Canon sees a potential for a professional-level EOS M camera in the future


Canon talked a lot about their mirrorless EOS camera line in this interview with dpreview:

Q: The EOS M series continues to expand. What is the long term goal of the M series in terms of market share?

A: That is a difficult question to respond to with a simple answer because we don’t have a particular number set in terms of getting the market share for the mirrorless market. This is because we are a company that produces [both mirrorless and DSLR], as a total package. Our intention is to become number one in the overall ILC market: mirrorless and SLR. Different regions would have different penetration and different market share of mirrorless products.

Q: Specifically, which markets are leaning more toward mirrorless and which more toward SLR?

In the Southeast Asian market we’re seeing a real high demand for mirrorless, while the US has the least mirrorless penetration. In terms of the Japanese market we’re seeing a slight majority [of] mirrorless at this time. But having said that, compared to two years ago we’re now seeing a slowing down of mirrorless taking over. We were expecting to see more mirrorless taking off, keeping that momentum, but that has not happened.

Q: Do you think there could be a professional-level EOS M model sometime in the future?

A: Obviously we think it could be possible, there is a potential, but we do not want to put a time frame on that.

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  • Hubertus Bigend

    Usually capitalism drives technological progress, but sometimes it hampers it. This is such a case. DSLR manufacturers are slow to get serious with mirrorless not because they couldn’t, but because of fear of producing two competing lines of products, because of fear their DSLR business will stop being profitable, possibly even before the mirrorless business itself has become profitable yet. And they have good reason to fear so.

    That’s why, beside Sony, Panasonic and Olympus were the first and, so far, remain the most serious manufacturers with regard to their mirrorless lineups. Panasonic, because they simply dropped their DSLRs which never had had any success to speak of in the first place; I guess their disappearance was hardly even noticed. Olympus, because they stopped investing in their DSLR segment very early and managed to offer their customers kind of a transition path, even if it wasn’t exactly smooth. Oh, and Fuji had stopped their not-too-successful cooperation with Nikon to offer a modified version of a Nikon DSLRs long ago when they came out with their X-Mount system, too.

    That’s why Nikon invented a mirrorless system that’s too different from the DSLR segment to be a real competition for it, but, unfortunately, at the same time it was too different to be attractive as well. The DSLR segment isn’t as successful as it is (and it still is!) without a reason, and mirrorless systems have to overlap with it quite a lot to be attractive, too.

    And that’s, of course, why Canon took so long to offer even a half-serious mirrorless camera, the EOS-M5, and still doesn’t even begin to have a serious lens lineup for it. It’s to not compete too hard with the DSLR segment. And as long as the DSLR segment still generates good sales, it would be economically dangerous to act otherwise. Even if that means to let others carry the baton of technological leadership for another while.

  • Troll Warlord

    Last year I’ve sold my 5D3 for Sony, but kept all my L lenses.
    Please just give me a FF mirrorless with EF mount and dual pixel, I dont care about “size”.

    • abortabort

      Well a speedbooster for EF – EF-M would suffice IMO.

    • Yoyo

      you can take a sony A7 FF mirorless with metabones. but if you kept all your L lens, i dont see where is the advantage.

      • Troll Warlord

        I have the a7r2 with the metabones. But despite what everyone claims about that combo, it’s kinda impractical and the AF is not even close to the native emount. I’m investing in Zeiss now.

    • jet

      i don´t care about a mirror…..

  • animalsbybarry

    This rather lengthy competition interview (Canon) gives insight into their ambition to dominate the ILC camera market as well as their mirrorless ambitions

    They plan to expand both DSLR and mirrorless and let the consumer decide which they prefer

    They do not yet seem to see mirrorless as a pro choice but seem quite willing to go in that direction if the consumer chooses it

    This should be a lesson for both Sony and Nikon

    Canon is THE MAJOR COMPETITOR and in my opinion some level of Sony/Nikon cooperation will be necessary to successfully compete

    Canon has realized (as Nikon apparently finally has realized) that the path to the consumer is to give them the choice between mirrorless and DSLRs and let the consumer choose….then build whatever they decide to buy

    I realize Sony/Nikon cooperation seems like heresy….. but a united E mount system that can fully utilize Nikon lenses is the best path for Sonikon survival
    Whatever sales are lost to the other by cooperation will also be gained by cooperation

    Nikon needs Sony mirrorless/sensor expertise
    Sony needs Nikon lenses/ system/reputation expertise
    Together they can build the best kick butt mirrorless/dslr/lens/system the world has ever seen
    Separately Canon will eat them for breakfast

    Update
    This new Canon sensor development has global shutter and much higher dynamic range

    Sony’s only advantage over Canon has been thier superior sensor tech, but clearly Sony can not depend on this advantage, and I increasingly believe Sony /Nikon cooperation is necessary and advantageous to both companies

    http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/atclen/news_en/15mk/030101177/

  • Bo Dez

    mirrorless penetration.

  • jet

    one thing is sure….. nikon will not be number 2 in 5 years aynmore.
    nikon will shrink their DSLR business and they don´t even have an idea what to do in the mirrorless sector.

    canon will push into mirrorless with all it´s force.. it´s only a matter of when.

  • jojo

    The first three lenses in the EF-M line (2012-13) had metal bayonet mount flanges, but at some point a decision was made to cut costs, and all new lenses since then (releases 2014 on) have come with plastic mounts. This suggests to me that a professional level M camera does not feature in any shorter term plans. It could only come with much greater market penetration and obviously would require a number of professional level lenses also.

  • HKer

    One of the biggest challenges for them, and other camera manufacturers is the dreaded battery issues. For example I shot an event recently, used one EL battery for the D750, whilst another photographer with his Sony mirrorless camera used 5. He said he had 5 chargers to charge each battery over night! Taking 2-3000 photos in a day can be the norm for some pros. Maybe need to insert a bit of uranium in the body 🙂

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