Canon is the only brand…

Reid Stott, an unapologetic Canon photographer, quotes: “Canon is the only D-SLR brand to own and manufacture the sensor, processor and lenses in house.”

How come when I read that I think to myself the days when Apple was the only personal computer brand to have their own design (industrial, chipset, architecture, protocols), software operating system, and manufacturing “in house”?

How did that turn out for them again?

6 thoughts on “Canon is the only brand…

  1. How did that turn out for Apple? I believe they reported over $4.3 billion is revenue last quarter, up 12% from the previous year, so I think they’re at least “getting by.”

    As for “unapologetic Canon photographer,” my first digital camera was a Nikon 990. Great camera for its day. Over the years, I’ve also used nearly every 35mm film camera Nikon has made. But when I was ready to move up to a DSLR, I had a personal collection of a lot lenses from buying into the EOS system when it came out in 1987.

    And when a friend of mine was ready to move up to a DSLR a while back, I recommended the D70 because of her large collection of Nikon lenses. In both cases, we had *far* more invested in glass than the cost of a DSLR body … and that’s got to count for something, unless you’re independently wealthy.

  2. Hey Reid. 🙂

    I mean how did doing everything “in house” work out for Apple. That $4.3 billion in revenue is for a company that now outsources the manufacturing to China instead of building their own silly robotic factories, merges their supply chain with the rest of the world instead of building all their own custom parts, bases their operating system on a Unix core that bears only a superficial resemblance to the Mac of old, uses the industry dominant processor instead of trying to strongarm their latest partner into building one to their spec, uses and pushes for standards like PCI Express, IDE, USB, FireWire, Ethernet, 802.11 instead of inventing or pushing obscure ones NuBus, SCSI, ADB, and non-standard ethernet connectors and CD-ROMs that require drive trays, and has a music player outsell their computers about 10 to 1.

    That Apple is not the Apple of old.

    As for “unapologetic Canon photographer,” if you read this blog you’ll know it as a complement. You use Canon, you have your reasons for doing so (full-frame, EOS system fanatic) and you aren’t afraid to back it up with saying you’re biased in that way. I respect that, even if I’m an “unapologetic Nikon photographer.”

    (As for using nearly every 35mm film camera Nikon has made, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I’ve held and played with every Canon dSLR made since the D30, does this make me less biased.)

    As for the recommendation to a friend, that is an excellent point. I should have mentioned that here, but I was assuming this was a first time buyer. Despite this, I hope it didn’t sound like I was dissing this guy’s potential Canon 350D purchase.

    By the way, I don’t think Canon will be as hurt as Apple will be by their decision in the same way I don’t think cameras are computers. I do think that people who quote the advantages of everything being “in house” need to recognize that there is a potential for a cascading failure if things go wrong. The cascade isn’t as bad in the camera world for obvious reasons (network effect), but it’s there.

    That’s why Canon smartened up and released the Rebel XTi ($200 cheaper than the D80 as you pointed out) as well as 17-55mm EF-S IS with the bargain priced 30D. When the 5D introduction showed that “full frame” would be priced out too high for consumer and out of most enthusiasts they did a course correction.

    I saw a similar course correction after they released the XL-H1 using Sony’s 3CCD sensor when they thought HD would not catch on and put their chips behind 24p.

    Kudos to them!

    Think of what would have happened had they not done that? Would their own fabrication capability be seen as a strength or a weakness? Who manufactures the CCD chips that go in their pocket cameras anyway? Who makes the 3CCD chips that go in their high definition cameras?

    Just some food for thought.

  3. I didn’t quite catch what you meant about Apple’s abandoned “commitment” to “in house,” and with respect to Canon, it’s true, they may start outsourcing some of their process at some point. I don’t know, and I doubt it would change anyone’s purchase decisions. I just thought it was an intersting line in the press release.

    And, yes, I’m openly biased in my feelings about Canon, but you’ll never see me bashing Nikon, either And, BTW, I should have said that I’d worked with all the F-series film Nikons, from the FM on up. They were the “standard” in the pro world, so you got familiar with them by default. Canon really didn’t start showing up much among the pro crowd until the late 80s.

    In a way, it is like the PC vs. Mac debate (by the way, I use both). My opinion is that a new computer user should try to sit down in from of each system, and see what feels right to them.

    Same way with a new DSLR buyer, who has no investment in lenses, or brand wars. I’d certainly tell them that I used Canon, and why, but I’d tell them both brands have fairly comparable lineups, especially in the lower price ranges. So compare the specs and reviews, but the bottom line is to go to a camera store and see how each of them feels in your hand. How intuitive are the controls and menus … for you?

    There are folks for whom a Nikon fits like a glove. For me, it’s the 5D. But whether Canon or Nikon, the bang for the buck you can get with today’s DSLR’s means you can hardly go wrong.

  4. Reid,

    I use both Mac and Windows PC also. I say the exact same things as you to first time buyers (I use a Nikon D200 and D70, go to the store and try all the models out because it is about you, not me.) Now if I can just get you using Nikon again, your conversion to the Dark Side will be complete. 😀

    P.S. I love your blog. Keep it up. Stay opinionated and keep things interesting.

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