Archive for the ‘Canon’ Category

The Canon 5D Mark III is Out

I think I may have gotten an order in with Adorama. We’ll see if it actually ships (fingers crossed). I’ve also got an order in with B&H.

Lots of coverage out there right now.

1. I posted on it on Google+.

2. Scott Jarvie’s Nikon Boy Reaction to the Mark III.

3. Robert Scoble’s post on G+. Scoble got an order in with B&H.

4. Digital Photography Review’s write up.

5. Engadget / Gizmodo / CNET / The Verge.

6. Official Canon page on the new camera.

7. Gordon Laing’s write up at Camera Labs.

8. Alex Koloskov: Canon 5dMKIII? My biggest disappointment from the company I use to love.

9. Vincent Laforet

10. G Dan Mitchell.

11. Planet 5D.

5D Mark III order page for:

B&H
Adorama
Amazon.com

[Update: I thought getting an order in last night with Adorama was too easy. Between B&H and Adorama I guess it's a waiting game now. Got this email from them this morning:

"We're sorry for any inconvenience. Unfortunately, one or more of the items in your order are not in stock, see details below. We'll ship your order as soon as possible. If you want to cancel your order, please let us know."]

Canon’s Big Anti-Dust Technology Lie

Canon's Big Anti-Dust Technology Lie

Full-Frame, Dust-Free Images. Updated EOS Integrated Cleaning System specifically designed to work with a full-frame sensor. Canon’s Integrated Cleaning system includes a cleaning unit designed specifically for the EOS 5D Mark II’s full-frame CMOS sensor. The camera’s low-pass filter even has a new fluorine coating upon its surface to help repel dust. Dust that makes it past the EOS 5D Mark II’s sensor cleaning system is easily removed in post processing using DPP software’s Dust Detection Delete function, which can remove dust spots automatically from single or multiple image files

- Canon marketingspeak on their Canon 5D Mark II Camera

One of the things that pisses me off to no end is how *horrible* a job the Canon 5D Mark II does at dealing with dust on my sensor. I struggled with dust on my sensor with my old 5D so I was super happy initially to learn that the new 5D Mark II had anti-dust technology built in. Except that Canon’s so called anti-dust technology with the 5D Mark II is utter crap and pure marketing speak bull shit. The image above is an image of mine taken from a trip a few weeks ago to Miami. My 5D Mark II is less than a year old and this is the type of dust I am seeing on my images. I’d encourage you to look at this image full size here. How is this even remotely acceptable?

Granted I use my camera heavily, but I can count over *40* different dust specs on the image above.

Frankly I can tell no difference between the dust on the sensor of my 5D M2 and my old 5D without so called “anti-dust” technology. Whatever the case, for Canon to prominently advertise the 5D Mark II camera as having an anti-dust feature is false advertising in my opinion.

I posted about my horrible experience with the 5D M2 and dust over at Buzz here.

Ed Fladung suggested in that post that I give the Arctic Butterfly brush a try to remove the dust on my sensor. So I ordered one of these brushes from B&H for $112. Hopefully this helps me. I can’t see how anything could make my 5D M2 much worse in terms of dust though.

Canon Rebel and Kit Lens Survives 3,000 Foot Skydiving Fall and Still Works, Then Why Are Their L Series Lenses So Crappy?

From Crunchgear:

I don’t think anyone is too hot on the idea of testing this question, but one skydiving photographer added a data point unwittingly when his Rebel XT popped off his head at the beginning of a jump. I would have pulled some True Lies-style freefall gymnastics to get it back, but not everybody’s as cool as me and Arnie.

Incredibly, the camera didn’t explode into a thousand pieces on landing — in fact, it sustained only minor damage and both the camera and lens are working! Are you kidding me?

Looks to me like it landed in a bog, or peat or something. That probably helped. Whatever the case, let’s hear it for this heroic little camera.

Of course my own experience with Canon products has been the exact opposite and I find that especially their lenses hold up horribly. I’ve had to send my $950 L Series 135 f/2 lens into Canon now *FOUR* times for the exact same autofocus problem. The last two times I’ve sent it in they’ve claimed “impact damage” even though I’ve never dropped the lens in my life. At first they sent me an email saying that because it had been my fourth time having it repaired that they were going to repair it for free. But then 2 days latter they called a psyche on me and took back their offer to repair it for free and decided to charge me $315.14 instead.

So how is it that a Rebel with a crappy kit lens can fall 3,000 feet and survive but I’ve never dropped my 135 f/2 lens once in my life and have had to have the lens repaired 4x for the exact same problem.

I’ve had autofocus problems with my 50 f/1.2 L series lens (it has a really hard time autofocusing on things within 10 feet) since the day that I’ve bought it but don’t dare send it in to Canon because I’m sure they’d want to ream me again for their shoddy L series products.

Thanks, Clearlight!

When a Canon Boy Falls for a Nikon Girl

Joey Lawrence on the problems when a Canon boy falls for a Nikon girl.

Thanks, Jess!

Why I Mark Off the Canon Logos on My Camera Gear

I had a few questions regarding why I mark off the Canon logos on my camera gear based on the video I posted earlier today with Marc Silber. I thought I’d explain that here in a new post.

In 2007 I had the tremendous honor of having my portrait taken by photographer Bill Wadman as part of his 365 Portraits series. Bill’s project involved shooting and posting in the same day a different portrait every day for an entire year. Bill is one of the best portrait photographers working in the business today, and in addition to my shot (which is probably my most favorite shot anyone’s ever taken of me) Bill shot a number of amazing people, including folks like astronaut Buzz Aldrin and CNN commentator Tucker Carlson. If you missed this series back in 2007 you should definitely check it out for some truly inspirational portrait work.

Anyways, when I met Bill I noticed that he had all the Canon logos on his gear taped off with black tape. I asked Bill why he did that and he said for two reasons, 1. Because he wanted to make his camera gear look less expensive (and hopefully less interesting to steal) and 2. Because, what had Canon ever done for him and why should he give them free advertising.

And so those are probably the exact same reasons why I do that now myself. I’ve had two Canon cameras stolen now — A 5D and a 10D. I know that some people will steal anything, but I think a big Canon or Nikon logo on your gear only makes it that much more of a target. By changing my Canon strap for a plain black one and taping off (with black electrical tape) all of the logos, hopefully this makes me and my camera less of a target. I taped off the red rings on my L series lenses where I could as well. I’d rather be incognito than look like the hot shot photographer.

Secondly I got kind of pissed at Canon over the whole release of the Canon 5D Mark 2 and especially felt after that why should I walk around every day advertising their product on my body. I shoot all the time and so that’s a lot of free advertising for them. I was pissed because I had such a hard time getting a hold of a 5D M2.

Originally I talked to Canon back in July of 2008 at the Microsoft Pro Photography Summit and asked if there was any way that I could get a review copy ahead of the release so that I could write a review on it. Not a free one mind you, just a loaner, like any other member of the press, that I could use to write a review in the same way that newspapers, magazines, and everyone else does. Canon told me that they didn’t do that sort of thing which was fine I guess. Although I’m pretty sure that some people got them based on the early reviews and press on the product.

So I did the next best thing and I got on a preorder list ahead of the release (which was slated for the end of November 2008) — but come early December I still hadn’t gotten mine. I was pissed because I saw all of these other reviews being published and I wanted to publish one myself and couldn’t get my hands on one to review. So I contacted Canon and basically said look I want to write a review. Is there any way I can get a review copy or can you at least help me out and point me where I can get one of these? I felt I’d done everything right by preordering and yet still was not getting the camera to review.

Canon responded saying that I should probably expect my preorder from Wolf soon because a new shipment had just been sent to them. So I didn’t get my 5D Mark 2 in the next week. In fact I didn’t get it until over a month later from an entirely different vendor in January. What was worse though is that Canon just blew me off. After I sent them multiple emails they simply never responded to repeated additional emails on the situation.

I want to be clear I didn’t want special treatment here. I felt that as a blogger with a prominent photography blog that I should be treated like any other member of the press. But if they couldn’t provide me a review copy then I’d hoped that they could at least point me in the right direction where I could buy one so that I could review it. You’d think publicity would be good.

The fact of the matter is Canon doesn’t give a rats ass about social media or bloggers. Their PR and marketing team are happy to treat the mainstream press well but view the sort of stuff we are doing as insignificant. So that made me mad too and probably contributed all the more to my not wanting to advertise their product.

Even though I use my Canon 5D Mark 2 every single day and love it, I have no interest in promoting their products. I never did write my review on their new camera, because what’s the point in writing a review in January on a camera that came out last November?

So those are the reasons why I black off the Canon logos on my gear and they are the same reasons that I tell to everyone who asks me (and I get people asking me about it every single week). Hopefully someday Canon decides that our opinion on their products matter.

Canon Has No Sense of Humor, Tries to Shut Down Fake Chuck Westfall Blog — Update: And Fails

Canon's Chuck WestfallHoly parody Batman! I just saw over at the Fake Chuck Westfall blog (read *fake* Chuck Westfall blog folks, sorta like that *fake* Steve Jobs blog from a while back) that Canon Inc. and some lawyerish type named Douglas E. Mirell from Loeb & Loeb are trying to shut poor fake Chuck down.

Apparently Canon and/or the real Chuck (pictured to the left) are a wee bit pissed off at fake Chuck for running around poking fun at their expense and sent our good man Matt Mullenweg over at Automattic a take down request.

From the lawyer’s letter:

“Canon U.S.A., Inc. currently employs Mr. Chuck Westfall as the Technical Information Advisor for its Camera Marketing Group. Mr. Westfall’s job responsibilities at Canon include providing market feedback to Canon in terms of constructive comments on current equipment and software, as well as feature suggestions for future products. Accordingly, Mr. Westfall is a well-known figure in the photography community; he is frequently interviewed in many prominent publications concerning photography and photographic equipment, including magazines, online publications, special interest forums and blogs.

It has come to our clients’ attention that one of the blogs hosted on the wordpress.com site — http://fakechuckwestfall.wordpress.com (the “Blog”) — is using our client’s trademark and Mr. Westfall’s name and likeness without authorization, and is violating several covenants contained in your own Terms Of Service, as well as many federal and state laws including the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.. 1125.”

blah, blah, blah, etc.

The main objections that Canon seems to have as cited in their takedown notice are.

1. The fact that Fake Chuck is using “the Canon stylized” logo.

2. Threats of physical violence against their client and employees.

3. An invasion of privacy.

4. That the “overall look, feel and tone of the Blog” is calculated to mislead recipients.

For Pete’s sake! It’s the *fake* Chuck Westfall Blog Canon! Fake, in the title, Fake in the url. And the whole thing is written in such an absurd over the top manner that there is no way anyone would believe that it were a real Canon blog from the real Chuck Westfall.

Interestingly, Canon’s agents of censorship over at Loeb and Loeb, cite a comment in the post “Thank you Maeda,” (check out the dude’s hair) as the threat of physical violence:

“Micahel, you don’t give me a lot of hope with your comment, but I’m sure you know that. Do you think they’ll listen to me if I come in one day at the office and start bashing their heads with a two by four? Or perhaps I could also come in with a shotgun and lots of ammo and start shooting in the wild. I’m not going to kill anyone, just scare the ever loving crap out of them and show them I mean business now. Do you think that would make a difference?

But your comment about Nikon making tools for photographers is right on, even though, I must admit, I hate to admit that. I guess I’m a bit jealous, but I really hoped we could have gone more in that direction with our latest products. I guess it’ll have to wait for a while.”

I’m sorry, but the whole “look, tone and feel” to use Loeb & Loeb’s words, of the Fake Chuck Westfall blog are anything *but* designed to mislead people. While the blog takes some serious jabs at Canon and mocks both Canon and the real Chuck to no end, it ought not confuse anyone any more than someone might misconstrue Weird Al Yankovich’s “Eat it,” as Michael Jackson’s similarly sounding tune, “Beat It.”

This takedown notice is simply an attempt by Canon, Chuck Westfall and their lawyers to silence a blogger and silence a critic. I hope someone from the EFF or some other type can step up here and help the good Fake Chuck Westfall out. With blog titles like “5D Mark II Fix Coming, 50D is Fucked” and “5D Mark II Banding Problem – Why has the lord forsaken us?, Fake Chuck has provided a humorous look at the fake inside working of the fake Canon.

Maybe Canon should spend a little less time harassing bloggers and a little more time working on getting their new cameras out on time.

If you want to read the take down request yourself you can do so here.

Update: Automattic CEO Toni Schneider has responded to Canon over this take down request and it’s good to see that he and Automattic are standing by Fake Chuck on this one. The Fake Chuck Westfall has removed the Canon logo from his blog and below is Toni’s email (reprinted with permission) back to Canon’s lawyers:

“Hi Douglas,

We have received your complaint about fakechuckwestfall.wordpress.com.

The owner of the blog has removed the Canon logo.

We consider the privacy complaint about the names of Chuck Westfall’s wife and child void since Mr. Westfall mentions them in his own bio at http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0604/westfall.html.

We also reject your other complaints regarding the blog being confused with an official Canon site given that the blog name and URL contain “Fake”, the about page starts with “Hi, I’m not actually Chuck Westfall.”, and the tone and content of the whole blog are clearly satirical.

Regards,
Toni”

Update #2, More comments from our good friends over at Slashdot. Seems like by trying to shut Fake Chuck down, Canon might have only just, well, drawn more attention to his blog than he was getting in the first place.

Update #3, on ars technica here. Digg ars technica’s story here.

My Initial Thoughts on the Canon 5D Mark II After 24 Hours

I spent yesterday afternoon out shooting with my new Canon 5D Mark II and these are my earliest thoughts. I’ll probably do a series of short posts like this on the camera from time to time rather than any sort of formal review. I haven’t even processed any photos from the new camera yet or played with it’s video functionality so certainly more to come later.

The first thing I noticed about the new 5D is that it feels quieter to me. The sound of the shutter is very different than the old 5D, it sounds less mechanical and more muted. I like that.

The large LCD screen on the back of the camera is pretty cool. The photos feel really large as they display for the 2 seconds after you take a shot.

It is sooooooooo nice not to have to keep resetting my date/time over and over and over and over again. The internal battery on my old 5D died a while back and so every time I’d change batteries I’d have to reset the date and time. I tried taking the camera to a camera battery store but they didn’t seem to have a battery that would work with my old 5D and I was too lazy to do the research to find the actual replacement.

I find that I’m taking less shots when I’m out shooting. I think it’s more mental at this point but something about seeing only 250 or so shots on an 8 gig card makes me pause more when I decide whether or not to take a shot or how many to take. It’s not just about the room on the card, in the back of my mind I’m also thinking about the fact that larger file sizes will just be all around more difficult to work with. They’ll take longer to transfer to my Mac. They’ll take up more space on my Mac’s hard drive. Eventually they’ll consume more space on my Drobo. Bigger files are likely going to be slower to work with in Lightroom, etc. I think that this is still mostly just an early mental thing going on in my head that should resolve itself in time. I did notice yesterday though that I took less photographs in four hours than I usually do and I seemed to think more about my shots. Who knows, maybe this is a good thing too.

I like the new menu on the Mark II better than the old 5D. It seems more intuitive and you scroll through the screens easier.

A few times while working with the camera I accidentally pushed the delete button when I meant to push the play button. The play and delete buttons are pretty close to each other. I’m not too worried about this because you have to confirm photo deletion but it seemed like maybe these two buttons should be further away from each other.

That’s all for now. No real opinion on the image quality yet because I haven’t processed any images from it. I’m heading out to shoot a bit more this afternoon with it and will continue to post thoughts on the camera as I think about them.

Thank You Helen Oster and Adorama, My Canon 5D, Mark II Arrives

I just spent a few minutes unboxing my new Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR that I bought from the good folks at Adorama.

I’m charging the battery on the puppy and will take it out this afternoon to play with it a bit.

I had a heck of a time getting my hands on one of these hot new cameras and while it’s probably too late for any serious review, I’m sure I’ll be posting my thoughts and reflections on the camera over the next few months here and various other places.

I wanted to especially say thanks to Adorama who was finally able to get me a camera after Wolf Camera pretty seriously botched my pre-order in my opinion. I initially wrote sort of a mean post about Adorama when I thought my camera wasn’t going to come through, but they really stepped up and got the camera for me as advertised. Wolf not only didn’t handle my pre-order well in my opinion, but they also botched up other pre-orders pretty badly as well. I’m not going to get into the details here yet, but I’ve heard from other people that their experience in getting Mark II’s from Wolf were problematic as well.

More than just getting the camera for me though, once Adorama was aware that I thought I had a problem with my order, within hours they contacted me and gave it immediate attention. This sort of customer support is refreshing and shows that Adorama takes social media and their brand very seriously. Specifically, Helen Oster does a great job for Adorama in monitoring their brand reputation on the internet. Helen contacted me personally on my order both by phone and email. Helen also has a good reputation of focusing on various online forums and other places online looking for ways to offer customer service for Adorama. Other companies would do well to have a Helen Oster on their staff who so carefully looks after Adorama’s reputation.

I’m excited to finally have the Canon 5D Mark II in my hands and am looking forward to what it can do — especially given that my old 5D is completely dead at this point. I’m going to be sending my old 5D into Mackcam.com who I bought a 3-year warranty from on the camera in the next few days and then once it is repaired I’m planning on using it as a back up camera for my new 5D Mark II.

The Digital Picture Photo Forum Deleting “Anti Canon” Posts

Karel Donk � Blog Archive � The-Digital-Picture.com deletes “anti-Canon” post about the EOS 5D Mark II

Karel Donk, who recently wrote up a post detailing some of the quality control problems with the new Canon 5D Mark II, found that when he posted on his post at a new photo forum called the-digital-picture.com that his post was deleted by Bryan Carnathan, the guy who apparently runs the forum, saying that he’d rather not have “anti-Canon” posts in his forums.

As I really hate censorship, it looks like this won’t be a forum that I’ll be checking out.

Apparently Donk’s been banned from the forums at DPReview as well after questioning Canon there in the past.

I’ve been following my own Canon 5D Mark II tracking information with UPS and it looks like it arrived in Oakland last night and is scheduled for delivery on Monday. Maybe I’ll get lucky and it will show up tomorrow for the weekend. Thank much to the good folks at Adorama for getting me one!

Karel Donk: “Canon 5D Mark II: Barely Worth It”

Karel Donk – Blog Archive — Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Barely worth it!:

“Canon has really lost it. It wasn’t so long that I wrote why they have lost it, and it seems that they continue to take hit after hit, not only from the competition, but from their own mistakes as well. It’s one thing to be given a hard time by the competition, but it’s completely different to be screwing up your own products. It appears that Canon simply do not learn from their mistakes.”

Karl Donk is not impressed with the new Canon 5D Mark II or with the direction that Canon is going. The Fake Chuck Westfall provides an officially unofficial update on some of the early problems with the new camera, adding that the 50D is f***ed.

Personally I don’t have much of an opinion on the new 5D Mark II camera other than I’m sort of pissed that when Canon said that this camera would ship at the end of November, here it is at Christmas and mine is still backordered when I preordered it in the first place.

Canon does at least in this regard seems to have screwed up from a business perspective. Manufacturing a hot new camera and then timing it to ship in November ahead of the Christmas Holiday seems smart. But then not having any of the cameras available for actual purchase by Christmas seems, well, sort of stupid.