Canon “Will Launch an Interesting Product Next Year”

Masaya Maeda, head of Canon’s camera division, spoke to Reuters and said that production is back to pre-earthquake levels and is planning an increase for its SLR market next year.

When asked about whether Canon would enter the mirrorless camera market to combat against Sony, Olympus and Panasonic, he said that Canon is “considering the technical aspects [and the company] will launch an interesting product next year.”

However, Maeda did not commit to the nature of the “interesting product” as a mirrorless camera. Instead, he cited that it would be “small.”

This response is consistent with Maeda’s prior comments about a Canon mirrorless camera.  In an interview almost exactly one year ago he said, “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.”

Another year gone and Sony, Olympus and Panasonic are still defining the market – with no input from Canon and Nikon.  Even Fuji is looking to get a piece of the mirrorless pie.

Perhaps we will finally see something from Canon next year at CES 2012.  Are any Canon shooters out there waiting for the mothership to deliver before setting foot in the mirrorless camera waters?

What do you want to see in Canon’s mirrorless (or maybe just “small”) camera?

[via Reuters]



  1. Jeremy Verinsky says

    From a consumer stand point, I’d like to see Canon or Nikon come out with a micro 4/3rds camera. That way we can pick and choose our lenses from the growing offerings.

    If they are going to come out with something brand specific, it should be APS-C sensor and be able to use our existing lenses. If I have to buy a whole new line of lenses because they’ve created some proprietary format, I’ll just stay with my G12 for walking around with.

    • Paulus says

      A camera without mirror/viewfinder in my opinion is useless. Looking at a LCD screen doesn’t work for me. Should be like going back to the days of using a black cloth over the frosted glass of a 4×6″ tripod camera of the 19th century

  2. Jerome Taylor says

    As a Nikon DSLR user I would say that compatibility with existing lenses is a priority. A mirrorless Nikon would only need to be ‘good’ if we could still use our ‘better’ lenses. Optical viewfinders may be great on full frame cameras but on an APS-C they are kind of like peering through a tunnel. I would enjoy a good LCD finder on my D90 as long as it focused as fast.

    It may be harder to hold a non-viewfinder camera still at arms length but it is much easier to hold it against a fixed object or another person for added stability.

  3. forkboy1965 says

    I still don’t understand the attraction or allure of the 4/3’s system. Are they a step up from point & shoots? Sure… as far as the lens is concerned, but the sensor isn’t a great leap forward.

    And personally I find them rather difficult to hold, especially with a larger lens attached. There is so little body they do not lend themselves to being held comfortably. At least not for me.

    Finally, there’s the issue of price. Pricing in the 4/3’s market is so close to that of entry level Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony dSLRs I don’t really see why one wouldn’t go for the dSLR instead. 4/3’s aren’t small enough to be pocketable so I don’t see how their smaller size is anything of a win.

    I’d be much happier to see Canon work on putting out a reasonably priced, prosumer, full-sized sensor dSLR instead of chasing after the 4/3’s market.

    • CHFels says

      I agree with forkboy 1965 too, about the mystery of why anyone would want a 4/3 camera. Just as expensive as a D3100 (or more in many cases), less comfortable but no more pocketable, and not quite as good in image quality. What for??

  4. Gordon says

    I’m going to toss out a really radical suggestion: How about a camera with an excellent sensor and metering capability, taking top-quality lenses, without all the gimmicks and electronic bells and whistles? Focus, aperture, shutter speed, ISO: Who needs more? Maybe then, we’d be able to concentrate on getting great photographs, instead of having to try and figure out how to adjust the settings before the light changes or the subject moves. Yes, I admit I grew up on film cameras; and no, I wouldn’t want to go back to film: It took a Hasselblad to get the level of IQ that my Canon 5D gets today; but even the 5D has too many “features”. Quality and ease of use trump gimmicks any day. And, above all, please: No “artistic modes”: That’s what photoshop is for; not the camera.

  5. Titus says

    I want a G13 with 15 MP, but with at least an ISO 800 very very good. Better focus… And a bettert lens in macro function.

    I still love my almost 15MP G10 although ISO 200 (even ISO 100 !!!!) sucks…

    She is a nice help in my bag (with the 5D II and my APS)

    3/4?? ???????????????? No thanks.

  6. Jacob c says

    Like to have something from nikon like the X100 fuji, only than with interchangeble lenses :)

  7. John says

    It won’t happen, but it would be interesting if one of the major camera makers (such as Canon) made a range of micro four thirds cameras. That would be really good for the consumer. Realisticaly I think Canon will produce their own unique proprietry solution. This would mean that adopters would either have to switch systems or buy into yet another one in order to get aboard. It would also mean that the lens system would take time to grow – measured in years. Since I have already invested in quite a few micro four thirds lenses it would take something very compelling, and a lottery win, to tempt me. The same applies to Nikon when they finally produce a small system camera system.
    In the short term if either Canon or Nikon produced a micro four third camera they would of course be driving sales of Panasonic & Olympus lenses for that system. In the longer term they should reap what they sow – produce the right lenses and there is a large market for them.

    • Radek says

      You are right. It won’t happen. Canon has shown several times that despite tons of money they already made, they are still only thinking of making more and more. They are not really interested in pleasing consumers.

  8. Grant says

    At least an APS system or full size sensor and mirror less body.
    I would love to seen Canon but definitely Nikon doing this with silent shutters with 920.000 3″ screen. Both brands did have these mechanical, Leica like camera’s.

    Don’t understand why they are so sluggish deciding/producing this product while we have all the interest and the lenses to use. It’s at least a great 2nd body to have besides the D series cameras.
    They should call these the M series, mirror less.

  9. says

    I was very taken with the Sony NEX cameras, and I’d like Canon to do something similar. Sony have, of course, made a line of new lenses specifically for the new cameras, but have also wisely brought an adapter to market so that existing Sony/Minolta mount lenses can be used. I think if Canon does that, I’ll bite. If they don’t, then I’ll probably get one of the Sony NEX-5s.

    I agree with Gordon — we really need a decent manual DSLR! For me, I’d like it to be full-frame.

  10. Paul says

    I’d like to see Canon and Nikon offer a small, 18 mp, mirrorless camera, without video and all the picture enhancing features. If I want video I’ll use my camcorder, and if I want to tweak my pictures I’ll use photoshop. Canon and Nikon should concentrate on taking the best still pictures possible, with the best lenses available, at reasonable prices.

  11. says

    The market is saturated with cameras trying to do it all. This year, I hope Canon leaves off their video and special effect settings. A consumer who buys a 4-6k dollar camera is trying to capture photographs; faster auto focus, improved ISO, silent shutter and the best sensor on a full frame unit is what we are waiting for Canon to provide.

  12. RBP917 says

    I would like a high quality camera for vacations, the issue with DSLR with me is size, have one, use it, like the results….but sometimes I want something compact that has decent images and a few manual settings. Current 4/3 are interesting, but I see them as too big for the compromises as compared to a compact DSLR.

  13. says

    Here is a radical idea. Why not have a Canon RF, that has a mount for FD lenses?
    Manual shutter, f/stops, focus. No auto anything. Having an adaptor for
    EOS lenses might interest the more recent shooters, that never used film cameras.

    The same comments can be applied to Nikon too.

  14. Radek says

    Something like G12 but with a decent size matrix. And let’s not get crazy about the size. I would rather that it is slightly bigger than competitors as long as picture quality is better. What is the use of a camera which takes lousy pictures even if it will be slimmer and shorter than let’s say Nex 5? After all it is unavoidable that lens will be sticking out of the camera, so since you can’t stuff it in your swim suit, just go ahead Canon and add decent grip, so users wont drop it 5 times a day.

  15. Roger M says

    I welcome a Canon µFT. I have a Canon 30D, but don’t use it much due to the size and weight. I also have a Ricoh GX100, and have had a lot of fun using it. Then I got the PEN E-P1 which really put a lot of fun back in my amateurish photography life. The feel of holding a camera like it used to be for me, 30 – 40 years back, filled me with joy. And still does.
    I added a 20 mm Lumix and pretty much used that combo only during a 1 week trip to Europe this last June. I had a blast using it.
    I always liked Canon, and would seriously look into another from them should they finally participate in the µFT market. A little late, but still…..
    And to those sticking to their 7D; Snap out of toying around, and get some REAL camera, like the Hasselblad H4D-60. (Yeah, I know, that’s a stupid statement, too).

  16. ChrisH says

    Why not go the other way and make a 4/3 “Powershot” with a quality linse – something like the SX30 zoom – 30 x optical?

    There’s no really great P.A.S. cameras on the market except maybe the G-series, who don’t have a deasent zoom.

    • says

      30x zoom on a 4/3 camera could be a fairly large lens. Not that it wouldn’t be doable (the 2x crop factor helps), but it wouldn’t be “compact.”

      • Roger M says

        I think the need for zoom is exaggerated. Depends on ones habit of course. But prime lenses are better in many ways, and leaving the zoom part to using the feet.
        Speaking for myself, a prime makes me think a lot more about composition and the subject. Much more so than when using a zoom. With a zoom, I tend to compose by zooming in/out.
        But of course, a “longer reach” often offered by zoom lens is useful for nature/wildlife photography. Btw, I had fun earlier this year attaching a 35 year old Soligor 400 mm on my E-P1, thus turning it into 800 mm. Not an every day setup, but it actually worked :-)