Forums > Photography Talk > $6000 for a firmware update?
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Photographer

Robb Mann

Posts: 10650

Baltimore, Maryland, US

So the only real difference between the Canon 1D C and 1D X is firmware and a badge on the front?  I image the cheaper camera will sell like hotcakes once the firmware gets hacked.

http://www.photographybay.com/2012/10/0 … -firmware/

Oct 08 12 08:15 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

Can you say Magic Lantern?

Oct 08 12 08:23 am Link

Photographer

John David Studio

Posts: 1724

Fort Myers, Florida, US

Is there a problem with that??  Canon has invested great time and expense in their code.  Why should they give it away.  The client is looking for a solution.  The end result is what matters.

As software and hardware become more integrated this trend is going to become much more prevalent.

Many products are made like this from Diesel engines, aircraft, etc.

Oct 08 12 08:46 am Link

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Isn't it like having Red Scarlet included in the same body for 7K plus all the lenses you already have?

Oct 08 12 08:52 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

John David Studio  wrote:
Is there a problem with that??  Canon has invested great time and expense in their code.  Why should they give it away.  The client is looking for a solution.  The end result is what matters.

As software and hardware become more integrated this trend is going to become much more prevalent.

Many products are made like this from Diesel engines, aircraft, etc.

I think it's more about perception. The 1DX is a "locked" camera which gives the impression that Canon is withholding from the consumer.

The fact that the only difference is a firmware upgrade and nothing mechanical/manufacturing related tells the consumer that the increased cost has nothing to do with the item per se, but rather Canon's wish to upsell. The perception is greed.

That doesn't usually sit too well and we've seen what happens when cell phone manufacturers tried that. Within weeks there is code to "unlock" the product.

Marketing-wise, they may have been better off only offering the 1DC version. But I guess we'll see.

Oct 08 12 08:53 am Link

Photographer

Andrew Koenig

Posts: 317

Gillette, New Jersey, US

I don't know about these particular cameras, but many cameras with video capability do not include commercial licenses for the video compression albums, and if you try to use them for commercial video, you will learn at some point that you have to spend a lot of money for a compression license in order to avoid having to spend even more money defending (and probably losing) a lawsuit.

So, I wonder whether the more expensive of the Canon cameras also includes a commercial video license as part of its cost.

Oct 08 12 08:57 am Link

Photographer

John David Studio

Posts: 1724

Fort Myers, Florida, US

I think you misunderstood my response.  Everyone thinks that the only costs to manufacture a product like this lies in the tangible value of the metal, electronics, glass and physical components.  You cannot just discount the firmware as being a freebie commodity.

I have written code, but not for applications like this.  It takes some very smart engineers considerable time to write the software to implement the functions that are in the hardware components.  These software costs have to be distributed over the number of units expected to be sold.  In addition Canon may have to pay royalties to other companies to possibly license some technologies they didn't develop on their own.

Oct 08 12 09:09 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12825

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Or it could be a massive saving for those who don't want a still camera for video?  Its all in how you look at it.  It's a great camera and I doubt anyone who has one is dissapointed.

P.S. it was probably cheaper to manufacture both bodies with all the same electronics and just disable them.  It's nothing new, the software industry has been doing it for years.  Do you really think MS server OSs are different code then the desktop?  And that is just one example.

Oct 08 12 09:13 am Link

Photographer

Vito

Posts: 4177

Brooklyn, New York, US

And what software (for a one person license) costs $6000?

Oct 08 12 09:15 am Link

Photographer

Vito

Posts: 4177

Brooklyn, New York, US

And what software (for a one person license) costs $6000?

Oct 08 12 09:15 am Link

Photographer

Vito

Posts: 4177

Brooklyn, New York, US

And what software (for a one person license) costs $6000?

Oct 08 12 09:15 am Link

Photographer

Bill Sylvester

Posts: 1463

Cincinnati, Ohio, US

Vito wrote:
And what software (for a one person license) costs $6000?

AutoCAD

Oct 08 12 09:24 am Link

Photographer

JPV_IMAGES

Posts: 390

Norwich, England, United Kingdom

Vito wrote:
And what software (for a one person license) costs $6000?

Thats a simple one to answer. The software for any front line fly by wire fighter plane costs more than $20 million per seat (plane).

Anyway totally irrelevant but does make the point that in the modern world the intangibe product (computer code) its creation, testing and maintenance is a substantial cost. In a low volume product it is often the major cost.

Oct 08 12 09:25 am Link

Photographer

JPV_IMAGES

Posts: 390

Norwich, England, United Kingdom

Oct 08 12 09:25 am Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54149

Buena Park, California, US

Michael Pandolfo wrote:

I think it's more about perception. The 1DX is a "locked" camera which gives the impression that Canon is withholding from the consumer.

The fact that the only difference is a firmware upgrade and nothing mechanical/manufacturing related tells the consumer that the increased cost has nothing to do with the item per se, but rather Canon's wish to upsell. The perception is greed.

That doesn't usually sit too well and we've seen what happens when cell phone manufacturers tried that. Within weeks there is code to "unlock" the product.

Marketing-wise, they may have been better off only offering the 1DC version. But I guess we'll see.

What about the price difference between Adobe Photoshop Elements and CS 6 and CS 6 Extended?

Is greater functionality a matter of greed?

Printers often come with printer drivers.  Companies make RIPs for these printers that can cost from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars.  The printer is still the same.

If canon sees value in the programming, it's not greed.

Oct 08 12 09:27 am Link

Photographer

NumaelDario

Posts: 1017

San Francisco, California, US

...while on this subject:

I wonder why powerful sister cameras such as the Canon 5D Mk3 do not have uncompressed 4:2:2 HDMI output, which would allow high quality external video recording at rates like 280 MB/second ++ instead the much lower internal rates? (Canon states that All-I compressed video is recorded at 30 MB/s+ for CF card).

By contrast, the moderately priced Nikon D 800 does offer this uncompressed output feature.

Oct 08 12 09:42 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

Christopher Hartman wrote:
What about the price difference between Adobe Photoshop Elements and CS 6 and CS 6 Extended?

Is greater functionality a matter of greed?

Printers often come with printer drivers.  Companies make RIPs for these printers that can cost from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars.  The printer is still the same.

If canon sees value in the programming, it's not greed.

But they didn't produce two printers that were exactly the same mechanically. They produced one printer and then offered the software as a separate product/add-on. Wouldn't you agree that is far more acceptable in the consumer's mind?

Again, I was talking about the perception to the consumer.

If Canon offered one camera with a $6,000 software upgrade that would be one thing. Of course, it wouldn't sell as well because few would purchase a $6K upgrade. Offering those options in the form of a more advanced camera makes the customer feel better about spending the extra money...at least that's the marketing tactic.

Oct 08 12 09:42 am Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54149

Buena Park, California, US

Michael Pandolfo wrote:

But they didn't produce two printers that were exactly the same mechanically. They produced one printer and then offered the software as a separate product/add-on. Wouldn't you agree that is far more acceptable in the consumer's mind?

Again, I was talking about the perception to the consumer.

If Canon offered one camera with a $6,000 software upgrade that would be one thing. Of course, it wouldn't sell as well because few would purchase a $6K upgrade. Offering those options in the form of a more advanced camera makes the customer feel better about spending the extra money...at least that's the marketing tactic.

I can see how customer perception can be a negative.  And if it affect sales for Canon, they will adjust accordingly.  Canon, Nikon, whoever, isn't immune from making poor choices.

Back to the printers though, yes, the printers are exactly the same.  The only difference is the bundled software.  If it was possible to cram that software into firmware and have it built into the printer, they would.

Someone else mentioned licensing.  That would be the reason right there.  RIPs have to pay Adobe a royalty for PostScript.  And Adobe bases part of that royalty on the SIZE of the printer.

e.g. a RIP with 100% same functionality for a 64-wide printer will cost significantly MORE than it will for a 17-inch wide printer.  The code is all the same.  The only difference is the size of the printer.

That might just be plain ol' greed though from Adobe. big_smile

Oct 08 12 09:51 am Link

Photographer

AVD AlphaDuctions

Posts: 10553

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

I think it sad that the first post in this thread contains the expectation that the firmware get hacked.  Nobody thought that was a bad thing? Nobody even paid lip service to intellectual property? shame.  our work is out intellectual property.

Oct 08 12 09:58 am Link

Photographer

Kaouthia

Posts: 3152

Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

Bill Sylvester wrote:

AutoCAD

Or Maya (even before Autodesk bought it out).

Oct 08 12 10:01 am Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54149

Buena Park, California, US

AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:
I think it sad that the first post in this thread contains the expectation that the firmware get hacked.  Nobody thought that was a bad thing? Nobody even paid lip service to intellectual property? shame.  our work is out intellectual property.

Software, music, and movies are ok to steal.

Stealing photos and plagiarism is EVIL!!!!

Oct 08 12 10:05 am Link

Photographer

Leonard Gee Photography

Posts: 16406

Sacramento, California, US

It's the cost of the headphone jack (1D C). Those things are prohibitively expensive.

There always have been crippled software that cost extra to enable (demos for instance). Even the private ID for PocketWizards are expensive.

Oct 08 12 10:37 am Link

Photographer

Brian Diaz

Posts: 63170

Danbury, Connecticut, US

AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:
I think it sad that the first post in this thread contains the expectation that the firmware get hacked.  Nobody thought that was a bad thing? Nobody even paid lip service to intellectual property? shame.  our work is out intellectual property.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but Magic Lantern is open source software, not pirated software.  Installing new software onto a legitimately purchased piece of hardware shouldn't be an intellectual property violation, right?  That's like buying a Mac and installing Windows.  Not a big deal.  Or is there another aspect to this that I'm missing?

Oct 08 12 10:55 am Link

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Photographer

Robb Mann

Posts: 10650

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Right or wrong we now have a culture that thrives on unlocking, jailbreaking and hacking hardware to get it to do things that the manufacturer woikd rather not have it accomplish.

Developing the proprietary software that runs a modern camera is indeed a huge expense, and can often take longer to complete thsn getting the hardware right.

Im not judging the morality of anyone who would buy a $7000 camera with hopes that they could jailbreak it into a $13,000 camera. However i think using software to deny features to users will be an irresistable challenge to many, and could even be part of a brilliant marketing strategy by Canon -- it seems 'broadcast quality' video cameras are regulated and taxed in ways consumer gear is not.

Oct 08 12 11:01 am Link

Photographer

Wye

Posts: 9887

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Vito wrote:
And what software (for a one person license) costs $6000?

NukeX from The Foundry costs $8000 per license.  Many companies will have tens or even hundreds of those plus yearly support costs.

Maya from Autodesk costs around $3500 plus yearly support costs.  Again, many companies will have tens or hundreds of them.

Houdini from Sidefx costs $4500 per license.  Same as above.

Softimage costs $3200.


Software ain't cheap.

Oct 08 12 11:08 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

Brian Diaz wrote:

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but Magic Lantern is open source software, not pirated software.  Installing new software onto a legitimately purchased piece of hardware shouldn't be an intellectual property violation, right?  That's like buying a Mac and installing Windows.  Not a big deal.  Or is there another aspect to this that I'm missing?

You're correct. Magic Lantern is Open Source. There is nothing illegal about using it on a purchased product.

Oct 08 12 11:18 am Link

Photographer

LeWhite

Posts: 2006

Los Angeles, California, US

Vito wrote:
And what software (for a one person license) costs $6000?

solidworks
mastercam 4d
and prolly many more
and your point was?

Oct 08 12 11:23 am Link

Photographer

curiosa des yeux

Posts: 1458

Seattle, Washington, US

Vito wrote:
And what software (for a one person license) costs $6000?

There are thousands of professional softwares that cover a wide range of needs which cost over (often well over) $6000. Try buying a reasonably functional CAM software to generated program code for CNC machinery. The cheap, and often less effective, software runs around $3000, while the more robust software runs $10,000 or more. In most cases, you have to pay full price for a second seat, even if it's just a matter of having it on your home computer so that you can work at home as well. Programs like Photoshop CS are nothing in terms of pricing when it comes to commercial grade software and far from the norm.

You should be generally thankful that photography related software is relatively inexpensive as compared to other industries. $200 for a program like Lightroom (can often be found for that price) is almost laughable compared to a program like Mastercam ($10k-$25k+ depending on options). Keep in mind that Mastercam also requires that you own a machine for it to operate, which typically run $100k-$250k or more (I currently have one that ran $150k new and used to own one that ran $250k new). Compare that cost of doing business to that of photography and it's no wonder that I don't have much competition in the CNC market like I do in the photography market. wink

Oct 08 12 11:48 am Link

Photographer

Jhono Bashian

Posts: 2432

Cleveland, Ohio, US

Vito wrote:
And what software (for a one person license) costs $6000?

so you have to pay to play!!!   not like this is old news, just the play fees get larger.

Oct 08 12 11:53 am Link

Photographer

R_Marquez

Posts: 4622

San Francisco, California, US

Magic Lantern will not be doing a hack to enable/unlock a 1dx to 1dc. They don't want to get into hot water with Canon. It's not an argument of legal vs. illegal, they just don't want to get into Canon's radar in that way.

Also,  the point is that ML is for prosumer dslr's. If you have the need for a 1dc, then you probably don't really need ML.

Their words, not mine.

But obviously, there are people out there that have no problem paying thousands more for software. It's worth it. Same with Windows 7 vs.  Windows server, the later is also "just" software, but it can do more and the price tag reflects that.

Oct 08 12 11:59 am Link

Photographer

Tim Foster

Posts: 1758

New York, New York, US

MKPhoto wrote:
Isn't it like having Red Scarlet included in the same body for 7K plus all the lenses you already have?

Nobody's going to be shooting with autofocus lenses on that thing.

Oct 08 12 01:14 pm Link

Photographer

Bob Helm Photography

Posts: 18210

Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US

It seems that some people have no respect for the IP of others.

Oct 08 12 03:07 pm Link

Photographer

Warren Leimbach

Posts: 2676

Tampa, Florida, US

I don't think the Mars Rover software upgrade even costs that much.   wink

Oct 08 12 03:42 pm Link

Photographer

Instinct Images

Posts: 22641

San Diego, California, US

I worked for an Internet equipment manufacturer that had gross margins of about 60%. We frequently made $1 million+ sales. You do the math. The cost of the software for our boxes - regardless of size or capacity - was $10,000. I had the software running on a pc at my house big_smile

I have no issue with companies charging more for certain features. Most people understand that higher end products have MUCH higher margins. It's the same whether you're buying a new car, a new TV, or a new camera.

Oct 08 12 03:52 pm Link

Photographer

The F-Stop

Posts: 1510

New York, New York, US

For that money you can just go n buy a top of the line brandy new camera.

Firmware update for my RB67 is a CLA for $90!

Oct 08 12 05:05 pm Link

Photographer

AVD AlphaDuctions

Posts: 10553

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Brian Diaz wrote:

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but Magic Lantern is open source software, not pirated software.  Installing new software onto a legitimately purchased piece of hardware shouldn't be an intellectual property violation, right?  That's like buying a Mac and installing Windows.  Not a big deal.  Or is there another aspect to this that I'm missing?

this would be different. putting more expensive software from another product (that you didnt pay for) onto your mac would be an intellectual property violation.  Firmware is code. how you get it from one place to another doesnt matter. its still an intellectual property violation.  From your example it would be legitimate if the copy of windows was legitimately purchased.  the only diff here is the code is more expensive
(or perhaps not available for sale)

Oct 08 12 05:27 pm Link

Photographer

Matt Knowles

Posts: 3563

Ferndale, California, US

Brian Diaz wrote:

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but Magic Lantern is open source software, not pirated software.  Installing new software onto a legitimately purchased piece of hardware shouldn't be an intellectual property violation, right?  That's like buying a Mac and installing Windows.  Not a big deal.  Or is there another aspect to this that I'm missing?

To install Windows on a Mac, you still need to purchase a licensed version from Microsoft to be legal.

You'd have to read all the documentation that came with the camera to find out what Canon's policy is regarding their firmware. Doing a quick search for "Canon firmware license" it appears that their firmware downloads are covered by an agreement that would prohibit you from using the firmware unless you own the camera it was designed for.

But one of the comments in the linked thread says it's more than a firmware issue anyways. So it may all be theoretical.

Oct 08 12 05:32 pm Link

Photographer

Brian Diaz

Posts: 63170

Danbury, Connecticut, US

AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:

this would be different. putting more expensive software from another product (that you didnt pay for) onto your mac would be an intellectual property violation.  Firmware is code. how you get it from one place to another doesnt matter. its still an intellectual property violation.  From your example it would be legitimate if the copy of windows was legitimately purchased.  the only diff here is the code is more expensive
(or perhaps not available for sale)

I apologize for the incorrect analogy.  It's more like buying a Mac and installing Linux.

What is the "more expensive software from another product" you're referring to.  Magic Lantern isn't stolen firmware from another camera.  It's original, open source, and designed to be free by the people who wrote it.

Oct 08 12 08:27 pm Link

Photographer

AVD AlphaDuctions

Posts: 10553

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Brian Diaz wrote:

I apologize for the incorrect analogy.  It's more like buying a Mac and installing Linux.

What is the "more expensive software from another product" you're referring to.  Magic Lantern isn't stolen firmware from another camera.  It's original, open source, and designed to be free by the people who wrote it.

the more expensive software would be the firmware from the more expensive camera.

Oct 08 12 08:35 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6689

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:

the more expensive software would be the firmware from the more expensive camera.

Nobody's mentioning taking firmware from one and putting it on the other.

If they desired, Magic Lantern could add the additional features of the 1DC onto the 1DX... there would be no problems with this.

Oct 08 12 08:47 pm Link