I remember an interview where some Canon executive said that part of their long term strategy is to introduce larger sensors into lower price ranges. Lowering the cost of large sensors actually seems like the most beneficial improvement they could make.
Thank you. The business reality is this:
- The collapse of the point-and-shoot market is an existential threat to Canon, Nikon, and Olympus, and perhaps Fuji and some others I am forgetting. The significance of this fact cannot be overstated when trying to understand each company's moves in the DSLR market. Other companies might survive a nuclear scenario in point-and-shoots, but with significant hits to their photo arms (e.g. Sony, Samsung, Panasonic),
- Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and Samsung have all had strong technical responses in terms of new offerings in the MILC category or othe new categories Nikon's 1 system approach has been a bit iconoclastic, and Canon's M system was a least initially bungled, despite some promising hardware
- The vanilla middle seems to be a terrible place to be alone, i.e. APS-C sensor or smaller sensor, not interesting body, nothing crucially differentiating (e.g. the leaf shutter Fuji x100 family), based on critical reception. While the photo technology may be fantastic in this space, it is very difficult to differentiate. Cash cows are mooing but perhaps endangered.
- Canon, for sure, has a bit of an albatross with its current investment in sensor tech production capacity. That, and its confidence that it can wrestle competitive tech advances from current technologies, goes a log way to explaining the be split-receptor technology pioneered in the 70D. Probably no coincidence that this new tech also is biased toward video users in terms of attractiveness, that makes sense for any company trusting to shore up defenses against the IOS/Android phone camera onslaught.
- Given the need for companies to differentiate in some meaningful way, Canon and Nikon's relative position with respect to high-end DSLRs makes sense, given Nikon's reliance on more up-to-date chip fans, and canon's growing popularity in the increasingly competitive video hardware market.
- And finally this: Canon's most durable competitive advantage is in the development, production and sale of high-end lenses. Not that Tay aren't great at camera bodies, it's just that so are others, depending on what you prefer. A focus on full-frame users, even if at reduced ultimate margins, serves to further increase the size of a customer base with extremely high switching costs and generally high loyalty.