Canon G2X

Started Jan 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
rwbaron Forum Pro • Posts: 13,460
Re: Getting it right by innovation and keeping up with the times

Sean Nelson wrote:

rwbaron wrote:

Where IQ and getting the shot are paramount I still see an overwhelming number of Canon cameras being used.

Back in the mainframe days of the IT industry we used to have a saying: "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM". IBM had an incredibly solid reputation and it dominated the industry.

But technology changed and IBM didn't innovate fast enough. There are some signs that this is now happening to Canon. Products like the G1X and EOS-M show that they're trying, but the competition is outmaneuvering them with smaller-sensor cameras that seem to be more popular. They had a brief moment in the spotlight with pro DSLR video, but they've now been eclipsed by all kinds of competition.

I see a lot of parallels with the downsizing from mainframes that occurred in the computer industry a few decades ago and the similar trend with mobile devices today. Back in the 1980's when personal computers were ascendant, the big established companies like IBM and Digital Equipment never took them seriously enough. They survived on momentum into the 1990's but by the new millennium they had either succumbed or got shuffled into niches. They never believed that "personal" computers could do the work that mainframe and minicomputers could - but they were wrong.

Canon is still at the top of the heap and they still have time to adjust - but things are moving quickly and if they're not nimble enough then they're going to get themselves into trouble. The history of technology is littered with once-dominant companies that couldn't keep up. "Nobody ever got fired for buying Canon" is still valid today, but it won't be if they let the gap grow too large.

Not a good comparison IMO.  We're not talking about a radical shift in photography that Canon is missing.  Canon's Powershot cameras are highly competitive as are their DSLR's.  You have to remember that it was Canon that brought so much technical innovation into the photographic market place, not Nikon or Sony.  IS, USM, electronic AF mount, flourite, molded aspherics, oh and CMOS sensors to name just a few.  Where would sensor tech be today if Canon hadn't stubbornly worked to perfect CMOS when the rest of the industry abondoned it for CCD?  Do you really think Sony would be producing the Exmor had it not been for Canon?  I'd also mention that it was Canon that revolutionized DSLR video with the 5D2, not Sony or Nikon which neither still seem to be able to get it right.

Frankly, I doubt Sony's primary objective for the design of the Exmor sensor was for the extended DR that many covet.  My guess is the primary objective was to eliminate the need for off chip ADC and provide the cost advantage associated with same and the imaging benefits came along with it.  I say this because neither Nikon nor Sony make an issue of the DR of their sensors in marketing their products.

From the a99 features listed on Sony's website;

Auto HDR built into camera

Captures more scene dynamic range than a single exposure can handle—and more range than photo film. Combines the best highlight detail from one shot, the best mid-tones from a second and the best shadow detail from a third for one incredible shot. (Recommended for still subjects.)

There's no mention of extended DR and if you read the above you'll note they understand the importance of not grossly under exposing and then lifting shadows an excessive amount as it destroys color fidelity. If you can find something touting the extended single shot DR then please point it out as I apparently missed it.

http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666485827#features

From Nikon's website D800 page

Expand dynamic range with built-in HDR

Create a single image revealing an extremely wide dynamic range, but with less noise and rich color gradation than ever before.  Combine two exposures at up to 3EV.

Seems Nikon feels the same.

I'd further add that just prior to the D3/300/700 many were saying the same about Nikon.  Their sensors were so inferior to Canon's there was no way for them to compete but gee they're still here and very viable.  Similar overatures were heard several years after Canon introduced the EOS mount and Nikon hobbled along with their clunky mechanical drive AF.  Go figure.

When photo editors and other professionals can look at two images on screen or in print and say well this came from a Nikon or Sony and this from a Canon then an issue will exist.  For now, no one can do that so all this clammer is moot.

I think it's safe to say it's too early to start writing Canon's obit.

Bob

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