I think this news item deserved some discussion:http://www.canonrumors.com/2011/11/a-little-canon-roadmap/
The title is, and I'm missing the meaning of just one character, literally this:
"Image Communication [something character] product's B to B [Business to Business - thanks Neuro!] business reinforcement [alternate translations
- intensification, strengthening]"
By "image communication" I take it to mean not that these are products with a purpose in creating visuals, but rather the purpose of the slide itself is to reinforce the strategy used to brand these products - their "image." The purpose of the graphic is in some ways like a roadmap, although it seems to show where the models are positioned now, instead of in the future, and it doesn't show any movement like I'd expect from a roadmap.
The top caption has to do with "Image Communication" for "business" (I should know what all those characters mean; I should be able to look 'em up).
For these reasons, I would name it not a "roadmap" but a "product image" or "product presentation" map. The arrows determine where the "image" of a given product is located - not for any particular camera but for the whole line (obviously).
There aren't too many surprises in there, but it does confirm some things we've suspected for a long while.
- Uncontroversially, professional use lenses and video cameras (located under the Cinema EOS block) are video-oriented and professional. Not a surprise.
- Cinema EOS appears wholly focused on video, with NO overlap into the stills photography range. This likely means that the video DSLR Canon is promising to develop will either not be marketed at stills photographers, or may not have stills camera ergonomics, or (what I think is most likely and obviously) it will just receive EOS branding.
- The EOS line has seen a de facto expansion into all quadrants of the imaging chart. Its biggest presence is in professional stills. It is interesting to see how small a part of the pie the originator of this chart gives to consumer-oriented features and especially to consumer video (which isn't a surprise given how difficult EOS Digital video is for the average user). This seems to represent that Canon would downplay the importance of video in EOS Digital branding, and although the HD video recording in consumer DSLRs is mentioned, it is clear they want to tout it as a mostly professionally-oriented feature, which leads again to the mystery of "B to B" - Canon clearly is working to make Cinema EOS the better system for professional filmmakers and video users but at the same time they want there to be a broad spectrum available for others who are primarily stills system users. The intent of this graphic seems mainly to make sure that these priorities are reflected that way.
In truth, we can say that the real market takeup of various sections of this graphic are not to scale; which is no surprise. I think the intent is not to reflect market realities or try to provide a "units moved" priority to any given segment, but to unify the presentation of each market segment in a way that moves the market in ways that Canon wants.
Seen that way, you could see EOS Digital video features being squeezed by Cinema EOS, and consumer DSLRs being squeezed between professional DSLRs and "digital cameras" (of the mirrorless / noninterchangeable lens varieties).
[Edit: This paragraph is obsolete and was originally underneath the lead, thanks neuro!] Looking at the "roadmap" I'm not sure what the "B to B" stands for, but it seems that the intent is to have a "common platform" for those developments. I'm not sure how to reconcile that with the appearance of non-EF lenses and video cameras in the "B to B" block - maybe it instead means that there is a spectrum of professional products covering all needs.