Canon doesn’t need compact system camera
Canon doesn’t need to introduce a mirrorless compact system camera (CSC), according to the head of consumer imaging in Europe, as the company does not have a problem selling its existing compact and DSLR products. In an interview with Amateur Photographer, Rainer Fuehres said that compact system cameras have been introduced by manufacturers that find it difficult to compete in the digital SLR market. Not ruling out the possibility that Canon will enter this area, Rainer stressed that if it did the reason would not be because Canon felt it had to.
‘The idea of the compact system camera is nothing to do with whether the camera has a mirror or not, but about creating a small and more portable system. If Canon does take part I hope we won’t introduce just a me-too product, but we’ll use the opportunity to do something different.’ Rainer said. ‘For Canon it would be about connectivity and providing high image quality in a small form’. The manufacturers that have introduced micro Four Thirds and mirrorless systems have been those that have failed to make a success of their mainstream digital SLR offerings, according to Rainer. Indeed, when Samsung first mentioned its then forthcoming NX system to AP in 2008 Samsung Techwin Executive Vice President Byung Woo Lee stated that the move into a new area would come because the company’s GX series of DSLRs could not compete with Nikon and Canon’s models.
Canon has consistently refused to comment on its position on the new compact system camera, and when asked whether the company would enter the mirrorless market or concentrate on making its EOS DSLR series smaller Rainer would not say. The two and a half year-old CSC market is growing, with Panasonic leading the way with its Lumix G series cameras. While these smaller camera systems have been popular in Asia, the UK and some other European countries, they have failed to make much impact in the enormous and essential American market. Until Canon, and Nikon, can see that the market is truly global the introduction of a compact mirrorless system will be a risk that these companies perhaps do not have to take.
Canon and Nikon, as DSLR market leaders by a long stretch, do not have to follow the routes taken by Panasonic, Samsung, Olympus and Sony, and can use the opportunity to produce a completely new product form. Following the attention that Fuji’s X100 has received it isn’t inconceivable that a retro rangefinder system, designed around 1959 Canon P or 1965 7S rangefinder systems could be on the cards. We will just have to wait and see, but for now Canon will not rule anything in, or anything out.
Canon P courtesy of the Canon Camera Museum