Masaya Maeda san, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Imaging Division, Canon Inc., recently made his first visit to India. Canon India used this opportunity to launch a variety of new products in the Indian market.
Of particular importance was the launch of products in the cinematographic sector for which Canon launched 3 cine cameras and 11 lenses. Also launched was the EOS 650D which has been positioned as a flagship camera in the entry-level D-SLR range of Canon. Using Maeda san’s arrival in India as a pivot, Canon held a press conference during which Maeda san along with his colleagues answered a range of questions. Accompanying Maeda san on the dais were Kensaku Konishi san, former Managing Director, Canon India, and currently the President and CEO, Canon Singapore, Dr. Alok Bhardwaj, Senior Vice President and Seiji Hamanishi san, Asst. Director, Imaging Communications Products Division, Canon India. Reproduced below are some of the questions that were answered by the Canon team:
The EOS 650D’s on sensor AF system delivers faster focussing when using the LCD screen in Live View mode. Does this mean that Canon will sooner or later abandon the optical viewfinder?
Canon is still committed to the optical viewfinder. At the same time, it is further developing the capabilities of the electronic viewfinder. The autofocus sensor on the main sensor enables last minute focussing and therefore makes focussing much faster. Also for the first time, Canon will be using both Face-Detection and Contrast-Detection autofocus for better focussing.
Companies like Fujifilm and Olympus are moving out of low-end compacts. What is Canon’s strategy?
Canon is committed to the lower-end, as long as it can sustain the pricing.
When is Canon’s ILCC being launched?
No comments. However, Canon is moving towards making its D-SLRs smaller and lighter. (We, however, understand that Canon’s ILCC will be launched definitely before Photokina in September 2012).
In recent times, Canon’s pricing of D-SLRs and lenses has followed a premium pattern. For instance, the EOS 5D MarkIII is priced at a considerable premium to its close competitor. Is there any reason for this?
Canon’s pricing is determined not by the prices of the competitors alone. Canon also takes into account the costs of developing and R&D. There is a lot of technology built into the higher-end D-SLRs and the price reflects this.
Canon recently announced plans for a plant in Brazil. Are there any similar plans for India?
You must understand that the plant for Brazil was necessary because of the geographical distance from Japan. Currently, Canon has no plans for setting up a plant in India.
Are Smartphones beginning to affect the camera market?
Yes. But only in some segments. Canon is steadily building Wi-Fi into its camera to allow social networking.
What does Canon think of the megapixel race where competitors have launched 40 megapixel D-SLRs?
Canon believes that apart from the pixels there are other important factors like lens quality, autofocus performance and the quality of software which are very important. Megapixels alone cannot deliver optimum picture quality.
Why are lenses made by independent camera makers so much cheaper than Canon lenses?
It must be remembered that Canon lenses are developed keeping in mind the technology embedded into Canon D-SLR bodies. The quality of raw materials used and the technology put into the lens is clearly superior and that explains the higher pricing.
H. S. Billimoria