Canon explains why they still don’t have a professional mirrorless camera

In an interview with dpreview, Canon's executives Mr. Go Tokura explains why Canon still doesn't have a professional mirrorless camera:

Q: Dual Pixel AF is a technology which has huge potential for mirrorless cameras. A lot of our readers are still very hopeful for future Canon enthusiast mirrorless models. Is there anything that you would like to say to them?

A: Obviously I can’t be particularly concrete when talking about our future product planning, but this is something that we are looking at. Something that is under consideration. There are some features, such as AF, which have not yet caught up with DSLRs, so given the current state of affairs it would be a little unrealistic to say that we will suddenly start offering a professional mirrorless camera. There’s still a performance gap that needs to be addressed.

Q: If we assume that at some point in the future Canon will create an enthusiast or professional mirrorless camera, what are your benchmarks?

A: This is just my personal opinion. In my view there are two key features that have to be addressed. The first is autofocus, particularly tracking of moving subjects. The other is the viewfinder. The electronic viewfinder would have to offer a certain standard. If those two functions were to match the performance of EOS DSLR camera performance, we might make the switch.

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  • Ronald Noerachmad

    just make it one, show to the wrold that canon capable for it… Please don’t make AF n the viewfinder as a reason coz I know mirrorless will be succes in the next year n Canon don’t wanna be canibalized by their own product in the DSLR lines… N this’s what stopped Nikon too

    • Spy Black

      Actually the EVF comment has validity. I have yet to see an EVF I’m comfortable with, even tho EVFs many wonderful advantages. They just all look like shìt to me. They need more resolution and higher refresh rates I think. They also need to be brighter in daylight conditions. Every time I put an EVF camera to me eye in bright sunlight conditions, I need time to readjust to it’s dimmer output. So yes, there needs to be more advancements in EVF technology.

      Overall I do agree that the rep is slinging shìt to buy time to head off to the bar…

      • Out of interest, what EVFs have you tried?

        I ask because from Nikon FF (D700) I got into m43 via the Olympus OM-D E-M5. The EVF was bit coarse and laggy, but mine is a ‘deliberative’ style of photography and I didn’t find that a disadvantage. I also didn’t find it dim in daylight conditions. I always use them in the mode that reflects the final exposure and I practice ETTR – within +/-3EV the EVF is as dim or as bright as you want.

        The EVF in the E-M1 is a leap forward in terms of resolution and for a compositional device it’s fine. The 4 million dot EVF used in one of the current Leicas will be better again.

        As for refresh rates, perhaps my shooting style / choice of subject matter makes this irrelevant for me, but I haven’t found this to be a limitation either.

        • Cinekpol

          I tried pretty much every latest EVF and and it still sucks comparing to FF DSLR OVF. Still though I spent over 2 years shooting only with EVF (Sony), so it’s not like it’s completely unusable. But after spending some time with EVF, no matter which one, I’m always glad to go back to OVF.

          • It’s about what suits the individual’s needs. I’ve no desire to go back to OVF.

          • Cinekpol

            Of course, in the end what matters is what you like to use. Some people prefer smartphones, some people prefer running on LCDs, some prefer EVFs and some prefer OVFs. I’m just pointing out that it’s not just a matter of “have you tried”, even if in many cases people do have a bad experience from an old EVFs that were just awful, but Spy Black is one of most experienced and knowledgable posters around here, so I very much doubt if the last EVF he tried was from years and years ago.

      • 24×36

        Agreed on EVFs. As to the other observation, the rep is actually telling you, in a very measured fashion, that Canon is NOT going to make a “professional MILC.” the key phrase being “IF those two functions (AF and VF) were to match the performance of EOS DSLR camera performance, we MIGHT make the switch.”

        Those two functions WON’T match DSLR performance, and they’re not going to switch to MILCs.

    • Musouka

      I have only tried Sony’s EVFs under bright camera store lightning and they look pretty bad… especially the RX100 series.

  • Paco Ignacio

    Way to go to explain nothing with a lot of words.

  • Harold

    Just slap the 80D sensor in the Olympus E-M5 II body and you’re set. What’s so hard about that?!

  • blp

    i thought canon said that they wanted to be 2nd for mirrorless this year.

    • nwcs

      The M is selling pretty well comparatively speaking. And the Canon brand name is likely to get more buyers than Fuji, Olympus, or Panasonic. Just like how the Nikon 1 outsold Fuji, Olympus, and Panasonic for a good 1-2 years.

      • MdB

        *in Japan

  • SH*T666

    They also lack any decent amateur mirrorless camera. How can they dare to make a good professional camera if the best they can create is the ‘M’ series?

  • stpr

    Can someone explain to me in simple words what is the huge difference in autofocus between DSLR and mirrorless and where it comes from?

    • SH*T666

      DSLRs’ autofocus is vastly superior… in marketing.

      • Jeffry De Meyer

        And reality, well to be honest I only used Sony junk, it might be that Panasonic Olympus and Fuji have better af ability than th a6000 and the a7 which are horrible in anything but the brightest most contrast filled situations.

      • nwcs

        Not at all. Vastly superior for detecting motion and tracking.

    • mma173

      Generally, focus Tracking is bad on the mirrorless cameras as they are mostly relying on contrast detection and/or the newish on sensor phase detection.

    • Cinekpol

      It’s mostly about tracking and low-light performance (worst: combination of both). Full-scale PDAF sensors are just so much better in that. It’s mostly thanks to simple physics (DSLR AF sensor collects more light than an individual pixels of the on-sensor PDAF), but a lot of that gap is being closed down as sensors increase in sensitivity and cameras again greater computing power (continuous AF in latest mirrorless isn’t shit any more).

      Contrast detection alone just doesn’t cut it, you have to have some sort of phase detection. Contrast detection basically forces you to go back and forth to find the sharpest image or make a guess, with PDAF you *know* right away just how far lenses need to be moved to obtain sharp image. That’s an enormous advantage.

    • nwcs
  • Ken

    doesnt need an explanation. nobody gives a s***

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