Canon cuts SLR camera sales forecast

Canon logo

Canon logoEveryone has long accepted that phone photography has cut into compact camera sales — but many hoped higher-end interchangeable lens models would continue to earn healthy revenues.

Now the leading camera maker Canon predicted its first drop in SLRs sales through December, down to 8 million from 8.2 million last year.

Prior to this, “the high-margin interchangeable-lens format favored by professional photographers and enthusiasts has seen growth every year up to 2012,” company officials said according to Reuters’ report. “Canon said it now sees sales of the digital interchangeable-lens format coming in 11 percent below its previous forecast of 9 million cameras, issued in July.”

Canon left its 2013 sales forecast for compact cameras unchanged at 14 million, against 18.3 million in 2012, Reuters adds. Worldwide camera shipments dropped 19 percent in value in August from the same time a year earlier, a ninth consecutive monthly decline, according to Japan’s Camera & Imaging Products Association.

Canon also cut its annual profit forecast. Net income will total about $2.5 billion for the year ending December, or down to 240 billion yen from its earlier forecast of 260. Canon also manufactures printers and medical equipment.

More information is here and here.

 

Canon claims consistent top SLR market share

Canon logo

Canon logoIt’s not news that Canon’s camera sales consecutively climb to the top — but the company promoted its longtime leadership this week, noting it’s now been a decade in which its interchangeable-lens cameras “have consistently maintained the No. 1 share worldwide in terms of volume.”

“In 2003, the dawn of Digital SLR cameras, Canon introduced its breakthrough EOS Digital Rebel, a compact and lightweight user-friendly camera that set the stage for growth in the Digital SLR market while, at the same time, captured the top share of the global market,” the company says. “Since that time, Canon, in the company’s ongoing pursuit of high image quality, has launched a number of models targeting advanced-amateur users that offer among the highest levels of performance for their class, including the EOS 5D series, which paved the way for Digital SLR video recording.”

Canon was founded in 1937 — and says it’s targeting a 13th year on top. What do you think: will it come out ahead again?

 

Canon takes you “Outside of Auto”

canon outside auto

 

canon outside auto

For those entry-level camera users who are thinking of getting and SLR — or even those who have one but haven’t advanced past the automatic modes — a new webpage from Canon’s Canadian division lets you play with a virtual SLR.

A camera’s Auto mode “produces amazing photos,” the company says, “but real creative control comes when you step outside of Auto. Learn the basic elements of Exposure and how simple adjustments create beautiful photo effects.”

With the onscreen virtual camera, you can adjust settings such as aperture and shutter speed and see what type of images would result, or how the settings “can change a photo. “You can really dictate the outcome of your photos and get the effects you want.”

The webpage is here.

 

Canon launches new flagship EOS Rebel, new PowerShot, and “the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR”

Smallesteossl1_3qlens
Smallesteossl1_3qlens

Canon’s “smallest and lightest DSLR”

We in the imaging industry are certainly no strangers to hyperbole, but Canon‘s new “world’s smallest and lightest DSLR” might indeed be just that.

The EOS Rebel SL1 camera body  is 4.6” (w) x 3.57” (h) x 2.74” (d), and weighs 14.36 oz. In comparison, the EOS Rebel SL1 is approximately 25 percent smaller and 28 percent lighter than the EOS Rebel T4i digital camera. In that small body, it packs a punch, with a 18.0-megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and high-performance DIGIC 5 Image Processor.

It carries a price tag of US$649.99 for the body alone or $799.99 bundled with the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens.

Also from Canon is a new flagship model in the EOS Rebel line, the EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR, featuring an 18 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and  DIGIC 5 Image Processor. Scheduled to be available in April, it will carry a retail price of $749.99 for the body alone; $899.99 bundled with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens kit, and $1,099.00 with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens kit.

Canon also announced the new 12.1-megapixel PowerShot SX280 HS Digital Camera with built-in Wi-Fi and a 20x Optical Zoom lens and DIGIC 6 Image Processor. It is expected to ship in April 2013 for an estimated retail price of $329.99.

Full-frame Canon sensor captures video in VERY low light

canon lowlight sensor 1

canon lowlight sensor 1

A new sensor captures video even when you can’t see anything — at “a level of brightness in which it is difficult for the naked eye to perceive objects.”

The constant developments and improvements in image capture are always encouraging and bode well for the photography business — especially when they may address long-time banes of everyone’s imaging such as getting the shot in almost-dark settings – or in this case, the getting the footage: Canon developed a high-sensitivity 35mm full-frame sensor, but it’s exclusively for video recording, at least in this first iteration.

Why video? Well, even HD video is about a 2 megapixel frame. By making a large sensor have so few pixels, Canon is able to concentrate on the light gathering capabilities of larger pixels/photosites.

“Delivering high-sensitivity, low-noise imaging performance, the new 35mm CMOS sensor enables the capture of Full HD video even in exceptionally low-light environments,” the company says. The sensor features pixels measuring 19 microns square in size, which is more than 7.5-times the surface area of the pixels on the CMOS sensor incorporated in its top-of-the-line EOS-1D X SLR, Canon adds.

The sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies that reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases, Canon says. “Thanks to these technologies, the sensor facilitates the shooting of clearly visible video images even in dimly lit environments with as little as 0.03 lux of illumination, or approximately the brightness of a crescent moon.”

canon lowlight sensor 2

Using a prototype camera employing the sensor, Canon captured a wide range of test video available here, such as footage recorded in a room illuminated only by the light from burning incense sticks (approximately 0.05–0.01 lux) and video of the Geminid meteor shower.

Canon says it is looking to such future applications for the new sensor as astronomical and natural observation, support for medical research, and use in surveillance and security equipment.

Canon gets Real — Mixed Reality, that is

canon MR

 

Canon VR

You’d think selling more cameras than anyone else would be enough — but Canon is expanding out into new realms — even unreal ones, or at least, virtually enhanced reality.

The MREAL’s head-mounted display and software “create the illusion that computer-generated visuals exist within the real world.” Canon says its new imaging solution for “Mixed Reality” simultaneously merges virtual objects with the real world, at full scale and in three dimensions.

canon MR

The HMD has video cameras located in front of each eye, which capture real-world video, which is then processed and sent to a computer. Using image processing and directional-sensor data, the computer-generated graphics and the real world are combined with high precision and are displayed on the small monitors located inside the head-mounted display, Canon says. The optical system enlarges the video displayed on the small monitors to “create high-impact, three-dimensional images.

“By combining the rich, visual information of the real world and the flexibility offered by computer-generated images, MR offers an imaging experience that is a step ahead of existing virtual reality technology, which currently only produces computer-generated environments,” the company adds. The MREAL system can benefit companies in such industries as manufacturing, automotive, construction, aerospace, medical, defense, and entertainment. “Canon has a very strong commitment to the augmented reality space, and by leveraging our strong heritage and leadership in optics, we intend to deliver solutions based upon Mixed Reality for use in industries including manufacturing, aerospace and entertainment.”

Canon notes the MREAL System:

• enables customers to develop digital prototypes, identify potential design concerns to reduce prototype iterations, incorporate required characteristics more quickly and get products to market sooner.

• allows customers to make the leap “from screen to seen. With this new system, you can experience, examine, modify, manipulate, discuss, analyze, or present designs with a level of realism that allows complicated ideas and plans to come to fruition quickly and efficiently.”

• brings users to a 3D world where they can interact with virtually any given scene, landscape, environment or object. Designers can closely examine how components manufactured at different locations are expected to come together, or see how light will reflect off the interior trim of a car. Users can view intricate details of the 3D image from almost any angle.

More information is here.

 

Canon even-smaller compact tells stories

canon N

 

How do you differentiate your compact cameras these days? With its PowerShot N, Canon is trying two tactics: a square small shape, and features to make the camera “the ultimate storytelling tool.”

With a “sleek and distinct design,” the PowerShot N measures 3.09 x 2.37 x 1.15 inches, making it ideal for quick on-the-go shooting, the company says.

The new Creative Shot mode enhances artistic expression and helps people’s creativity , Canon says: the imaging mode “intuitively analyzes an image and automatically creates a series of five artistic photos of the original with varying composition, lighting and color.”

The N has shutter and zoom rings on the 8x optical zoom lens, a 12-megapixel sensor, and a 2.8-inch tilting touchscreen. WiFi connects the camera to mobile devices to upload images. It will sell in in April  for $300.

Canon also updated its compact line with the PowerShot Elph 130 IS, A2600, and A1400.

More information is here.

Canon provides new Pixma printers

pixma mg6320

 

Canon says its three Pixma printers and CanoScan photo scanner “represent a significant update.”

The printers feature a new snap-edge design that improves the overall look and feel of the machine, Canon says. As all-in-ones with scanning abilities, the new units have a low-height body to reduce the space needed to open the scanner, the company adds.

The printers feature WiFi and support for mobile device connectivity. Each model can produce a borderless edge-to-edge 4×6-inch print in approximately 21 seconds at a maximum color resolution of 9600×2400 dpi.

The MG6320 features a 3.5-inch touchscreen, and is $200. The MG5420 is $150. The iP7220 is a single-function printer with WiFi. It’s $100.

The CanoScan 9000F Mark II can scan a 35mm film strip with a maximum optical resolution 9600 x 9600 dpi, or 4800 x 4800 dpi for other media. It’s $200.

 

Canon widens its lens line

canon ef35f2mm lens

“The lens is the window to creativity, providing the unique perspective and vantage that allows photographers to turn a scene into art,” Canon says as it introduces new glass.

The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens has macro shooting capabilities at the telephoto end. Aimed at full-frame SLR owners, the lens features a constant maximum aperture of f/4 throughout the entire zoom range with 15 lens elements in 12 groups. It’s $1,500.

The EF 35mm f/2 IS USM adds image stabilization to popular focal-length prime lens, the company says. The compact and lightweight wide-angle lens has faster and quieter AF than its predecessor. It’s $850.

Canon revenue, profits down

canon imaging report

Leading camera maker Canon reported poor financials  — or, as the Wall Street Journal put it, “dismal third-quarter results.”

The company also predicts lower camera sales in the near future. BusinessWeek notes the reduced camera sales come in light of growing phone usage, saying “Canon Reduces Forecasts as Smartphones Start Replacing Cameras.”

Overall, Canon lowered its sales forecast for compact models by 9.5 percent to 19 million units, and says SLR sales will go down 4.3 percent to 8.8 million. That will drop profit for the year by 6.4 percent to $2.9 billion.

Market researcher HIS predicts global camera sales will fall 4.3 percent this year to 115.2 million units. Japan’s Camera & Imaging Products Association reported industry wide camera shipments fell 25 percent in August from a year earlier.