not a huge market for Canon DSLRs and mirrorless. That's why the compromise you talk about has come at the costs of video. That's why they're attempting to develop better photo feartures first. Does that mean they couldn't have developed the technology to do everything you want? Course not. But obviously their focus is and always has been still shooters in the DSLR line-up. That's why they have a Cinema EOS line-up to cater for video shooters.

Sony and Panasonic don't/didn't have the established customer base and were/are much more able to be nimble and take bigger risks. That's why they were able to make such a dent.
 

This post makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. You can use big words, but you doesn't even know subject/verb agreement.😂 Sony and Panasonic don't have an established customer base? WTF are you talking about? 

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2 minutes ago, jonpais said:

This post makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. You can use big words, but you doesn't even know subject/verb agreement.😂 Sony and Panasonic don't have an established customer base? WTF are you talking about? 

Sony & Panasonic didn't have as established a stills shooter customer base. The Sony/Panasonic stills shooters were casual weekend shooters. Conversely, Canon had and still have the vast majority of their customer base - the people buying their products - who are professional shooters.

Sony & Panasonic were able to be much more nimble in the market and take bigger risks because they had less to lose in that market. Canon takes a risk on a product - say on a product that caters to a smaller market - and they have a lot more to lose.

You're very good at being condescending, but perhaps spend more than 3 seconds comprehending what you're reading before jumping in with a comment. 

And really? Big words? I didn't know words like disingenuous were big words for anyone that passed middle school...

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@jax_rox Can you explain how adding 4K to their DSLRs is taking a big risk for Canon? I'm failing to understand. Also, as far as I know, Sony shooters started taking stills seriously more than a couple of years back. Jason Lanier switched to Sony over 3 years ago. 

Fuji is famous for stills, not video, yet even they had the foresight to add 4K to their X-T2. Huge risk? I don't think so...

Also, can you back up your claim that the vast majority of Canon users are professionals? Any numbers? Because I'm guessing the majority are amateurs.

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