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Canon's production delays
It seems as if Canon is having trouble getting the EOS R5 out the door, while it has started shipping, the number of units seems more restrained. In the USA, Adorama is saying no more units until November, while B&H appears to be stating that they will receive more units near the end of August.
There are some pretty wild conspiracy theories floating out there, but we should note that Canon mentioned way back on July 10th that they were expecting delays with the R5. From translated Japanese, a Canon press release on July 10th - literally 1 day after the R5 was officially announced.
We have received orders for products released on July 30, 2020 that exceeded expectations, and it may take some time before delivery. Similarly, for some products scheduled to be released after the end of August, some customers may not be able to deliver the products on the release date.
People were preordering back in January when this was first announced - so I suspect what happened is that all the dealers started to say what their preorder size was, and when those numbers got back to Canon, they very quickly realized that demand had exceeded their prerelease manufacturing. Now to carefully note, that this was simply stated by Canon Japan. However, if Canon japan is facing delays - everyone else in the world will too.
Could Canon have had delays in manufacturing due to COVID-19? During COVID-19, Japan has both succeeded and struggled at times with controlling the spread of the virus. They basically are handling it differently than many of the other Southeast Asia countries, with one exception that they entirely closed the border to visitors. Canon hasn't said much about what they have been doing to protect their workers, but one thing lept out at me. In one of their press releases, they mention that the Ayase Plant at 2596 Yoshioka was shut down until June 1st.
Why is this important? That happens to be one of Canon's CMOS manufacturing plants.
The Hiratsuka Plant was another one with extended shutdown until June 1st, which simply is identified as the development and manufacturing of next-generation devices. It's listed in Canon's factbook as being "Development of displays, R&D and manufacturing of micro devices". There's a lot of microdevices in the R5 I hear.
Also, various offices were closed until June 1st as well.
Even after June 1st, these offices and factories would take some time to get back up to full operations as Canon was staggering start and commuting times, and encouraging work from home.
The partial suspension of operations will end after May 31. From June 1, Canon will resume normal operations while thoroughly implementing such basic infection prevention measures as staggered commuting times and encouraging working from home.
So could this have caused problems if Canon received an unexpected demand for R5 cameras? Well certainly. All we have to do is look back through history at some of the other pent up demand cameras in the past, and how people struggled to get their camera, in the case of Nikon and backorders, it was a common occurrence. I remember a friend of mine waiting 8 months for his D200. I'm sure if it can happen to Nikon, in the wake of nearly 2 months closure of factories and facilities and then a month later launching a camera that exceeded their expectations, it's entirely reasonable that some delays may happen. Especially if one of the plants shutdown was one of Canon's CMOS sensor plants.
If you were a reader here in the past, I hate to say I told you so, but we've been predicting this since perhaps March - that we expected to see a long delay and tons of backorders with this camera.
In summary, there are some perfectly reasonable reasons why Canon may be struggling under the weight of orders, so until Canon says something, take a deep breath, relax and stay safe out there.
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