Canon Inc. releases Q1 2019 financial results

unfocused

EOS 5D SR
Jul 20, 2010
4,925
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Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
My problem with Canon is they sit around and act like market contraction is an unavoidable consequence of cell phone use... Why don't they DO something to compete better with cell phones??? Why don't they make the cameras capable of posting to instagram? Is it really so far fetched? I mean, if they came up with something that let people do what they want to do, which is share pictures on the fly, then the only advantage a cell phone has would be the portability.
This has been a problem for years:
(2015 presentation)

Unfortunately, all the camera manufacturers stuck their heads in the sand (or perhaps in some part of their anatomy). It might have been impossible to save the market, but they didn't even try. Now it is too late to retain the consumer market.

Even worse, their clunky implementation of WiFi has done a real disservice to their professional base. Instead of helping photojournalists compete with reporters armed with cell phones and iPads, they just left them to struggle until most photojournalists lost their jobs. Wedding photographers will see their market continue to shrink as cell phones become better and better and price-conscious couples decide a photographer is an expense they can do without.

People complain on this forum that companies don't care enough about esoteric concerns like dynamic range, but the reality is they should have been spending less time on the things that forum dwellers consider important, and more time on making cameras easier to use and to share images.
 

amorse

EOS 7D MK II
Jan 26, 2017
462
456
www.flickr.com
What if Canon made cell phone image sensors?
They could, but that may be a big hill to climb. Sony is all over that - I saw an article claiming that they made 40% of all cell phone camera modules back in 2014. I half expect that Sony's investment into sensor technology was done with cellphones and other applications being the primary target, and this is what has enabled their development in sensor technology for the ILC market.

This kind of diversification is not dissimilar to what Canon is doing - they invested in other imaging branches like medical and security and I think they mentioned a focus on cameras for vehicles as well. I think it is becoming mandatory (in some regions) that all new vehicles come with a back up camera, so there will certainly be market for those sensors into the future. As photographers it's really easy to forget that the imaging business is so much larger than ILCs.

Really, it seems like outside of ILC imaging businesses Canon has targeted the high-end/high-value/low-volume segment while Sony has targeted the low-end/high-volume segment. We'll see if they stay the course, but hey, ya never know!
 

unfocused

EOS 5D SR
Jul 20, 2010
4,925
1,237
66
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
What if Canon made cell phone image sensors?
They could, but that may be a big hill to climb. Sony is all over that ...
I believe Canon is instead concentrating on the next big demand for imaging sensors (rather than the last one) – medical imaging, imaging sensors for vehicles and security and surveillance. A lot of the cutting-edge imaging innovations that they have announced in recent years (such as extremely low-light imaging) has been targeted to these markets.
 
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amorse

EOS 7D MK II
Jan 26, 2017
462
456
www.flickr.com
I believe Canon is instead concentrating on the next big demand for imaging sensors (rather than the last one) – medical imaging, imaging sensors for vehicles and security and surveillance. A lot of the cutting-edge imaging innovations that they have announced in recent years (such as extremely low-light imaging) has been targeted to these markets.
Agreed - I've heard/read the same thing.

I find it really interesting that Sony has focused much of their efforts (recently) on the high-end/low volume market for ILCs and the low-end/high volume market for everything else while Canon seems to have done the opposite, focusing really on (or at least earning the bulk of their ILC revenue from) the low-end/high volume market for ILCs and the high-end/low volume market for everything else. Interesting to see how each company approaches the various markets. That's a significant over-generalization to be fair.

Now that Canon is stating that the lower-end market is drying up and FF sensors with higher margins are making more sense, I wonder how that translates to Canon's approach to servicing the ILC market. Maybe less segmentation in the APS-C and P/S range, and more models to service more niches in the FF range?
 

crazyrunner33

EOS RP
Nov 4, 2011
262
80
Agreed - I've heard/read the same thing.

I find it really interesting that Sony has focused much of their efforts (recently) on the high-end/low volume market for ILCs and the low-end/high volume market for everything else while Canon seems to have done the opposite, focusing really on (or at least earning the bulk of their ILC revenue from) the low-end/high volume market for ILCs and the high-end/low volume market for everything else. Interesting to see how each company approaches the various markets. That's a significant over-generalization to be fair.

Now that Canon is stating that the lower-end market is drying up and FF sensors with higher margins are making more sense, I wonder how that translates to Canon's approach to servicing the ILC market. Maybe less segmentation in the APS-C and P/S range, and more models to service more niches in the FF range?
The reason Sony doesn't focus on the low end market is because their Semiconductor unit owns it(cell phone cameras), Canon owns the mid-range market. Sony's cell phone camera sensor market share is what fuel's their semiconductor R&D. It wouldn't surprise me if Sony sells the unit someday to someone like Samsung.
 
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amorse

EOS 7D MK II
Jan 26, 2017
462
456
www.flickr.com
The reason Sony doesn't focus on the low end market is because their Semiconductor unit owns it(cell phone cameras), Canon owns the mid-range market. Sony's cell phone camera sensor market share is what fuel's their semiconductor R&D. It wouldn't surprise me if Sony sells the unit someday to someone like Samsung.
Do you think they'd sell the semiconductor business? I had thought Sony openly stated they planned to focus on their entertainment and imaging businesses as core to their success. On the other half of that equation, their Playstation business has been tremendously successful (their most profitable business), but with Google openly announcing establishment of Stadia game streaming service, and Apple reportedly developing their own streaming service, Sony's cash cow in Playstation could be challenged, and using their imaging business to diversify their holdings may be a serious asset they don't want to lose at this juncture.

Who knows though - I guess the reality is that there are so many external factors influencing the decisions these companies make that it can really obscure predictions on what products do and do not make financial sense to build/market.
 

KeithBreazeal

EOS 6D MK II
Jan 16, 2014
1,261
47
www.kbvp.com
Cell phone photography offers instant gratification. From ease of use to sharing, it can't be beat. With so many DSLR "photographers" today, it's hard to compete at an economical level. When a wedding album consists of a bunch of cell phone photos that the guests shared with you, that's a sign of the times. Media outlets dumping staff photographers was a major turning point in the print world. TV stations are doing "Live Shoots" with cell phones!
The DSLR has to be more innovative and packed with features to stay competitive. As far as marketing goes, there needs to be a different approach that will leave you with the impression that the cell phone camera is only a "toy". Right now, the majority or really great photos sit on a hard drive or in social media.
*Solutions
-More innovative features built in.

-New marketing approach. I can think of many methods on this subject. Since cell phone photos are limited in quality and cropping, focus on the strengths of the "real camera". For instance- a baseball game where the son or daughter makes a big play. The parent is using a cell phone but next to them is a person with a Canon camera. While the parent is overjoyed with the play, the cell phone photo can't reproduce the moment with enough quality to make out the child or play. The parent next to them shows a great capture on their Canon DSLR- not a top of the line DSLR but one that is affordable with a fairly good lens.(not a "L")
-Institute a monthly contest that is free to enter with a lot of great prizes.(no cell phone photos allowed, Canon only) It's important to have enough categories and prizes that people will feel they have a chance of winning something.
-Develop an online Canon Magazine that is dedicated to the contest, camera techniques, an interviews.
Use the winner's photos in advertising. These select photos would involve separate rights and a monetary awards.
Work with media and other print outlets to develop a simple method to license contest entries with a set standard of rights and fees.
 

blackcoffee17

EOS RP
Sep 17, 2014
223
185
The smartphones will win the majority of the market but camera manufacturers have some of the guilt:

Compact cameras have no better image quality than smartphones (except expensive premium compacts) and almost always worst jpeg's. Connectivity is much worse. Improve out of camera image quality, video quality, connectivity, add more direct controls and better lenses.

Improve entry level DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Again, pictures out of a ILC often look worse than from a cellphone. Pictures are lifeless, muted, details are washed, etc. Beginners often have problems with autofocus because of the shallow DOF of big sensors. Sony is going in the right direction here with the real time AF. Overall entry level ILC experience is poor. Improve that, make them feel more premium.
 

canonnews

EOS RP
Dec 27, 2017
312
261
Canada
www.canonnews.com
My problem with Canon is they sit around and act like market contraction is an unavoidable consequence of cell phone use... Why don't they DO something to compete better with cell phones???
the only way Canon can compete with smartphones is to make a smartphone.

there's no way an ILC can compete in the same space as a smartphone, even if you give it the ability to have a SIM slot.

Not to mention in a lot of cases, you get subsidized on the price of the phone especially if you don't pick the latest and greatest.

Making it easier to share images helps, but it's not going to move it that much. People carry a smartphone around with them all the time. Why? because they need a phone. An actual phone for calls and messages. At the same time, it connects via the Internet to social media.
And it can take good enough pictures for messages and social media.

That's the majority of users of said cameras. they will never pick up an ILC no matter how good it is. Why? because everyone needs a phone / messaging anyways. They'll never print their images, they'll show their friends the images on their phones or share their social media posts with friends.

The only way camera companies could get around that is to basically convert their cameras into full fledged andriod devices that can be phones as well. and even then, you can't put it into your pocket and carry it around.

no matter which way you slice or dice it, it's just not going to work.
 
Last edited:
Jul 12, 2013
243
76
...from the piece:

"Going forward, we will continue our efforts to expand sales of premium G-series models in our effort to link this to a recovery in profitability."

So Canon's solution to recovering profitability is to sell smallish cameras (including the G7X-whatever and the G9X-whatever, both of which I remain interested in) at relatively high prices.

Hey, it works for Apple.
 
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transpo1

EOS 7D MK II
Jan 12, 2011
743
90
"... accelerated market contraction for DSLRs, in particular, entry-level models, ... "

Canon sells most.
Canon knows best.
Canon spends multi-millions on market research.
Canon offers about a dozen different "Rebel Kiss" DSLRs in parallel.

Smart Canon!
or not?

LOL.
Yeah, this:

"Users have not only praised the performance of these bodies and lenses but also expressed their high expectations for the R system overall having felt our sense of urgency in strengthening our lineup over a short period of time."

As I've stated before, sense of urgency = playing catch up on FF MILC. **

**Cue forum fireworks and backlash amongst those who say Canon meant to feel this sense of urgency all along because of their infallible market research ;)
 

mover

I'm New Here
Apr 15, 2018
9
3
This is so typical. A bunch of rocket scientists and corporate men that think they know everything and they have ZERO COMMON SENSE. I am a mover and I have moved them all. COMMON SENSE is a very rare thing among these people. Do they even have a lady at the top? If you were to look at who takes the most pictures in the world you would soon see it is girls taking selfies. Do they even give you an option to pick a different color for a camera. This is like selling cars only in black and an occasional white. Wow! They should have used there Brand recognition and teamed up with a phone manufacture. The only thing that has saved Canon is their competition is just as brain dead as them. Sony making a camera that feels like crap with a touch screen that does what? Something a cell phone did better over 10 years ago. Don't get me started on their menu system. Nikon charges the same price for their Z7 as the superior D850 and Nikon's guys are probably the most arrogant of the bunch. I am not saying Canon is doomed. With their competition it is pretty hard not to be number one. Sometimes though it is just comical. No matter what they do they will not catch the cell phone market. That boat has sailed and Apple and Samsung are facing the same problem Canon is, THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS! Maybe I am wrong. Who cares, I am just an old man that did not even graduate high school, but as a mover I never have a problem carrying around all those heavy cameras and lenses I own. ;)
 

Pape

EOS RP
Dec 31, 2018
373
220
the only way Canon can compete with smartphones is to make a smartphone.

there's no way an ILC can compete in the same space as a smartphone, even if you give it the ability to have a SIM slot.

Not to mention in a lot of cases, you get subsidized on the price of the phone especially if you don't pick the latest and greatest.

Making it easier to share images helps, but it's not going to move it that much. People carry a smartphone around with them all the time. Why? because they need a phone. An actual phone for calls and messages. At the same time, it connects via the Internet to social media.
And it can take good enough pictures for messages and social media.

That's the majority of users of said cameras. they will never pick up an ILC no matter how good it is. Why? because everyone needs a phone / messaging anyways. They'll never print their images, they'll show their friends the images on their phones or share their social media posts with friends.

The only way camera companies could get around that is to basically convert their cameras into full fledged andriod devices that can be phones as well. and even then, you can't put it into your pocket and carry it around.

no matter which way you slice or dice it, it's just not going to work.
I think you can make ILC flat enoug to fit pocket. But you need remove lcd screen from camera back and put it on top. Sensor needs to be as back as possible ,where lcd is now . and grip need to be foldable to side. Good pancake lens as basic lens , 1cm lens 2 cm flange distance and half cent for sensor and back wall =3,5cm
uh forgot RF objectives are 2cm longer so 5,5cm but maybe DO lens could shave 1cm away ?
 
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snappy604

EOS RP
Jan 25, 2017
254
118
Agree, hopefully Canon can maintain the physics advantage with their larger sensors, but maybe they'll have to eventually partner with a mobile maker to increase their computational photography abilities - Samsung or Huawei come to mind, someone big enough to really help. I'm guessing if Canon partnered earlier, they would already have a well implemented panoramic mode, better object detection (recognizing pets for example), or how about detecting multiple faces and automatically selecting the widest aperture to get all faces in focus? Anyway, the possibilities are endless, but again, Canon may need a partner to accelerate the computational side.
I've thought the same for a long time too. They make great lenses, they make good sensors... but cell phones can get pretty decent results with tiny sensors on photos and video due to some amazing things they achieve with computational horsepower and inter-connectivity. Instead of letting phones cannibalize their market, they should augment their capabilities by take lessons and ideas from the phone market. Stop micro-segmenting, get fewer, cleaner lines with more capabilities that make you shine apart from phones.
 

bokehmon22

EOS RP
Oct 31, 2016
356
186
This is so typical. A bunch of rocket scientists and corporate men that think they know everything and they have ZERO COMMON SENSE. I am a mover and I have moved them all. COMMON SENSE is a very rare thing among these people. Do they even have a lady at the top? If you were to look at who takes the most pictures in the world you would soon see it is girls taking selfies. Do they even give you an option to pick a different color for a camera. This is like selling cars only in black and an occasional white. Wow! They should have used there Brand recognition and teamed up with a phone manufacture. The only thing that has saved Canon is their competition is just as brain dead as them. Sony making a camera that feels like crap with a touch screen that does what? Something a cell phone did better over 10 years ago. Don't get me started on their menu system. Nikon charges the same price for their Z7 as the superior D850 and Nikon's guys are probably the most arrogant of the bunch. I am not saying Canon is doomed. With their competition it is pretty hard not to be number one. Sometimes though it is just comical. No matter what they do they will not catch the cell phone market. That boat has sailed and Apple and Samsung are facing the same problem Canon is, THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS! Maybe I am wrong. Who cares, I am just an old man that did not even graduate high school, but as a mover I never have a problem carrying around all those heavy cameras and lenses I own. ;)
Not all their competition is brain dead. Sony may not to make a well rounded great camera with Canon intangibles but I suspect their next generation will address those issues. They also have no issues selling A7III despite their flaws.

Panasonic S1 is already what I wanted Canon 5DV FF mirrorless - 5.76 million dot EVF, IBIS, dual card slot, ergonomic, weather sealing, 4K60, fully touch screen LCD, good color, and competitive sensor with dynamic range and ISO performance for clean 12,800 ISO all for same price as EOS R.

They had Panasonic S1 for $2250 with free battery and grip. I couldn't believe I could sell my Canon 5DIV for $2000. That's one good thing about Canon brand recognition. Good resale value.

Alot of people here mention this will force Canon to be aggressive but development take time to mature. Competitors aren't sitting still either and more and more customers already switch to a different system that provide good value.
 
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xeppelin

I'm New Here
Apr 22, 2019
20
9
.... smart Canon. The market is changing more than previously, and Canon has adjusted their strategy to match.
adjusted strategy so timely, decisively and successfully ... that in "camera" they now are -47% vs. their own projection for 2019 and expect -14.5% revenues FY 2019 vs. previous year. Not to mention effects this will have on profitabilty.

Additional hint: potential market for ever more expensive FF cameras, lenses and "premium" G-compacts is limited. Very limited. Most potential buyers are more budget-limited and budget-minded, luckily. And intelligent enough to also not waste money on junk like EOS 4000 or Rebel/Kiss DSLRs any longer, when they can get better functionality in smaller packages as well.

SMART, Canon!
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,238
674
...from the piece:

"Going forward, we will continue our efforts to expand sales of premium G-series models in our effort to link this to a recovery in profitability."

So Canon's solution to recovering profitability is to sell smallish cameras (including the G7X-whatever and the G9X-whatever, both of which I remain interested in) at relatively high prices.

Hey, it works for Apple.
If what they are doing with G7X III can be called "efforts to expand sales", it must be a groundbreaking camera.
 
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neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,602
2,059
"Users have not only praised the performance of these bodies and lenses but also expressed their high expectations for the R system overall having felt our sense of urgency in strengthening our lineup over a short period of time."

As I've stated before, sense of urgency = playing catch up on FF MILC. **
Yeah, I’ll see your biased overinterpretation and raise you an opposite biased interpretation.

We apologize to the DSLR buyers who comprise the majority of our customers for releasing two FF MILCs, three RF lenses and announcing a bunch more. We’ll get back to launching DSLRs and EF lenses soon.

:p
 
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xeppelin

I'm New Here
Apr 22, 2019
20
9
Dedicated cameras cannot compete with cameraphones in the same space. true. but ... in addition to additional device/weight/expense all (!) camera makers allowed for massive disadvantages in ease of use and communication functionality in their cameras. only balanced by "better image quality" and "(more) zoom / focal length (range)"as sole advantage. and that advantage has eroded to the point that cameras with sensors smaller than APS-C dont offer much more, if at all.

totally the camera makers own fault. now they are paying the price for sticking stubbornly with bulky DSLRs and communication-handicapped "unsmart" cameras.

instead of focusing on FF and higher prices they would be well advised to turn all of their "consumer, prosumer, enthusiast" efforts onto "computational imaging" with compact devices sized like a (beefy) smartphone and a number of lens modules, without need for large optical lenses. along the lines of Light L16, only better and as well-communicating and intuitive to use as the very best smartphones.

if they don't, soon ! - then somebody else will. :)
 
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