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Wednesday, 30 January 2013


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"And what America needs is a $25,000 Corvette."
Wouldn't that be a Miata? Just sayin' . . .

[Sure, assuming your Miata has a V8. (They do that, you know.) --Mike]

I'm getting a 6D next week. When the 5D MarkIII came out, I almost immediately thought that an update was not. At $3,500 puts it at about 1K for just the AF system. I rarely need pro-grade AF. The 6D with Wi-fi and at the current price of $1,900 is tempting. A friend is buying my well kept, low cycled 5D2. I would not sell it if the 6D didn't exist. I consider the 6D an upgrade albeit a small one. It will be a very nice transition camera until Canon finally comes with a sensor to compete with Sony's Exmor technology. Even Toshiba seems to be ahead of Canon now.
Digital cameras are in a way analog to cars. Don't let them get too old!. Years ago, someone told me that the longer you take to change your car, the harder. Depreciation takes a toll and you have to put much more money in order to get a new car. Digital cameras are in this way like cars, I believe.

The Corvette's problem isn't just a matter of price, though I'm sure that's a factor as well. But I wouldn't want one even if I could easily afford it. I'm 47, and even I think of the Corvette as an older-generation car. If I were in the market for a sports car, it would probably be something European, or maybe Japanese -- it certainly wouldn't be a Corvette.

The 6D vs the 5D Mark III is another matter. The issue is both price and features. What does the 5D Mark III offer you for the extra money? Is it anything you really care about? If so, then perhaps you should choose the 5D Mark III; but for me, if I were in the market for a new full-frame DSLR, the 6D seems quite adequate.

Lower-cost sports cars have cyclical popularity, and so most companies "can't afford" to keep one for sale, the Miata notwithstanding. The progression of the Corvette's cost and performance have, to me, been on a natural climb since they decided to modernize it in 1984.

But even in say, the 1960s only a decently well-off single person would have considered a Vette.

Sad, because the Corvette itself used to be a $25,000 Corvette...

Subby BRZ!!!

I shoot architecture stills with a tripod and manual focus. Fast AF sure is nice, but it's not essential for me. Movies? Forget it - I honestly couldn't care less.

Even if the body isn't quite as tough, it's hard to say the 6D doesn't look like a great camera for my priorities.

That's probably why the camera companies release the expensive model first. Get those who can buy the 5DMkIII or the D800 to part with their cash. Then release the 6D or the D600 to get those who wanted the "full" camera to buy the mid range model. Not a bad marketing strategy.

I don't know if Chevrolet were to make a car that's 85% of the Corvette, but at 60% of the price if the same sales approach would work. I suspect cars are thought of differently than cameras.

For me, the big thing about the 6D's price isn't the price of the 5D Mk III; it's the price of the lowly SLRs in Canon's range.

I'm 31, I shoot a lowly 1100D, and that 6D has been keeping me awake at night for the last few weeks. Ignoring lens prices for a bit, a 6D may well be expensive at £1600 (I live in Her Majesty's country, you see), but a cropped sensor, old hat (wel...) 7D would set me back almost £1100. Isn't that amazing? Even a 650D costs almost £600...

Normally you would expect my soon-to-be wife to be the one keeping the sanity in the house, but she's been wanting to replace her 450D for a while, and has been drooling over the Olympus OM-D for months - and that's over £1000. Bugger - makes the spanking new 6D look like a really nice deal.

The $25k Corvette is called Nissan 370Z and sells for $32k. And while on this topic, $25k is still a lot of money. Just ask your son's friends how long do they believe it would take for them to save this much money!

$1900 is still plenty of money to spend on a camera body, but having a comparable model priced at nearly 2x the price makes it seem reasonable. It's an economic (and psychological) phenomenon known as the Framing Effect. It's sometimes called the Premium Decoy, although the 5DmkIII is not a meaningless "deluxe" model.

I don't think the 'vette will ever shake the image of being a mid-life crisis / old person's car. If GM is designing the Corvette in an attempt to appeal to 20 year olds, they're missing the boat by a larger margin than usual. Price notwithstanding, they cost an arm and a leg to insure, are ticket magnets and you can't pile your friends in them to go clubbing.
They need to go in the other direction and make the 'vette a true exotic then come back with a more affordable sports car. What was wrong with the Solstice?

Some people have to buy new; otherwise there are plenty of 5D Mark II going around which are better than 6D in many photographic features, and are cheaper.

One thing that immediately turned me off from the 6D was the 4,000 shutter speed, and not the 8,000 of the 5D3 and most other cameras. One can barely shoot on a bright day with an 85L at f1.2 at 1/8000 at ISO 100, let alone at 1/4000. That was my dealbreaker.

In fact, I recently got a 6D to replace an M8, needing something for low light. The focusing works in low light, the lenses I needed for low light were available, and while the focusing on the 5D III was good, coming from the rangefinder world, it was also larger and heavier. Not enough difference for the extra money. So, too, I drive a Miata. For me, it seems to still be most of what I want, for what I am willing to pay. To be fair, though, I never wanted a Vette--wanted a Lotus Super 7, instead. Still can't afford that [Caterham] either.

I have not followed the sales levels, but I wonder how much of the 6D's popularity is influenced by the Nikon D600's dust and oil on the sensor problem? I have no idea of the percentage of affected cameras, but the possibility of losing the draw would certainly make me hesitant to purchase.

When the 6D was announced I was concerned that I would be unable to resist the temptation until I found Canon had released a batch of refurb 5D mkiis (which come with a full 1 yr warranty in UK) for £999.99, less than 2/3 of the price of the 6D. I bought one of those instead.

Why is the EOS 6D so hot? I know this sounds crazy, but could it be that photographers are discovering it's a great camera in its own right?

"For the extra money of the 5D Mark III we only really got a marginally higher sync speed with strobe"

I do like the 6D, and was going to buy one as a 2nd body, but lack of a sync port is actually still a major issue, i wouldn't be able to trigger my Elinchrom while using the 580ex in E-ttl on camera for instance.

"Depreciation takes a toll and you have to put much more money in order to get a new car. Digital cameras are in this way like cars, I believe."

Thats the 2nd reason i didn't pull the trigger on the 6D - since it came out my original 5D seems to have almost halved in price on eBay - and i've given it a thrashing so it's probably worth even less...

I drive a 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage and have a Hyundai i30 that's kidded out with 2 car seats for a 2.5 year old and 6 month old, am 31years old and noticing more grey hair, my wife's might have turned white if i'd come home with a 6D as well as the new 24-70L.

Is the D600 doing the same thing to the D800/D800E? Therein lies your answer.

In Europe the vette is considered a steal:
Cheap to buy, proven mechanics, low maintenance costs. Compared to a porsche, AMG-mercedes or an M5 it's a lot of car for your hard earned euros.

So, that should mean that we see a lot of them on the road right?

Well, no...

Here in France I see maybe one every two months, et encore..

There are two problems (and they are linked):

-Even if they are cheap sports cars, they aren't cheap in absolute terms.

-There is no prestige in driving a vette in France, in fact, the car comes with a negative prestige...Chic it ain't...

So, it boils down to the fact that very few people want to spend a considerable amount of money on car only to be looked upon as a hillbilly...

From a european perspective, I think that the problem with american car companies is that they don't know how to build up the prestige of a brand. Cadillacs and corvettes have been marketed here since the last ice age, but sales never take off.
People prefer an undermotorized Mercedes or a dull looking concrete gray Audi, at least nobody is going to laugh at you behind your back at the golf club..

In the camera business it's the same thing:
If you have brand recognition you can get away with murder. Many people will buy your products only because of the effect the ownership creates on other people.

Leica, anyone?

How is the 6D selling compared to the Nikon D600? The forums all said the 6D is a massive dud and will be the end of Canon :) and the D600 kills it in every way. I thought to myself, how important is the spec sheet?

Also, how do you see the equation now that the 5DIII is $2800?

Wait till you see our car prices in Singapore - a quarter of a million if that Corvette is ever sold here.

[I remember that. My stepfather was loaned to NUS from the Kennedy School to start a graduate program there, and he and my mother lived in Singapore for three years. They bought a used Toyota economy car that cost $29,000 plus $5,000 for a permit, if I'm remembering correctly! --Mike]

You didn't mention that, aside from the big price tag, the new 'vette is really not that nice looking of a car. Would I take it if given to me? You bet. But I don't think I'd consider buying one at even half the current asking price simply because it's not that good looking.


I bought a new 5D Mark III during the holiday season. it was going for less than $3000 at the NYC camera stores, with some extras thrown in at no cost and a 2% "reward" to be received after a month and a half. I was previously shooting with a 7D.

I did think about the 6D, which was not being offered at a discount.

What made me buy the 5DIII was the investment that I had in CF cards. Having to buy as much memory in SDHCV cards as I had in CF would have narrowed the price gap significantly.

Love to say I told you so (Camera of the Year)! However, look at the Vette at $50K. What else is in its class? A Boxster, or let alone a used, tired Ferrari cost significantly more. I don't like the looks of the new (2014) car, but I think the older model is more nicely styled than any current Porsche or Ferrari! The DeDion rear axle setup adds nice balance (finally) to the V8 power, as well. That said, I will not pay that much for any car! (I'd rather have 6 months in the south of France.)

I think that the 6D and the 5DIII are aimed at totally different markets, as shown by 6D's lack of a joystick that allows quick switching of AF points. That's a deal breaker if you want to control what the camera focuses on and shoot anything that's faster than a stoned sloth: I would have missed many shots if I hadn't gone into the Custom Functions and turned on "multi-controller direct".

I suspect that the 6D is selling well because it's price is low enough for people who want full frame and aren't concerned about AF control (no slight intended).

I spent 3 grands for a D800 because of the MP and DR. The bet is worth compared to an iteration product costs 500 more.

What's not worth is the expensive AF lenses, they still not suffice the needs of IQ and control.
To get high quality pictures I have to slow down my photography and use manual focus like Zeiss', tripod and LV magnifier. It's not technologically backward thinking, but the only reasonable workflow available now.

One good image is worth more than 10,000 craps.

The Corvette was always a fairly expensive car for people who had done well in life, but sold well because there was little competition, especially for those who remembered WWII and would never buy a German (or Japanese) car. Now, anyone who can afford a Corvette can also afford a BMW M3 or a Porsche Cayman or any of a dozen other interesting cars with more prestige. The Corvette's biggest problem worldwide is that it's a Chevy, not a brand with much cachet. The 6D doesn't suffer from any such disadvantage.

The $25k corvette is a Scion FR-S or a Subaru BRZ (essentially the same car)

In 2004, I bought my first digital camera, a then top of the line Nikon D2h. I still shoot with it and a twin I picked up used a year or two later.

I have not replaced them for the very simple reason that I cannot afford to. Sure, I could pick up a D3100 relatively cheap, but after shooting with what was designed to be the end all of cameras, shooting with a D3100 is like going from a vintage Corvette to a brand new Smart Car. Ain't got the same kick.

Trouble is, no one in my organization has had a raise in 6 years, and there's not one on the horizon. We're darn lucky to still have jobs. A new comparable Nikon is around six grand. I stand no chance.

But the same is true of lenses. I wanted a 400mm lens for wildlife. Can't afford a new 400mm f/2.8, so I got a used 400mm f/3.5 manual focus. Wanted a 600mm. Same story. Got a used 600mm manual focus. And the new 800? It's almost 18 thousand dollars. Who can afford that? I sure can't, and I don't know anyone who can.

What this country needs is less greed.

Nobody's mentioned the importance of size/weight: I could handle the 20D and used it for many years. The 5D was simply too big and heavy. The 6D gets back to around the 20D's size and weight, and if I were in the market for a DSLR, the 6D would be my choice for that reason alone, especially with the newer, more compact lenses available these days.

I was hoping that the new C7 would be the 'Vette that targeted the younger crowd simply because I was curious as to how GM would design and market it. Oh well, maybe in another 6 years.

Next Vette? How about a 15% larger Miata with a super high revving 3.5 or 4 litre V8?

If fuel economy/CO2 emissions weren't an issue and an RX-? were available for a reasonable price (which it always was compared to other "hot" vehicles of its ilk,) AND I didn't really need the space an attributes of a small SUV/crossover, I would be all over that. I had both the RX-2 (a blast to drive but with Joseph Lucas electrical system) and the RX-4 (more civilized/less fun but with no foibles) and man, I loved those rotaries. Corvette? Bah. As you say, out of touch with the wallet.

As some of the others here have already mentioned, even a $25,000 car is out of reach of 90% of young men. The only way they can own even an average priced car is to buy one 10 yrs old. I drive a $30,000 car, but I paid $3000 for it, as it is a 1998. I'm 37 years old and can't even dream of owning even a cheap new car. My generation and younger are barely keeping food on the table in our $7 an hour economy.

As for $25,000 Corvettes, GM made that: The Camaro and Firebird. They quit making them, though. Ford still makes the Mustang, but it costs more than that, I think.

I have recently bought the 6D, because it does what is supposed to do extremely well: excelent metering, excelent AF (for me), good build, good ergonomics. I don't need anything else for the type of photos I take.

Is the 5DMKIII a better camera? Sure it is, but I don't have the money for it.

The 6D just does not get in my way; it is dead simple to set up, and I can find the settings I require really quick.

I have the 5DIII. My nephew is a photographer as well and he owns the 6D. I've captured moving people that my 7D or 5D classic would've missed. For that, I don't regret buying the 5DIII over the 6D.

I've handled the nephew's 6D and found it to be a capable camera. He really enjoys it as well for his portrait work.

As Mandeno referenced, the markets are different for the two cameras. I've shot the 5DIII in light rain, at charity races, business events and weddings. The second card slot definitely gets a workout as a backup.

Damn Mike, I can only write "You're *so* right!" so many times.

"I suspect that the 6D is selling well because it's price is low enough for people who want full frame and aren't concerned about AF control (no slight intended)."

That's right. I got it for that reason. Central-point focus works well for me. Also, it's significantly lighter (200 grams I think). I just don't shoot action, and if you don't, that camera is terrific value! Heck, at high ISO settings, the noise is actually *lower* than that of the 5D3.

Look at it, it's the blandest design ever! You only get it if the features are right for you. And the only friend I have who can tell the difference between cameras is not the type who'd be impressed by a more expensive camera.

Usable quality at 25,000 ISO, that is something else. Who'd have thunk.

"How about a 15% larger Miata with a super high revving 3.5 or 4 litre V8?"

I'd buy that.

(Well, as long as it DOESN'T have the newfangled electronic steering, and DOES come with an optional manual transmission. Both those things--hydraulic power steering and stick shifts--are on life support these days, more's the pity.)


I think that "young" is a relative term to the Corvette team. I don't think they are aiming at 20-somethings, but rather 30 and 40-somethings of some means, car enthusiasts with Nissan Zs and Subaru STIs that are lusting after BMW M3s and Nissan GTRs instead of the old man Vette. If Chevy can get the average age of the C7 down by just ten years versus the C6 then I think they'll pat themselves on the back. I'm squarely in their sights, currently driving a "15% larger Miata" Honda S2000. Now if only someone would by my kidney, or perhaps I can bring it to the Chevy dealer as down payment?

i think the 6d's prism hump is easier on the eyes than the 5dmkiii, making the compromise even easier to accept.

new cars are bloated, swoopy confusions, so they don't have the alluring quality of classic cars. automotive designers are facing the same problems as camera designers: how to reintroduce hardness, sharper edges, and compactness to the soft, rounded, and/or organic styles everybody's sick of.

"How about a 15% larger Miata with a super high revving 3.5 or 4 litre V8?
I'd buy that."

I've got that- it's a 2003 Mercedes CLK 430 Cabriolet. Runs like a scalded dog with its 4.3 liter V-8. Fast, safe, reliable and cheap ($16k two years ago.), maybe even stylish. What's not to like? Well, OK, it's automatic- but you can shift it manually if you want.

I like my old Hasselblad and I like my Mazda. Even if I won the lotto, I'd stick with my Hassy, but I'd definitely get a Tacoma-first generation, 4x4, extended cab, standard 5 speed with a winch. But that's just me.

*Is* it so hot? I'm assuming somebody has published some meaningful sales numbers, or some other reasonable measure of "hotness"?

Because nobody I know has talked about buying one, no indication they ever even considered it. Even the Nikon 600 got more love than that, though nobody I know considered it for more than about 10 seconds.

There are probably market segments where it is hot, I suppose.

1953 Chevrolet Corvette 0-60 mph 11.0

1957 Chevrolet Corvette 0-60 mph 6.5 Quarter mile 14.0

2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata 0-60 mph 6.6 Quarter mile 15.0

From http://www.zeroto60times.com. Amazing what you can find on the internet. And I don't doubt that Miata out handles the old Vette.

The current Vettes look big and heavy. A Miata or S2000 looks nibble.

Timely post. Been mulling over upgrading my 5D purchased in 2008. Hard decision between the 5DIII and 6D w/o having seen both together. For my style of shooting the smaller 6D package could be the clincher. The 40 pancake has become a favorite lens.

I think you're on to something there, Mike. I would love a 5D Mk III. To me, it would be pretty much the ultimate camera: a digital EOS 3. Fast, responsive and relatively light. I'll make due with my now-ancient 5D. The Mk III is just too much money. Actually, I still love my camera. The only thing that I would change is the autofocus. I miss a lot of photos chasing my 19 month old son around. I don't think the 6D would be a big improvement for me. If I have any money for photography in the near future, it'll go to glass.

As far as cars go, I completely agree. My 2 year old Honda Fit "Sport" is about as much car as I can afford. At least it's got a 5 speed manual. I've always been a car guy. I had a beautiful '65 Pontiac GTO and a '69 Chevy Impala when I was young, but now, with a family and a mortgage, that sort of thing just isn't possible anymore.

PS The $25,000 Corvette these days is a Scion FR-S.

"How do you get [i.e., sell to] younger people who think the Corvette is an old man's car, when every driver they see has white or no hair?"
Market it like this ...

How about three Corvette's at differing price points, under their own sub-brand?


I'm seriously considering just sticking with the 5DmkII. I recently got to test drive the 5DmkIII and was very underwhelmed. Well, I was overwhelmed by the AF system, which to me is not a good thing. I chose Canon over Nikon in part because I found the software setup on the D700 to be cumbersome. I've never loved AF, but I feel like these cameras are designed in a way that makes them perform better when the AF is engaged. I was pretty quickly able to learn the 5DmkII's setup and use it to my advantage. I also use a 40D quite often and it's AF system is pretty bare bones. Basically, I want the simplest AF system with a really great sensor. Those two don't seem to ever go hand-in-hand.

I was also pretty disappointed by the sensor and the navigation on the 5DmkIII. The whole thing just felt like a big step back. Too many software pages, too difficult to get around, not a great ISO quality jump, and kind of ugly and hard to manage colours off the sensor.

This was the camera that I was waiting for three years ago and little did I know I the camera I was waiting for was already in front of me.

5DmkIV anyone?

[They bought a used Toyota economy car that cost $29,000 plus $5,000 for a permit, if I'm remembering correctly! --Mike]

That permit, for its full duration of ten years, is now US$70,000. Good times.

As an old goat who'll finally slide into sixtyville later this year, I find it humorous to sit back and read that $25,000 sports cars and $2,000 digital cameras are somehow middle-class and affordable. From my long view they aren't.

Cars: Based on my budgetary constraints I've set a hard limit to spend no more than $25K on any new automobile. I'd spend far less if I could, but I can't because it appears from a rough survey conducted last year that a decent car in Florida will set you back a good $20K just to start. Add in non-luxury features that add to driving safety, for example, and the price creeps upwards into the $25,000 range. My 2012 Prius came out at that cost, and that was in August of last year. In spite of that high cost, at 55-60MPG with current $3.50 gas I'm glad I got it. I can't afford any sports car, regardless of manufacturer, because the old "affordable" sports car was predicated on very cheap gas and cheap operating costs. Today's Corvette is far from cheap, from the up-front cost to what it takes to operate one once its out on the street. No contemporary sports car is.

Cameras: There is no place in my budget (and many, many others) for a $2,000 camera, body only, from any manufacturer. As a hobbyest who doesn't make a living from their cameras, I can't find any justification for spending that much money for just the body, not even considering lenses and other accessories.

That wasn't always the case. In the manly days of just-film, I could afford a far wider range of 35mm cameras and often owned several brands and models simultaneously just because it was fun, especially the smaller rangefinders (Canonets, Yashica Electro 35, Minolta Hi-Matic) along with various regular 35mm SLRs. When I finally switched from film to digital I was shocked by the high cost and features that didn't match film cameras.

Unlike film days, I picked one manufacturer (Olympus) and stuck it out with them, for better and for worse. Today I use Pens (E-P2, E-PL1, E-Pl2, and E-M5) and the compact lenses. I own so many bodies not because I'm particularly rich, but because they cut the price so low on the E-PL bodies ($150 for the E-PL1 and $200 for the E-PL2). The price for the E-M5 is pretty much the upper limit for what I'll spend for any camera body these days.

The low prices of the E-PL1 and E-PL2 match what I paid for the Canonet, Electro 35, and Hi-Matic. It's a pity we can't get sub-$1,000 so-called "full frame" digital cameras, in particular well south of $1,000, because if we could it just might ignite a new interest in photography to match the interest we had with film in the 1960s and 1970s.

The majority of folks who might be interested in so-called "full frame" cameras really can't afford today's pricey offerings, and it's one reason why so many use their cell phones along with the convenience of just one device. I wish someone would wake up and give the market the digital "full frame" equivalent of the old Pentax K1000 (in both low cost and workhorse reliability) but I won't hold my breath. And no, neither the Canon 6D nor the Nikon D600 are that camera.

U.S.A. is not the world. Four fifths of the global population cannot even afford 500 dollars for a camera! How much longer will the Japanese manufacturers be able to exist living off the U.S. market alone?
I wonder what the Chinese future will bring (and it has already started, you know)?
By the way, who in their right minds would buy a backward U.S. car compared with European and Japanese technology?

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