What has happened to the Canon Forum?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by brian_blattner, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. It has been at least a couple of years since I have posted anything on the forum, but I will occasionally drop in to see what interesting things that I may have missed or to see what is happening; however, I am quite surprised at the lack of posts in the Canon forum from the last time I visited the forum.
    I would have thought with the digital camera boom where just about everyone has a camera now that the traffic would be much higher than in the past, so this has me wondering what the difference is.
    Are our lives just busier now?
    Is it that everyone that owns a camera is an expert now and doesn't need advise anymore?
    Could it possibly be the popularity of other social environments like Facebook, etc?
    I have always enjoyed visiting the forums so many interesting conversations take place. I have never felt qualified to provide advise because I did not feel knowledgeable enough to do so, so I have mainly remained an invisible participant, but I would like to know your thoughts on WHY you think there has been a decline in the Canon forum and will this be the way things will be in the future. I really hope not because I have learned so much from this forum specifically.
    Thank you for your thoughts and opinions.
    Brian Blattner
     
  2. As far as I can see this is a general Photonet phenomenon, classic manual cameras possibly excepted. What is left for us all to talk about? Lots happening elsewhere on the web. Most of the questions have been asked. We're still here, but just listening rather than talking. I think there is something to what you say about everyone now being an expert.
     
  3. Most Canon shooters went to Nikon because they had 36mp envy.
     
  4. Anyone else find it somewhat ironic that somebody who by his own admission hardly ever contributes to the forum, wonders why it's quiet?
    QED?
     
  5. Tastes change, the internet as pure entertainment has evolved astronomically and people move on to more exciting things like social media, hookups, shopping, porn and video. Typing sentences in little boxes on a cyber bulletin board is pretty dad burn old skool for people used to IM and texting. If anything, YouTube and FB shallowed up most of the casual internet traffic during the last 5 years. Many younger folk were raised on closed networking sites like FB and no longer visit websites or know how to Google, setup an email app or save a bookmark.
    Most forums I visit have seen a significant slowdown in participation but there are a few photo forums that are a lot more active than here.
     
  6. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    There is a big cultural shift that has happened, especially with the ease of posting photos on the web. When photo.net started, it was much harder to get digital photos - most people shot film and many didn't scan - and it was much harder to upload. The new generation that grew up with the internet has far more interest in photos than talking about photography. Sites like flickr, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr are far more attractive to younger people for whom photography is integrated into their daily lives rather than being something to discuss endlessly. The photo.net forum population has aged and tends to live by past modes of operation, i.e., talking about photography.
    While that has impacted the forums, photo.net has an active community who do post photos, and if you look at the newsletters, you will see that there is a lot going on here beyond the forums. There are new people posting images and commenting on other people's images, which contribute to a growing community interested in showing, sharing, and getting comments on their photos. I see this as a positive change, it's more photo-centric, doesn't have endless debates about the same old stuff, and will help to keep photo.net current rather than looking dinosaur-ish, which the forums often do.
     
  7. You ask some very good questions, and I think you came up with a lot of the reasons why there is less "traffic". It's all of the forums by the way, not just the Canon forum. If it's film related, it's easy to figure out. Less and less people are shooting it. If we're talking digital, the bloom is off the rose now. When digital first came out, everyone was amazed at the quality they could get themselves at home w/ a simple inkjet printer. Even film shooters got into this, as they discovered they could scan and print their film negs w/o a darkroom and the necessary skills that go w/ that. Now, a lot of people have realized that their idea of getting a big, expensive DSLR and shooting lucrative wedding gigs did not happen. Galleries are not hopping to exhibit the work either. Those expensive ads of the handsome young guy (but not TOO young) standing confidently w/ the latest DSLR and white lens hung around his neck were just that. Ads. So if I'm not getting pay gigs, if I'm not getting gallery exhibits and or sales, what the heck am I doing w/ all this really expensive stuff? It's a relevant question. It will probably lead to a thinning out of the herd, and the people that remain enthusiastic will be those who have a passion and a vision? That sounds awful trite though, doesn't it. I suppose that what I mean is that the people that remain enthusiastic will be those who enjoy making images for their own sake. For themselves, irregardless of anything else.
     
  8. It is a general trend among forums in general, not just here on Photo.net. In fact, the local hiking forum I have frequented
    and moderated for several years is shutting down this week due to a combination of dwindling posts and financial issues.
    Much lament was spilled there over the loss of information that would ensue (including from me), but people have shifted
    to social media for good or for ill, and we went from hundreds of posts a day to one or two a week since about 2010.
     
  9. Are you kidding? This forum looks like Action Central compared to the Pentax forum over there where days go by between posts.
     
  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I really hope not [that the posting on this forum are declining] because I have learned so much from this forum specifically.​
    IF - as you state, your actual concern and premise for posting this question is that you fear that you have a diminished resource of learning, then you are looking at the situation the wrong way about.
    If you have a photographic question or problem which requires attention, then you should firstly ask: “Are the recent responses and respondents on this forum indicating they are up to the task of assisting me?”
    My answer to that is an emphatic: “YES! – all questions presented here draw enthusiastic, credible and helpful comments”
    And then secondly, if you agree with my assessment and if you believe that the participants here can assist your learning, you should post your queries.
    WW
     
  11. While that has impacted the forums, photo.net has an active community who do post photos, and if you look at the newsletters, you will see that there is a lot going on here beyond the forums. There are new people posting images and commenting on other people's images, which contribute to a growing community interested in showing, sharing, and getting comments on their photos. I see this as a positive change, it's more photo-centric, doesn't have endless debates about the same old stuff, and will help to keep photo.net current rather than looking dinosaur-ish, which the forums often do.​
    May be the community is growing, but not in terms of quality of pictures and not on photo.net. (This is off-topic but still...)
    Let me demonstrate it. Photo.net stores selections of posted pictures for the last 5 years. Go to "Gallery"->"Browse gallery". Make selection, for example, of 5 year old Landscape photos. You will see 3000 beautiful pictures. Now instead of going "Next page" go to "Previous page" and you will see the last pictures from 3000 selected. Note the rate of the last pictures. Now make selection for the last 1 or two year old posted photos and do the same: look at the last page. Do you see the difference? The rate of the pictures is less and the quality too. (While the rating system is separate topic, but I generally agree with the fairness of it on photo.net)
    This is about every category. I checked "Birds", "Fine Art", "Documentary". You name it. For the last years we even have less than 3000 pictures in some categories, while 5 years ago we easily did.
     
  12. I'm put off uploading pictures to this site because of the antiquated file size and pixel size limits, which seem like they haven't changed since the mid-90s.
     
  13. Three possible answers:

    1. Canon cameras are so easy to use that no one has any questions.

    2. Canon users DID have questions, but they have all been answered. (Just use the Search feature.)

    3. Everybody shoots with phones now, but Canon doesn't make a phone. So...
     
  14. One of the most frequent questions on this forum seems to indicate users have cash bulging out of every pocket. "What shall I buy next?"
     
  15. I would like to thank everyone for their comments.
    It is true that I am guilty of the very question that I posted. My personal reason was that I had gotten busy for a while where photography took a backseat to other priorities, and then when I did have some free time I spent it taking pictures instead of contributing to the forum.
    When I popped backed into the forum yesterday I was just a bit surprised how quiet things have become. My initial reaction was that I thought the forum would have been more active than when I was involved a couple of years ago because of the popularity of digital photography today, but many of your responses explain the drop-off along with some of my initial thoughts as well.
    Thanks again for your thoughts, and especially for your participation with forums like this. I really owe a big part of what I have learned with photography to the members of this forum that have so kindly given of their time and knowledge. It is truly appreciated!
    Brian Blattner
     
  16. Facebook is surely a factor. There are a LOT of photonetters on Facebook these days.
    --Lannie
     
  17. Ed writes, "I'm put off uploading pictures to this site because of the antiquated file size and pixel size limits, which seem like they haven't changed since the mid-90s."​
    True, it's a lot easier to post images elsewhere, control how they're presented and make them much larger if you want.
     
  18. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Facebook is surely a factor. There are a LOT of photonetters on Facebook these days.​
    It's less that photonetters on it than that almost everyone is on it. The last statistic was that 3000 photos were uploaded to Facebook every second. This is not about "bloom off the rose" or anything like that. It's about how people relate to photography and where they are uploading photos. It's a big challenge, but there is definitely an opportunity, not on the forum side, but on the photo gallery side.
     
  19. When you upload to FB, they compresses the hell out of your images. Smooth gradients become stepped, noise appears everywhere, contrast lowers and it basically looks like crap. B&W seems to survive FB compression the best. Of course, I'm among the few that care. Most FB images are taken by drunks shooting their dinner or grinning mugs with a smartphone at arm's length. These are already so blurry and noisy the extra compression doesn't matter.
     
  20. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Most FB images are taken by drunks shooting their dinner or grinning mugs with a smartphone at arm's length.​

    I see hundreds, if not thousands, of photos a week on Facebook. I see a few of those, but very few. I see a lot of photos by some very impressive photographers. But I'm not one of those people who feels it necessary to knock things strictly for technical reasons, and I do actually look at the photos rather than just slam them.
     
  21. Jeff I'm so glad you are not one of "those" people. I assumed my usual sarcasm would be taken as dry humor by most here. I'm sorry if it made light of your FB friends. Nevertheless I'm confident the masses of iPhone and hashtag obsessed clickers will greatly appreciate your defense of both their art and technique. However, I would like to make it clear I have nothing against drunks or food and, in fact, I embrace both drunks and ono grinds each and every day at happy hour. With hundreds, if not thousands of images to view weekly on FB, I suspect you have a lot more photographers on your friend list than I (I have exactly 6).
    FB mug of yours truly taken by a one armed power lifter photog (she braced herself on the tabletop):
    [​IMG]
     
  22. I always enjoy the "OR" question as in, "Help! 6D or 7D plus 35mm prime?" As though there actually could be a correct answer!
     
  23. I'm put off uploading pictures to this site because of the antiquated file size and pixel size limits, which seem like they haven't changed since the mid-90s.​
    In terms of the gallery space, what Ed says here resonates with me a great deal.
    It applies to the boards too - in 2013, do we really need a 700px image size limit? In the Nature forum, a weekly POTW-style thread has been started. I shoot birds, and initially was quite enthusiastic about the idea. Now, by its third week, I'm done with it, because if the point of the thread is to showcase interesting wildlife imagery, you simply can't do that with a postage-stamp sized picture.
    I'd thought about PMing Jeff Spirer, who moderates the (currently rather moribund) sport forum - I shoot motor sports, rugby and football (all right - soccer) too, and initially thought that a simliar thread might serve to lively up that forum, but I've realised that the same problem will exist there, so I haven't bothered.
    More generally (and note that I'm a subscriber to the idea that content is more important than style) there's no question that this site really looks and feels dated - I'm sure that will put people off. A white background and black serif font (I hate serif fonts!) makes it look like the very first thing I ever "successfully" popped out of Frontpage Express in the mid '90s.
    It's pretty well accepted that images look better against a dark background: this is a photography site, so - y'know...
    For all that though
    : PN is the photography site I visit most, and by a large margin, because it's not a site which gives you the sense that anything to get visits is fair game: no (or very few) asinine rumour threads; the sometimes passionate discussions about gear rarely - thankfully - descend into outright fanboyism; and some immensely knowledgeable people out there will always help you when you're stuck.
    I've been a member here since 2005 and for much of that time was not particularly active; but now, as I say, it's pretty much the only photography site that gets my time.
    Since 2005 I have started precisely one thread, but I've contributed (for better or worse) to a good few; and although my post up the page was really just a bit of gentle teasing, it's also The Answer to the OP's question.
     
  24. The Canon FD forum has been like this for years but that is understandable considering it has been almost 20 years since anything new was released.I'm surprized they still get quite a few posts and retain many dedicated followers (like me).EOS film stuff died off rapidly about five years ago as film in general went into decline.The only connection I can make with the digital form decline is that the world economy is in a bad way and very few people are buying much of anything considered high end and many low end DSLR shooters have little interest in techinical forums like this."If" and when the economy should bounce back I would think many users will upgrade and the new posts will follow.The main problem with digital will be there probably will never be a 'classic' old equipment following and the forum must always thrive on fairly state of the art equipment.I read very few posts on anything older than 5 - 7 years where over on the FD forum they still chat about equipment guys purchased at the PX during the Vietnam War.
     
  25. "however, I am quite surprised at the lack of posts in the Canon forum from the last time I visited the forum."
    You might have not been keeping up. The Canon EOS forum is still one of the hottest threads on PN. It could be because whatever has been said has been said...
     
  26. Maybe if Canon started selling a phone...
     
  27. hate serif fonts!)​
    A serif font is much easier to read as any typeface expert will tell you. Although with the web, where instant magnification is available easily, it's not such a big deal. I agree about the 700 pixel limit. I think this should be doubled. I am not convinced about the dark background myself: it may make the pictures look better, but I always think anything other than black text on white looks amateurish. How about dark gray for picture threads and white for the rest? The interface on photonet is still the best there is for these kinds of sites. It's easy to follow threads and know where you are with them.
    We all have plenty of other places to visit on the web and photography has been much more democratized: for better or worse.
     
  28. A serif font is much easier to read as any typeface expert will tell you.​
    "Any typeface expert" won't, Robin - it's an old argument, and it's an argument - there's no absolute consensus. And besides, it's an argument which is only relevant to paper print, as you suggest.
    Much has been written about the enhanced readability of sans serif for online text:
    http://www.awaionline.com/2011/10/the-best-fonts-to-use-in-print-online-and-email/
    A 2002 study by the Software Usability and Research Laboratory concluded that:

    1. The most legible fonts were Arial, Courier, and Verdana.
    2. At 10-point size, participants preferred Verdana. Times New Roman was the least preferred.
    3. At 12-point size, Arial was preferred and Times New Roman was the least preferred.
    4. The preferred font overall was Verdana, and Times New Roman was the least preferred.

    So here are your marching orders:

    For easiest online reading, use Arial 12-point size and larger. If you're going smaller than 12 points, Verdana at 10 points is your best choice. If you're after a formal look, use the font "Georgia." And for older readers, use at least a 14-point font.​
    I admit that I'm rather bothered by the lack of font consistency too - the threads themselves are serif, but much of the site isn't, and that jars, to be honest. One of the first things I was taught twenty-odd years ago when I first studied web design, is that font consistency matters, and that a mix of fonts is never a good idea. I agree to this day.
    I don't think my website looks particularly amateurish, incidentally, and what else it doesn't look is twenty years behind the times..!
    (There'd be a smiley here, if we had smileys!)
     
  29. PF, your friend is a natural talent. She nailed you dead center in the frame, and the antennae growing ceiling-ward from your pate are all but unnoticeable. Who's counting the megapixels? The table clutter tells of an enjoyable evening shared by friends, and unselfconsciously captured with a pocketable device. This shot is unlikely to ever be printed, destined instead for viewing only on tablets with un-calibrated colorspaces and displays. It is, in short, a whole different genre of photography, the counterpart to the wedding photographer's stiffly formal, carefully lit, casual portrait.
     
  30. Another argument against serif fonts, this time from an accessibility point of view. Sufferers from Dyslexia struggle - sometimes seriously - to process and understand content in a serif font:
    http://www.iansyst.co.uk/about-us/resources/directory/article/articles/2012/10/18/fonts-for-dyslexia?utm_source=Typeface%2Bfor%2BDyslexia&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=Traffic%2BMigration
    Partly because of UK anti discrimination legislation, all UK government websites uses sans serif fonts, explicitly to address the problems caused to Dyslexics by serif fonts.
     
  31. Keith: I just don't agree with you! Dyslexia sufferers should not rule the world of design.
     
  32. I'm not asking you to agree, Robin.
    But the fact (and that's the word) is that there's no compelling case for serif fonts on websites. None. There's also no debate about them putting people off - and not just people with cognitive disabilities.
    It's utterly basic web design: not too many fonts, not too many font sizes, and sans serif for readability.
     
  33. For me photonet just became dull. Philosophical questions, speculative questions, or questions about what I should choose (which is really asking what have others experiences been with said equipement) are all viewed unfavourably on Pnet. Yet to me they are more interesting than the " my 70-200 AF seems to need some microadjustment" questions.
    Responders of seem to often treat their posts as a contest to either humiliate the OP, or to slug it out with others who may have a different opinion.
    How many answers do we see that tell the OP to search, as if the responder's precious time is being wasted, yet the responder has nothing better to do in the first place than hang out on an interent forum?
    I used to hang out here for recreation, but it is too hostile these days for that.
     
  34. Somehow I still end up using both of the two big name camera systems, so from reading around a lot on forums like this and dpreview I find that the development in Canon sensors has been stagnating for years; enthusiasts were drip-fed incremental improvements over the 10-50D line but at least it was something. The Sensor in the 7D has appeared in what, the 60D, 600D, 650D, 700D and I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere else as well? What new is there to talk about? On the other hand, the pros with the 1D line tend to be too busy actually taking pictures with their cameras to talk about them. That leaves the 5D line if I remember correctly.
    The flavour of internet Canon forums seemed to be lapse into childish brand-competitiveness when Canon actually had some specifications to crow about. Now it's something of a relief I don't have to wade through so much of this to find anything useful.
     
  35. Trolls and know it all have killed traffic. Same thing happened to CB radios in the 80's
     
  36. Well I just got back from a 3 week tour group in England, Ireland and Scotland. The majority of people taking photos where using cell phones or point and shoot cameras ( dang I missed that picture too ,have to download that one from the web.) At first they thought that I was crazy packing my 12lb kit around then by the end of the tour a few of them where asking what to buy. I think that the culture is changing away from the dslr's to cell phones ( samsung has a zoom lens on their new one) or to using tablets and playbooks and cell phone all in wonders. Few people print them out and only view them infrequently on their computers. Even our local camera shop is now going to change hands to carry only higher end equip for enthusiasts and pro's and getting rid of the lower consumer grade cameras.
    Just off topic my 17-85 died in London on day two. I went to Jessops and they didn't have any stock but Camera world just off of Oxford street were wonderful and set me up with a 15-85 quickly and with no muss.
    Rob
     
  37. Possibly people moved to Photography on the Net forum or the forum on Canon Rumors. Both sites seem more active. Though I prefer photo.net.
     

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