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Andrew Reid

If high mirrorless video specs hurt pro cinema range, why does Sony do it?

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Here is what I just don't get about Canon.

The Sony FS5, FS7 and high-end cinema cameras are popular. There is absolutely zero evidence the mirrorless line is cannibalising them rather than complimenting them as second cameras. If there was any evidence of market research to suggest so, Sony would have changed their strategy a long time ago.

Most people now think Canon is protecting the Cinema EOS line, including Steve Huff, in his excellent article here that I almost entirely agree with: http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2018/09/05/canon-crushed-many-dreams-today-with-the-eos-r-my-suggestion-wait-a-few-months/#comment-485408

Canon really do seem to think that a full frame 4K camera will destabilise the C200 or something.

But how about another theory -

They are just in no rush.

They don't need the extra sales right now and can only manufacture so many cameras and lenses.

Instead they're holding stuff back for later, to give people a compelling reason to upgrade, whilst the competition plateau earlier.

When you think about it makes business sense.

But business is also about building the goodwill of your customers and keeping them loyal. This is where Canon are failing big-style while they chase $$$. The brand is taking an absolute battering. Quite a few people now have a borderline hatred of them, which is a real shame.

I want to like Canon, but first they must give me a reason to do so. They are acting like Scrooge.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I believe in yet another theory.. that Canon was indeed in a rush to put out an MILC system around Photokina this year but simply wasn't ready as far as tech is concerned to put out a new sensor, or develop a stable IBIS system. So they did their best with existing tech and this is what came out..

I actually think Canon have learned from Sony though, and haven't held back so much in features like they used to .. Nobody was expecting EOS R to have C-Log, 10-bit 4:2:2 out, 480mbps ALL-I codec, Face detect, peaking etc.. for $2300. They even added MF Focus guides from C200 and Cinema EOS original color matrix option to match footage with C100/C300. I believe Canon's objective is to make EOS R an add-on system to your existing C line cam & DSLR. That is how they've been presenting it during launch and that's quite a logical & smart business strategy imo. 

Of course they are not pushing the barrier very far like the competition is, and in many ways EOS R is super dated feature wise.  I do applaud them for the inital pro lens line-up and the Vari-ND adapter, that's kind of a game changer.

 

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26 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Here is what I just don't get about Canon.

The Sony FS5, FS7 and high-end cinema cameras are popular. There is absolutely zero evidence the mirrorless line is cannibalising them rather than complimenting them as second cameras. If there was any evidence of market research to suggest so, Sony would have changed their strategy a long time ago.

Most people now think Canon is protecting the Cinema EOS line, including Steve Huff, in his excellent article here that I almost entirely agree with: http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2018/09/05/canon-crushed-many-dreams-today-with-the-eos-r-my-suggestion-wait-a-few-months/#comment-485408

Canon really do seem to think that a full frame 4K camera will destabilise the C200 or something.

But how about another theory -

They are just in no rush.

They don't need the extra sales right now and can only manufacture so many cameras and lenses.

Instead they're holding stuff back for later, to give people a compelling reason to upgrade, whilst the competition plateau earlier.

When you think about it makes business sense.

But business is also about building the goodwill of your customers and keeping them loyal. This is where Canon are failing big-style while they chase $$$. The brand is taking an absolute battering. Quite a few people now have a borderline hatred of them, which is a real shame.

I want to like Canon, but first they must give me a reason to do so. They are acting like Scrooge.

If Canon could match what I now have with Panasonic, I’d be a Canon shooter. 

What Sony and Panasonic have done is create an ecosystem of cameras that work together, for different roles on a shoot e.g (Somy FS5 > A7SII > A6500). They all have Slog. They all have E-mount. 

Canon on the other hand do not have this ecosystem. The XC10 and 5D are hardly streamlined with C-series. The C-series today barely has the pull it once did. Look at the C700. An expensive bazooka the price of 5 Ursa Mini Pro’s with no internal RAW. 

So is this a case of Canon not having the resources? When you look at the C200, this camera is crippled in one key area intentionally but has a feature the C700 doesn’t? (internal RAW). 

To me, the whole thing is a baffling mystery - but the sales show Canon shouldn’t be worried. Their brand is very strong. 

I’d say Canon could create whatever camera they damn please, but as they are selling better than anyone, why should they increase R&D when they don’t need to? I think if they really had to (such as losing huge market share), they would. But right now, they probably don’t. Not yet. 

 

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From the link:

"Well, my guess is within 9 months Nikon and Canon will release a more “Pro” model of these cameras due to the heat they are getting from these announcements (as they should as it is the customer who is #1 here). I feel we will eventually see IBIS in the Canon, Dual slots and faster AF in the Nikon and more and more features we are looking for."

This is the biggest BS I have read this week. Nikon to release a more Pro model within 9 months? Did he see the Z7 price? How more pro?? The Z7 has a Pro price, whether you look at the A7RIII price or D850 to compare. 
For Canon yes, I agree there is room for a higher price model soon. But with IBIS? So they are releasing IS lenses to give a body with IBIS in 6 months? Yeah, for sure... 

Then regarding the theory, of course it's never only one reason. Of course protecting the line has something to do with not giving good video features. Guys who say they do their best is BS. So why would they put CLOG in this camera and not the MKIV or 1DX2? Technical impossibility? Purest BS. Then it does not mean some specs are not here because of technical reasons. Maybe with this sensor they could not get FHD120fps. 
My theory is that it is a combination of the following: 

- Marketing decisions to protect other cameras or line (50%)

- Technical advancement (sensor / processor) because not enough money is put there (20%)

- Decisions from people who understand nothing about what a 30Y European customer wants. Understandable when you are a 70yo Japonese with opposite culture. (30%)

 

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When I walk around London I see small crews at least a couple of times a week, doing web-based stuff, factual, doc, fashion, whatever.  I usually like to have a peek to see what they are shooting on.  Lately there have been a few Ursa's and a few FS5's floating around, but still, and this has been the case so far as I can tell for many years now, I mostly see C100's and C300's (maybe C200 now as well?).

I don't know the sales figures at all, but from the evidence of my own eyes I would say that Canon has a *massive* market advantage in the entry-level pro sector, and as such has much more motivation to protect it than it's rivals in prosumer video.

I actually think their policy probably makes perfect sense for them (while being a bit of a shame for us).

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As a sensor manufacturer, Sony is in an entirely different position than Canon. It helps their business to showcase their sensor’s capabilities. It helps their business when every GH5s or X-T2 or Z6 sells. So I don’t know if Sony’s camera business model is a fair comparison with Canon’s

Also, one could argue that Canon’s DPAF is the single best camera feature in the past 10 years and Canon has happily let that feature funnel down into their cheapest consumer model. And when you look at the features that are funneling down from the C series into the EOS-R, I don’t know if I buy the whole... protecting their C series... argument anymore. 

The biggest gripe that most people have with the EOS-R is the 4K crop and the lack of 120p in FHD. And I understand that position if slow motion and 4K are important features to you. My biggest fear as I invest in more Canon lenses is that the reason behind the 4K crop and the 120p is technical and I hope Canon starts devoting more money into their R&D budgets.

But... even if they were protecting their higher models? People act as if no other company in every other business doesn’t do the exact same thing. Take a look at Panasonic for instance. Unless you buy a GH series camera, you cannot get all-i 1080p... even the expensive G9 doesn’t have it. Panasonic has even done the most baffling of protectionism by protecting a lower model (the GH5) by keeping IBIS out of the more expensive GH5s.

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I think people Grossly underestimate the power of marketing and distribution. Canon has way better market reach than everyone else in the camera business, put together. And they have huge networks for advertising anywhere and everywhere, and arguably the best after sales too.

That's how they regurgitated the same sensor on the 550D and so many cameras after that, without a word a protest from anyone.

Plus it's only since the GH4 that ILCs have started upping the ante in video. The GH5, in many ways, is like a mini C100 or C300, at much lower cost, and Many other tricks up its sleeve. IBIS, continuous video recording way above 30 mins, and 10-bit internal in itself is huge.

I also suspect that Canon's development in sensors is the opposite of Sony. It's slow, there are very few models, and a lot of tech is highly exgerrated and never really makes into mass production (like that 4million ISO sensor hardly has enough videos online go even show it exists).

But Canon is still probably the biggest spender on advertising and still has the widest market reach, where distribution is concerned. Sony is the only true competition, and I have seen Sony in way too many countries, available in all sorts of stores and online. Also, the A7s really pushed the A7 lines to replace many Canon and Nikon cameras for Professionals.

Only sales figures for the C line would reveal whether Canon is scared of affecting sales (and much higher profit margins in that line) foe the Cinema line. 

 

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20 minutes ago, mercer said:

Panasonic has even done the most baffling of protectionism by protecting a lower model (the GH5) by keeping IBIS out of the more expensive GH5s.

you mean like valid technical reasons that were covered ad nauseam 6 months ago?

1) it's a cinema camera, free floating ibis sensors tend to vibrate on car rigs, etc

2) heat dissipation is greatly improved with a non ibis sensor, helps the gh5s shoot cleaner at high isos

 

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14 minutes ago, andrgl said:

you mean like valid technical reasons that were covered ad nauseam 6 months ago?

1) it's a cinema camera, free floating ibis sensors tend to vibrate on car rigs, etc

2) heat dissipation is greatly improved with a non ibis sensor, helps the gh5s shoot cleaner at high isos

 

Haha, yeah I remember that, Panasonic left out IBIS on the GH5s because that one car show on Amazon asked them too... I wonder how many sales that netted for them... 

And the GH5s sensor is designed to shoot cleaner at high ISOs but I guess they needed that little extra by leaving out IBIS?

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I think it is far more simple... Canon went after the vlogger market and were massively successful due to DPAF, flipout screen and out of the camera look that was high enough quality for Youtube on a phone/tablet.

The micro budget filmmaker niche is tiny and also very demanding... I don't hugely blame them for not caring too much. When the rest start to catch up with their key aspects for vloggers, Canon will drop a bomb on them.

Is DPAF patented, btw? No one gets close.

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3 hours ago, andrgl said:

you mean like valid technical reasons that were covered ad nauseam 6 months ago?

1) it's a cinema camera, free floating ibis sensors tend to vibrate on car rigs, etc

2) heat dissipation is greatly improved with a non ibis sensor, helps the gh5s shoot cleaner at high isos

 

3 - The sensor was oversized multi-aspect ratio, so the vignetting with Micro Four Thirds lenses would have moved around visibly at the edge of the frame when the sensor moves.

It's 2018. What's Canon's excuse for no IBIS on anything at all? At least with Panasonic you get the option.

1 hour ago, Jimmy said:

Is DPAF patented, btw? No one gets close.

Smartphone sensors have it. Manufactured by Sony and Samsung. It's not a Canon exclusive technology.

It is just very well implemented on the Canon side. That's what's so frustrating. In many ways Canon is a leader. So when they do the silly crippling to protect the C-line, it's all the more enfuriating.

If Canon's colour science was rubbish, the lens range was baloney, C-LOG was C-for-crap, DPAF wasn't bulletproof, the ergonomics were all over the place and the 1D C's image never existed, I would not be bothered enough to care so much.

They get so much right where others stumble, but then employ anti-customer strategies. Ultra-cynical product crippling and segmentation, It is supposed to win profit but in fact does the opposite, and long term is even more damaging for customer loyalty.

1 hour ago, Leica50mm said:

And, why does the footage and images it produce look better than anything else? 

You mean Canon's? Depends on the image. 1D C is still right up there. 1D X II not bad no C-LOG hurts it. As for 5D Mk IV / EOS R image, whatever is gained through Canon's usual organic niceness (no over-sharpening and leading skin tones / colour) is a net negative when you crop 1.8x into the full frame look and add a very heavy rolling shutter.

C-mount lenses on the M50 is the most character I have managed to get from any Canon camera not named 1D C.

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7 hours ago, Django said:

I believe in yet another theory.. that Canon was indeed in a rush to put out an MILC system around Photokina this year but simply wasn't ready as far as tech is concerned to put out a new sensor, or develop a stable IBIS system. So they did their best with existing tech and this is what came out..

I actually think Canon have learned from Sony though, and haven't held back so much in features like they used to .. Nobody was expecting EOS R to have C-Log, 10-bit 4:2:2 out, 480mbps ALL-I codec, Face detect, peaking etc.. for $2300.

 

Nobody was expecting EOS R to have 1.8x+ crop, no 1080p120, no IBIS, no burst silent shutter, horrific rolling shutter,  no joystick, no tracking silent shutter, 1 card slot, native R mount lenses that won't work with the vari-ND filter,  top left "on-off button - only" either for $2300.

Methinks some Canon upper mgmt a-hole asks really stupid questions like "how can we make this not as good as our Cinema line"...and everyone submits to his/her  will.

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