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Canon Interview: We will be leveling up
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Canon Interview: We will be leveling up

Imaging-Resource sat down with Canon executives and broached the subject about future plans and development of cameras, after CEO Mitarai-san mentioned that he thinks the camera market will shrink by another 50% over the next two years, which sent shockwaves through the industry.

Canon mentioned that Dave had "nothing to worry about" when it came to future sensor development after Dave noted that even the EOS R reused essentially Canons 5D Mark IV sensor.  Canon assured Dave that from 2019 onwards, they have streams of development going on, and that they will be leveling up their technology.

Dave Etchells: Mmm, mmm... I think some of my concern about development and resources for photography comes from the sensor area and the fact that while the EOS Rs are wonderful cameras, they are still using the 5D Mark IV sensor. So it seems like a long time since we've seen a step in sensor development and I don't know the reason for that. I've speculated that maybe resources are being drawn elsewhere, so that's the source of my concern. And I think it's a concern that we've heard voiced from consumers as well.

Go Tokura: You have nothing to worry about.

Dave Etchells: <laughs>

Go Tokura: From 2019 onwards, we have streams of development going on, so you have nothing to worry about. We will be [leveling] up.

As we have discovered through the patent searches we do every week, Canon certainly is looking at different use cases for their sensor technology.  Much of what we see in patent applications (that we don't usually post) deal with vehicle sensor patents.   This seems to be a big area that Canon is focusing their sensor technology on right now in their patent portfolio.  However, any sensor advancements that come out of vehicle sensors can be incorporated into stills or video sensors that we use in our cameras.

As an example, here's a stacked CMOS sensor with color aware ADC's such as what we see on the latest and greatest of Sony sensors now.  However, this patent is clearly focused on vehicle applications.  Canon Patent Application 20190104274.

Canon has feedback and some initial sales numbers (at the time of this interview) which suggest that they have had a really good response from the EOS RP.  What we do know, is that certain regions such as domestic Japan, have had what we feel is a surprisingly low adaptation of the EOS RP.  I personally feel the lack of a consumer lens "kit" or "dual lens kit" to be a problem with the RP right now, and I would not be surprised if by the time next year rolls around, Canon addresses this with more consumer lenses and consumer lens kits with the EOS RP.  Think EOS RP + 24-240 and 35mm bundle kit.

Dave Etchells: Let's switch to camera bodies. The Canon EOS RP was just announced and has a very aggressive price; very impressive! In the U.S, through the end of March, they're bundling the body with the extension grip and the mount adapter for US$1299, a very good price. We're curious, how has the RP been received by the market so far? Have initial orders fallen short, met or exceeded your pre-launch projections?

Yoshiyuki Mizoguchi/Canon: First of all, we're still [in very early stages] so we won't be able to comment on that, but in terms of the feedback we have had from sales and also online, we have had really good responses and they're very favorable. And we are seeing this worldwide, not just in particular areas. This is probably in response to its small size and light weight, and the competitive pricing.

Yoshiyuki Mizoguchi: Having said that, because we're still not at the launch stage per se, we can't give you any figures, but we have high expectations for our RP and because of that and with the responses that we're getting so far, I think we we are getting that response that we were looking for. So fingers crossed.

To read the full interview, go here

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