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No significant improvement in Canon APS-C sensors since 2004


Andrew Reid
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It's an interesting point actually.... Why do Nikon get away with sitting on their thumbs, by the folk on this forum?

 

Nikon have nothing to protect, yet still offer almost zero innovation, yet Canon are the great evil? At least Canon are taking risks, making products that film makers can use... they might be out of your budget, for now, but that will change....

 

What can you look at in the Nikon range and think "i'd like that, but damn, it's overpriced, i'll have to wait a year or two for that tech".

 

At least i can see that Canon are bringing things like 4K raw into their line up. Overpriced or not.

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How does that relate to the sensor?

 

If you all just want a Canon hate thread... why use not just start a thread saying "we hate Canon" rather than trying to make out they are behind in sensor tech?

 

If anything, you should all be crying that Nikon and Sony's sensors can hit 15 stops, yet offer arguably less DR, in video mode, than the Canons.

I don't hate Canon at all , I have used their Caneras alot to shoot pop videos for MTV (5DMK11 and 550D), But when you sit in a professional edit suite all day long and you can compare a hacked GH2 right next to a similarly shot Canon image the differance is staggering !! The GH2 retains a huge amount of detail compared to the Canon.

For that reason Im now using the GH2 as my main camera for the past year.

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It's an interesting point actually.... Why do Nikon get away with sitting on their thumbs, by the folk on this forum?

 

Nikon have nothing to protect, yet still offer almost zero innovation, yet Canon are the great evil? At least Canon are taking risks, making products that film makers can use... they might be out of your budget, for now, but that will change....

 

What can you look at in the Nikon range and think "i'd like that, but damn, it's overpriced, i'll have to wait a year or two for that tech".

 

At least i can see that Canon are bringing things like 4K raw into their line up. Overpriced or not.

 

I don't hate Canon. If they come up with something really good I'd definitely consider buying it. I hate the fact that they keep using the same chip over and over again. The whole point is that Canon has been class leading and innovative from the beginning of the 2000's till somewhere around 2008. Then everything just seemed to have stopped and that sucks.

 

Why does Nikon get away? Maybe because they release camera's like the D5200 and D7100, which perform better in video than their own D800/D600? Don't see Canon doing that. I don't care if Canon has a $25K raw camera.

 

Also we know Nikon doesn't have their own Cinema line to protect. You can't really expect Canon to launch a dslr that will beat the C100/C300 in image quality any more, or come up with something ground breaking like raw video on a dslr. Nikon doesn't have that problem.

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but they cripple the sensor by using h264 codec so what you end up with is soft and blocky unlike the GH2 that is sharp and detailed

 

5DMK11 full frame sensor next to hacked GH2 looks soft

 

again, that has zero to do with this article. The article was taking a shot at Canon for not improving sensor tech for a decade.

 

Would you prefer a raw feed off a 5DIII or a GH3?

 

It's a no brainer, Canon's sensors are amazing.... Why do you think everyone was so giddy about the potential ML hack?

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Also we know Nikon doesn't have their own Cinema line to protect. You can't really expect Canon to launch a dslr that will beat the C100/C300 in image quality any more, or come up with something ground breaking like raw video on a dslr. Nikon doesn't have that problem.

 

Exactly my point.

 

They have nothing to protect, yet still do nothing innovative. Yet they seem to be the 2nd coming here, compared to evil Canon... Who actually launch products that are great for film makers. Would you prefer an overpriced option or no option at all?

 

Your other point doesn't hold true. Canon made a 4K DSLR that shot a "better" picture than the C300, for less (if resolution is your thing).... The 7D had better video options than the 5DII.... The 550D has the same quality as the 7D....

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Nikon is early in the game. Their first serious attempt at video was with the D800, which is just over a year old.

Still my point about the D5200/D7100 stands :)

 

I don't care about overpriced options, because there are many alternatives and I will probably never buy something from a professional cinema line. If there weren't any alternatives, then yes, I could see that as a bonus. Now you can only see it as a downside, because the pro cinema line will keep the consumer camera's crippled.

 

The 550D was great when it was released! So was the 7D and the 5D Mark II (after the firmware update at least). But that is exactly the point, all those camera's are 4 years old. Canon used to be on top of the game with such camera's. And now they aren't.

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The 5DIII is a pretty big leap in quality over the 5DII. No moire, aliasing... better codec, way better low light. Sharpens up nicely. I'd still say it is the best vDSLR out there.

 

The D800 seems more inline with Canon's earlier attempts.... Sure, it has a bit more resolution, but the rest is a bit of a mess.

 

It seems resolution rules supreme though, for most.

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'Sharpens up nicely.'

 

nobody in the real world sharpens up ther footage after they shoot it! .......its a photoshop trick

I have never in over 20 years sat in an edit suite saying - 'this will sharpen up nicely'

and I dont know ANYONE of my colleagues who does it on commercial professional jobs!!

 

Your Camera should produce a great image straight out the box.

I don't have the time or inclination to sit there in an edit suite sharpening up every take in post because the Camera is producing a soft image

 

You don't do that with Red, Arri Alexa or GH2

GH2 does not need 'sharpening up' it works straight out the box.

Canon have a soft codec regardless of how good their sensors are.

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I'm surprised Screens Pro cannot see where the frustration is coming from, he just has to open his eyes.

 

I think Canon's failings fall under many categories.

 

First there's their very slow product cycle on the good stuff like 7D and 5D, which is totally out of step with the current pace of development. We waited 3 and a half years for the 5D Mark III, still waiting for the 7D update. When the 5D III did finally hit, it didn't meet most people's expectations, even for stills. The Sony sensors in the D800 and RX1 thrash it for dynamic range and resolution. In 2008 Canon had a massive lead vs Sony in CMOS technology. They've not kept up.

 

Then there's stuff they have simply turned off in firmware. We had to wait a year for 1080p HDMI from the 5D Mark III, despite this being a feature 2009's 7D. They simply flicked a switch in firmware and gave it us. Why wasn't it there in the first instance? God knows what else the hardware can do but they don't allow us to access. 30fps raw burst is a prime example. Magic Lantern simply access a process that is already happening in the camera every time you shoot.

 

If you look at the raw video feed from the sensor in the 5D2 and 5D3 it is very similar, both have a bit of moire and aliasing in the raw but then the 5D Mark II somehow makes that worse in firmware and the 5D Mark III cures it altogether. Then when it came to the 6D, Canon decided to "un-cure" it, frustrating many 6D owners and forcing them into a more expensive upgrade path. Again, this segmentation is all artificial and very bad for business.

 

Then there's the conservative approach to innovation. They can innovate with the sensor in a $15,000 camera, but then put the same sensor in a $6000 and $25000 body. As a result, one is needlessly crippled and the other doesn't perform like a $25000 camera, needs external box for 4K, loud fan, etc. When it came to their mirrorless, that was a token gesture towards an important and growing market, and they fucked it up. 2 lenses at launch. Rebel insides in a smaller casing. Chuck it out on the market quick. They have no EVF on any of their stills cameras in 2013. Their live-view AF is the slowest on the market. They are going to be hurt big time by being so conservative. So they have shrunk the Rebel even further, but SL1 again has no new features and the video quality is still dreadful by modern standards (i.e. unchanged since 2009).

 

Imagine how killer the 1D C could have been if it wasn't just a 1D X with 4K enabled. If the had redesigned it, the profit margin would not have been as large, but they wouldn't then give us the terrible prospect of such a beautiful image trapped in a camera ill suited to deliver it.

 

Video quality on their APS-C line has stood still since 2009, that's 4 years now. In that time, Panasonic have improved upon the GH1 twice. The GH2 a big leap in image quality, the GH3 a big leap in terms of codec, features and the body. Nikon have gone from being nowhere with the D90 to a camera like the D800, and the superb for the price D5200. They are leaving Canon in the dust for APS-C image quality, be it stills or video.

 

Canon have reused the same sensor in 8 cameras.

 

They have used the same Super 35mm CMOS in 3 cameras.

 

They have released the same flagship DSLR twice, one with a $6000 premium.

 

That is all very healthy for margins but not good for the customers who expect image quality improvements from their APS-C DSLRs, proper 4K raw recording capabilities from their $25,000 C500 and proper video ergonomics from their $12,000 4K DSLR.

 

The whole thing is a joke and needs to be changed.

 

I am sure people in the US arm of Canon are pushing Japan to be more innovative. I am sure the inspiration for Cinema EOS came from the US market and DSLR video. The only way Canon can be saved is by a dramatic intervention from the US.

 

There's a few more problems too...

 

- They refuse to support Magic Lantern, even threatening them with legal action if they touch the 1D X, despite the fact Magic Lantern increases sales of Canon bodies

- C300 is $15k but still 8bit 4-2-0, leaving very little room under $15k for better specs

- 700D a totally reheated 650D with new badge and mode dial

- SL1 same crappy image quality in video mode

- 4 year wait (maybe 5) for 7D Mark II!!

- Little expertise on increasingly important software side - vs Resolve 10!

 

Canon has to realise that they cannot just do business as usual and carry on leading.

 

To stay top you have to push as hard as those underneath you.

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I guess in the japanese camera world Canon must be eating humble pie for allowing the large frame sensor loose as HD video.  Canon are responsible for inadvertantly allowing film making to be available to all Meaning a breakup of crippled cameras and yearly incrementaly improved models.

 

Maybe this superior high end attitude is some face saving as obviously canons market strategy has been plain stupid.

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I've got no problem talking about Canon's short coming, just don't hide a dislike for them behind some post about sensors. The sensors are top quality and everyone knows it.

As for not sharpening in post... as I have said many times before.... Not everyone who uses and makes money from video works in tv/film production

I make 99% of my money from footage displayed on computer screens or mobile devices.... Sharpening in post works a treat.
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Imagine how killer the 1D C could have been if it wasn't just a 1D X with 4K enabled. If the had redesigned it, the profit margin would not have been as large, but they wouldn't then give us the terrible prospect of such a beautiful image trapped in a camera ill suited to deliver it.

 

Like i said before though, would you prefer a company who made a 4K DSLR, but overpriced (Canon) or not have a 4K DSLR at all (Nikon).

 

I can understand the frustration with Canon.... I just don't get why Nikon don't get any of the same frustration. Or why Canon don't get a bit of kudos for at least trying something new.

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I've got no problem talking about Canon's short coming, just don't hide a dislike for them behind some post about sensors. The sensors are top quality and everyone knows it.
 

 

There's quite some difference between 14/14.5 stops of DR and 11.7 stops:

 

http://tinyurl.com/cg7utan (dxomark comparison, the link wouldn't work when pasted, so I tinyurl:ed it)

 

Black magic sensors capture more DR as well. So, in certain aspects the Canon sensors are lacking. This is not just theory either, start shooting and comparing and you'll see it on the material as well. Before getting my D800 I've shot with older cameras with lower DR, and the difference is clearly visible.

 

Even if you compare the lowend D5200 to the Canon 1DX, the sensor in the D5200 has better DR at lower ISOs, which is quite astonishing.

 

Photography and filming is about capturing light, and I think it would be the time for Canon to improve the DR on their sensors. Granted, Canon sensors perform very well for lowlight video, but unless you only shoot at dusk/night improved DR would be a much more useful sensor characteristic to improve.

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It's just paper stats though, to me.

 

I've never taken a still shot on my 5DII and thought, "i wish that had more DR". Even shooting in the harshest conditions. If that drop in DR results in Canon's colour and skin tones.... Then i'm fine with it.

 

DXOmark is a good resource.... But it can't pinpoint intangible qualities like colour, highlight roll off etc

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