May 27, 2018, 04:04:40 PM

Author Topic: Poll Added: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Should  (Read 25375 times)

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Fstoppers has posted an article on why Canon does not need to innovate that will strike a cord in some people.

I used to be a bit of an apologist when it came to Canon camera innovation, believing that Canon cameras were a sum of all their parts, and not just about a fancy specification list. I have started to change my view on this, especially after the release of the capable, but not overly improved Canon EOS 6D Mark II. I think it’s obvious that it wasn’t a revolutionary release, and a lot of people don’t even think it’s an evolutionary improvement, merely taking parts from other cameras already in the lineup.

I think most people feel Canon really stopped being the leader of the pack in a lot of areas after the revolutionary EOS 5D Mark II, who’s innovation was basically an accident. Canon did do the right thing with improved firmware features to make the video performance an industry game changer.

Since then?

They’ve made some very good and even great cameras, I wouldn’t trade the EOS-1D X Mark II for anything. The EOS 5D Mark III has been a workhorse for a long time. The EOS 5D Mark IV with its perceived gimped 4K and general feeling that the camera wasn’t a big improvement over the EOS 5D Mark III has caused people some pause.

A lot of R&D dollars seems to have gone into the very well regarded Cinema EOS line, even though they’ve had some missteps as they build their place in that market.

I don’t believe this with Canon lenses, I think most would agree they have the best lens lineup from top to bottom in performance, technology, innovation and breadth and depth.

Back to the cameras. What innovations have there been over the last half decade or so?

Dual Pixel AF comes to mind, which is a great feature in Canon cameras. The other being dual pixel RAW, but that is in its infancy and doesn’t provide much for most photographers. Canon sensor color science is still the best in the business, but that doesn’t seem like a lot of advancement in the last decade.

Canon remains the sales leader in  DSLRs, and that will likely frustrate a lot of people. Why spend more on R&D and taking more risks if your bottom line isn’t being affected?

Brand power can only carry you for so long, at some point, something will give.

FStoppers concludes:

Canon makes cameras that have the most important and fundamental features right. Bells and whistles are fine and are things to get excited about, but if the core features of how a camera is supposed to operate are compromised then it’s no longer practical. These are some of the reasons why Canon continues to dominate. The thing to consider here is that Canon has already innovated because they’re still ahead when it comes to how their cameras perform for the majority of professionals. Their competitors just don’t have the lenses, the autofocus features, or the color science they offer.

Canon’s support network and reliability is industry leading, but I think a lot of people take that for granted.

I do believe it’s time Canon stops playing it safe with camera bodies and starts putting some “wow” into future products.

Canon has admitted they need to innovate more, but were they speaking of the digital imaging sector, or other money making areas within the company. Canon has had a lot of focus on the last few years on acquisitions, and I think there may have been a reduced focus on the industry with its most passionate customers.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 06:01:18 PM by Canon Rumors »
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transpo1

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2018, 03:38:18 PM »
Yup- this is what many have been saying for a long time. Camera business longevity will be determined by future R&D investment and innovation. Sales are good now but they need to spend their "political capital" on future innovation and recapture an excitement and buzz surrounding their product line.

colorblinded

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 03:41:58 PM »
Not a fan of fstopper's logic.  Canon can continue to focus on building solid workhorses while improving certain basic performance parameters.

They're still behind in dynamic range and shadow recovery.  Not everyone needs it, but it has its use. 

Nikon is adding nice features like backlit buttons to their 5D competitor, Canon could consider doing similar things.

For the same money, I'll never balk about having a more well rounded, more capable tool.  I don't have any plans to ditch Canon, but there are things I'd like to see them do and they have been fairly apathetic about making those kinds of often incremental enhancements for stills photographers.

The strength of the brand could wear off, and if Canon doesn't keep pushing their products forward, it could come back to bite them.

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 03:46:25 PM »
I think the 6D Mark II bugged me. I have one, I use it, it's fine.

It should be better than "fine".
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keithcooper

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 03:46:33 PM »
Some innovation yes, but in general I broadly agree with the FS article.

Unfortunately, I'm minded to consider that many of the noise making whingers should probably pay far more attention to their basic photography skills ;-)

The whole 'lack of innovation' thing is largely driven by people who prefer to look to a tech fix, or simply 'buy their way' to better photos.

Much as with modern printers and people's 'print quality', the most significant areas for personal improvement in photography are usually not technically limited.

That's not to say we shouldn't welcome advances, just not use any perceived lack as cover for our own ineptitude ;-)

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 03:56:53 PM »
Some innovation yes, but in general I broadly agree with the FS article.

Unfortunately, I'm minded to consider that many of the noise making whingers should probably pay far more attention to their basic photography skills ;-)

The whole 'lack of innovation' thing is largely driven by people who prefer to look to a tech fix, or simply 'buy their way' to better photos.

Much as with modern printers and people's 'print quality', the most significant areas for personal improvement in photography are usually not technically limited.

That's not to say we shouldn't welcome advances, just not use any perceived lack as cover for our own ineptitude ;-)

DSLRs and other cameras aren't just about "photography" anymore, for better or worse.
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Aaron D

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 04:03:16 PM »
I rely on my cameras for my livelihood.  Full-time, sole source of income.  Canon makes the best most reliable cameras and lenses and they have the best professional services (though this is mostly conjecture, I admit) They make the best T+S lenses which account for 90% of what I do.  Their 24 mm TSE is razor sharp and practically distortion free, NOBODY else does that. 

Last thing I want to see is Canon cave to the pressure for "bragging rights" at the next ophthalmologists convention.  Or lawyers' happy hours.  If you want the coolest, buy Sony.  If you want the snootiest, buy Lieca.

Having said that: Canon!  Put a damned tripod foot on your TSE lenses!  Yeah I know I'm sounding like a broken record.

And then Hasselblad: if you would make a 24 TSE equivalent for the X1D.  Big talk--like I could ever afford one if it existed...

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 04:03:16 PM »

rrcphoto

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 04:06:35 PM »
I used to be a bit of an apologist when it came to Canon camera innovation, believing that Canon cameras were a sum of all their parts, and not just about a fancy specification list. I have started to change my view on this, especially after the release of the capable, but not overly improved Canon EOS 6D Mark II. I think it’s obvious that it wasn’t a revolutionary release, and a lot of people don’t even think it’s an evolutionary improvement, merely taking parts from other cameras already in the lineup

Canon has something like 12 or more lines of ILC's out there and probably more coming.

it's hard to do "innovation" on every single camera release, it' really can't happen for even logistical reasons.

I look at the 6D mark II has it is.. a capable camera, that is underneath the 5D series in performance.

People just expected it to be a 5D Mark IV in a cheaper camera body.  Canon's never really worked like that.

That all being said, it would be interesting if Chuck or someone could comment on the design decisions on the 6D Mark II.

Personally I think there's nothing apologetic about being realistic.


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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 04:10:30 PM »
I rely on my cameras for my livelihood.  Full-time, sole source of income.  Canon makes the best most reliable cameras and lenses and they have the best professional services (though this is mostly conjecture, I admit) They make the best T+S lenses which account for 90% of what I do.  Their 24 mm TSE is razor sharp and practically distortion free, NOBODY else does that. 

Last thing I want to see is Canon cave to the pressure for "bragging rights" at the next ophthalmologists convention.  Or lawyers' happy hours.  If you want the coolest, buy Sony.  If you want the snootiest, buy Lieca.

Having said that: Canon!  Put a damned tripod foot on your TSE lenses!  Yeah I know I'm sounding like a broken record.

And then Hasselblad: if you would make a 24 TSE equivalent for the X1D.  Big talk--like I could ever afford one if it existed...

Canon used to be first at most things, that's not the case anymore. They built their digital camera business on being first more often than not. Full frame, adoption of CMOS (I think) AF tech, usable DSLR video, price points, sensor tech, liveview, and really getting pros into digital.

That said, I do believe the lens lineup does keep a lot of people in the system.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 04:15:59 PM by Canon Rumors »
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BeenThere

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 04:21:49 PM »
Good enough, but not exciting any more. The lenses do keep me in the system, but I use a few third party lenses also.

Hesbehindyou

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 04:22:22 PM »
Here's the problem:

Canon responds to the needs of, and builds products differentiated for, two groups: professionals and consumers.

We are enthusiasts.  Canon does not respond to our desires - we're too small a market.

The likes of Sony need inroads into the wider market. One way to do that is pack advanced features into their products that competitors aren't offering, or are only offering at a higher price point.

Canon-using professionals either already have these features in their pro-level bodies or these features aren't ready for pro-level use (e.g. 4k cameras that overheat, mirrorless EVF with 'slow' refresh rates or mirrorless with low battery life etc etc).

Consumers don't need/won't use these pro-level features enough that Canon calculates it's worth complicating consumer-level cameras with extra features, increasing the manufacturing cost or muddying the differences between its product 'tiers'.

Also, add in competitor-owned patents preventing Canon using some tech.

Canon has so much R&D spend that people saying they don't innovate are clearly talking nonsense.

rrcphoto

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 04:30:34 PM »
Canon used to be first at most things, that's not the case anymore. They built their digital camera business on being first more often than not. Full frame, adoption of CMOS (I think) AF tech, usable DSLR video, price points, sensor tech, liveview, and really getting pros into digital.

That said, I do believe the lens lineup does keep a lot of people in the system.

it's also harder to stay ahead versus catch up.

that being said there's a few areas where canon desperately needs to play catchup.


Isaacheus

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 04:46:06 PM »
Getting the popcorn out for this comment section

I think the article misses the point that while Canon has positive points, it also has negatives (which will be different from person to person). Just like every camera manufacturer. A lot of the complaints I see about Canon are really around how Canon doesn't seem to be addressing a number of those negatives, some of which are not so small in comparison to other options out there.


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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 04:46:06 PM »

AdjustedInCamera

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Re: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 04:52:15 PM »
Here's the problem:

Canon responds to the needs of, and builds products differentiated for, two groups: professionals and consumers.

We are enthusiasts.  Canon does not respond to our desires - we're too small a market.

The likes of Sony need inroads into the wider market. One way to do that is pack advanced features into their products that competitors aren't offering, or are only offering at a higher price point.

Canon-using professionals either already have these features in their pro-level bodies or these features aren't ready for pro-level use (e.g. 4k cameras that overheat, mirrorless EVF with 'slow' refresh rates or mirrorless with low battery life etc etc).

Consumers don't need/won't use these pro-level features enough that Canon calculates it's worth complicating consumer-level cameras with extra features, increasing the manufacturing cost or muddying the differences between its product 'tiers'.

Also, add in competitor-owned patents preventing Canon using some tech.

Canon has so much R&D spend that people saying they don't innovate are clearly talking nonsense.

+1

I question if they actually know the enthusiast market. Again recently we saw 'Canon asks professionals what they want in a mirrorless camera'. Canon always seem to ask the professionals, who obvs. know their stuff, but I question if they are actually more likely to buy it versus the enthusiast.

Further, I'm not sure we know the size of the enthusiast market until companies start to seriously address it. Nikon seem to be doing well with the 850, something that might not have been predicted a year ago.

The general poor state of the ILC market seems to highlight an area of electronics that hasn't made it past 'professionals and smaller consumer models'. I don't believe the overall size of the market can be assessed until the enthusiast bit is addressed. The iPhone wasn't based around the needs of the professional phone user.


alienman

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Re: Poll Added: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2018, 04:56:08 PM »
It seems like the “I switched from canon to _____” confessions are tallying up day by day.

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Re: Poll Added: Here's Why Canon Doesn't Need to Innovate, But it Does.
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2018, 04:56:08 PM »