As a Former 5D Owner....

Started Jul 2, 2008 | Discussions thread
Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,385
Crippling, doubling, and home runs...

John W Peterson wrote:

I was one of the many that hoped for "a Canon 5D sensor in a nikon
body"; and now we have it.

Yes. It's definitely been too long. Both for D300 and for D3. And for the Nikon T/S lenses. Nikon let themselves get so far behind, in so many ways...

T/S, VR, AF, USM, full frame, high ISO...

It's amazing that they managed to boost their product development effort to come on strong on so many fronts at the same time. It might be unprecedented. I honestly can't think of any other case where a company launched so many products in so many different areas in such a short time.

The 5D has been with us for 3 years. Many would argue that the the
day of the 12MP FF sweet spot ought to be about to be be ready for
replacement by a camera with a 16MP FF sensor.

I wouldn't argue that. It's only a 33% increase in pixels, and a 15% increase in linear resolution. It's like going from 8x10 to 9x11.5. Will it make a practical difference in what you can shoot or print?

Maybe it's because I'm on about my eight digital camera (Canon S100, S400, Nikon D100 (pair), D70 (short lived), D2X, D200, D3) but I don't get excited about any resolution change that doesn't involve doubling the megapixel count. You have to pretty much double the megapixels to go up a full paper size, like from 8x10 to 11x14. (If you're using European A sizes, you exactly double them. I love A sizes).

Presumably Canon's
replacement - a relatively long time in coming - is just around the

I think it may be a little farther off. My personal best theory is that Canon took a good step back after the 5D ended up underperforming its sales goals (as evidenced by the price reductions, rebates, and bundles unprecedented in the industry) to evaluate where they went wrong and how to fix it. There's a good chance they were getting ready to drop the whole market segment.

When Nikon launched D200, people talked about it "cannibalizing" D2X sales. The specs were so similar. Same with D700 and D3. Canon kept a much bigger gap between 5D and 1Ds II. Elsewhere in this post, you bring up the term "crippled". Whether this was done by accident (my "misjudged the market") theory or your own theory that it was deliberate is unimportant, the result was the same, the 5D (even at the original $3300 price) was sufficiently "hobbled" so as not to hurt the market for $8000 1Ds II.

The 5D has had a cult folllowing.

I have noticed this.

Pros and amateurs alike have used
the images from this camera as their reference standard.

It is the most "approachable" full frame DSLR.

For that
reason, it would appear that canon's "reputation" or market standing
hinges not opoun the amazing images produced by it's top shelf
cameras, but upoun the humble 5D. Many of us have noted that canon
appeared to purposefully cripple the 5D, stripping it of a weather
sealed body, high frame rate, short shutter lag and other amenities
all just to try to discourage professionals from using this camera.

I still think they went after the market by first researching price, then did whatever they had to do to reach that "golden" price.

Such a strategy might have made sense three years ago, when the 1DsII
ruled the roost, but it seems misguided now that canon has struggled
trying to put the shine back on the rose of it's 1DIII.
Canon knows that Nikon has hit a home run. Actually 3 home runs if we
count them.

The bigger problem isn't a few "home runs", it's the whole "Nikon is back" concept. Nikon has been hitting home runs steadily for a decade or two. They came up with the first practical DSLR, the 1D. The first "designed for digital" lens, the 17-35mm f2.8, which also got a reputation as "the first zoom that can successfully compete with primes". The D70 was what propelled Nikon to beating Canon's sales numbers for a time. But overall, after each home run, one realized that Canon had been doing a steady stream of singles and doubles (AF, USM, VR, high ISO CMOS, full frame) and was still ahead in the game.

The last maybe 2 or 3 years, we saw the first rumblings that Nikon was "back in the game". And the last 12 months were simply amazing. Three new cameras, all of which are class leaders. Parity with Canon on 3 tilt/shift lenses, 300, 400, 500, and 600mm VR lenses. A wide angle zoom that continues to amaze people.

And alongside all that, they found time to refresh their entry level, launch two new flashes (one of which is a monster), half a dozen lower end lenses...

As I put it earlier, unprecedented. I can't for the life of me figure out how they pulled it off. The movement of engineers and materials necessary to launch such a major offensive.

-- hide signature --

Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008.

Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed.

Ciao! Joseph

 Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list:Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D2X Nikon D90 Nikon D100 Nikon Z7 +45 more
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