Canon doesn’t care about retro design cameras

Canon published a new PDF brochure “Story of the PowerShot G1 X Mark II Development” where they describe in great details how the new G1 X camera ($799) was designed. An interesting paragraph was spotted by Theme on page 14 where Canon is clearly differentiating themselves from the current classic camera design trend:

"Currently there is a trend towards designing premium compact cameras like classic cameras. However, Canon has kept its distance from this trend. As a result, the design is not pretentious, and it also does not look like a so-called compact camera, and achieves a great balance between traditional and new."

The Canon classic camera design concept pictured above is by David Riesenberg.

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  • ohnocanon

    …and canon still produces camera today like it was 2008.

  • Kynikos



    • ELK

      LooooL! Flowery twats :)))

      • Manuel

        Love the Fawlty Towers reference 🙂 Would Basil buy a Canon, that’s the question…

  • Jon

    Retro camera look = hipsters fadLeica (for example X1, X2, XVR), Ricoh GR etc = good compromise
    Canon = stuck in the past?

  • mooh

    Canon has a great legacy in reserve. What a waste…

  • jk

    good, Retro is just a temporal trend.
    only one does retro design great is Leica , all others fail

    • fake

      Actually, Leica didn’t even follow the trend. It’s the only design they know.

      • guest

        So, it’s not really retro, is it. 🙂

    • coconut groove

      IMO what oly and fuji did these past few years are a gret example of success in design theory.

  • As if Canon’s problem is about the lack of retro-design, it’s about innovation! To be fair the latest G1X MKII does push things forward – someone finally presented a larger sensor compact with brither aperture – but that’s it, it’s the first Canon camera to do that in a very, very long time, it would be nice if Canon could spread that towards the rest of their camera instead of basically cloning them year after year.

    • frank

      If Canon had the same economic problems as Sony does is right now (Sony just laid off 5,000 workers and sold off their TV division), either the G1x some other model would have been full frame. But since they can afford to disappoint a lot of their customers, there are still plenty of others that will be satisfied with Canon’s offerings. And, rightfully so if it’s meeting their expectations.

      • Sky

        I assure you – there’s plenty of disappointed Sony customers as well (most notably: A-mount and APS-C E-mount now that Sony announced moving focus away from them. But even RX-series customers are disappointed, mostly due to RX10 and RX100 mkII being very underwhelming releases, and Sony’s inability to release proper APS-C compact. I as a Sony user wish we’d have something like G1X mk II).

  • hiplnsdrftr

    The issue isn’t retro design, as theSubversive stated, it’s innovation and I would add they are lacking a competitive spirit. The Canon G9 is easily one of the most elegant compact cameras ever designed and there was nothing retro about it. Since then the G cameras are clunky, cluttered and bulbous.

    The features on the G, G1x and M are simply lacking… retro or not.

  • hiplnsdrftr

    Going to correct my earlier statement… the M is actually not a bad looking camera, just lacks usable guts.

    • Sky

      Must be using different M. The one I used was one of most “usable” small cameras I ever touched. And I played with pretty much every camera on a market.

      • Sky

        Oh… you’re talking about EOS-M, not Leica M. LOL.
        People seriously should stop calling EOS M “M”. There’s only one true “M” – Leica.

  • Z

    Canon, retro design?? … Nah, just the retro sensors in their Rebel lines … since T2i …

  • Joe

    Only Canon’s sensors are retro…

    • kassim

      Hahahah.. good one Joe.

      • Kenko

        Canon doesn’t care innovation either. All they have is brand loyalty.

    • Benjamin

      Nice! The especially the 18mp heirloom…

  • Duarte Castelo Branco

    canon has the personalty to not follow hipster trends that for me only olympus has made right and only with the pen line up( leica isn’t retro because the M line never faded away, it is a excellent evolutionary design). I would prefer if other brands designed like samsung, sony or sigma. They do make cameras that look from today. Still, canon slrs do look good, i like their simplicity and roundness

  • Ernesto Quintero

    HA ! Fujifilm laughing all the way to the bank. Fuji’s sales growth since the X100’s release clearly shows that customers do like the outside the box thinking and design.

    • NikonHater

      Most people I know interested in x100 because of its hybrid VF. The good look is a nice bonus tho.

      • Locapred

        I’m only interested in the aperture ring.
        Thus most Fujis are appealing. An RX1 is appealing too, but an A7 or a 5D aren’t.

      • Sky

        Yep. Only reason why I have X100 is it’s viewfinder. Replace it with EVF and I’ll move away to other brand. Whatever body is retro or not – I don’t care, as long as it got good ergonomics.

    • Remedy

      If by “outside the box thinking” You mean copycatting designs from 50 and 60 years ago, then yes… they nailed it. Gimme a fking break. Last time I checked all cameras that are used professionally (means heavy duty usage, many hours, where quick access to vital settings and overall comfort are crucial) every day are as far from retro design as it gets… and that’s for a reason.

      • coconut groove

        My X-pro 1 is 14months old and shows 75.000+ actuations 😉

        • coconut groove

          sorry 17 months ^^

    • Paul

      I think what makes Fuji work for people is only partially the retro design. What a lot of people appealed to was the retro feel of the knobs they once used when they began. There’s something different about turning knobs on an old camera compared to the great ergonomic DSLR dials, probably reminiscence. With the retro function, why not make it look retro too to complete that reminiscent feeling many seem to miss from the old days before digital.

    • Sky

      They grow, cause from ZERO you can only “grow”.
      FYI up till X100 Fuji was nothing in digital photography.

      • Adam J Piper Ba

        With a huge legacy in film and printing. Take your digital photos to get printed at a lab and it will be on a Fuji Frontier printer. I’d say they are a pretty big deal for a very long time, even in the digital age.

        And if you don’t print your photos anymore then I feel sad. Taking the picture is only half of the process.

  • JW

    Canon should buy Toyota or Toyota but Canon. There’s only so much room in the Universe for BOOOOOORRRRRRRING and we’ve pushing the limit. Fuji and Olympus got the email. Does Canon get email??? Or is that tooooo retro …..

  • Faker

    Sony doesn’t either. Panasonic and Olympus too. Okay, maybe Oly had mixing up retro with modern flavor. Only Nikon and Fuji specifically make retro-looking products, and marketed them as such.

    • Sky

      Olympus was the first one to make Retro-styled cameras, even before Fujifilm did. And they still make retro gear in their OM-D series as well as advertise them as such.

  • Mardock

    Ummmm … anyone notice the glaring contradiction in that statement?

    “…Canon has kept its distance from this trend [designing premium compact cameras like classic cameras]…”

    “…achieves a great balance between traditional…”

    Thought they were keeping their distance from traditional/classic.

  • Global

    BS, the camera in the picture clearly looks like a throwback to Retro. I think what is should say is that ‘Canon doesn’t care about extra dials.’ Because that is obviously very, very retro (compared to the EOS and DXXX Canon and Nikon ergonomic blobs which feel good but look terrible).

    Except for their obvious lie, the camera does look good.

    • Global

      Cripes… I just realized that the PICTURED CAMERA is just somebody’s design….. anyway, it looks nicer than most Canon cameras, haha. But should have an optional grip if ever made.

      I don’t like the Nikon 1, Canon’s offerings are somewhat better. Sony’s doing its own think. Olympus and Panasonic are picking up whatever they can grab. And I’m digging Fujifilms look.

      (Ignoring Samsung and Pentax, as always, though I’m never sure why — maybe they are just too easy to ignore.)

      • anon

        Yep, almost everyone seems to ignore them. Espeically when talking about mirrorless cameras everyone gives a list that always missing Samsung. Maybe it’s subconscious, but after a while it starts to seem like everyone is being a dick to them on purpose.

  • Tair

    Canon doesn’t care about anyone

  • Peter Depkat-Jakob

    “” (with the DIGIC 6 processor), texture and noise
    are precisely isolated, making it possible to reduce noise at ISO
    1600 equivalent to levels comparable with ISO 400 using
    DIGIC 5.””

    Hope they´re right in what Canon offcially claims for the G1X II in the pdf! 🙂

  • joey jo jo

    canon really have no idea what there customers want, eos m is a great example

    • Sky

      Rebel series, or 70D are a great examples too. Both are world-wide bestsellers.

  • Anonymous

    I much prefer this ‘retro fad’ than the typical soft, rounded, bulbous blobby Canon look. I hope the retro stays for good.

    • Remedy

      This “rounded, bulbous, blobby” look came out of fking ergonomics you utter ignorant. Brick shaped retro nonsense has absolutely nothing to do with ergonomics. That’s why holding from the 60’s feels like holding a fking brick compared to say D4/1D X or even F4/F5/F6. So please spare me this utter bullshit.

      • Vellokat


      • Clint

        Why so angry, it’s just a discussion about cameras. Don’t be so daft, of course we all know the ‘boring, bulbous’ design is about ergonomics! The fact is, for those who need that there are a tonne of options….for those that want something different…why not a retro design with modern guts??

        I’ll say one thing, since I bought my XPro1 I basically havent touched my ‘ergonomically correct’ 5D2.

        • Adam J Piper Ba

          I find my own X-Pro 1 is more than comfortable enough for my hands. I don’t feel I need to be holding a ball of soft putty in my hands to get ‘ergonomical’. Well put.

      • Michiel953

        Apart from the “I need an anger management course but can’t afford it” tone I fully agree. I love my F2AS and compact F’s, but from a handling and ergonomics point of view my D800 is miles ahead.

  • Mr.Black

    Back in the old days of SLR film cameras Canon was average camera manufacturer for decades, as example like Samsung today. They started to became leaders in the 80s based on only one inovation: fast autofocus system introduced on film SLR bodies and successfully transfered later to their DSLR products. Seems like that they have a lot of problems to adopt their only invention to non-slr cameras. Maybe that’s the reason why they are so commited to DSLR product line.

    • Sky

      They are committed to DSLRs cause that’s where the money is. FYI: Canon is one of very few photographic companies that regularly end years with positive bank account balance ;).

      • Mr.Black

        True. But what I’m trying to say is that they could easily return back from leader position to average company status with this kind of ignorance. They have money and they should invest much more in mirrorless autofocus r&d.

        • A S

          Why? News agencies, successful pros, the very few successful artists, etc. (i.e. where the money is) prefer optical viewfinders, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. They are overwhelmingly focused on producing the best images possible regardless of styling.

          Look at the recent photo awards that were announced — 88% of the winners used SLRs with optical viewfinders.

          I’m not a hater here. I’m not saying CSC systems are worse cameras than DSLRs — they just aren’t the first choice for people who buy a lot of them.

  • TinusVerdino

    Canon let’s make things boring….

  • wylun

    … sigh… out of all the brands out there.. i had to pick the boring company

  • crb

    i dont care for canon too..albeit i like the G1x mark II as an option for a dslr…

  • llamacide

    Aw, anon- just give me a full frame digital Canonet and go back to being predictable

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