Monday, November 15, 2010

How will Canon answer....and when?

A thought of the day...

Competition is a good thing.  In business, in sports, etc, it drives innovation and performance.

This being said, I hope Canon has some tricks up their sleeves...and soon...or they're going to get clobbered, again.

The first time they got clobbered was back in 2007/2008 with the release of the Nikon D3, D700, and D300 in close timing with each other.  This came after Canon led the DSLR revolution for almost ten years.  If Canon knew this onslaught from Nikon was coming then they didn't show it because they really had no match for these new cameras from Nikon.  The good thing was that at least partially out of that competition eventually the Canon 7D was born, which I believe was Canon's first truly innovative camera in quite some time.

Now we have the release of the Nikon D7000 and the Sony Alpha A33 and A55, all of which have full time auto focus during video shooting, a major shortcoming of all the current Canon DSLR's that offer high definition video as an option.  Other manufacturers will certainly follow this full time auto focus trend (if they too can figure out a unique way to do it), and Canon better be one of them.

Having shot video on a Canon 7D DSLR for some time now, I have to say that the lack of auto focus during video shooting is a big operational burden that limits the use of the Canon DSLR video technology for the average photographer.  I really didn't think that not having video auto focus would be that big of a deal in actual casual use, but it absolutely is a big deal.

I've seen people come up with follow-focus devices to handle focusing, but let's be realistic....the average person is never going to get and use one of these devices for vacation, travel, and family video clips.  Auto focus is a practical and real need for casual DSLR video shooters.

The new 60D was an opportunity for Canon to introduce this technology in their camera line and they didn't do it, so clearly they don't have it ready yet.  Will the eventual 8D or 5D MkIII have it?  Who knows...but for their own good and the good of Canon shooters everywhere, this video shooting advancement by Nikon and Sony cannot go unanswered.  We want full time video auto focus!

Which brings me to my point.....Canon knows all of this.  They used to be the leader with these types of things and now they're becoming a follower.  Who would have thought that Sony, which has hardly been an innovator of late with anything in their electronics lineup, would be the one to get full time video auto focus out there first in this class of camera.  Wasn't it Sony that completely missed the portable digital music craze and still aren't in on it?!  A market, which by the way, they invented with the original analog Walkman!  They've fallen behind in TV technology, hand held gaming, etc.  And here they are besting Canon in an area like this?

What's going on here Canon.....Give us what we want and need!

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