Canon and Nikon sales have dropped about 17% year-over-year.
A lot of journalist ( dirty dirty smear merchants ) have been cherry picking statistics to push the doom and gloom narrative to make these camera companies look like they are in trouble, with the usual intent to make Sony look like it’s the new market leader and to make Canon and Nikon look like they are run by a bunch of idiots.
It’s a fun narrative to push and people lap it up.
In this article, I want to try to shed some light on what is actually happening, what Canon and Nikon are doing and what we will expect to see moving forward.
I went through all the CIPA charts and read through Canon’s quarterly report and have found some interesting details.
It’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be for just Canon and Nikon, but the next few years could get rough as smartphone photography continues to innovate.
The 17% Drop
Most of this comes from the extreme collapse of DSLR sales this quarter which dropped by a massive 43.1%.
Canon and Nikon are the ones that feel this burn the most because they are the only companies making DSLR cameras that people are still buying.
However, the whole camera industry is seeing a drop in sales as well as just about every company in every tech market.
Apple reports a drop for iPhones, Sony reports a drop for all consumer electronic products, Chevy, Ford you name it, every industry is hurting right now. The gaming Industry is getting so bad the free-to-play model is becoming the new norm with hopes people buy loot crates and custom skins.
Why is this?
Credit card debt is at an all-time high, student loan debt is at an all-time high, real-estate is unattainable and rent in most cities is ridiculous. We are about to dive headfirst into a global recession, if not this year, next year. Some say it’s already started and even Canon noted it several times in their report.
It’s not just Canon and Nikon
In 2018, total digital camera sales fell by 22.2%. While a huge chunk of that was from Canon and Nikon, we have to look at the industry as a whole, not just Nikon Z6 and EOS R sales compared to Sony A7III sales because there are a lot of other cameras that sell significantly better than full frame mirrorless.
Canon and Nikon were/are the leaders, it makes sense that they would have the most to lose.
Canon and Nikon both also once dominated the compact fixed-lens camera market that still outsells DSLR or Mirrorless cameras, but last year fixed lens sales saw a huge retraction.
Today total ILC sales, including both DLSR and Mirrorless cameras combined are now outselling fixed lens cameras, that flip just happened in 2018.
Canon says that the retraction in DSLR and the demand for mirrorless has happened faster than expected. Or at least, faster than Canon expected . . . I think just about everyone saw this coming except Canon and Nikon.
But to be fair, after looking at all the charts and stats, Canon and Nikon really only missed by about six months to a year if you consider that last year, DSLR sales outpaced mirrorless. It wouldn’t make any sense to abandon a better performing product.
People also forget that Canon has been making APS-C mirrorless cameras for seven years and they make one of the best selling mirrorless cameras out there.
2019 Is Worse Than Expected
Total camera shipments of interchangeable lens cameras across all brands are expected to drop 7.4% with a drop in lens sales to 8.3%. Keep in mind, that projection is for the whole year, not a single quarter.
InsideImaging had a nice article about last years results and this year’s predictions.
The Carnage – CIPA 2019 Q1
Total Camera Shipments see a drop of 30.2%
Total ILC Camera shows a drop of 32.6%
Total Built-In Lens Camera shows a drop of 27.1%
DSLR Cameras show a drop of 43.1%
Mirrorless Cameras show a drop of 13.5%
The primary culprit for the devastation of Canon and Nikon sales is that drop in DSLR cameras shipments by 43.1%.
We are also seeing mirrorless cameras outsell DSLR cameras for the first time ever.
Considering Canon and Nikon are the primary holders of the DSLR market share, this is likely what’s responsible for this 17% sales drop.
What’s interesting is with everyone making mirrorless cameras now, we did not see an increase in mirrorless camera sales. The numbers are showing that people are not leaving DSLRs for mirrorless in droves, rather almost half as many people are buying DSLRs with a drop of 13.5% of consumers buying mirrorless cameras.
Nikon and Canon Aren’t the Only One’s Bleeding
Total camera sales have dropped 30.2% if you average out all the companies participating in the CIPA report.
While Canon and Nikon full-frame mirrorless cameras don’t sell as well as Sony full frame mirrorless cameras, they still are nice options, but yet we’re still seeing a drop of 13.5% in mirrorless sales with the Canon M50 still leading mirrorless sales in Japan.
Sony Sells More Full Frame Mirrorless, But Not More Cameras
If you’re wondering why Sony sells more full frame mirrorless cameras, it’s not because the EOS R and Z6 suck, it’s because Canon and Nikon also have a solid lineup of DSLR cameras that are taking sales away from their mirrorless systems.
Sony already has a six-year-old full frame mirrorless platform and user base that they can easily get to upgrade into their A7III. It’s much easier and cheaper to buy a new camera when you already have the lenses.
For Canon and Nikon, they now have to get people to switch to a totally different platform, which is significantly more expensive since you can’t just buy a new body, you also have to buy new lenses unless you want to adapt old lenses, which nobody loves doing.
Canon and Nikon also continue to sell DSLRs which still make up for almost half of the total ILC sales.
This transition from DSLR to Mirrorless will be slower and more gradual and you will likely continue to see Sony outsell Nikon and Canon with the release of new mirrorless full frame cameras for this very reason, or until Canon and Nikon stop dumping marketing and development resources into DSLRs in this two-front war.
But that’s just looking at full frame mirrorless which doesn’t sell nearly as well as APS-C cameras.
When looking at APS-C mirrorless sales, the Canon M line still continues to dominate with the Canon M50 / Kiss M being the number one selling mirrorless camera in Japan for the first quarter of 2019. Granted, the A6400 just came and didn’t have the full quarter and it was a close second, but new camera do tend to see higher numbers at first and the EOS M50 is a year old. That’s also just looking numbers from Japan.
The Cause For The Drop In Sales | Opinion
The start of 2019 just isn’t looking great. Aside from a weaker global economy, there aren’t too many compelling cameras to buy right now if you are already invested in one of the previous Nikon or Canon DSLR flagship cameras and I think a lot of people could be waiting to see what else there is to come.
Nikon D500 and Canon 7DII shooters have been all but forgotten with no upgrade path and all they can do is wait or buy a Fujifilm X-T3 and all new lenses.
This is what is responsible for the huge collapse of sales – anticipation and waiting.
If you look back at 2016, total camera sales had a really rough second and third quarter even worst than the two succeeding years at times, with it only picking up in August with the release of the Canon 5D mkIV.
I remember a lot of people were waiting to see what Canon was going to do before making their next big investment. Many went ahead and bought the 5DIV, many jumped ship and moved over to Sony or Fujifilm, a lot of people actually held onto their 5D MkIII.
We are seeing a similar thing today. People are waiting for the “Pro mirrorless” bodies from Canon and Nikon, the pro-APS-C mirrorless bodies and the A7sIII video focused camera from Sony before making their next big investments.
I predict, that once all these cameras are announced later this year, hopefully, you will see camera sales pick back up again, possibly outperform last years fourth quarter numbers as long as the economy doesn’t take a massive dump before then.
What’s To Come | Opinion
Going forward we will continue to see a gradual slow down in camera sales as innovation slows down and smartphones improve as cameras.
Eye tracking and mirrorless tech are here and it was a massive leap. In the coming years, we can only expect to see small incremental quality of life improvements, like better screens, EVF and GPS integration or niche improvements like 8k video, higher frame rates, and bigger buffers.
Some might think that deep learning object AI tracking is the next big thing, but the Olympus EM1x is doing this and nobody is really talking about or cares. Maybe it’s still too early in development, but it would seem most people are just happy with competent, smart autofocus and good eye detection.
We will only see a small increase in autofocus speed since we are already at the mechanical limit of what a lens can do with most of the new designs.
People will continue to buy new cameras but with a much slower upgrade cycle, possibly skipping generations like we currently do with smartphones.
Organic sensors could give us a leap forward in dynamic range and low light performance but other than that, I’m not really expecting to see any huge improvements to image quality in the coming years. Only small incremental improvements.
But don’t worry, the journalists and reviewers will continue to push and hype up all the latest advancements, making you feel left out by not switching to brand B which is 4 months ahead of brand A in tech.
It’s like those guys in the car industry that will spend $1,200 dollars on new headers to get an extra 10HP out of their already 700HP Corvette ZR1. You will continue to see photo super nerds, demanding every feature and improvement possible in every camera ever released. Switching from brand A because brand B comes stock with that 5 extra horsepower in our already 700HP cameras.
When that doesn’t happen, expect a seething Twitter tirade, because how dare Canon not offer comparable specs to the $70,000 Hollywood cinema camera packages.
And who cares about thermals, I want my camera to be a little oven where memory cards go to die. Then I can complain every time a camera doesn’t offer dual card slots.
The mirrorless innovation was no doubt huge. With it came IBIS, eye and face detect autofocus and smaller and lighter bodies with promised improvements to lens design.
But with as massive of a leap as that tech was, we are still seeing a drop in mirrorless camera sales, so don’t expect some other technologies to suddenly energize camera sales.
Even the mirrorless revolution has not been enough to keep people from holding onto their old cameras longer or to pull people away from their phones.
We likely won’t see any leap in tech as significant as what mirrorless gave us in the ILC market, and we likely will continue to see Canon, Nikon and Sony branch out in an attempt to capture new markets.
The good news is, Canon and Nikon are now fully committed to mirrorless and it will be very fun to see what new innovations they bring to the table. Canon is a patent and innovation powerhouse and Nikon is still one of the best lens companies out there with really cool camera design.
Right now the best we can do is hope that this collapse in the market doesn’t affect the big companies R&D budget, because then as customers the pace at which we see new innovations or risk-taking from these companies will slow down dramatically.
Remember, the original Sony A7r was a gamble for Sony. If they did not have the resources and budget at that time, that camera may have never have happened and this big shift we are seeing to full frame mirrorless may have not yet happened.
Great summary of the situation. Sensationalist reporting is cynical and tiresome.
“And who cares about thermals, I want my camera to be a little oven where memory cards go to die. Then I can complain every time a camera doesn’t offer dual card slots.”
Hahahaha Very good!
It points to the tendency of cynical photo press hyping a certain kind of specification obsession over reliability and quality. Areas where Canon and Nikon excel. Historically especially Nikon, as even when they dominated news photography they seldom had the best specs but had the most robust shutters, bodies and best ergonomics. Examples are both the Nikon F2 and F3 vs their contemporaries. Nikon focused on reliability and system versatility. Canon didn’t really catch up until the EOS 1V. The first EOS 1 did have superior autofocus compared with the F4 and Canon marketed incredibly aggressively in the early 90’s, basically donating whole kits to news rooms (I’ve heard of this first hand). But also, the F4 had a shutter rated to 150 000 actuations and was a well sealed all metal brick. The EOS 1 had a shutter rated at 50 000 and was full of plastic. The 1V was built to Nikon standard with metal, seals and a more durable shutter. People tend to forget this history though.
Yeah it’s strange and always one sided. One of the sites the other day was complaining about the Canon 85mm f1.2. How the depth of field is too shallow, how it’s too expensive etc. etc. Canon does a good thing and makes something cool, and people complain about it. And for like two weeks that same site has written hit piece after hit piece on Canon.
And people are always comparing cameras, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone mention that the Nikon Z6 has a 3.2″ screen with 2.1M dot resolution where as the Sony A7III only has a 3.0″ screen with .9M dot resolution. That’s more than twice the resolution on a bigger screen.
It’s such a massive difference especially for landscape photography. I get use to using my Z6, then go out and shoot with my A7rIII which has the better 1.44M dot screen, and still every time I’m like, wtf, why does everything look like shit. And I use an Anti-Glare screen protector on my Z6 which makes everything look worse, but it still looks better.
This effects every single person that uses the camera, but instead people focus on niche features that only effect a much smaller user base.
I’ll be doing my Nikon Z6 review soon. There are only I think about four things that bug me with this camera that Nikon needs to fix with firmware or with the next models. I’ll install the new firmware today and see if some of it has been fixed.
Nassim at the PhotographyLife.com website has just posted a pretty in-depth assessment of yesterday’s Nikon firmware upgrade. Seems some good improvements, but not as much as peeps might have reasonably hoped for. He also provides a tally of all the other bobbles he’d hope Nikon could get to.
BTW, i think your assessment here of the camera sales trends is the best i’ve seen. Much more insightful the way you put it into the larger context of electronics sales also going down, numerous indications of consumer debt going up, people holding off on big purchases in general, as well as due to not being wowed enough by the latest models to make the leap over to mirrorless. Well written! Craig
Nassim is great. PhotographyLife is probably the best photo / journalist blog out there. I’ll check it out. I just installed the firmware yesterday and it’s pretty good. The Eye tracking is actually impressive, better than I thought it would and totally reliable and usable.
My camera also didn’t get the recent recall which is cool since I bought it in the US and live in Japan, so I think that would make it technically grey market here.
The firmware is decent overall, I’m glad Nikon added an Auto shutter mode, because the Electronic first shutter capped out at 1/2000 then you had to manually switch it to Mechanical shutter if you went beyond that. So I ended up just always shooting full mechanical shutter. I wish they would still include EXIF data on the playback screen and you still can’t ever get a completely clear screen without information on it when cycling the display modes.
You would think Nikon would have a lot more features with firmware already dialed in after making mirrorless cameras for almost what, 8 years with the Nikon 1 system. Maybe they used a totally different operating system for those cameras.
I think Sony will change its software system over to something better next year. I bet that’s why Sony cameras are so fast with things like eye AF. It seems like they have a really light operating system and they probably don’t have a lot of system overhead since their screens have half the resolution and they have a fairly primitive menu system with no touch interface. I bet that clears up a lot of resources which is why the Sonys are so dang good and responsive with things like Eye AF.
Maybe that will be a cool topic for an article. Although, that might just trigger people.
I’m curious about the display of eye af on the z. It switches to the box around the eye later than the A7, displaying a rectangle around the face when further away instead of framing one of the eyes. It would be useful to know whether the “face-frame” on the Z appears when DOF is such that it covers the whole face. For example when using a 50mm at, say, 5m at f2. There has been some critique saying that the Sony indicates around the eye much further away but what is the point of that if the whole face is in focus? It would be a useful tool if the camera kept track of and communicated to me whether only the eye or if also the face is in focus. So if stopped down the camera would indicate around the face also at closer distance. I like they yellow colour and interface for switching between the eyes on the Nikon. As opposed to some, I don’t feel the colour coding should be the same in af-s and af-c as these are indeed different focus behaviours and I find it useful to know which one I am in just from the colours of the interface. The red colour for AF points of course goes all the way back to the F100 of 1999.
I think I get what you’re trying to say. Like, does the camera stop tracking eye AF once there is no point because face tracking will be sufficient at the current DOF of the particular distance or f-stop. Or it does the best it can until things get too far away, or until the face size reaches the point where there aren’t enough phase detection points on the sensor to justify being that precise.
So a camera can draw all the eye boxes it wants, but if the face is too small in frame to cover multiple phase detection pixels that can accurately distinguish between the eye and the noise, it ends up not offering any advantage. It will just trigger that one focus point.
It seems like eye tracking on the Z works to the point where it doesn’t offer advantage between eye and face detect at least with my f1.8 lens. If it is eye detecting somebody that only 5% or 10% of frame size, even the fastest lens will not give you a great separation between the eye or the tip of the nose at that distance anyway since the whole face will be in focus. Most fast lenses don’t even perform well at those far distances wide open.
And if someones face only takes up 5% of the frame, is anyone going to be critical whether the eye or eyebrow is in focus since you would have to scale in 200% to even tell? I don’t even think any lens out there can get that precise.
So it all seems kind of pointless. These cameras are all in the “good enough” territory for how people are going to be using them in real world. So doing eye detect at any further distance seems like it offers no advantage and starts to get into gimmick territory. It’s cool Sony cameras do it even the X-T3 is getting pretty good now too, but it probably doesn’t matter. And I definitely wouldn’t chose camera A over camera B because of this unless maybe you’re shooting crazy toddlers all day. But my Z6 eye AF works pretty good on my crazy kids.
Also, eye tracking and actual phase detection seem like they are two different functions in the camera. For example, my A7rIII is great at eye tracking and drawing boxes, not as good as the A7III, but it kind of sucks at focusing. It just doesn’t have the processing power to communicate quickly with that large sensor. So I end up having great eye boxes in preview, but I’m constantly getting shots out of focus. So when you’re seeing people compare cameras by looking at how well they draw boxes, it’s not actually and accurate metric to judge a cameras focusing ability.
It’s just a graphical overlay and Sony will always out perform Canon and Nikon here with the current lineup because they have a very light OS powering the camera (simple menu, no touch, limited touch interface overall) and significantly lower resolution screens and EVFs. (52% less resolution LCD, 34% less resolution EVF). It’s like Gaming at 1080p120fps vs 4k60fps. You obviously get to do more with the lower resolution when it comes to things like graphics.
It’s interesting what you say about how the GUI on the Sony is less heavy and therefore should allow for gains in other areas.
Something I don’t see much talk about but which I appreciate is that the Z 6 never changes resolution in its viewfinder whereas other cameras like the A7 has a variable resolution. Personally I value consistency. It’s sometimes less meaningful to me what the actual spec is as long as its always the same so that I can predict how the camera will operate in any given scenario. The Z6 and Z7 are not action cameras so both seem to prioritise resolution over frame rate which is the preferred balance for me. I feel for fast action there is no mirrorless camera yet up to the task.
The thing with the focus rectangles in eye af. I was thinking out loud and wishing for that the GUI communicates with me not just by numerical means. I think it would be excellent and useful if the focus box actually communicated something. For example whether the whole face or just the eye is in focus. I have been too lazy to do tests but the Z6 seems to almost do that.
Look in this video for an example where the Z6 displays a box around the eye at a distance where that actually might be meaningful. At further distance, framing the eye doesn’t matter as the whole face is in focus, so why show that? Why not show me what actually is in focus? That way the GUI carries more meaningful information. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WODxhodB3-o&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR05WIfa559X2JsRIm1qdpGfu3UkDDjMRaSLAtj2GWjXFowKD1pNJRA7vNk
I see what you’re saying. Based on this video it looks like the Sony eye tracking is also drawing at a faster refresh rate, which is just GUI, not related to actual focusing ability.
I was also thinking the only reason the Sony draws eye tracking further away is because it has more focus points so it can get a little bit more resolution with pin pointing something small like a small eye. That’s probably why the Nikon is getting limited by distance, they probably just stop doing eye AF when they can’t get any more resolution with the phase detection pixels. I wonder if the A7rIII would do eye detect as far as the A7III.
Looking forward to that Z6 review! Any Z lenses reviews as well?
I have a 50mm f1.8 review I’m working on, but I have two other reviews I have to get out first. I have the Meike 50mm f1.7 in the Z mount I’m wrapping up. Was going to post it yesterday but ran out of time so I’ll probably post it today or tomorrow. Then one other Meike lens, then the Nikon lens. I’ll eventually pick up the new 35mm as well.
Awesome! Keep up the down to earth approach.
Well said … waiting for the high resolution, with IBIS, Pro RF mount camera that as a proper AF joistick and a semi/pro APS-C DSRL as I don’t want to give up to the optical viewfinder, but don’t want a FF DSLR anymore… so
Canon won’t see my money untill there is available what I want… my camera and the old lens still work (and will work on the new ones), I can wait, not interested in any other brand as the lenses I have and the ones I want are Canon RF or EF mount.
I’m curious to see if Nikon or Canon do that optical/EVF hybrid viewfinder that’s been rumored. It would seem like that would be the best of both worlds. Put phase detect on the sensor for eye AF and nice video autofocus and have the viewfinder switch to digital, then keep the other focus sensors on the mirror for crazy fast acquisition and have the viewfinder switch back to optical.
EF shooters wouldn’t have to jump ship to RF lenses and they could get the best of both worlds. That would be pretty dang cool.
I’ll like/hope to see that hybrid viewfinder too, but I won’t hold my breath on that, while IBIS and high resolution on a RF mount camera is coming sooner than later (Canon management words) …
As for the lenses the RF ones look much better than the equivalent EF ones, this trend is not going to change soon or ever (except for the telephoto), so it’s better to invest on the new mount (once there is a proper camera for it).
Yep, it seems that way. Unless they can make new EF lenses that are better. Actually Canon just refreshed the 70-200 f2.8. I wonder how it will compare with an RF version when it comes out since it’s brand new. So are these new RF lenses better just because they are newer and technology has gotten better, or are they really better because of the shorter flange distance. It seems the current Sony GM lenses are very good, but they are all practically designed with a DLSR flange distance on them when you look at how the rear element is configured, on a lot of them, not all of them. And the Sigma Sony lenses are DLSR designs as well.
But I do like how small these Mirrorless lenses are getting. That’s the biggest advantage.
Mirrorles glass is “new” but could have some big design advantages if it’s properly designed, Leica is(was?) obsolete and was not competitive compared to SLR for most uses, but their glass with flange distance closer to the film (the sensor today) did halped a lot to make good (and even compact) glass, this is going to happen again but in the hands of Canon, Nikon Panasonic Sony, Sigma etc … the competition just started
A fun fact, the Canon 70-200 F2.8 gen II was replaced by the 70-200 F2.8 III (both with IS) but they just changed the external lens color and the coating, that’s it, for real!!! (probably, at Canon HQ, they already had their mind at the RF lenses and didn’t want to waste R&D on an already extremely good EF lens, but they wanted to add their last coating tecnology .. probably to dismiss the old tecnology that was more expensive for them … I know because I own the ver II and is already extremely good (and the ver III is just the same, as the coating won’t change the optical performance unless you take a lot photos with direct sunlight in the frame) and I was wondering how can they improve an almost perfect lens (they didn’t) … anyway this is a must have for Canon and Sony or any other brand that has a good adapter for Canon EF mont lenses… on the contrary they massively improved the 70-200mm F4 that was already good, but the new one is even better…
The improvementes, rigth now, are not coming from the tele lenses (except for the compact 70-200 and I doubt canon will rush on this as the adapted ones are already good, for any serious and advanced use and they work as native once adapted on an RF body), but from the wide angle and the standard zoom lenses, if you look at the results of the image quality on a trusted website like https://www.the-digital-picture.com the improvement of the tested RF lenses are impressive (as it’s the price and the size , but not unexpected) Canon did show their muscles as they did when they announced the EF mount 30 years ago , I expect they will do the same in the next couple of years with lenses with killer quality and never seen performance, after all they are the big giant in the photograpic world, they are slow, but once they move the movement is huge, maybe I’m wrong predictoing this, but I suspect the story is repeating, Canon changed their mount to domitate the market 30 years ago and they succeded, I suspect this is going to happen again, but this time they are already the giant to beat (30 years ago was Nikon), Nikon, Panasonic obviously Sony and so on will try to stop Canon plans to continue to dominate the photographic world and that will be fun to see and live in this time as and advanced photographer (the other are the ones that prefer smartphones, but they are still photographers)… I’m betting on an already winning horse, if Canon will (soon) deliver a good camera, it’s game over (just for me, and maybe other Canon users), I’ll buy in their new RF system … otherwise I have to look around and see if someone else is going to make better lenses (and cameras)…
Good to know about the 70-200, I have the version II of that lens. But I want to eventually get a 70-200 f4 for landscape work (lighter, more micro contrast) so I think I’ll wait to see what the RF does.
I’ve been shooting landscapes with Sony for years and am holding off buying any more zoom lenses hoping to see something special from Canon or Nikon. The 24-105 RF I’m using for everything has been awesome.
It’s going to be a tough future for Canon though, there is such a crazy psychological warfare gorilla marketing campaign by Sony and most big channels and review sites are on board. Nobody talks about the Canon and Nikon advantages over Sony when comparing them, just the disadvantages. The 3.2″ 2m dot screen on the Nikon Z6 is kind of a game changer in my opinion more so than any other features. The Canon is a 3.1″ I think.
I was reading up about Sony and Canon sensors yesterday, everyone would have you believe that Sony sensors are always just better. While they get more R&D cash because of the smart phones, that tech doesn’t always scale to provide benefits on bigger sensors, BSI was one example. It offers some advantage as seen in the X-T2 -> X-T3 but not much. Only slightly better color at high ISO, but it’s tough to see a difference. I did some samples of that here: https://alikgriffin.com/fujifilm-x-t2-vs-fujifilm-x-t3-iso-and-dynamic-range/
Canon has beaten Sony in several areas in the past with sensor tech. The Canon 5DSR was doing 14-bit continuous burst two and a half years before the Sony A7rIII. The A7rII would drop you to 12-bit continuous shooting, then the A7rIII fixed this. The Sony A7II and A7rII was also only like a UDMA 4 or something dumb which bottlenecked memory card write speeds to 34MB/s. A reason I hated that camera and immediately upgraded to the A7rIII.
Canon still has their dual pixel autofocus which is amazing. Most people just point to Dynamic Range at High ISO and say, see, Sony better. But Canon might not necessarily be concerned with making sensors that cater to people who go around under exposing their images by 5 stops, since Canon doesn’t rely on marketing gimmicks to sell cameras. And this kind of is a marketing gimmick, in my opinion. Half a stop more dynamic range is not anything you’ll ever notice in real world shooting. Especially if you’re somewhat competent of a photographer.
Also, Canon CRAW, lossy compressed RAW, smokes everyone. 12MB raw files that show almost no loss in quality. You can’t shoot lossy compressed on Nikon. So Canon does all these other little things like that which are pretty cool that nobody talks about.
I was reading somewhere else that while Canon sensors aren’t necessarily as good at dynamic range, when you do lift those shadows, it does a better job at preserving colors than a Sony sensor which can lift it more, but turns everything to burnt charcoal. It was a wedding photographer saying that on a forum, take it all with a grain of salt.
But I have a suspicion that Canon sensors are fine, they just tune them for different things, maybe highlight recovery and color accuracy. Now that being said, they are a little behind on sensor read out speeds which you can see from the rolling shutter in their current cameras and the fact that they haven’t been able to put out a 4k full frame system. Maybe the only way to improve that is to overclock everything which generates too much heat for Canons standards.
You know what else is funny. Everybody says, “oh the Canon EOS R is just a recycled sensor by Canon.” While this is kind of true, it’s not because it has PDAF added, and Isn’t the A7rIII sensor just an overclocked A7rII sensor, and isn’t the A7III sensor the A7II sensor? Why does nobody complain about that?
It’s kind of sad to see everyone get wrapped up in this strange Canon / Nikon hate bias. Especially the big channels and blogs. Thank god there are good ones like Photographylife.
Check out this article: I love the way they do this. https://photographylife.com/the-reality-behind-nikon-z-banding-issues
Anyway, I am pretty excited to see what sensor Canon puts in the next 1D or 5D replacement. I think they’ll drop the hammer. Now that they are selling sensors for security cameras, which is doing really well based on their Q1 report, they might get some extra sensor R&D cash out of it.
For sure the 1DX III wil drop the hammer in 2020 as it is olynmpic year in Japan, let’s hope they have serious improvement on the sensor technology that wil be used also on other models.
Sure, their sensors are behind in some things while better in others, they still have the most resolution on a FF sensor and the next generation will probably be ahead of competitors again, dual pixel AF (and they already have patents on quad pixel AF) is superior to any other AF system (especially on video they need to improve video performance outside ot their cinema Eos system), Canon still have less computational power when it requires some AI like in Eye AF, but I suppose it’s just a matter of time, they will be there soon (already is not that bad, still not as good as Sony) it’s needed just more power in their Digic processors … and the version that is coming with the future 1DXIII is going to be very powerful , so it will be used, at some point, on lower level cameras.
At some point Canon will also use dual or quad ISO on their Dual Pixel/quad pixel AF sensors to give more dinamic range than anyone else, this kind of things need horse power in the CPUs, but for sure this is coming, the other are playing with multiple exposures, Canon can just use their more advanced sensor design (dual/quad pixel configuration) to achive the same thing in just one exposure, with no artifacts, I think in 6 months to one years or so this is going to be the new cameras battlefield.
Yeah agree on the CPU. You can tell that’s the bottleneck on the EOS R, it’s just not as snappy as some of the other cameras with some features like focus. Can’t believe they didn’t go with a dual Digic.
Check out this interview. https://www.canonwatch.com/canon-doesnt-use-technology-that-hasnt-thoroughly-tested-ibis-is-coming-interview/
Seems like Canon holds back full frame 4k on purpose.
Canon has great FF sensor with 4K (it’s indeed it’s a 5.9K) in the EOS C700 FF camera, as Sony has a great Venice Cinealta FF camera also with 4K and 6K, both are mainly for movie makers, but, unfortunately Canon wants to differenziate their cinema/movie cameras from photo cameras much more than Sony… we “poor” photographers will have great 4K from photo cameras once movie cameras will start to have 8K as the standard resolution 😉
Which is already happening. While at work we still do a lot of commercial stuff at 4k, 8k cameras are just on the horizon, they’re there, it’s just overkill for any commercial work, unless you’re maybe shooting someone on greenscreen.
Doing GFX and compositing over 8k is just insane and takes too long without a render farm.
Some truth about Canon future models and the way they develop cameras is coming from Russia, maybe they are used to speak while drinking vodka and they tell much more than expected 🙂
lol. Awesome, I just linked you to an already translated version before I saw this post pending approval.
Bringing back eye tracking (like Canon had in the EOS A2e and 3) would be nice, but I think the next big thing that you left out is global shutter. It’s still a couple of years out for full frame sensors, but it will be a real quantum leap for stills photography. I found this article, though, trying to get an idea of who has done better in sales between the Canon R and Nikon Z models. Still not sure on that front.
By the way, some people do love adapting lenses.
Thanks for the input. I bet we eventually get fast enough sensor readout speeds from CMOS sensor that global shutters end up not being necessary. What I’ve been wondering lately is if it’s possible to create a photosite on the sensor that can distinguish between color frequencies without the need of a color pass filter.