DPReview had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Go Tokura, Group Executive ICP Group 2, Image Communications Products Operations, Canon Inc. and talk all things Canon imaging.

I've highlighted a couple of questions from the interview that I think are of the most importance:

What is your strategy for growth in this changed market? What do you need to do to differentiate?

“One of the differences between us and our competition is the EF lens lineup. We have a very broad base of EF lens users and we don’t want to do anything that would sacrifice their loyalty, so it’s a very high priority for us to satisfy their needs and meet their demands. 

With regard to the overall market, maybe there’s a lack of vigor and it could be viewed as shrinking. Looking at the compact camera market, the bottom end is dropping considerably and the competition is smartphones. Smartphones offer a very easy, convenient way of taking photos. However in the high-end compact segment, at the high end there are cameras that offer functions and performance that smartphones cannot compete with and here we’re seeing growth. So in the compact market, offering features that smartphones cannot compete with is a way of differentiating and invigorating the market. “

If we assume that at some point in the future Canon will create an enthusiast or professional mirrorless camera, what are your benchmarks?

“This is just my personal opinion. In my view there are two key features that have to be addressed. The first is autofocus, particularly tracking of moving subjects. The other is the viewfinder. The electronic viewfinder would have to offer a certain standard. If those two functions were to match the performance of EOS DSLR camera performance, we might make the switch.

Tremendous progress has been made in electronic systems.  However in terms of AF, pro-level AF functions, and the range of shooting situations that professional photographers can respond to, there’s still a gap between DSLRs and mirrorless systems.” Read the full interview at DPReview

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