Camera Trendspotting: Canon here, Canon there, Canon everywhere

    Canon DSLRs dominate Super Bowl

    Canon Dominates Sidelines at Super Bowl LI

    Who knew?!

    If you’ve been following camera forums and geeks and tastemakers over the last few years, you’d think Canon DSLRs were all but dead. After all, who can make a film without 4K?! (oops, forgot: Canon DSLRs were used by Danny Boyle for 127 Hours and Darren Aronofsky on the subway scenes for Black Swan to name but a few high profile examples).

    And, once again, at the world’s biggest stage, it was Canon cameras that dominated:

    Canon DSLRs dominate Super Bowl

    I suspect some of that popularity has to do with Canon glass. Some of the best lenses in the world are made by Canon, especially those ubiquitous ones you see at major sporting events, including the Super Bowl. Red carpet type events is another where you see most pros using Canon (with some on Nikon too).

    To me, it’s mostly inconsequential.

    I’ll use a Sony. I’ll use a Canon. I’ll use a Panasonic. I’ll use a Blackmagic. I’ll use a RED.

    RED Raven
    RED Raven shooting slowmo scene for Stark Insider video. Great camera. But so are others too by Sony, Canon, Blackmagic. It’s just a tool. It’s just a tool. It’s just a tool…

    I’ll use whatever camera is best suited or the job, and leave the fanboys to rant incessantly about the lack of that feature or the disappointment that is the latest model from [insert vendor name here, though typically Canon].

    Pretty silly stuff. But then again the internet is highly effective at silly stuff.

    Because of the advent of the smartphone camera and it’s incredibly increasing capabilities, we’re living in a time of incredible photography and videography gear. Smartphone makers have forced traditional camera vendors like Canon and Sony and Panasonic to up their game. Part of that has meant a shift in the market to higher price points. So new models such as the Lumix GH5 and Sony Alpha a6500 and Canon EOS 80D are priced significantly higher than their predecessors. But, along with that comes incredible capabilities.

    Yes, Canon is still everywhere. In fact, the Japanese stalwart is — despite what many photo bloggers/aspiring filmmakers will tell you — number two in the mirrorless market at 18.5% share (trailing only Olympus at 26.8%). Number two! That, despite apparently missing the ball on the market, and releasing so many “disappointing” cameras.

    Shooting on location in Silicon Valley with a Canon EOS 80D and EOS Cinema C100 Mark II (background). Think Canon is dead? Try the DPAF on the 80D, or revel in the image quality that a camera like the C100 affords.

    Lurk less in the camera forums. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

    Pixel peepers are an unforgiving, relentless, and often irrational breed. Fun sport, yes. But in a lot of ways, also fruitless.

    After all, people don’t remember our cameras. They (hopefully) remember our work: be it a stunning photo, or an entertaining and/or informative video.

    Canon. Sony. Panasonic. Blackmagic. Red. Olympus.

    Choose your weapon(s) of choice for the job. Then get to work already.

    At least… again, that’s what I tell myself. Sometimes it’s easier said than done.

    Now, where’s my Canon 80D…?

    (sigh, why’d I sell my RED Raven… or does it really matter?)

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    • decentrist

      whatever you do, don’t mention the inferior sensor tech with their DSLRs. They are 5 years behind Nikon.

      • Craig Love

        As mentioned above, this is only one small piece of the puzzle. I have 5 Canons including the 7D, 70D, 5D3, 80D and C100 and they all give great images. I have been shooting a lot more video and the 80D is amazing for it’s size and the C100 is totally amazing. Like he says, pick your weapon and get out there and do it. Happy shooting (and comparing things on the internet). I am VERY happy with canon myself.

        • decentrist

          Canon’s wheelhouse is the white lens crowd,video,and jpeg output. Canon has superior marketing, and customer service, yet Nikon manages to lead in sensor tech/snr firmware. I started with Canon, but migrated to Nikon because it suites my style. I understand your point of view, as all that matters is the process from your imagination to the image. And that is more than enough!

          • Craig Love

            Like you said, “If it works, don’t fix it”. I had Nikons and Leicas back in the 70’s and migrated to Canon in the early 80’s with the A1 and later F1. I always liked the images so stuck with Canon when I finally made the DSLR jump in 2011. I think I have about 15 EF lenses and none disappoint me. Even the black plastic lenses like the 18-135 give amazing results. At 5.6 in ISO6400 situations the quality is amazing on the C100. Even though I have both 70-200’s and the 100-400, I added the new 70-300 just to have something lighter in weight and for a $500 lens it looks just as good as the $2k lenses (at 5.6). Yes, the Sony sensors are supposedly better, but I also read that the Canon IS is 5 years ahead of Nikon. Plus, they have a great selection of glass. There is always some tradeoff but like the old adage goes “f8 and be there” is the success to a great photo. Gotta be there! Happy shooting…

            • Craig, glad to hear that about the 70-300! Haven’t used it much since I got the 70-200mm last year. Might revisit based on what you’re saying. I want to use it to shoot music concerts (indoors, dark) with C100 II. Love the image out of that camera!

            • Craig Love

              All I shoot is music in dark clubs! Tired of lugging the heavy white glass into questionable neighborhoods. I am mostly talking video here as the exposure is just 1/50th. I also shoot stills at the same time but use the 5D3 and my 85 f1.8 or 135 f2 for stills. I am talking about the very new 70-300 with the LCD readout (useless to me). For video (for me) NOTHING can beat the 18-135. I just keep going back to that lens for portability and IQ. I have two of them. The newest has the contacts on the bottom which allows you to attack the power zoom (PZ-E1) which is only $150. It works great! I posted a video review of it a few months back on YT. LMK id you shoot video and would like to see it. Happy day

            • Very helpful, thanks. Shoot- I’ve got older 70-300mm. Might upgrade it. I’m 99.9% video. Usually choose between 18-135 USM or 24-105 for run and gun. Used the 18-135 for a Cirque vid for Stark Insider and was really impressed (and not expensive!). Like extra wide @ 18 can grab better FOV for interviews in tight spaces. For controlled/film stuff I use Sigma 18-35 mostly – just amazing, that and Rokinon 85. Ah, lenses, lenses, lenses… :)

            • Craig Love

              This is with the C100 Mark1 and the 18-135 on New Year’s Eve. I was up front with the 80D and of course someone kicked this tripod so it is not centered. One man band, you know.

            • Craig Love

              Here is my test of the PZ-E1 which clips on the newer 18-135 Nano zoom. I just zoomed in an out and this was on the 80D on a monopod from my seat.

            • Looks good. I’ve got PZ-E1 too, works very well. Never use it though. I’m a crash zoom die hard!

            • Craig Love

              Agree mostly. I shoot mostly rock and those quick pulls are often the way to go. I just attach a handle. I guess it is more of a toy, but still helpful for the $150. Sounds like we may be neighbors. I am in Marin.