Are Canon and Nikon killing off their best crop
Canon 7D Mk II in 2013: The odds for new featuresCanon says the 7D level camera won go away. There a need for it. Even in its current aging form, the camera has a faster frame rate than the Canon Rebels, the 6D/5D full frames, and the $700 Canon EOS 60D (not the same as the 6D; it is like the T4i on features). At 8 fps, shooting your dog leaping for a stick or a soccer player heading the ball, you will get the photo you want. At 4 5 fps, odds are 50 50 that the best picture was in between the frames you shot.
Canon and Nikon typically inject $100 $200 instant discounts into their cameras at holiday season, more if you buy a lens (not just the so so kit lenses, but serious lenses). The 7D entered the fall selling at $1,500 $1,600 for the body alone (no lenses). Now it selling at around $1,280 and approached $1,200 on Black Friday.
Another reason to believe a 7D follow on looms is its technological inferiority compared to the rest of Canon contemporary lineup. Here what could go into the replacement, whether it called the CanonEOS 7D Mark II or the EOS 8D, and the odds of it happening.
Better processor. The 7D uses two 2008 era Canon Digic 4 procecessors. The EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 6D use the newer Digic 5+; the EOS 1D X uses two Digic 5+ processors and a Digic IV for metering. The 7D resolves 18 megapixels or 5184 pixels. A bump to 21 megapixels would be nice, but even better would be improving image quality, especially at high ISO levels. One downside to crop sensors is the pixel density needed to achieve the same resolution in two thirds the space and the off angles striking the sensor using wide angle lenses. Continually improving image quality is more importantHigher ISO. The 7D ranges from 100 to 6400 ISO12,800 ISO expanded). Canon 2012 line additions reach to 12,800/25,600 in the Rebel T4i, to 25,600/102,400 in the 6D, and to 51,200/204,800 extended in the 1D X. That allows shooting in one half to one sixteenth the light the 7D works in. So users might hope for a 10 fps camera, which would match Canon best high end camera (EOS 1D Mark IV) until the 1D X. Because of the incredible ruggedness of the 1D X, the 7D follow on would not be a substitute for the upper crust of sports shooters except as a spare. Every generation focuses a little better and the improved processors deserve much of the credit. The 7D has no movie auto focus yet except just before you start recording. The Rebel T4i implemented Hybrid AF for video, dedicating some sensor pixels to phase detection AF and others to contrast detection. Consumer cameras costing as little as $200 (Canon PowerShot) integrate GPS that shows amateurs if that was the Grand Canyon or Magic Mountain in the background and it gives pros one more tool for selling stock photos with another searchable piece of metadata. The Canon 6D has it integrated. High dynamic range imaging takes three photos with different exposures shot in rapid succession to create one image with brighter brights and deeper shadows than a single image could capture. Some cameras automatically create a panorama as you sweep a circle, using a level on the viewfinder to keep the image straight. It may feel like a feature for amateurs on vacation, but it can be galling that a cheap camera has what a pro level camera lacks. The odds: UncertainSD card socket. The world is going to SD cards, including the EOS 6D. But pro cameras still use CF cards, or CF/SD combos. SD would take up less space, perhaps allow for dual SD cards. Canon latest electronic flash, the 600EX RT, $600, has adopted Pocket Wizard like radio control, which is more reliable than infrared. It needs an external wireless transmitter ST E2, $350. If it true that you can go anywhere and shoot with just an ultra wide angle zoom and a short to medium telephoto zoom, Canon needs a more serious zoom that captures at least 90 degrees horizontal and has a fixed f/2.8 lens aperture. That would show Canon is serious about the crop sensor market. The odds:Low especially because higher ISO speeds make f/4 lenses work fine and at the widest, 10mm, setting, the lens is only a half stop darker than the f/2.8 lens70 200mm EF S f/2.8 lens. The EF 70 200mm IS II lens is a heavy (3.2lb), bulky, expensive ($2,400) beast that everyone needs. Building an EF S version to cover the smaller APS C sensor area, that or a 45 125mm f/2.8 that covers the relatively same area on APS C (as the 70 200 on full frame) and, better, incorporates a switchable 1.4X lens extender, might knock a pound off the weight and $1,000 off the price. One can let the other get too far ahead, and there are other DSLR makers to consider, too. Canon may also need to move quickly on an enhancement for its initial mirrorless Canon EOS Mcamera that was a nice but not breathtaking foray into the mirrorless market. (The same goes for the mirrorless Nikon 1). Sony leads there with the Sony Alpha NEX 6, $850 street for the body only.
The high end crop sensor isn dead. But it been sleeping for too long. Look for a long overdue wake up call in the next few months before mirrorless cameras or Canon Nikon DSLR competitors make too much more headway.
Read more on louis vuitton outlet Nikon DSLRs over the yearsand Thom Hogan ah, comments on Nikon DX progress
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Tagged InOne reason I never bought EF S lenses is they couldn be mounted on APS H sensored cameras like the older EOS 1D II and EOS 1D III. I also had a full frame EOS 5D mark II since 2008, and couldn mount them there. I used to use a 15mm fisheye for ultra wide stuff on 10D, 20D and EOS 1D, and 16mm was enough on the 1D cameras. I now using a 7D for wildlife and sports with 70 200mm, 400mm and 500mm lenses.
However, I bought most of my lenses over 7 years ago, when everything was lots cheaper. Sure, a 400mm f/4 DO IS only costs a little more now, but the 16 35mm f/2.8L II and 70 20 louis vuitton outlet 0mm f/2.8L IS II are about twice as expensive. If I had to do it over again, I buy used gear. That what I did for years with Leica lenses.
People at Canon said the version II lenses, eg the 70 200, 300, 400, 24 70, 1.4x extender, etcetera lenses are significantly better image quality. They said that to me not to promote the Canon brand, I thought, but as a point of information. A couple of photographers speaking at Photo Plus, who were sponsored by Canon (for what it worth), said the quality of the VII zoom lenses have them seldom using fixed length lenses. There is that. There also is this: a used 300mm f/2.8, the must have lens when the 70 200 is not long enough for sports, wildlife, the family dog, is $4000 used and the 300 f/2.8 USM II is $7000. Actually, unless you a pro or cashed in on your Apple options, the $500 1.4x VII extender on the 70 200 is more sensible.
I wonder if clients could really tell the difference. Pro shooter Kirk Tuck once told me you could shoot salable stuff with a $99 (at that time) Yashica MAT louis vuitton outlet 124 TLR.
He was right. I sold a book cover captured with an old F1n and the FD 35 105mm f/3.5, an inferior lens by most louis vuitton outlet standards that lens spent almost as much time in the shop as on my camera. I also sold wildlife pictures shot with EF 500mm f/4 L IS and old EOS 1D mk II and EOS 20D cameras.
I use a cosmetically beat up EF 1.4X II for extra reach on some shots. My usual sports rig is EOS 7D with 70 200mm f/2.8L IS and EOS 5D mark II with 24 70mm f/2.8L, 550EX or 430EX flashes on both for fill. That worked great at pro mountain bike races. For slightly more reach, I carry a 400mm f/4 DO IS. That also useful for handheld flight shots of wild birds.
I realize I probably not your mainstream amateur photographer, but I think the need for constant equipment upgrades is oversold by manufacturers. I saw that need to upgrade all the time first hand in the semiconductor industry for many years.
The pros who say you don need more than a simple camera for most photos of course they have way more than a Canon PowerShot in the equipment case. Many photos can be taken that way. Not football, auto racing, theater, dogs at play, shy children, or people with bulbous noses.
Lots of good soccer etcetera photos can be taken with older equipment with a long lens. Indoors, I once shot HS basketball long ago with a Rollei twin lens camera and a single on camera strobe and I always came back with a couple good photos (but I did not come back with a good photo of the key play of the game). But a newer camera with the most recent (not just cosmetically dinged) lens extender and most current lens will focus faster. I never be satisfied until all my sports photos are in focus, and going from 90% to 95% would also be a worthwhile improvement.
Denis Reggie, the Florida wedding photographer who commands $30,000 for the weekend, says the Canon version II lenses are so good he stopped carrying fixed focal length lenses. He gets by, so to speak, with a zoom fisheye (used for just a few shots), a 24 70 f/2.8 and a 70 200 f/2.8 and one flash, with external battery pack, bounced off a side wall. In other words, a minimalist kit that costs $10,000, plus backup bodies and maybe a 16 35. He said this at PhotoPlus in NY at a seminar sponsored (paid) by Canon.
The Canon 400 DO (a long telephoto lens made very short by its special optics) you mention is is great except if you really must have f/2.8 for low light conditions.
I also have vacation photos from the late nineties shot with a miserable 3 megapixel camera and even those images are good enough to capture the magic of the vacation and I even made a 22 x 30 poster that looks pretty good if you stand back far enough.
Well it makes sense the final product is all that matters. Glass is very important to image quality but all other aspects are sort of on a level playing field as far as potential quality goes; expensive photo gear doesn take better photos, it makes good photos easier to take. A studio is a prime example where the flagship cameras totally fall flat, because most of the features that make them expensive are oriented towards field use any camera with a decent sensor that can pick up fine detail will produce professional results in a studio where you control the lighting and don necessarily need fast auto focus.
Bill, I actually see it moving in the reverse direction. I think we will see more full frame cameras getting cheaper and cheaper. I think we will see full frame mirrorless and even medium format mirrorless. For the latter, you could see a medium format camera in the same size as a todays full frame DSLRs.
My thinking is for this is even though there have been great advancements with smaller sensors, bigger sensors capture more light and can allow for larger pixel sizes. Also going mirrorless and adding a larger sensor will be easier than increasing the advances with the same or smaller sensors. Additionally, Sony is pushing the old boys kicking and screaming to the mirrorless prosumer market.
You hit on the right reasons for the uptick in full frame DSLR announcements. All things equal, 18 megapixel full frame sensors will be higher quality than 18 megapixel crop sensor sensors. Against that, there history: Tech devices get smaller. Sometimes the next smaller device takes a while to match the quality of the older, bigger device. And it could very well be that the even smaller MILCs will win out. But in the meantime I think, hope there a couple more generations of APS C sensor DSLRs.
I used to care about the card type when memory cards cost a lot. It blunted Sony penetration into the digital camera market because they opted for the proprietary Memory Stick format. (Sony hated our calling it but that what it was.) Now memory is relatively cheap so it less of an issue except for speed and the even greater difficulty finding the one SD card you stuck in your vest pocket. SD is getting there. As you note, it not there entirely. CF may be the way Canon distiguishes its pro ish cameras, except the 6D has SD. SD one advantage is a lot of laptops and the iMac have SD slots built in. Lenovo used to have CF on its workstation notebooks but no longer.
I understand the advantages and use to write the jpgs to the SD and Raw to CF so I could quickly dump pictures for review before processing. Shooting football changed all that. The fastest SD would cause buffer overflow at about 10 shots and decrease the fps drastically. Pulling the SD fixed that so buffer overflow only happened on very long plays and the recovery was faster too.