The Global Economic Crisis

Canon Inc. just fired more than 1000 workers in Japan. They’re blaming the economic crisis, of course, but that’s just because it’s cool and hip to do so these days. Everyone seems to be doing it, they probably think, so why not us? I mean, we’ve got photographers everywhere, most of which are amateurs, producing worthless images and then go on to blame the economic crisis when nobody wants to hire them. How fucked up is that? I swear to God I’m going to wake up one of these days and read in the morning newspaper about Seinfeld blaming his poor career on the economic crisis as well.

The real reason for firing 1000 workers in Japan is simply low demand for our products, requiring us to scale back. Plus, most of the bastards who brought us the black dots from hell got fired too. They’re still trying to find out who else was responsible, and then we’ll kick them out too.

Since the black dot problem with the 5D Mark II became known, I’ve been getting calls from dealers who mentioned seeing an abnormally high cancellation rate of 5D Mark II pre-orders. So I just told them it’s probably due to the global economic crisis and they seemed to buy it. It’s just incredible how this works. They didn’t even ask any questions! Just yesterday a friend of mine called and mentioned how his wife caught him in bed a few days ago with another woman, and he just went “honey, the global economic crisis…” and she just seemed to understand and it was as if nothing happened. I’m telling you, it works like magic. I started thinking to myself that if we just had the 1D3 autofocus issues around this time, I could have just blamed it all on the economic crisis. It’d be somewhat like this:

Galbraith: Hey Chuck, the 1D Mark III doesn’t focus very well in AI-Servo mode in bright light. Look at all this data I gathered here.

Me: Well Rob, it’s just this global economic crisis that’s currently going on, it’s affecting everything negatively.

Galbraith: Yeah.. right, I noticed. Well, thanks for listening. I guess the camera is perfectly fine then.

Me: No problem, glad to help.

Just imagine all of the trouble this would have saved us. Luckily, the 5D Mark II black dot issue is able to benefit from this.

Speaking of the black dot issue, our engineers still don’t seem to be able to find out what is causing it, but it’s clear that even pre-production 5D2 bodies had the problem. For example, the videos and stills shot by Vincent Laforet have black dots in them, just look at this sample (lights on the right).  There’s also this thread on DPReview containing more information. It’s a post production nightmare to fix this in movies taken with the 5D2. After so many issues with our latest products, even I am beginning to wonder if the move from film to digital was a good one. Maybe we should all have stuck to shooting film, just like Hitler and Stalin.

Just think about it, probably 90% of all the issues we’re having right now is because we’ve gone digital. If we still shot film, do you think Galbraith would have been pixel peeping and notice the slightly out of focus shots of the 1D Mark III? Heck no! If we shot film, do you think Phil Askey would have been able to pixel peep and see the difference between the 40D and 50D image quality? Heck no! If we shot film, do you think all of those pixel peepers on DPReview would have been able to see the tiny black dots in the 5D Mark II images? Heck no!! If we shot film, do you think people would be pixel peeping and notice their L lenses are slightly back or front focusing? Heck no!! And if you’re asking why not, I talked about this in a previous Tech Tips post. Back in the film days, almost nobody could pixel peep. People just used their equipment to take pictures, and sent the film to a camera store to get it developed. And all they ever saw was a small print that would look sharp enough. God I miss those days…

Anyway, my Tech Tips for december have been published over at The Digital Journalist. Check them out.

11 thoughts on “The Global Economic Crisis

  1. That Hitler video is great! As long as Canon is firing the engineers that made the mistake it’s all good. Funny though how when Canon makes a mistake it is highly publicized, but with Nikon everyone just says, “no big deal, it will be fixed soon.”

  2. Mr. Fake Chuck,

    I have deep sympathy for you since you got fucked by your employer Canon day in and day out due to so many of their issues.

    Indeed, stop worrying which is bad for your health, especially in this climate of bad economy. Stay sane and real is important.

    I think the Nikon people have gone insane with that Hilter film. C’mon, the D3x has not been released yet and I think it will be a great product. Nikon is just following our footstep of pricing the 1DsIII, no big deal. After all, those pro’s who could afford the D3x would have already got the 1DsIII two years ago and they probably are now eyeing the Leica S2. Those who couldn’t afford the $8K price are more than happy with the choice of Sony A900 or our 5DII.

    Contrary to the hysterical cancellation of 5DII orders due to the black dot issue as you’ve reported, here at the other side of the pond, our shops are still crying loud for more stock to come. Luckily I am getting mine through the CPS this week thanks to their great service here.

    BTW, the black dot issue got me scared too and last night I dig out the hundreds of 5DII images I took during the recent launch seminar and put them to 200% peeping but could find none of the mysterical black dots. All these images were taken in high iso of 1000 above and many were shot deliberately against bright light spots. I was not aware of the black dots then but just wanted to test the dynamic range of the camera. They all came out clean. I am sure the issue is confined to a certain batch of stock just like the 5D flying mirrors. I agree that those who got the 5DII with this black dot issue should return the camera immediately.

    Mr. Fake

  3. The whole ‘black dot’ story is getting so absurd. Not only are people pixel-peeping their shots at 200%, some of them now even started complaining about being unable to recreate the black dots (!!) on their copy at dpreview:

    Has everybody gone nuts? Yes the problem is there, they should fix it, but the mass hysteria has gone so far that some people think that something must be wrong with their camera if everything seems to be fine…

  4. Speaking of good old film days, wouldn’t it be great if we could change sensors just like we used to change film? Life was good then, you could shoot pictures that were IQwise the same with EOS 3 or AE-1, just had to make sure you had Velvia inside… Damn, you got me into this nostalgia… I’m not usually like that.

  5. Austin E. Says:
    December 9, 2008 at 3:05 am

    That Hitler video is great! As long as Canon is firing the engineers that made the mistake it’s all good. Funny though how when Canon makes a mistake it is highly publicized, but with Nikon everyone just says, “no big deal, it will be fixed soon.

    Give me one instance the Nikon DSLR have problem, lets say autofocus issue (CANON 1D mrk 3) or some other else? I think none coz they address bugs or flaws from their pre production units before releasing it to the public. I didnt saw or hear any big problems that Nikon has in their cameras.
    I’m a Canon 5D user but not Mrk 2 for i have cancelled my order when this blackdots issue surfaced.

  6. Pingback: 5D Mark II Banding Problem - Why has the lord forsaken us? « Fake Chuck Westfall

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