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Author Topic: Open Letter to Canon  (Read 21343 times)
jcarlin
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« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2006, 08:32:55 PM »
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And herein lays the reason Canon will likely not return to RAW capture for point 'n shoots. Other than a handful of photogeeks, hardly anyone in this target market gives a rat's tail about RAW capture. Now I wish it had RAW capture as well, but there are plenty of other choices for serious pocket cams. The GR-1 comes to mind...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=77500\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

With the ~13 second delay (according to DPReview) between shots I'd argue that GR-1 might as well not have RAW support.
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John Sheehy
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« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2006, 09:18:25 PM »
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With the ~13 second delay (according to DPReview) between shots I'd argue that GR-1 might as well not have RAW support.
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What is its delay on a HQ JPEG?  A RAW is usually only about 3x the size of a HQ JPEG.
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jcarlin
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« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2006, 07:24:09 PM »
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What is its delay on a HQ JPEG?  A RAW is usually only about 3x the size of a HQ JPEG.
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According to dpreview it's 2.6 seconds, however in JPEG mode you can shoot continuous mode, which is a critical difference.  I'd by one if if it had say a two or three deep buffer, but the no buffer thing is a killer.
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jimhuber
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« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2006, 09:10:54 AM »
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The old Sony DSC-F828 had raw support, but took around 13 seconds to write one. It seems like an eternity in practice. But that was 3 years ago with much slower media. Surely they can do better now. A "HQ JPEG" is indeed about 1/3 the time, maybe less, on the DSC-F828.
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jd1566
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« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2006, 08:51:08 AM »
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I agree wholeheartedly with the open letter, which is why late last year I went for the Panasonic LX-1.  It is a nicely built camera, with practical features, true wideangel (28mm equivalent) and raw capture.  True, it is noisy, but it's size means I can take noisy pictures where before I took none at all, as my heavy and bulky 5D and plethora of lenses stayed at home.

So Canon, I am one of the silent majority that said NO to your compact offerings.

Unfortunately I think that Canon does not read it's mail, nor does it listen much to it's comsumers, critics and other interested parties, but rather to their own Marketing Magicians that are fiddling to no end with products.  
In every single camera release all sorts of new features are added.. BUT something is always taken away.  In the flagship G7.. this just happend to be RAW capture.  The sheer idiocy of this move is unfathomable to us consumers.. but the Marketeers know why..
I just hope the marketeers understand why fewer people buy the G7 that the previous G series cameras before it.  

Oh, and while we're at it, let's not forget to mention the MLU button that we've all been waiting for on the DSLR's.. but wait.. doesn't Sony have one?   Maybe we're just supporting the wrong brand.  Now that other manufacturers have caught up with the image sensor, and there is more competition, Canon may actually be forced to actually listen to us once in a while, instead of spoon-feeding us their marketing gobbledigook.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2006, 09:17:50 AM »
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There's a bit of a wrinkle, at least in the beta I have.

If you select 8-bit (more widely supported) in preferences, the files come in, in sRGB. If you select 16-bit, you get ProPhoto RGB. Messy and needs to be clarified in the preferences. True for RAW and rendered images when you ask to use LR edits.

A bit more flexible I guess, but not clear at all!
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2006, 09:53:54 AM »
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I think you posted that in the wrong forum Andrew...
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digitaldog
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« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2006, 10:29:31 AM »
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I think you posted that in the wrong forum Andrew...
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Yup although I have no idea how. Sorry.
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Andrew Rodney
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aaykay
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« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2006, 08:28:37 PM »
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The following is an open letter to Canon regarding their September 17, 2006 press release titled "PowerShot G7: Canon's most complete compact yet." The announcement describes the new category flagship camera as being “designed for photographers” and promising the attributes required by “advanced photographers”.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=77189\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree completely.  After going through the specs of the camera, I was really excited until I read about the lack of RAW support.    I don't have a dSLR yet and probably never will, since my Sony R1 provides all the capability I need for my type of shooting  (I always shoot RAW).  But I wanted to supplement the R1 with a smaller compact and the G7 was the perfect candidate, if came with RAW support....I am now forced to look at other alternatives.  
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jjj
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« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2006, 08:35:40 PM »
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Sigma have an interesting new camera in the works. Bigger sensor too, same as in the d-SLR! Shame about the f4 lens.
And there's Leica!
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nigeldh
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« Reply #30 on: October 08, 2006, 09:14:49 PM »
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We NEED RAW in a pocket camera that uses AA batteries. IS would also be nice. When backpacking, caving, skiing, I might not want to lug a DSLR every time. Or the extra proprietary batteries on an extended trip. But I want the full range of a RAW image. And with my x2 3800 Athlon, 6150 chipset motherboard so the graphics is low end, I can browse RAW images in real time with Bibble, ACDSee, Thumbs Plus.

This picture of me was taken in a cave about 3 hours from the entrance. While one can drag in a DSLR in a Pelican box, it is not something that one does for every trip. Especially if one is doing a 12 plus hour trip, even a 24 plus hour trip.

Nigel
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Ray
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« Reply #31 on: October 08, 2006, 10:46:06 PM »
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Why would Canon not provide RAW support for the G7 if their market research had told them it is a desirable feature which would help sell more cameras?

If Canon have already provided RAW support in some of their earlier models but have withdrawn this feature in their latest model, is it not likely that their market research department has come to a conclusion that RAW mode in such a camera, with its huge disadvantage of a serious time lag between shots, is rarely used and therefore a wasted feature which has, nevertheless, a financial cost paid for by the consumer?

Those who are interested in serious photography tend to use DSLRs. It would be interesting to find out just what percentage of owners of DSLRs shoot RAW. In the Guest House where I'm currently staying in Siem Reap, I've had conversations with 3 other enthusiasts, an Englishman using a Fuji S2 Pro, an American using a 20D and a Malaysian using a Nikon D200. Only the American was shooting in RAW mode (and myself, of course).

If anyone is so concerned about getting the fullest possible control over their images to eke out the maximum DR and sublety of tone etc, why would he/she use a P&S camera in the first place? Surely the P&S camera is, for serious photographers, a carry-anywhere camera for those occasions when carrying a bulky DSLR is not appropriate or too inconvenient. You carry it just in case you come across a really interesting photographic opportunity which might normally ellicit the response, 'I wish I'd brought my camera.' In such circumstances, the disadvantages of lack of continuous shooting and the huge time lag between shots in RAW mode would surely outweigh the small advantage of being able to tweak the WB and possibly reduce noise slightly more effectively than the in-camera processing.

My Sony DSC T30, which I bought recently for a good price in Bangkok, sports a live histogram and manually adjustable EV, contrast and saturation settings. There's no problem in avoiding blown highlights. It also takes 3 bracketed shots within a second or so. Would I like the opportunity to waste time with a RAW image which is going to be decidedly inferior to any image taken with my 5D or 20D, whether RAW or jpeg? I don't think so.
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Peter Bangkok
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« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2006, 06:52:37 AM »
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Ray has some interesting thoughts.

It seems from reading earlier posts that many have a large camera, 5D quite often, however use their P&S or similar more.

I am really interested in how those with a P&S and a 5D split their time or priority when to use which one? OK, if you do caving I can see the point.

It is also interesting to note that so many serious photographers seem happy with the quality of P&S cameras that they can leave the high end camera at home.

I have used a G5 for 2 years, like it a lot and do mostly 8*10 prints, b&w. I am too interested in the G7 and like many of you a bit disappointed with the lack of RAW. However in the past 2 years I have shot mostly JPG and been quite happy.

I am too looking at the 5D but am concerned that I may leave it at home in favour of a smaller camera.

Well, no answers, just some more thougts
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #33 on: October 09, 2006, 10:47:24 AM »
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I have a 5D, a 10D, and an S60 P&S. The 10D now functions simply as a backup to the 5D. I use the 5D when I know I am going out for "serious" photography and when I expect to have time and energy to use it properly (often, but not always, with a tripod.) I try to have the S60 with me most of the rest of the time in case something worth photographing comes up.

For me, the wait between shots is seldom important (I haven't shot sports in about 40 years.) But there are frequently situations when I can get a decent shot with the S60. Much to my surprise, quite a number of the shots from the S60 have been of good enough quality, with careful processing and noise reduction, to include in exhibits (smaller prints than from the 10D, of course.)

Because the S60 is so marginal, it needs all the help it can get to obtain good prints. Thus, I almost always use RAW; and when the S60 eventually quits, I will certainly replace it with another pocketable camera that shoots RAW.

Here are some sample numbers from a six-week trip to Tuscany and Umbria last April and May, before I got the 5D:

Raw images from the 10D:   3201
Raw images from the S60:   1510
Jpgs from the S60:                487
Jpgs from the 10D:                  11 (result of accidental setting       )

Total images shot:               5209

The percents of these four categories are: 61.5%, 29%, 9%, and much less than 1%. Even without venturing into caves, there were many situations in which it was inconvenient to have the DSLR along.

So yes, I think a good P&S with RAW capability fills a significant need in some serious photographic work, and I hope Canon gets the message.

Eric
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2006, 03:54:30 PM »
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I use a D200 for serious photography, but have a Fujifim F30 point-and-click to carry around with me all the time, for the occasions I don't have the D200 with me.  The F30 doesn't have RAW, but, if it did, I would always use it.  Why?  Because the F30 has far more of a tendency to blow out the highlights than any DSLR I've used (or at least to have the rest of the image be *really* dark when the highlights aren't blown), and RAW would give me a larger dynamic range to work with.  For me, the longer time between shots isn't much of an issue, since I'm usually shooting things that sit still.  I thought long and hard about buying the F30 since it didn't have RAW, and now I wish I'd waited for something else acceptable to come out.

Lisa
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John Camp
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« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2006, 07:55:23 PM »
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<snip>If anyone is so concerned about getting the fullest possible control over their images to eke out the maximum DR and sublety of tone etc, why would he/she use a P&S camera in the first place? Surely the P&S camera is, for serious photographers, a carry-anywhere camera for those occasions when carrying a bulky DSLR is not appropriate or too inconvenient. You carry it just in case you come across a really interesting photographic opportunity which might normally ellicit the response, 'I wish I'd brought my camera.'<snip>[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79620\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ray,
If I'm traveling, and moving a lot, I've often got a fairly substantial bag with me (both rough clothes and dress clothes, plus extras because I'm sometimes not in one place long enough to get the laundry done.) I've also got to carry a laptop to stay in touch. That's a lot of weight. Since I'm not usually traveling for purely photographic reasons, I would like a camera that gives me the highest possible quality in the smallest, lightest possible package, and preferably one that will fit in a suit coat without too much of a bulge. I've tried several, and currently use a Pentax Optio 750z, which has almost the perfect form factor, but doesn't have RAW, it's major fault. But the G7 seemed likely to be almost perfect...and then it turns out not to have RAW. RAW shouldn't be a big deal; people who use P&S's are not usually doing fast moving photojournalism. But if you're shooting in a museum, or in Monet's garden, you really do want the best possible quality, and the best color, even if you're shooting a pocket camera. Since RAW is basically a programming issue, why not have it? I suspect there is some reason other than marketing research -- like noise issues, or upstream impact on DSLR sales. In any case, I'm in the market for a new P&S, but I'm now a non-G7 buyer.

JC
« Last Edit: October 10, 2006, 08:00:07 PM by John Camp » Logged
benInMA
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« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2006, 12:50:03 PM »
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I have an S50 and a 5D.

Like others I take the S50 when I just want something to shove in my pocket, the 5D for anything "serious".

I frequently use the S50 because it fits in my jersey/jacket pocket if I go out for a motorcycle or bicycle ride.. things that are almost always done during the day with plenty of light.

I've shot RAW with it a handful of times just to try it and it seems a waste.  The camera is so poor in "tough conditions" that RAW vs. JPG doesn't make enough of a difference for me to justify RAW.  So I don't use it, so I wouldn't hesitate to replace it with a newer camera that didn't have RAW capability.

I basically consider my S200 useless at ISO 200-400.   It's a sunlight ISO 50 camera for me, or something to take a fairly awful flash snapshot with.  Whether or not I shoot RAW if I have to use it in a tough or artisitic situation where the 5D would have been a better choice it essentially is not usable for color, I'll turn the images black and white and leave them with some level of black and white "grain" from the noise.   If I leave it in color and try to remove the noise on the computer it just results in a big mess without usable detail.   I really wouldn't print an 8x10 or larger out of the S50 at ISO 200/400 in color.

My brief experiences with the S60, S70, G5, G6 etc.. seemed to bear out that the S60/70/80 are only marginally better then the S50 so I'd shoot them the same way.  The only advancement seems to be better in camera noise processing, with essentially no wait.  I borrowed a G5 for an afternoon and shot a bunch of pictures with it.. again I'm just not sure I'd care about RAW, even though I found it a far better camera to use then the S50, and the extra size was no trouble at all.

I now have the computer hardware & software to process a RAW file from one of these Point & Shoots essentially instantaneously, but I'm still not sure I'd bother using RAW with them.  RAW is all about getting the best result, and quick shots with a point & shoot camera are not about that, they're about quick convenience IMO.

Also I will happily just take my 5D and a 50mm lens with no flash, no acccesories, or something.  When you pare an SLR down to that little it doesn't take a whole lot more room then an expensive "advanced" P&S with a zoom lens that isn't all that great anyway.  The DSLR is only big and bulky if you can't seem to leave the house without a backpack full of lenses & gear.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 12:51:30 PM by benInMA » Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2006, 01:42:45 PM »
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Also I will happily just take my 5D and a 50mm lens with no flash, no acccesories, or something.  When you pare an SLR down to that little it doesn't take a whole lot more room then an expensive "advanced" P&S with a zoom lens that isn't all that great anyway.  The DSLR is only big and bulky if you can't seem to leave the house without a backpack full of lenses & gear.
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Ben,

I keep trying to shove my 5D into my shirt pocket, but it just keeps falling out.    

But my S60 fits nicely.

Eric
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benInMA
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« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2006, 04:43:20 PM »
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I didn't mean versus an S50/S60/S70/S80.

I meant a 5D (or more appropriately a 300/350/400D) with a single well chosen lens is not much bigger then the G5/G6, and other "advanced" digicams.

The S50/60/70/80 form factor has a lot of life left in it IMO since it's still really small.  It's the G5/G6 line that looks most likely to die out IMO.  Canon surely wants to protect the Rebel, as soon as the Rebel starts to crowd the G line I bet Canon will axe them completely.

Hopefully we start to see more APS P&S cameras in the meantime though..
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Ray
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« Reply #39 on: October 12, 2006, 09:28:05 PM »
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The F30 doesn't have RAW, but, if it did, I would always use it.  Why?  Because the F30 has far more of a tendency to blow out the highlights than any DSLR I've used (or at least to have the rest of the image be *really* dark when the highlights aren't blown), and RAW would give me a larger dynamic range to work with. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79848\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Lisa,
I considered getting a Fuji F30 recently but also noticed in test shots on the web this tendency to produce contrasty images with either blown highlights or dark shadows. I felt that the lack of a contrast adjustment as well as lack of image stabilisation detracted somewhat from the exceptionally low noise of the F30, so I got the Sony T30 instead.

There's no doubt that shooting RAW with a DSLR can have worthwhile advantages, but I wonder if it is correct to assume that shooting RAW with a P&S camera can have similar advantages. Dale Cotton made the valid point that maybe the RAW images from such tiny sensors are so bad the manufacturers are a bit embarrassed to reveal them. Instead, they strive to put as much processing wizardry they can fit in the camera to make the best of a bad job. I certainly wouldn't want to waste time applying the techniques I use with DSLR RAW images if the results are going to be hardly better than the camera's own processing.

With the 5D (and 20D) I can recover a huge amount of highlight detail if there are no strong colors in the highlights, as much as 1.5 stops or more. I'll see if I can find some examples.
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