Posts Tagged ‘Canon’

I Took the Printer to Canon

December 24, 2009

Yesterday, I took my failed Canon MP610 printer to the Canon (Thailand) Service Centre on Sathorn Road. It was a 200B taxi ride including a 45B toll. I rarely take taxis so I did not know the best route. Unfortunately the box was too big for me to take the Subway and Skytrain.

The centre was quiet and they served me almost immediately. They will contact me in a few days with a diagnosis and price. The actual service could take 15 days. My experience with camera repairs suggests it will be less.

Here’s a picture of the Service Centre.

Canon (Thailand) Service & Showroom
I felt self-conscious using a Nikon camera in the Canon office so I did not take many shots.

The district around the Canon office is full of high-rise offices. It is “international bland” and could be almost anywhere. It was lunch time when I finished at Canon. The streets were full of thousands of office workers heading for lunch as they would be almost anywhere. It was a lovely day so I had a cheap lunch people-watching.

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Boxed Up & Ready To Go

December 22, 2009

Canon MP610 Printer in its Box

Further to this post about my Canon printer problems:

I have no choice but to take my Canon MP610 All-in-One printer back to Canon for servicing. I hoped I could buy a new print head and install it myself. But Canon replied saying they need to check it. That’s sensible – the print head could be fine but the software / hardware that tests it and raises the misleading U052 “type of print head is incorrect” error is faulty. I don’t know where the temperature sensor is.

Fortunately I kept the shipping box. I packed it this morning. Before doing that I powered-it on again to see if the U052 error remained. It did.

When I have time I’ll take a taxi across town to the Canon Service Centre. At least I don’t live up-country.

Canon MP610 Printer Problem

December 19, 2009

I was printing some photos for friends this evening when my Canon MP610 Multifunction printer developed a problem.

The printer’s display showed:

U052

The type of print head is incorrect. Install the correct print head.

That’s meaningless! The print head was fine a second ago. Why does it now say the type is incorrect. Also – what is the “correct” print head it supposedly needs? As far as I know there is only one type – the type that I installed when I bought the printer.

I looked for the on-screen manual on my laptop. Of course it was in Thai due to the problem I wrote about here. The installation software assumed that as my computer is in Thailand I wanted Thai-language software. Wrong!

I had to hunt online for an English manual. Of course this was a time my Internet connection went back to its old slow ways and the download took 15 minutes. I did not expect much from Canon’s troubleshooting guide and I wasn’t disappointed.

Canon MP610 Error U051-U052

I did as it advised. I removed all four ink tanks, lifted the lock lever for the print head and removed it. The printer is well-designed. Everything was easy to see, remove and re-install.

I keep the printer under a dust cover when I’m not using it so the inside of the printer was clean.

I re-installed the print head and the ink tanks, closed the cover and …

The same U052 error appeared. I tried once more but it’s a hard error.

So my MP610 is now a great doorstop. It does not even function as a scanner because this error comes up during its Power-On Self-Test and it won’t go on-line until the error is cleared.

My “Canon Service representative” is Canon (Thailand) on Sathorn Road. The printer’s too big to take on the Subway so I’ll have to take a taxi. I still have the original box.

The printer is just over two years old and has printed 3,372 items:

B&W Documents 1,303
Colour Documents 1,162
A4 Photos 269
4×6 Photos 603
T-Shirt transfers 11
CDs 24

I don’t think that is a lot of use. I’ve been very pleased with its printing up to A4 size. It works well with Lightroom and Photoshop as well as a general-purpose printer and scanner. My only complaints have been about the excessive cost of ink and the fact it claims an ink tank is empty far before it is.

Fortunately it is still in production so there should not be any problems getting it fixed.

I read somewhere that the print head is an expensive item. The Bangkok Frugal Photographer is annoyed.

I checked the Canon (Thailand) web site. They have email support. I sent them this message:

My Canon MP610 shows error U052 “The type of print head is incorrect. Install the correct print head.” I removed and re-installed the print head as the manual advised. The error still shows.

Do I need to bring the printer to you for service? Or can I purchase a replacement print head from you?

Thank you.

Here We Go Again – Lightroom 2.6 Available

December 18, 2009

Adobe Photoshop LightroomAdobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.6 and its required DNG Converter (5.6) are now available for download from http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates/. That’s a month since the 2.5 update came out.

This is the release many have been waiting for to support the Canon EOS-7D and Nikon D3s. I don’t know if they made any changes from the Release Candidate that has been available for almost a month.

What if for Lightroom 3 Adobe said that the product will only support DNG files? Then they’d only have to release a new DNG converter to support new cameras. I wonder if the photography community has enough confidence in DNG that they’d accept it. DNG is a mature technology: Adobe introduced it in 2004. DNG has immense advantages over a multitude of proprietary RAW formats. DNG is an open specification so it isn’t dependent on Adobe’s continued prosperity or whims.

Surely if DNG is good enough for Leica it is good enough for the rest of us.

Moreover Adobe could surely make the DNG converter more modular so users do not have to download the full product every time. They could release a new DLL (or the equivalent for the Mac).

This is a bigger concern for users on slower internet connections. I guess it isn’t on the radar screen for the Adobe team as they assume everybody has fast connections for their work machines.

I looked at the list of other defects fixed in Lightroom 2.6:

  • The crop tool would unlock a locked aspect ratio after a rotation adjustment
  • For Mac OS X 10.6 customers, visual artifacts could appear when panning an image viewed at 1:1 in the Develop module.
  • For Mac OS X 10.6 customers, the 10.6.2 update included a correction that prevented Lightroom 2 from opening more than two files using the Edit-in-Photoshop functionality.
  • Lightroom 2.6 provides a fix for an issue affecting PowerPC customers using the final Lightroom 2.5 update on the Mac. The issue, introduced in the demosaic change to address sensors with unequal green response, has the potential to create artifacts in highlight areas when processing raw files from Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and various medium format digital camera backs.
  • Lightroom 2.5 and earlier did not support the updated Panasonic DMC-LX3 aspect ratio modes added with the camera’s latest version 2.0 firmware.

From http://www.adobe.com/special/photoshop/Lightroom_26_ReadMe.pdf.

The Crop Tool fix is the only one that affects me and I have never noticed the issue. Again I wonder how Adobe decides what to include in a point-release.

By-the-by, there is something wrong with the Adobe Support Forums I’ve been accessing to ask and answer Lightroom questions. For the past few days the site has been impossibly slow. Other sites are fine with the new Asia America Gateway so it must be something up with the Adobe infrastructure.

Canon EOS-7D Price in Thailand

December 14, 2009

I saw the Canon EOS-7D camera for sale in Bangkok at the Emporium Shopping Centre, near Phrom Phong Skytrain Station. It was in the window of Eastbourne Camera.

The price is 72,900 Baht with the Canon EF-S 18-135 mm lens. That’s about US$2,188.

I checked Amazon.com. They offer it today for US$1,899: 13% more in Thailand.

Prices in Thailand include 7% Value Added Tax (VAT). If you are a tourist you can arrange to have the VAT refunded when you leave Thailand. Unfortunately I do not qualify because I am classed as a resident for tax purposes.

Hi-so shopping malls like Emporium aren’t the cheapest places to buy cameras. But you can be sure this is a legitimate import and will be covered by a Canon (Thailand) warranty. Prices will be lower at places like Panthip Plaza and Fortune Town Mall. But the cameras may be grey imports. If you have a problem Canon (Thailand) won’t help you.

Eastbourne Camera helpfully list their Canon camera prices on their web site here. When I looked the EOS-7D was not included.

Given the complexity of the camera I think it is wise to have the peace-of-mind (an overused phrase) of warranty support.

Not that I intend to buy one. Oh no, I am a Frugal Photographer.

Lightroom Support for Canon EOS-7D

November 21, 2009

At last! Adobe have released “Release Candidates” for the software needed to support the Canon EOS-7D in Lightroom and Photoshop. That will be a relief to many photographers who have been waiting for it since they purchased their 7D.

Adobe are careful to describe a Release Candidate:

The ‘release candidate’ label indicates that this update is well tested but would benefit from additional community testing before it is distributed automatically to all of our customers. The Lightroom team would like the community to help verify the quality of this update through normal usage as this will ensure that the application is tested on a diversity of hardware and software configurations not available internally at Adobe.

That’s far better than using the “Beta” label. It’s interesting how these terms have changed over time. When I worked at HP we referred to what’s now called a Beta as an Alpha. For us Beta is what Adobe are calling a Release Candidate. I think the RC usage is consistent with the Microsoft terminology.

I don’t have a 7D and I have only just updated to Lightroom 2.6 so I think I’ll wait until Adobe release the software officially.

I have seen it written many times that Adobe does a better job of rendering Camera RAW data than Canon’s own Digital Photo Professional. I find this amazing given that the DPP engineers should have access to all the inside information and to the people who designed the sensor and firmware. Maybe it is that the best software engineers want to work for a software company rather than be second-class citizens in a hardware focused company like Canon.

Where have I heard that before?

ISO 102,400?

November 14, 2009

Canon EOS-1D Mark IVHere’s another camera the Bangkok Frugal Photographer won’t be purchasing unless he wins the Lottery. The US$5,000 Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. And that’s for the body only. None of my inexpensive lenses would do it justice.

Of course it looks like a lovely piece of hardware. Far too heavy to carry arround though.

The extended ISO speed of 102,800 “the highest ISO ever offered by a Canon SLR” caught my eye. To me that’s an un-imaginable capability to gather light. I will be very interested to see an independent test of its capability. Dpreview.com may have to develop a new test procedure to exercise it.

The marketing statement implies that other SLRs have offered a higher ISO capability. Or perhaps that a Canon non-SLR exists or existed with a higher ISO. Is that true? Or are they attorney weasel-words to be ultra-safe?

What is the fastest analog film ever produced?

 

Thai Lottery Tickets

Thai Lottery Tickets - No They Were Not Winners

 

 

Canon EOS-7D Review on Dpreview.com

November 8, 2009

Canon EOS 7D : Digital Photography ReviewDpreview.com published their full review of the Canon EOS-7D DSLR camera yesterday. See http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos7d/. As usual it’s over 30 pages of densely packed information.

The first 12 pages is a detailed functional review. I think it’s more useful than a camera’s manual. I don’t think you can get more information without handling the actual camera. I’m impressed how they do the perfect screen shots of the camera’s displays and also how they compare with other cameras.

The rest of the review is detailed performance and picture quality tests. Some people don’t like their “pixel-peeping” approach. But when you’re comparing cameras of this level of sophistication I don’t know of a better way. It does get a bit silly to pixel-peep a cheap compact but for professional and semi-pro cameras that’s what it is all about.

Dpreview gave the EOS-7D a “Highly Recommended” rating. I think that is their highest. The summary list of Pros and Cons shows a very short list of Cons. I think they had to search for things to put in that section.

I think the EOS-7D may cut into the EOS-50D’s sales. It seems to be so much better that many photographers will save the extra for the EOS-7D. I wonder how accurately they can calculate this effect.

I like their gallery of sample pictures. As always I try to work out where they took the pictures. Some are obvious, others are hard.

I’ve seen a couple of EOS-7Ds in camera stores in Fortune Town Mall, Bangkok. But I have not dared to ask the price. No store is promoting it yet – supplies must be limited in Thailand.

For example, here are the promoted cameras at EC-Mall. The EOS-50D is the top model listed.

 

Camera Prices at EC-Mall

Thai Camera Prices at EC-Mall

 

 

Canon Picture Styles – Interesting Discussion

October 30, 2009

I meant to write a post in this blog about Canon’s Picture Styles, my limited understanding of them but how I relate them to my workflow. However, Michael Willems knows far more than I do so we are having an interesting discussion here.

So far I have learned more than I did by reading Canon’s online documentation here.

It’s a confusing subject and I made things worse for myself by trying to relate them to the adjustments I can make in Lightroom. Lightroom has to be a level playing field for all digital cameras so it does not handle them directly, but emulates them. And that’s where my brain starts to hurt!

If you are interested in learning more take a look at the discussion on Michael’s blog.

I thought Canon were going to invest more heavily in Picture Styles. For example they talked of releasing more on their web site for particular applications.

They released seven “extended function” styles in 2007 to augment the standard ones shipped with each camera and on Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software. However nothing’s been released since.

I thought there would be an opportunity to extend the concept further. For example releasing styles that explicitly model traditional film types. I guess the development team were assigned to a different project after the Picture Style concept was embedded in all Canon DSLRs and in DPP.

Canon EOS-7D Problem

October 28, 2009

Canon just issued a service notice for the new EOS-7D. It says that under “certain conditions” (unspecified) in continuous shooting mode slight traces of the previous image may appear on a subsequent image. They apologised profusely and promised a firmware update to fix the problem.

Here is a link to the service notice (USA).

Camera firmware is getting so complex now that this kind of bug will appear more often from all manufacturers. I think software QC still trails hardware by miles.

Of course, as a Frugal Photographer I am delighted at the news. Another reason why I can tell myself I shouldn’t buy this camera that I crave!