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    • OnEdgePhoto

      Canon used to be the premier camera manufacturer. They owned the interchangeable-lens camera market. Now, they're loosing to competition in every camera sector.

      Sony is leaving Canon in the DSLR dust. RED and Black Magic are taking over Hollywood. Nikon's entry-level DSLRs have much better sensors than Canon's flagship pro DSLRs. Sigma is eating Canon's lunch when it comes to lenses. Printing is dead. Everyone but Canon is making great cameras and lenses, and consumers and pros are moving to other brands. Canon's lack of innovation is killing the company, right?

    • Pa

      I keep hearing this refrain from numerous friends who have abandoned Canon systems. I guess I am just an old reprobate - but I do like Canon's glass - especially their long lenses - and their radio controlled strobes, and I make do with a 5DMk IV and a 1 DX Mk 2. I do have a whole closet of Canon glass and gear, as I and my spouse both use Canon gear, and my spouse doesn't really share her gear.

      I am an amateur so I don't have the demands of some editor or customer and I find 25-30 Mpxls is all I need for my images - I really don't want a 45 Mpxl file to store or edit.

      Maybe I am just getting left behind, but I do occasionally make an image I rather like, and the only person I really have to please is my self.

      I own several Sigma lenses and think well of them, but the Canon glass I own is fine for me. I even own a Zeiss Distagon 21mm f2.8 but I don't think it is any better than my 16-35 f2.8 vII

      We live in a great time to be a photographer - the lenses, bodies and imaging software just keeps getting better.

      I always find it interesting that custom furniture makers don't really talk about the chisels and hammers and saws they use - they display their furniture and let its quality speak for itself.

      As I said, I am an amateur and so I only have to please myself. When I post images, unless I am on a Photo website, I never mention the tools I used to make an image - I think most viewers dont really care

      What do you shoot with OnEdge??

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      I wonder if it isn't one of these companies where public perception is one thing and actual performance is another. It's that way with Facebook and Comcast. Canon's sales were up 20% year over year in 2017 and profit is up 48%. Market share is slightly up relative to all other manufacturers. The Canon 1Dx MKII is still regarded as the best dslr in the world.

      I talk to a fair number of working pros, many of whom shoot events, and the feeling is Canon's autofocus is still the best in the business. I know I feel that way, even though I've been shooting with a Nikon. I do prefer the Nikon for landscapes (dynamic range) and Canon for action and everything else. Canon lenses are extraordinary, especially the long ones.

      I do respect Sony and know a lot of people who love them, so I'm glad they're pushing the envelope especially with mirrorless and compact size.

    • zi

      I personally own Canon, Nikon and Sony systems, and I like/love parts of each of these systems enough to keep them all.

      (The Nikon system consists of the D70, D7100 and D7200 bodies. The Sony system is mirrorless with the Nex 5n and a6000. The Canon system is my primary shooting system with more bodies than I care to admit, but I use the 5D Mark III and 7D [original] the most.)

      Comparing recent Canon sensors' Dynamic Range (DR) (specifically the 1Dx Mark II, 5D Mark IV and 7D Mark II) with the latest Sony sensors, the Canon sensors tend to hold their own and sometimes beat the Sony sensors by ISO 400 and beyond. The only region where Sony sensors reign supreme (and, by proxy, Nikon and Pentax cameras with Sony sensors) is at base ISO, where the extra DR is often underutilized by the majority of shooters. (The extra dynamic range is not automatically included in either in-camera JPGs or in default RAW rendering by major software manufacturers.)

      I will admit that the extra Sony-imager DR does come in handy for indoor and low-light photography when the flash fails to fire (either by my mistake or by overrunning the flash recycle capability). However, that usually means either my failure or the equipment failure (recycle speed), so the post-processing recovery involved is a bit of a crutch.

      The very latest Canon sensors will recover at least 3-stops of shadow in post-processing, with FF sensors (specifically the 1Dx Mark II and Canon 5D Mark IV) able to recover up to 4.5 stops, in a perfect situation. This makes these Canon cameras nearly up to Sony sensor standards.

      The area where Canon still reigns is in autofocus (AF) and Canon AF is unbeatable in reduced light, indoors or outdoors, and especially excellent using a high-end flash with AF Assist.

      I am now retired but my last working wedding I used a Canon 5D Mark II for the formals and a Canon 7D [original] and did not lose a single formal image to missed focus, the result of careful setup and execution, and only 6 candids were OOF, out of 1600 total, using the 7D with a Canon EF-S 17-55mm, f2.8 IS USM and a Canon EF 70-200mm, f2.8L USM (version 1). In the case of the candids I credit the success to the Canon 580EX (original) flash with an external high-voltage power supply to assist recycle speeds. (The 6 AF failures using the 7D were my inability to follow/guess the action properly.)

      Since absolutely nothing spoils a shot worse than missed focus, the Canon system is my vastly preferred system, and recommendation, for events and for any sort of action photography, including sports, wildlife, BIF, children, etc.

      To understand why the very latest Canon AF systems are so uniquely qualified and competent, read this article by Roger Cicala of Lens Rentals,

      https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/08/autofocus-reality-part-3b-canon-cameras/

    • OnEdgePhoto

      What do you shoot with OnEdge??

      I used to shoot Canon exclusively. The last Canon body I bought was the 5D Mark III.

      Now, I primarily shoot video on two Sony A7SII's and the RED Raven. For photo, which is more so my hobby, I shoot on the A7RII.

      I still use some Canon glass on the RED, but unfortunately, those lenses are just not sharp enough to justify shooting photos on the A7RII. I've switched to Sony/Sigma glass for the Sony bodies.

    • OnEdgePhoto

      Canon having the best AF is something I've heard from a lot of sports and wedding photographers I know. They've all held on to their 1D MK XX's.

      Because I primarily shoot video, I rarely use in-body AF. I failed to consider this in my assessment of Canon's place in the market. Thanks for pointing that out.

      Anecdotally, I know dozens of people that have switched to Sony and Nikon, and haven't looked back. With Sony, you can get a smaller, cheaper camera with greater dynamic range, ISO performance, and better video capabilities. But their bodies are flimsy and fragile, and the batteries don't last. On paper, Sony FE mirrorless cameras are competitive with other pro level cameras, but in the field, they don't hold up like Canon's do.

    • Pa

      I have heard the same tales from numerous friends as well. I have shot with their Sony cameras occasionaly, but just cannot get enthusiastic about the way they feel in my hands. Light and fragile does come to mind. I like light, but not fragile. I do like real weather sealing also, even though I use a camera body rain coat with the slightest suggestion of need.

      I rarely shoot video, and when I do, it is usually with a m4/3 body and lens. Or an iPhone..

      I shoot mostly wildlife and some motorsports, air shows etc, so long lenses, major battery life, and cracking AF are important to me, as is dust and weather sealing. My cameras do not lead a gentle life, at all.

      One other aspect I appreciate and actually use a fair amount is Canon Factory Service, and their rapid turnaround time. They have rebulit numerous lenses including a 500mm prime for me and I can get this done is less than 7 days including shipment to and from Indiana to New Jersey and back.

      I would add here that I recently had to have a Tamron 200-500mm lens serviced by Tamron Service - sharpness or focus seemed just slightly off - Tamron promised 48 hour turnaround and they performed, and did not charge me for the repair of a 4 year old lens either - I did have the documentation of purchase and was the original owner. But the rapid repair and return of my lens was quite impressive - I can recall when Tamron service required 4-6 weeks

      How is the factory service for Sony? I have heard mixed reviews for Nikon occaisionally.

      I do like the newest Sigma lenses and have my eye on a 14mm f1.8 Art for night shots and stars maybe later this summer before I head to Greenland and central Iceland.

    • Lauren

      I used to work for Fujifilm and we used to have banter with the reps from Canon and Nikon because they thought mirrorless cameras were a phase that would die out. Nikon and Canon missed the buck with mirrorless and are now playing catch up, I think that's partly why we're seeing such a hit in their markets. Mirrorless for the win! 😜

    • OnEdgePhoto

      How could mirrorless not win? The mirror is a bottleneck in so many ways. It is mechanical and fails over time. The frame rate is limited by how fast the mirror can move up an down. You can't shoot video with the mirror down. Previewing the exposure isn't effective in a DSLR. A mirrorless EVF opens the door for new software to augment the image with focus peaking, exposure clipping, etc.

      EVF and mirrorless phase detection tech is still playing catch up with some DSLR capabilities, but soon everything will be mirrorless.

    • zi

      Yes, I agree, mirrorless is the future.

      For the here and now, dSLR technology still wins for AF in lower and lowest light. For sensitivity to subject shapes of any size and direction nothing beats the current best AF technology; Canon's Closed-Loop AF (in certain bodies and certain lens combinations) plus Double-Cross (and iterations and variations of such) Phase-Detect sensors.

      Dual-Pixel (Canon's AF solution for current high-end Live-View and Mirrorless) is currently limited to vertical-edge sensitivity, but Canon has patents which carry that technology forward by sub-dividing each pixel into quarters, bi-horizontal and bi-vertical, which allow a Cross-type Phase Detect (Vertical "and" Horizontal edges detected). By combining these AF arrays at the sub-pixel level, all sorts of AF shapes should be possible (although the AF will still be most sensitive to vertical and horizontal edges).

      Mirrorless technology has no optical viewfinder, only an electronic viewfinder when present. Electronic viewfinders are really just smaller LCD displays, subject to the same delays as larger LCD displays. As the refresh speed increases, the delay from:

      1) Image acquisition on the imager chip
      2) Image processing
      3) Image display on the viewfinder/LCD

      ... cycles does decrease, but there is always a delay before the operator sees the scene action and can respond accordingly.

      Yes, a dSLR has a blackout period between cycles, but you do see the action unfold at approximately 186,000 Miles-per-second (speed-of-light) when the mirror is down. The short bursts many sports photographers use, for instance, are not a problem for dSLR systems.

      A prediction of certainty is that soon mirrorless cameras will be able to buffer a few frames continuously, so that cameras will be able to record frames from before the user pressing the shutter button. (Some video cameras/camcorders already do this, but I don't know of any still cameras with this capability, yet.)

      To summarize, there's a reason you still see a plethora of professional photographers using dSLRs for most events requiring best system responsiveness, and especially in lower and lowest light; dSLRs still generally beat mirrorless systems for AF acquisition and for overall system responsiveness.

      In good light, mirrorless are tantalizingly good for AF acquisition, so the situation will change, but I still greatly prefer, and overall recommend, dSLR systems for still image acquisition in all lighting conditions.

    • Lauren

      I've tried Sony and Olympus, and would tend to agree with your thoughts on focusing etc... But I'm a Fuji user (previously worked for them), and often struggle to agree that DSLRs are quicker at focusing in low light - at least to any point where it's noticeable. The sensors in the Fuji cameras are built differently too, so I also love the results colour wise.

      One of Fuji's ambassadors (and a SmugMug ambassador) is John Rourke. I've known him for a number of years and I think he puts the focusing debate to bed, since he exclusively uses Fuji mirrorless. He is the official photographer for the World Endurance Championship and the ELMS (European Le Mans Series). https://www.adrenalmedia.com/

      It's all swings and roundabouts, I guess.

    • Pa

      Yes, Ziggy, I believe one of the recent m4/3 bodies offers the ability to capture images before pressing the shutter - a half press of the shutter begins capturing images in the buffer for up to 1 second or so - if you have not pressed the shutter at that time, then the oldest files are deleted to make room for more recent ones - somewhere I saw a post about this technique but I can't seem to find it right now - not sure whether it was Oly or Pany Edit - I found a review which states that both the Lumix G9 and the Olympus OMD EM1 MkII offer half press buffer recording ability for 20 Mpxl still images - https://www.pcmag.com/review/357179/panasonic-lumix-dc-g9

      I have been hemming and hawing whether to aquire the new Panasonic DMC-G9 or the Oly OMD EM1 MK II to match my Panasonic Vario-Elmar 100-400 - it is really hard to get 800mm range with a larger format system, even though I really do love the way the 1DX MK II works - its ability to capture birds in flight in low light near or after sunset is remarkable.

      I have shot a few frames with the Sony A9, but the form factor seems odd to me since I have used standard DSLRs for so long probably and it may be hard for an old dog to learn new tricks. I have an occasional success with the tools I already possess.

      FF format long lenses from Sony are not any smaller than Canons or Nikons either.

      Great set of portfolio images at the link Lauren posted - https://www.adrenalmedia.com/

      Once again, I don't think it is the hammer or chisel one uses that is the deciding factor, but the skill of the eyes and hands holding them, and directing them, that is the major factor.

      This is a pretty nice review of the Oly OMD EM1 MkII - although it is 2 years old - Its ability to shoot 3->5 sec exposures hand held that are actually sharp is truly astounding and might be quite useful for waterfalls, light trails at night, etc. https://robinwong.blogspot.com/2016/11/olympus-om-d-e-m1-mark-ii-review.html

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