Fuji future sensor technology?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
Daniel Keutmann
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Fuji future sensor technology?
2 months ago

Hello everyone,

I just sold my Canon SLR equipment and am now at the point of investing in a new system. Since I find the electronic viewfinders good enough by now it should be a mirrorless camera.

I want an aps-c sized sensor so m43 is not an option. This leaves me pretty much the choice between Fuji an Sony.

I think the Fuji lens line up is much better, I actually struggle to find a decent standard-zoom for sony.

In addition I somehow don't like how sony cameras operate and feel.

So it's all in favour of Fuji... BUT

I heard rumors of canon and sony developing foveon-like sensors. If one of them should succeed in producing such a sensor with decent low light performance I fear that this would mean the end for the other companies (I own a dp merrill - in good light nothing can match it in terms of sheer image quality).

Is Fuji developing anything similar as well?

It would be annoying to invest in Fuji if they can't compete sensor wise...

What are your thoughts on this?

Best regards

Daniel

Bernie Ess
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to Daniel Keutmann, 2 months ago

Daniel Keutmann wrote:

I heard rumors of (...)

Is Fuji developing anything similar as well?

It would be annoying to invest in Fuji if they can't compete sensor wise...

I'd not base a purchase on rumors.

I'd buy a camera based on what the company has out now! It is rather save to say that Fuji will most likely stay with APS for quite a while, and that cameras with more Megapixels and maybe slighly better high ISO capabilities will come out some time, for all new technologies I would not bet. Could be, could not be. Fujii could bring their organic sensor or not.

The Foveon has some qualities, but it also has downsides: Bad high ISO, overly enhanced details that somehow distract from the "Gestalt" of the whole image. And by the way, despite there being no Bayer mask, the amount of total interpolation and math inside the sensor is higher (according to some experts) than in a Bayer sensor.

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afragisk
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to Daniel Keutmann, 2 months ago

Do you have an image that displays that "nothing can match" the dp merill performance at good light ? I found a couple online and I honestly couldn't observe any higher detail than usual in my 30inch is monitor when viewed full size - not 1:1.

A part from that, Fuji is also working on the organic sensor - you may Google it.

Thx
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Caerolle
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In reply to Daniel Keutmann, 2 months ago

Daniel Keutmann wrote:

Hello everyone,

I just sold my Canon SLR equipment and am now at the point of investing in a new system. Since I find the electronic viewfinders good enough by now it should be a mirrorless camera.

I want an aps-c sized sensor so m43 is not an option. This leaves me pretty much the choice between Fuji an Sony.

I think the Fuji lens line up is much better, I actually struggle to find a decent standard-zoom for sony.

In addition I somehow don't like how sony cameras operate and feel.

So it's all in favour of Fuji... BUT

I heard rumors of canon and sony developing foveon-like sensors. If one of them should succeed in producing such a sensor with decent low light performance I fear that this would mean the end for the other companies (I own a dp merrill - in good light nothing can match it in terms of sheer image quality).

Is Fuji developing anything similar as well?

It would be annoying to invest in Fuji if they can't compete sensor wise...

What are your thoughts on this?

Best regards

Daniel

I would advise to NOT buy into a system that does not already have the qualities that you want, with the idea of the missing elements coming out. This is true even if that something is on a roadmap, maybe even if it is announced, and most definitely if it is a rumor. I have learned that the hard way, twice, with the two mirrorless systems you are considering. And wound up moving back to a dSLR system to get what I needed.

For a lot of people, of course including the ones in the Fuji X and Sony NEX forums, the existing systems do everything they want as they stand, and are perhaps even the system of their dreams. That may be true for you, too. But do try to go with your head and not your heart on this. At the very least add several months to any due date for any Fuji lenses that you need to fill out your needs. Hope and excitement will not replace actual hardware when it comes to actually taking pictures, instead of talking about the theoretical possibilities of a system.

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Caerolle
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to afragisk, 2 months ago

afragisk wrote:

Do you have an image that displays that "nothing can match" the dp merill performance at good light ? I found a couple online and I honestly couldn't observe any higher detail than usual in my 30inch is monitor when viewed full size - not 1:1.

A part from that, Fuji is also working on the organic sensor - you may Google it.

Thx
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Fuji XE-2, Canon FD 300 4L, Fuji 55-200, Fuji 56 1.2, Canon FD 50 3.5 macro, Fuji 27 2.8, Fuji 23 1.4, Zeiss 12 2.8, Rokinon II 8 2.8

The organic sensor seems to be like fusion reactors. Revolutionary potential that is always the same distance in the future, year after year.

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afragisk
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to Caerolle, 2 months ago

Yep - we've talked about this before. We might go to Mars first, before it becomes available!

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Carsten Pauer 2
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to Daniel Keutmann, 2 months ago
What are your thoughts on this?

By a second Merrill.

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rwbaron
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to Daniel Keutmann, 2 months ago

I wouldn't buy anything from Sony that I didn't absolutely have to. Virtually everything I've ever purchased from that company was a disappointment and I don't see their photographic equipment any differently.

One example is the lossy RAW format Sony uses that a recent study with RAW Digger found posterization in properly exposed files most likely due to the lossy compression format. Sony is not an imaging company, they are a huge conglomerate with many divisions that come and go as Sony views the market trends. I wouldn't be surprised if Sony was not in the camera business 5 or 10 years from now.

As for Foveon I've seen interesting results and bad results. At this time I don't see Foveon as being any slam dunk over Bayer or Fuji's X-Trans so I wouldn't be too concerned as IMO it has a long way to go and it may never get there.

It's interesting that you just sold your Canon SLR system right when the rumors are that Canon is about to announce something revolutionary which is long overdue from Canon. If anything, I'd have hung on to the Canon gear until the announcement was made and then moved forward from there. That's precisely what I'm doing as I've shot Canon for nearly 40 years but just added an XT1, 18-55 and 55-200 to my bag all which I love. I'm holding off on selling most or all of my Canon gear until I see what they announce as I expect it will give me a clearer picture of where Canon is headed in the future and whether it fits with my needs.

Good luck,

Bob

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xeriwthe
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to Caerolle, 2 months ago

Caerolle wrote:

afragisk wrote:

Do you have an image that displays that "nothing can match" the dp merill performance at good light ? I found a couple online and I honestly couldn't observe any higher detail than usual in my 30inch is monitor when viewed full size - not 1:1.

A part from that, Fuji is also working on the organic sensor - you may Google it.

Thx
--
Apollon
http://www.flickr.com/photos/apollonas/
http://500px.com/Apollon
Fuji XE-2, Canon FD 300 4L, Fuji 55-200, Fuji 56 1.2, Canon FD 50 3.5 macro, Fuji 27 2.8, Fuji 23 1.4, Zeiss 12 2.8, Rokinon II 8 2.8

The organic sensor seems to be like fusion reactors. Revolutionary potential that is always the same distance in the future, year after year.

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Not because I think they are good, but because I would like to improve (feel free to provide me with feedback):
http://500px.com/carolteater

you can't say that unless 2017 passes and there is still no sign of an impending organic sensor camera release.  The first widespread fuji/panasonic hype about organic sensors seems to come from an announcement last year, and there was no given timeframe, which means it was at least a good 4 years from production.  A fuji associated photographer mentioned 2016 timeframe.

a practical fusion reactor is i think a much more difficult problem than a consumer organic sensor camera

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Jerry-astro
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to rwbaron, 2 months ago

rwbaron wrote:

I wouldn't buy anything from Sony that I didn't absolutely have to. Virtually everything I've ever purchased from that company was a disappointment and I don't see their photographic equipment any differently.

One example is the lossy RAW format Sony uses that a recent study with RAW Digger found posterization in properly exposed files most likely due to the lossy compression format. Sony is not an imaging company, they are a huge conglomerate with many divisions that come and go as Sony views the market trends. I wouldn't be surprised if Sony was not in the camera business 5 or 10 years from now.

Big +1 on that.  I don't share the enthusiasm that many have for Sony and have bought my last camera from them.

As for Foveon I've seen interesting results and bad results. At this time I don't see Foveon as being any slam dunk over Bayer or Fuji's X-Trans so I wouldn't be too concerned as IMO it has a long way to go and it may never get there.

It's interesting that you just sold your Canon SLR system right when the rumors are that Canon is about to announce something revolutionary which is long overdue from Canon. If anything, I'd have hung on to the Canon gear until the announcement was made and then moved forward from there. That's precisely what I'm doing as I've shot Canon for nearly 40 years but just added an XT1, 18-55 and 55-200 to my bag all which I love. I'm holding off on selling most or all of my Canon gear until I see what they announce as I expect it will give me a clearer picture of where Canon is headed in the future and whether it fits with my needs.

Bob, this depends on what the OP's motivation was for ditching his gear in the first place.  If it was simply to replace it with newer equipment, then I totally agree with your assessment.  However, if his intention was similar to mine, which was to downsize, reduce weight, but not to do so at the expense of IQ (quite the opposite -- wanted and expected a significant improvement there), then selling his equipment may have been the right thing to do.

While the Canon cameras that are expected to come out in the next month or so are very likely going to be DSLRs, it's possible that any breakthrough sensor technology found in them might also carry forward to the M series.  It's going to take a HUGE jump for Canon to migrate that series from where it is to where Fuji is now with the X-T1 (let alone where it might be with the X-T2, or whatever they call its successor). Even if I was convinced that Canon was going to so some serious tree shaking with the 7D successor, I'm not sure that I would have been willing to wait long enough for them to be REAL players in the mirrorless market, if that's where the OP really wants to be.

Perhaps if the OP shares his motivations and key purchase criteria it might help us understand what would be the best direction to go.

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Christof21
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to Daniel Keutmann, 2 months ago

Daniel Keutmann wrote:

Hello everyone,

I just sold my Canon SLR equipment and am now at the point of investing in a new system. Since I find the electronic viewfinders good enough by now it should be a mirrorless camera.

I want an aps-c sized sensor so m43 is not an option. This leaves me pretty much the choice between Fuji an Sony.

I think the Fuji lens line up is much better, I actually struggle to find a decent standard-zoom for sony.

In addition I somehow don't like how sony cameras operate and feel.

So it's all in favour of Fuji... BUT

I heard rumors of canon and sony developing foveon-like sensors. If one of them should succeed in producing such a sensor with decent low light performance I fear that this would mean the end for the other companies (I own a dp merrill - in good light nothing can match it in terms of sheer image quality).

Is Fuji developing anything similar as well?

It would be annoying to invest in Fuji if they can't compete sensor wise...

What are your thoughts on this?

Best regards

Daniel

First, I thank Sony for its great sensor we can benefit on our Fuji camera !

Sony has many innovations and much more potential to innovate than Fuji IMHO.  Before the Fuji camera can use a new Sony sensor, there may be a delay ( I had heard there was at least a 6 months delay)

But if there is a big improvement, I guess the delay couild be much longer because Sony can take big margins without competitors...The Sony sensor from the RX100 for instance has only been shared recently (in the pana FZ1000).

Sony has also the  curved sensor technology which should be announced at photokina.

In the opposite, I have more and more doubts about the organic sensor...

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Caerolle
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to rwbaron, 2 months ago

rwbaron wrote:

I wouldn't buy anything from Sony that I didn't absolutely have to. Virtually everything I've ever purchased from that company was a disappointment and I don't see their photographic equipment any differently.

One example is the lossy RAW format Sony uses that a recent study with RAW Digger found posterization in properly exposed files most likely due to the lossy compression format. Sony is not an imaging company, they are a huge conglomerate with many divisions that come and go as Sony views the market trends. I wouldn't be surprised if Sony was not in the camera business 5 or 10 years from now.

As for Foveon I've seen interesting results and bad results. At this time I don't see Foveon as being any slam dunk over Bayer or Fuji's X-Trans so I wouldn't be too concerned as IMO it has a long way to go and it may never get there.

It's interesting that you just sold your Canon SLR system right when the rumors are that Canon is about to announce something revolutionary which is long overdue from Canon. If anything, I'd have hung on to the Canon gear until the announcement was made and then moved forward from there. That's precisely what I'm doing as I've shot Canon for nearly 40 years but just added an XT1, 18-55 and 55-200 to my bag all which I love. I'm holding off on selling most or all of my Canon gear until I see what they announce as I expect it will give me a clearer picture of where Canon is headed in the future and whether it fits with my needs.

Good luck,

Bob

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Sony seems to have the stunning ability to mix genius and idiocy in equal measures in the same product, even more than the other camera makers I am familiar with.

As far as 'something revolutionary' coming from Canon, wasn't a lot of that fueled by that Canon India thing, that turned out to be a cheesy photo competition? I know there is a lot wild-eyed speculation going on otherwise, though. I guess we will see in a few weeks at that big photography gear event. If nothing happens then, that shouldn't dampen the rumor mill much, though, there is another big event in early 2015, I think?

Personally, I am still waiting for my flying car and robot maid/cook.  

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Caerolle
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to xeriwthe, 2 months ago

xeriwthe wrote:

Caerolle wrote:

The organic sensor seems to be like fusion reactors. Revolutionary potential that is always the same distance in the future, year after year.

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you can't say that unless 2017 passes and there is still no sign of an impending organic sensor camera release. The first widespread fuji/panasonic hype about organic sensors seems to come from an announcement last year, and there was no given timeframe, which means it was at least a good 4 years from production. A fuji associated photographer mentioned 2016 timeframe.

a practical fusion reactor is i think a much more difficult problem than a consumer organic sensor camera

I do think the organic sensor would be a lot easier to do, yes. But just like commercial fusion has been '20-30 years away' for like 70 years, it seems that the organic sensor, with massive dynamic range and resolution, has been '2-3 years away' for the last several years, at least in terms of people breathlessly anticipating it. The time scales are different, but the concept is the same.

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Caerolle
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to Jerry-astro, 2 months ago

Jerry-astro wrote:

While the Canon cameras that are expected to come out in the next month or so are very likely going to be DSLRs, it's possible that any breakthrough sensor technology found in them might also carry forward to the M series. It's going to take a HUGE jump for Canon to migrate that series from where it is to where Fuji is now with the X-T1 (let alone where it might be with the X-T2, or whatever they call its successor).

Canon could make an enormous jump over the M right now, with the technology they have, if they wanted. That is one seriously crippled camera system.

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In reply to Caerolle, 2 months ago
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rwbaron
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to Jerry-astro, 2 months ago

Jerry-astro wrote:

rwbaron wrote:

I wouldn't buy anything from Sony that I didn't absolutely have to. Virtually everything I've ever purchased from that company was a disappointment and I don't see their photographic equipment any differently.

One example is the lossy RAW format Sony uses that a recent study with RAW Digger found posterization in properly exposed files most likely due to the lossy compression format. Sony is not an imaging company, they are a huge conglomerate with many divisions that come and go as Sony views the market trends. I wouldn't be surprised if Sony was not in the camera business 5 or 10 years from now.

Big +1 on that. I don't share the enthusiasm that many have for Sony and have bought my last camera from them.

As for Foveon I've seen interesting results and bad results. At this time I don't see Foveon as being any slam dunk over Bayer or Fuji's X-Trans so I wouldn't be too concerned as IMO it has a long way to go and it may never get there.

It's interesting that you just sold your Canon SLR system right when the rumors are that Canon is about to announce something revolutionary which is long overdue from Canon. If anything, I'd have hung on to the Canon gear until the announcement was made and then moved forward from there. That's precisely what I'm doing as I've shot Canon for nearly 40 years but just added an XT1, 18-55 and 55-200 to my bag all which I love. I'm holding off on selling most or all of my Canon gear until I see what they announce as I expect it will give me a clearer picture of where Canon is headed in the future and whether it fits with my needs.

Bob, this depends on what the OP's motivation was for ditching his gear in the first place. If it was simply to replace it with newer equipment, then I totally agree with your assessment. However, if his intention was similar to mine, which was to downsize, reduce weight, but not to do so at the expense of IQ (quite the opposite -- wanted and expected a significant improvement there), then selling his equipment may have been the right thing to do.

While the Canon cameras that are expected to come out in the next month or so are very likely going to be DSLRs, it's possible that any breakthrough sensor technology found in them might also carry forward to the M series. It's going to take a HUGE jump for Canon to migrate that series from where it is to where Fuji is now with the X-T1 (let alone where it might be with the X-T2, or whatever they call its successor). Even if I was convinced that Canon was going to so some serious tree shaking with the 7D successor, I'm not sure that I would have been willing to wait long enough for them to be REAL players in the mirrorless market, if that's where the OP really wants to be.

Perhaps if the OP shares his motivations and key purchase criteria it might help us understand what would be the best direction to go.

Good point Jerry.  It would help to know what the OP's motivation is for change.

Bob

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rwbaron
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to Caerolle, 2 months ago

Caerolle wrote:

Jerry-astro wrote:

While the Canon cameras that are expected to come out in the next month or so are very likely going to be DSLRs, it's possible that any breakthrough sensor technology found in them might also carry forward to the M series. It's going to take a HUGE jump for Canon to migrate that series from where it is to where Fuji is now with the X-T1 (let alone where it might be with the X-T2, or whatever they call its successor).

Canon could make an enormous jump over the M right now, with the technology they have, if they wanted. That is one seriously crippled camera system.

I agree Carol and believe the industry exec DPR interviewed who said Canon and Nikon have been slow to the mirror-less table only in the interest of protecting their dwindling DSLR sales.  Once both companies jump on the wagon they'll lend credence to the mirror-less concept which will stoke interest and sales. From there it will most likely be all downhill for DSLR's except for pro's and some enthusiasts. Systems like Fuji's and in particular the XT1 are very close to the capabilities of DSLR's and Fuji is a tiny player so imagine what Canon or Nikon could do in this market if they were serious.

Bob

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darngooddesign
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Re: Fuji future sensor technology?
In reply to Daniel Keutmann, 2 months ago

Daniel Keutmann wrote:

I heard rumors of canon and sony developing foveon-like sensors. If one of them should succeed in producing such a sensor with decent low light performance I fear that this would mean the end for the other companies (I own a dp merrill - in good light nothing can match it in terms of sheer image quality).

Is Fuji developing anything similar as well?

What do you find lacking about current Fuji low light images?

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Jerry-astro
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Maybe Canon could... but will they?
In reply to Caerolle, 2 months ago

Caerolle wrote:

Jerry-astro wrote:

While the Canon cameras that are expected to come out in the next month or so are very likely going to be DSLRs, it's possible that any breakthrough sensor technology found in them might also carry forward to the M series. It's going to take a HUGE jump for Canon to migrate that series from where it is to where Fuji is now with the X-T1 (let alone where it might be with the X-T2, or whatever they call its successor).

Canon could make an enormous jump over the M right now, with the technology they have, if they wanted. That is one seriously crippled camera system.

Yes, if for argument's sake they did in fact introduce some sort of a groundbreaking new sensor, then leveraging that technology in a mirrorless model is certainly possible.  However, even if Canon eventually gets there with a camera that could challenge some of the mirrorless leaders (Fuji, Sony, Oly), I think there are some barriers that make it unlikely that this will happen for a while:

1) Right now, they have virtually nothing in this arena. What they do have (M) might be very reasonably priced, but falls WAY short of what the market leaders are doing now.  Hard for me to imagine they could go from where they are now to something that would really compete with the likes of the X-T1 in a single introduction cycle.  Not that they don't necessarily have the raw technology (sensor, UI, optics, etc.) available, but I think they'll have to edge their way in and learn along the way.

2) They have an interesting positioning issue which Fuji and Oly (or example) don't really have.  They have to figure out how to introduce a mirrorless line that complements their DSLR offerings and meets the market need, but that doesn't damage their leading position in DSLRs.  This is pretty simple to do at the low end of the mirrorless market, where they play today.  Not so simple at the high end where the overlap between a high end Canon (similar in capability, price, and positioning to the X-T1) and their enthusiast line (70D... maybe even 7DMk2) could be pretty dramatic.  Figuring out how to enter that market and take no prisoners, yet do so while keeping their hardcore DSLR user base happy is not an easy proposition.  Not impossible, but as a former product marketing manager in high tech, I'm pretty sure some hair would get ripped out trying to figure how how to pull that off as a net win-win. I think this could hold them back in making a truly aggressive move to mirrorless.

Bottom line... Canon could totally change the game if they set their mind to it and if they truly have some game changing sensor technology on the way (big IF).  While they may get there over time, I don't see it happening quickly.  Will be interesting to compare notes in 6 months or a year and see where they end up.

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Caerolle
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Re: Maybe Canon could... but will they?
In reply to Jerry-astro, 2 months ago

Jerry-astro wrote:

Caerolle wrote:

Jerry-astro wrote:

While the Canon cameras that are expected to come out in the next month or so are very likely going to be DSLRs, it's possible that any breakthrough sensor technology found in them might also carry forward to the M series. It's going to take a HUGE jump for Canon to migrate that series from where it is to where Fuji is now with the X-T1 (let alone where it might be with the X-T2, or whatever they call its successor).

Canon could make an enormous jump over the M right now, with the technology they have, if they wanted. That is one seriously crippled camera system.

Yes, if for argument's sake they did in fact introduce some sort of a groundbreaking new sensor, then leveraging that technology in a mirrorless model is certainly possible. However, even if Canon eventually gets there with a camera that could challenge some of the mirrorless leaders (Fuji, Sony, Oly), I think there are some barriers that make it unlikely that this will happen for a while:

1) Right now, they have virtually nothing in this arena. What they do have (M) might be very reasonably priced, but falls WAY short of what the market leaders are doing now. Hard for me to imagine they could go from where they are now to something that would really compete with the likes of the X-T1 in a single introduction cycle. Not that they don't necessarily have the raw technology (sensor, UI, optics, etc.) available, but I think they'll have to edge their way in and learn along the way.

2) They have an interesting positioning issue which Fuji and Oly (or example) don't really have. They have to figure out how to introduce a mirrorless line that complements their DSLR offerings and meets the market need, but that doesn't damage their leading position in DSLRs. This is pretty simple to do at the low end of the mirrorless market, where they play today. Not so simple at the high end where the overlap between a high end Canon (similar in capability, price, and positioning to the X-T1) and their enthusiast line (70D... maybe even 7DMk2) could be pretty dramatic. Figuring out how to enter that market and take no prisoners, yet do so while keeping their hardcore DSLR user base happy is not an easy proposition. Not impossible, but as a former product marketing manager in high tech, I'm pretty sure some hair would get ripped out trying to figure how how to pull that off as a net win-win. I think this could hold them back in making a truly aggressive move to mirrorless.

Bottom line... Canon could totally change the game if they set their mind to it and if they truly have some game changing sensor technology on the way (big IF). While they may get there over time, I don't see it happening quickly. Will be interesting to compare notes in 6 months or a year and see where they end up.

I think you may have misunderstood me. I was saying that Canon could make an enormous jump over *the M*, not over other existing cameras/systems. To vastly improve on their current system, all they would have to do is to build a camera around the sensor from the 70D, with a great EVF. They have the sensor, they could buy the EVF from someone else, like Fuji and Olympus do. They could release a few more lenses, which would increase their lens range several-fold. They already have a mount, and if there is one thing Canon can do, it is design and build lenses. So, they really don't need any 'game-changing' sensor technology, they just need to put the one they already have, that is way better than the one they are using, in a better body.

I do agree that the biggest roadblock to Canon is their conservative mindset, and wanting to squeeze every last bit of use out of old tech.

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