How will the Canon mirrorless entry affect MFT?

Started Jun 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: The Problem for Canon
In reply to Marty4650, Jun 18, 2012

One major factor that Canon has in its favor is their huge user base. If they market their mirrorless camera as a great supplement to people's existing Canon DSLR system ("use the new Canon mirrorless lenses and your existing EF/EF-S lenses, as well as your existing Canon E-TTL Speedlites"), they'll get a lot of sales just from existing Canon users. I'm a Canon DSLR user, but I also use m4/3. If Canon came out with a mirrorless camera, it would only be a matter of time before I switched from m4/3 mirrorless to Canon's mirrorless system just to have the Canon system compatibility across both my mirrorless Canon and my mirrored Canon bodies. I'm sure a lot of other Canon users also feel the same way. And given that many Canon users would probably still use their DSLR gear as their primary camera gear, with the mirrorless gear being the secondary gear, it's really not necessary for Canon to show up to the party with a complete, full-blown lens selection from the very start. This will allow Canon time to gradually fill out their mirrorless lens selection, while still allowing them to sell plenty of mirrorless cameras.

As for newbie users, you really just need a couple kit zooms, the Canon name, and a reasonable future-lens roadmap, plus a ton of marketing (which Canon seems to be very good at) and strong distribution (which Canon also seems to be very good at) to get those buyers.

Marty4650 wrote:

We all know that Canon makes some very good cameras and lenses, and they are very good at selling them.

So, I have no doubt that Canon will eventually produce a very nice mirrorless system. And if they choose to use a 4/3 sized sensor then it can only mean they aren't planning to use existing lenses.

So their problem becomes creating a whole new line of lenses to compete against M4/3, while M4/3 has a huge head start with over 26 AF lenses available today (and many more manual lenses).

This really isn't a problem they can't overcome. Canon certainly has the resources to grind out a dozen pretty good downsized lenses to keep their system compact. But they will start out at a disadvantage.

If you doubt that lens selection is a concern, then just visit the NEX forum and hear all the NEX owners complaining about their limited lens selection.

If Canon decides to go the Pentax K-01 route, and use an APS-C sensor and their existing lenses, then they end up with a not so compact system with a huge lens selection. (Incidentally, this was one of the big problems that plagued 4/3. We had a smaller sensor without getting significantly smaller bodies or lenses. You simply cannot successfully market a compact system without small bodies and lenses).

I'd say Panasonic and Olympus are in a pretty good strategic position here. M4/3 seems to have timed everything right. They introduced a system, then gradually provided lots of body and lens options, including some very good lenses and a weather sealed body.
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