Photography and Art

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What's Going on with Michael Reichmann?

The usually reliable and outspoken Michael Reichmann has seemingly pulled his punches on a first impressions review of a Canon 1ds Mk III pre-production camera.

I happened to tune into Luminous Landscape web site just as the initial article was published. It was a very interesting article that asked the one question on every one's mind: now that Canon's flagship camera has reached the 20 mega pixel mark, how does it stack up to medium format cameras?

Michael's answer was pretty straightforward. The new camera, although excellent all around, did not compare favourably with medium format backs because images just weren't as sharp. Michael pointed to the anti aliasing filter (present on the 1Ds, not present on medium format cameras) as the culprit. He wondered if it was time for Canon to issue a 1Ds with an optional or removable filter.

The article was up for a few hours and then disappeared. It was replaced by a fairly innocuous version that basically said "what a nice new camera the 1Ds MkIII is". What's more, there was a fairly sheepish apology added in a prominent location on the site:

"In a version of this review which was online for a few hours on Oct 18-19, there was a discussion of anti aliasing filters and how I felt that there would be advantages to the 1Ds MKIII not having one, for a variety of reasons. Due to a mix-up an early version, not intended for publication because of mistakes in my initial analysis, found its way online in error."

"I regret any confusion that this may have caused."

This sounds highly unlikely to me. For Michael to mix up his versions or to make mistakes in his analysis just doesn't ring true based on his track record of publishing insightful articles filled with technical analysis.

It sounds to me that maybe the marketing guys at Canon threatened to cut Michael out of the free demo game and he pulled the article.

Or, perhaps there were some potentially faulty assumptions in the article and Michael agreed to pull it out of fairness to Canon until more analysis and testing can be done.

I sincerely hope that the latter is true. I like and respect Michael and have always found his web site to be helpful and thought provoking.

Michael, in the highly unlikely case that you ever read this post, please give us more details on what went on behind the scenes. It is pretty tough to accept your explanation based on the original content and the fishy circumstances.

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