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Author Topic: What next for Canon?  (Read 9038 times)

shadowblade

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What next for Canon?
« on: August 24, 2017, 08:41:38 PM »

With the D850 announced, it becomes pertinent to ask what Canon has prepared in response.

In the D850, Nikon has a camera with the AF to track fast action with the best of them, the frame rate to not miss the moment, lots of pixels for cropping and enough resolution to do a good job with landscapes (although it may be eclipsed in the latter role sooner rather than later).

Canon has no obvious answer on the horizon. The 5D4, while being the most similar body, is way behind in capability while being around the same price, and would likely be matched by an updated D750 at a far lower price point. The 5D5 isn't due for two more years and would require a huge leap in capability just to match it. The 5Ds is in a different category altogether - it's a slow studio camera that's not great at high ISO (and has limited DR at low ISO) - and any replacement, even if they were to make it a balanced body like the D850, would still have the price issue. Too expensive and the D850 will undercut it, likely by USD1000 or more. Price it competitively and the 5D4 would be pointless, unless they also dropped its price by USD1000.

Will Canon launch a new line (3D)? Elevate the 5D to a higher standard, to match the Nikon? Or will they continue to ignore the competition and live off the momentum and brand loyalty they created 10 years ago and have done little to maintain since? They lost many non-action shooters with the D800 and A7r. The D850 may well do the same for action shooters, if Canon doesn't answer.
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hogloff

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 10:37:49 PM »

Be interesting to watch what Canon does. Will it try to match Nikon's all in one camera or will it still deliver multiple cameras focussed on different needs. On the one hand, delivering an all in one camera might just limit their revenue as people migrate to a one camera system...away from multiple cameras for each niche.

I'm not sure Canon is at the same financial stage that Nikon is at. Nikon needed to deliver a home run...or it would have been in big financial trouble...Canon not so much. So I think Canon will continue it's progress like it always has as it has worked nicely these last few years gaining market share over Nikon. I see them focusing on a high speed 1DX line and a high res 5d line as their main pro quality cameras as it's been working for them. Nikon had no choice but to mix things up...their status quo was not working for them.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 11:17:03 PM »

The thing is that Nikon has had a signigicantly superior offering for many years in the high end segment. The 3 years old D810 was still competitive against the 5DIV on photographic skills. The D850 now creates a very large gap but the 5DIV is a good body in absolute terms and most Canon users will stay happy with it.

The relative financial troubles of Nikon (they have been profitable all along) have mostly come from poor marketing towards the lower end.

So rather than direct impact, the key value of the D850 may IMHO be in its ability to spread the word that the best DSLRs, by far, are in Nikon line up. That may have important trickle down effects.

Canon will probably not be able to beat the D850, their best play is probably to sweeten the deals in the mass market segment.

Cheers,
Bernard
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shadowblade

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2017, 11:48:13 PM »

Be interesting to watch what Canon does. Will it try to match Nikon's all in one camera or will it still deliver multiple cameras focussed on different needs. On the one hand, delivering an all in one camera might just limit their revenue as people migrate to a one camera system...away from multiple cameras for each niche.

I'm not sure Canon is at the same financial stage that Nikon is at. Nikon needed to deliver a home run...or it would have been in big financial trouble...Canon not so much. So I think Canon will continue it's progress like it always has as it has worked nicely these last few years gaining market share over Nikon. I see them focusing on a high speed 1DX line and a high res 5d line as their main pro quality cameras as it's been working for them. Nikon had no choice but to mix things up...their status quo was not working for them.

The D850 isn't just a do-it-all camera - it also fulfils a key niche that, up until now, has been poorly-filled.

For the first time, it offers a camera with enough resolution for cropping, having as high a pixel density as crop cameras of the day (e.g. the 20MP D500) while having a high enough frame rate and top-tier AF system to track and capture fast action. This makes it uniquely suited for long telephoto use when shooting wildlife and field sports, as well as for other action where cropping is expected for compositional reasons.

The 1Dx2 doesn't do it - it lacks resolution for cropping. The 5Ds doesn't do it - it's too slow in several different ways. The 5D4 does it poorly, not really having enough resolution (13MP when cropped to 1.5x), a slower frame rate and AF that doesn't quite keeo up with the top tier. Just having a 1Dx2 and 5Ds doesn't fill the role, since resolution and speed/AF are required in the same camera.
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stever

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2017, 11:51:16 PM »

With Sony's enormous cell phone sensor business and the R&D and production facilities it supports - it's Canon's big problem, not Nikon.  Nikon's advantage on Canon now is Sony's one year old sensor technology - Canon lags Sony sensor technology by 2 years +.  So far, Sony has enough usability issues to prevent mass defection from Canon and Nikon, but these issues decrease with every generation of Sony camera (and Sony's generations last about half Canon's).

Canon needs to make some big leaps to catch up or decide that they can ultimately afford to lose the camera business.

disclosure - i'm a Canon user and will be for at least a while longer.
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shadowblade

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2017, 12:04:46 AM »

Perhaps Canon's best bet is to concentrate on their mirrorless lineup, updating lenses and other components to work with the new system. Both Canon and Nikon will have to do it eventually, as mirrorless technology overtakes SLR. Better to do it while your top-end gear doesn't match up with the competition anyway. Then start moving people on to the new system while Nikon is still spruiking old technology (even if top-end) with a limited future - a bit like Kodak concentrating on top-end film while the world was moving to digital.
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Christopher

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2017, 02:01:37 AM »

Canon won't answer as they can't. That's my guess. It has been the same with the d800 at the time. A while back Canon was over confident and slept instead of pushing for the future.

The only answer to the 850 will come from Sony with 60MP camera.

Besides that I could be wrong, but expect it to be very difficult to up MP count significantly with keeping or increasing DR.

In the end let's see what happens.


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shadowblade

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2017, 04:48:00 AM »

Canon won't answer as they can't. That's my guess. It has been the same with the d800 at the time. A while back Canon was over confident and slept instead of pushing for the future.

The only answer to the 850 will come from Sony with 60MP camera.

Besides that I could be wrong, but expect it to be very difficult to up MP count significantly with keeping or increasing DR.

In the end let's see what happens.


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I'd say they can.

The 1Dx2 can shoot 20MP at 16fps. That's enough bandwidth for 40MP at 8fps, and that was 18 months ago. So they can probably get enough bandwidth to shoot 50MP at 8-10fps.

The 5Ds manages 50MP, and that was with Canon's old fab plants. So Canon can clearly put a 50MP sensor into mass production.

The 1Dx2 and 5D4, using their newer fab plants, manage competitive, if not record-beating, DR values.

The 1Dx2 AF system is also competitive.

So Canon had all the elements available to make something competitive - they just need to put them all into one camera and sell it at a competitive price.

Whether they will or not is another matter entirely. Canon is a company with a conservative business culture which listens mostly to the local Japanese market, with market segmentation based on the peculiarities and needs of different groups of photographers there rather than the needs of those in the wider world.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2017, 05:12:04 AM »

Canon has had the elements to release great DSLRs for years.

Nikon has had the elements to release great mirrorless cameras for years.

This discussion isn't at all about technology, it is about strategy and product planning.

Cheers,
Bernard
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shadowblade

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2017, 05:23:30 AM »

Canon has had the elements to release great DSLRs for years.

Nikon has had the elements to release great mirrorless cameras for years.

This discussion isn't at all about technology, it is about strategy and product planning.

Cheers,
Bernard

Not entirely.

Canon was flat-out unable to make a high-DR sensor until they brought their new fab plant online around 2 years ago, starting with the 80D. Their older plants are unable to do column-parallel ADC. This is why the 5Ds - a non-action camera designed to work at base ISO - has such limited DR there.

Nikon has yet to demonstrate a decent mirrorless camera. The AF system is key, and, unlike Canon, Sony and even Olympus and Fujifilm, they've yet to demonstrate one that works well. M43, APS-C, let alone FF, have much shallower depth of field and aren't nearly as forgiving as the J1 with its 2.7x crop factor, which leaves almost everything in focus anyway. Certainly, they haven't demonstrated good AF in either live view or a video camera, which is essentially what mirrorless AF is.

But product planning is certainly a big factor, particularly in Canon's case, since Canon tends to not do a lot of things it is technically capable of and which would certainly be a market success (although possibly at the expense of other product lines).
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NancyP

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2017, 09:15:45 PM »

One might say that Canon expects the wildlife shooter to get either the 7D2, if amateur (a fine match with my modest 400mm f/5.6L), or the 1DX/XII if pro and shooting the really large Big Whites that need mega-batteries to move large lens elements fast.

I would like Canon to come up with better DR. The cost and effort of switching platforms is substantial, though I admit that I would like to visit the other universe for a bit (beyond my playing with old AIS lenses adapted to Canon mount).
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2017, 10:16:52 PM »

I admit that I would like to visit the other universe for a bit (beyond my playing with old AIS lenses adapted to Canon mount).

Come to the bright side Nancy, come,... ;)

Cheers,
Bernard
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hogloff

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2017, 10:35:16 PM »

The D850 isn't just a do-it-all camera - it also fulfils a key niche that, up until now, has been poorly-filled.

For the first time, it offers a camera with enough resolution for cropping, having as high a pixel density as crop cameras of the day (e.g. the 20MP D500) while having a high enough frame rate and top-tier AF system to track and capture fast action. This makes it uniquely suited for long telephoto use when shooting wildlife and field sports, as well as for other action where cropping is expected for compositional reasons.

The 1Dx2 doesn't do it - it lacks resolution for cropping. The 5Ds doesn't do it - it's too slow in several different ways. The 5D4 does it poorly, not really having enough resolution (13MP when cropped to 1.5x), a slower frame rate and AF that doesn't quite keeo up with the top tier. Just having a 1Dx2 and 5Ds doesn't fill the role, since resolution and speed/AF are required in the same camera.

Sure...how large is this niche compared to say weddings or portraits or events? That's what I'm saying...Canon is doing very well serving the BIG markets and not really caring for the small niche markets.
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shadowblade

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2017, 12:10:58 AM »

Sure...how large is this niche compared to say weddings or portraits or events? That's what I'm saying...Canon is doing very well serving the BIG markets and not really caring for the small niche markets.

Sports and wildlife is a decent-sized market, and, more importantly, is the primary buyer of expensive long telephotos.

A full-frame body with the pixel density of a crop sensor and the frame rate and AF system necessary to shoot fast action is a game-changer. Many action shooters carry a crop body as backup just for shots where they may be focal length limited. This is not ideal in terms of compositional flexibility or if the crop camera doesn't stack up AF-wise (e.g. 7D2). So action shooters are often left cropping 20MP frames to 6MP - fine for web and smaller prints, but not great if you're going to print a poster. 46MP, cropping to 20-35MP, is much more versatile.

Basically, many sports and wildlife photographers are using 20MP/16fps because 40-50MP/8-10fps isn't available. Sure, some people really need the extra frame rate. But others don't need ridiculous frame rates, but need more resolution for cropping, and still need the autofocus of an action camera. That's what the D850 offers. And almost any action photographer can do with one of each - one body for the ultimate frame rate, the other with a more moderate frame rate but more resolution, both able to track action and cover for each other if need be.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 12:02:31 PM by shadowblade »
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shadowblade

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2017, 12:15:18 AM »

One might say that Canon expects the wildlife shooter to get either the 7D2, if amateur (a fine match with my modest 400mm f/5.6L), or the 1DX/XII if pro and shooting the really large Big Whites that need mega-batteries to move large lens elements fast.

Neither is a great option - even at 500mm or 600mm, you will often be cropping, while you often need to frame loosely and crop for compositional due to subject movement. Same with field sports - they will often shoot everything with a 400/2.8 and crop for composition. Much better to have 20MP left after cropping than 6...
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hogloff

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2017, 12:10:07 PM »

Sports and wildlife is a decent-sized market, and, more importantly, is the primary buyer of expensive long telephotos.

A full-frame body with the pixel density of a crop sensor and the frame rate and AF system necessary to shoot fast action is a game-changer. Many action shooters carry a crop body as backup just for shots where they may be focal length limited. This is not ideal in terms of compositional flexibility or if the crop camera doesn't stack up AF-wise (e.g. 7D2). So action shooters are often left cropping 20MP frames to 6MP - fine for web and smaller prints, but not great if you're going to print a poster. 46MP, cropping to 20-35MP, is much more versatile.

Basically, many sports and wildlife photographers are using 20MP/16fps because 40-50MP/8-10fps isn't available. Sure, some people really need the extra frame rate. But others don't need ridiculous frame rates, but need more resolution for cropping, and still need the autofocus of an action camera. That's what the D850 offers. And almost any action photographer can do with one of each - one body for the ultimate frame rate, the other with a more moderate frame rate but more resolution, both able to track action and cover for each other if need be.

How large do you think the sports photo market is? It's size has dropped considerably since it's days. Now the wildlife market is truly a drop in the bucket...basically a hobby market...very few professional wildlife photographers out there.

Compare this to the wedding, portrait and event markets...big difference.
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shadowblade

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2017, 12:15:06 PM »

How large do you think the sports photo market is? It's size has dropped considerably since it's days. Now the wildlife market is truly a drop in the bucket...basically a hobby market...very few professional wildlife photographers out there.

Compare this to the wedding, portrait and event markets...big difference.

How do you explain the existence of the 1Dx2 and D5, then? (I'll regard the A9 as a technology demonstrator at the moment, since, without an adequate lens collection, it's not really usable for wildlife or sports anyway)

The market for them is even smaller than the potential market for something with more balance between frame rate and resolution. Make it 40-50MP and 8-10fps (which is still as fast as a D3 or 1D3), with a good sRAW mode, and you'd have a lot more potential buyers.
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MoreOrLess

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2017, 03:07:57 PM »

One thing to consider Shadow is I spose that rumours around the D850 were VERY thin on the ground before the lead up to the release. We had assumptions that it would use the D5 AF system but the combination of very high resolution AND high FPS is not something I recall ever being mentioned, at most some people were expecting it to stay at 36 MP and maybe up FPS to 6-7. That could mean that Canon themselves did not know what Nikon was going to come out with which could delay any response.

I'v seen a lot of talk saying the D850 isn't really a revolutionary camera because its combining a lot of existing tech with a decent(but not massive) resolution bump. Whilst you could counter that specifically with the speed/resolution combination to me whats perhaps even more significantly is that it seems to represent a shift in mentality for bodies at this level. Previously there was I'd say always somewhat of the feeling you were dealing with releases that were intentionally limited to either avoid cannibalising sales of flagship bodies or were holding back leaving room for a future update. This camera on the other hand seems like more of a case of Nikon throwing everything it has into the body besides perhaps build(relative to the D5) so again perhaps something likely to catch rivals on the hop?

The language coming out of Nikon after the DL debacle did seem to point at significant changes in there corporate mentality. The 1 series mirrorless bodies for example were for many THE classic case of a product sabotaged by trying to avoid cannibalisation of its existing business.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 03:17:55 PM by MoreOrLess »
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hogloff

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2017, 04:40:07 PM »

How do you explain the existence of the 1Dx2 and D5, then? (I'll regard the A9 as a technology demonstrator at the moment, since, without an adequate lens collection, it's not really usable for wildlife or sports anyway)

The market for them is even smaller than the potential market for something with more balance between frame rate and resolution. Make it 40-50MP and 8-10fps (which is still as fast as a D3 or 1D3), with a good sRAW mode, and you'd have a lot more potential buyers.

Flagship cameras to show off their muscle so all the wannabe photographers can see the big cameras and lenses and want to be like the pros. You highly doubt Canon or Nikon sell very many high end cameras...the money is at the consumer / advanced amature end.
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davidgp

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Re: What next for Canon?
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2017, 04:48:57 PM »

Flagship cameras to show off their muscle so all the wannabe photographers can see the big cameras and lenses and want to be like the pros. You highly doubt Canon or Nikon sell very many high end cameras...the money is at the consumer / advanced amature end.

Not really, consumer camera are selling less and less... the market is the advance amateur and pro market. Look at all manufacturer, releasing more and more camera close to 2000$ or higher than that... in all the interviews of different manufacturers are saying that they sell less cameras but more in the pro sector so they can still get more money that when they were selling lots of consumer cameras. The decline in selling cameras (interchangeable lens ones) since 2012 it is mainly in consumer cameras.


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