Developing, manufacturing and marketing innovative imaging gear may be a challenging task but it is still a fairly trivialenterptise compared to "rocket science", space ships and colonies on the moon. So i think, we should not use these as relevant comparisons.
"challenge" in terms of cost is relative. I.e., why can't I buy a new, top-of-the line Porsche for $3,000? It's not rocket science.
The truth is much simpler.
And you know this how?
2 japanes companies live in a cosy duopoly.
Since it's not rocket science, we should have seen a bunch of upstart competitors jump into the marketplace. Are you proposing an international conspiracy to suppress 35mm digital camera innovation?
Both managed by a team of old, conservative by nature management teams. Innovation is a bad word in their circles. Maintaining the status quo rules their thinking. Even the most modest improvements of old technologies and products [e.g. mirrorslapping DSLRs] is meted out only in tiny, fractional doses.
I can't address Nikon with this, but Canon's other business units push tech to market pretty fast, as does Sony's. Why do you think they'd make an exception for cameras?
Anything that even remotely smells of "disruptive technology" [e.g. Mirroless cameras, not to mention things like lightfield imaging or holographic Technologies or glassless optics to name just a few]senfs cold shivers down their spines.
Other companies have tried to put out these devices and have not yet succeeded. Again, were they intimidated into silence by the DSLR Yakuza?
And the same is true for their ultra-conservative clientele well in their 50s, 60s and beyond, that is over-represented here and in many other similar forums. :-)
The same group that buys the latest smart phones by the container-ship load?
Rather than challenging the suppliers of our imaging gear to give us far better tools for our money, many of us here excuse these suppliers in advance for their failure to do so. And worry more about those suppliers profitsthan about the value of their products for our creative tasks and ambitions - whether they be professional or for pleasure.
Instead we shoul push canon far mire. On a daily basis. With words and with our wallets. To deliver far better, far more enabling tools than just delivering a digital "rebel" in white plastic or a new 1Dx that is only marginally better than the last one was or than nikons next d4s is.
Ah, I see: you are Don Quixote. If all the posters on all the photo blogs all rose in rebellion, it would still account for a modest fraction of the sales.
1. radio-controlled wireless flash
Why still no RT controller built into every single EOS camera?
This is a simple business decision. It's the same reason I couldn't get a trunk light in the mid-level Honda Civic I bought over a decade ago. They wanted me to buy the high-end model (oxymoron?) They want to up-sell you, and it's not unique to the camera industry.
2. eye control af
Nobody else has it. Canon easily could. Bring a working 21st century version of ECF. The single. Most intuitive way to control where in an image we want to position the focus plane, and which subject in a scene we want to have tracked.
Is there really a market for it? Would customers pay the extra $$$? Dunno, but this one question has a sliver of legitimacy.
Thats what we should be demanding of our preferred supplier of imaging gear.
It's now a mass-consumer market: aficionados are no longer driving demand for this market.
Since we're now fantasizing, here's what I DEMAND from Canon: I want a mirrorless FF, with 43mm. square sensor so I can capture the full light circle and crop later. AND, instead of disposing of the space where the mirror box used to be, I want them to put in a trichroic prism so we can have a 3-chip sensor package with separate sensors for RGB. That will allow us to get rid of the Bayer filter, and could buy us >= 1-stop of additional light capture. And I DEMAND that it cost no more than $2,000, with 2-year warranty.
The one type of external pressure that might have an effect is to compel the market participants to create a standard lens mount and interface, similar to micro four thirds, for APS-C, 35mm (and maybe MF). When we can freely mix lenses and bodies we will see more competition. We saw a bit of this in the US when cell phone carriers were required to let you keep your phone number when you changed plans.