Canon USA Fuckup Notices

Looks like I’m getting drunk again tonight. We’ve just released another service notice fuckup notice for the EOS 1D/1Ds Mark III cameras, this time concerning oil spots on the camera sensor. To view the full notice, click here (Canon USA version) or here (Canon Europe version).

I’m telling you, the Lord knows no mercy when Canon is concerned these days. If you own a 1D and or 1Ds Mark III, let me, again, apologize on behalf of Canon USA and Canon Inc. for the trouble you’re going through with these cameras. At least be happy about the fact that we are finally acknowledging the problem and are offering to fix it for you, and this, ofcourse, after waiting for two years now while many users have been complaining about this on forums everywhere. At least two years is a lot faster than waiting 3 years to release a service notice for the 5D mirror falling off, right? That fucking camera was obsolete by the time we admitted the problem and actually offered to fix it. Anyway, please keep wasting your time by sending in your affected equipment to us constantly, having to rent replacements for that important assignment that is coming up, and keep spending cash on shipping and insurance too, but feel comforted by the fact that we are doing these repairs for you free of charge. Yep, absolutely free! Isn’t that so kind of us to do that?

I wonder how long we’ll have to keep thanking users for “their patronage and support of Canon products” here at Canon USA while Canon Inc. keeps screwing up theoretically good products. I mean, seriously, look at the following picture:

Oil?

Oil?

How, exactly, does that pass quality control inspection? If you ask me, it almost looks like Kyokoshiro on the assembly line shot his load into the mirror box and failed to clean it properly. They had better start doing something about the sexless society in Japan because obviously it is having really bad consequences for everyone (read here and here for background, quite interesting). How can anyone function in such a society? No wonder Kyokoshiro can’t seem to do a good job on the assembly line anymore. You try working almost all day long, not actually seeing your wife much at home, and not being able to have sex for months. Then you see a 1D Mark III body moving towards you on the assembly line with an open lens mount, and strange things start to happen.

Canon Inc. already started sending workers home early recently in order to fix this problem. Let us all pray that this will have a positive influence on the 1D Mark IV.

A while ago a fuckup notice was also released for the G10 relating to lines appearing on images. The G10 already got trashed on DPReview for poor image quality (lots of noise), and fuckups like these are really not going to help us to sell it. I’ve got quite some emails about G10′s just dying on users too. Back in november 2008, Daniel left the following comment here on my blog:

I’m convinced Canon doesn’t do any QC anymore.

Had to return my first G10 as it has a damaged CCD which shows up as a line in every frame. I’m not kidding. I have the CR2 files to prove it!

My 2nd G10 has a distorted peephole, I mean the viewfinder. But I’m just too tired. Decided I’ll live with this one and maybe fix it near end of warranty.

At least Daniel now knows he wasn’t crazy when he saw the line appearing in his images. Quality control is a serious problem right now at Canon Inc. I’m almost 100% sure this is because of all those sexually frustrated workers. No wonder I walked in on Maeda a while ago while he was busy tenderizing his meat.

Check this comment from Barnett for another real-world example of what we’re causing our users here at Canon:

Chuck, I am really, really sorry about my comments making you lose 3 days. But you have to understand that we photographers too are very frustrated. Right now there is not a single Canon camera I can buy that does not have focus issues – never mind the 5DMkII that you deliberately crippled.

Just to give you an example. Last week I did some photographs for a large car rental company. I used my 5D and 85mm f/1.2L. After the shoot the customer chose the photo they want. And you guessed it, when I opened it on my PC, it was out of focus. I emailed the client, showing them another photo, and asking if they did not rather want that one, because it is err… so much nicer. They were not falling for that, so I had to admit that the picture they chose was also a bit, err… motion blurred. Well, they were not impressed, just told me that there is no time to re-shoot and they have to have that one and they are printing it 3m wide and putting it up in their new conference room where people will walk right up to it and look at it closely.

So you see Chuck, I am losing customers just as fast as you are. And this week my worst nightmare came true – I found out that my direct competitor just bought a Nikon D700. Do you have any idea how fucked I am now? Sorry, I have to go, I am suddenly not feeling very well…

Really, this stuff is just very bad.

No wonder that Danish hotshot photographer had the following to say about Canon:

As I mentioned earlier, because the margins are small between the top end Canons and top end Nikons, usability is the real tie-breaker. Nikon has a far better reputation for listening to their photographers than Canon, and this is plainly illustrated by the features available in the new Nikon D3X. (In fact, Nikon listens so much, that I am expecting a phone call from them to talk about their new camera next week.)

The Canon Mark II, 16mp, was a nightmare in terms of usability. To change basic settings you had to free both hands and press three buttons at once. To review an image, press two. This camera was a joke and any photographer shooting with it for five minutes prior to release would have told them so. Even Canon’s basic point and shoot cameras launched at the same time had better usability options at that point. The Canon 1Ds Mark III was greatly improved in terms of usability but it now risks being compared to the new Nikon D3X and frankly, it looks like a joke again.

The Canon has lower noise levels and the lenses perform generally better, but what does this matter if your images are more out of focus, if the camera is much harder to work with on a daily basis and if you can get the same results form a Nikon by just choosing the right lenses and get another 3 mega pixel on top?

Well, Mr. Arcurs, you have to understand that for Canon engineers in Tokyo, these days nothing at all is in focus.  Petting the one eyed snake everyday, often multiple times, isn’t very easy on the eyes. Or so I’ve heard… *cough*.. you know..err… not that I would know… or that I have any experience with it myself… err.. whatsoever. Ahem.

The good news is that at least Canon Inc. seems to have decided to step up and fix their mess. Hopefully this will continue in the future and response times will be significantly shorter. The best thing ofcourse is to not fuck up in the first place. I can’t tell you guys how stressful my job is these days because of all these issues.

And it seems at Nikon things aren’t going very well either. A 62.8% dive in profits, whoa. I guess Ken Rockwell’s D3x boycott is really doing stuff to the poor folks at Nikon. You may recall that Hitler wasn’t very amused either. Looks like nobody is buying the $8000 D3x. What can I say, other than: told ya so.

The world is your studio, and the street your home after you go broke getting one of these!

The world is your studio, and the street your home after you go broke getting one of these!

Anyway, I’m off to get seriously drunk now.

Tech Tips and Stuff

Man I feel exhausted. I just finished the Tech Tips for May which are now posted at The Digital Journalist. That’s a very long list of questions and answers, and this is ofcourse the result of skipping a month. But things are getting a little hectic around here with the upcoming field tests and introduction of the 1D Mark 4.

As you can no doubt imagine, my D3 and D3x are now collecting dust in my office, and I’m playing with a sample 1D4 almost all day. This camera frickin’ rocks. We’re going to be back in the game by the end of this year from what I see. But like I said before, it’s only going to happen if Japan doesn’t screw up again. Quality control is very important, apparently, and it’s something that they seem to hate at Canon Inc. In fact, a colleague of mine was telling me the other day how he mentioned “quality control” during a meeting with Japanese executives in Japan recently, and they all jumped up, kicked the table to the side and went into Karate ready stance while yelling and screaming and threatening to attack. He’s lucky to be alive.

But that’s the reason why I’ve got wise guys emailing me and telling me they heard that the 1D4 will be ready this year, but that the AF system won’t be finished until the second half of 2010, and asking if this is true. I forwarded the question to Maeda and have yet to receive a response. It’s been 3 weeks so far.

I came across an interesting noise test on Flickr comparing images from the 5D Mark II. Basically confirms what we already know. It seems Japan is still in denial on this issue. And speaking of the 5D Mark II, I am also getting a lot of emails asking why there’s still a huge shortage of LP-E6 batteries. I’m not exactly sure, but I’ve heard something about the battery for the 5D Mark II being a last minute design change. Engineers at Canon Inc. were actually finished with the 5D Mark II design, when someone sitting way in the back asked with a soft voice if it was supposed to actually turn on and what would power it. A bigger AF system got swapped with a much smaller/older one to make room for a battery compartment. Production on batteries started very late as a result, hence the shortage. But things should get normal soon. We’ll need plenty of them when the 60D gets released.

Some hotshot Danish stock photographer, Yuri Arcurs, posted his comparison of the D3x and 1Ds3, and perhaps you might find it an interesting read. I know I did.

Aaaand it’s back to work for me.

Banding and Pattern Noise – EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 50D

You know, I don’t know what’s going on with us recently. Not only do our latest products have some rather serious issues, but competitors like Nikon are kicking our asses with their latest products. That new Nikon D5000 is going to make short work of our 1000D and even the 500D/Rebel T1i/Kiss X3 (AKA the EOS Whatever). And if my sources are correct, the Nikon D400 is going to really give us problems. I don’t even want to think about the D800.

You’ll note that I’m late with this month’s Tech Tips at the Digital Journalist, and the reason for that is just that I am not very motivated these days when I look at our current state here at Canon. I sat down last week to think about why this is happening to us. We used to kick so much ass just 2 years ago. And I’ve speculated in the past that perhaps karma was catching up with us now. This is what I said back then:

Later tonight when I head for home, I’m going to stop by the local church first and take a little time for myself, maybe pray for guidance and help in these tough times. It just seems like there’s some kind of curse on Canon right now. I have no other explanation for it. How else can you explain all of these events happening so close to eachother? It’s just not natural. And now, we can’t even seem to be able to do the very thing everyone has come to expect from us: Deliver great image quality. The 50D failed, the G10 failed, and now, our flagship body for image quality is failing. Maybe it’s just Karma. Maybe we’re getting paid for delivering all those backfocusing lenses to people, or the bodies (even the overpriced 1Ds) and L lenses that won’t work out of the box, or for screwing people out of their warranty, or for letting them send in their equipment to service centers countless times without fixing anything and wasting their time. Sigh… I don’t know.

And more and more I’m getting convinced that this is what’s happening to us now. Karma is catching up with us. And the thing is, we’re still going on with misleading people. The latest example is the video feature on the 5D Mark II which I briefly discussed in the previous post. I mentioned a discussion thread there, and really, if you read that whole thread it becomes so obvious how we’ve set ourselves up with all this bad karma as a company over the years, and are now continuing to do so. Have we learned nothing? Are we that blind as a company? Even I get dragged into the whole mess and see myself lying about things trying to bend reality to our advantage. I gotta admit this, because frankly it doesn’t make me sleep at night. Many of our users and customers, fellow photographers, are out there who admire me for all I’ve done for them in the past, and I feel like I am letting them down now. Just look at the following comment:

Chuck, your explanation about the lack of aperture control on the 5D Mk II is total BS and you know it. You might fool a few amateurs with this explanation but everyone else is starting to lose all respect for you. I can understand that in your official capacity you have to make use of lies and deception to avoid a class action lawsuit, but I don’t expect to see it on this blog.

So please just tell us, how did this fuckup happen? Was aperture control originally included? Was it a last minute decision to remove it and you then forgot to update the white paper? Who’s idea was it to cripple the camera even more (beyond what you already did with the outdated AF system)? Please don’t tell me it was Maeda again…

Oh, and your apology for being insulting, is insulting.

Barnett

This comment alone caused me to isolate myself in my office for 3 days last week so I could think things over. I don’t think I ate much during those days either. But after those 3 days, I knew I had to change the way I handle these problems. The way I’ve been doing it is just making matters worse and setting Canon and even myself up for a lot of bad karma. And the consequences are going to be a lot worse in the future if we don’t do something about it.

So yes, we’ve been putting out a lot of bullshit regarding the lack of aperture control on the 5D Mark II in video mode. I know the white papers also make you reasonably believe this control is there on the camera. We’ve been hyping up the video feature so much it just went out of control. Badly out of control. We should have waited with introducing video and have spent more time improving the sensor in the 5D2 and the AF system. I believe that would have given us a better return on investment, not just financially, but also in terms of customer satisfaction and related areas.

Emails keep pouring in about the pattern noise and banding issues on the 5D Mark II and even the 50D. We’ve just released a new firmware update for the 50D that’s supposed to fix the banding problem there, and are still looking into the problem on the 5D Mark II. This is another area where we’ve failed to deliver. The sensor in the 5D Mark II was supposed to be even better than the one in the 1Ds Mark III according to our marketing, but instead it is failing to deliver with some serious noise even at ISO 50 and ISO 100. Just look at what Lloyd Chambers is saying here:

These examples are from ISO 50, but results are similar at ISO 100/200/400 and beyond. Crops are shown downsampled to Nikon D3 (not D3x) resolution, actual pixels results are even more obvious, but harder to compare directly.

A striking difference in noise is evident in the very dark areas: the 5D Mark II is noisy even at ISO 50. Wedding photographers take note: noise is not an issue in a bride’s white gown, but a groom’s black tuxedo will be much easier to manage with the D3x.

And you just have to see the difference in image quality with the D3x:

5D Mark II Pattern Noise and Banding

5D Mark II Pattern Noise and Banding

Details and more images can be seen on Lloyd Chamber’s site. To be honest, that’s just very bad. I would expect to see this starting at ISO 400 maybe, but ISO 100 should essentially be as clean as on the D3x, as you would reasonably expect. There’s also a thread on DPReview discussing this problem right now.

In addition, it appears the black dot problem on the 5D Mark II isn’t really fixed. I’ve gotten some emails from people claiming that the black dots reappear in the images taken with the 5D Mark II when making HDR images and when stacking images.

I don’t know what they’re doing in Japan, but things have really gotten bad for us when it comes to sensor design. We used to be lightyears ahead of the competition. Now Nikon is beating us where we were the unbeatable champions. I can only explain this as one of the consequences of bad karma which we have accumulated over the years. I know I’m beginning to sound like John Harrington, but I can’t help it. Soon I might even start writing about Getty on this blog.

The thing is, those arrogant fucks in Japan really don’t like to listen. When I give them good feedback to consider and other advice, they end up doing what they want anyway. I told them recently to just put the 1D3 AF system in the 60D, and instead they’re developing a new 11 point AF system. I can’t stand their mentality of holding back features like this. This is one of the reasons why Nikon bodies are so much more advanced compared to ours right now. Nikon put their pro level AF system in lower camera models, so why can’t we do that? Had we put the 1Ds Mark III AF system in the 5D Mark II, instead of lying about why we didn’t, we wouldn’t be having all the shitfuckery with AF issues and soft images on the 5D Mark II right now! Now people are getting 21 megapixels of blur, in addition to the pattern noise. Fucken A.

When I look at the specs of the next 1D camera that we’re going to launch in a few months, I have every reason to be excited. Internally we’re calling this camera “The Terminator.” Those of you who have recently signed our NDA’s know what I’m talking about. But when I look at all the issues we’ve been having, I just can’t be very optimistic. Many of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning know how excited I was when the 5D Mark II was launched. Then the issues started and I got disappointed badly. So now I’m just going have a different approach to things and try to be more realistic.

Anyway, I’m off to work on my tech tips for April.

Canon Inc. Sales Disappointing

Canon Chairman Fujio Mitarai

Canon Chairman Fujio Mitarai. If you think your LCD screen has hot pixels, relax. Judging from the black dots, the banding and the hot pixels, the photographer probably used a 5D Mark II with firmware 1.0.6 installed.

Check this out: Canon’s Mitarai Calls Holiday Sales, Outlook Weak, Reuters Says

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) — Canon Inc.’s 2008 holiday sales were “disappointing” and the world’s largest maker of digital cameras expects 2009 to be its “worst year,” Chairman Fujio Mitarai said, according to a Reuters report.

“This year must be the worst” for camera sales and the economy, Mitarai said, speaking in Seoul, South Korea, according to the report. Mitarai is also chairman of Keidanren, Japan’s largest business lobby.

Well who couldn’t see that coming?

Ofcourse the 2008 holiday sales were disappointing, you stupid moron!! Who the fuck wants to buy an overpriced 50D that produces noise? Who wants to buy a 1D Mark III that can’t focus properly? Who wants to buy a G10 that produces noise? Who wants to buy a 5D Mark II with black dots, white dots, red dots, banding, blurry images, creaking CF doors, a viewfinder blackout that could make you miss the entire space shuttle launch and an autofocus system that dates back to the middle ages?

And you know what? While Canon Inc. are pretending like they’re suffering because of the economy and making us all look like fools, at Nikon they are actually increasing their prices!! How fucked up is that shit? Just to put it in perspective:

Canon Inc.: Boohoo our sales are disappointing, we’re fucked in 2009, the market is shrinking and the economic crisis is hurting us!

Nikon: Yeeeehaaw, 333% increase in sales, we’re having a prosperous year! Let’s increase our prices worldwide with 10 to 20% and make Ken Rockwell cry!

Now, if you’re like me, and I know I am, your blood is probably starting to boil at this very moment. We can’t even seem to produce enough 5D Mark II’s on time to sell to all those suckers who DO want to buy our crap!! For God’s sake!! Do we want to sell or what?!

I’m just so angry and frustrated right now. Seriously, this year is going to be very tough on me, I can see it coming. It didn’t have to be this way. This is all thanks to that group of old men sitting in Canon’s top management who should have retired a long time ago. By now they’re probably running the company from an old people’s home in Japan while playing checkers the whole day. And it doesn’t look like they’re going to retire anytime soon, not with the current issues in Japan:

The number of elderly people who killed themselves rose 9% from a year earlier as Japan grapples with a rapidly aging society and rising poverty among pensioners.

People aged over 60 made up the biggest individual group of victims, rising to a record high of 36.6% of the total, the agency said.

More than half the elderly suicides were connected with ill-health, but a sizeable number were due to financial pressures, the report said.

Yep, looks like they’re going to ride their management position out as long as possible.

So at least we fixed some of the issues we had with the 5D Mark II recently, but I still am getting quite a lot of emails about issues such as stuck/hot pixels, creaking CF doors, Err 20 and 30, slow and inaccurate autofocus, exposure problems when using the 580 EX II flash and blurry images. And speaking of blurry images, it looks like Japan was trying to get away with enabling noise reduction by default in DPP to make images appear to have less noise:

Caution with Canon Digital Photo Professional 3.5.1 update, released December 21, 2008. The update introduced a disturbing side effect: detail-blurring noise reduction is enabled inappropriately, at least on two of my systems, and there is no warning from the software. This is the Mac OS X version; reader Timothy S confirms the same problem and fix for Windows.

DPP 3.5.1 defaults to Apply Camera Settings for noise reduction, or at least it did on two of my systems (Macs). The problem is that even with all noise reduction in the camera turned off, noise reduction is enabled at level 2 for RAW files, even at ISO 50 and ISO 100!

I guess that’s one way of “improving” the image quality of the 50D and 5D Mark II.

On top of that, readers wrote in to me complaining about a recent test published by Nikon whore Ken Rockwell, where he compares the sharpness of the 5D Mark II to the D3x. Yes, this is the same Ken Rockwell who said he would not buy a D3x and called for a Nikon boycott. A reader likely sent in his D3x to Rockwell so he could review it.

But anyway, when I saw that test, my initial conclusion was that Rockwell clearly can’t properly use a camera. Obviously Rockwell was handholding the 5D Mark II while he took that shot during what must have been a windy day, resulting in the blurry trees in the picture. Nice try Rockwell, but you can’t fool everyone. And to think that the 5D Mark II sensor is better than the one in the 1Ds Mark III. So if the 5D Mark II image quality is as bad as Rockwell wants us to believe, then what does that tell us about the 1Ds Mark III image quality compared to the D3x? Actually, on second thought, let’s not discuss that right now.

I need to go over some preparations for the launch of our next 1D body in a few months and I want to try to be optimistic while I do that. Oh, and I also updated my previous post with an actual screenshot of Galbraith’s website.

D3x price going down, baby, down! And other stuff too.

You know, I thought we held some kind of record here at Canon for the price of the EOS 50D dropping from $1400 to $1050 right now in just 1.5 months after general availability. But Nikon has just beaten us with the D3x. The D3x is now selling for $7480! That’s a price drop of $520 in just a few days after general availability. HAHAHAHAHAHA ROTFL LOLOLOLOLOL!!! Hey Nikon, you stupid morons, I told you so, didn’t I?! I guess nobody wants to buy the D3x afterall. At least not for $8000. And it looks like the price is going to come down really fast until it meets our 1Ds Mark III at $6500. Maybe Hitler will get one afterall. AHAHAHAHA Oh God…

Ok but let’s not make fun of Nikon. We’re in the same position at  Canon right now with the 5D Mark II. I’ve been in a briefing last week with Japan, and we’re expecting the worst for the 5D2. Yep, it’s bad. We’re talking 1D3 Fiasco Mark II. Some engineers from Japan joined in during the conference call, which was a marketing/PR briefing at first. But then the engineers joined in since we had some technical questions that needed answers, and before you know it we got into a very heated argument about who did what and who fucked up where. When I asked how they tested the 5D2 sensor and didn’t notice the vertical banding, the whole conference call deteriorated into a Joe Pesci movie. I mentioned before that you don’t want to hear the Japanese curse, and if you needed confirmation of how bad it can get, this conference call would have done it. At one point it was a constant exchange of “fook yue” and no amount of me yelling to calm down seemed to help.

I felt like I survived a hurricane after that conference call. I keep getting surprised sometimes at what I have to put up with even after 26 years of being at Canon USA.

In other news, some people think Canon is heading for the ER. Looks like the Canon hit pieces are piling up on the Internet. Can’t say I’m surprised. And then, some fashion shooter discovered that the outer focus points on the 5D2 don’t work very well in low light. Can’t say I’m surprised.

Anyway, I hope all of you had a nice Christmas. I sure had a wonderful time with my family and my D3x. I want to apologize to those of you who tried contacting me and are still trying right now. My phone..um… died.. during the holidays. It ..uh.. just wouldn’t turn on anymore no matter what I did. After a day or two I tried turning it on again and it booted to the welcome screen, presented me with the message that I had 10342 new messages and 13419 missed calls and then it just went off again. Hasn’t worked since. So it looks like I might be without a phone at least until early next year. On top of that my PC at work crashed and is being replaced, so I can’t access my email and my laptop got stolen. I’m actually sitting in a Cybercafe right now updating my blog so please do not expect answers to emails until early next year.  I know many of you need me now during these bad times with issues with various of our products, all at the same time, but please be patient and hang in there. I will get back to you eventually.. *cough* err, I mean, soon… I’ll get back to you soon. Like our recent press release said, “I apologize for any inconvenience these phenomena may have caused. I appreciate your kind patronage and support.” Please keep spending money on our defective products in the mean time.

5D Mark II Banding Problem – Why has the lord forsaken us?

It looks like the global economic crisis has struck again here at Canon. First it brought us the black dots from hell, and now it appears we’re having a banding problem with the sensor in the 5D Mark II. In addition to the black dots emails, I am now also getting a steady stream of emails from users regarding this issue with sample images. At high ISO, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this, but it appears this also happens as low as ISO 100 and ISO 200 from the samples I’ve seen.

100% crops from 3 images showing the banding/pattern issue

100% crops from 3 images showing the banding/pattern issue

This issue is currently being discussed on DPReview and Photo.net with plenty of samples posted there. From what I’ve seen so far, it appears this issue might be related to the color blotches problem other users are reporting, which seem to be visible in darker parts of pictures taken with the 5D Mark II. I haven’t been able to check this problem myself because I’ve been busy..uh… evaluating…. a Nikon D3x for the last few days (more on this later). But I want to let everyone know that I’ve been forwarding all the data to Japan, and have also been CC-ing Maeda with every email. I’ve been promised another official response in the “very near future” so let’s wait and see.

Any hope that I had left for the 5D Mark II is now completely gone. We’re fucked here at Canon, and we’ll be fucked for most of 2009 from what I see. I do wonder how it is that Nikon is able to produce such clean, sharp and smooth looking images with the 24MP sensor in the D3x. The 100% crops look incredible. And there’s none of that banding and blotchy color noise we have, not even in the shadows! How on earth are they doing it?? No wonder they’re asking $8000 for a D3x.

And like Fake Ken Rockwell has reported, I do have a D3 and recently got my D3x as well, but it’s not what you think. I actually have those cameras for …um… competitive analysis and comparisons. As you may know, it’s important to be aware of what the competition is doing, so that we may formulate an adequate response in the future. This is why you might have seen me taking pictures of Ying and Anna with a D3 when we’re out having fun. But that’s just me evaluating the competition in my own time. That’s how dedicated I am to my work here at Canon. I even fund all of this myself.

Anyway, even though the 5D Mark II seems to be having issues (as a result of the global economic crisis, of course), demand still appears to be high and many people are still waiting to receive their copy. Thomas Hawk posted a chatlog where he discusses this problem with someone from Wolf Camera. I guess you should have ordered from Amazon or Adorama, right Thomas? By the way, we’ve been absolutely enjoying your pictures here at Canon, do keep up the good work.

Ok that’s it for now. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my office…err… evaluating… the D3x and reporting to Maeda on my findings.

5D Mark II Black Dot Problem Update

I told CNET’s Steven Shankland that we’ll be sending out an official statement on the EOS 5D mark II black dot issue soon. And I hope we mean it this time. The last few times Japan promised us official statements, we’ve got absolutely nothing at all. For example, we’re still waiting for an official statement on the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens backfocus problem. It’s been over 2 goddamn years. In any case, the problem with the 5D Mark II is real, and we’ve got people working on it.

I also noticed that Fake Ken Rockwell was asking on his blog if Canon doesn’t learn from their mistakes. I sure hope that was a rethorical question, because it’s quite obvious Canon Inc. in Japan hasn’t learned anything from the recent mistakes. And what does Fake Ken mean by saying I am in for a roasting? Nobody is going to roast me. If there are people who are going to be in for a roasting, it’s Maeda and Uchida. I’ve been here busting my ass off trying to do my job as best as I can, while a gang of morons in Japan is screwing with the company. And I’m talking massive screwage. We even lost our lead position to Nikon, for God’s sake! Right now, Nikon even has the best sensors in their cameras. I get diarrhea everytime I look at 100% crops of pictures taken with a D3x.

The 1887 Eastman Box Camera

The 1887 Eastman Box Camera

So I’m afraid you’re wrong, Fake Ken. You, on the other hand, are going to be in for a roasting if you don’t get to reviewing the Eastman Box camera very soon for me. You’ve been reviewing all kinds of old crap recently that nobody is interested in. If you want to review some really old equipment, and really impress people, the Eastman Box camera is what you should be looking at. So get to it, maybe you can even convince Jeff Ascough to do a couple of weddings with it. And who knows, you might even make Vincent Laforet go absolutely nuts and do a video with it too.  And don’t forget to post some family photos taken with it.

Nikon is fucked!

The world is your studio, and the street your home after you go broke getting one of these!

The world is your studio, and the street your home after you go broke getting one of these!

(post updated below)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh God, what? $8000?? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA LOL LOLOLOLO ROFL LMAO LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!11

I almost can’t believe this. I thought we were fucking up here at Canon, but boy, I never thought this would have been possible! Nikon announced the price of the D3x today, and it’s an incredible $8000! Simply astonishing! There’s currently a massive outcry everywhere on the Internet from Nikon users. Even die-hard Nikon fanboys are complaining, so you know Nikon has REALLY fucked up this time. For example, just check what Nikon whore Ken Rockwell is saying:

Nikon D3X Worldwide Boycott Spreading

Whoa, news travels fast. I wrote up the Nikon D3X information last night when it came out, and went to bed astonished that Nikon dared ask $8,000 for a $5,500 camera that is the same thing as the $4,200 D3.

I wake up this morning, and discover the rest of the world has already started what I was going to suggest: boycotting the D3X until the price is corrected.

Let’s face it: the original D3 is a better camera for most uses. No one really needs a D3X, and everyone has realized that if no one buys it, the price will stabilize where it belongs: $5,500, and dropping further later.

And here I was being afraid of the D3x and worrying about the pricing of our 1D series. My God. This morning when I saw the Nikon press release, my jaw hit the floor from amazement first. For a few minutes, I wasn’t sure what I was experiencing. But then it sank in and I started laughing out loud slamming my desk with my hands. Everyone came running to my office to ask what was wrong. People thought I was finally losing my mind after all the problems I was facing at Canon. They were about to dial 911 when I turned around my monitor and showed them the price of the D3x.

My God. I still can’t believe this. I thought we were fucked here at Canon having Maeda as our boss, but whoever took that decision at Nikon to price the D3x at $8000 has got to be many times worse compared to Maeda! Jesus Christ! How clueless do you have to be to price the D3x at $8000 at this point in time? Seriously? And don’t get me wrong, we are partying here at Canon because of this, but even as a competitor I have to admit that’s just insane. Our 1Ds Mark III now costs around $6700, and even that is still way overpriced, so howcome Nikon priced the D3x at $8000? I don’t get it. Is the D3x that much better compared to the 1Ds Mark III? I DON’T THINK SO?!!

Hey Nikon, you stupid morons, if you are targeting the medium format crowd with the D3x and that price, I’ve got a newsflash for ya: We already have a better and cheaper alternative, it’s called the 1Ds Mark III! We even have a 5D Mark II that comes pretty close and for sure beats the D3x when it comes to image quality. How the hell do you expect to sell a D3x at $8000? But hey don’t get me wrong, feel absolutely free to give it a try. Just so you know, your users are already buying our 5D2.

We’re now also going to ramp up production of the 1Ds Mark III again. The D3x can’t stand a chance. Right now at this very moment, life is good.

Update:

Nikon whore Thom Hogan tells  you why you don’t want the D3x. They actually managed to piss Thom Hogan off. Wow. Just… wow! And Michael Reichmann from Luminous Landscape just cancelled  his D3x order:

When I started to digest the Nikon D3x’s $8000 price over breakfast, and in light of my recent testing of the 24 Megapixel Sony A900 with its amazing Zeiss lenses, on an impulse I called my dealer and cancelled my standing order for one.

It seems to me that at a $3000 premium over the otherwise almost identical D3, and at some $5000 more than the Canon 5D MKII and Sony A900, the pricing of the Nikon (especially in our current crisis economy) is simply out to lunch. A $1,000 premium I could have understood. Maybe even, $1,500. But with only more megapixels on offer I simply find the D3x to be financially out of tune with the realities of today’s marketplace.

So I sat down to write an essay based on these thoughts, but then got a call from a friend asking if I’d seen what Nikon pundit Thoms Hogan had written this morning. Once I had read it I decided that Thom had made all of the points that I had intended to, so I’ll let his words stand for my own.
Nikon – I think you’ve misjudged the marketplace and not to mention the temper of the times as well.

Ouch. Even I felt that one, and I’m the competition! People are probably going to get fired at Nikon. I sure am glad we don’t have Nikon’s management at Canon right now. Otherwise we’d probably attempt to sell the 5D Mark II at $6000.

We’re fucked

Yes, we are most definitely fucked. And as you can imagine, Galbraith being the Nikon whore that he is, was all over it. Yes, it’s official now, Nikon will be releasing their D3X body next week. More coverage is here. High res magazine pictures here and here.

The timing of their launch is bad for us, since our 5D Mark II just became available. I wonder how many people are going to cancel their pre-orders now. The 1Ds Mark III is pretty much fucked if the pricing of the D3x will be around $5000.

Even the 5D Mark II is probably going to have issues now with the D700 being cheaper and the D3x offering a lot more. I knew we should have at least equiped the 5D Mark II with the focusing system of the 1Ds Mark III. I just knew it, but nobody in Tokyo wanted to listen to me. Well, they’re now getting what they deserve. We have no chance to make a comeback for at least a year now. Yes the 1D4 is coming in 2009, but that won’t be going up against the D3x. It’ll compete more with the D700 and we can’t possibly beat that price. In addition, our informants are telling us a D700x is on schedule for 2009 at Nikon. It looks like we’re going to have to drastically lower the 5D Mark II prices as early as next month.

May God have mercy with us.