Why I’m Disappointed with Canon

I’ve been a Canon user for a very long time, in fact since 1984. Over most of that time, I’ve been pretty happy with Canon. I’ve liked their innovation and their support of what photographers wanted to do with their gear.

But over recent years, as my own artistic practice has grown and developed, I have become disappointed. My main disappointment is that it seems that Canon no longer understands my needs or the needs of similar creatives. You see, the problem is that I am no longer just a photographer and I am not just a filmmaker. I am both.

Driven by marketing decisions, it seems, Canon developed the EOS Cinema line for filmmakers and the EOS line for still photographers. This split, which does not take into account users who need BOTH capabilities, is best shown in the recent release of the 6D Mark II. Great still camera, like the previous 6D Mark I that I have, but while the rest of the world has moved to 4k video capture, the 6D Mark II is limited to Full HD.

Come on Canon. Even my iPhone (7S) can capture 4k and do so very well with any of the accessory lens systems, like the ExoLens shown below with a Zeiss lens.

Yes, I have a huge investment in L-series glass. But Canon needs to remember that with the rise of mirrorless cameras I can fit that glass onto a Sony or Panasonic body.

So I no longer view myself as a Canon camera user. I’ve become a Canon lens mount system user. My lens mount of choice is the Canon EOS one. I have Canon lenses. I also have a lot of Lensbaby lenses in the Canon mount. And I will have a range of camera bodies from a number of manufacturers, with lens mount adapters, where needed. My next camera body purchase will likely be a Sony or Panasonic.

By failing to recognise that a growing proportion of image makers require both excellent still image shooting and excellent video shooting in one body, Canon has dropped the ball on innovation. A bad move in my opinion.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III firmware upgrade provides significant still-shooting and Full HD video improvements

Supports advanced user needs through clean HDMI output for video and boosted AF performance for low-light and telephoto shooting

Sydney, Australia, 30 April 2013 – Canon Australia today announced that the new firmware upgrade for the EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR camera is now available for download, delivering considerable improvements to still-shooting and Full HD video. The new free-of-charge upgrade will allow users to boost the EOS 5D Mark III’s potential, opening the door to new imaging opportunities.

The upgrade, which was first announced in October 2012, enables the use of the HDMI output functionality for more efficient video editing and monitoring workflows by professionals in the fields of cinema and TV production. With HDMI output, users can record HD uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) to an external recorder via the camera’s HDMI terminal, supporting minimal image degradation during video data editing for greater onsite efficiency during motion picture and video productions. Additionally, video can also be displayed on an external monitor while being captured, for real-time on-site monitoring for HD video during shoots.

To further improve functionality, the upgrade improves the AF system with centre AF point now enabled at f/8 supporting the needs of photographers to achieve more from their camera when using fast super-telephoto lenses with extenders. Drastically increasing the shooting range, version 1.2.1 now makes it possible to use an EF600 f/4 lens and two-times extender to achieve a massive 1200mm focal length with precise AF performance. This will benefit sport and nature photographers who shoot over long distances. This upgrade also increases the range of lens options with full AF capabilities, including the EF400mm f/5.6 and the EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS with 1.4x extenders, for zoom ranges up to 560mm.

“The EOS 5D Mark III, continues to lead the way in DSLR Full HD Movie making and with this new update Canon has responded to the needs of professional image makers by providing them with clean HDMI output, as well as boosted AF performance for telephoto shooting over an expanded range of focal lengths,” said Charles Montesin, Product Manager – Professional Imaging, Canon Australia. “We’re excited to be offering these features in direct response to requests from professionals working in the fields of cinema and TV production, and expect the firmware to enhance the user experience and workflow.”

The EOS 5D Mark III free firmware update is available now from: http://support-au.canon.com.au/P/search?model=EOS%205D%20Mark%20III&filter=0&menu=download

Canon 5D Mark III

Related links:

EOS 5D Mark III

About Canon

Canon is the world’s leading imaging brand that actively inspires with imaginative ideas that enable people to connect, communicate and achieve more than they thought possible through imaging solutions for business and consumers. Canon’s Australian R&D company, CiSRA, develops and exports digital imaging technologies for use in Canon products worldwide. Canon has ranked among the top-four US patent recipients* for the past 21 years, and had global revenues of over $US40 billion in 2012. Canon Australia also operates Canon Finance Australia, which offers one-stop shopping for customers wanting leasing or finance services. For more information, visit www.canon.com.au, www.facebook.com/canonaustralia, www.twitter.com/canonaustralia, www.youtube.com/canonaustralia

* Based on weekly patent counts issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office

New Crystal Macro Video

I’ve posted a new macro video shot with the Canon MP-E65mm macro lens.

And below is another image of obsidian, volcanic glass, shot with the same lens.

obsidian

Review of the Canon MP-E65mm 1-5x f2.8 Macro Lens has begun

Yesterday I received a Canon MP-E65mm 1-5x Macro lens for review. This is an unusual lens, in that it focuses from 1x magnification to 5x magnification to a full frame sensor.

This is a manual focus lens that does not focus to infinity. It is exclusively for macro.

MPE65mmf2815xMacroPhotoAngle

To start the testing process I grabbed some samples from our rock and crystal collection and started shooting. The results are in the gallery below. You’ll see more of these as testing continues and then read the full review once I am finished.

Canon Australia Opens A Canon Academy That Directly Competes With Those Of Us Who Teach Photography And Support Canon

Canon has announced in Australia the opening of the Canon Academy to offer workshops and courses on photography. They have done this by partnering with an existing workshop organisation, URCreative.

I have to say that I think this is a really bad idea, and let me explain why. There is an active community already of people running workshops and courses in the photography area, including me. Those of us who use Canon naturally do a lot of our teaching using Canon gear. I’ve probably personally facilitated the sale of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Canon cameras and even more lenses and accessories. I have to say I don’t feel much like continuing to personally recommended Canon gear when they are actively pushing people that compete directly with me. Canon could have much better served its customers and those of us who teach using Canon gear by instead making the Canon Academy an online only thing that listed the workshops and courses that we, the existing teachers, were running. Indeed they could have actively profiled us on the website, building a closer relationship with us rather than pissing us off. Sadly this decision by Canon smells of a decision made by an MBA rather than someone who really understands and is passionately involved in the photography world. Very sad. Think of it in the same way as if Canon started selling cameras directly, and how the camera shops would feel.

Bad move, Canon, bad move.

What follows is the Canon press release.

Canon EOS opens up a world of inspiration and learning with the launch of Canon Academy

Creative Canon photography courses now available Australia-wide in nearly 30 locations and online, taking your photography to the next level.

Sydney 25 May, 2012: Canon Australia today announces the launch of a new education program, Canon Academy, enabling Canon EOS photographers of all levels to take their photography to the next level through an extensive series of face-to-face courses and workshops, and online courses. Available at Canon’s World of EOS, Canon Academy is designed to inspire and educate photographers, from entry-level to professional, across Australia.

The Canon Academy website can be accessed now at canon.com.au/academy.

Courses range from an “Introduction to DSLR” to an “Advanced e-Learning Course”, as well as specialist workshops in Architecture, Night Photography,  Landscape, Studio, Fashion and Portraiture photography.

“Canon’s World of EOS is designed take people’s photography to the next level through inspiration, creative challenges and skills development at all levels, including the rapidly growing number of first-time DSLR camera users,” said Rebecca Pearson, Canon EOS Assistant Brand Manager. “Canon Academy is a natural extension of this experience and we are excited to be providing a comprehensive learning opportunity in a range of formats and locations for people of all skill levels – from the complete novice, and upwards.”

Canon has partnered with URCreative, the photography training division of the Creative Institute of Australia, to lead Canon Academy’s portfolio of courses and workshops. The content will offer a variety of experiences to suit the needs and lifestyles of aspiring photographers as well as those people simply wanting to get more out of their Canon EOS DSLR camera. It will include five types of courses, six workshops and two online offerings in almost 30 locations around Australia to complement the brand’s existing online tutorials available via the Canon World of EOS.

“Canon’s expertise in high-quality imaging and our intimate understanding of user needs are matched by URCreative’s experience in delivering quality instruction,” continued Pearson.  “Canon Academy students will receive the very best photography learning and development delivered by trainers at the forefront of photography education.”

Greg Lee-Conway, URCreative Managing Director, says that students will achieve tangible improvements in their fundamental skills as well as an increased appreciation for the creative potential of photography. “Partnering with Canon, the market leader in DSLR photography, enables us to broaden and elevate our learning program with the use of a range of high-quality, dynamic products and accessories,” says Lee-Conway. “We’re looking forward to continuing to share this experience with a host of new Canon Academy students and enable more budding photographers to realise their creativity.”

Related links:

–       Canon Academy website

–       Canon World of EOS experience site

About Canon:

Canon is the world’s leading imaging brand that actively inspires with imaginative ideas that enable people to connect, communicate and achieve more than they thought possible through imaging solutions for business and consumers. Canon’s Australian R&D company, CiSRA, develops and exports digital imaging technologies for use in Canon products worldwide. Canon has ranked among the top-four US patent recipients* for the past 20 years, and had global revenues of around $US46 billion in 2011. Canon Australia also operates Canon Finance Australia, which offers one-stop shopping for customers wanting leasing or finance services. For more information, visit www.canon.com.au, www.facebook.com/canonaustralia, www.twitter.com/canonaustralia, www.youtube.com/canonaustralia

* Based on weekly patent counts issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office

About URCreative

URCreative is the photography training division of the Creative Institute of Australia. URCreative was founded in 2008 by members of the commercial photography and photographic education community.

Canon’s new EOS 60Da delivers top-class image quality and precision shooting to astrophotography enthusiasts

Editor’s comment – Sadly Canon has screwed this camera for infrared photographers by still including an IR blocking filter but just changing its characteristics so that the H-alpha band used by astrophotographers is not attenuated. That is a major shame as it would have been a great opportunity for Canon to properly support us infrared photographers. Press release follows.

Boasting optical characteristics designed specifically for astrophotography, the EOS 60Da allows the capture of night-sky images with exceptional high quality and lower noise.    

Sydney, 3 April, 2012: Canon Australia today unveiled a new EOS digital SLR camera tailored specifically for astro-photography enthusiasts: the Canon EOS 60Da. Building on and significantly advancing the pedigree of the respected EOS 20Da with the high-quality, high-performance characteristics of the EOS 60D, the new body offers the combination of high sensitivity and low noise which is critical to the creation of top-quality, detailed astronomical images.

Built around an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and a DiG!C 4 image processor, the camera boasts a low-light, long-exposure shooting performance that will make it a must-have tool for anyone keen to capture the wonders of the night sky.

“The EOS 60Da takes Canon’s industry-leading sensor technology and pushes it even further to allow the accurate capture of red nebulae and other astronomical sights,” said Rebecca Pearson, Assistant Brand Manager – EOS, Canon Australia. “By combining superior sensitivity with very low noise, enthusiasts will be able to produce astrophotography images with more detail and colour accuracy than has previously been possible, allowing them to become even more deeply immersed in their hobby and satisfied with their end results.”

Superior optical characteristics for high image quality with low noise

The EOS 60Da builds on the excellent performance characteristics of the popular EOS 60D and adds features designed to meet the unique needs of astronomy enthusiasts.

Designed specifically for astrophotography, the EOS 60Da features a Low Pass infrared cut filter that allows the greater capture of hydrogen-alpha (H-α) light of 656mn length. The filter delivers approximately three times the transmission factor of the Canon EOS 60D and is designed to allow the capture of much clearer images of reddish, diffuse nebulae.

The low-noise characteristics of the CMOS sensor together with its high sensitivity normal ISO 6400 (expandable to H:12800) make it perfectly suited to the long exposures required to capture stars and other astronomical subjects.

Vari-angle clear-view LCD screen

To aid in the capture of images in low-light conditions, the EOS 60Da is equipped with a 3-inch vari-angle Clear View LCD screen. A user can position the 3:2 aspect screen at a comfortable angle while seeing exactly what is being captured by the camera.

The astrophotography capabilities of the EOS 60Da are further enhanced by the ability to team it with more than 60 Canon EF lenses to suit varied shooting requirements and conditions.

Complementary range of accessories

A number of Canon’s existing accessories will enhance the capabilities of the EOS 60Da:

  • The Timer Remote Controller (TC-80N3) allows accurate control of exposures of up to 10 minutes and the automatic shooting of repetitive shots via an interval timer. The EOS 60Da will be bundled with Remote Controller Adapter RA-E3 to allow connection of the Timer Remote Controller (TC-80N3)
  • The Remote Switch (RS-80N3) prevents camera shake during long exposure shots when using the camera’s bulb setting.
  • Canon’s battery grip (BG-E9) offers improved power supply for long exposure shooting.

 

Pricing and availability

The EOS 60Da will be available through Canon dealers from April  19th, 2012** as a Body kit only.

For more information customers can contact Canon on 1800 021 167, or visit the website at canon.com.au

Related links

–       Learn more about Canon EOS digital SLR cameras

–       Learn about Canon Professional Photography

–       Enter World of EOS – a world of inspiration that comes with every Canon EOS camera

About Canon

Canon is the world’s leading imaging brand that actively inspires with imaginative ideas that enable people to connect, communicate and achieve more than they thought possible through imaging solutions for business and consumers. Canon’s Australian R&D company, CiSRA, develops and exports digital imaging technologies for use in Canon products worldwide. Canon has ranked among the top-four US patent recipients* for the past 20 years, and had global revenues of around $US46 billion in 2011. Canon Australia also operates Canon Finance Australia, which offers one-stop shopping for customers wanting leasing or finance services. For more information, visit www.canon.com.au, www.facebook.com/canonaustralia, www.twitter.com/canonaustralia, www.youtube.com/canonaustralia

* Based on weekly patent counts issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office

** Availability information correct at time of release

 

This Week in Photography 4th March 2012 and reflections on the 5D Mark III

A roundup of some of the things about photography on the Internet that I found interesting this week.

I guess the most interesting thing to occur this week was the announcement of the new Canon 5D Mark III with only a minor change in resolution compared to the previously announced Nikon D800’s massive jump in resolution. As you would imagine the debate has been furious on various discussion forums and blogs.

My personal take on this is that there is a place for both cameras and it would be a really good idea for Canon to bring out an additional model that ups the resolution massively. The 5D Mark III provides plenty of resolution for many situations. However, and this is a big however, there are many situations when a much higher resolution camera would be a real plus. I shoot landscapes a lot, so I am not so worried about shooting rates, time to write to the memory card or even HD video capabilities. I want a camera I can take into the field that works well and gives me more than enough resolution to be able to crop substantially later in the studio depending on my intended image use and still print at a large size. This means turning landscape to portrait orientations, as well as creating panoramas by cropping. Even in the landscape things can change in the time it takes to take both a landscape and portrait orientation shot, such as birds being in the perfect location in the sky. This makes the ability to radically crop very attractive. So I would love to see Canon produce a 6D (say) with a 40-50MP sensor and, ideally, the ability to remove the IR blocking filter from the light path at the press of a button. This would be a dream camera for landscape photographers, and also many others, such as people shooting art works and such.

Apart from the above, not that much caught my eye this week on the web, but here it is:

Seven futuristic camera concepts

http://photorumors.com/2012/02/26/seven-futuristic-camera-concepts/

Adobe introduces ‘Primetime’ end to end video publishing solution

http://9to5mac.com/2012/02/27/adobe-introduces-primetime-end-to-end-video-publishing-solution/

A Photo App That Makes “Awesome” a Verb

http://allthingsd.com/20120228/a-photo-app-that-makes-awesome-a-verb/?mod=tweet

7 new iPhone photography apps that you should download now

http://thenextweb.com/apps/2012/03/03/7-new-iphone-photography-apps-that-you-should-download-now/?awesm=tnw.to_1DX1Q

Beautiful examples of black and white photography

http://www.photopoly.net/black-and-white-photography-incredible-examples/

70+ Stunning Abstract Photographs

http://photo.tutsplus.com/articles/inspiration/70-stunning-abstract-photographs/