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Author Topic: Open Letter to Canon  (Read 23043 times)
benInMA
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« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2006, 12:18:02 PM »
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While you're writing the open letter make sure to ask for the things that might really get serious photography nuts salivating over a G8.

How about an f/2.0 lens again like the early G cameras?   How about an f/1.4 or f/1.8.   Give up some zoom range and make the lens really fast.   The equivalent of a 35-105mm f/1.4-f/2.8 zoom would make me want one real bad.

Or bump up the sensor size to 2/3 or maybe even 4/3.

Oh and give it an optical viewfinder with some exposure data in it, and don't let the lens block the viewfinder at any focal length.
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howiesmith
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« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2006, 06:28:42 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”.

Dear Canon:

I’ve been a Canon customer for years, so please consider the following comments in their appropriate context -- the reasoned concerns of a long-term customer rather than the mere ravings of an angry one.

Like my friends and colleagues involved in photography, I was excited to hear about the upcoming launch of the Canon G7. As photography enthusiasts, we’ve been waiting for a quality compact capable of producing expert results -- a simple yet serious camera to keep comfortably at hand.

When I began reading the press release for the G7, I thought that, finally, the camera we’ve been waiting for was here.  Then I learned that RAW file capture would not be supported. To my mind, this broadsides what might have been the best-yet ‘carry around’ camera.

For the photography enthusiasts I know and myself, the exclusion of RAW capture is a deal-breaker. 

Consequently, we’ll have to look to other brands -- in my case, Panasonic and their recently announced Lumix DMC-LX2, despite my concern that it may not be a match for the G7. However, it does supports RAW capture.

As a long-term Canon patron and a decent barometer for the potential G7 customer base, I’m curious to know why the G7 was downgraded from RAW capture when its predecessor, the G6, was RAW capable. Was it an engineering oversight or an ill-informed marketing ploy designed to drive photography enthusiasts like myself up into the digital SLR category? If the later, then Canon misread their customers, forcing a good number of them to not only look elsewhere, but to go elsewhere. Besides, many of us who were eager to buy the G7 already own digital SLRs (in my case, the Canon 5D).

As I’m sure Canon understands, this manner of forced brand-emigration all too often acts as the thin edge of a very broad wedge. Time will tell if the new 'Canon expatriates' created by downgrading the G7 will return to the fold. ‘Isn’t Panasonic coming out with new SLR system anyway?’  You get the idea.

I've taken the time to write in hopes that the these concerns might reach those at Canon responsible for making such critical technical/creative decisions, and to let them know what we, the customers, need and expect from Canon photographic tools in exchange for our brand loyalty. RAW file support is a critical yet basic requirement. Yes, even in a compact. Certainly in a flagship compact.

Ultimately, we want to believe that Canon is serious about photography enthusiasts even if we don’t make our living as photographers. Trashing RAW file support goes a long way toward undermining that belief.

Again, please accept these comments as given -- the real-world concerns of a photography enthusiast who sees his brand-of-choice not only disregarding the basic needs of its customers, but as phasing out of sync with its core brand values.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Hornaday
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Canon is a huge company, nearly $73 billion market cap.  They make about 3/4s of there sales and profits from office and computer equipment.  Only about 25% is from cameras and lenses.  Not small taters, but not the driver behind the company.

Canon is currently trying to increase profits by increasing margins.  That's more money (profit) for less spent (cost).  Canon is a publicly held company and owes share holders return.  They don't owe photographers anything except what they sell them at the asking price.  An all bells and whistles P&S isn't that big to Canon's bottom line and I don't think (personal opinion) that is the direction the company is headed (decreased margins?).  All the camera buyers on L-L won't make much difference to Canon.  How many of you are standing in line now for a really fancy P&S at a price that makes business since to Canon?

But good luck.  Can't change the direction of the thundering herd if you don't try.  You might have more success getting Wal-Mart to stop selling Canon cameras until Canon makes a real fancy P&S.  Now ask the folks in Arkansas if that is what they want to do.  I doubt that too.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 06:34:20 PM by howiesmith » Logged
JayKey
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« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2006, 04:23:59 AM »
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Very very silly marketing from Canon  
I am using EOS 1 D II (thinking about 1Ds II at the moment) and first class lenses of L-series, but I was expecting G7 to be my all round pocket camera for all the time carring. But every camera I own MUST HAVE RAW! Not just because of resolution, but for color and exposure correction as well and many other features!
It is a shame Canon pushes us to change the mark and loose potentional compatibility (with external flash for example)!
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2006, 08:28:41 AM »
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So this leaves me with two questions (for when my S60 finally dies):

1) Does any current Canon P&S still have raw? And if not,

2) What other small pocketable cameras still have raw and decent optics?

In other words, when I finally have to leave the sinking ship, which way should I swim?

Eric
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« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2006, 04:13:47 PM »
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I'd like to join the list. I own Canon DSLR cameras. I was excited when the G7 came out but I only shoot RAW. I will probably buy an LX2 although the noise isssue is a problem.
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aaykay
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« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2006, 10:47:32 PM »
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So this leaves me with two questions (for when my S60 finally dies):

1) Does any current Canon P&S still have raw? And if not,

2) What other small pocketable cameras still have raw and decent optics?

In other words, when I finally have to leave the sinking ship, which way should I swim?

Eric
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I believe the new Leica/Panasonic twin p&s cameras come with RAW.
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howiesmith
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« Reply #46 on: November 01, 2006, 09:15:37 AM »
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Very very silly marketing from Canon  

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Maybe yes, maybe no.

It depends on the incremental cost to add RAW to the G7, how much that will add to the retail cost and how many more (or less) cameras Canon might sell with RAW.

With RAW, the retail cost might be too high for many folks, equalling lost sales.  RAW isn't as important to some folks as others.  While it seems to be a major factor to you, some folks just don't care.  Sure, Canon will lose some sales because of no RAW.  But how many more will they get for the lower price?  Why buy RAW if you don't need it, want it, or even know what it is?

Also remember that Canon, like many othr companies, is very intrested in profit margins - right or wrong.   Adding RAW to teh G7 may not be margin friendly.

I could be wrong, but I think Canon might know their business and markets pretty well.

On further thought, I would address your letter to soem one in particualr, not "Canon."  A "Dear Canon" letter will get opened by the mail room for redirection, if at all.  The mail room may not be able to deliver internally a "Dear Canon" letter.  ANyway, I think it is always a good idea to address your mail to a specific person.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2006, 10:01:53 AM by howiesmith » Logged
TomConnor
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« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2006, 01:33:00 PM »
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Of course the question also arises - would people use the camera if it gives pisspoor RAW performance?

It is one thing providing the firmware which allows you to take images in RAW format, it is another (probably reasonably expensive, and ultimately useless as far as attracting most users to the camera) to ensure that this feature is usable/useful.

However, it may be that once (or if) Canon integrate the (same/similar) DIGIC III into their DSLR's you *might* see firmware (official or otherwise) available which allows you to take RAW images with the G7 - the major question still remains, what sort of performance is required to satisfy those who want RAW with the G7 - and fundamentaly, is it worthwhile for Canon to either increase the cost of the camera, or shoulder that increased cost in order to satisfy a small minority of buyers.
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JayKey
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« Reply #48 on: November 01, 2006, 05:12:01 PM »
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Maybe yes, maybe no.

It depends on the incremental cost to add RAW to the G7, how much that will add to the retail cost and how many more (or less) cameras Canon might sell with RAW.

With RAW, the retail cost might be too high for many folks, equalling lost sales.  RAW isn't as important to some folks as others.  While it seems to be a major factor to you, some folks just don't care.  Sure, Canon will lose some sales because of no RAW.  But how many more will they get for the lower price?  Why buy RAW if you don't need it, want it, or even know what it is?

Also remember that Canon, like many othr companies, is very intrested in profit margins - right or wrong.   Adding RAW to teh G7 may not be margin friendly.

I could be wrong, but I think Canon might know their business and markets pretty well.

On further thought, I would address your letter to soem one in particualr, not "Canon."  A "Dear Canon" letter will get opened by the mail room for redirection, if at all.  The mail room may not be able to deliver internally a "Dear Canon" letter.  ANyway, I think it is always a good idea to address your mail to a specific person.
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I do think Canon know their business and markets pretty well and I am pretty sure they know about needs of pro and semipro photographers, but they decided fot better profit, not for clients to fulfill their needs. Photographers, who want shot RAW must buy EOS SLR camera! That is silly for me!
Why another companies manage to put together lower price together with RAW support and Canon doesn´t?
Heheh, and if Canon tells that G7 settles new level in compact cameras line, how it could be true without pretty important feature like RAW is (doesn´t matter if some users don´t want it). For such a brave statment I expect to get from the camera all important features and if somebody tells that RAW isn´t  then I am finishing here!
And I don´t think there are many people who would be interested in G7 and wouldn´t know what RAW is! For them the G7 is still too big and confusing. I am sorry, but it is not typical point and shot camera. If that was true, why external flash hotshoe? Why Image Stabilisation? Why SLR like features and handling? The camera would be much cheaper without!!!
But who is camera for? Who for were G3, G5 and G6? It isn´t A series powershot neither ixus, why you are surprised that we are??? With no RAW support in G series powershot, the new G7 is step backward.
It is my personal epinion.
Sorry if my english is not as good, is isn´t my home language.
Kind regards!
Julius

PS: I agree it would make much more sense to address the letter to Canon headquarters, not to cry here
But I am not sure about it
I am pretty sure they know all the things we are writing about.
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howiesmith
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« Reply #49 on: November 01, 2006, 05:46:27 PM »
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I do think Canon know their business and markets pretty well and I am pretty sure they know about needs of pro and semipro photographers, but they decided fot better profit, not for clients to fulfill their needs.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83303\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Canon is a publically held company.  They owe photographers nothing (except what they have sold them, like their warrenty), but they do owe their share holders a profit.

If they can meet the needs and wants of photographers, and make a profit, fine.  But I'm pretty sure profit comes first.
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Atlasman
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« Reply #50 on: November 01, 2006, 06:10:12 PM »
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Canon claims to listen to Photographers demands and then they do silly things such as remove RAW support from a line of cameras geared to serious photogs that has always had raw capture before? It's a patently dumb move.

Times like this along with other instances (direct print button but no MLU), it has to make you wonder if they actually do listen, or if that is just lip service...
Screw their feelings about DNG. It's a blatant disservice to one's customers to lock them into proprietary raw formats (especially considering the history of photography). If they don't hear demand for DNG or any open format for that matter, then they will never bother to consider it.

They are being stubborn, certainly. However this means they need to be pushed more aggressively to open up. They have to hear there is demand for open formats otherwise it will never happen. Strong market demand will always trump any company's resistance to it. Just look at what is happening with the RIAA and digital music for an example.
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If I were Canon, I would want to keep it to myself—especially if I'm the market leader. Possibly long-term an open format will take hold, but digital photography is still a young industry.

What if Canon collected information on the usage of the G series camera and the data showed clearly that raw was used by a small minority of users—would that still make removal a dumb move?
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #51 on: November 01, 2006, 07:29:32 PM »
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I do think Canon know their business and markets pretty well and I am pretty sure they know about needs of pro and semipro photographers, but they decided fot better profit, not for clients to fulfill their needs.
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Several others on this thread seem to agree that Canon knows their business, but I'm not so sure. I wonder how many 5D users have ever used the "print" button? And how many 5D users would rather have a mirror lockup button?

I can't imagine that the answer to the first question is much greater than zero; but I bet a significant percentage of 5D users would like a mirror lock-up button.

Removing RAW from the G-series strikes me as comparably stupid.

Eric
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JayKey
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« Reply #52 on: November 02, 2006, 12:55:43 AM »
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Several others on this thread seem to agree that Canon knows their business, but I'm not so sure. I wonder how many 5D users have ever used the "print" button? And how many 5D users would rather have a mirror lockup button?

I can't imagine that the answer to the first question is much greater than zero; but I bet a significant percentage of 5D users would like a mirror lock-up button.

Removing RAW from the G-series strikes me as comparably stupid.

Eric
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I agree, comparably stupid or forcing to buy SLR... ... or to choose competition, which is able to give RAW for lower camera price!

I am looking forward to new sigma DP1 with big APC senzor in it.
I wrote them some comments and suggestion and they promised to share it with their headquarters. (hotshoe, brighter lens etc)
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JayKey
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« Reply #53 on: November 02, 2006, 01:22:24 AM »
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At the end of the day, Canon G7 is not "Canon's most complete compact yet." as they presented in their official statment and many photographers, who want most complete compact yet will look elswhere.
It is up to "Canon", whether it is worth to sell more less expensive cameras, or maybe sell less but "most complete compacts" even when they would be a bit more expensive.
And I must say again, Canon G series always has been at least enthusiasts series and always wasn´t as cheap and always supported RAW capture, so if Canon claims G7 as Canon's most complete compact yet, then Canon is wrong without RAW capture!!!
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dkusner
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« Reply #54 on: November 04, 2006, 02:06:00 PM »
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I started out mainly shooting Olympus P&S cameras, and eventually gravitated towards Canon DSLRs. I currently shoot a 20D and 5D, but carrying around both of these bodies with 2-5 L lenses plus a monopod and/or tripod is just simply not an acceptable solution for me most of the time. I've really found myself wanting a high-quality carry-all-the-time camera, or perhaps 2 (one for wideangle, one for telephoto). I still haven't found one that meets my needs yet.

My dream camera has at least an APS-C size sensor, >= 8MP, image stabilization, and must provide RAW capture with acceptable write times and file sizes. It can be a DSLR-like camera in size, doesn't have to be super-compact, but the smaller the better.

Here are the contenders I've looked closely at:

1) Sony DSC-R1 - this is the one that came closest, but its RAW files are so large and write times so slow that I couldn't justify it. I so hope there is an R2 coming.

2) Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 - poor image quality, noise performace.

3) Nikon Coolpix 8400 and 8800 - small sensor, unusable over ISO100

4) Olympus 8080 - small sensor, unusable over ISO100, Olympus seems to be out of the high-end digicam market now

5) Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 and DMC-FZ50 - way too many pixels, unusable over ISO 100, but still very tempting (at least for bright sunny days). I haven't been too impressed with sample photos I've seen on public photo sites, but I have to think many of these were shot as JPEGs.

6) Canon G7 - no RAW, Canon I hate your stinking guts. But I'll keep my 5D.

7) Samsung Pro815 - Interesting, but small sensor and other issues, a successor to this camera could be be appealing

Cool Sigma DP1 - certainly an interesting camera, but as far as I'm concerned it's a 4.7 MP camera. 'Effective Pixels' my butt. I am waiting to see the reviews, though. Might be interesting to use.


Sony is the only one I think might actually give me the camera I want if it puts out an R2. It's strange to think that a consumer electronics company seems to 'get it', while camera companies like Nikon and Canon don't. Canon's decision to remove RAW capture from its P&S line absolutely mystifies (and angers) me. After Sony I'd think the best chance comes from K&M, Panasonic, or Sigma, but each of them has issues. K&M seems distracted with DSLRs and 4/3, Panasonic thinks megapixels is the only thing you can keep improving in a camera, and Sigma has the Foveon albatross around its neck (which I hope pays off for them someday, if they don't go bankrupt or just stop making camera bodies first).

So for now I'm looking forward to the Leica M8. It's expensive and I've never used a rangefinder, but it seems to be the only solution forthcoming for a walk-around camera with good noise performance.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2006, 02:37:47 PM by dkusner » Logged
aaykay
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« Reply #55 on: November 05, 2006, 06:52:28 PM »
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1) Sony DSC-R1 - this is the one that came closest, but its RAW files are so large and write times so slow that I couldn't justify it. I so hope there is an R2 coming.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83630\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I doubt there is an R2 coming from Sony.  The R1 is being eliminated from the lineup to prevent competition for their Alpha dSLR.  The R2 will not happen.  There are probably a few R1s remaining at some locations.

However, I expect their super-zooms like the H1/H5 etc to be fortified with features like hotshoe etc but without RAW capture or features like a large sensor.
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aaykay
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« Reply #56 on: November 05, 2006, 06:57:49 PM »
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Canon is a publically held company.  They owe photographers nothing (except what they have sold them, like their warrenty), but they do owe their share holders a profit.

If they can meet the needs and wants of photographers, and make a profit, fine.  But I'm pretty sure profit comes first.
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Why should the concept of "desirable features" unique in the market segment and a "profitable product" be mutually exclusive concepts ?  A lot of companies nickled-and-dimed desirable features out from their segment-leader model and had a dud in the market-place.  Did not help the shareholders at all.
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howiesmith
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« Reply #57 on: November 05, 2006, 06:59:27 PM »
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I started out mainly shooting Olympus P&S cameras, and eventually gravitated towards Canon DSLRs. I currently shoot a 20D and 5D, but carrying around both of these bodies with 2-5 L lenses plus a monopod and/or tripod is just simply not an acceptable solution for me most of the time. I've really found myself wanting a high-quality carry-all-the-time camera, or perhaps 2 (one for wideangle, one for telephoto). I still haven't found one that meets my needs yet.

My dream camera has at least an APS-C size sensor, >= 8MP, image stabilization, and must provide RAW capture with acceptable write times and file sizes. It can be a DSLR-like camera in size, doesn't have to be super-compact, but the smaller the better.

Here are the contenders I've looked closely at:

1) Sony DSC-R1 - this is the one that came closest, but its RAW files are so large and write times so slow that I couldn't justify it. I so hope there is an R2 coming.

2) Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 - poor image quality, noise performace.

3) Nikon Coolpix 8400 and 8800 - small sensor, unusable over ISO100

4) Olympus 8080 - small sensor, unusable over ISO100, Olympus seems to be out of the high-end digicam market now

5) Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 and DMC-FZ50 - way too many pixels, unusable over ISO 100, but still very tempting (at least for bright sunny days). I haven't been too impressed with sample photos I've seen on public photo sites, but I have to think many of these were shot as JPEGs.

6) Canon G7 - no RAW, Canon I hate your stinking guts. But I'll keep my 5D.

7) Samsung Pro815 - Interesting, but small sensor and other issues, a successor to this camera could be be appealing

Cool Sigma DP1 - certainly an interesting camera, but as far as I'm concerned it's a 4.7 MP camera. 'Effective Pixels' my butt. I am waiting to see the reviews, though. Might be interesting to use.
Sony is the only one I think might actually give me the camera I want if it puts out an R2. It's strange to think that a consumer electronics company seems to 'get it', while camera companies like Nikon and Canon don't. Canon's decision to remove RAW capture from its P&S line absolutely mystifies (and angers) me. After Sony I'd think the best chance comes from K&M, Panasonic, or Sigma, but each of them has issues. K&M seems distracted with DSLRs and 4/3, Panasonic thinks megapixels is the only thing you can keep improving in a camera, and Sigma has the Foveon albatross around its neck (which I hope pays off for them someday, if they don't go bankrupt or just stop making camera bodies first).

So for now I'm looking forward to the Leica M8. It's expensive and I've never used a rangefinder, but it seems to be the only solution forthcoming for a walk-around camera with good noise performance.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83630\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Interesting.  You list 8 contenders, not one good enough to safisfy you.  And Canon is the only one that doesn't fill your needs and rates a "hate your guts,"
« Last Edit: November 05, 2006, 07:00:29 PM by howiesmith » Logged
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« Reply #58 on: November 05, 2006, 08:07:26 PM »
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My post was removed? Hm.
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« Reply #59 on: November 05, 2006, 09:47:47 PM »
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Interesting.  You list 8 contenders, not one good enough to safisfy you.  And Canon is the only one that doesn't fill your needs and rates a "hate your guts,"
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83750\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Canon rated a 'hate your guts' because they actually went so far as to eliminate a feature from their product line that I considered a requirement, namely RAW capture. It's not like they've never had it, they used to have it and took it away from their digicams, most likely to avoid competition with their DSLRs (of which I now own 3), but I can't really speculate on their motives because nothing I can come up with seems like a compelling reason except that they gratuitously decided to screw over serious amateurs. I probably would have bought the camera if it had featured RAW capture (pending a review of it's noise characteristics vs the new Panasonic cameras).

Just read MR's new review of the G7 and his feelings are pretty similar to my own. As someone who is very much in the Canon 'family', I get pretty irritated when they force me to look elsewhere, especially when I can't find anything elsewhere and their solution might have been what I needed.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2006, 10:03:22 PM by dkusner » Logged
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