TWiP 437 – Canon – Waiting to Exhale

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TWiP 437 – Canon – Waiting to Exhale

Once again Canon is in the news, but unfortunately this time it’s not for some ground­ breaking mirrorless camera that deftly accepts the full range of Canon glass. No! This time the company is making news for disappointing revenues and profits in Q3.

We once again crack open the conversation regarding what they, and the other DSLR camera makers might be thinking or planning to turn things around. We hypothesize about what the actual problem might be — is it the onslaught of high­ quality cameras in our cell phones? Or could it be the relentless pace of innovation set by the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji and others.

Our second story is about YouTube. The company recently announced a new subscription model dubbed “YouTube Red” that allows you to pay a monthly $10 fee for an ad­ free viewing experience as well as access to Google Music, background video playing, downloadable videos and more. But is it worth it? And what does this mean for the YouTuber community?

And lastly we have a discussion around the trend of animated photography, and how it seems to be gaining momentum. With the latest release from the VSCO people called… wait for it… DSCO. DSCO is an app that makes easy work of creating animated GIFs or MP4s up to 2.5 seconds long. Is animation the new black? Or, is it just a passing fad.

To discuss these stories, this week I’m joined by two new additions to the TWiP co­hosting family, photographer and model Christine Alward, along with Commercial Fashion photographer Tim Engle.

Links Mentioned in This Episode

A Disturbing Tea Party

Model, Concept and Stylist: Christine Alward
Photography, Frederick Van Johnson

Picks of the Week

Photography by Christine Alward

Photography by Tim Engle

Photography of Christine Alward by Tim Engle!

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  1. Sony lost money in their imaging division too, but it didn’t make photo news like Canon’s losses did. Will TWiP hammer on Sony too? Probably not, but that’s mirrorless fanboys for you. 😉

    1. We hammer on Sony all the time Jonathan. It’s not about being a “mirrorless fanboy” – rather that mirrorless technologies seem to be where things are headed. If being enthusiastic about a new promising technology is wrong — I don’t wanna be right.

    2. I listen to the show, be honest, your enthusiasm of mirrorless cameras leads to your confirmation bias of DSLR makers losing money. Mirror less camera makers are losing money too. New and promising technology doesn’t always pan out, the companies that stick around pick and choose what to develope, which is what Canon has been doing, just not at the pace people want. That’s what Apple has done, they rarely come up with anything truly innovative, they simply perfect what’s already out there, and I’m an Apple fan. I have a mirrorless and a DSLR camera, so please don’t think I’m just a grouchy DSLR apologist. I use whichever will best work for the photos I want to capture. I simply choose not to count Canon out yet.

    3. There is one mirrorless company that IS NOT losing money. Olympus camera division is now in the black. Can’t say that about Fuji or Sony.

    4. I’m with you on this one, this felt like another way to point the finger out DSLRs instead of just reporting the news. Leica decided to make a camera that could support two SD cards, a bigger battery, and a bigger grip, and it’s not much smaller than most DSLRs. It just felt like FVJ wanted to find another reason to stick his tongue out at DSLRs.

      Tim Engle mentioned the A7 series doesn’t fit the way he shoots b/c it has few things that cause it to slow down, and FVJ went into damage control for Sony. Sony’s write-to-card speeds, blackouts and AF have been well documented across many photographers for reasons why it can feel sluggish at times. The A7r had the same MP count as the D800/810, Sony just has quirks (for now) that slow the camera down for some shooters, and some of those quirks are ok for some people.

    5. How is me pointing out that Sony’s marketing team failed to adequately differentiate between their identical-looking models somehow equal “damage control” for Sony? I don’t shoot Sony, but I’m informed about their line-up. Tim was using the wrong body for the job he was trying to accomplish — and as such had a bad experience. I pointed this out. I’d have said something similar if he was complaining about not being able to successfully hammer a nail with a screw driver.

    6. Medium format cameras used to be the standard tools for fashion shooters, so the high resolution model (which has the best image quality) is exactly the right type of camera for this kind of application. Except in this particular case it turned out to be too slow for this particular photographer. If Canon or Nikon had made a similar camera as the A7R (what you call “innovative” presumably because it’s compact) it would probably be just as slow, as they all are limited by the same technology and the same physics. In fact Nikon has made the Coolpix A which AFs very slow, and Canon has the EOS M lineup, which are famous for being slow. So where does the assumption come that the responsivity and speed problems of mirrorless cameras would be solved by Nikon or Canon entering the market (which they have, kind of)? It doesn’t really matter who makes it, it’s the current state of the art in technology and the laws of nature that limit what can be done.

    7. Jonathan, we’ve reported on Sony’s woes several times over the last year. Including their downgrade to penny stock status, reorg woes, focusing issues with the A7R, etc. We have, and will continue to mention Sony when they do something newsworthy. And our All About the Gear show will continue to report on all cameras… including Sony.

  2. Frederick I love the show but I’m still waiting for you to talk about a whole other area of gear and photography that you seem to consistently ignore – Medium Format. Sure this is a smaller market and maybe many people are going smaller but many people (like me) are also going the other way – particularly with the Pentax 645z which has been a sales success (in relative MF terms) and is the first digital MF camera for the ‘masses’ and probably has the best image quality available in a camera right now. Lets have a show talking about MF camera’s. You have guests that use them. Andy Biggs for instance uses MF for his wildlife photography!

    1. Come on now. Frederick compared dSLR’s to a horse and buggy. You really expect him to talk about Medium Format.

  3. I wanna back up a little by looking at the absolute numbers there. Canon and Nikon are still the big fish in the pond. Even with a drop of 22% up until now (things will change ’till christmas, definitely, but let’s stick with the 22% for now), they still have a way bigger share in camera sales overall than Panasonic, Sony, Olympus, Ricoh, Fuji have.
    So there’s that.
    On the other hand, mirrorless sales are up. Way the heck up. Sony sells more than ever. Olympus is in the black for the first time in 6yrs…

    That means, that mirrorless is selling well, and the old argument “smartphones are killing DSLRs” is wrong, at least partly.

    I wanna add another thought. I know this is a rebellous thought, but could it be that the Pro/Prosumer DSLR-Market is saturated? Could it be that people don’t NEED more DSLRs? The Pros (at least to my knowledge) do not buy a new camera every 2 years. Most Pros I know got a 5d Mk2 because it could do video. To this day, most Pros I know don’t do video, but still stick with the Mk2 because they got a ton of glass and their system just works, so why change…

    Also, Canon buys their sensors from Sony, too – like almost everyone else. Plus they are stuck with their F-ed up 1,6 APS-C ratio, which means that they have to have APS-C sensors developed specifically for 1.6 ratio, and not (like everyone else) 1.5. That makes the chips expensive, and thus makes canon invest less in APS-C and more in fullframe…

    Random thoughts there, I know…

  4. So Frederick called a dSLR a horse and buggy and the mirrorless a Tesla. Now what can a mirrorless camera do that my dSLR can’t?

    I don’t see a lack of innovation in the dSLR space. I see a mature line of products. Going from one camera to the next one isn’t as big of a jump as it used to be.

  5. I wouldn’t want to pay Google $10/month to get rid of ads. My solution was to download the a free ad blocker extension for my browser and boom – no more ads on Youtube or anywhere else.

  6. At the end of the show Tim mentioned that he had some Blacklight photo projects coming up and I also saw his amazing portraits in the show notes. I have tried Blacklight photo but it is really hard to get any decent pictures. Could you consider bringing Tim back and run a section on Blacklight photography? It would be very interesting to hear some of his secrets since this is a somewhat special type of photography.

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