Canon “Super G Series” as an Answer to Mirrorless Competition?

Canon G12

There have been plenty of rumors lately about Canon’s response to the mirrorless camera systems that every other major manufacturer is cranking out like gangbusters.  The most consistent rumor of late seems to be that Canon is working on a sort of “Super G Series” camera(s).

I like it. Here’s why.

First, Fuji knocked it out of the park with the X100 – a fixed focal length camera with a large sensor.  Sure, there are rumors that they are going to release a mirrorless system akin to the X100 soon; however, the X100 crushed expectations and maintained a very compact form factor.

Second, unless the camera is truly a revolutionary take on the mirrorless systems already in the market, Canon is way late to the game.  Canon would probably continue to kill the market with a mirrorless system due to the strong branding and marketing, but at what expense?  Which leads me to #3…

Third, another interchangeable lens camera that’s not a Canon Rebel DSLR would run the risk of gutting what is probably the most recognizable “serious” camera on the market today.  Unless, of course, it were a new “Rebel” camera that worked with existing EF-S lenses.  Given Canon’s track record with contrast AF functionality on EF and EF-S lenses, I’d wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

Finally, mirrorless cameras (or compact system cameras) are still too bulky.  As much as I dig the size and portability of the Nikon V1 and Olympus E-PM1, they still aren’t as pocketable as cameras like the Canon G12.  And while a Super G Series camera would likely be bigger than the current iteration of the G12, one would hope that sticking with a fixed lens arrangement (perhaps that retracts into the body) would result in a more compact camera.

If Canon can get the sensor large enough to offer some real bokeh possibilities and keep the lens size reasonable enough to allow the camera to be practical as a point and shoot, the Super G Series could very well sneak up and take a big bite out of the mirrorless market.

 

Comments

  1. says

    While I think that the “super G” will in fact be a good balance of size and function, I disagree that Canon won’t bring an interchangable lens compact to market. It is a hugely growing segment that satisfies two very large demographics, one being the crossover P&S>system camera group and secondly the enthusiast market. While the lines defining both demographics are bleeding all over the place, I think by using the T3 platform and modifying it into exactly this bridge camera would do wonders for Canon. Call it a Rebel X, or whatever, remove the mirror, keep the EF-s mount, slim it down as much as possible and they would immediately have a mirrorless camera with the largest proprietary lens catalog in the market. I put my wishlist on my blog last week here: http://tysonrobichaudphotography.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/mirrorless-mania-or-just-another-brick-in-the-wall/

    No matter what individual people say they want, the fact that even the Nikon system is selling like hotcakes should be evidence enough that Canon will eventually have to address this new category. I’d love a super G camera, but I’d vastly prefer a Panny G3 sized mirrorless camera with an EF/EF-s mount that I could use with my Voigtlander 40mm f/2 pancake (as well as immediately have a body that acts not only as my compact carry around, but as a viable backup body).

  2. says

    Usually ahead of everyone Canon now is surprisingly slow on adopting new techs.
    I think Sony will kill it for Canon, if Canon doesn’t do something asap.
    I am a Canonist for about 20 years, but I will give up on Canon quicker that a ray of light if Sony continues to be on top of old farts Canon and Nikon.

    • says

      I agree. Canon was the game changer about 5-6 years ago but got too comfortable and dropped the ball. With the exception of the 5D and 7D (and really the 5D2 was out of date for photographers when it came out) Nikon took over in many respects with better low light sensors and even better AF on their cameras. Now Sony seems to have caught up in many respects and has jumped ahead… I have waited on Canon and have waited. If I did not own so many thousands of $$ in lenses I would have said goodbye to canon a couple of years ago. Only getting the 7D delayed my departure. But unless Canon can really catch up and become innovators again I will at least buy a Sony or Nikon camera soon to try it out…The good news is if I do quit using Canon I can still sell my lenses at near retail prices since their are so many Canon users out there…That may change soon though if Canon does not get off their rears…

  3. Tim L says

    Eric, I think you’re channeling the Canon philosophy of late which is to protect their existing product lines rather than to innovate. In the short term this may pay off but in the long term I think it will cost them their position of leadership in the industry. I say that as a Canon fan and the owner of tens of thousands of dollars worth of Canon lenses.

    As a landscape and wildlife shooter, I am already frustrated that Canon refuses to offer a 5D-sized full frame camera with features like high end auto focus (to name one thing). It’s not a technical huddle; it’s a marketing decision. Now Sony comes out with the NEX-7, relatively tiny in comparison yet a tour de force of features combined with solid image quality. If I am right, Sony will not be able to build them fast enough. By the time NEX-7’s successor debuts, assuming the lens lineup fills out a little, I may very well be dumping my entire collection of Canon gear on eBay and going Sony.

    • says

      AGREE!!! Canon can you hear us??? Earth to Canon…Earth to Canon…Your fan base is eroding. Times Up… Is there anybody out there???

  4. JERRY SCHNEIR says

    I just dumped my Nikon d90 & assorted lenses plus 3 Panasonics 4/3 cameras for the Sony NEX 5N. I’ve been traveling in India for 2 weeks, shot well over 1500 images and am blown away by the results? I shot a dance group last night at ISO 6400, something I could not do on my old equipment. I do not think the NEX7 will do as well at higher ISO settings. Canon is just too tied to old technology to compete in the mirrorless arena.

    Jerry

    • JERRY SCHNEIR says

      Whoops, I just checked and those shots were done at ISO 3200, not 6400. Just the same, I couldn’t have got those good results with any of those other cameras. Last time I was in India I shot the D90 and couldn’t get decent results above 1600

    • Drue Mc Laughlin says

      I went for the A77 but had and cherished the R1 for some years..the nex 7 would be the winner which I would buy as an overseas travel camera..Sony has blitzed the field here and if they are smart will bring more lenses for the new mount into production..The EVF on the nex 7 would be brilliant and although the form factor isn’t tiny..the travelling weight factor and extreme picture quality put the Sony offer streets ahead…the nikon mirrorless will sell to their fans no doubt and canon are dragging their feet!

  5. says

    I dream of a G13: slim and strong as ever; 14 or 15 MP; faster focus in dim light; excellent – I say “excellent”- ISO 800 at least; and better -much better- lag times; but the dream climax is that my G13 is a interchangeable lens. In the real world, recently I was seduced by sirens of Sony and got the C3. The first days it was funny left the relatively heavy 5DII and went out with the Sony and the G10. Doubtless, Sony swept Canon about noise; but… I don´t connect me with the C3. Maybe some little detail like the balance in the hand makes me a little unhappy; and I miss the G10 LCD. Please, give me the G of my dreams. I understand that is not easy to find all the technical answers: a large sensor with the same body and discret weihgt in the lenses. Maybe, the idea of the first post is the most interesting: a mirrorless 600D…

    • says

      I think that a revamped, larger sensor G13 could and would be a great competitor to the X100 and/or x10 (as well as the LX5’s and the like) if designed properly with the right skill set.

      While the X100 smashed expectations though, it still exists in a very minute niche (albeit a cool niche) compared to system cameras, P&S’s or even high performance compacts.

      Canon will absolutely have to address this mirrorless interchangeable lens compact segment to stay competitive inside this crossover crowd, and relevant to the enthusiast crowd, period. I mentioned it in more detail in the linked post above, but by offering an EF-s mount, APS-C mirrorless body (which in my opinion is the only way to revolutionize their entry being so late to the party) they immediately not only compete, but 1) potentially retain existing Canon shooters already invested in the EOS system looking for a compact MILC system, 2) establish a firm foothold in a market their not even in yet by way of their established market presence and existing EF/EF-s lens line up, and 3) potentially attract users of other systems to switch, most of whom (those who would look to switch anyway) would be coming from either Sony or the Micro 4/3 camp which have stolen a very large piece of Canikon’s pie in the last two years.

      It isn’t rocket science Canon, c’mon.

      • Tim L says

        I agree with you and Eric that a Super G (love that name) would be a great idea and a very popular camera. What I disagree with is the idea of stopping there.

        As for the idea of a mirrorless ILC that takes EF-S lenses…this might appeal to folks who don’t wish to replace their EF-S lens collection (though I wonder how many folks have large EF-S lens collections) but I would personally consider this approach underwhelming. What appeals to me about the NEX system is the combination of size and quality. I have no doubt a mirrorless Rebel would provide the quality but I can’t see it providing a real size advantage.

        • says

          Tim, I think that, in theory anyway, a mirror less rebel could be comparable in size to a Nex7 body, albeit a touch deeper in dimension. The Nex system isnt all that compact though when you look at the lenses. By being EF-s it would be compatible with all EF mount optics making tons of existing lenses available all while retaining all automated functioning, IS, etc. I’d think that to truly make waves, they would have to develop at least one fast pancake prime, but that shouldn’t be too tough.

          While I think this would be the best route for the user (we already have plenty of “small” options Pentax, Nikon, etc) my guess is that canon would opt to build a new mount as per all the others forcing users to reinvest in an entirely new system because it made sense on paper. Ultimately, if this were the case, I think that they’d be too late. By offering an existing mount with a new spin (be that compact, retro, combo of the two) it’s the only way that I can see them really making a case.

  6. dick ranez says

    Woe be me a legacy base. To make a mirrorless offering price competitive you need to stay
    below $1K. To do that would severely impact three current dslr offerings and the high end
    of the point and shoot market. To make a body significantly smaller than the current T3 to
    be able to use EOS lenses is a challenge, and why bother? To build a new lens line for a cigarette pack size or smaller body just eats into current lens sales. Maybe buy Olympus?
    Maybe introduce a medium format professional line to optimize profits? Maybe try an
    X100 clone and add a collapsable zoom lens? How about expanding the video line? Maybe
    just work the business plan and hope for the best.

  7. Stephen Paine says

    I just had a salesman, talk me out of t rading in my Canon G6 for a G12. He said wait foir the “Super G”. Whatta guy. He willcallme when thr Supe’ comes in, but he also said compare the G12 with the Fuji (Can’t remember the Model)

  8. Mike Slough says

    I was going to update my Rebel T1 and get more lenses (another Canon model) but not now. I do a lot of video and time lapse and none of the current lot of Canon cameras are suited to this ( poor auto focus on video and clunking mirror on time lapse, only rated at 100,000 cycles when one time lapse may be 5000 photos). Cameras like Sony NEX 5N overcome these problems, plus add a few more desirable features. Unless Canon come up quick with something competitive, they have lost me. SLR digital cameras look like going the way of tape Walkmans and VHS video, the clunking mirror and its limitations has to go.

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