Archive for: mirrorless
A Translation of a Japanese Interview
“Canon has been forced to change their plan for 2011 because of the earthquake on the 11th March 2011 in Japan and floods in Thailand, but they are going to be back to the normal operation in 2012.”
Summary of interview with Masaya Maeda, Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Image Communication Products Operation at Canon Inc.
He stated that they are planning to release mirrorless compact system cameras in 2012.
Concept of Canon’s mirrorless system
- Try to develop a compact camera which features high image quality.
- Trying to make cameras smaller and more compact, mirrorless system could be the key.
- Miniaturization of cameras is the top priority, which means the cameras may have a different mount to the EF mount.
- For mirrorless cameras, being able to change lenses is certainly a big merit, however, the ratio of use of interchangeable lenses is very low. We have to think on how we can make users use interchangeable lenses more, that is very critical. We have to look into the whole system as well as miniaturization.
- All DSLRs featuring EF mount would be getting smaller and smaller with high image quality. For interchangeable lenses, we are going to stick to EF mount.
- EF lenses are being developed and extended this will include shooting movies. The compatibility of the new system and the EF system is very important.
- As a premise of the new mount for mirrorless system, “the image sensor will be larger than the regular standard size” would be necessary.
- The quality of image sensor will be improving. Having said that, in time downsizing the sensor is coming in the future.
C300 movie cameras
- C300 contains various ideas of camera systems including new mounts. C300 was made from a lot of feedback from people in the movie industry, a good example is C gamma.
- New unique lenses for movies are going to be marketed in 2012, Auto Focus for movies and the smooth movement of aperture are being developed.”
Source: [NL] via [DCW]
Interview with Canon
A representative from Canon sat down for an interview to discuss the mirrorless camera possibilities for Canon.
A few of the key points are below.
- Does a mirrorless camera really need interchangeable lenses?
- Can we make a compact or DSLR that can beat the mirrorless cameras? (they believe they have it)
- Higher sensitivity rather than high resolution (probably refers to quality over megapixels)
I don’t think Canon needs a sub $1000 mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. I think they are more than capable of making a “G” series camera that is higher end than the G12, which would satisfy a majority of the people interested in a mirrorless camera.
If Canon went out and made a niche market full frame $3000 “photographers” mirrorless camera, I think they’d have something worth selling there. However, Canon just doesn’t strike me as a company that cares all that much about satisfying niches, they want to sell millions of cameras.
I think we’re going to see a new PowerShot line that is priced up there with Rebels. It’ll give them the segment that doesn’t want a DSLR, but wants image quality. As well as satisfying the desires of 5D Mark II shooters that want a point and shoot with great IQ.
I know LOTS of people disagree with me on this one. :)
Canon Medium Format?
A lot of discussion around the web about whether or not the 1D X is really a unification of the flagship line. A lot of people want that big megapixel studio camera.
[NL] posted an interesting quote from an interview with Canon Japan recently.
While we hear the voices, we want to see what the actual sales numbers will be for the 1D X and so determine how many 10,000s of customers we might be losing if we do not introduce a higher resolution camera and if the projected profitability of a higher resolution 24×36 mm format camera will justify development, marketing, and manufacturing investments , or if there is a sustainable market for the even greater costs of development, marketing, and manufacturing medium format cameras and lenses – an area where we have no internal expertise.
A few people I have spoken to desire a flagship camera that is high megapixel. They would like performance beyond what could be had for $2500 or so in a 5D Mark III.
I haven’t heard of a medium format prototype within Canon, however I have heard in the past that Canon has considered purchasing a medium format company. I’ve personally never understood why they would, they are more than capable of entering the market themselves.
Canon Mirrorless [CR1]
Will Canon target the niche market with any sort of mirrorless camera in the future? That’s what one person told me this week. There’s no interest in the company in releasing an NEX or Nikon 1 kind of mirrorless.
B&H Deal of the day
B&H has the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II in stock and selling for $2074 until January 7, 2012.
Canon Consumer Survey – Tell Us What You Think!
Yesterday Canon sent out emails with a customer survey. Canon does this once or twice a year if I remember correctly.
3 interesting questions came up in the survey.
The gallery of questions after the break.
Thanks Austin & Michael
Lots came in
I have received a lot of small rumors throughout the week. There’s till life out there, even if there isn’t anything overly exciting.
I’ll break them down.
Apparently DIGIC V will be powering the next Canon DSLRs. We all expect better noise reduction and processing speed, however there is also a “brand new feature”. I’m still waiting to find out what that is.
PowerShot G12 Replacement
There will be no G12 replacement in 2011.
Most information I am receiving now seems to suggest there will be no DSLR announcement in 2011. There are definitely a lot of prototype bodies out there, we just won’t be hearing about them until 2012.
It was suggested this was to make sure Canon could meet the production demands that the Christmas and holiday seasons require.
It was also flatly said that “Canon will announce a new camera when it’s done, and not a minute before”. Canon has no desire to announce a camera and it not be available for 2-3 months.
The R&D is ongoing. There is no prototype cameras out to photographers though.
EF 24-70 f/2.8L II
Apparently in the October 2011 Popular Photography issue, they wrote a reference to an EF 24-70 f/2.8L IS II. I haven’t seen the magazine, but generally dismiss this sort of thing as a typo. I’ve never received solid info that the version II would have IS.
*UPDATE* As pointed out by a reader, any 24-70 with IS wouldn’t be designated with a “II”. I hate missing the obvious. :)
Sony, Panasonic & Olympus knocking at the door
Bloomberg has written an interesting article the higher ups at Canon have certainly taken notice of. That being their dropping marketshare in Japan along with Nikon to the mirrorless segment.
I haven’t had a problem with Canon being last to the game. I don’t personally like any of the true mirrorless options (you don’t count M9), none of them feel like cameras to me. Lots of people do though, and that’s cool. I was eager to see what Nikon came up with, though it doesn’t look too exciting to me.
I’ve always thought if Canon was going to get into it, they’d go all in. We’d see 3 mirrorless camera bodies, one high end mirrorless, a Canon M9 if you will (not a rangefinder). A prosumer middle camera body for the 5D user who wants IQ and portability, and then an entry level variant for the people that want more than a “G”.
I could be dreaming, or wishing. I’d just like to think Canon would be the company that did it right.
Canon Inc. and Nikon Corp. the world’s two biggest makers of high-end cameras, may be missing out on the industry’s biggest technology shift since film rolls became obsolete.
The two Tokyo-based companies use mirrors in all cameras with interchangeable lenses, a technique Sony Corp. (6758) is shifting away from. As a result, Canon and Nikon’s combined share of the Japanese market has fallen by 35 percent, while Sony’s share has doubled, according to estimates at research firm BCN Inc.
Past: Diffused light is not needed.
Patent: Aperture flare cutter used.
- Patent Publication No. 2011-107255
- 2011.6.2 Published
- 2009.11.13 filing date
- Conventional mount converter
- Adjust the flange back only
- Not consider the difference of the image circle, causing unwanted ghost light
- Canon patent
- Aperture converter having an adjusting means
- Aperture and manual operation of locks available
- And electric drive aperture, the lens can be controlled by information
- With a means of communication
This looks to be a patent related to some kind of mirrorless camera system based on the interpretation from [EG] . We’ve seen the mount adaptor before, this seems to be related to it.
The inevitable coming soon?
In an interview with Reuters, the head of the camera division Masaya Maeda says Canon is “…considering the technical aspects,” in regards to the mirrorless segment.
He also goes on to say that “We will launch an interesting product next year,” saying that it is “small”, but didn’t specify if it was a mirrorless camera system or not.
Read the full article
….according to the head of consumer imaging in Europe
Canon doesn’t need to introduce a mirrorless compact system camera (CSC), according to the head of consumer imaging in Europe, as the company does not have a problem selling its existing compact and DSLR products. In an interview with Amateur Photographer, Rainer Fuehres said that compact system cameras have been introduced by manufacturers that find it difficult to compete in the digital SLR market. Not ruling out the possibility that Canon will enter this area, Rainer stressed that if it did the reason would not be because Canon felt it had to.
Read more at Amateur Photographer
I pretty much disagree with everything Mr. Fuehres said in regards to Canon’s place in the mirrorless world.
Point one, there’s no way Canon as a company thinks, “hey the stuff we sell now is all we need to sell, selling more stuff isn’t worthwhile”. Canon makes money very well and selling stuff in new expanding markets is a no brainer.
Could Canon do it differently than Sony, m4/3 and Samsung? I think they could. There have been rumors Nikon will introduce a mirrorless camera geared to the pro market. If you go after the pro market, you don’t have to worry as much about volume and you’re not competing directly with the consumer level products other manufacturers are producing. If your pro mirrorless camera does well, you can slowly work your way down to the consumer market instead of the other way around.
From my personal experience and what I’ve seen, 80% of the people I know with mirrorless cameras do not own SLRs. That’s a lot of customers Canon does not have. If you fear you’re going to have your DSLR sales cannibalized by mirrorless cameras, just make sure it’s you cannibalizing them.
I will note, most every M9 owner I know has a DSLR system as well. Canon doesn’t need a $7000 mirrorless camera, but something in the $3000 range will give them a solid margin and they don’t have to put crazy amounts of manufacturing resources behind it.
Now his statement about others entering the field because they can’t compete in the DSLR market is somewhat true. Although there’s one company hasn’t had a problem competing in the DSLR field and is doing very well in the mirrorless market, and that’s Sony. They have the resources to match Canon every step of the way.
Canon will introduce a mirrorless camera, and no one in the company will tip their hat to what may be coming.
The First Canon Mirrorless Related Patent?
This appears to be a lens adaptor. EF to something else?
Egami compares it to the Sony NEX to alpha mount adaptor.
Publication number: Patent 2011-53437 (P2011-53437A)
Release date: March 17, 2011 (2011.3.17)
Title of invention: Lens adapter apparatus and system
Google Translated Link (egami)
I don’t read japanese, so I’m relying on the job the translator does to the site. It looks like a lens mount adaptor. If/when Canon enters the mirrorless market, I am pretty confident they will have an EF adaptor for such a system.
This is the first patent I’ve seen that has even a remote chance of being about a mirrorless camera from Canon.