New Canon executive interview

Started Sep 10, 2007 | Discussions thread
dnjake Senior Member • Posts: 2,702

I would divide the history of the DSLR market at this point into three periods starting with the introduction of the D30.

During the first period it looked like Canon owned the market and might wind up dominating it the way Microsoft dominates PC operating systems. Canon's products seemed superior on both basic technology and features. Nikon was very slow to introduce new products and their big attempt at technical innovation produced the badly flawed D2H. Everyone else was close to invisible.

Period two started with the introduction of the Nikon D2x. Nikon became much more aggressive in introducing new products. Particularly during the last couple of years, they succeeded in improving their position with Canon by bringing more features down to lower priced cameras. This trend was reinforced some by the minor players gaining some more share of the market through offering more in low priced cameras. However, during this period Canon retained the aura of technical leadership through the preceived superiority of their sensors on low noise and through their delivery of full frame DSLR's.

We now look to be entering a third period where Canon may have to struggle just to stay even on technology. Even during period two, Sony actually did reasonably well at catching up with Canon on sensor quality. But they still looked to be a little behind and they did not deliver full frame. It remains to be seen exactly where we are now. But it could easily turn out that Sony's new crop sensors are better than anything Canon can deliver in full frame. While Canon may be able to respond. It would not be that surprising to see Sony take over technical leadership in the long term. Realistically Sony is the stronger of the two in analolg electronics and one of the strongest in the world in that technology.

The interview sounds like the executive is still coming to terms with the challenges of period two. It seems to me that Canon got used to the illusion that they owned the market and have been slow to realize that they have to compete more strongly with more features in lower priced cameras. But if they loose preceived technical leadership it will be a much bigger impact. I doubt that their executives have begun to understand that yet.
David Jacobson

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