In today's episode, Canon makes a development announcement about the EOS R1 finally, What it took for one person to get the Limited Edition x100vi and a Georgia Photographer gets probation for ghosting a bride.

You can find the show notes here.

Show Notes

Greetings, you’re listening to the Liam Photography Podcast, I’m your host and this is Episode 403 for Thursday May 16th, 2024. In today’s episode Canon EOS R1 Development Announcement, What It Took to Get an x100vi Limited Edition and a Photographer Gets Probation.

Canon EOS R1

Canon published an official development announcement for the EOS R1 and while not a lot has been revealed, it is the company’s first public acknowledgment of what will be its top-end camera.

As PetaPixel predicted, Canon’s development announcement comes ahead of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics which now allows the company to openly test it with select photographers in the kinds of environments where it will likely be most used — sports and action.

Also expected is how little Canon is saying about the camera other than the fact that it does indeed exist, which is similar to the tactic it took when it announced the EOS R3 in 2021. The announcement isn’t without some detail, though.

For example, the company says that the camera will bring together Canon’s “cutting-edge technology” and combine “top-class performance” with the durability and reliability of a flagship model. Canon also says that it will dramatically improve the performance of both still images and video capture to “meet the high requirements of professionals on the front lines of a wide range of fields including sports, news reporting, and video production.”

It will also use a newly developed image processor called the DIGIC Accelerator in addition to the currently existing DIGIC X.

“The new image processing system, composed of these processors and a new CMOS sensor, enables large volumes of data to be processed at high speeds and delivers never-before-seen advancements in Auto Focus (AF) and other functions,” Canon says.

“By combining the new image processing system and deep learning technology to an advanced degree, Canon has achieved high-speed and high-accuracy subject recognition. For example, subject tracking accuracy has been improved so that in team sporting events where multiple subjects intersect, the target subject can continually be tracked even if another player passes directly in front of them. In addition, the AF “Action Priority” function recognizes subject movement by rapidly analyzing the subject’s status. In moments during a sports game when it is difficult to predict what will happen next, this function automatically determines the player performing a certain action, such as shooting a ball, as the main subject and instantly shifts the AF frame, thereby helping to capture decisive moments of gameplay.”

Canon also says the combination of a new image processing system and deep learning will improve image quality.

“Canon implements the image noise reduction function, which has been previously developed and improved as part of the software for PCs, as a camera function to further improve image quality and contribute to user creativity.”

If Canon’s production timeline remains in line with previous announcements, expect the R1 to be fully revealed by this fall — September or October are likely candidates. The EOS R3, for example, was announced as in development in April and was fully announced by the following September. That said, it didn’t hit the market until November.

Of note, Canon refers to the R1 as its “first flagship” in the R system, meaning the R3 and R5 are, as expected, not examples of Canon’s most impressive technology.

The EOS R1 is one of the most, if not the most, beleaguered cameras in the digital era. It has been at least three years — likely more — since sources indicated that the camera was being developed. After multiple adjustments, including what PetaPixel sources say was an issue with the sensor back in 2022, Canon has finally crested the hill and the EOS R1 will likely be in the hands of photographers this year.

Canon confirms that it is already working on field tests for the R1, hinting at its use for “capturing definitive and impactful moments at international sporting events.”

A lot has changed in the photography market since 2019. Sony and Nikon have both released heavy-hitter cameras that combine resolution with high frame rate — a dynamic duo of photographic capabilities that Canon has, at least to this point, been unable to replicate. While details of the R1 are still unknown, it now has to contend with multiple factors to appeal to high-end photographers. It needs to be fast, it needs to be accurate, and it needs to bring both higher resolution and better dynamic range to the table, lest it always live in the shadow of the Sony a1 and a9 III as well as the Nikon Z8 and Z9.

Canon will also have to be flexible on price. While the EOS R3 is a great camera, its $6,000 price did not land well especially considering the price Nikon launched the Z9 for $500 less just a month after the R3 was announced.

The EOS R1 is burdened by extreme expectations and very likely by later this year, it will be seen whether or not it can overcome them.

Limited Edition x100vi

Getting a regular Fujifilm X100VI is challenging enough, with Fujifilm struggling to keep up with massive demand. However, acquiring the X100VI Limited Edition camera? That’s next to impossible.

With just 1,934 units available worldwide, Fujifilm fans in the United States had a short window to purchase one of the 300 X100VI Limited Edition units allotted to the region. The initial plan was to spread these out over three days, with 100 up for grabs daily on Fujifilm USA’s web store. It predictably crashed the website, and when the dust cleared, many units found their way into the hands of scalpers and bots.

Fujifilm investigated the purchases and found that about two-thirds of them were fraudulent or otherwise suspicious, and then canceled them. The cameras, with a new lease on life, were then put into a raffle system. This approach allowed fans to sign up for the chance to purchase the X100VI Limited Edition, and one lucky PetaPixel reader, Alex Phan, shared that he was one of these winners.

“I just wanted to inform you that I was able to get the limited edition X100VI thanks to PetaPixel‘s article,” Phan tells PetaPixel over email.

Phan has already received his special, rare new X100VI Limited Edition camera and has been happily shooting with it. However, the purchasing experience he describes is well worth a closer look. Fujifilm seemed to take no chances with its second attempt to sell the X100VI Limited Edition, and made prospective purchasers jump through some unusual hoops.

“So on April 25, I got the email saying I won a lottery spot,” Phan explains. “In the email, it said to wait until April 30; there will be another email that contains the link to purchase.”

Phan says that this initial email warned him there would be a short 48-hour window to complete the transaction; otherwise, he would lose his spot.

On April 30, the promised email arrived and Phan completed the transaction online. The following day, Fujifilm North America emailed the photographer asking for a selfie alongside his driver’s license to verify his identity.

“I had a ‘WTF’ moment,” Phan says. “What threw me off is that the email address that sent out [that request] is not from Fujifilm, but from FNAC ShopUSA. I went online and Googled it to see if anyone else got the same thing as me, but I couldn’t find anything. I got to the ‘eff it’ mode and took a selfie with my driver’s license.”

Fortunately, the email was not a scam — FNAC is Fujifilm North America Corporation. But it’s easy to understand Phan’s skepticism, as typically, sending a photo of yourself and a government-issued ID to people online is a bad idea.

“A few days later, I got the FedEx tracking email. Phew!”

As Phan says, Fujifilm was very rigorous in ensuring that the cameras didn’t find their way into the hands of scalpers — and Phan certainly isn’t a camera scalper.

“I’m a crazy person that takes a selfies with my driver license,” he laughs.

Wedding Photographer Probation

A photographer in Georgia received a one year probation and a restitution order from a judge after she canceled on a bride just hours before her wedding.

Wedding and family photographer Danielle Caldwell says it “wasn’t done out of malice” and that she intended to show up until she started feeling unwell.

“I was getting ready for her wedding, already dressed and loading my equipment, when I started feeling very light-headed, and my chest started pulling and hurting badly,” she wrote in a Facebook message, per WXIA-TV.

Bride Allison Gardner says Caldwell “caused chaos” on her wedding day. She tried to get an immediate refund so she could quickly hire another photographer but Caldwell said the money had already been used “towards bills to pay rent as any job would be… so that’s why I didn’t have the money.”

Gardner shared her experience on a local Facebook group where other people in Coweta County piped up with similar stories about the photographer also not attending scheduled photo shoots.

“I took off work three to four different times and never got any photos,” wrote one person. “The same exact thing happened to me,” wrote another. “Showed up with my pets and all the kids dressed for pictures and she no-showed on us.”

Gardner went to a judge with her concerns and a state court charged Caldwell with theft by conversion. WXIA-TV reports that court records show Caldwell cut a plea deal that saw her serve a one-year probation period and pay Gardner $900 in restitution within six months.

But that was in October last year and Gardner still hasn’t received the money with Caldwell reportedly saying that she got an extension to pay the bride before June and the “issue has already been handled through the courts.”

Photographers not showing up for weddings is not only terrible for the couple but is bad for the entire industry.

Officials will step in with the Better Business Bureau of Central Texas issuing a warning about a photographer in 2022 after eighteen brides complained about Olivia Seymour Photography being a no-show for their wedding and engagement photos. Fourteen of those brides say Seymour did not show up to shoot their wedding days and missed many engagement shoots as well.

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