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Author Topic: Is Canon at a Crossroads?  (Read 4828 times)

expatinasia

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Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« on: June 10, 2012, 04:11:30 AM »
When I read about the new T4i/650D I found it very interesting to learn of the new STM lenses.

I can't help but wonder whether Canon is at a crossroads with regards to its pro 1D cameras. Companies, and some individuals, have spent a lot of money on lenses for their 1Ds. Soon the 1DX will be fully released, but where does Canon go after that? Could it be that if they want to continue to add the latest innovations etc to their 1D series there may come a time, when the best L glass is no longer the best?

It would upset a lot of people of course, but if it is the only way to truly progress what other choice would they have.

What are your thoughts? Do you think within the next 5-10 years Canon may say yes L lens is great but if you want to unlock even more features of your 1D 2017 (body model - year introduced) then you will have to buy L Lens II?

At the moment they introduce new lenses, but these lenses just - or should - improve the IQ and perhaps AF etc. They do not unlock new tech within the camera as such.
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Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« on: June 10, 2012, 04:11:30 AM »

pwp

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 08:40:18 AM »
Every platform has a life. Remember the FD glass? The EF mount may last forever but history suggests otherwise. But for this change to happen anytime soon would be business suicide for Canon. They wouldn't do it to the bazillion Canon DSLR shooters on the planet, but more poignantly they wouldn't do it to their shareholders.

The EF mount survived the transition to digital very smoothly. But one day the form factor of the DSLR will be rendered obsolete overnight by something possibly not yet invented, and that may be the end of EF.

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lexonio

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 10:19:12 AM »
EF platform will live as long as its optical peak is not reached. We may argue that price is the factor as well, but in my opinion the desire for optical superiority is what keeps new lenses showing up. So when Canon gets as close to the dream 17-400 f/1.4 lens as the EF mount allows, it will start the clock of the mount turning.

After that we will see cheap and lightweight extreme quality fast primes, zooms 1 step above 70-200 f/2.8 II for a lower price, and when every niche will be filled with affordable HQ lenses, only then Canon will introduce their new mount.

But in my opinion by that time photography will have changed immensely either by mirrorless, or by nowadays strange stuff like 3D image shooting.

Ellen Schmidtee

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 10:38:28 AM »
STM is a new feature available on EF bayonet lenses, so I think that's a counter-example to 'Canon is at a crossroad'.

Canon has released several new EF lenses over the last few years, a few of them being special and/or expensive, e.g. the 8-15mm f/4 L, TS-E 17mm & 24mm mark II, and the announced 200-400mm f/4 L w/ built in tele-extender, and cameras such as the 5Dmk3 & 1Dx.

I think this sends a message that Canon plans the EOS line to continue for many more years.

As for replacing the EOS system, unless Canon finds some way to keep the value of EF lenses (say a perfect adapter to the new bayonet), I agree with pwp that would be very damaging to Canon.

Daniel Flather

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 10:50:39 AM »
That would be awesome, then I could get the 600/4ii used for cheap.
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Dylan777

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 11:34:33 AM »

I have 2 kids(3.5yrs and 1.5yrs).

As this time, all I know is I need a FF body with excellent IQ, AF,and fps. And of course some decent L lenses to capture my family special moments. What will Canon brings next - I don't know and I don't care  ;)
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moreorless

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 11:53:49 AM »
I'm not really seeing STM as essential to alot of FF users, the 1D, 1D4 and 5D3 all have very advanced phase AF though the viewfinder so I'd guess few would be interested in using the backscreen compaired to amature 650D users.

Video AF might be a bit more of a market(although I'd guess alot of pros will preffer manual focusing still) but that just means Canon can earn more money selling a line of FF STM lenses.

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 11:53:49 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 12:15:32 PM »
When I read about the new T4i/650D I found it very interesting to learn of the new STM lenses....when the best L glass is no longer the best?

If you're suggesting that STM lenses are better than L-series lenses on terms of AF, think again. STM is an update to the micromotor AF, which adds 'silent' operation (rather, inaudible to people).  It's closest to micromotor USM, the cheap version of USM.  Canon's higher-end lenses use true ring USM, which is already 'silent' (ultrasonic) and fast.  STM is quiet, it's also slower than USM - a disadvantage for stills shooting but an advantage for AF during video.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 12:28:59 PM by neuroanatomist »
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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 12:25:11 PM »
Like all Major companies, Canon has a roadmap.  One for 5 years, one for 25 years, and one for 50 or even 100 years.  Obviously, the roadmap for 5 years gets updated more frequently than the others, and they are not sharing it with the competition.  Market factors will drive changes, but upgrades for lenses and new lenses are likely pretty firm, at least as far as planning.  Execution of the plan is something else.

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 12:32:15 PM »
Of course Canon will come out with something new in the future.  They'll do it the same way they did when they went from film do dSLR.  They'll put the new product on the market while still pushing their DSLR line, so people won't feel pressured or forced to switch to their new product.  It will be a slow climb, but eventually their new product will become the majority like DSLR did to film.  And with the speed of technology - it might happen sooner than we think.

I also think Panasonic's 645D would have been a big seller if Canon or Nikon would've done it.  And if it had tethered shooting ;)

FunPhotons

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 01:06:49 PM »
Like all Major companies, Canon has a roadmap.  One for 5 years, one for 25 years, and one for 50 or even 100 years.  Obviously, the roadmap for 5 years gets updated more frequently than the others, and they are not sharing it with the competition.  Market factors will drive changes, but upgrades for lenses and new lenses are likely pretty firm, at least as far as planning.  Execution of the plan is something else.

Major companies don't have 100 year plans, not 25 and certainly not 50. Five years is about as far as they are looking at best (maybe on some vague division manager roadmap), in reality the plans are only for the next year or two and subject to change. Long term plans like that are useless due to too many variables, changing staffing, etc. Plus there's no point.

So why should you guys speculate? 'Canon', specifically the camera management team, have no idea how long this will go. Very probably the current technology will carry them along for the rest of their careers, but I guarantee they're only looking at the next product release, and how to get the 1DX etc into your hands (and your money into the coffers)

unfocused

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 01:55:44 PM »
I think Canon is at a crossroads, but it's not the crossroads you imagine.

If you read their announcements for these new lenses and the T4i, it's pretty clear these lenses are targeted to video.

Quote
To leverage the unique, new shooting functions of the EOS Rebel T4i, such as EOS Full HD Movie with continuous AF, Canon is introducing two new unique lenses, the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens and new EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens. Both new STM lenses include Canon’s new Stepping Motor technology, which allows the lenses to smoothly and silently focus, and when used in combination with Canon’s new EOS Rebel T4i Movie Servo AF feature, achieve continuous AF while recording video. The new stepping motor technology in both lenses quietly focuses allowing the EOS Rebel T4i’s stereo microphone to only record the sounds of the scene being shot.

...Appearing for the first time in a Canon EF lens is Dynamic IS (Movie Shooting Mode only) that uses a wide image stabilization correction range to help ensure steady video even when shooting while walking.

Canon has heavily invested in the video DSLR market over the past year. Clearly they see that as a critical component of their sales strategy and they are going after everything from the amateurs trying to capture their little darlings' first steps, all the way up to full scale Hollywood productions.

And, frankly, it's working for them. Canon pretty much currently owns the video DSLR market and I think they intend to hold on to it.
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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 02:21:44 PM »
I agree with Unfocused.  But sooner, rather than much later, they are going to have to bring the Cine line of sensor dedicated to video, functionality, to the DSLR mainstream audience or they will quickly lose their newly created spot to dedicated, but affordable, video solutions and to Nikon/Panasonic/et. al and or just other companies releasing EF mount dedicated video boxes, as we are already seeing.

Other than that, in the Pro/Prosumer line of things, the areas I see open for Canon, or otherwise, is bringing compact/mirrorless FF bodies and lenses to the mainstream pro/pro-sumer price-points and the same with Medium Format, getting it down to more mainstream price-points while keeping Canon's high standards of quality.  Their other endeavors will either be with high-end film budgets or consumer budgets only in mind.  The cross-over area, which is fully consumed by DSLR, only has the former options to explore so far as I can see.  Actually, that's not entirely true, aside from finding ways to further bend physics for new unimaginable products, they can start to heavily bring down the prices of Telephoto lenses however I don't see where they currently have any incentive or pressure to do such a thing.  I don't even have an interest in such photography on a personal level and any job would either afford a rental or have that equipment already, but it's about the only other thing I can think of on this...
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 02:30:23 PM by Jettatore »

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 02:21:44 PM »

kdsand

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2012, 05:00:43 PM »
The integration of their wetware componants will be the true advancement but a social minefield.
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Quasimodo

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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2012, 05:29:24 PM »

Other than that, in the Pro/Prosumer line of things, the areas I see open for Canon, or otherwise, is bringing compact/mirrorless FF bodies and lenses to the mainstream pro/pro-sumer price-points and the same with Medium Format, getting it down to more mainstream price-points while keeping Canon's high standards of quality.

Interesting point Jettatore. I think you might be right. Why is Canon not in the Medium Format category and leave this to Leica, Pentax and others? Would there not be a market? I for one, would not mind having a Medium Format body if I also could use my L lenses there.

Also, interesting thread.
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Re: Is Canon at a Crossroads?
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2012, 05:29:24 PM »