Conference call to Canon Inc.’s Masaya Maeda

In the past I’ve often mentioned conference calls I had with Canon Inc. in Japan. I’ve also posted transcripts of chat sessions I’ve had with Canon Inc. executives such as Masaya Maeda a couple of times. But last week I had the idea of actually recording one of my conference calls and publishing it here so you can listen yourself to what I have to deal with here at Canon.

The conference call is between me, Frankie (UK) and Berend (the Netherlands), both from Canon Europe and Masaya Maeda, Director and Chief Executive of Image Communication Products Operations at Canon Inc. in Japan. You’ll hear us discussing the poor autofocus system of the 5D Mark II, the stupid increase of megapixels at the expensive of image quality, the 60D, 7D, Nikon D700 and D7000, the 5D Mark III petition (sign it if you haven’t yet) and lots more. Here it is on YouTube:

Conference call Transcript

Chuck: So, okay, Frankie and Berend I’m going to get Maeda in here now.

Frankie: Yeah call the fucking bastard let’s hear what he has to say!

Berend: Ja, call him.

Chuck: Easy Frankie think about your bloodpressure.

Receptionist: Hello this is Canon Japan, how may I help you?

Chuck: Yeah can I speak to Masaya Maeda please?

Receptionist: One moment please, I connect you.

Maeda: Hello this is Masaya Maeda.

Chuck: Maeda this is Chuck Westfall from Canon USA, and I’ve also got Frankie and Berend from Canon Europe CPS on the line.

Maeda: Greetings, how you are doing?

Chuck: Well not so good, we’re having trouble with the latest DSLR products. Customers are complaining.

Maeda: Is Rob Galbraith again? I get tired of him now.

Chuck: No it’s not Galbraith, customers in general.

Maeda: Is that so? Where complaining? We not hear about this.

Chuck:  Well for one the image quality is taking a serious hit with all the megapixels you keep putting on the sensor. Customers are asking for less megapixels and better image quality.

Frankie: Look at what Nikon is doing with the D3s.

Maeda: We not hear about complaints, market research data show customer are want more megapixel. So we give more megapixel.

Chuck: That’s not the feedback we get from our customers.

Berend: Ja, we get only complaints here in Holland. More people are buying Nikon cameras now.

Frankie: Just look at the Nikon D700. It has less megapixels than our 60D but people are buying it because of the image quality.

Maeda: People know nothing about image quality. More megapixels is more resolution.

Chuck: But the noise God dammit! It is getting out of hand.

Maeda: Market research show everyone say it is good.

Chuck: Have you seen my petition for the 5D Mark III? People want the focus system on the 1D Mark IV on it.

Berend: Ja the current one sucks.

Maeda: No I have not seen. But the market research data show there are no complaints with everyone say it is good.

Frankie: You fucking bastards just don’t listen do you?

Maeda: Hey watch what you say?

Chuck: Calm down Frankie.

Frankie: Customers say they want better autofocus on the 5D Mark III. Nikon has a professional 51 point autofocus system on their D700. We’re lagging far behind.

Maeda: You want more out of focus?

Chuck: Yes we want better autofocus.

Maeda: Huh? You sure you want more out of focus? We give you out of focus in 1D Mark III and Galbraith complain.

Chuck: Not out of focus dammit, I mean autofocus! We want better autofocus and don’t hold back. Give us the 45 point system in the 5D Mark III.

Maeda: That is what I say, out of focus.

Frankie: Dear lord, he means we want things to be automatically in focus not out of focus!

Maeda: We can’t give focus from 1D Mark IV, otherwise no body buy 1D series camera.

Chuck: But they are not buying the other cameras either God dammit, the current autofocus system sucks balls!!

Berend: It is een kut systeem fucking teringlijders!!

Chuck: Berend went to the red light district last night with his 5D Mark II and the autofocus system just couldn’t keep up with the action.

Frankie: Red light district? hahahahaha Berend what were you doing there mate?

Berend: I was uhm.. testing the autofocus and it was crap! Fucking worthless!

Maeda: Nonononono you listen, market research data show people are happy with autofocus on 5D camera!!

Chuck: Fuck the market research data you fucking moron, we’re giving you real honest to God feedback here!

Frankie: If you spent just a few hours a day talking to customers online instead of wanking so much you would know better.

Maeda: Fuck you, what do you know, why you not design your own camera. Start own company and make camera!

Chuck: You know, I can’t take this anymore. At this age I shouldn’t have to put up with this God damn none sense.

Frankie: You bastards, you fucking rebelized the 60D, and it got completely owned by the Nikon D7000. Even the 7D can’t go up against it. Who the fuck releases a 7D with a fucking barcode reader?

Maeda: There is much demand for barcode reader.

Chuck: Yeah, you and your mother I guess.

Berend: You cannot make the same mistake again with the Nikon D800. It will own the 5D Mark III.

Maeda: Nikon camera sucks. What do they know? Our cameras much better. We wil put extra megapixel on next 5D and they can not compete! You all stupid.

Frankie: How dare you fucking bastard call us stupid, you bloody morons!

Maeda: You stupid!! You stupid! You know nothing! You crazy!

Frankie: Up yours you moron! Yeah. Yeah. Your mother!

Berend: God, wat een stelletje idioten.

Chuck: Oh God, I can’t take this shit anymore. I’m going to be hospitalized again.

Frankie: Hang in there Westfall, don’t let it get to you!

Chuck: God dammit where did I put my pills? I’m going to hang up now, I need a drink. Talk to you all later.

Maeda: And you stop bothering me now ok?

Frankie: Yeah go back to stroking your tiny salami Maeda.

Berend: Ja go fight Godzilla!

Maeda: I fire you all!!

END

________________________________________________

So now you know.

Today also marks the 2 year anniversary of the Canon Inc. take down notice, where they tried to take down my blog, but ended up promoting it instead. Man. how time flies… gotta go now, the champagne awaits me!

We almost switched to Nikon ourselves

Vincent Laforet, Peace be with Him, and me.

Man you won’t believe how relieved all of us at Canon USA were when Vincent Laforet, God bless his soul, said on Twitter that he wasn’t planning to switch to Nikon at all:

@fcwestfall Oh FakeChuck… always causing trouble… made me laugh though. No – no Nikon / Sony et al in my future…happy Canon guy still

A strange coincidence is also that today marks the one year anniversary of the Canon USA announcement to switch to Nikon. In the end we couldn’t actually switch to Nikon though, because upper management lacked the balls to go ahead and implement the plans. All it took for them to cancel everything was one phone call from Canon Inc. in Tokyo.

Joe Adachi

An emotional looking Canon U.S.A. President and CEO Joe Adachi holds a Nikon D3s while taking questions during the press conference.

I don’t know what they told Adachi, but he became very pale and started sweating like crazy while he was on the phone with them. So it would have been a very strange coincidence if Laforet were to announce or confirm his switch to Nikon today. But anyway, we still have him and that’s what matters now.

Also noteworthy is a comment made by DarthDouche, which I think deserves to be posted here in full with commentary:

First I’ll be serious, then follow with profanity in order to be cool like the rest of you old fat cocksuckers. (FCW: Yes, that’s how we operate around here.)

I love Canon products…I’ve never owned Nikon (yet…haha…just joking…maybe in the future?? Nah, it’d be like cutting my dick off and making your Ashton’s wife choke it down!). However last year I purchased a small Sigma camera. Berate me if you must (like I give a fuck what you bunch of tampon sucking wimps think…). Quirks aside, its sensor is brilliant…and achieves color, sharpness, and low noise (within its limited resolution)….FAR THE FUCK BEYOND ANY BAYER FILTER’D SENSOR EVER WILL!! It’s a shame that they let a room full of monkeys design the rest of the camera’s innards. (FCW: Sounds like the situation at Canon Inc.’s DSLR product design department.)

Now on to my criticism of this blog posting. I am pleased to see this “future” Canon 200-400 lens. However, to fall all over yourself slamming Nikon for “copying” Canon…in a “blog” about how a 200-400 f/4 lens is “new”, no less??? I mean get the fuck over your dumbass self man!! Integrated extender or not…so what? (FCW: Well…um…)

THE ONE AND FUCKING ONLY THING NIKON HAS DONE BETTER THAN CANON FOR HOW MANY YEARS NOW??? (i.e. the 200-400 zoom?) And you can’t even say something like…”FINALLY CANON DECIDED TO CATCH UP TO NIKON’S BRILLIANT IDEA OF HAVING A 200-400 F/4 ZOOM…”??? (FCW: Well…err…)

Canon may know how to make (perhaps) better lenses than everyone else (overall anyway), and charge a fair price for them (as opposed to Nikon charging 20% more for the same or less quality…then painting them with black leaded paint so they look even more like turds)… (FCW: Well yeah, the older ones look kindof weird, but the new AF-S lenses look kinda cool with the golden stripe and all, ofcourse blatantly ripped off again from Canon (red stripe on L lenses))

…but Canon are damn sure too slow and unimaginative with “innovative” ideas! (FCW: That’s what I’ve been saying here man, haven’t you been paying attention? For the last 4 years this has indeed been the case.)

I mean, really Canon? Really??? You couldn’t even make it a 250-450 f/4, or a 180-380 f/3.5?? Somehow 200-400 was the right way to go, even though it’s the exact same as Nikon’s?????? What a load of horseshit! You can bet Nikon “fanbois” aren’t impressed… (FCW: You do have a point with the 200-400 focal length, personally I think a more clever option would have been to just make a 280-560mm f/5.6 lens and then add a 0.714x extender to it that gives you a 200-400mm f/4 lens when activated. That way people would just think it’s a 280-560mm lens and we’d still have a 200-400mm lens in disguise. It’s like good old Einstein said: The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.)

As a side note…I’ve read a review or two regarding the AF on the 1DMk4. If its AF sensors are so huge and “innovative”, why the fuck can’t they work well in low light?? You know, at least try to beat Nikon where they are good (at a supposed -2EV)?? Why not go for -2.5 EV, rather than make something that gets one-upped by the measly “old man’s camera” in low light, the 5DMk2? (FCW: You’re preaching to the choir my friend. Also I like how you call the 5D Mark II an “old man’s camera.” I really think there’s no better way to describe that camera. It’s just like how someone else recently said that it has an auto-fuck-us system. I think that very accurately describes the focus technology in the camera.)

I think the same supervising “engineers” in charge of ideas for AF sensors for the 1Dmk4, are in charge of deciding whatever cheap ass, plastic piece of Rebel xx camel dung to make. The same ones that decided $1100 wasn’t enough to pay for a real camera with a magnesium chassis, that has AF microadjustment. The same ones that couldn’t figure out they were about to be owned like a bitch in an alley by Nikon and their D7000. (FCW: They were caught with their fucking pants down. I warned them but they wouldn’t listen.)

The same ones that Rebel-ized, and cut the balls off the 60D, simply because they didn’t want to cut into 7D sales. For what? To saturate the market with lame ass entry level SLR’s that get matched or beaten by 4/3 and micro 4/3?? I guess they didn’t have the faith in their own 7D from the get-go, that the press did. (FCW: Amen brother!)

Whine if you must, but I say they need to cut the entry line down to one “Rebel” model, and the 60D. The Rebel could be $350, body only, the 60D could sell for what it’s worth…$500 body only! (FCW: Hallelujah!)

Then undercut the D7000 with the 7D, make it $50 less than the D7000…rather than hundreds more. Then hire some new thinkers to beat Nikon at their own game…before they make anything else new. (FCW: And fire the entire upper management for their incompetence.)

I read it somewhere, maybe here…is Nikon now the new Canon, and vice versa? (FCW: Yes that was here.)

I guess Canon needs to hire some celebrity like Nikon did, to hawk their products in lame ass tv ads. You know, somebody ELSE who likes tripping over wedding cakes…and who married a lady 40 years older than them, who still looks hot, at least in silhouette. (FCW: I actually proposed something like that a long time ago, but those bastards in Tokyo refuse to listen to me. Here’s some of what I had proposed:  “Even if this wasn’t a problem, there’s still the issue of why people should listen to some Japanese guy named Takahito Mizutani who likely got paid (or possibly threatened) to do the interview. I mean for Christ’s sake, couldn’t they find someone better? At Nikon they have Ashton Kutcher! The guy probably never actually uses a Nikon camera longer than 2 minutes a month, and that’s when he’s able to figure out how to turn it on. But when he tells people he’s using a Nikon DSLR, millions of people who know and like him listen. And that’s marketing. But at Canon Inc.? There they have the great Mr. Mizutani. Couldn’t they pay someone better to talk about the 1D3? How about Arnold Schwarzenegger? Nikon has Ashton Kutcher, why can’t we have Schwarzenegger? Can you imagine Arnold dressed like the T-800 on his Harley looking very serious, pulling out a 1D3 and going “I require excellent AF.” That clip would have moved some serious inventory.”)

They need to add more zeros to their camera names. The Rebel EOS TQis777000000000 IS, with image stabilimotion and global orgasm positioning…the Rebel Dreamliner Signature PQiS, with integrated mobile aps…It takes your pictures for you, while you spend your time doing important stuff like stalking chicks on facebook…with its integrated ap. (FCW: Interesting, we may have to look into that.)

And now for the cussing, because you know, I’m real mature and shit ya’ll. FUCK FUCKA FUCK YOUR MOTHER BLAH BLAH BLAH…in the ass blah blah all night long…say hello to your mom’s new backdoor neighbor! (FCW: Not bad, needs a little work. With some more practice I think you’ll do just fine.)

Boom Shakalaka

Don’t forget to sign the petition to Canon Inc. regarding the new 5D Mark III. In 48 hours only about 120 people have signed it and that’s fucking pathetic. I’m beginning to regret taking the time to have made that petition. I think I could have better used that time to shave my balls or something. At least my wife might have shown some more appreciation than the lot of you.

Well that’s it for today, I need to get back on the phone now with Japan to discuss some of our new wireless flash technology because I think their current implementation is half-assed at best.

Happy New Year!

Man I almost peed my pants while laughing just now. I went on Snapsort to find some information, did a comparison between the Nikon D7000 and the Canon EOS 7D just to see what would happen, and got the following result:

Snapsort recommends the Nikon D7000

Snapsort recommends the Nikon D7000

The thing that really made me laugh was the text at the bottom where it says that “this recommendation should be taken with a grain of salt since it doesn’t always make sense to compare a pro DSLR with an entry-level DSLR.” And obviously in this case the 7D is the pro DSLR and it is losing to the D7000 which is positioned much closer to entry-level! If this doesn’t show you just how much Canon has lost it in the last few years, then nothing ever will. It’s a goddamn tragedy.

Bradley Cooper and Chase Jarvis (right) - Separated at birth?

Nikon really blew everyone away with the D7000. They even brought in Chase Jarvis (Wedding Crashers, The Hangover) again for the viral marketing on launch day, just like they did for the D90 back in 2008. The amount of energy this guy brought to the launch of the D7000 could have sold a George Foreman Grill in hell. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it in the future, the man is on crack 24/7. I’m kind of ashamed to admit that even I was blown away. I knew the 60D was fucked, but to be honest, nobody could have predicted this amount of fuckage. None of the statistics and intelligence we had here at Canon indicated that this level of devastation would be upon us.

Snapsort Recommends the Nikon D7000

Snapsort recommends the Nikon D7000

The D7000 was supposed to be in the same class as the 60D. Not only is it not in the same class as the 60D feature-wise, but it even blows away the 7D! And you have to keep in mind that the 7D retails for $1800 while the D7000 retails for $1200! This means that if you buy the 7D, you pay $600 more for inferiority. Moses has all the details here. I’m not going to repeat all of that, but for us here at Canon the release of the D7000 was the equivalent of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. It remains to be seen if Canon Inc. in Japan will be able to put up a fight in the future, or if they’ll just continue to take this ass-whooping like the pussies that they are. I’m afraid the same will happen again with the 5D Mark III and the D800 this year. I’ve been having nightmares about this and wake up screaming at night. My wife is worried sick. But knowing Canon Inc. and how they like to intentionally dumb down products, and seeing how Nikon is basically throwing everything they’ve got into the game with each new DSLR, I have every reason to be afraid.

So anyway, it’s a new year, so let’s not think about Canon Inc.’s stupidity for the sake of trying to be positive and optimistic, and let us hope that things will be a lot better for us Canon folks this year. I start working again tomorrow, but I’ll try to make some more time this year for blogging. I did only 8 posts in 2010 and that’s a bit low, even though there were some very long posts in there. To be honest, it wasn’t so much that I was busy playing with my new Nikon gear. I was just so depressed because of all the issues we were having. Seriously, we kept taking hit after hit from Nikon and I was just so frustrated by our internal bureaucracy and the stupid fucks in Tokyo who just don’t want to listen. But I promise I’ll do my best to blog more often this year. See you again soon!

I’m being followed by Nikon USA

Like a friend was quick to mention, Christmas came early this year at casa de Fake Chuck when I noticed that I was being followed on Twitter by none other than Nikon USA. In case you think that’s a typo, let me type it here again for you: I’m being followed on Twitter by Nikon USA. And no that’s not the fake Nikon USA, that’s real Nikon USA. You’re probably wondering how this happened, so let me explain it to you in more detail. 

On November 23rd, 2009 Nikon USA appeared on the list of people I’m following on Twitter. At first I thought someone hacked my Twitter account and then followed @nikonusadotcom to frame me or something. But upon further investigation I concluded that apparently I must have somehow stumbled upon their profile on Twitter and then clicked the “Follow” button. Now, I’m sure some of you will be quick to mention that this is confirmation of the fact that I’m probably a crazy Nikon fanboy because I’m following Nikon USA and appear to be anti-Canon. But nothing could be further from the truth. The simple fact of the matter is that I like to keep an eye on the competition. That’s all. In the past I’ve also been very open about me using a D3 and D3x quite often while I’m out with the family. And in fact my D3s should arrive in time for Christmas. But this is just me err… evaluating… the competition and doing uh… competitive research. You have to know who you’re up against. On top of that I’m even doing all of this in my free time without getting paid for it, while spending my own money on the uh.. research samples. This just goes to show you the kind of dedication that I bring to my work at Canon USA. 

Soon after Nikon USA somehow made itself into the list of people I’m following, I noticed the following tweet by them: 

We’re reviewing the presentation of our products pages like this one http://bit.ly/1pul0P – send me a DM with your thoughts and ideas #nikon 

Being the helpful and caring person that I am, I couldn’t help but offer them a suggestion

@nikonusadotcom “We’re reviewing the presentation of our products pages – send me … your thoughts and ideas” – Suggestion: Remove them all 

Yes I know what you’re thinking again: “Look he’s helping Nikon USA! He’s obviously a crazy Nikon fanboy!” And again, relax, nothing could be further from the truth. I believe we’re all operating in the same market and in a way we’re not only competitors but also colleagues who’re trying to do what’s best for the industry. And in that sense, I felt that they could really benefit from my suggestion. I’m not a webdesign expert, but in making that suggestion about improving the product pages on the Nikon USA website I was kinda going for the Zen approach to design. You know, less is more. So far it doesn’t look like they’ve followed my advice, but that might be due to internal bureaucracy. You know how these things go. 

But I did notice soon after my suggestion that Nikon USA added me to their list of people they follow, which can only mean that they value my feedback and are genuinely interested in what I have to say. 

It’s a sad day when you have to find out that the competition appears to be listening to you more actively than the company you’re working for. I don’t see anyone from Canon Inc. following me yet. Hell, I’m willing to bet my left nut that none of them even have a goddamn Twitter account. I’ve said it before, but our social media strategy is almost non existent. Canon Inc. apparently still think they’re doing business in the 80′s. At least I didn’t wait for them and started this blog, again in my free time, showing just how much I care about my work and about Canon products. I tried getting those fucks in Japan to start blogging about the company and about our products numerous times. I even told them to read Robert Scoble’s excellent book about corporate blogging. But every time I mention Naked Conversations to the Japanese they give me a funny look. Now they think I’m gay.

On the other hand you have Nikon who appears to understand social media a lot better. I’ve mentioned this many times before and the Lord of the Speedlights just rubbed it in again for us in true Nikon style, just to make absolutely sure we were noticing.

I really can’t understand Tokyo anymore. We’re fucking up in all possible ways. We’re out of touch with customers, our quality control is fucked, our recent products are fucked, our marketing strategies are fucked. It’s aaall fucked! 

Nikon VS Canon

And the results can be seen in the image above. What you’re seeing there is worldwide fuckage. Quite scary, to be honest. That’s a shitload more D3 and D3x sales compared to 1D3 and 1Ds3. Let’s be honest: Does this surprise you? Because it sure as fuck doesn’t surprise me! And it also won’t surprise me at all when this same trend can be seen for other product models, especially when you consider the following graph which I mentioned in my previous post

Maeda: "Competitions set our ass up the cocks!"

Call me pessimistic, but I don’t see this changing in the near future. Not with Nikon’s D3s receiving glowing reviews everywhere, especially when it comes to low light performance. We’re going to be oh-so-fucked if they update the D700 with the new sensor from the D3s early next year. In the mean time, Canon Inc. will keep cramming more megapixels onto future sensors while raping the shit out of image quality. Can you see a diffraction limited aperture of f/2.8 in the future? I know I can! It is going to be so awesome. Stop down from f/2.8 and experience mushy image heaven!! Hell, you’re going to have to shoot wide open constantly on most lenses if you expect to see any kind of detail in your images! 

Not to mention the noise. It was just fucking unbelievable to see how much more noise the 50D offered compared to the 40D. Even the 7D features more noise in images compared to the 40D. Moses wrote in recently to mention that he updated his 7D post with results from DXO Mark, showing that the 7D does indeed offer more noise compared to the 40D and, lord have mercy, even the D300s. A clear indication of how low we’ve sunken here at Canon. 

So does it surprise you that Canon is losing market share worldwide? Does it surprise you that people are switching to Nikon? Just check this out

Despite my near-constant frustration with Canon, I held out for the mythical 5d Mark II – a camera that promised even better ISO, an even bigger sensor, an even fancier LCD and (you guessed it), the same crappy focusing system. At that point, Canon had me by the you-know-whats (I don’t actually have you-know-whats… it’s a euphemism, silly) – I had *thousands* invested in lenses (see below). So I shot my 5d Mark II for the entire 2009 wedding season…. on One-Shot…. using a high aperture… constantly cussing under my breath. 

So, there you have it! Canon is a great system…. I will miss some of the lenses and the way the bodies feel in my hands (I still think Nikons are made for a man’s hands and mine don’t quite fit around the grip right).  But, at the end of the day, I am a stickler for focus and Canon just didn’t deliver.  

And this is not an isolated incident, trust me. The end result was predictable: Switched to Nikon. I’ve written a lot here in the past about what can only be referred to as the legendary AF system of our 5D Mark II, but here’s a nice story to freshen up your minds. This user hasn’t yet switched to Nikon apparently, but sure as hell was already considering it. (Update: We’ve lost her)

The more I see these reports around the Internet and in my mailbox these days, the more I myself am thinking about switching to Nikon. Hell, I already am following Nikon USA on Twitter and already own Nikon gear, I might as well ask them for office space too!

7D Reviews: Shit are happen!

Hello and welcome. This is your favorite camera guru reporting to you live from my office here at Canon USA. I’m sitting here burning some really good ganja so there’s a lot of smoke in the room, and in fact visibility is so low right now I’m having some difficulty seeing my monitor. Yeaaahh mon. I figured I needed to relax after all the shit that’s been going on recently. And it’s either getting high and relax, or snapping and picking up my double barrel shotgun to do some serious damage around here.

I thought Halloween was over, but apparently that’s not the case. We released a fix for the ghosting problem on the 7D, but as it appears, that’s the least of its problems right now. The horror stories keep pouring in. There are some more reviews out right now and it doesn’t look good. All those people who were writing in to me complaining about the noise seem to have been on to something. I was trying to ignore those complaints hoping it would just somehow go away, but it seems like it got worse instead.

As you all know I did my best for this not to happen. I talked to Tokyo several times about easing on the megapixels now, for the sake of our users, but the Japanese don’t want to listen. Let me remind you of this chat I had with Maeda a while back:

Shit are happen!

That’s how it basically kept going every time. Thank God they didn’t put 21MP on the 7D or else we’d have an even bigger problem right now. I fear for the 7D Mark II though. They might even take it to 24MP.

But anyway, let’s take a look at some of the reviews. First up we have the 7D review done by Darwin Wiggett. Here’s essentially what he has to say about the 7D:

Again to our eye the 7D files look soft and mushy compared to the snap in the other two files. Of course we expected the flagship Mark III to outperform the mid-priced 7D but we did not expect the entry level Rebel to better the 7D especially when the Rebel’s 12MP files were interpolated to 18MP!

——

The files from the Canon 7D were so disappointing to us that we began to wonder if we had received a dud camera. We borrowed a different body. Off we went for round two, again shooting numerous scenes with both the 7D and the Rebel XSi. We got the exact same results:  the little Rebel bested the 7D every time in terms of file quality. The second 7D body performed as ‘poorly’ as the first.

So… we got a THIRD 7D body and ran more tests.

——

We looked on the web for reviews of the Canon 7D and almost every review site RAVES about the camera both in terms of features and performance (we agree) but also in terms of file quality (huh?).  Also on photo sharing forums a lot of photographers think the file quality of the Canon 7D is awesome. Maybe our expectations were too high? We thought the 7D should give us files better than a Rebel or G11. Maybe we are just too anal?

Yeah, as the technical advisor at Canon USA, I too expected the 7D to give us better looking files compared to the much older, cheaper and entry level Rebel and G11. But as we can clearly learn from this, our expectations and the reality dictated to us by Tokyo rarely match. And this has been true for the last 4 years. Perhaps I too am just being “too anal”, as Darwin puts it. But it’s hard not to be “too anal” when we have Canon Inc’s gigantic corporate cock up our collective asses here at Canon USA.

Let’s anal-yze one of the images from the review below.

Mushy 7D image

On the left you can see the 100% image crop from the 7D and on the right from the Rebel XSi. As you can no doubt observe, the hay appears to be melting and almost forming a single body of hay on the image taken by the 7D. Based on my calculations it could be that the 7D image was taken after the Rebel image, at which point the hay reached sufficient temperature to start melting. However, I was just told that hay doesn't melt, so we have no choice but to conclude that the 7D might be fucked.

I’ll have to ask Tokyo what happened to the extra resolution that the 18MP sensor from the 7D is supposed to offer the next time I call them. I hope you realize that now uncle Bob on the wedding you’re covering with your 7D and 24-70mm f/2.8 L is going to be making better looking pictures with his cheap Rebel XSi plus kitlens, which he got on Ebay in what had to be a pretty good deal too. And I suggest you have some excuses prepared for when they ask you how little Timmy’s photos from his G11 look so much better compared to yours. And I’m not trying to summon John Harrington here, but think of the far reaching consequences this is going to have on the photography business when people start to realize that their own uncle Bob and little Timmy can take much better pictures and they don’t need a $3000 charging “professional” to cover their event. In the end, it’s the person behind the camera and not the camera that makes the picture, right? Right??

Next we have our very own Moses with a review that put a smile on my face. I tell ya, I thank God for people like Darwin Wiggett and Moses because they make my work so much easier for me. Now I have some material to use in my arguments with Tokyo. Moses wrote down a lot of words on his website to essentially just make the following point, and I quote:

Now the 2 year old 40D costing round $800 delivers better image quality than the ’state of the art’ 7D which costs $1700. Does this make sense to you? Not to me!

It doesn’t really make sense to me either. But I’m willing to bet the Japanese think this makes perfect sense. Now in case this isn’t sinking in yet, let me summarize for you what we’ve just learned:

  • The EOS 7D produces less detailed images compared to the entry level, cheaper Rebel XSi and G11 cameras, even while having more megapixels.
  • The EOS 7D produces noisier images than the two year old EOS 40D while being twice as expensive.
The Best Camera

If you're a 7D owner, this book will make you angry.

Looks like if you’re a 7D owner, the best camera really isn’t the one that’s with you.

Kaan joo now understaan why am burning di ganja here right now in me office, mon? Yeaah mon, like a reel Rastaman!

Seriously though, this really sucks.

Our only hope right now is the 1D Mark IV. But to be honest, I’m afraid of what is going to happen and my confidence in Canon is at an all time low at the moment. I am still trying to do my job as best as I can under the circumstances, but it’s not easy.

My latest Tech Tips have recently been published over at the Digital Journalist. And I also got interviewed by Photo Induced about the 1D4, check the movie below.

I was just about to get drunk when those guys from Photo Induced showed up. I already had a few shots of whiskey but I think I still managed to give a pretty decent sales talk. You’ll notice that I look much older and I’ve lost some weight as well. All the recent problems here at Canon are taking their toll on me I have to admit. I’m already starting to think about retiring too. I don’t know how much longer I can take this. And yes, before you ask, the 1D4 sample I was holding in the video had it’s CF slot glued.

Meanwhile the Nikon D3s is available and people are already raving about the great image quality it offers. I’m quite sure that our 7D would have matched the D3s if it was kept at 10MP. But we all know how that worked out. Wildlife photographer Moose Petersen wrote about his experiences using the D3s on his website. Imagine that… a wildlife photographer called Moose… Anyway, if you look at the D3s samples on his website, it becomes clear that the 1D4 is going to have tough competition. I do know from my own tests here at the office that certainly ISO 102,400 on the 1D4 doesn’t look quite as good as ISO 102,400 on the D3s. Perhaps this is why Japan ordered everyone to take down all 1D4 sample images. But if they think they’re going to fix this with noise reduction we’ll have another 7D type of situation on our hands very soon. I tell ya, I’m not looking forward to this year’s holiday season, that’s for sure. I’m just waiting for our shipment of production 1D4s with production firmware to see just how bad it’s going to be.

Bradley Cooper / Chase Jarvis

Bradley Cooper and Chase Jarvis (right) - Seperated at birth?

But those fucks at Nikon are so cocky and self assured right now they’re giving away $100,000 through photographer Chase Jarvis for the best movie made and submitted to them. I’m willing to bet they’re doing this just to give us an extra kick in the nuts after Japan ordered us to take down Laforet’s video “Nocturne”. I imagine the morning briefing at Nikon the following day went somewhat like this:

Nikon Executive 1: Hey guys, did you hear about Canon Inc. taking down that new Laforet video??

Entire Meeting Room: LOL ROFL LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!

Nikon Executive 1: Oh God, what a bunch of fucking morons! Unbelievable!

Nikon Executive 2: You know, I think we should use this opportunity to post even more of our own videos, just to piss those Canon USA guys off!

Nikon Executive 1: God damnit, that’s a great idea! Hey, even better, we give people money to post their videos!

Entire Meeting Room: LOL ROFL LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!

So now we can’t post videos here at Canon while Nikon’s giving away $100,000 to do exactly that! This is just fucking childish behavior on their part. Just rub more salt on our wounds will ya? Fucking wankers. And they couldn’t have picked someone more suitable to do this either. That Jarvis guy’s on crack 24/7. I wish we had him on our side to promote our products. Did you see the videos he posted on his website? Boy that’s something else. A world of difference between those videos and my boring 1D4 sales talk.

So you see now why I need the whisky and the ganja, right? Nikon is encouraging photographers like Chase to use their equipment and even giving away tons of money doing so, while we are here shooting down talented people like Vincent Laforet, peace and blessings be upon him, and ordering them to take down their videos taken with our equipment. Boy that really has to have a positive influence on any good will they have towards us.

And I’m not even going to mention the new Nikon iPhone application. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, keep it that way.

I’m telling you if I wasn’t a mentally strong person, I’d have snapped a long time ago. All I’m trying to do right now is to somehow make it to my retirement without going insane.

Fuck! Looks like the fire alarm just went off. Gotta go.

Aut-O’-Focus

The Cryptkeeper with EOS 7D

Hello kiddiezz....

HELLO KIDDIEZZZ… If you’re looking for a frights of passage photographer, look no further… I specialize in… DEATH! Yeaakekekekekekeeaah….. Tonight’s horror tale is about a Japaneez company that just can’t seem to get it right anymore…cauzing loads of TERROR to unsuspecting cusstomerz… Their latest fuckup with the EOS 7D is jusst in time for Halloween, offering customerz a GHOSTING advantage while taking pictures… It would have been a reaal advantage if only the camera had a working autofocus system… or should I say… outta-focus system?!? Yeakekeke!… I call this story.. AUT-O’-FOCUS… Yeeaakekekekekekeeaaahh!!

——————

7D Ghosting

7D Ghosting

Alrighty then, many thanks to the Cryptkeeper for the intro, he’s just in time for Halloween. And he’s not the only one just in time for Halloween. A few readers have commented in my previous post about how we underestimate Canon Inc. every time when we’re talking about their marketing insights, or the certain lack thereof, and I have to say I’m beginning to believe we’re underestimating them myself. Just in time for Halloween, they’ve unleashed a new feature on the EOS 7D that is causing ghosting in images taken in burst mode. And you thought the noise in 7D images was a problem! Now you can add ghosts to your images on Halloween on the fly without the need for using Photoshop! Every 7D owner can brag about this cool feature to their friends and relatives on Halloween. It’s just fucking brilliant! I’m sure Nikon executives are slapping their foreheads right now wondering why they didn’t think of this themselves! I sure hope we already filed a patent for this. Click here to see an example of this nice feature in action. Thanks to reader Jeff for the Halloween tip.

Other readers have their own interpretation of this situation:

I think I said in comment to a previous post that image quality was job #1. Maybe Canon took that to mean that the more images they could show on a single frame the better.

Canon still isn’t getting it: a camera with great specs but noisy, ghosty images is not a great camera. It’s a crappy camera with nice-looking specs. You don’t shoot specs – you shoot images.

Personally I think we should have stuck a 12MP sensor in the 7D myself, capable of delivering even cleaner images at all ISO settings. But hey, who am I right? I’ve said it many times before, but those morons in Japan don’t give a flying fuck about what I think, and anyone else for that matter.

You Can't - Canon

Thanks, Moses

As if all this isn’t enough, I’m getting a lot of emails about the autofocus system on the EOS 7D not working correctly. Here’s another link with more info. At this point we’re not exactly sure what’s going on. There seem to be working bodies out there so this could be Canon Inc.’s shitty quality control at work again. Ever since the release of the EOS 1D Mark III it seems there’s some kind of a misunderstanding between us and Canon Inc. When we told them photographers wanted better autofocus on future cameras, I believe the Japanese understood that we all wanted better out of focus on the cameras. Because ever since the 1D Mark III that is exactly what they have been giving us. The 5D Mark II has autofocus issues, now the 7D seems to have autofocus issues of its own, and I pray to God every day that this stops, but I fear for the 1D Mark 4. Even the video feature on the 7D appears to suffer from a number of issues. One is the moire pattern issue in 720p recording, and another seems to be dropped frames.

And to think I was so very optimistic with the release of the 7D. You can’t even begin to imagine how depressing all this is. If shit happens again with the 1D4, 2010 is going to be a repeat of 2008 for us – a fucking nightmare.

Everyone seems to be a bit depressed here at the office because of all this, and especially because of Canon Inc. screwing with our chance to be in the spotlight with Vincent Laforet’s Nocturne. After that we didn’t even have the fucking balls to publicly apologize about fucking up, and instead we had to ask Laforet to do it for us:

Canon is large, multi-national corporation – and at times things can hit a snag.   I had a meeting with a few Canon USA executives this week in New York at the Photo Plus Expo – and they went as far as to ask me to communicate to you that they are genuinely apologetic that this has happened.

We’re all a bunch of pussies here at Canon USA. PUSSIES! We can’t even stand up to those fuckwads in Japan. No wonder they keep screwing everyone over. At least I have this blog, right? But what is the rest of Canon USA doing?? WAKE THE FUCK UP!! My God, my God!!

Okay let me just calm down here for a bit.

Okay.

While Nikon is out there showing off their D3s, posting sample images and cool videos done by photographers, Canon Inc. is ordering everyone to take down sample images and movies taken with the 1D4. Moses has more on this here. I simply cannot understand how this is going to help us compete against Nikon.

Really, if you want to torture yourself, go ahead and check out this “preview” of the 1D4 done by a Norwegian photographer. Here’s the juicy part:

This is my first impression of the BETA Canon 1D Mark IV, and not a normal field review! The camera’s CF slot was glued by Canon, and I could not check the image quality and HD-video on a computer screen. As a result, all I can comment on is the handling of the camera and how the photos looks in built-in the camera display.

Take the time to process what you’ve just read. Because seriously, I still cannot wrap my head around so much raw stupidity for the fucking life of me. We actually sent a camera to a photographer for evaluation with the fucking CF slot glued!! What is the fucking use of this? Can anyone explain this to me? What the fuck am I missing here? The guy can’t even check what the fuck he’s shooting, image quality has to be judged based on what he sees on the shitty LCD screen on the camera. You can’t even know if the images are really in focus, if the images are clean etc. He could have been shooting 8 bit VGA images for all he knows! That photographer allowed Canon Inc. to publicly make a total ass out of him too. You should really know better than to do a preview under such conditions.

But again, notice how Canon Inc. is basically doing exactly what they want, ordering everyone to do what they want, and everyone apparently seems to accept all their crap. Canon subsidiaries worldwide, photographers worldwide - everyone.

It’s fucking amazing. Those guys at Canon Inc. are like the fucking mafia.

But I wonder why Canon Inc. has the need to so badly control what output from the 1D4 gets out in public at this point in time. Even going so far as to glue CF card slots and ordering people to take down sample images, while clearly we needed the publicity to counter the D3s. Something might be up.

I have a really bad feeling about this…

This Halloween, we’re going to sit down here at the office at Canon USA, turn off all lights, and we’re going to tell eachother stories about bad quality control, mirrors falling off, noise and banding issues, autofocus issues… you know, REAL horror stories. It’s going to scare the living crap out of us.

Canon EOS 7D: Nikon’s Worst Nightmare Has Begun

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 7D

Bruce Wayne saw bats flying towards him out of a very bright light, haunting him every night during his sleep. The image above shows what is currently haunting every Nikon executive in their sleep at night, causing them to wake up screaming like girly men while bathing in their own sweat. For Bruce Wayne, things got better. But for Nikon, the worst is yet to come.

I know I’m a bit late with my introduction of our new 7D camera, but I have been very busy here at the office with all kinds of preparations for what is yet to come. We are heading for some very exciting times and let me assure you that the 7D is just the beginning. If you’re thinking about getting a 7D, be prepared to have your patience tested to the extreme. While the 7D should hit stores by the end of the month, chances are that this camera will be continuously backordered until the end of time.

We’ve just released the official 7D brochure, so you might want to download it and start drooling. You’ll notice that the marketing department got a little carried away while compiling the text for the brochure, and frankly, I don’t really blame them this time because the 7D is an exciting product. But when you see stuff like the following, please forgive them:

On Page 3: “Canon EOS SLR cameras have consistently featured cuttingedge AF technologies and the EOS 7D takes them a step further.”

I had to chuckle when I read that. OK fine I admit, I LOLed. Consistently featured cutting edge AF, huh? Yeah… I printed that line on a large banner and it is now hanging high up on the wall behind me in my office. Funny how people can so easily forget about the Great Fiasco of 2008. I think most of them just got so traumatized that they blocked 2008 out of their memory completely. Just thinking about 2008 sends chills down my spine every time so trust me when I say that it’s not easy for them. I mean really, all of you who are regular readers know that not too long ago I was crying here on my blog in despair, mentioning how I was coming home drunk every night because the future seemed very dark for us here at Canon. I was just totally wasted every night. But at least it wasn’t so bad that I woke up in the morning to find a tiger in my bathroom, a baby in the closet and David Sparer asking me why he’s missing a tooth, all while not being able to remember what happened to me the previous night.

Bradley Cooper and Chase Jarvis - Seperated at birth?

Bradley Cooper and Chase Jarvis (right) - Separated at birth?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have to really do yourself a favor and go out to see the movie “The Hangover,” starring Chase Jarvis as Bradley Cooper as Phil. Even if it’s just to see Chase taking Mike Tyson’s tiger from behind while yelling “Let’s fuck this tiger!!” I know it sounds bizarre, but seriously, I’m not kidding. On top of that you even have Canon Inc.’s Masaya Maeda, Director and Chief Executive of Image Communication Products Operations, making an appearance when he leaps out of the back of a car, totally naked, and starts beating the crap out of Chase with a crowbar.

Maeda

Chase lying on the ground after taking a beating from Maeda

"You gonna fuck on me!!??"

"You gonna fuck on me!!??"

There’s just something really funny about watching a gay looking Canon executive beating the crap out of a Nikon photographer.

Hangovers aside, things are starting to look pretty good for us here at Canon thanks to the Japanese at Canon Inc. in Tokyo finally listening to us. Even Vincent Laforet, peace and blessings be upon him, mentioned in a recent interview that Canon is finally starting to listen. If you’ve looked at the specs, you know that the 7D really introduces many exciting new features for Canon users. It’s funny how the 7D comes with a brand new and fucking awesome viewfinder design with an intelligent LCD display, getting rid of the focusing screens, when I just wrote about the state of the art “‘On-demand’ Viewfinder Gridlines Projection System” two months ago. Unfortunately though, the 7D still features the very advanced “Eyepiece Closing ‘Mechanism’“, arguably one of humanity’s greatest achievements, but I guess that it would have been too good to be true if that was also replaced with something better. 

However, the introduction of the 7D has led to the discovery of one of the most important formulas since E=MC2, a formula that holds great promises for the future. You can see it below in all its glory:

The Formula

There’s not much else I can say about this right now, I just hope you and Canon Inc. know your math.

Overall we’re getting some great responses about the 7D. Jeff Ascough posted some sample images and mentions being very pleased with the 7D so far. I also got an email from someone who’s been on our case for a long time now. For some reason the content of the email cracked me up, so I’m just going to include it here without permission and be done with it:

Hell has frozen over! John Harrington has posted a TFP request for female models on his website!

My first positive blog post about Canon in a very long time: http://www.kareldonk.com/karel/2009/09/08/canon-eos-7d-looking-very-promising/

I’m just going to call that guy “Moses” from now on, as his predictions appear to be spot on. And when he writes positive about Canon, you know Nikon is going to have serious issues. Even Rob Galbraith had to admit that “Canon has a winner on their hands with the EOS 7D.” And then he went on to mumble something about the autofocus system. I don’t know what the fascination is with Galbraith and our autofocus systems. The guy just refuses to let it go. At some point he even mentions the following:

We also used the EF 85mm f/1.2L II, and focus was all over the place. The same lens exhibited the same unstable AF on an EOS 5D Mark II, suggesting the problem was more a function of the lens than the camera.

Am I the only one who slapped my hand on my forehead, shook my head and asked myself why Galbraith had to include this in his article? This is about the same as saying the following:

We also poured a couple of gallons of sulfuric acid on the 7D and it started going haywire before completely dying on us. The sulfuric acid had the same effect on the EOS 5D Mark II, suggesting the problem was more a function of the sulfuric acid than the camera.

Sometimes I fear for the future of humanity. I really do.

Now, I know a lot of you have written in to complain about the noise in images taken with a 7D and if I want to be honest, I can only admit that personally it also worries me a little. But let me remind you of what I said a while ago in reply to a Tech Tips question:

What is it with all the noise on the recent cameras? I thought image quality was important to Canon. Now I have to spend time cleaning up noise even at ISO 100. It’s getting crazy you guys better do something about this!

Thank you for your suggestion. If you’ve been following this blog long enough you already know my personal opinion regarding noise in images: I don’t like it myself. However, at Canon we think that noise is an important part of digital photography and certainly with regards to image quality. More noise in larger images is actually an improvement that contributes a lot to good image quality, as we have clearly demonstrated with the EOS 50D and the EOS 5D Mark II. Going forward, we expect noise to continue to play an important role in digital photography here at Canon with future advancements in sensor development, which will allow for even larger resolutions on smaller sensors while bending, and indeed completely trashing,  the laws of physics and causing a rip in the space-time continuum.
Other industry leaders have also recognized the importance of noise in images. For example, Adobe has demonstrated to share a similar view by including filters in Photoshop that add noise to images. As a result, images made with older cameras that offered noise-free images can now be improved by adding noise to them. I expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately the Japanese, while they do appear to be listening a little more to us now, are not willing to give up the megapixel race just yet. At this point I’m just hoping, praying to God even, that the noise problem will not ruin the 7D for us like it did with the 50D and to some extent also the 5D Mark II. I’m also hoping that the new AF system actually works. If the Japanese fuck this one up again, all hope will be lost. According to recently acquired intelligence, Nikon is also planning something big. Something really big.

Nikon Headquarters

Nikon Headquarters

We’ve got some exciting new stuff coming very soon as well. This time even I don’t have all the details as Japan has gotten more and more secretive about future plans. But what I’m certain about is that you’re going to see a very fierce battle unfold in the next few months. We are at war, make no mistake about it.

Finally, I want to mention that I’m celebrating my first birthday this Sunday, September 13th. On that day it will be exactly a year ago when I first started this blog. Amazing how time flies. I hope you’ll all be here with me to celebrate.

Gotta run now, lots of work waiting for me.