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.
I pretty much disagree with everything Mr. Fuehres said in regards to Canon’s place in the mirrorless world.
Point one, there’s no way Canon as a company thinks, “hey the stuff we sell now is all we need to sell, selling more stuff isn’t worthwhile”. Canon makes money very well and selling stuff in new expanding markets is a no brainer.
Could Canon do it differently than Sony, m4/3 and Samsung? I think they could. There have been rumors Nikon will introduce a mirrorless camera geared to the pro market. If you go after the pro market, you don’t have to worry as much about volume and you’re not competing directly with the consumer level products other manufacturers are producing. If your pro mirrorless camera does well, you can slowly work your way down to the consumer market instead of the other way around.
From my personal experience and what I’ve seen, 80% of the people I know with mirrorless cameras do not own SLRs. That’s a lot of customers Canon does not have. If you fear you’re going to have your DSLR sales cannibalized by mirrorless cameras, just make sure it’s you cannibalizing them.
I will note, most every M9 owner I know has an DSLR system as well. Canon doesn’t need a $7000 mirrorless camera, but something in the $3000 range will give them a solid margin and they don’t have to put crazy amounts of manufacturing resources behind it.
Now his statement about others entering the field because they can’t compete in the DSLR market is somewhat true. Although there’s one company hasn’t had a problem competing in the DSLR field and is doing very well in the mirrorless market, and that’s Sony. They have the resources to match Canon every step of the way.
Canon will introduce a mirrorless camera, and no one in the company will tip their hat to what may be coming. However, don’t speak about yourself that you’re the supreme company and you don’t need to adapt to changing consumer demands.