I think you should all stop speculating and/or guessing and read Canon Inc.'s latest annual report & accounts:http://www.canon.com/ir/annual/2011/report2011.pdf
Of $17.4 billion in Total Operating Expenses in FY 2011 a total of $4bn was spent on R&D (actually $3,946 million) across all 3 major divisions: Office, Consumer (DSLR incl.) and Industrial, but if you read p.48 on R&D, most was spent on non-Consumer stuff. Total 2011 R&D was 8.7% of Net Sales
Last year Canon spent > $1 billion on 'Advertising' alone. Further 'Selling, Marketing and Administrative' expenses totaled another $12 billion. Of the 3 major components of cost identified by Canon:- Labour, R&D, and Marketing/Advertising, Research & Development
is less than one quarter.
R&D is dwarfed by Selling/Marketing/Advertising budget. Same goes for all major multinational corporations (e.g. 'Big-Pharma' spend one-tenth on R&D as they do on Marketing & Advertising).
The only mention on Consumer Business Unit R&D was the reduced
need to make prototypes and the declining costs.
On the other hand, some 56%
of Canon's US$4.8 billion 2011 Op profit came from Consumer (includes DSLR) business, yet that strategic business unit accounts for just 36%
of sales. So selling Cameras is more profitable than selling other products in their other two divisions.
R&D has fallen in recent years e.g. in 2009 was 9.5% of Net Sales, the following year 2010 it fell to 8.5%.
Finally, read the key pages in the annual report, and you will see a clear trend. Fewer prototypes in Consumer Business, more R&D directed at Office & Industrial, boost the number of Marketing Subsidiaries (see page 101 - Marketing totally dominates, especially R&D), more products using overlapping technology (e.g. same sensor or same AF, same battery etc.), plus most of the sales growth in Non-Japan Asia and Emerging Markets
the Americas or Europe), so basic thrust is to sell more of existing technology to boost revenues.
Look at pages 51-52 where they discuss the apparent demand for higher MP in DSLR but instead emphasize the imperative to boost sales support in developing markets as the main priority etc ad nauseam