But they have even made statements, on video tape and shown on youtube and such, where they have been caught saying stuff like why in the world do we need to bother putting out a high performance FF body, sure we can we are kings, but we are kings so we have no need, Nikon doesn't even have a FF so why do we need to bother, we will sit, we have no need. I mean they obviously could've charged forward back some years ago and just made Nikon look beyond silly, but they played conservative instead (maybe it's just as well though as Nikon might have been barely around by now and maybe with little pressure it would be ages for Canon to ever think about improving DR and such).
Your going to have to actually back that up with some links to those actual videos. There is no way Canon would have that stance in any official capacity. I could understand some idiot boneheaded employee voicing his own personal opinion, but Canon officially having that stance sounds ludicrous to me.
That's the same as your "Some random Canon rep at some random conference said such and such." That's just hearsay, and it's highly doubtful the rep's opinion reflect's Canon's actual business plan.
i am saying that I don't think it was the engineers who wanted to put in silly little limits on min auto iso shutter speeds and so on and so forth, it's the other guys who tend to order that kinda stuff to be done and in some cases the other also do tell them to sit on stuff so they can milk the current stuff more (it's all a balance, don't sit long enough leave a bit of money on the table, sit way too long and totally blow it long or even semi-short term)
I'm a software engineer myself. I've been doing this job for two decades. I've worked for a lot of companies, big, small, highly ambitious and just plain stupid. The one consistent theme from all of them? THEY ALL ASK FOR WAY TOO MUCH!!
Management people at competitive companies always have endless lists of things they want their engineers to do. It's a never ending parade of "Why isn't this done yet? We demanded that feature six months ago?! And where is the one from six months before that?!?!?" All the while, most of these corporations, all but those with the most ingenious and clever people in management who know how to actually manage and get things done, the management at these companies fails to realize that the continual overload of demands is what ultimately mucks up the works. One week Item A is the top priority, it absolutely without question MUST get done! Of course, the next week, Item B is the top priority, completely trumping Item A, and of course, it absolutely without question MUST get done! And so on, and so forth, week after week, month after month, year after year, companies that can't quite manage their goals, their demands, their production flow...never actually get anything done. Hmm...Atari? Amiga? Kodak? Nokia?
Canon, on the other hand, does get S___ done. They are not a fast paced company, but they do achieve their goals. So does Nikon, actually, although at a faster...and in my opinion, more schizophrenic manner...and in a manner that has NOT improved their bottom line. But why
do Canon and Nikon get things done? Because they know where to cut. Because they know where to stop or hold back or slow down.
These are ESSENTIAL traits of successful companies...ones that don't crumble from the inside by sheer overload, not an indication of some evil executive mentality that just want's to milk their customers dry. They know where to say no. They know when they are tapped out, and cannot add any more load to teams of engineers, designers, manufacture, whoever, that are already working at capacity.
In Canon's case, it's slow and steady, the tried and true. They are a more conservative company, so one shouldn't expect them to crank out new high end camera models every year. As far as Canon is concerned, from what I can gather about them via their public business practices, they don't like to shake things up that are working. Neither should they...things are working! A content beast is a beast slow to move.
Nikon also knows the same thing. Just like Canon, they know where to cut. Nikon just cut different things. Instead of allocating their internal resources to the features and functionality of their products they deem most critical to their success, like Canon has likely done with say Auto ISO on lower end cameras...Nikon chose to cut out entire business processes like sensor manufacture and farm the bulk of that out to third parties. Nikon's business approach is quick and dirty...keep iterating on products and keep cranking em out. Of course...that's quick...and dirty
. As evidenced by common themes that keep arising with Nikon's DSLRs....oil spots on the sensor, white spots on the D810, AF problems with the D800, etc. (Often many of these issues went unrecognized and unsupported by Nikon for months on end.)
Nikon's approach certainly gave them an edge in the short term. The real question is who's will maintain and grow revenues in the long term? Canon's policy has been very successful for the long term...however the one thing you've said that I agree with: They seem to be sitting on patents. SEEM being the operative word there...maybe they aren't, maybe it's just Canon's slower cycle that makes it seem that way. However if that doesn't change, then long term I think Canon could indeed face the same fate as Nokia and Kodak (at least in the photographic division...Canon has a lot of other lucrative businesses in the imaging world).
Still, back to the same old point...just because Canon has not actually implemented some of the patented technology they own does not mean they are doing it for the express purpose of trying to hold back features to keep customers coming back for more in future product releases. I think that's a ludicrous concept, and given how the management at all the various diverse companies I've worked for are always constantly shoving ideas and goals and plans and new features and new products down their engineers faces on a continuous basis, I think most companies would find it ludicrous as well. In the case of an innovative company like Canon, some technology proves to be too expensive to implement with current manufacturing capabilities and capacities. Some technology simply isn't viable. Some technology may be sound, but not necessarily competitive. I don't even believe Nokia or Kodak did that. Those companies had major internal communications disconnects. The left hand wasn't talking to the right...or worse, the left hand did not WANT to talk to the right. Internal turf wars and political battles are really what killed Nokia. All the while, while those turf wars and petty political games were going on, certain divisions just kept on plugging away....R&D centers just kept on innovating. They created some amazing technology, but because of their pettyness, higher level management was either blind to the powerful patent library they actually had, or were too deadlocked or distracted or just plain dumb to put it to good use.
I don't think Canon is that kind of company. They innovate and produce
products with their innovation...it's just at a slower pace than some of their competitors. At least, so it has seemed for a while now. I'm hoping that's still the case, that the 7D II and 5D IV (or whatever is next, maybe a BigMP camera) will be game changers for Canon. I hope Don is right about Canon winding down fabrication capacity on their better, newer fabs for point and shoot camera sensors, and reallocating it for APS-C and FF sensors. The next year or so will tell us what Canon has up their sleeve, and whether they bring more of the technology in their patent library to bear or not.