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Andrew Reid

Canon interview at Photokina 2014 - 7D Mark II - Magic Lantern - and moire

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Canon: The IBM of camera makers.

I agree.  There aren't that many world class companies that have been solidly run for decades like IBM and Canon.  It's amazing how many flash in the pan companies have gone out of business and IBM stock is making an all time high.  And they aren't making that all time high with BS pie in the sky projections.  They are doing it with real earnings.  Their dividend yield is 20% higher than the S&P 500 average.  Their PE is 20% BELOW the S&P 500 PE.  You look at Canon's bond rating and compare it to Panasonics and it gives you a clearer picture of who the world thinks is more likely to be happily selling cameras and supporting the equipment they are selling today, ten years from now.  Panasonic had to shutter divisions to avoid having their debt rated junk.

 

Panasonic lost money for three years straight.  They only became profitable by axing their plasma TV division.  And that says nothing about their plasma TVs.  A number of their plasmas were better than 90% of the garbage people have in their homes.  Having a handful of excellent products doesn't mean you are giong to be around in 10 years.

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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

graphicnatured - it's a bit frustrating that Black Magic was not able to at least get the BMCC camera body designed to not be so dependent on gear to work handheld. Cost I'm sure. Still if they (black magic design) had engineered a way to move camera functions from the touch screen to an optional hand grip - just that alone could have been huge. I'm Leaning to the GH4 for the "internal" 4k. I've seen amazing footage downscaled to 1080. Well shot footage, that came close to the BMCC. Since I can transcode GH4 4k into 10 bit prores 4:2:2 (1080) for editing that gives me plenty of room to work. But I'm still thinking It out more before I click "place my order" 😄

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Nikon was the top dog in 35mm cameras until they screwd bigtime in the 80s by not taking serious Autofocus and canon took over their market.

 

The fact of the matter is you are talking about the number one and two camera makers in the world who are also PROFITABLE.  Like IBM I don't see the Canon or Nikon monikor disappearing from the face of the planet any time soon.  That is why I said it was a good analogy... A good analogy... Not a perfect analogy.

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Just to illustrate (even more) how artificial Canon's restrictions on video features on Canon DSLRs are, take a look at the little Canon Vixia HF R400 camcorder.  It retails for $249 (I got one on sale for $199).  It can record 1080p at 60 frames per second and has a headphone jack for monitoring audio, features not present on any Rebel or the $2,000 6D, although these finally did show up on the new $1,800 7D Mk 2.  This cheap little camcorder can also do clean HDMI out (!), another feature not present on any Canon DSLR that costs less than $1,800.  It also does not suffer from moire and other line-skipping issues. However, before you all throw away your Arri Alexas and get one of these $249 camcorders, I do need to mention it has a tiny sensor so in low light the grain looks like a snow blizzard.  What amazes me though is that Canon is willing to give their cheap tiny sensor cameras features that they withhold from DSLRs costing six times as much.

 

If you are willing to spend another $100, for $349 you can get a Vixia with built-in WiFi, the same feature that costs $850 to add to the $1,800 7D Mk 2.

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I have been super happy with my Canon products and don't see any need for them to change. Really love the image quality and easy workflow. They offer a conservative and reliable system targeted at professionals concerned with reliability, ergonomics, and compatibility rather than specs or innovation.

 

When it hits their bottom line they'll shift, but right now it seems easy to buy an A7S or FS7 and not wait for the C50 or C400 or whatever if you're after 4k... The FS7 looks amazing, but my brief time with the F5 scared me off Sony's "look" and ergonomics. That said, the FS7 looks... amazing.

 

So amazing that the FS7 might force that rumored C400 soon. :) And the D810 might force slightly better video.

 

But if you think Canon's not listening, it's because they're not. Their way out of the race to the bottom every other manufacturer (other than Arri and maybe Red) has jumped into is through a conservative approach. And look how well their most innovative products (1DC, C500, EOS M) have done... Not well...

 

Meanwhile their AF systems are really great and their lenses are awesome. 

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 I've said this before, we are very close to a time when cameras will make images very close in quality to each other.  So the challenge is how to distinguish yourself in the market.

 

Both SONY and Panasonic are being very aggressive in that way.  Its not likely that Canon could justify a camera (C-400) at over $10k that would offer more then an SONY FS7 would offer for less money.  Thats, in my opinion, whats taking Canon so long to pull it together.  What could they offer that would compete with SONY in that way?  What could they offer that would justify a higher price point? -- image quality wise.  Its a brilliant move by SONY and they don't even seem to be afraid how their F5/F55 market might be impacted.  Honestly would could Canon come up with at this point?  It would have to be something pretty compelling in my opinion.  Its not the same market that it was when either the 5DMKII or the EOS cinema line came out.

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Just to illustrate (even more) how artificial Canon's restrictions on video features on Canon DSLRs are, take a look at the little Canon Vixia HF R400 camcorder.  It retails for $249 (I got one on sale for $199).  It can record 1080p at 60 frames per second and has a headphone jack for monitoring audio, features not present on any Rebel or the $2,000 6D, although these finally did show up on the new $1,800 7D Mk 2.  This cheap little camcorder can also do clean HDMI out (!), another feature not present on any Canon DSLR that costs less than $1,800.  It also does not suffer from moire and other line-skipping issues. However, before you all throw away your Arri Alexas and get one of these $249 camcorders, I do need to mention it has a tiny sensor so in low light the grain looks like a snow blizzard.  What amazes me though is that Canon is willing to give their cheap tiny sensor cameras features that they withhold from DSLRs costing six times as much.

 

If you are willing to spend another $100, for $349 you can get a Vixia with built-in WiFi, the same feature that costs $850 to add to the $1,800 7D Mk 2.

 

The Vixia is a video camera. The 7dmk2 is a stills camera.

 

Would you complain that a geo metro doesn't come with a fifth wheel hitch?

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There aren't that many world class companies that have been solidly run for decades like IBM and Canon...Having a handful of excellent products doesn't mean you are going to be around in 10 years.

 

This is an insight that's sometimes overlooked by gear nerds.  We want everything to be latest and greatest and cheap to boot, yet to sustain a brand in a broad market sometimes corporate strategies just lead companies a different direction.

 

I'd argue it's all pretty dang good these days anyway.  It's getting to the point where IQ in the consumer space is very comparable across the board.  A company has to navigate that reality.  Unfortunately for us lower-end folks, a corporate strategy is not always about leapfrogging the competition with imaging specs in the newer models.

 

It's understandable to me why Canon wants to delineate it's consumer and pro divisions.

 

We wish it wasn't so, and that the most aggressively innovative products always won the day, but that's just not reality.  Even still, we're getting loads of great products these past few years.

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The Vixia is a video camera. The 7dmk2 is a stills camera.

 

Would you complain that a geo metro doesn't come with a fifth wheel hitch?

 

The iPhone is a phone.  The MacBook is a computer.

 

Would you complain that an iPhone doesn't come with the ability to load applications?

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 There are plenty of options out there for you to choose for video including their Cinema EOS line.

 

Like hell. One of their cinema cameras costs more than all the cars I've ever bought put together. That's the whole point. Like when the guy says "But we do have a 4k option" he is referring to a $12,000 8bit DSLR or a $25,000 C500, that also requires several thousand more dollars to actually get that 4k recording.

Meanwhile the new 4k GoPro, due out in a few weeks, sells for a few hundred bucks.

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Like hell. One of their cinema cameras costs more than all the cars I've ever bought put together. That's the whole point. Like when the guy says "But we do have a 4k option" he is referring to a $12,000 8bit DSLR or a $25,000 C500, that also requires several thousand more dollars to actually get that 4k recording.

Meanwhile the new 4k GoPro, due out in a few weeks, sells for a few hundred bucks.

 

So go buy a Sony A7s or a GH4. I honestly don't understand why people are so upset over what Canon are doing or not doing when there are plenty of AMAZING cameras out there that you can buy right now. Canon is, was and always will be a company for photographers. That's all theres is to it.

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So go buy a Sony A7s or a GH4. I honestly don't understand why people are so upset over what Canon are doing or not doing when there are plenty of AMAZING cameras out there that you can buy right now. Canon is, was and always will be a company for photographers. That's all theres is to it.

 

 

Exactly. Canon will improve their video a bit now that Nikon is improving their video (Nikon is currently their only real competitor in the pro dSLR market), but it won't be much or terribly soon. I do think the lack of moire in the Mark III was a real attempt to improve video and I see the Mark III used for professional BTS and corporate video ALL the time, even with some very very high end clients.

 

What's funny is that Canon has crippled its products in pretty obnoxious and obvious ways... but no one here seems to care about their legitimately obnoxious omissions. On the still side leaving out 1/3 stop increments and MFA is a big deal and unnecessary. For video it's worse: AVCHD instead of XF Cam on the C100 is a significant and unnecessary downgrade, the lack of 60/720p confusing, but much, much worse is the lack of HDSDI/timecode and the horrible viewfinder... 

 

Next to those omissions, a lack of 4k is basically irrelevant. 

 

VERY few clients want a 4k finish. A LOT want timecode sync for dual sound. A LOT want a codec that's 50Mbps or higher. The viewfinder thing is just dumb beyond words. I mean that viewfinder is awful.

 

But that's what Canon is about. dSLRs marketed toward still photographers and a cinema line marketed toward low/mid end professional video production. And from what I've seen they have 95% marketshare among pros in those categories. I do see a lot of Red Scarlets and Alexas, but the Scarlets don't rent nearly as well as C300s and the Alexas are too expensive. Sony has some traction, too, but Canon did amazingly well with the C300.

 

Among artists? Well, you're the client. Buy what you want! 

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> The Vixia is a video camera. The 7dmk2 is a stills camera.

 

Your statement directly contradicts what Canon's advertising says about the 7D Mark 2.  Here is the very first thing Canon says about the camera on their official product page:

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II digital SLR camera is designed to meet the demands of photographers and videographers who want a camera that can provide a wide range of artistic opportunities.

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What's funny is that Canon has crippled its products in pretty obnoxious and obvious ways... but no one here seems to care about their legitimately obnoxious omissions. On the still side leaving out 1/3 stop increments and MFA is a big deal and unnecessary. For video it's worse: AVCHD instead of XF Cam on the C100 is a significant and unnecessary downgrade, the lack of 60/720p confusing, but much, much worse is the lack of HDSDI/timecode and the horrible viewfinder... 

Canon has always done some kind of dick move just to create marketing distinctions, but I'm pretty sure you can make exposure changes in 1/3 stops since forever, and MFA has been around since the 7D/5DII days.

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> I honestly don't understand why people are so upset over what Canon are doing or not doing

 

I think people are upset because they bought the 5D Mk II and invested in Canon lenses thinking that Canon would continue and improve upon what they started, in the same relatively affordable price range.  Instead, Canon put the next version of the 5D on ice for almost four years and told Canon DSLR videographers that if they wanted any improvements, they would need to take out a second mortgage on their house and get into the high-priced Cinema Series.  To rub salt in the wound they withheld basic video features on their DSLRs that they were happy to give to the cheap small-sensor camcorder crowd.

When you can get a head-phone jack on a $249 Canon camcorder but not on the $2,000 6D (like the 7D also advertised by Canon as being designed for videographers), there is no way that can be explained away.

 

Yes, you can sell all your Canon gear and buy something with more up-to-date video features at a more reasonable price from a different manufacturer.  But for true Canon fans, it's a sad occasion when they have to do that, reflecting on what could of been if only Canon had stuck by the folks who helped them start the whole DSLR video revolution in the first place.

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> I honestly don't understand why people are so upset over what Canon are doing or not doing

 

I think people are upset because they bought the 5D Mk II and invested in Canon lenses thinking that Canon would continue and improve upon what they started, in the same relatively affordable price range.  Instead, Canon put the next version of the 5D on ice for almost four years and told Canon DSLR videographers that if they wanted any improvements, they would need to take out a second mortgage on their house and get into the high-priced Cinema Series.  To rub salt in the wound they withheld basic video features on their DSLRs that they were happy to give to the cheap small-sensor camcorder crowd.

When you can get a head-phone jack on a $249 Canon camcorder but not on the $2,000 6D (like the 7D also advertised by Canon as being designed for videographers), there is no way that can be explained away.

 

Yes, you can sell all your Canon gear and buy something with more up-to-date video features at a more reasonable price from a different manufacturer.  But for true Canon fans, it's a sad occasion when they have to do that, reflecting on what could of been if only Canon had stuck by the folks who helped them start the whole DSLR video revolution in the first place.

 

I understand being disappointed but it goes far beyond that from time to time, almost like Canon OWE them something. With Metabones and others making adapters the lens investment isn't wasted anyway. Move on and make stuff with what is out there. Compared to 10 years ago we are living in a dream land. Shoot!

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