Erwin Puts just removed the article from his website

Started Feb 11, 2007 | Discussions thread
David Martin Forum Pro • Posts: 17,056
Here you go:

'Canon high end strategy goes for 35mm format

New Canon high-end cameras announced: D1 and D1S models with 35mm format sensor area.

In my original article about the Canon 5D I reflected on the technical and more philosophical aspects of the �barnack�-format for digital cameras. I noted that the 5D was a milestone camera because of feasibility of a large sensor at an affordable price. It was and it is my view that the 35mm format and the matched optics to create classical viewing angles and classical depth of field gradients, in addition to the artistic aspects of using the 2:3 format that has to be mastered before you can compose interesting pictures.

Olympus went for the easy way with the 4:3 format, that is much easier to use and conforms to the ubiquitous TV screen format that is a constant visual companion on today's culture.

In the current issue of AP, Geoffrey Crawley looks at the aspects of image quality tht is attainable with the full format (35mm) and the APS-C format that is roughly equivalent to half frame, and retains the 2:3 relation. He concludes that image wise there is a draw: both sensor areas deliver the same imagery. He compares two systems that have about the same pixel size and then it is not surprising that theoretically and with test charts the same image quality is possible. But there is much more to analyse here. In my comparison of the M8 with the 5D, the Canon gave somewhat better resolution despite having a larger pixel size. It is the software stupid! You can hear Bill Clinton shouting. And my Siemens star results indicated that the MTF values in the region from 30% to 10% of the Nyquist maximum are critical for effective image quality.

Presumably the debate will go on for a while and that is fine. We simply do not know that much about digital capture and digital processing as we know about chemical processing the silver halide grain. Here we have an history of 100 years of cumulative experience, but in the digital arena our knowledge spans hardly a decade. And myths are already all over the place!

You can like or hate Canon, but one theme is obvious: here we have a company that has a very steady course and a very clearly defined goal for the next ten years. Some cameras that were introduced over the last thirty years might draw negative comments and did not become world beaters. There main fault in retrospect has been to focus too long on the amateur market and leaving Nikon alone in the professional pond. But since the EOS body emerged around 1985, the company exhibits a singular drive.

The new D1 packs the sensor of the 5D in a really robust body, the film-loading 1V (end to that era?). The capture speed is very high and there is that mysterious comment that the 1D has no memory buffer, presumably wring directly to the flash card. The new 1Ds shares the same body and brings the pixel count to 22 million on a 24x36mm area. The most intriguing remark is Canons statement that from now on there will be no more 1.3 crop sensors. The strategy then is clear: the amateur market will be served by APS-C with 1.5/1.6 crop factor and a new range of lenses. The professional high-end market will be exclusively served by full-format sensors allowing all Canon lenses to operate at the true computed focal length and viewing angle. Canon seems to be quite confident that the problems with the 35mm format can be addressed and overcome. There is now also an ISO 6400 value available. The new cameras will be formidable instruments, the 1D attacking the professional market for mobile photography and the 1Ds (with 22 M pixels) attacking the medium format stationary (studio) photography. There is a risk here: many professional reportage photographers do not want nor need that huge amount of pixels. Is Nikon smarter in this respect and listening more closely to the market?

Nikon continues to state that they will not embark on that route and stay faithful to the APS format derivatives. For how long we may ask?

The 1D will retail for 4500 dollars and will be cheaper than the Leica M8. This is not a clash of civilisations, but a minor clash of belief. The M8 couples a mechanical film-loading body to a solid state sensor and retains as much of the classical values as can be done within the technological constraints.

The 1D couples a fully electronic film-loading body to a full 35mm format solid state sensor and skips as much of the classical values as can be accomplished within operational constraints. There is no doubt in what direction the mainstream buyer will move. Canon is shaping the market and the others are more or less responding to market trends as they are perceived by the gurus.

Leica has been troubled over the last decade by a most erratic decision making process by a series of CEO's and this decision making is reflected in the current stable of products. One really hopes that there will be now a steady developing strategy with a clearly defined future vision for the product range to be developed.

The Canon strategy is very consistent and very profitable. Their choice for the classical 35mm format for the high-end camera system is somewhat surprising, given the fact that they are alone in this choice, but then the market power of Canon is quite strong.

Now the competition must react.
============================== '

James Hatcher wrote:

Just curious, what was posted? What were his "Specs"

And was it Canon that made him pull it down, or was it the
depression of all the unfounded speculation, that happens every
year after year after year? Although it seems quieter this year
than in years past.

-- hide signature --

Regards,
DaveMart

'Just a wildebeest on the plain of life'
Please see profile for equipment

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