Canon to Shrink DSLRs, Compete in Mirrorless Market

Canon’s head of the Image Communication Products division, Masaya Maeda, recently confirmed in an interview with Reuters that it is aiming to compete directly with Sony, Panasonic and Olympus in the mirrorless camera market.

When pushed on the issue, Canon would not confirm or deny that it was planning on a mirrorless interchangeable lens design.  Instead, Maeda said that the key to competition in this market was size, regardless of whether a mirror is in place.

“It’s not a question of whether or not you have a mirror. There is a consumer need for good-quality cameras to be made smaller. We will meet this need.”  – Masaya Maeda

I’ll agree with that statement to an extent.  I would prefer a mirror in a camera like the Olympus E-PL1 to have an optical viewfinder option when I want.

However, I believe that effective live view is very important to the success of these smaller cameras.  So, regardless of what it decides to do with the mirror, I think Canon needs to bring its A-game to the live view and video autofocus table (patent applications suggest that it’s working on just that) – else, Sony and Panasonic are going to have a solid leg up on Canon’s smaller camera – mirror or not.

Could we see this new, smaller design at Photokina 2010?

Canon DSLRs like the Rebels are already pretty small.  How much smaller can Canon go with a DSLR design?  Seems to me that Pentax is pushing the boundaries of compactness in a DSLR with the K-x.  What do you think?

[Reuters via PetaPixel]

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Comments

  1. says

    For the last five years market has been asking for a system representing to digital what Leica was to film in the Thirties. Leica seems to be definitely missing the target under both design and marketing points of view, a target which have (very closely) been hit by Panasonic and Sony instead.
    What I expect from Canon, whose outstanding G10 is currently my every day camera, is a small and sturdy body with a built-in hi-def electronic viewfinder, full live view and Leica-style menus. Imagine a Leica CL (the best Leica of all times, IMHO) equipped with a gapless, backlit, 4/3-ish CMOS and a small lens bayonet. As for glasses, Canon has all the know-how and skill to do the task.
    On the other hand, if this new camera will turn out to be an Olympus compact-DSLR copy, I will not be interested at all. Olympus already does a perfect job in that field.

  2. says

    I use EOS 5D Mk II for “serious” projects but time to time I would like to go light. I was considering G 10 for the occasions when carrying DSLR and 5 lenses is just way too much until I learn how tiny the matrix is. So, what I would expect from Canon is G 10 with a matrix not smaller then in 4/3 system. I understand that packing such matrix in G 10 might be difficult but I don’t think it would be a big problem if camera grows 1 or 2 cm in each dimension. It will be still a pocket camera with lens sufficient for at least 80% of occasions. Compact, light and still able to get professional quality pictures. I think such camera would beat the competition from Canon, Olympus or Panasonic. Canon people, do you read this?