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DPReview interviews Canon Japan
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DPReview interviews Canon Japan

DPReview today published their interview during CP+ with Canon executives; Go Tokura, Yoshiyuki Mizoguchi and Naoya Kaneda.

It was a wide ranging interview but mostly tried to focus the narrative on Canon's mirrorless and where that is going.

There's a few things to always note when dissecting these interviews with Canon executives;

  • They are usually translated questions and answers, meaning the subtle nature of the English language may get missed.  In other words, don't get too caught up in trying to read between the lines.  Which is what exactly is happening right now on dpreview comment section as the enthusiasts there weigh in on Canon's words.
  • They can't talk much about future plans.  Period.  So you will get alot of dodgy answers, and phrases that won't sound quite legitimate.  That's just the nature of business.

There was several questions and answers that I found intriguing and wanted to give my own thoughts on them.

Looking ahead, what is Canon’s main priority?

We want to improve our product lineup, including lenses. We just released an entry-level model (the EOS M50), and because young people are really getting into photography more actively, the entry-level segment is one that we always need to make sure to tackle.

This is a good indicator to what Canon is really doing, and also why the M100, SL2, T100 (4000D) and other cameras exist in the market today.  Canon knows the number of enthusiasts that are purchasing cameras is declining – it must; the cameras are getting just so good that you don’t feel the need anymore to upgrade from version to version.

Attracting new customers to the fold will certainly work towards Canon’s favor and keep their overall marketshare ticking along even though it’s not what we focus on as enthusiasts and tend to get frustrated by entry level cameras and features.

The EOS M50 offers 4K video and Dual Pixel CMOS AF, but not at the same time. Is there a technical reason for this limitation?

With the EOS 5D Mark IV, we do offer 4K video and Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus, so technically it is feasible. But given the position of the M50 in the lineup, we can’t include all of the features available in a product like the 5D IV. Given the position of the product, we wanted to achieve the optimal balance [of features] in a camera in that range. We’ve optimized the M50 as best we can [for its market position], and within those parameters, the combination of 4K video and Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus was not possible.

This was interesting.  Of course, dpreview is awash with the masses complaining about crippling, however, it’s certainly a valid business case not to put everything you have in the low end model if you want to differentiate.

What I particulary fiound interesting was that there is certainly a sense that they have more that they can offer than what is in the M50.  That is good news because the M50 is certainly lacking in areas, namely DPAF with the 4K recording.

The move from FD to EF in 1987 was bold but also controversial given the legacy of FD lenses and the lack of compatibility between the two platforms. Do you think that situation will happen again?

That’s a difficult question to answer. There was a lot of discussion and debate about that shift, in 1987, and we’re going through the same thing now. We want to nurture and support our [existing] EF customers and we’re in discussion about that at the moment.

In 1987, the shift was from a mechanical interface to an electronic interface. That [precluded cross-compatibility]. Despite that shift, the change provided significantly more value for our customers, which is why we went ahead. If it turns out that [the introduction of mirrorless] will create a similar situation, this might be a decision that we would take [again]. But we’re not sure yet.

Because we’re already using an electronic interface, the shift will be more gradual [than it was in 1987] so [we would better able to] maintain compatibility.

Now this question had be sitting up and paying attention.  It really sounds like there are multiple schools of thought within Canon on whether or not they move to a new mount or stick with the EF mount.  However, when they say “Because we’re already using an electronic interface, the shift will be more gradual [than it was in 1987] so [we would better able to] maintain compatibility.” It leans towards the fact that there will be a new mount.  We can’t fully read into this translated answer too heavily but this certainly about as dramatic of an answer as you can get.

Final thoughts..

Some I’ve noticed have found this to be a depressing interview.  If so, please see the points you should consider at the start here 😉

Canon focuses on usability, durability, performance and reliability.  This should come as no surprise to any, and Canon will continue to do so and also

We can certainly, going by this interview get the overall feeling that Canon's suggesting that more is certainly coming with Mirrorless and other technologies.

Read the entire article here..

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