I am not a reviewer. I don’t even play one on TV. There are already some in-depth reviews out on the new Canon EOS-M, and more coming daily. But I handle a lot of equipment and test a lot of equipment. When something new comes in I spend a day handling it and testing it. Hopefully this will give you a quick overview of the camera, and perhaps fill in some things that actual reviewers don’t get to tell you about. We recently got a bunch of EOS M cameras, a bunch of the 22mm lenses, a couple of 18-55 kit lenses, and a single EOS M EF adapter.
For those who don’t want to read this but do want to tell everyone what I said later, here’s the summary: it is the best of mirrorless, it is the worst of mirrorless, it is the camera of wise choices, it is the camera of foolishness, it is the epoch of accurate autofocus, and it is the epoch of slow autofocus. In other words, I’ve got mixed emotions.
Japanese electronic industry analysis company BCN has published a new report (in Japanese) on the current landscape of the mirrorless camera industry. Using data gleaned from retailers and manufacturers over in Japan, it reports that three companies — Olympus, Sony, and Panasonic — account for nearly 70% of mirrorless camera sales in Japan. Nikon and Canon, both relatively late to the mirrorless game, are fourth and fifth (respectively), with a combined share of 22%.
When Canon unveiled the followup lens to its popular Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L back in February, many photographers found it strange that the lens eschewed Image Stabilization even while two wide-angle prime lenses announced at the same time had IS. After all, a $2,300 lens that extends to 70mm on the telephoto end seems like it would benefit more from stabilization than 24mm and 28mm lenses. If you’ve been yearning for a “Brick” (as the 24-70mm used to be called) with IS, here’s some good news: the lens reportedly exists, and may already be floating around in the wild for initial tests.
Canon released its quarterly financial results yesterday, and things aren’t looking so rosy based on Q3 2012. Revenue has fallen 13% to $10.3 billion from the same period last year, and profit dropped 42% to $908 million.
In addition to analyzing the use of Sony sensors in Nikon DSLRs, Chipworks has also published an article that explores Canon’s full frame sensors. It’s quite technical, but the main points can be grasped without understanding the terms being thrown around:
On the process side, the 1D X is remarkable in that Canon continues to stay with the 0.5 µm process generation it has used for every APS-C and FF device analyzed. While the use of a mature fab likely gives Canon a competitive edge via lower manufacturing costs, it may also weigh heavily in its product development [...] Given the geometric constraints of 0.5 µm design rules, Canon seems content to hang around the 21 Mp resolution for recent FF sensors through the use of shared pixels [...]
So, back to the rumors of Canon allegedly readying a high resolution competitor to the Nikon D800. Will Canon finally move off that 0.5 µm generation? It is worth noting that September 2012 marked the 10 year anniversary of Canon’s announcement of the world’s first CMOS FF sensor, the EOS 1Ds [...] every Canon FF sensor analyzed since has used the same 0.5 µm design rules. It is a credit to Canon that it has remained competitive by continuing to optimize its pixels fabricated in a relatively mature process.
What they’re saying is: if Canon wants to continue fighting in the megapixel wars with Nikon and Sony, it’s going to need to shake things up a bit in its sensor department.
Canon stays the course [Chipworks via CanonWatch]
P.S. If you’re into comparing the technical aspects of camera sensors, check out Digital Camera Database. It has a sensor comparison tool designed for you.
Businessweek writes that Canon has lowered its sales estimates across all its camera lines, saying that smartphones are drinking its milkshake — and it’s not just Canon:
Global camera sales are expected to fall 4.3 percent this year to 115.2 million units, according to market researcher IHS. Industrywide camera shipments fell 25 percent in August from a year earlier, according to the Camera & Imaging Products Association in Tokyo.
By comparison, global sales of smartphones [...] rose 32 percent to 146.1 million units in the second quarter, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics.
“We lowered our camera sales projection because of slower economic growth and an increasing use of smartphones that’s eroding demand,” [Canon] Chief Financial Officer Toshizo Tanaka told reporters in Tokyo today.
This year, compact cameras are projected to have the worst demand since 2009. Who would have thought that digital cameras would be struggling as digital photography booms?
Canon Reduces Forecasts as Smartphones Start Replacing Cameras [Businessweek]
Update: Canon has announced its latest quarterly results. Revenue is down 13% and profit is down 42%.
Image credit: Fotógrafo / Photographer by ajgelado
Don’t worry Canon 5D Mark III shooters: Canon didn’t forget about you after all. Less than a week after announcing a highly-requested firmware update to the Canon 1D X to address AF complaints, Canon has revealed that a similar — but even better — update is also coming to the Canon 5D Mark III.
The upcoming firmware update will not only add support for cross-type AF using lens/extender combos with a max aperture of f/8, it’ll also allow for clean uncompressed HDMI out!
PhotoPlus is going down over in New York City in the second half of this week, and that’s when we might be hearing a peep out of Canon regarding its rumored high-resolution DSLR. If there’s any mention of the camera at all, it will probably at most be an “in development” announcement that confirms rumors but doesn’t reveal too much else.
Canon released a new firmware update for the 1D X this morning that gives the DSLR cross-type autofocus when using certain telephoto and extender combos that have a max aperture of f/8. The announcement page includes a list of lens/extender combinations that are now compatible.
The first lens listed in the 1.4x Extender column is the “Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM.” Problem is, that’s not a lens that exists…
The Canon 1D X firmware update that Canon accidentally leaked yesterday is now official and available over on Canon’s website. The upgrade adds two autofocus features that photographers have been asking for since the camera was released: illuminated AF points and the ability to use cross-type autofocus at f/8.