Wall Street Journal: Mirrorless a New Focus for Camera Makers, Canon Says Capable of Releasing Mirrorless Now

You’re about to learn that mirrorless cameras sell mainly to women. A report by the Wall Street Journal’s Asia technology editor Daisuke Wakabayashi claims that 70% of the buyers of Panasonic’s mirrorless cameras are female, making the mirrorless models booming in an otherwise stagnant camera market hurt by the growing competition from smartphones. And that Canon’s ready for the mirrorless fray.

While most of the potential mirrorless players have shown their hand, Canon is an unknown factor. But they’re not sleeping, we’re told:

Canon remains the only major camera manufacturer absent from the mirrorless segment. Many industry watchers expect Canon to release a mirrorless model is year.

Canon declined to comment on product plans but said the company has the technological capability of releasing a mirrorless camera now. A spokesman said Canon has been testing a variety of ways to make cameras smaller and that mirrorless technology is an option.

Here’s the story:

A NEW FOCUS FOR CAMERA MAKERS

TOKYO (Wall Street Journal) — When shopping for a higher-end digital camera, photo enthusiasts typically choose between Canon or Nikon.

But a cadre of electronics companies are posing a threat to that dominance by refashioning bulky professional cameras into sleeker, more affordable models.

Camera makers such as Panasonic, Sony and Olympus have struggled to eke out profits from the highly competitive point-and-shoot segment, which, because the cameras are relatively easy to manufacture, has low barriers to entry.

Nikon’s Nikon 1 J1 mirrorless single-lens reflex digital camera. Manufacturers are targeting women with nontraditional camera colors such as “fiery pink” and “sensual brown.”

To reverse those fortunes, they are waging war in the higher-end market against Nikon and Canon which sell about 75% of the world’s single-lens-reflex cameras, the model of choice for professional and serious amateur photographers.

The challengers are hoping to gain market share from an emerging type of camera that packs high-end features into a compact design. Like SLRs, these cameras come with large sensors and interchangeable lenses that produce high-quality images. But they don’t have the conventional mirror-based viewfinders that reflect the image to the photographer’s eye. Instead, the image is digitized, allowing for a more compact body.

These mirrorless models range in price from about $300 to $1,700, compared with digital SLRs that vary from about $500 to several thousand dollars for professional ones, before costly lenses are added.

In an otherwise stagnant camera market hurt by the growing competition from smartphones, the mirrorless models are booming (…)

Canon remains the only major camera manufacturer absent from the segment. Many industry watchers expect Canon to release a mirrorless model this year.

Canon spokesman Hirotomo Fujimori declined to comment on product plans but said the company has the technological capability of releasing a mirrorless camera now. He said Canon has been testing a variety of ways to make cameras smaller and that mirrorless technology is an option.

(Read More)

(Featured image © David Riesenberg)


  • PWL

    “Mirrorless cameras sell mainly to women”?

    Well, B.F.D. I’m still diggin’ my Olympus EM-5. Hey, I’m a dude who’s not afraid to let his inner chick out…