Severe Canon financials – profits drop 94% – And EOS R5 recall would be the ETHICAL thing to do

Profits at Canon’s camera division were down 93.8% year on year in Q2 2020 in part due to COVID-19. The 3 months ending June saw lockdowns and a global pandemic take hold across the world. The loss of life and livelihood is the important and most sad aspect of 2020, indeed the saddest time in my lifetime. My heart goes out to anyone who is mourning the loss of a loved one or suffering from a lack of work and derailed plans. In this article though I’d like to focus on Canon’s dire financial results from Q2 and the impact of coronavirus on the camera industry, and how it can respond. This proud industry, as well as the photography, video and filmmaking sector has been particularly badly hit by COVID-19.

I would also like to address Canon’s two most important camera releases of the decade, the EOS R5 and R6. After a faltering launch, with my sources saying that new shipments are delayed until November, only a very small number of cameras are currently with distributors and retailers. This first batch was shipped before the full furore over overheating, which revealed the EOS R5 and R6 to be basically defective products that don’t do as claimed by Canon’s advertising. Now, businesses and viruses are one thing but we need to talk about ethics and morality too. Can Canon executives look in the mirror this weekend and honestly be satisfied to put these two defective cameras out into the world without any adjustments or hardware changes?

Read moreSevere Canon financials – profits drop 94% – And EOS R5 recall would be the ETHICAL thing to do

Sony announces new Rumour Camera, yours for just $4000

Toneh

COVID-19 has changed many things and one of them is that Sony no longer releases cameras. In a stunning break with tradition, rumours and an assortment of tasty catchphrases are now Sony’s main camera line.

The latest Sony Rumour Camera even shoots 4K Rumours at 120fps in 10bit 4:2:2 and features an innovative shutter noise. Instead of a *clack* the camera plays words out of the lens mount which eventually add up to an entire recording of Kenji Tanaka hinting at “surpassing expectations”.

Read moreSony announces new Rumour Camera, yours for just $4000

What REALLY prompted Canon suddenly to get their act together with video?

If EOSHD were a record player, there would be one particular groove it just couldn’t get over. It’d be the part of the record where she sings “why are Canon’s video specs so rubbish and where is the Canon full frame 4K high end mirrorless camera?”, and admittedly this isn’t the stuff of a number 1 hit single. I for one am very grateful the fat lady has finally shut up. I cannot put into words how relieved I am to no longer have to complain about Canon! Even the site name now makes sense! That gamble I made 10 years ago in believing Canon would run away with the DSLR video scene may yet pay off! It’s just that I’ve spent the first 10 years shooting mostly Panasonic and Sony. Canon seriously dropped the ball and for the longest time just didn’t seem to listen.

Speculative reasons for this have been legion – some say Canon lacked the technological capability to compete. Some say Canon wanted to avoid cannibalising Cinema EOS sales, or that Canon simply didn’t see a market for full frame 4K after the relative failure of the 1D C. Some say their sales had an unassailable lead with just 8bit 1080p (especially C300 and 5D Mark III) so why bother trying harder?

Now there’s another interesting theory, that Canon R&D works on a 10-year cycle with a big leap ready to storm the market at the end of each cycle, building on the initial success (reusing sensors in multiple bodies) with incremental improvements for 8-9 years before the next big leap. Let’s go all the way back to 2000 with the genesis of the Canon DSLR and CMOS sensor technology, fast forward 10 years and the cycle has resulted in a 5D Mark II taking the world by storm, a big leap on everything that went before and ahead of every other competitor at the time.

Fast forward another 10 years to 2020 and Canon looks to be doing a similar thing with the EOS R5. Could it be that Canon are just conservative, slow to make major moves, very calculated and taking the long term picture into account?

Read moreWhat REALLY prompted Canon suddenly to get their act together with video?

Canon 1D X Mark III with 12bit 5.5K RAW in-depth – FINALLY Canon get serious about DSLR video

We have waited a long time for today – a true Canon 1D C sequel. This is also the first time since the 2012 Canon have released a ‘cutting edge’ DSLR for filmmakers. There’s good news and bad news – of course it costs $6500, has no EVF or IBIS by nature and many will say the form factor is obsolete compared to the full frame 10bit mirrorless competition.

Canon’s Larry Thorpe has published an excellent technical white-paper with the camera, so let’s take an in-depth look at the video specs…

Read moreCanon 1D X Mark III with 12bit 5.5K RAW in-depth – FINALLY Canon get serious about DSLR video

Apple factory in Austin open since 2013, Singapore multinational Flex builds the Mac Pro. Why should Trump take the credit?

On EOSHD, the one constant in 10 years has been cameras. I rarely break from the subject. I do like my “in-jokes”, I do like satire, I do like to have a pop at big companies then I feel they are too big for their boots. One thing I cannot stand, is an opportunistic lier.

Read moreApple factory in Austin open since 2013, Singapore multinational Flex builds the Mac Pro. Why should Trump take the credit?

Why the camera press need to grow a pair of balls

In the run up to IBC, I was enrolled on mailing lists by PR agencies without even opting-in. These companies were working for various camera-related brands. I received invite after invite to meet, to talk, to build bridges and make friends. Meanwhile DJI was spamming my forum via a fake user, advertising the Mavic 2.

Read moreWhy the camera press need to grow a pair of balls

Why 8K will not eliminate the boundary between stills and video when it comes to technique

The quality of 1080p had barely been made film-like before being cast aside for 4K and now manufacturers are racing to make 8K a reality, which is in the region of 36MP, before 2018.

It seems the megapixel race has truly come to filmmaking.

Read moreWhy 8K will not eliminate the boundary between stills and video when it comes to technique

EOSHD opinion: smartphones are not killing DSLRs, apps and online services are

 

It’s well known that DSLR sales are sliding now, following the worrying trajectory of compact cameras.

Then I read with great interest Vincent Laforet’s prediction that the era of stand-alone cameras is coming to an abrupt end for the mass market.

There was a very key chart in that blog post which you can see above. I believe it speaks volumes about why the mass market is migrating from hardware focussed imaging tools like DSLRs to innovative new growth areas like apps and services orientated smartphones.

Incidentally in our own little world of DSLR video, this is also why Canon were so utterly wrong to dismiss Magic Lantern as a intolerable ‘hack’.

Let’s diagnose the problem and suggest the solution…

Read moreEOSHD opinion: smartphones are not killing DSLRs, apps and online services are