Category Archives: Canon

Canon Announces EOS-M Mirrorless Camera – Yeesh

Everyone else has a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera, it was just a matter of time until Canon got around to it too.  The announcement came yesterday.  It’s called the EOS-M.

Here are some of the key specs:

  • 18 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • DIGIC 5 processor
  • ISO from 100-12,800, extendable to 25,600
  • 3 inch touch screen LCD
  • Full HD video with continuous focus
  • 22mm (35mm equivalent) F2.0 kit lens
  • 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens with image stabilization
  • mount adapter for all Canon lenses
  • list price US$799 including the 22mm lens

Here’s what it looks like:

I am certain that it is capable of taking stunning photos but I honestly don’t know what the hell Canon is thinking with this camera.

First of all, no optical viewfinder.  Clearly done to save some space.  But I don’t know anyone who is happy working purely from a 3 inch LCD screen except for the point-and-shoot crowd.  Will Canon later come out with an (expensive) accessory viewfinder?  Fuji X-Pro1 has the amazing hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder.  Sony NEX-7 has a pretty good EVF.  Standing there in the bright sunlight trying to use this as it drags your battery life down?  Just silly.

No built in flash.  Not such a biggie.  The Fuji doesn’t have that.  And a built-in flash in a camera body this size would be relatively worthless anyway.  Still, one more accessory to buy.  (Actually I still haven’t bought a flash for the Fuji.  Almost any low light situation I’m shooting in, the flash would be a distraction rather than an aid. Having it for fill would be useful but I rarely have a need for that.)

Last, and biggest beef – you see a PASM dial anywhere?  No, you don’t.  And pictures of the two lenses reveal there’s no aperture ring.  So that means that all of the settings – mode, ISO, shutter speed, aperture – will have to be accessed via navigating through menus.  I’ve been there and trust me, it’s a tremendously frustrating experience.

The nice stuff includes having the touch screen for autofocus – and apparently the screen is programmed for some multiple finger gestures as well (like zooming and scrolling).

Those of you who know me as a Nikon shooter might think that I’m doing a Nikon vs. Canon thing here but I’m not.  I looked at the specs on Nikon’s mirrorless system and was seriously underwhelmed, and I’ve got a shelf full of Nikon lenses.  I simply don’t understand an $800 camera without easily accessible controls.  That’s one of the reasons I love my Fuji X-Pro1 so much (despite the slow autofocus) – there’s a dial for shutter speed on top, aperture rings on all the lenses, and one button access to ISO.

I suppose people who have a lot of Canon lenses will want to check this out.  I suspect that the size of the camera once one of those huge lenses is attached plus the lack of controls will make it a frustrating experience for many people.

Of course that’s just my opinion.  Maybe for you, this is the camera you’ve been waiting for?  If that’s the case you can pre-order it from Amazon (no idea why they’re showing it with list price of $1200 but they’re selling it for $799) or from B&H Photo.  (Please remember that clicking these links won’t cost you a penny more but will give me a few pennies to cover my hosting costs and gear addiction.)


Canon Powershot S100 Lens Problems

I’ve heard there were issues with Canon’s popular Powershot S100 camera and I wanted to check them out because I’d bought one for my gf just three months ago for her birthday.  I’ve seen links to the U.S. information on repairs but couldn’t find Hong Kong info.  I wrote to Canon HK and they pointed me to this statement, reproduced in full here.  It’s the same message sent to U.S. users, good to know that HK is providing the same coverage for people whose cameras are affected.  (One lesson – always buy legitimate goods with manufacturer warranty.)

To Users of the PowerShot S100 Digital Camera
Thank you for using Canon products.

It has been confirmed that some PowerShot S100 digital cameras encounter a lens error caused by a disconnected part inside the camera. This announcement conveys the details of the issue and Canon’s service policy for affected cameras.

Canon continuously strives to provide our customers with high quality, reliable products that can be used with confidence. We offer our sincerest apologies to any customers who have been inconvenienced.

Some PowerShot S100 units (with the serial numbers listed below) may encounter a lens error due to a part becoming disconnected inside the lens. In particular, this lens error may occur when the camera is used in certain environmental conditions such as high temperature and/or humidity.

Affected Products
Some PowerShot S100 Digital Cameras within the following serial number range:

The first and second digits of the camera’s serial number are any number from“29”through“41.”
For example: “29xxxxxxxxxx”,  “30xxxxxxxxxx”………”41xxxxxxxxxx”

(The [x] characters shown above represent the remaining characters of the product’s serial number.)

Market Support
Affected products that exhibit this phenomenon will be repaired free of charge, regardless of the warranty status, if it is confirmed that the lens error has been caused by disconnection of the part inside the lens.

Contact Information for Inquiries
For questions about this matter, please contact our customer service at the number below. [view the message on their web site to see the links for customer service]

Luckily, the one I bought for her does not have a serial number in this range.




Camera Lust?

Check out this post from Digital Photography School titled Is Camera Lust Destroying Your Photography?  For me, the answer was “kind of yes” because I found myself not shooting certain things while waiting for the Nikon D800.  In my head I was thinking, “I could go shoot that now but it will would be 20 times better if I had the D800.”  But this weekend I got off my ass, went out at various times with my Nikon D700 and my Sony NEX-7 and got several photos that I’m quite fond of.  Check the two previous posts here for a couple of shots, more to come as I have time.)

Also on Saturday I continued my search for the D800.  To recap, in HK$ the list price is $26,800.  Earlier in the week I saw it for $28,800.  Later in the week it was $30,000.  On Saturday, no one had it at all but I left my card with several shops.  Today, one shop called me and said they could get me the D800 for $35,000 or the D800E for $38,000!!!  Obviously I didn’t go for that deal.

A bit more reluctantly I’ll admit that tonight another shop called and said they just got in a few D8ooE’s and could sell me one for the list price of HK$29,800.  Oh, I was sorely tempted on that.  And while I was debating on getting the E version, thinking to myself that if nothing else I could probably turn around and make a few thousand profit on it myself, they sent a text telling me to “bring cash.”  Which I couldn’t do.  (Because half the money for this will come after I buy it and sell off my D700.)(Maybe not the wisest financial management on my part but that’s the way it is.

I also must confess that on more than one occasion, I’ve stopped and stared longingly at the Fuji X-Pro1.  But that plus the 3 available lenses for it would cost the same as the Nikon D800E.  I don’t need yet another mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.  So I’ve had to control myself with the negative reviews the camera is receiving in some quarters.

There’s this guy, “diglloyd,” who does extremely intensive camera reviews.  He posts daily updates as he’s writing and shooting his reviews.  The hitch is that for full content, you have to pay to subscribe, and his subscription rates ain’t cheap.  He had several posts while he was testing the Fuji X-Pro 1.  An excerpt from one post:

I’m finding that the dynamic range is excellent with the Fuji X-Pro1. But the sharpness is inexplicably poor with some images even at ƒ/5.6 and in focus, and then perfectly good with other images. Color has also proven to be frustrating under outdoor conditions. I’ve had to work hard to get half-way acceptable color.

And an excerpt from another post:

The Fuji X-Pro1 has some fine qualities (fundamental sensor quality looks very good), but at present it is simply too frustrating to work with its images, not one of which has anything approaching the sharpness of what should be there with a 16MP camera,  … This isn’t just me— a number of users have emailed to say ‘“it’s going back”. I’ll be flabbergasted if it succeeds in the market, though perhaps once RAW file support is in place and a firmware update or two passes, and with some time, the camera will gain appeal.

For whatever it’s worth, he seems to be a lot more positive about the Nikon D800.  Comparing it to the Canon 5D Mark III:

Canon ruled the mid-range DSLR market with the 5D Mark II.

Now Nikon has body-slammed Canon in the mid-range DSLR market.

Or rather, Canon has body-slammed itself with greed and mediocrity. Which is fine— the market will vote with its wallet, which is the way it ought to work a lot more these days in every area— let people make their own decisions with their own money in a free market on what constitutes value.

And a somewhat cryptic statement that I think leans in a positive direction, given his other comments on the D800:

If you’re not a resolution slut, this might make you one.

The big suprise is what happens at high ISO. Wow.

So, still waiting for the D800.  Nikon, what’s up?


Nikon D800 vs. Canon 5D Mark III Sensor Comparison

Actually, there’s no comparison.  It’s not even close.

In the sensor tests over at DxOMark, the Nikon D800 whomps the crap outta the Canon 5D Mark III in every category.

Okay, sensors are just a part of the overall package.  Still, Nikon’s gotta be feeling pretty happy about this.  Now if they could just make enough of these things to fill the demand ….