From the PMA show floor

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Lisa Horton, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Lisa Horton

    Lisa Horton Guest

    Just a few tidbits. This show is so huge that one day is time enough
    only for a quick overview.

    First stop, Canon booth of course. Had an interesting talk with a Canon
    rep. When I mentioned that I and many of my internet cohorts continue
    to lust after the mythical EOS 3 digital, he became amused and slightly
    agitated. He insisted that this long rumored beast "is nothing to do
    with us! We've never said anything about that", which I found to be a
    slightly interesting response. He asked what such a camera would have
    that wasn't already covered by the 1D series. I picked up a 1D and said
    "it would end here", making a slicing motion where the bottom of an EOS
    3 would be, "and it would have ECF". He agreed that might be nice, and
    then we talked about ECF and DSLR's. He said that Canon hadn't heard
    much demand for it, and that for the Elan 7/7e, sales were about 50/50,
    or slightly more for the non ECF version. He also mentioned that the
    increased price from adding ECF would, in Canon's opinion, put them at a
    lesser advantage in a very competitive and price conscious market. So
    prospects continue to look dim for ECF on Canon DSLR's.

    We then talked at length about the new 75-300DO/IS. Commenting on it's
    substantial weight, I said that I thought DO translated to small and
    light, and he corrected me "compact, but not lighter". The lens was
    indeed a good amount shorter than the 70-300 consumer zoom, although
    about half again fatter. I asked about the haloing with point light
    sources that I'd seen mentioned in the newsgroups, and he said that it
    was an issue only in very specific and very very uncommon
    circumstances. I didn't press him further, but did take photos of point
    light sources against a black background with the lens on my camera.
    You can see the fresnel like lines inside the lens when viewing from a
    certain angle, very strange.

    We talked too about how the DO line fits in the context of Canon's other
    lens lines, specifically the L line. He was adamant that the L
    designation was not a quality designator, but a technology designator.
    If a lens has one or more of UD glass elements, fluorite elements, or
    ground (not glass molded) aspheric elements, it's an L lens. He
    mentioned a couple of non L lenses that he felt were as good as L lenses
    in quality, but now I've forgotten which they were (!). At any rate,
    the DO line, signified by a bright green paint ring, are considered by
    Canon to be professional lenses, and they can incorporate L
    technologies, but are a separate series. IOW, without directly saying
    so, the message was "separate, but equal".

    I really really want a 1D Mk II....

    I was also interested in seeing the new Canon Pro 1 and S1 IS. The Pro
    1 seemed the typical high end prosumer digital. Very solid and
    substantial. I mentioned that some on "the internet" see the Pro 1 as
    connected in some way or an extension of the G series. He said that
    they should not be considered as the same series at all. I was more
    curious about the S1 IS, as a pocketable alternative to my DSLR's, with
    hopefully minimal compromises. The S1 is every bit as small as it looks
    in pictures. What pictures don't show though is the great grip, which
    makes the camera very comfortable to hold securely. It feels in the
    hand like a much larger camera, and the balance is perfect. I'm not a
    big fan of EVF's, and this one did nothing to change my opinion. The
    flip and swivel LCD screen continues to be a great feature though.
    What's kind of cool and exciting is that this camera finally has a
    viable movie mode. What I mean is that you can continue zooming and
    making adjustments while taking a VGA movie at a full 30 fps. I think I
    want an S1 IS too :)

    Next up was the Nikon booth, where I had only one goal: to see and
    handle a D70. I did, and all I can say is Wow! This camera appears at
    first glance to totally blow away the DRebel. It's certainly more
    substantial and has a more "quality" feel. And it has two dials, a very
    large advantage. AF seemed fast and certain. The interface was of
    course, completely confusing to me, not being a Nikon shooter. Even so
    I was immediately able to find P/AV/Manual modes and shutter/aperture.

    This camera is a very impressive response to the DRebel, and clearly
    establishes a new low end DSLR leader. To completely answer, Canon
    must, IMO, upgrade the 10D AND rethink the DRebel completely. Or drop
    both the 10D and DRebel in price substantially, which I'm guessing would
    be the easier and more attractive option for Canon. I'm thinking
    something like $800 tops for the DRebel, and $1200 to maybe $1300 for
    the 10D.

    The Minolta DSLR was there, under glass. For all we know it could have
    been a clay model :) The Konica/Minolta booth had the most plushly
    padded carpet though. Speaking of Konoltica, looking over the product
    lines in the booth, the synergy of the merger was more apparent. Think
    of Fuji, who cover everything from film and paper to film cameras to
    digital cameras. Now add a good line of inkjet photo papers and it
    starts to look like a pretty viable combination in turbulent times.
    Pity about the name and logo though.

    One thing that struck me again from seeing this show is that photography
    is big business. There were a lot of very big, big money booths, with
    very large staffs. There is quite a bit of money being made by the
    "cheap knock off" companies. The relative size and expense of the
    booths hints that although professionals and advanced amateurs may be a
    relatively small section of the overall market, we consume an outsize
    share of products and services other than basic D&P and albums.

    Lisa Horton, Feb 13, 2004
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  2. Lisa Horton

    Lisa Horton Guest

    Almost forgot... I made a point of finding the little Sigma booth in
    it's out of the way location and handling an SA10. It was fairly large,
    but didn't weigh a lot. It felt cheap and the controls just didn't have
    a quality feel. Subjectively, not impressive. I was tempted to ask if
    he'd heard of you know who, but he was a nice and knowledgeable rep, so
    I didn't :)

    Lisa Horton, Feb 13, 2004
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  3. Lisa Horton

    RAD Guest

    You didn't ask? Aw shucks! I would have been interested more with the
    look on his face than his answer...

    RAD, Feb 13, 2004
  4. Lisa Horton

    Rick Guest

    Thanks Lisa, great info for those of us who couldn't make it.

    Did you happen to ask Canon why they've elected to not put an
    AF assist lamp on the S1 IS? Seems like a glaring omission on
    an otherwise outstanding camera.

    Rick, Feb 13, 2004
  5. Lisa Horton

    Mark B. Guest

    I'm glad to hear this, it sounds like there might be an update to the G
    series after all.

    Thanks for all the info!

    Mark B., Feb 13, 2004
  6. Lisa Horton

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    A while back I asked the people at Sigma USA if the'd ever heard of GP and
    the answer was "no."

    Best, Dan
    Dan Sullivan, Feb 13, 2004
  7. Lisa Horton

    John Guest

    Thanks Lisa, excellent post
    John, Feb 13, 2004
  8. Lisa Horton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: Lisa Horton
    Nice report Lisa, thanks ... couple of remarks ...
    It would be one pound lighter, cost about half as much yet have 90% of the
    features of the 1D series, if it's parallel to the film cameras (ie, EOS 3 vs
    1V). The extra weight is a real hassle for many of us with heavy kits who
    don't need the ultra-high speed motor drive or the extra weatherproofing (or at
    least don't feel they are worth double the price).
    I'd vote for $499 for the dReb and $999 for the 10D, which would be nice price
    points and cause Nikon some real heartburn :)
    That was COLD ... :)

    Thanks for the report ... the biggest disappointment to me was lack of a 10D
    replacement/upgrade from Canon.

    Bill Hilton, Feb 13, 2004
  9. Lisa Horton

    GovtLawyer Guest

    Just a few tidbits. This show is so huge that one day is time enough
    Excellent review. If you are going back for another day, I would be very
    interested in hearing about the Pentax booth. In particular, what if anything
    they have planned to follow the *IST D. In my opinion, the *IST D blows away
    the rebel, and D 70, in large part due to its compact size and substantial
    feel. Howeevr, the price is a bit out of whack, despite their recent $300
    price reduction. I think Pentax wins the prize for the worst marketing by a
    quality camera company in the world. So, if you can drop by and see what they
    have planned, I'd love to read your report.
    GovtLawyer, Feb 13, 2004
  10. Lisa Horton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: (GovtLawyer)
    Hey Lisa, if you DO hit the Pentax booth see if those chumps have any plans for
    digital backs for the Pentax 645 ... I've got seven lenses for that system and
    while every other major MF manufacturer seems to have paths for digital backs
    the Pentax guys are really dragging.

    Bill Hilton, Feb 13, 2004
  11. Lisa Horton

    Lisa Horton Guest

    Canon's approach to AF assist lamps, namely strobing the flash, is a
    real sore point with me. I'd be afraid of getting agitated and angry if
    I were to even mention the subject :)

    Lisa Horton, Feb 13, 2004
  12. Lisa Horton

    Lisa Horton Guest

    Sorry Guys, one day is all I got :)

    Next year I'm really going to try to get in more than one day!

    Lisa Horton, Feb 13, 2004
  13. Lisa Horton

    Paolo Pizzi Guest

    Thank you for the report Lisa, very informative and clearly written.
    Paolo Pizzi, Feb 13, 2004
  14. Lisa Horton

    steve Guest

    And I was going to plead with you to use your 'womanly charms' to coax
    some info out of the Canon rep about future DSLR products :)

    Maybe if you smile and bat your eyelashes a little?


    Great post. Have you considered journalism?

    steve, Feb 13, 2004
  15. Lisa Horton

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    The last people to know about new products are the reps.
    Dan Sullivan, Feb 13, 2004
  16. Lisa Horton

    AArDvarK Guest

    Lisa, thanks for this terrific report, really cool of you
    to do all that damn typing! But a question about:
    Did you mean the new A2? And you didn't ask to handle

    Thanks again,

    AArDvarK, Feb 13, 2004
  17. Lisa Horton

    Lisa Horton Guest

    No, I mean the fabled interchangeable lens DSLR. I did ask if that was
    the only one they had at the show, and was told yes. Just like the
    Starkist D last year, so all it means is that release day is not soon.

    Lisa Horton, Feb 14, 2004
  18. Lisa Horton

    Lisa Horton Guest

    Exactly. I'd buy it in a moment.
    Well, it's the same story as the Starkist D last year, so it doesn't
    necessarily mean anything. I/we just couldn't handle it.
    I would have expected the same, if not for the DRebel coming out last
    fall. Perhaps at Photokina, although I'd think next year's PMA might be
    more likely.

    Lisa Horton, Feb 14, 2004
  19. Lisa Horton

    George Kerby Guest

    Charlie the Tuna has a Digital camera?
    George Kerby, Feb 14, 2004
  20. Is that yours? If it is, you are one of the most brilliant people on the

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Feb 14, 2004
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