I am neither a corporate financial analyst nor am I even well informed on the relative performance of Canon vis- a-vis other camera makers, such as Nikon or Sony, and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But, has anyone even wondered just a tiny bit whether or not there may have been just a tiny twinge of sarcasm in the OP by this site's administrator? After all, making just under a billion dollars profit in a single quarter in today's business climate doesn't seem very bad to me. What do you others think about that?
Furthermore, I doubt very much whether the dynamic range of Canon's sensors or even the available feature sets in their current DSLR lineup has even the remotest tangential connection with the current downturn in their profit margins. Could there eventually be such a connection in the future? Yes, but not for a very long time down the road, as although these values are hot topics in forums like this one and in DPR, in the minds of the vast majority of camera buyers, these currently matter almost not at all.
Common sense tells me that what is happening to Canon right now is probably chiefly related to (in order by significance):
1) The worldwide downturn in economic activity that is affecting most of the developed world
2) The movement to use cellphones instead of point & shoot cameras for everyday snapshots
3) Problems with production in both Japan and China
4) Increasing overall competition from many companies which have all struggled for increased market share during a period of slow-to-negative growth in the overall market
5) Less than stellar marketing, product planning and price point reaearch
6) Some, but not a lot, of the stasis and play-it-safe caution which almost always eventually affects market leaders (as Canon has so long been) in their fields of expertise
As to the ever popular ideas of Canon's supposed sloth or lack of ability in developing Sonikon-like sensors and their slightly less generous feature allocation to cameras down the price point ladder, I believe that the people posing these criticisms have a point, but not a very great one, and that Canon surely will soon respond to some of these by both introducing new sensor lines and upgrading features somewhat by either firmware updates or new model variations. The most recent firmware updates and price reductions are evidence of the beginning of this trend which I think we''l be seeing a lot more of in the future.
Canon didn't get where they are now by being stupid or unaware of their markets; they will undoubtedly improve their corporate governance to try to maintain their market leadership. I cannot say how or how fast they will do it, but I am very confident that they will, indeed, do it.
Last, I would be much more worried, in general, about Canon's business equipment divisions than I would about their photo business. Not only is the world-wide recession affecting this market way more than that for cameras, but I think that the trend away from printing towards the long expected but never realized "paperless office" is, by virtue of business cost cutting due to economic necessity, finally starting to be significant; since Canon's office eqipment business is mostly about paper printers, on one level or another, and that I'd expect the falling market in that category to continue indefintely, I'd think that that part of Canon's business is most in jeopardy, and that they need to somehow diversify or downsize that division very rapidly to make up for it.