Friday, September 21, 2012

Canon EOS 1DX Is Identical To 1DC. WTF?

As if we needed more evidence to support the assertion that Canon sucks, here comes this doozy of a factoid: the upcoming, thirteen thousand dollar, EOS 1D C cinema SLR camera is fucking identical to the already released EOS 1DX. The only difference is the firmware.

Why would Canon do something like this? Because they are an arrogant monstrosity that likes to rip people off. They are, quite literally, bolting $6,000 in profit on to every 1D C that they sell and telling anyone who is interested to bend over and take it. How in the bloody blue hell do they expect to compete in an increasingly competitive market with that sort of internal business philosophy?

I thought Panasonic was bad when they priced their new lenses so high. I thought Hasselblad was bad when they wrapped an NEX 7 in leather and tried to sell it for $5,000. This blows them both out of the water. The only other camera that even comes close is the Sigma SD1, and while its overprice was worse, it was at least a unique camera!

It's amazing how often technology companies try to pull this shit. There are two examples in the world of computing that are prominent in my mind. Intel, back in the day, released a series of 486 processors that were, in all ways, identical. They were all a bunch of different prices, though. Why was this? Because Intel intentionally crippled the cheaper ones. An industrious user could, somewhat easily, change the settings to "unlock" the actual potential of their new chip. Later on, the chips were actually different, but for a good year or so, they were absolutely identical.

Similarly, there has been an ongoing debate in the world of high-end graphics cards for some time. A graphics card that is good for running games usually costs between $100 and $400, with a few mega cards as much as $1,000. Workstation cards, on the other hand, cost upwards of $6,000. What's the difference between the two types? No one knows. Most people suspect that there is almost no difference. Understandably, many pros are pretty pissed off when they think that their $3,000 is available to gamers for $300.

As such, it's not surprising to find out that almost every single graphics pro whom I know is running a standard desktop card. People don't like to feel ripped off.

The world of pro-level graphics cards supports this sort of rip-off, I think, because competition is borderline non-existent. There are two companies: Nvidia and AMD, and that's pretty much it. Similarly, back during the 486 processor era, you had one processor company: Intel. Companies in positions such as that can afford to be arrogant. It usually breeds contempt, though, and today we have companies running in droves to mobile processors to get away from Intel, and almost every computer power-user that I know hates either AMD or Nvidia.

That is almost beside the point. The camera world is very competitive, and it is getting immensely more so. The world of pro-level imaging may have been receptive to this sort of cash grab in the past, but that is no longer true. When Fuji's APS-C cameras provide full-frame level performance from a small sensor, and Sony produced the NEX-7, capable of world-class images for around $1,000, and Panasonic's GH3 is more pro in may ways than Canon's $13,000 EOS 1D C(rap), when all of this is considered, Canon is essentially insulting us when they do this. They are saying "we think that you are stupid enough to buy whatever we give you."

Unfortunately for you, Canon, I'm not.

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