Sony has a LOT more money than Canon and it looks like they are aiming to take Canon out, which they can easily do since they actually LISTEN to their customers and are releasing state of the art tech, unlike Canon.
Canon spends around $4bn (using the exchange rate of 80 Yen per USD) in R&D annually (link
) which translates into 8-9% of their net sales. Sony spend around $5.65bn which is around 6% if I'm not mistaken (PDF link page 38
). Sony is involved in more industries than Canon so it's spread across more fileds. I was surprised that Canon has more employees (197K) than Sony (168K).
Sony net sales for Fiscal 2010 (7,181,300 million yen) were almost double that of Canon (3,706,901 million yen). However, they posted a loss of 259,585 million yen (after taxes) compared to a net profit of 246,603 million yen for Canon (after taxes). If you look at pages 54-5, you will see that the CPD arm is the least profitable (despite it accounting for over 50% of the total revenue)
Sony is facing difficult times ahead financially with a revised forecast of $6.4bn in net losses.http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/financial/fr/11revision_sony.pdf
They would be able to cover those with their $8bn in cash reserves (as of March 31, 2011) and are expecting to return to profitability by April 2013 (estimated $2.2bn in profits).
While I'm not sure how that would affect their camera divisions, rumor has it that they are laying off 10,000 people (that's being denied, however) or 6% of their workforce. Half of these is expected to come from a Chemical business they are selling, however.
The strong Yen is hurting both and it's only showing signs of weakening recently:http://www.japantimes.co.jp/market_moves.html