In case you’ve been waiting for a Canon incarnation of the Nikon Df or something along the lines of Fujifilm’s X series, don’t hold your breath. World’s market leader in cameras has no intention whatsoever of jumping on the bandwagon of the retro hype. While other camera makers such as aforementioned Nikon and Fujifilm as well as Olympus and change-resistant Leica deliver thoughtful cameras with the aim of putting the photographer back in charge by means of beautifully crafted cameras and controls, Canon has no sympathy for the trend.
In a nice PDF brochure dedicated to the “Story of the PowerShot G1 X Mark II Development,” Canon goes to great lengths rationalizing why the G1 X Mark II is what it is. Albeit design-wise a bit very conventional and hardly captivating, it promises to be a terrific, highly functional compact camera that just works.
Once you read the PDF you’ll know that many many prototypes have been made to “reflect the minute detail of understanding ergonomics (…) The best of each prototype was selected and never before have so many prototypes been created during development, to give the balance and operational handling of a camera designed to allow the master craftsman photographer to put all their effort into shooting.”
But what really caught my attention was the rather apologetic excuse aimed at those who long for a bit more demanding camera designs from the house of Canon. You may disagree, but while producing highly efficient and capable photographic tools, Canon’s camera designers seem like prude if not boring folks. For good reasons, as it’s clearly stated on page 14 of the PDF:
Currently there is a trend towards designing premium compact cameras like classic cameras. However, Canon has kept its distance from this trend. As a result, the design is not pretentious, and it also does not look like a so-called compact camera, and achieves a great balance between traditional and new.
There you go, lovers of classic cameras. We’re pretentious pretenders. As a diehard Canonite you’ll say this statement only refers to the G1 X Mark II. I understand it as a more broader policy manifesto. Retro’s just a fad. We, Canon, deliver the real thing.
Or do they in fact fear to miss out on a trend?!