Canon has disclosed its business strategic intentions for the years 2022 and beyond, and there is good news for lovers of the camera manufacturer. With the EOS R system cameras and lenses, Canon hopes to “achieve a global No. 1 market share, even in mirrorless cameras,” and will “further strengthen the array of EOS R system cameras and lenses.”
Considering the momentum Canon has built up with the debut of the EOS R5 and EOS R6 bodies, which were quickly followed by the EOS R3 and video-centric EOS R5 C, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise – and isn’t likely to be too difficult to do either. And there is already a slew of new RF lenses, like the monster RF 1200mm f/8L IS USM, available for purchase.
There has been a lot of speculation regarding a possible EOS R flagship camera, which has been nicknamed the EOS R1, arriving later this year, as well as a possible EOS R7, which is said to be an APS-C format camera with an RF attachment. There has even been speculation that the EOS RP would be replaced by an updated (and presumably equally inexpensive) variant in the future.
While Canon’s business plan does not specify a specific timeline for the development of new bodies, the company appears to be highly interested in extending its RF lens lineup “at the same speed.” To put it into concrete terms, consider the following: Following the addition of eight new RF lenses to Canon’s lineup in 2021, we may expect another eight this year (assuming the camera manufacturer manages to maintain the “same pace”), for a total of 32 new RF lenses in four years.
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Future of Canon EOS Cameras
Canon’s primary focus is on the EOS R system, although it is not the only one. Additionally, there’s the Cinema line of bodies and lenses, which is also being expanded at a regular rate, in addition to all of the idea cameras that Canon is constantly experimenting with (remember the PowerShot Zoom and PowerShot Pick?)
Canon announced a new virtual reality video system dubbed Kokomo at CES 2022, as an illustration of how technology is evolving. It is claimed by the company that Kokomo is an “exciting new method of communicating” since it allows users to make video chats in a three-dimensional environment. This is also aimed at consumers, and it is possible that Canon may get some new followers as a result of this.
Although the concepts are intriguing, it appears that Canon’s enthusiast/prosumer cameras and lenses are taking the show, at least according to the most recent figures coming out of the Japanese market.
Even during the Covid-19 outbreak, Canon saw steady growth as a consequence of its decision to focus on the mirrorless market. The January 2022 BCN Awards (which commemorate the sales successes of camera manufacturers each year) revealed that Canon might have sold more DSLRs in 2021 than the previous year, which may seem paradoxical but demonstrates that DSLRs are still a viable option for many photographers (which might be good news for Pentax).
According to Canon’s 2021 financial report, its interchangeable lens camera sales decreased by only 1 percent last year when compared to the previous year. The company currently holds more than half (52 percent) of the global interchangeable lens camera market, which is a remarkable achievement given that the world of technology has been plagued by part shortages and other knock-on effects of the pandemic.
As a result, Canon is certainly doing something right. Despite its overheating concerns, the EOS R5 captured the public’s attention, while the EOS R6 provided an opportunity for the typical customer to acquire a stunning full-frame mirrorless camera that could compete with the R5. And, while a high-resolution body to compete with the Sony A7R IV is intriguing, I’m actually hoping for something that lies between the EOS R5 and R6 – something with a sensor resolution of perhaps 32MP but with the same focusing capability as the EOS R5 and R6.
In the mirrorless market, according to the same BCN Awards survey stated above, Canon is still a step or two behind Sony, but not by much (28.2 percent versus 32 percent respectively). Sony, on the other hand, has a large selection of native lenses for their full-frame cameras. Canon’s intentions to grow its RF line “at the same rate” as its primary mirrorless competitor will enable the company to fight even more aggressively with the latter.
As a result, Canon’s objective of dominating the market of mirrorless cameras may be within reach provided the company can maintain its pace and meet the growing demand.