Canon: We don't see the smartphone as an enemy

Started Mar 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Canon: We don't see the smartphone as an enemy
Mar 3, 2014

Barney Britton had a chance to interview a group of Canon senor executives. As usual, BB was pumping for mirrorless. The Canon guys were more cautious. Selected comments on smartphones, compact cameras and mirrorless.

“MM] We don't see the smartphone as an enemy. We like to see it as representing an infrastructure which we should be making use of. If we make sure that we continue to produce cameras that do things which smartphones can't, and we also continue to provide links between our cameras and smartphones we'll be able to create a system which is of benefit to our customers.

KS] Obviously smartphones have taken some of the compact camera market away, but there are certain domains in which the smartphone cannot compete. For example applications that require zoom. Even compact cameras aren't beaten by smartphones in some respects.

When it comes to DSLRs versus smartphones, they don't compare. Because of the difference in image size, versatility and the ability to change lenses among other things, the DSLR exists in a different domain.

What is emerging as a result of the increasing use of smartphones is a change in photographic culture. You can use a smartphone as a tool for sharing your pictures with other people over the internet and that is one respect in which we want our DSLRs to 'cohabit' with smartphones.

[MM] Realistically, thanks to the global prevalence of smartphones there are more photographs being taken. And as such I anticipate an organic growth of people who are using their smartphone and come to want to take better photographs. Regardless of what device they're using, whether it's a smartphone or a compact camera or DSLR, I'd like to encourage people to take more and more pictures.

[GT] Despite the fact that these are hard times for the camera market, nothing has really changed in our approach. The pressure is on for us to distinguish our DSLRs from smartphones and compacts so if anything we're putting more effort behind our research and development.

We're number one in the camera industry and we're the leading DSLR manufacturer. As such we want to fulfill our responsibility. However we're not going to be happy if just Canon grows, we want to contribute to the DSLR segment by having the whole segment grow as well.

[GT] We are very serious about mirrorless cameras, but we're also very serious about our DSLRs. We believe that there's a lot of value in DSLRs from the customers' point of view and we expect DSLRs to evolve a lot. The current trend is for equipment to become smaller and more compact and we will continue to build mirrorless cameras as well as DSLRs.

[YI] We and our competitors market both types of camera, but mirrorless is only a small part of the market in the USA. American consumers seem to place priority on the superior speed and ability to capture the moment with DSLRs. DSLRs can capture the moment better than mirrorless, because you're viewing directly, not through an LCD.

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