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Gear Rumors

Canon Profits Free Fall, Canon FF Mirrorless, and Fuji X-Pro 2 Rumors {Daily Roundup}

By Anthony Thurston on October 28th 2015

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

Canon Profits Drop 21%

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Canon is feeling the hurt after it was released that the company’s profits dropped 21% this quarter. A new report from Reuters points the finger at mirrorless sales, and more specifically, at Canon’s currently failing mirrorless strategy.

“The consumer shift to smartphones for casual photo taking has pummelled demand for compact cameras, while the growing popularity of lighter mirrorless cameras has taken away market share from higher margin single-lens reflex cameras.”

It has been said that Canon will really start to focus on the mirrorless market in 2016 (read the next section for more on that), but one has to wonder if we are to the point where the other camera manufacturers who have focused on mirrorless have built a lead on Canon that can’t be won back easily.

Personally, I don’t feel that Canon is out of the game yet. But they are definitely behind; their EOS M3, not a bad camera in its own right, still lags in key areas behind the competition – not to mention the serious lack of quality lens choices. If Canon is going to turn this around, it will take a pretty big change in their current mirrorless strategy. They have to be willing to stop protecting their higher dollar products by leaving out features being included by other companies.

2016 will be an interesting year for Canon, and I for one, am pretty excited to see what they come up with.

Canon Full Frame Mirrorless In The Works?

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Funny how these reports came out so close together, but going right along with the section above, the latest Canon rumors point to a possible full frame Canon mirrorless offering in the next 12-18 months.

The word on the street is that Canon will most likely introduce a high-end APS-C mirrorless offering first, possibly in early-mid 2016. This makes sense; the company’s EF-M line is already APS-C based and introducing a higher end, more competitive camera, for that system (with a few more quality lenses) is the easiest way to get back into the mirrorless game.

The rumor goes on to say, though, that a full frame camera is also in the works, and that it will most likely retain the EF-M mount (or a version of it), similarly to how Sony’s E and FE mounts are identical in every way except the image circle. There is also the possibility that Canon builds a high-end mirrorless camera with a full-frame sensor and a built-in EF mount. This is less likely in my opinion, given the odd design such a camera would need to have – but it would be an easy way to convert Canon SLR shooters to Canon mirrorless shooters.

Canon is expected to become much more aggressive on the mirrorless front here over the next 12-18 months, so keep your eyes peeled for the next generation of Canon mirrorless cameras. Let’s hope they get it right this time.

Fuji X-Pro 2 (New Sensor!!!) Coming Mid-January 2016!?

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It’s almost here! It’s almost here!!!! It sounds like the X-Pro 2, and the next generation of Fuji X-Trans sensors will be coming in mid-January. This comes after some other reports saying that the camera would come in early January at CES.

But now, reports are saying that the camera will be announced shortly after CES, on or around the 16th of January. We also have some rumored specs, take a look…

Fuji X-Pro 2 Rumored Specs

  • APS-C sensor)
  • 1/8000 of a second mechanical shutter speed
  • weather sealed
  • 4K video
  • Faster Processor EXR III

I have been wanting to get back into the Fuji system for several month now (in addition to my a7R II) but have been holding off to see what these next generation sensors look like and how they perform compared to the current generation sensors.

I prefer the X-T1 style body, so I will probably wait until they upgrade that line with the new sensor, but I am still excited to see what Fuji will come up with for their next generation cameras.

Canon Looking at Selling Their Small Sensor Fab Business?

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So now that we know that Toshiba has sold, or is in the process of selling, their sensor business to Sony, this news is even more interesting. Apparently, Canon is currently weighing the possibility of selling their ‘small sensor’ (aka anything smaller than APS-C) fab.

There is currently no word on possible buyers, but the obvious guess here would be Sony. But Samsung would also be another possible suitor for Canon’s small sensor business. This news coming a few days after a similar rumor saying Canon could sell their sensor business altogether, which could also be another possibility.

It seems clear that Canon is weighing their options as far as their sensor business is concerned. Sony has clearly been the best in the business recently, but that could change, so Canon has to seriously weigh their options if they want to think about getting out of the sensor business.

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Scott Trombley

    If Sony was to get both of these, how much of the market for Sensor’s would Sony then have a control over?

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    • Dave Haynie

      Toshiba’s pretty small. Sony has reportedly reached a deal to buy their sensor business for $165 million — not that much for a chip operation. They had 1.6% of the global market.

      Based on 2014 numbers, Sony owned 40% of the overall global market, followed by Omnivision at 16% and Samsung at 15%, then Canon at 9%, and lots of smaller companies, including startups, making a fairly long tail. Sony expects their sensor business to grow by about 7% over 2015.

      Lots of these are tiny sensors in smartphones, sensors for industrial imaging, etc.. not just the big camera sensors we all use. Sony’s share of real camera sensors is more like 50% already — I think Omnivision is pretty much only making sensors for smartphones. No easy way to split off Canon’s big and small sensor business here, but it’s reasonable to guess that if Sony bought Canon’s small sensor business, Toshiba’s (which is already happening), and grew, they could easily be 50% of the overall market by 2016, maybe 60-65% of the total camera market.

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    • Dave Haynie

      It’s interesting to note just how fast Sony has been growing, too. At the start of 2014, they had about 21% of the sensor market, while Toshiba had 6%. The market has been growing fast, but Sony’s getting most of the new business.

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  2. Dave Haynie

    Boy, this was deja vu all over again! I mean, seriously, just how many years can Canon claim that smartphones are eating up their cheap P&S sales. Particularly after, like most real camera companies, they’ve long ago got out of the low end P&S market, and they’ve actually discovered new markets for high-end P&S cameras.

    Then I noticed that this is a year-old report. Thus the deja vu. I feel better now.

    On the other hand, I do agree with much of the discussion: Canon does need to get their act together, and P&S is not likely their main problem. I’m not saying they absolutely need to make Olympus or Fujifilm or Sony competitive mirrorless, or any other specific thing. But what they really do need to do is stop worrying so much about competing with themselves, and do every new model “balls to the wall”. They will not survive artificially crippling the $2,000 model in order to maybe sell more $5,000 or $10,000 models.. particularly if the competition offers something somewhat similar at $1,500. Strategically, if you’re buying ANY Canon, you’re probably not buying something else. In the last year-and-a-half, I’ve been spending on Olympus, and I’ve sold off some Canon gear, largely because Olympus got really interesting, while Canon did nothing for me. And I see no evidence of Canon doing more for me in the next couple of years.

    Ok, just me, no biggie. But it’s not just that. We’re all comparing notes, learning from one another, helping out beginners with new cameras, all kinds of stuff. Bad talk tarnishes an very important image. Lower sales cripples one’s ability to change course later on.

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  3. Paul Nguyen

    Ultimately, Canon’s falling revenue isn’t due to mirrorless, it’s simply due to the fact that they haven’t really released a new camera since the 5D Mark III. Sure, they have the 5DS/5DSR, but they’re really just 50MP sensors shoehorned into the exact same thing as a 5D Mark III.

    Mirrorless is great, I use and won several mirrorless cameras as well as an entire Nikon DSLR system, but ultimately, the problem with Canon is that compared to Nikon, all of their camera bodies are simply just lacking.

    The 5DSR might have more megapixels than the D810, but the D810 shoots much faster, is much smarter, has a better metering and autofocus system and simply is more refined.

    Canon don’t even have anything to compete with the wildly popular D750, which is simply a better camera than the ageing 5D Mark III for significantly less money, in addition to being lighter, adding more modern features (e.g. tilting screen and WiFi…etc.).

    And then there’s the issue of the 6D, which simply gets outdone by the cheaper D610, which has better IQ and better AF as well.

    That’s just three KO’s out of three for Nikon and its not just because of their sensors, it’s because Nikon has actually released new products. The 5D3 was released at around the same time as the D800, the D810 was a generational leap from the D800 and with the successor to the D810 likely to be featuring the A7RII sensor, Canon’s just not keeping up.

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    • Paul Nguyen

      I meant to say I *own* several mirrorless (not won), typo.

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    • adam sanford

      Paul, I recognize you are fond of the ‘my camera is better than yours’ posts, but that doesn’t always translate to sales. Consider that Nikon’s sales are down, too: http://goo.gl/DuJPhU

      I would contend that Canon is certainly not hurting because of anything Nikon is doing. There really isn’t any data backing that up.

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  4. Ralph Hightower

    My wife’s is a point and shoot person, but I wonder how she would like the Canon mirrorless.. She understands my passion for photography and let me buy a used Canon F-1N and even showed me a 5D Mk III deal for Christmas in the same year!
    With the EOS-M, the EF lenses can be mounted.
    I wonder if she would like using the EOS-M?

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  5. Paddy McDougall

    Ok, I am not a canon exec, but if I wanted to break the Mirrorless I would follow the money trail Sony and Fuji. This would allow for two strategies

    1. Build something similar to the A7s size wise and put the 5d mkiii sensor in it ( this would help with age old jitters about canabilising the dslr range as the mkiv will be out soon). Sony shooters are buying canon glass anyway I believe and ex canon shooters are selling their bodies and buying adapters and Sony rigs. It ain’t going to attract Sony shooters but might stop you losing more customers. Suck it up and buy Sony sensors and stick them in a canon bodies with a great adapter for ef glass.
    2. Like Fuji, canon have great glass. Improve the the m series sensors and integrate a EVF then build m series lens line up with primes also build a great adapter for the rest of your glass. Stop faffing about with the m series, make it the new rebel series of years to come.

    Just my two pennies,

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    • adam sanford

      100% agree with building up the native EF-M line of lenses. In particular, they need higher-quality (not necessarily L quality) USM focusing lenses to go with the integral EVF + DPAF body we all expect to see someday.

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  6. Paul Empson

    Compacts are almost dead in the water.. mobile phone cameras can do for most.. I’ve a couple of the Fuji-X cameras and they both work well though I still go for my Nikon DSLRs for key images, and especially anything needing flash..

    It’s a real shame Fuji didn’t continue to use / license Nikon CLS as in the S5 Pro it was excellent.. X-Pro 2 specs look ok as far as they go.. 24mp would be great.. definitely keen to see it’s full spec when launched.

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  7. Peter Tellone

    Please I am Begging you to get reporting right and actually do some research. The report you are reporting on from Reuters that is a Repost from Mirrorless rumors is from 2014 NOT 2015. Please go and read the 2015 at Canon Investor Relations. Sales up 6.1% Gross Profit up 8.7 % Net Income down -15.6% Yes, there still is a Loss in income But it is NOT THAT REPORT. Why can not one Photography blog get things right. DO YOUR JOB

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  8. Jean-Francois Perreault

    I wrote about a year ago that 2015 would be the decisive year for mirrorless and it would be the year where DSLR sales would show. Although it was an easy prediction that everyone also made, I’m glad to see we weren’t that way off for once ;)

    As for supporting EF and EF-S, I wonder if they could place the sensor as far back as possible to compensate for the flange distance and maybe release an EF(S) mirrorless? Would it be completely impossible or just very difficult? No need to completely compensate for the 26mm (i think) difference between EF and EF-M but just enough to make an acceptable sized camera?
    I think a native, serious, EF mirrorless could bring Canon back near the top in a second.

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    • adam sanford

      Love the idea, but I don’t know if it will work. APS-C mirrorless lives and dies by being smaller than APS-C DSLRs. The A6000, Fuji X rigs, etc. are all considerably smaller than their SLR counterparts, and few folks slap huge lenses on them other than for a parlour trick or second body to their FF SLR.

      But in FF, the minute you climb above 50mm or get faster than f/2 or so, the aggregate lens + body size is about the same as an FF rig (consider: http://j.mp/1M2bzQ7) — that might be a more reasonable place to try this idea. Besides, *Canon may do this for us anyway* — any Canon FF mirrorless will 100% have an EF adapter on day one or no one will buy it.

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    • adam sanford

      So I contend that APS-C mirrorless lives and dies by size, while FF mirrorless is all about doing *more* than what a conventional SLR can do — EVF with histo, focus peaking, amplified viewfinder, no mirror slap, etc.

      That painful dichotomy of needs has left Canon and Nikon petrified from making the wrong call with a legit professional mirrorless platform. Fuji and Olympus have chased the ‘smaller’ angle, and Sony — very bravely and expensively — is waging war on both fronts. Sooner or later, CaNikon need to step up, take a risk and invest the capital to compete in one of those two spaces.

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  9. adam sanford

    Nothing like poor earnings to get the Canon FF mirrorless rumors kick-started again. :-P

    It’ll happen, but we’ll see it coming long in advance. *Surely* we’ll see a more ambitious EOS-M with an integral EVF before an FF rig ever materializes. Remember that the EOS-M is Canon’s mirrorless batting practice before the billion-dollar-call on the FF mirrorless mount, so they need to try more complicated things in the APS-C space before they gamble the bucks on the FF rig.

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