I was just wondering about where Canons innovation has gone? Sure, they put a touch screen on a dslr, but that is not really innovative. We´ve had this on smart phones for a long time (yes, they are caneras as well), but that is about it. WiFi? They have offered WiFi for a long time as well, but as an add on feature. Integrating it is more of an evolution, the same as with the touch screen.
The reason I ask this question, "where are the innovation" is because I recently bought my wife a Sony NEX-6, anf my poor 550D looked really really ancient next to it!! Dont get me wrong, I do enjoy shooting my canon, and I have solid lenses, but it really was a huge gap between the Canon and the Sony.
I do think that Canon produces very good, solid performing cameras, no doubt. The 5D3 and the 1DX really dont have true competition. They are not the best at everything, but as a whole, perhaps the best tools avaliable for the professionals. However, I´m not a professional, though quite enthustiastic
Where is Canons equivalent to the Sony A7/R or the Nikon DF? Where is the downloadable apps for the Camera, motion sensors etc.? The EOS M? Never tried it, but from what I understand, a good, solid performer (after the FW update), but not very innovative.
The thing is, the people at Canon are not stupid, I am sure they have all the technology in the world to make super innovative cameras (yes, even fix the DR-problem that really isn´t a problem), but why dont they show us, or just give us some hints? Where are Canon at the CES?
I am not the type that want the latest and greatest technology at the moment it is released. But, I am gonna upgrade my equipment in a couple of years. Hopefully I can stick to Canon and not feel I´m buying an old relic.
First off, check patent filings. Canon innovated almost 3200 times last year. Thats a lot of innovation, and from a patent count standpoint, Canon actually innovated more than Sony, and a hell of a lot more than Nikon.
Second, adding a touch screen to a camera could be considered innovative. They did not innovate touch screens, but they have produced some innovative ways of accessing and managing camera settings and configuration.
Third, are you seriously forgetting all the innovations Canon has included in their most recent cameras? The 1D X alone is PACKED with innovation, several in the AF system, several more in their metering system, the way their meter and AF system is linked with a dedicated processor is innovative, they innovated with their new shutter and mirror assembly that broke the 12fps barrier, they innovated Dual Pixel AF.
Don't forget, photography is as much about the lens as it is about the sensor and the camera. Canon has even more innovations packed into their newest lenses, and they have a whole host of additional lens releases slated for 2014.
I think your being naive if you think that simply responding to your competitors is innovative. On the contrary, being a copy-cat "me too!" company is actually about the farthest thing from innovative as you can get. Nikon is actually not a very innovative company. Nikon is a company of alliances...they ally themselves with counterbodies like Sony, then buy and sometimes share their own technology in order to produce a product. Nikon does not have a cohesive approach to producing cameras...just look at their camera model naming scheme, and the only thing you'll see is schizophrenia. Nikon camera names are chaotic, confusing, and even potentially conflicting. Nikon, since they don't innovate critical technology, has some extra time to produce fancy little tidbits such as 24karat gold plated cameras, the Nikon Df, and a whole host of other random, one-off, and frequently quirky little devices that...for a SHORT time...make fans rave, but over the long run do NOTHING to make them a better company.
Canon, on the other hand, is most assuredly innovative. Canon, given their track record, doesn't give a flying rat's ass about "the competition." Canon rarely produces cameras that "directly" compete with anything their primary competition has to offer...which is why we don't often see things like a Canon SomethingD with 36mp, or a full frame mirrorless to "directly compete with" the Sony A7r. We probably WON'T see such things either. Canon is not a copycat "me too!" company. They are an innovative company. Canon, as it stands, is actually a company that really seems to listen to their customers, is diligent about filtering the noise from the critical customer demands, careful and conservative in their development, testing, and refinement of their products, and will deliver when they believe they have found a product that TRULY answers THEIR, CANON'S, CUSTOMER DEMANDS. Whatever Canon releases in the coming years, I highly doubt anything but the 1D X will have any "direct" competition from either Sony or Nikon. Whatever Canon releases, it will rather pointedly service Canon customer needs.
Canon hasn't stopped innovating. They just aren't rushing. (Oh, and they have no reason to "hype" by dropping pointless little rumorbombs all over the place to get peoples hopes up about technology that isn't ready yet.)
I am not denying that Canon is not innovating, they are, how else would they be market leader! They have an enormous R&D department, not only for photography, but also medical imaging (I use large Canon x-ray detectors at work, they are very good!). However they dont listen too much at customers. How many years did it take for them to implement Auto ISO in M-mode? Oh, and only in the 1DX, which cost way too much for most people. Do they even have spot metering linked to the chosen focus point? Fokus peaking? Zebra? Intervallometer? No!! They dont listen too much. They are a business, and in it to make money, and that they do well. Canon make a camera, not to be as good as it can be, but to fit a gap in the market. Reasonable, but not exciting. As you put it, "Canon, given their track record, doesn't give a flying rat's ass about "the competition." This is very arrogant, and is sure gonna cost them customers. We saw a little about this in the 50D -> 60D, more or less gimping the camera. In the 70D, they redeemd themself.
Comparing the old 550D with the rather new nex-6 is not fair, but how did the rebel series develop? Sensor, pretty much the same from 550D to 700D (minor tweaks). 550D -> 600D, added wireless flash control. 600D -> 650D, touch screen and articulated screen, also upped the AF (?), 650D -> 700D Changed the knob to go all the way around... Small steps, carefull evolution, nothing big. Though, they are entry level cameras, they could have done more, not keeping at a minimum all the time. But then again, as tools they are good, steady cameras. No denying!
As Neuroanatomist asked earlier, if I really find the Nikon DF innovative? Well, no, not innovative in the common sense, but it is a very bold move! Not regarding the Leicas (rangefinders), it is probably the second FF mirrorless camera with ICL (Sony A7/R as the first). Anyway, they are early on. It also has no video, which is bold, and it is ugly as hell! Would Canon launch this? No, they wouldn´t. But they also wouldn´t launch something like the Nikon 1 AW 1.
Dont get me wrong, I do like my canon dslr, and as several people has pointed out, they are very very good at lenses. My 70-200 F4L IS is absolutely fantastic!!! In a couple of years, when I´m gonna change camera, I probably will stick with canon. My only reason to jump to Sony is to be able to share accessories/lenses with my wifes nex.