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Canon upcoming announcements - COVID-19 impact
What impact will COVID-19 play with Canon? We have been mentioning now since last year that this year was the ideal marketing year for Canon and their new product lines. True to form, Canon looks to have though the same, with the announcement of the R5 already this year. From CanonRumors we have heard that Canon is planning on announcing their next cinema camera even with the NAB cancellation.
COVID-19 certainly has thrown a wrench into the marketing plans, canceling most of the major tradeshows leading up to the Olympics. There is little doubt in my mind that Photokina will also cancel this year. I'm personally not sure that Photokina will survive the loss. The strange plan to change it from a September show to a May show has turned out to be disastrous on so many different fronts. Even before COVID-19 staunch supporters of Photokina, Leica had already decided that they aren't going to be there. Nikon had pulled out early as well, signaling that perhaps the show isn't what it used to be. Perhaps ironically, if the show had not changed from it's September dates it would have been fine this year, perhaps even more so because it would have been the premier show for the entire year.
The Olympics are in doubt as well, as all major sports are delaying or canceling their events and seasons. Considering how many athletes and spectators congregate for the summer games; holding them this summer seems fraught with the risk of significant global spread unless COVID-19 disappears over the summer. Considering that the virus seems to be continuing to spread through countries that are quite warm, this does not seem likely at this time. The Olympic games were going to be a compilation of many different things for Canon; the 1DX Mark III and the R5 were going to make a significant impression on the games, with Canon expecting a greater than 70% share of all photographic gear at these games.
Canon will be also suffering through supply chain issues, as manufacturing is crippled in China. China right now is, of course, recovering, with new cases of COVID-19 being reduced down to single digits per day from the high point of over 15,000 per day. Chinese manufacturing will slowly recover in the months ahead, but it will take a while for those supply chains to return to normal.
I suspect that we'll see more development announcements from Canon as they will want to maintain the momentum leading into the potential Olympic games, but actual product releases may be delayed into the fourth quarter or even into 2021. There is one certainty - if you want that shiny new R5 or R6; if they are officially announced and preorders have started - if you want it this year, you will most likely have to pre-order immediately upon announcement.
Support may also be impacted for those same supply chain issues as well, as parts availability may suffer through the summer months. It's something we'll be keeping an eye on as well.
The virus has hit quite close to where we are right now, as we are in Hanoi Vietnam in the midst of a breakout. While the government has reacted quickly and responsibly it's been difficult to control the spread through the community. The ease of which one person here has spread the virus to over a dozen people, and then them spreading it to others was an eye-opener to me on how quickly this could turn into a problem, even just from one person. While there is little risk to people that are healthy, or younger, it still has the possibility of overwhelming healthcare facilities if too many people contract the virus in a short period of time.
We do hope that everyone remains safe, washes their hands frequently, and maintains social distancing and generally follows best practices as suggested by their health organizations and professionals.
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